January 21

On this day (January 21) in 1672, John Bunyan was called to the pastorate of the Bedford Church, but Bunyan is not our subject today. In that same meeting, there were seven other men consecrated to the ministry, including Nehemiah Coxe.

Coxe was later described as “a very excellent, learned and judicious divine,” although at the time he was earned his living as a shoemaker – which was then known then as a “cordwainer.”

Not only was Bunyan arrested at Bedford, so was Coxe. At his trial, he introduced himself and presented his case in the Greek language, and then when the charges were laid against him he responded in Hebrew. When no one in the courtroom could reply, the judge dismissed the case, saying “Well, the cordwainer has wound us all up, Gentlemen.”

Coxe eventually moved to London, where he learned and successfully practiced medicine. Ultimately, he accepted a call to become the co-pastor of the Petty-France Baptist Church which he then served for 20 years through a period of great persecution.