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William Carter (1605–1658)

An Independent and Member of the Westminster Assembly.

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His Works:

  1. Israels peace with God Beniamines overthrow (1642) by William Carter
  2. Light in darknesse (1648) by William Carter
  3. The covenant of God with Abraham, opened (1654) by William Carter


Biography of William Carter:

William Carter (1605-1658) was educated in Cambridge, and afterward he became a very popular preacher in London. He was a good scholar, a person of great seriousness; and though but a young man, he was appointed a member of the Assembly of Divines at Westminster. After some time, he joined the Independents, and became one of the Dissenting Brethren, in that Assembly.” He was one of those members in the Assembly who appeared for the divine institution of a doctor in every congregation, as well as a pastor. Mr Robert Baillie, one of the Commissioners from the Church of Scotland to that Assembly, speaking of his arrival there with his brethren, says: “At our first coming, we found them in a very sharp debate anent the office of doctors. The Independent men, whereof there are some ten or eleven in the Synod, many of them very able men, as Thomas Goodwin, Nye, Burroughs, Bridge, Carter, Caryl, Phillips, Sterry, were for the divine institution of a doctor in every congregation as well as a pastor. To these the others were extremely opposite, and somewhat bitterly, pressing much the simple identity of pastors and doctors. Mr Henderson travelled between them, and drew on a committee for gccommodation; in the whilk we agreed unanimously upon some six propositions, wherein the absolute necessity of a doctor in every congregation, and his divine institution, in formal terms, was eschewed; yet where two ministers can be had in one congregation, the one is allowed, according to his gift, to apply himself most to teaching, and the other to exhortation, according to the Scriptures.” (a See Life of William Bridge, pp. 140, 141. b Baillie’s Letters, vol. i. p. 401.)

Mr Carter had offers of many places, but he refused them, not being satisfied with the parochial discipline of those times. Nevertheless, he labored constantly in the Lord’s vineyard, with indefatigable ardor. He was most attentive to the work of the ministry, not seeking his own profit, but the profit of many, that they might be saved. Having tasted that the Lord is gracious, he was unwilling to eat his spiritual morsels alone; but earnestly wished that others should be partakers of these sweet o

satisfactory refreshments with himself. He ardently desired to advance the interests of the Redeemer’s kingdom, and to promote the spiritual and eternal welfare of precious and immortal souls. He had learned cheerful to sacrifice both his own humour and ease to the . and glory of his God and Saviour. He preached twice every Lord’s-day to two large congregations in the city, beside Lectures on the work-days, and his other labours. Labouring night and day, he faithfully preached the glorious gospel of the grace of God to the inhabitants of London. Being affectionately desirous of them, he willingly imparted to them, not the gospel of God only, but also his own soul, because they were exceedingly dear unto him. Having known the terrors of the Lord, he had a very tender compassion for those thoughtless persons who had no pity for themselves. His pious soul mourned for them in secret places, and he was greatly grieved with the hardness of their hearts. He earnestly longed to impart unto them some spiritual gift, by which they might be edified and established. Having spent his time and strength, in endeavoring to save souls from death, he fell asleep in the Lord. about mid-summer, in the year 1658, and in the fifty-third year of his age.”

I have seen only one sermon of his, which is entitled, Light in Darkness, from Psal. lxv. 5, before the House. THOMAS CARTER, of Commons, 24th Nov. 1647, at their solemn Fast, London, 1648.

a. Neal’s Hist. Purit. vol. iv.


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