John Rogers (Preacher) - Encyclopedia

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JOHN ROGERS (1627 - c. 1665), English preacher, second son of Nehemiah Rogers, a royalist and Anglican clergyman, was born at'Messing in Essex, and became a servitor and student of medicine at King's College, Cambridge. When still a youth the violence of his religious despair led him to attempt suicide and ended in his joining the extreme sect of the Puritans. Deprived of his home in 1642, he walked to Cambridge, and found the college establishment broken up; he nearly starved, but obtained in 1643 a scholastic post in Lord Brudenel's house in Huntingdonshire, and subsequently at St Neot's free school. He became known as a preacher, received Presbyterian ordination in 1647, married a daughter of Sir Robert Payne of Midloe in Huntingdonshire, and obtained the living of Purleigh in Essex. Subsequently he came to London, joined the Independents, became lecturer at St Thomas Apostle's, and attracted attention by the violence of his political sermons. He was appointed preacher to Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin by. the parliament in 1651, and while there served in the field, returning in 1652 to St Thomas Apostle's on account of religious dissensions. In 1653 his parishioners at Purleigh, where he had hitherto managed to retain the living, successfully proceeded against him for non-residence. In the quarrel between the army and the parliament Rogers had naturally sided with the former, and he was one of the first to join the Fifth Monarchy movement. He approved of the expulsion of the Long Parliament, and addressed two letters to Cromwell on the subject of the new government to be inaugurated, but the establishment of the Protectorate at once threw the Fifth Monarchy men into antagonism. Rogers addressed a warning letter to Cromwell, and boldly attacked him from the pulpit on the 9th of January 16 J4. Thereupon his house was searched and his papers seized, and Rogers then issued another denunciation against Cromwell, Mene, Tekel, Perez: a Letter lamenting over Oliver Lord Cromwell. On the 28th of March, on which day he had proclaimed a fast for the sins of the rulers, he preached a violent sermon against the protector, which occasioned his arrest in July. He confronted Cromwell with great courage when brought before him on the 5th of February 1655, and was imprisoned successively at Windsor and in the Isle of Wight, being released in January 1657. He returned to London, and, being suspected of a conspiracy, was again imprisoned by Cromwell in the Tower from the 3rd of February 1658 till the 16th of April. On the protector's death and the downfall of Richard Cromwell, the ideals of the Fifth Monarchy men seemed nearer realization, but Rogers was engaged in political controversy with Prynne and became a source of embarrassment to his own faction, which endeavoured to get rid of him by appointing him "to preach the gospel" in Ireland. On the outbreak of Sir George Booth's royalist insurrection, however, he became chaplain in Charles Fairfax's regiment, and served throughout the campaign. He obtained a lectureship at Shrewsbury in October and was in Dublin in January 1660, being imprisoned there by order of the army faction and released subsequently by the parliament. At the Restoration he withdrew to Holland, studied medicine at Leiden and Utrecht, and obtained from the latter university the degree of M.D. in 1662. He returned to England the same year and resided at Bermondsey, was admitted to the degree of M.D. at Oxford in 1664, and is supposed, in the absence of further record, to have died soon afterwards.

Besides the pamphlet already cited, Rogers wrote in 1653 Ohel or Bethshemesh, a Tabernacle for the Sun, in which he attacked the Presbyterians, and Sagrir, or Doomesday drawing nigh, from his new standpoint as a Fifth Monarchy man, and was the author of Challah, the Heavenly Nymph (1653); Dod, or Chathan; the Beloved or the Bridegroom going forth for his Bride ... (1653); Prison-born Morning Beams (1654); Jegar Sahadutha ... (1657); Mr Prynne's Good Old Cause stated and stunted 10 Year ago ... (1609); OLa1roXLmia, a Christian Concertation (1659); Mr Harrington's Parallel Unparalleled (1659); A Vindication of Sir H. Vane (1659); Disputatio Medica Inauguralis (1662). /n==Authorities==- Life and Opinions of a Fifth Monarchy Man, by Ed. Rogers (1867), compiled from Rogers's own works; Wood, Athenae Oxonienses and Fasti; Calendars of State Papers (Domestic). See also "English Ancestry of Washington," Harper's Magazine, xxi. 887 (1891); "John Rogers of Purleigh," The Nation, vol. 53, p. 3 1 4 (1891).

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