Patient, Rev. Thomas, was born in England, and educated, we have no doubt, in Oxford or Cambridge. He became a Congregationalist, and emigrated to New England. After laboring in the ministry on this side of the Atlantic, he was convinced that the Saviour and his apostles were Baptists, and he frankly avowed his convictions. He was immediately subjected to violent persecutions, and to escape them he returned to England.
In 1640 he was appointed co-pastor with Mr. Kiffin in London. where he labored for some time. Parliament having voted that six able ministers should be appointed to preach in Dublin, at a salary of £200 per annum, to be paid from the lands formerly owned by bishops, deans, and chapters, Mr. Patient accepted one of these positions, which was offered to him. In the capital of Ireland he became a very popular preacher, and so gifted was he as an eloquent speaker that at times he traveled much through the country, preaching Jesus wherever he went to delighted throngs of British settlers.
In Dublin he acted as chaplain of Col. John Jones, who was married to a sister of the Protector, and who occupied a seat in his "House of Lords.” And such a favorite was he with Col. Jones that he selected him to preach before him and the council every Sunday in Christ church cathedral. This church was completed in 1038, and it was repaired and extensively improved by the celebrated English invader of Ireland, Strongbow. In it he was buried in 1176, and his monument is the chief attraction at this day of a superb church. In this grand old temple, before the governor of Dublin and the élite of Anglo-Irish society, Mr. Patient proclaimed a living gospel, he was on friendly relations with Oliver Cromwell himself, as the following quotations from a letter written to the Protector by him will show:
“My Lord,—From that little acquaintance I had with your excellency before you went out of Ireland, and the suitableness I found in that letter of your experiences, of which I was made a partaker, compared with my observation of the goings of God with you for many years, in this great work in which God hath made use of you, it hath, indeed, very thoroughly confirmed my heart in charity and love towards you, as one elect and precious in the sight of God....truly God hath kept the heart of my Lord deputy close to himself....I am present, and have been at the headquarters ever since a little before my Lady Ireton (Cromwell's daughter) came over. I do by good experience find, so far as I can discover, the power of God's grace in her sould, a woman acquainted with temptations and breathing after Christ. And I am persuaded it hath pleased God to begin a work of grace in the soul of Col. Henry Cromwell, your son....I watch him, and he is crying much to God in secret....Your grandchild hath been very weak, but it is recovered....I think I shall be at Dublin with my lady (Ireton) this summer."
This letter shows that Mr. Patient had received an epistle from Cromwell, and that he was intimately and religiously associated with several members of his family at that time in Ireland.
Mr. Patient baptized a large number of persons in Dublin. He was a wise and experienced Christian, and he rendered substantial service to the Saviour's kingdom in Ireland. He died July 30, 1666, and the Lord was with him as he passed from this world of the dying into the heaven of the living. His only published work was a quarto volume on baptism.
Baptist Encyclopedia, Cathcart, 1883, Vol. II
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