Ephraim Pagitt (1575-1647)He was a Presbyterian, Reformed minister, theologian, and fiery preacher.
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“Pelagians maintain men have free will; even after sin, they sufficiently do well without God’s grace.”
Ephraim Pagett’s works are, aside from various sermons:
1. “Christianographie: or, a Description of the multitudes and sundry sorts of Christians in the world not subject to the Pope,” 1635.
2. “A Treatise of the Ancient Christians in Kritany,” 1640.
3. “Heresiographie: or, a Description of the Heresies of later Times,” 1645.
4. “The Mystical Wolf,” a Sermon on Matt. 7:15, 1645.
5. “A Brief Collection out of Heresiography,” 1646.
Biography of Ephraim Pagitt (1575-1647):
Ephraim Pagitt (1575-1647), was born in Northamptonshire, in the year 1575, and educated in Christ’s college, Oxford. He was the son of Mr. Eusebius Pagitt, a celebrated puritan divine, and a great sufferer for nonconformity. He was so great a proficient in the knowledge of the languages, that upon his admittance into the university, the Greek professor sought his acquaintance, and derived much assistance from him. At the age of twenty-six years, he understood and wrote fifteen or sixteen languages (cf. Paget’s Heresiography, Preface, 1662). Having completed his studies at the university, he became minister at St. Edmund’s church, Lombard-street, London, where he continued many years. While in this situation, he entered into the conjugal state, and married Lady Bord, widow of Sir Stephen Bord, of a worthy family in Sussex. Upon the commencement of the civil wars, he was a great sufferer; and he was so much troubled and molested, Mr. Wood says, that, merely for the sake of quietness, he left his benefice in his old age, being then commonly called old father Ephraim. He retired to Deptford in Kent, where he spent the remainder of his days in retirement and devotion. He entered into the joy of his Lord in the month of April, 1647, aged seventy-two years. His remains, according to his last will and testament, were laid in Deptford church-yard.
Though his name is enrolled among the sufferers in the royal cause, he is with justice classed among the puritans. Many excellent divines, who were dissatisfied with the ecclesiastical discipline and ceremonies, and even with episcopacy itself, were nevertheless, during the national confusions, great sufferers on account of their loyal attachment to his majesty and the civil constitution. Their zeal for the king and his cause exposed them to the severity of the opposite party. This appears to have been the case with Mr. Pagitt. He was decided in his attachment to his majesty’s interest and the civil constitution, for which he was a sufferer in those evil times; yet he was opposed to the ecclesiastical establishment, as well as the cruel oppressions of the prelates. Therefore, in the year 1645, being only two years before his death, he united with his brethren, the London ministers, in presenting a petition to the lords and commons in parliament, for the establishment of the Presbyterian discipline. Being a Presbyterian, he wrote with great bitterness against the independents, baptists, and other sectaries, by which he exposed himself to the resentment of his enemies. “Error and heresy,” it is said, “began to take deep root, and to spread far and wide over the face of the earth; he, therefore, set himself to discover them, and root them up, when he published his “Heresiography.” Hence sprung his trouble.” It is also added, “the enemies of goodness making that the ground of their malice, which he wrote to undeceive and bring them into the way of truth. Upon this he was persecuted, reviled, slandered, and, through false suggestions, suffered even imprisonment itself. He bore up manfully, and suffered patiently whatever their malice could inflict, till at last the Lord in mercy put an end to his misery, and received him to himself.” He was an excellent preacher, and his sermons were as pleasant as they were profitable, drawing the hearts of his auditors, as by a bait of pleasure, to that which is good.