Walker, George

, an eminent Puritan divine, was born at Hawkshead in Lancashire, in 1581, and was educated at St. John’s-college, Cambridge. After completing his studies there he went to London, and in 1614 became rector of St. John’s the Evangelist in Watling-street, where he continued nearly forty years, refusing every other offer of preferment. About the same time he became chaplain to Dr. Felton, bishop of Ely, who made choice of him the very morning of his consecration. He distinguished himself in the popish controversy; and, in 1623, held a public disputation with a priest of the name of Smith, before a very large assembly, and by consent of both parties, an account of it was afterwards published. He had likewise some encounters with Fisher, the celebrated Jesuit, | and others who were deemed the most able disputants on the side of the church of Rome. In 1635 he was brought into trouble, for having preached a sermon in favour of the sacred observance of the Sabbath; archbishop Laud was so unwise as to admonish him for thjs, and afterwards had hitn prosecuted in the Star-chamber, fined and imprisoned. The parliament reversed this sentence, and condemned the whole proceedings against Mr. Walker, and he was restored to his living of St. John’s. In 1643, he was chosen one of the assembly of divines, and was also one of the witnesses against archbishop Laud, and one of those who took upon them to swear that the unfortunate prelate had endeavoured to introduce popery. In his sermons, too, before the parliament, he made use of those expressions, which tended to lessen the king in the eyes of the people; and although he was one of those who afterwards petitioned against his majesty’s death, he was also one of those who did not reflect how much their violent harangues and sermons had contributed to that event. He died in 1651, aged seventy years, and was interred in his own church in Watling-street. Fuller gives him a high character, as a man “well skilled in the Oriental languages, and an excellent logician and divine. He was a man of a holy life, an humble spirit, and a liberal ham!, who well deserved of Zion college library and who, by his example and persuasion, advanced a thousand pounds for the maintenance of preaching ministers in his native country.” He published, 1. “The sum of a Disputation between Mr. Walker, pastor of St. John the Evangelist, and a Popish priest, calling himself Mr. Smith, but indeed Norris,1623. 2. “Fisher’s folly unfolded, or the vaunting Jesuit’s challenge answered,1624. 3. “Socinianism in the fundamental point of Justification discovered and confuted.” 4. “The doctrine of the Holy Weekly Sabbath,1641. 5. “God made visible in all his Works,1644; besides several sermons preached before the parliament. We shall have occasion to mention another publication of Mr. Walker’s, when we come to speak of Anthony Wotton. 1


Ath. Ox, vol. I. Brook’s Puritans. ~ Fuller’s Worthies.