Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Collier, Thomas

COLLIER, THOMAS (fl. 1691), baptist minister, is said to have been originally an illiterate carter or husbandman (Edwards, Gangræna iii. 41). In 1634, when he is described as of Witley, Surrey, he was complained of for obstinately refusing to pay taxations in the tithing of Enton, in the parish of Godalming, where he had an estate. Having adopted the opinions of the baptists, he assumed the office of a preacher, although he had not received any academical education. He preached for some time in Guernsey, where he made many converts, but ultimately he and some of his followers were banished the island for their heresies and turbulent behaviour, and he was cast into prison at Portsmouth (Crosby, Hist. of the English Baptists, iii. 51). In, or perhaps shortly before, 1646 he was a preacher at York. About the same period there are traces of him at Guildford, Lymington, Southampton, Waltham, Poole, Taunton, London, and Putney; and in 1652 he was preacher at Westbury, Somersetshire (Wood, Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 678, Fasti, i. 508; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. vi. 322). At one time he was minister at Luppitt and Up-Ottery, Devonshire (Ivimey, Hist. of the English Baptists, ii. 141). ‘This Collier,’ remarks Edwards, ‘is a great sectary in the west of England, a mechanical fellow, and a great emissary, a dipper who goes about Surrey, Hampshire, and those counties, preaching and dipping’ (Brook, Puritans, iii. 27). What became of him at the Restoration does not appear, but it is probable that he was living in 1691, when the last of his numerous publications came from the press.

His works are: 1. ‘Certain Queries, or points now in controversy examined,’ 1645. 2. ‘The Exaltation of Christ,’ Lond. 1646, 12mo, with an epistle to the reader by Hanserd Knollys prefixed. 3. Letters dated Guildford, 20 April 1646, and London, 2 May 1646: printed in Edwards's ‘Gangræna,’ ii. 51, 52, and in Brook's ‘Puritans,’ iii. 28, 29. 4. ‘The Marrow of Christianity,’ Lond. 1647, 8vo. 5. ‘The Glory of Christ, and the Ruine of Antichrist, unvailed,’ 1647, 12mo. 6. ‘A Brief Discovery of the Corruption of the Ministry of the Church of England,’ Lond. 1647, 12mo. 7. ‘A Discovery of the New Creation. In a Sermon preached at the Head-Quarters at Putney,’ Lond. 1647, 12mo. 8. ‘A Vindication of the Army Remonstrance,’ Lond. 1648, 4to. This was in reply to a tract by William Sedgwick (Wood, Athenæ Oxon. iii. 895). 9. ‘A General Epistle to the Universall Church of the First Born,’ Lond. 1648, 12mo. 10. ‘A Second Generall Epistle to all the Saints,’ Lond. 1649, 12mo. 11. ‘The Heads and Substance of his Discourse with John Smith and Charles Carlile,’ Lond. 1651, 12mo. 12. ‘Narrative of the Conference between John Smith and Thomas Collier,’ Lond. 1652, 4to. 13. ‘The Pulpit-guard routed in its twenty Strongholds,’ Lond. 1652, 4to, in answer to a book published in the previous year by Thomas Hall, B.D., of King's Norton, Worcestershire, entitled ‘The Pulpit guarded.’ Hall replied to Collier, who published a rejoinder, with answers to comments which had been made on his work by John Ferriby and Richard Saunders. 14. ‘The Right Constitution and True Subjects of the Visible Church of Christ,’ Lond. 1654, 12mo. 15. ‘A Brief Answer to some of the Objections and Demurs made against the coming in and inhabiting of the Jews in this Commonwealth,’ Lond. 1656, 4to. 16. ‘A Looking-glasse for the Quakers,’ Lond. 1657, 4to. In reply to James Naylor. 17. ‘A Discourse of the true Gospel-Blessedness in the New Covenant,’ Lond. 1659, 12mo. 18. ‘The Decision of the Great Point now in Controversie about the Interest of Christ and the Civill Magistrate in the Government of this World,’ Lond. 1659, 4to. 19. ‘The Body of Divinity,’ Lond. 1674, 12mo. 20. ‘Additional Word to the Body of Divinity,’ 167–, to which Nehemiah Coxe published a reply. 21. ‘A Doctrinal Discourse of Self-denial,’ Lond. 1691, 8vo.

[Authorities cited above; also Murch's Presbyterian and Baptist Churches in the West of England, 192, 477; Cat. of Dr. Williams's Library, i. 82, ii. 141; Watt's Bibl. Man.; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus.; Bodleian Cat. i. 575, ii. 38, 327.]

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