William Pemble (1592-1623)A Learned Divine, Powerful Gosple Preacher, and Moderate Puritan
“I say to ministers in light of the sin of ignorance, that they would be careful to teach the people; if people perish for lack of knowledge, shall ministers escape who are negligent in teaching?”
- A Treatise of Justification by Faith, 1625.
- A Treatise of Providence.
- The Book of Ecclesiastes Explained, 1628.
- A Plea for Grace, more especially the Grace of Faith, 1629.
- An Exposition of the first Nine Chapters of Zechariah, 1629.
- Five godly and profitable Sermons, 1629.
- Fruitful Sermons on 1 Cor. xv. 18, 19., 1629.
- An Introduction to the Worthy Receiving of the Lord’s Supper, 1629.
- De formarum originc, 1629.
- De Senibus interim, 1629.
- A Sum of Moral Philosophy, 1630.
- The period of the Persian monarchie VVherein sundry places of Ezra, Nehemiah and Daniel are cleered: extracted, contracted, and englished, much of it out of Doctor Raynolds, by the late learned and godly man William Pemble, of Magdalen Hall in Oxford. Published and enlarged since his death by his friend, Richard Capel., 1631.
- Enchiridion Oratorium, 1633.
- An Introduction to Geography, 1685.
- The above articles in English were collected and published in one volume folio, 1635, being much esteemed and often reprinted.
Biography of William Pemble:
William Pemble, (1591-1623) was a learned puritan divine, son of a minister, born at Egerton in Kent, in the year 1591. He was educated in Magdalen college, Oxford, where Mr. Richard Capel was his tutor. From a child he was trained up in good literature, and profited in all kinds of knowledge, more than most others. From the youthful years of infancy he was constantly taught in the school of Christ; so that, under the influence of divine grace, together with the sanctified use of his manifold afflictions and temptations, he attained a high degree of heavenly wisdom. Though he was young in years, he offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than many of his elder brethren.
At the university he acquired a most distinguished reputation and became a celebrated preacher of divinity in Magdalen college. According to his biography, “he was a zealous Calvinist, a famous preacher, an excellent artist, a skillful linguist, a good orator, an expert mathematician, and an ornament to the society to which he belonged.” Adrian Heereboord, the famous professor of philosophy at Leyden, was very generous in the commendation of his learning and learned works. Another writer observes, “that he thoroughly traced the circle of the arts; and attained a degree of eminence, not only in the sciences, but even in those more sublime speculations of which many are not capable.”
Magdalen college was the very nursery of puritans. Mr. Pemble was justly described as one of them, though he did not carry his nonconformity, in certain points, quite so far as some of his brethren. He labored openly to promote the reformation of the church, and encouraged the relaxation of subscription and other points of conformity. He was tutor to many puritans, who afterwards became distinguished ornaments for learning, piety, and usefulness. This divine, with many others, affords sufficient proof that the puritans were not all unlearned, or at all inferior in learning to those who conformed.
Mr. Pemble going on a visit to Mr. Capel, formerly his tutor, but now minister at Eastington in Gloucestershire, was taken ill, and died at his tutor’s house, being only thirty-two years old. His remains were buried in the church-yard at that place, and over his grave was the following inscription:
the Body of
Master of Arts and Preacher,
who died April 14,
He left this world in the comfortable and full persuasion of justification by faith in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Bishop Wilkins, in his list of the most excellent sermons in his time, includes those of Mr. Pemble.
 Capel was a puritan minister, which Puritan Publications has published one of his most famous works, The Nature, Danger and Cure of Tempation.
 Pemble’s Works, Pref. Edit. 1687.
 Wood’s Athens Oxon. vol. i., 405.
 MS. Chronology, vol. ii., 705.
 See Pemble on Justification, Pref. Edit., 1625.