Jacob, Henry

, the founder of the first independent or congregational church in England, was a native of Kent, and received his academical education at St. Mary’s hall, Oxford. Having entered into holy orders, he was made precentor of Corpus Christi college, and afterwards obtained the benefice of Cheriton in Kent. In the year 1604 he published “Reasons taken out of God’s word, and the best of human testimonies, proving the necessity of reforming our churches of England.” The publication of this, and of another work against what was falsely called “learned preaching,” would have brought him under ecclesiastical censure if he had not fled to Holland. At Leyden he became a convert to the Brownist principles, since known by the name of Independency. In Holland he published several treatises, and upon his return he avowed a design of setting up a separate congregation upon the model of those in Holland. This, in a short time, he carried into effect, and thus laid the foundation of the first independent congregational chinch in England. He was elected pastor of the church, and continued with his people till the year 1624, when he went to Virginia, where he soon afterwards died. He was author of many publications which were highly esteemed in his day, particularly, 1. “A treatise of the Sufferings and Victory of Christ in the work of our Redemption, &c. written against certain errors in those points publicly preached in London, 1597,” Lond. 1598, 8vo. The points which he endeavours to confute were, 1. That Christ suffered for us the wrath of God, which we may well term the pains of hell. 2. That Christ, after his death on the cross, went not into hell in his soul. 2. “Of the Church and Ministry of England, written in two treatises against the reasons and objections of Mr. Francis Johnson,” Middleburg, 1599, 4to. Our author and Mr. Johnson, who was a Brownist, and lived in Holland, had several disputes at Amsterdam about the church of England’s being a true church. 3. “Defence of a treatise touching the Sufferings and Victory of Christ in the work of our Redemption,1600, 4to. | 4. “Reasons taken out of God’s word,” &c. already merrtioned, 16CH, 4to. 5. “A Position against vain-glorious> and that which is falsely called learned preactiing,1604, 8vo. 6. “The divine beginning and institution of Christ’s true, visible, and material Church,Leyden, 1610, 8vo. 7. “Plain and clear Exposition of the Second Commandment,1610, 8vo. 8. “Declaration and opening of certain points, with a sound confirmation of some others, in a treatise entitled * The divine beginning,' &c.” Middleburg, 1611. He wrote and published likewise several pieces, as the “Counter- Poison,” &c. which being printed privately, or on the continent, are rarely to be met with. 1


Gen. Dict. —Ath. Ox. vJ. I. —Strype’s Life of Whitgift, p. 566i