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Archive for the ‘A Voice from Prison’ Category

Hercules Collins published A Voice from the Prison from his prison cell. This work was an extended meditation on Revelation 3:11 where Christ admonishes the church of Philadelphia with the words, “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” (KJV) Collins addressed this sermon “To the Church of God, formerly Meeting in Old-Gravel-Lane Wapping, and all who were Strangers and Foreigners, but now Fellow Citizens with the Saints, and of the Household of God.” In this sermon, Collins drew from at least 213 passages of Scripture to encourage his congregation to stand firm in the face of persecution. Collins urged his besieged flock to not abandon the cause of Christ. “Hold fast what thou hast, when Satan would pull thy Souls good from thee; when Relations, Husband, Wife, Children call upon you, and perswade you because of danger to cease from the work of the Lord, then hold fast.” Collins offered as a motivation for holding fast to Christ and His work that the one who stood fast would hear Christ profess to the Father on the day of judgment these words:

These are they which have continued with me in my Temptation; therefore I appoint unto you a Kingdom; therefore, because you owned me in an Evil Day.

These are the Men, Women, People, which spoke of my Testimonies before Kings, and was not ashamed when many Cried, Crucify him and his Cause; these are the Souls which came forth and declared they were on the Lords Side: These are they, Father, whose Love to me many Waters nor Floods could not quench nor drown; these are they that chose me on my own termes, with the Cross as well as the Crown; these have made Choice of me with Reproaches, Imprisonments, with Fines, Confiscation of Goods, Banishment, loss of Limbs, Life, and all, they have born all, indured all for my sake, in the greatest affliction, they kept from wavering, and the more they endured and lost for my sake, the more they loved me.

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On Preaching from Prison

This excerpt comes from the opening page of A Voice from Prison by Hercules Collins when he was imprisoned in 1684.

To the Church of God, formerly meeting in Old-Gravel-Lane Wapping, and all who were strangers and foreigners, but now fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.

Revelation 3:11

Behold, I come quickly; hold that fast which thou hast, let no man take thy crown.

Dearly Beloved,

Forasmuch as I am at present deprived by my bonds, of the liberty of preaching; I bless God I have the advantage of printing, being ready to serve the interest of Christ in all conditions to my poor ability; and doubt not, but God and his interest are served by my confinement, as by liberty: and am not without hopes that I shall preach as loudly, and as effectually by imprisonment for Christ, as ever I did at liberty; that all those who observe God’s providential dealings, will be able to say with me hereafter, as holy Paul once said in his bonds at Rome; What hath befallen me, hath tended to the furtherance of the gospel (Philippians 1:21): for as actions are more influential than words, and more demonstrative of the truth and reality of a person or cause; as a man shall be better believed for his good works, than good words; so if we would manifest our integrity under a profession, nothing will do it better than your suffering, rather than sin, if by God called unto it; for, as a tree is known by his fruit (Matthew 7:16-17), so is a Christian by a patient wearing Christ’s cross, this will and hath convinced an adversary, when a bare profession will not, and though a man should make a great profession, or preach with great demonstration of truth, they an unsuitable living, or a sinful declining sufferings, may greatly hinder the belief of the truth.

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