Christ Exalted

Hanserd Knollys, 1599-1691, was an English Particular Baptist Minister, educated at Cambridge, and ordained to the Ministry in 1629 by the Bishop of Peterborough. Married in 1631, he soon renounced his Anglican affiliation, and came under the influence of John Wheelwright. After a brief flight to New England to escape persecution, he returned to London in 1641, took up teaching {opened a boarding-school on Great Tower Hill} and spent a short time as a Parliamentary Army Chaplain under the Earl of Manchester. By 1644 we find him in connection with Henry Jessey’s Independent Congregation in London, where he soon became convinced of the Ordinance of Believer’s Baptism. Knollys soon became an influential leader of the early English Particular Baptists, and along with William Kiffin, Paul Hobson and Samuel Richardson, one of the twelve Signers of the 1646 London Confession of Faith. In 1645 he was instrumental in gathering a Particular Baptist Congregation in London, which he was to lead {though he was often prevented by the Papal arm – in Presbyterian attire – of Religious persecution, from fulfilling his obligations} for the remainder of his life. Soon after the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, Knollys was briefly imprisoned, spent a few years in Holland and Germany, but always returned to his home and Congregation in London. From his writings we can observe that Knollys was a Firm Advocate for the Cause of Religious Liberty, {his name is attached to pleas for toleration addressed to Parliament in 1651 and 1654, and to Oliver Cromwell himself in 1657,} probably the most learned of all the Early Baptists, {publishing guides to the study of Greek, Hebrew and Latin in 1664,} and above all a zealous Advocate of Christ’s Glory & Preeminence in Salvation. Though Knollys had his share of “bonds and imprisonments” the Lord sustained him through all, and blessed his labors to many of the Lord’s poor and afflicted people. He died in 1691, aged 93, and was buried in Bunhill Fields.

This volume was written early in his Ministry, {1645,} and was appropriately titled “Christ Exalted” or a Lost Sinner Sought and Saved by Christ. Being the sum of diverse sermons preached in Suffolk, by Hanserd Knollys; who for this doctrine had the Meeting House doors shut against him, and was stoned out of the pulpit, as he was preaching, by a rude multitude, who were gathered together against him. In addition to this, the small volume, written by Knollys, titled “Mystical Babylon Unveiled,” is attached as well, wherein is proved, according to Knollys that: I. That Rome-papal is Mystical Babylon. II. That the Pope of Rome is the Beast. III. That the Church of Rome is the Great Whore. IV. That the Roman priests are the False Prophet. Also; A call to the people of God to come out of Babylon. This was written in 1679.

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Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle
and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus. Hebrews 3:1