Its chief strength lay in the eastern counties and in London, where a few clergymen such as Calamy and Marshall formed a committee for its diffusion; while in Parliament it was represented by Lord Brooke, Lord Mandeville, and Lord Saye and Sele.
Mr Calamy, if I be not forgotten, said, we were ready to think more of Mr Gillespie than was truly meet; if he had not been stained by being against our way and judgment for the Engagement. “He was one of the great men that had a chief hand in penning our most excellent Confession of Faith and Catechisms.
Of this dispute I have found no particular account. Calamy only says, he had a ruffle with bishop Laud, while at his height.
It was to the Brewsters that the village was indebted for the ministry of the Rev. John Phillip, who married the sister of the pious and learned Dr. Ames, Professor of the University of Franeker. Calamy tells us that by means of Dr. Ames, Mr. Phillip had no small furtherance in his studies, and intimate acquaintance with him increased his inclination to the Congregational way.
Calamy writes of one of the Norwich ministers, of the name of Cromwell, that ‘he enjoyed but one peaceable day after his settlement, being on the second forced out of his meeting-house, the licenses being called in, and then for nine years together he was never without trouble.
In the King's last hours he had offers of the spiritual services of Messrs. Calamy, Vines, Caryl, Dell, and other Presbyterian ministers, and hardly had these gone when Mr. John Goodwin of Coleman Street came to St. James's, all by himself, with the like offer. They were all dismissed with thanks, the King intimating that he desired no other attendance than that of Bishop Juxon.
He then shewed us his List of Preachers for the whole Year, where I saw with a great deal of Pleasure Archbishop Tillotson, Bishop Saunderson, Doctor Barrow, Doctor Calamy, with several living Authors who have published Discourses of Practical Divinity. A Sermon repeated after this Manner, is like the Composition of a Poet in the Mouth of a graceful Actor.
Calamy, one of the King's chaplains, had preached and printed a sermon called Scrupulous Conscience, challenging to, or advocating, the friendly discussion of points of difference between the Church and the Nonconformists.
These Presbyterian ministers were—Stephen Marshal, then lecturer at St. Margaret’s, whom Baillie terms the best of the preachers in England; Edmund Calamy, who had long been a celebrated East Anglian preacher, first at Swaffham, then at Bury St.
But, had it not been for the provisions of the Test Act, extreme views on the subject would have received little attention, and the counsels of men like Baxter, Bates, and Calamy would have gained a far deeper, if not a wider, hold on the minds of all moderate Nonconformists.