Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v3

164 LIVES OF THE PURITANS. congregation. It is observed, that, during his imprisonment, his wife fell sick and died ; but that he obtained so much favour as to visit her, and pray with her, before she breathed her last ; and then returned to prison.. Mr. Lathorp, was a man of learning, and of a meek and quiet spirit; but met with some uneasiness from his people on the following occasion. It appears that some of his con- gregation entertained doubts of the validity of baptism, as administered by their own pastor; and one person, who indulged these scruples, carried his child to be re-baptized at the parish church. This giving offence to some persons, the subject was discussed at ageneral meeting of the society ; and when the question was put it was carried in the negative: at the same time it was resolved, by a majority, not to make any declaration at present, whether or no parish churches were true churches. This decision proving unacceptable to the most rigid among them, they desired their dismission; and, uniting with some others who were dissatisfied about the lawfulness of infant baptism, formed themselves into a new society, which is thought to have been the first baptist con- gregation in England. This separation took place in the year 1633, and the new society chose Mr. John Spilsbury for its pastor.t But the remainder of Mr, Lathorp's church renewed their covenant, to walk together in the ways of God, so far as he had made them known, or should make them known to them, andforsake allfalse ways: and so steady were they to their vows, that there was scarcely an instance of any one departing from the church, even under the severest persecu- tions.# Mr. Lathorp, being driven fromhis native country, and re tiring to New England, was chosen first pastor of the church at Scituate, where he continued for some time, distributing the bread of life. Partof the church afterwards removing to Barnstaple, he removed with them, where he continued pastor of the church to the day of his death. He died. November 8, 1653. He was a man of a happy and pious spirit, studious of peace , a lively preacher, and willing to spend and be spent for the glory of Christ and the salvation of souls.§ Mr. Prince, in compiling his " Chronological History of New England," made use of " An original Register," in manuscript, by Mr. Lathorp, giving an account of Scituate Morton's Memorial, p. 141.-Neal's Puritans, vol. ii. p. 273. + Neal's Puritans, vol. ii. p. 373, 374.-Crosby's Baptists, vol. i. p. 148, 149. t Neal's Puritans, vol. ii. p. 374. § Morton's Memorial, IL 141,