Sparke, Thomas

Sparke, Thomas a Puritan divine, was born at South Somercote, Lincolnshire, England, in 1548. Of his early education we have no account until be became fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1570, in which year he was admitted bachelor of arts. Soon after he was presented by Arthur lord Grey to the parsonage of Bletchley, in Buckinghamshire. He was chaplain to Cooper, bishop of Lincoln, from whom he received in 1575 the archdeaconry of Stowe. In 1581 he took his divinity degrees, and in 1582, finding that he could not attend to his archdeaconry because of its distance from his cure, he resigned it, but in September of the same year he was installed prebendary of Sutton-in-the-Marsh in the Church of Lincoln. In 1603 he represented the Puritans in the conference at Hampton Court, having also been one of their champions at Lambeth in 1584. The issue of the Hampton Court Conference was that he inclined to conformity. He died at Bletchley, Oct. 8, 1616. Wood says he "was a learned man, a solid divine, well read in the fathers, and so much esteemed for his profoundness, gravity, and exemplary life and conversation that the sages of the university thought it fit after his death to have his picture painted on the wall in the School Gallery among the English divines of note there." His works are, A Brotherly Persuasion to Unity and Uniformity in Judgment and Practice, etc. (Lond. 1607, 4to): — A Comfortable Treatise for a Troubled Conscience (ibid. 1580, 8vo): — Brief Catechism (Oxon. 1588, 4to): — Answer to Mr. John d'Albine's Notable Discourse against. Heresies (ibid. 1591, 4to): — The Highway to Heaven (Lond. 1597, 8vo), a treatise on Joh 1:37-39: — Funeral Sermon on the earl of Bedford and another on lord Grey.

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