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Zachary Crofton (1626-1672)

A faithful Presbyterian minister of the Gospel, and an Irish non-conformist puritan divine.
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“Remorse for sin, without a return from sin to God, will afford you no comfort.”

His Works:

Puritan Publications is working to publish some of Crofton’s best works.

The Nature, Necessity and Character of True Repentance by – by Zachary Crofton (1626-1672) – eBook
Buy this printed book HERE

Most of Crofton’s unpublished writings are listed here, but Puritan Publications is working to publish some of his more well-known works:

1. “Catechizing God’s Ordinance, delivered in sundry Sermons,” 1656.
2. “The People’s need of a Living Pastor asserted and explained,” 1657.
3. “Sermons on Psalm 34:14,” 1660.
4. “The Fastening of St. Peter’s Fetters, by seven links or propositions,” 1660.
5. “Altar-Worship, or Bowing to the Communion Table considered, as to the novelty, vanity, iniquity, and malignity charged to it,” 1661.
6. “Berith-anti-Baal; on Zach. Crofton’s Appearance before the Prelate Justice of the Peace, by way of rejoinder to Dr. John Gauden,” 1661.
7. “The Liturgica Considerator considered,” 1661.
8. “The Presbyterian Lash, or Nactroff’s Maid Whipt. A Tragi-comedy,” 1661.
9. “The Hard Way to Heaven explained and applied,” 1662.
10. “St. Peter’s Bonds abide, for Rhetoric worketh no Release.”

Sermons and tracts published in his day were:
1. “Repentance Not to be Repented Of.”
2. “The Rev. John Frost’s funeral sermon.”
3. “The Virtue and Value of Baptism.”
4. “Right re-entered.”
5. “Malice against the Ministry Manifested.”
6. “Felix Scelus, in sundry sermons.”
7. “The Pursuit of Peace.”
8. “Altar Worship: the Saint’s zeal against sinful altars
9. “A Serious View of Presbyters’ re-ordination by Bishops.”
10. “Reformation not Separation.”
11. “The Hard Way to Heaven.”
12. “Church Communion.”
13. “Meditations in the Tower,” (a series of meditations while he was imprisoned).


Biography of Zachary Crofton (1626-1672):

Zachary Crofton (1626-1672), was a faithful Presbyterian minister of the Gospel, and an Irish non-conformist puritan divine. He was born in Ireland educated in Dublin, where he no doubt was influenced by the Irish Articles, and the foundational work of James Ussher. However, because of the turmoil attending the country at the time, he left and came to England during the conveyance of the Westminster Assembly who met to publish a universal confession to join Scotland, Ireland and England in a unified biblical bond. He came to England about 1646 (one year before the Assembly released the 1647 Westminster Confession) and was almost penniless when he arrived.

He was first offered a ministerial post at Wrenbury in Cheshire, but he refused the position. He was turned out of his living for refusing the engagement which was ordered by Oliver Cromwell, and appeared very zealous to dissuade others from taking it because of his sympathies to the office of the king. He then came to London, and for a time was the minister of St. James’, Garlick Hythe, and then later he obtained the rectory of St. Botolph, Aldgate, which he preached in until the time of the Restoration of Charles II. He was ejected from his pulpit for nonconformity with a number of other famous puritans of the day. Shortly after his ejectment he began a controversy with Bishop Gauden concerning The Solemn League and Covenant, which he defended. The bishop was for throwing it out completely. Crofton’s position was that it did not bind every many in and of itself, but those who took the oath, in prudence, obliged them, in their place and calling, to endeavor to press on with true, biblical reformation. This meant those who covenanted to be against schism, popery, prelacy, and profaneness, and to defend the king. The puritan historian, Daniel Neal, says that this controversy took place before Crofton’s ejectment, and that, after lying in prison for a considerable time, “at great expense,” and being forced to petition for his liberty, he was fired from his church without any consideration, although he had been “very zealous for the king’s restoration.”

Crofton, with his wife and seven children, returned to Cheshire, where, after suffering another unknown short imprisonment, he supported himself by farming, or, according to Edmund Calamy, by keeping a grocer’s shop. This was in 1667, in Little Barford, Bedfordshire. In the time of the great plague of London, his son and daughter, whom he had set up in business in London, went down to him, but could not be admitted into the village, and were kept in little huts at a distance. After this, he then moved to London, and set up a school in the parish of Aldgate. At times, his school had more than a hundred scholars teaching. He continued there until his death, in 1672.

Crofton published a large number of pamphlets and tracts, mostly controversial, and a few sermons. He was unwavering in his nonconformist views, and wrote with detailed keenness (seen explicitly in tracts). He was gifted in his scholarship and ability to communicate biblical truths precisely. Brooks says of him that he was “naturally of a quick temper, but an upright man; and an acute, learned, and solid divine.”

[For further study see: Calamy’s Nonconformist’s Memorial; Neal’s History of the Puritans; Chalmers’s Biographical Dictionary; Watt’s Bibl. Brit., Brooks’ Lives of the Puritans; and God’s Irishmen: Theological Debates in Cromwellian Ireland By Crawford Gribben]



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