October 6

Thomas Grantham was saved by God’s grace at an early age and joined the Baptist church at Boston, Lincolnshire, England. Soon after he began serving the Lord, he became the object of Satan’s hatred. He was arrested and thrown into the Lincoln gaol. While there, as did many good men during that period, he started writing. His first tract was entitled “The Prisoner Against the Prelate” and set forth the reasons for his separation from the Church of England.

After he was released, a small group of believers in Lincolnshire asked Grantham to become their pastor, and he agreed. The persecution continued fueled by lies and false accusations. He again stood before a judge, but in this case, the magistrate could see through the deceitful charges and released him. Much, much later, on this day in 1691, the rector of Tattershall confessed that he had lied about Grantham.

But the persecution didn’t stop. Pastor Grantham and his people were often rudely interrupted in their worship services; sometimes they were dragged out of doors and pelted with rotten fruit or stones. Then with the encouragement of the brethren, Grantham and another pastor were sent to wait upon King Charles II. When given permission to speak, they praised God for His blessings and set forth their request for their rights of liberty of conscience. They besought, with respect, the king “to leave them to the light of Scripture, with respect to the exercise of those spiritual gifts of prayer and preaching in their assemblies, according to their abilities for the edification of the church.”

On March 15, 1672 King Charles issued his Declaration of Indulgence by which the penal laws against non-Anglican religious groups would not be enforced. The suffering of Grantham and others was beginning to produce positive results, but true freedom did not come for some time yet.