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Richard Vines

1600-1656. Puritan divine. Born in Leicestershire and educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge, he was ordained and taught in a grammar school at Hinckley before becoming rector of nearby Caldecote. Apart from these posts he lectured weekly at Nuneaton. When Civil War broke out, he went first to Coventry and then to London for safety. Here he was granted the sequestered rectory of St. Clement Danes. Appointed by Parliament to the Westminster Assembly,* he served on the drafting committee for the Confession of Faith. In 1644 he was made master of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, where despite his other duties he did useful work by increasing student enrollment. He was not happy about the rise to prominence of the Independents,* and he solemnly opposed the execution of Charles I.* He refused the Engagement of Loyalty to the Commonwealth and was removed from the mastership of Pembroke. However, knowing his abilities, the parishioners of St. Lawrence Jewry, London, called him to be their minister. He accepted and later increased his influence by participating in regular lectures at St. Michael's, Cornhill. When Cromwell's first Parliament discussed in 1654 what were the fundamentals of the faith, Vines was one of the divines whose advice was sought. He was named also as a ministerial assistant to the ejectors in the London area in Cromwell's “National Church.”

In theology he had views similar to R. Baxter.* He would have been happy with a modified episcopacy in the English Church, and on the Atonement he held Amyraldist* ideas. His publications are few, but his reputation with his contemporaries was such that by some he was called “the Luther of England.”

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