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Friday, August 28, 2009

Brabourne, Theophilus 1590-1662

Theophilus Brabourne, (1590–1662), was a Church of England clergyman and religious controversialist.

Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 6 (1886) By Sir Sidney Lee (see page 139 for entry on Theophilus Brabourne)
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The following information is from the English Dissenters: Sabbatarians web site.

Theophilus Brabourne (1590-1662) was an Anglican priest ca. 1621-42. Unlike John Traske, Brabourne attempted to incorporate the Jewish Sabbath observances into the general practices of the Church of England. There is little indication of any attempts of starting another Sabbatarian sect.

He was from Norwich and entered the family hosier business ca. 1605. He later earned an M.A., and was ordained in 1621. From 1633-30(50?) Brabourne was active in the dioceses of Norwich.

Brabourne's major contribution to English Sabbatarianism was through his scholarly writings. Brabourne's writing reflects some of the earlier Puritan Sabbatarian influences. His first work: A Discourse upon the Sabbath Day; ... (1628) argued for the practice of Saturday Sabbath based on scriptural arguments to the Church of England.

His second work: A Defence Of that most Ancint and Sacred ordinance of GOD the Sabbath Day, ... (1632) was basically a revised and expanded second edition of his earlier work: A Discourse upon the Sabbath Day; ... (1628).

In 1634, he was being held at the Gatehouse (Westminster) for holding heretical views. The Court of High Commission was interested in his Sabbatarian writings. From later 1634 to early 1635, Brabourne had an extended conversation with officials of the Church over his agreed upon personal recantation. The final document was a rather carefully worded document acceptable to all parties concerned.

Brabourne soon found himself back in Norwich as a priest in 1635. Brabourne always held that his carefully worded recant was not a negative statement on Sabbatarians. His recent brush with the State resulted in a lowered public image from 1635-54.

After receiving a family inheritance in 1648, Brabourne left the Church to continue his research and to write. From 1654-60, Brabourne published at least seven religious works. One of his last works: Of the Seventh Day (1660) restated Brabourne's scriptural research on the Saturday Sabbath.

Brabourne's writings were a major source of scriptural research for later Sabbatarians. He was not the only author during this period, but his writings provided the scholarly research that was often lacking in other writers on the subject.
A Confutation of the Dutch-Arminian Tenent, of Universal Redemption. With Relation in special, unto certain sectaries, in England. By name, the Morians, or Revelators, with others tracing them; who hold, That Christ Died for All Men, Good and Bad. - 1651
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