Trask, John

Trask, John a Sabbatarian Puritan, was a native of Somersetshire, and, after being a schoolmaster until he was thirty-four years of age, became a preacher in London about 1617. He was at first refused ordination by the bishop of Bath and Wells, but "afterwards got orders and began to vent his opinions." He enjoined severe asceticism upon his followers, inducing them to fast three days at a time, alleging that the third day's fast would bring them to the condition of justified saints, according to the promise "after two days he will revive us; in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight" (Ho 6:1). Among other precepts strictly enforced by Trask was that of doing everything by the law of Scripture, having been converted to this view by the arguments of Hamlet Jackson. Trask prescribed to his followers ceremonial customs respecting dress and domestic life; required Jewish strictness in the observance of Sunday; and eventually adopted Saturday as the Sabbath. On April 1, 1634, the commissioners for ecclesiastical causes ordered the prosecution of all separatists, novelists, and sectaries, among whom the Traskists were named. Trask was brought before the Star-chamber, where his Judaizing opinions and practices were refuted by bishop Andrewes, and he was put in the pillory. He is said to have afterwards recanted his errors, but became an Antinomian before his death, the date of which is not given. His followers began to be called Seventh-day men about the year 1700. The published works of Trask are, Sermon on Mark 16:16 (Lond. 1615, 8vo): — Treatise of Liberty from Judaism (1620, 4to): — Power of Preaching (1623, 8vo): — The True Gospel, etc., from the Reproach of a New Gospel (1636, sm. 12mo). See Paget, Heresiography (1662, p. 161,184); Baker, Chronicle; Fuller, Church History of Great Britain; Brook, Puritans; Chamberlain, Present State of England for 1702. p. 258. — Blunt, Dict. of Sects, s.v.; Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, s.v.

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