Nye, Philip

, an English nonconformist, was a native of Sussex, descended of a genteel family there, and born about 1596. After a proper foundation at the grammarschool, he was sent to Oxford, and entered a commoner of Brazen-nose college in 1615; whence he removed in a little time to Magdalen-hall, for the sake of a puritanical tutor to whom he was greatly attached. He took the degrees in arts in 1619 and 1622; about which time he entered into holy orders, and was, some time in 1620, admitted to officiate, it does not appear in what capacity, in St. Michael’s church, Cornhill, London. Here having disclosed some of those opinions which were hostile to the constitution of the Church of England, he became obnoxious to the censures of the episcopal court; to avoid which, he went, with others of his persuasion, to Holland, in 1633. He continued for the most part at Arnheim in Guelderland, till 1640; when, his party gaining the ascendancy, and he fancying that his services would not only be useful but safe, he returned home, and was soon after made minister of Kimbolton, in Huntingdonshire, by Edward earl of Manchester.

In 1643, he was appointed one of the assembly of divines, became a great champion of the Presbyterians, and a zealous assertor of the solemn league and covenant; and was sent, with Stephen Marshall, whose daughter he,had married, the same year, to procure the assistance of the Scotch, and join with them in their favourite covenant: and when r after his return, both houses of parliament took the covenant in St. Margaret’s church, Westminster, he was the person who read it from the pulpit, and preached a sermon in defence of it, shewing its warrant from scripture, and was rewarded for his good service with the rectory of Acton near London. He was also one of the committee who drew up the preface to the “Directory,” which was ordered to be substituted for the Book of Common Prayer; but, when the majority of the assembly of divines determined on establishing the Presbyterian form of churchgovernment, he dissented from them; and, closing with the Independents, when they became the reigning faction, paid his court to the grandees of the army, who often made use of his advice. In December 1647, he was sent by them, with Stephen Marshall, to the king, at Carisbrookcastle, in the Isle of Wight, in attendance upon the commissioners then appointed to carry the four dethroning | votes ,*


These were, 1. To acknowledge the war raised against him to be just, 2. To abolish episcopacy. 3. To settle the power of the militia in persons no minated by the two houses. 4. To sacrifice all those that had adhered to him.

as they are now called for which service they were rewarded with no less than 500l. a-piece. About the same time also Nye was employed by the same masters to get subscriptions from the apprentices in London, &c. against a personal treaty with the king, while the citizens of that metropolis were petitioning, for one. In April of the next year, he was employed, as well as Marshall and Joseph Caryl, by the Independents, to invite the secluded members to sit in the house again; but without success. In 1653, he was appointed one of the triers for the approbation of public preachers; in which office he not only procured his son to be clerk, but, with the assistance of his father-in-law, obtained for himself the living of St. Bartholomew, Exchange, worth 400l. a-year. In 1654, he was joined with Dr. Lazarus Seaman, Samuel Clark, Richard Vines, Obadiah Sedgwick, Joseph Caryl, &c. as an assistant to the commissioners appointed by parliament to eject such as were then called scandalous and ignorant ministers and school-masters in the city of London. After Charles the Second’s restoration, in 1660, he was ejected from the living of St. Bartholomew, Exchange; and it was even debated by the healing parliament, for several hours together, whether he, John Goodwin, and Hugh Peters, should be excepted for life: but the result was, that if Philip Nye, clerk, should, after the 1 st of September, in the same year 1660, accept, or exercise, any office, ecclesiastical, civil, or military, he should, to all intents and purposes in law, stand as if he had been totally excepted for life.

He died in the parish of St. Michael, Cornhill, London, in Sept. 27, 1672, and was buried in the upper vault of the said church. Wood represents him to have been a dangerous and seditious person, a politic pulpit-driver of independency, an insatiable esurient after riches, and what not, to raise a family, and to heap up wealth; and his friends, while they give him the praise of considerable learning and abilities, allow that he engaged more in politics than became his profession. Calamy says but little in favour of his character. His works were, 1. “A Letter from Scotland, to his Brethren in England, concerning his | success of affairs there,” 1643. Stephen Marshall’s name is also subscribed to it. 2. “Exhortation to the taking of the Solemn League and Covenant, &c.1643. 3. “The excellency and lawfulness of the Solemn League and Covenant,1660, 2nd edit. 4. “Apologetical Narration, submitted to the honourable Houses of Parliament,1643. To this there came out an answer, entitled “An Anatomy of Independency,1644. 5. “An Epistolary Discourse about Toleration,1644. 6. The Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and Power thereof,“&c. 1664. 7.” Mr. Anthony Sadler examined,“&c. by our author’s son, assisted by his father, 1654. 8.” The Principles of Faith presented by Thomas Goodwin, Philip Nye, &c. to the Committee of Parliament for Religion,“&c. 1654. 9.” Beams of former Light,“&c. 1660. 10.” Case of great and present Use,“1677. 11.” The Lawfulness of the Oath of Supremacy and Power of the King in Ecclesiastical Affairs, with queen Elizabeth’s admonition,“&c. 1683. It was then reprinted, and, being printed again in 1687, was dedicated by Henry Nye, our author’s son, to James II. 12.” Vindication of Dissenters,“&c. printed with the preceding, in 1683. 13.” Some account of the Nature, Constitution, and Power, of Ecclesiastical Courts," printed also with the former, in 1683, and other tracts, 1

1 Ath. Ox. vol. II. —Calamy. Wilson’s Hist, of Dissenting Churches.