Collings, John

, an eminent nonconformist divine, and a voluminous writer, was born at Boxstead, in Essex, in 1623, and educated at Emanuel college, Cambridge, where he took his degrees, probably during the usurpation, as we find him D. D. at the restoration. He had the living of St. Stephen’s Norwich, from which he was ejected for non-conformity in 1662. His epitaph says he discharged the work of the ministry in that city for forty- four years, which is impossible, unless he continued to preach as a dissenter after his ejection. He was one of the commissioners at the Savoy conference in the reign of Charles II. He particularly excelled as a textuary and critic. He was a man of various learning, and much esteemed for his great industry, humanity, and exemplary life. He wrote many books of controversy and practical divinity, the most singular of which is his “Weaver’s Pocket-book, or Weaving spiritualized,” 8vo. This book was particularly adapted to the place of his residence, which had been long famous for the manufacture of silks. Granger remarks that Mr. Boyle, in his “Occasional Reflections on several subjects,” published in 1663, seems to have led the way to spiritualizing the common objects, business, and occurrences of life. This was much practised by Mr. Flavel, and by Mr. Herrey; it is generally a “very popular method of conveying religious sentiments, although it is apt to degenerate into vulgar familiarity; but we know not if the practice may not be traced to bishop Hall, who published his” Occasional Meditations“in 1633. Calamy has given a very long list of Dr. Collings’s publications, to which we refer. In Poole’s” Annotations on the Bible" he wrote those on the last six chapters of Isaiah, the whole of Jeremiah, Lamentations, the four Evangelists, the epistles to the Corinthians, Galatians, Timothy and Philemon, and the Revelations. He died at Norwich Jan. 17, 1690. 2


Calamy. Granger.