Preparing for Persecution

Steve Weaver has a helpful essay in a 2012 Founder Journal titled Baptists and 1662: The Persecution of John Norcott and Hercules Collins. He provides some biographical information on Collins, a particular baptist pastor in London who spent many years in prison for his beliefs. Weaver summarizes two of Collins’ prison writings Counsel for the Living, Occasioned from the Dead and A Voice from the Prison. Give it a read.

Communion with God by the Spirit is a good Cordial to keep up the heart from fainting in this valley of tears, until we come to our Mount of Joy, where there is no limits of Joy and Blessedness.


Collins was sure that only those believers who had been mortifying sin daily in their lives would be enabled to endure persecution. “Let not that Man think to wear the Cross of Persecution, that doth not first wear the Cross of Mortification.”[68] As Collins developed this concept:

We should inure our selves to wear the Publick Cross, by wearing it first more privately in our Houses, in our Families, in our Shops and Trades: For let not that Person think he will ever be able to part with his Houses, Lands, Liberties, for the Lord Jesus Christ, that cannot first part with a secret lust: But if we have Grace enough, to wear daily the Cross of Mortification of the old Man; you need not fear but he that giveth Grace to do the greater, will give Grace to doe the lesser; for I look upon the subduing of Corruption, a greater thing then enduring Persecution; though neither can be done as it ought, without help from Heaven.[69]

Note, Collins also wrote Some Reasons for Separation from the Communion of the Church of England, and the Unreasonableness of Persecution Upon that Account. Soberly Debated in a Dialogue between Conformist, and a Nonconformist (Baptist).

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