Baily, John

Baily, John a Congregational minister, was born near Blackburn, in Lancashire, England, Feb. 24, 1644. After studying under the celebrated Dr. Thomas Harrison, he commenced his ministry in Chester, England, at the age of twenty-two; but after a short time, on account of his Congregational principles, he was imprisoned in Lancashire jail. When he was released, he travelled through Ireland, preaching so constantly as to injure his constitution. About fourteen years he spent in Limerick, where he enjoyed a happy and useful ministrv. While here he was offered, in case he should conform to the Established Church, a duke's chaplaincy, with a deanery and a bishopric whenever a vacancy should occur; but he rejected the offer. Notwithstanding his irreproachable character, he was again thrown into prison. During his imprisonment, his Church, divided into seven companies, were accustomed to visit him every day, each company in turn, until it was prohibited. No release would be granted unless he promised to leave the country. In 1684, accordingly, he came to New England, accompanied by Thomas, a younger brother, who was also a minister. At first he resided in Boston. In August, 1685, the Church at Watertown corresponded with him concerning a settlement in that place. The next year he was formally called, and Oct. 6 he was constituted their pastor. In November, 1687, his brother Thomas removed to Watertown as his assistant. In 1692 John removed to Boston, although the reasons of his removal are unknown: mental depression, in consequence of his brother's death, probably formed a part of them. In July, 1693, he was invited to assist Mr. Allen, pastor of the First Church in Boston, as public teacher, and here he remained until the close of his life, which occurred Dec. 12, 1697. A volume of his discourses was printed in Boston in 1689. Cotton Mather describes him as a man of eminent holiness, and of remarkably tender conscience. His preaching was of a spiritual cast, and he was unquestionably an able man. See Sprague, Annals of the Amer. Pulpit, 1, 201.

 
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