William Bridge

William Bridge

William Bridge (c. 1600 - 1670) was a leading English Independent minister, preacher, and religious and political writer.


A native of Cambridgeshire, the Rev. William Bridge was probably born in or around the year 1600. He studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, receiving an M.A. in 1626. ["Concise Dictionary of National Biography"]

For a short time in 1631, he was a lecturer (preacher) at Colchester, put in place by Harbottle Grimstone and Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick. [ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=21980] ; Hill, "Society and Puritanism", p. 101] From 1637, he lived in Norwich as Rector of St. Peter Hungate and St. George Tombland. [ [http://www.norfolkchurches.co.uk/norwichmeetinghouse/norwicholdmeeting.htm Norfolk Churches ] ] He came into conflict with Matthew Wren, bishop of Norwich. [ [http://www.ligonier.org/publishing_solideogloria_meetpuritans.php?puritan_id=21 Ligonier Ministries |Meet The Puritans ] ] for Nonconformity. He went into exile [ [http://www.hampton.lib.nh.us/hampton/biog/dalton/17.htm The English Home of Mr. Timothy Dalton, B. A. : Suspension - Flight - Resignation ] ] in Rotterdam, taking the position left vacant by Hugh Peters. [Hugh Trevor-Roper, "Archbishop Laud" (2000 edition), p. 257] Charles I of England upon hearing from Archbishop Laud that Rev. Bridge had "gone to Holland", "...rather than [that] he will conform" replied, "Let him go: we are well rid of him." [Beeke, Joel R. and Pederson Randall J., "Meet the Puritans (With a Guide to Modern Reprints)", (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2006), p.93]

He returned to Great Yarmouth and became a member of the Westminster Assembly. There he was one of the Five Dissenting Brethren, the small group of leading churchmen who emerged at the head of the Independent faction, opposing the Presbyterian majority.

In 1643, he preached in front of Charles I of England, making a direct attack on the Queen. [Hugh Trevor-Roper, [http://olldownload.libertyfund.org/Texts/LFBooks/TrevorRoper0256/Crisis17thC/0098_Bk.pdf PDF at p. 288] , "Religion, the Reformation and Social Change", p. 312]


*"A Lifting Up for the Downcast" [This little work full of spiritual encouragement is currently available from the Banner of Truth Trust, who have reprinted it three times since 1979 - the last occurring in 1995. It is purchasable at this link [http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0851512984]
*"The Wounded Conscience Cured, the Weak One Strengthened and the Doubting Satisfied by Way of Answer to Doctor Ferne" (1642) [ [http://www.worldcatlibraries.org/wcpa/top3mset/12152467 The wovnded conscience cvred, the weak one strengthened and the doubting satisfied by way of answer to Doctor Fearne : where the maine point is rightly stated, and objections throughly answered, for the good of those who are willing not to be deceived [WorldCat.org ] ]
*"Ioabs covnsell and King Davids seasonable hearing it" (1643), [ [http://www.worldcatlibraries.org/wcpa/top3mset/12183961 Ioabs covnsell and King Davids seasonable hearing it delivered in a sermon before the honourable House of Commons at their late solomne fast, Feb. 22 [WorldCat.org ] ] Fast Sermon for February 22
*"The truth of the times vindicated" (1643) [ [http://www.worldcatlibraries.org/wcpa/top3mset/12042634 The truth of the times vindicated whereby the lawfulnesse of Parliamentary proceedings in taking up of arms, is justified, Doctor Fernes reply answered, and the case in question more fully resolved [WorldCat.org ] ]

A large collected "Works of the Rev. William Bridge" was published in 1845. This edition of Rev. William Bridges' works was reprinted in 1989 in five hardback volumes by "Soli Deo Gloria Publications"; but these are now out of print, and hard to come by.


* Peter King, "Bishop Wren and the Suppression of the 'Norwich Lecturers', The Historical Journal, Vol. 11, No. 2 (1968), pp. 237-254

* Beeke, Joel R. and Pederson Randall J., "Meet the Puritans (With a Guide to Modern Reprints)", (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2006)

* [http://www.apuritansmind.com/MemoirsPuritans/MemoirsPuritansWilliamBridge.htm Article celebrating Bridge] from [http://www.apuritansmind.com/ A Puritan's Mind] website


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