Upon the Death of the Reverend and GODLY DIVINE,
Mr. FRANCIS HOLCROFT,
Late Paftor of a
Who Deceafed Jan.6.169 . Aged 63.
By T. M Preacher of the Gofpel.
LONDON, Printed for William Marfhall, and Sold at the Bible in Newgale-Street. 1692.
Where are to be had Mr. Holcrofts Elegy.
An Epistle to the Christian Readers.
This province of preaching at the funeral of our much reverend brother Mr. Francis Holcroft, deceased, was by divine lot devolved upon our worthy brother, Mr. Milway, pastor of a Church of Christ in Bury in Suffolk. Notwithstanding the rude insolency of the absurd scholars,* disturbing the whole assembly at that time, and therein highly affronting the present generous Government, he was much assisted by the Lord, and performed it, by His grace, with great majestic boldness and gravity, to their confusion of face and our expected satisfaction. The sermon now printed, we recommend to you as very nervous, [i.e. sensitive,] and much adapted to the occasion. It was to us in the hearing of it as a very lovely song of one that had a pleasant voice, and could play well on an instrument (Ezek. 33. 32). What was said in praise of the person, was but a just debt, and the payment was rather under than over. Read the sermon, and may it be as sweet and profitable to you in reading, as to us in hearing. One of our prophets, and that none of the minor prophets, but to us a great one in Israel, is dead as to his body, yet lives in his spirit in glory. May his words of doctrine, counsel, conduct and comfort which have already taken hold on the hearts of many in Cambridgeshire, and many other places, abide and produce much fruit. Knowing assuredly that his words of threatening which he denounced will overtake the scorners that ridiculed the saints at his funeral, contradicting and blaspheming; and like as the Lord thought to do unto them according to their ways and doings so will He deal with them, (Zech. 1. 4, 6) if they do not hear and hearken to the Lord, and turn from their evil ways and doings. May the prophets that survive, attain in their ministry to the height of this excellent person who as to gifts, as Saul for stature among his breathren taller by the head and shoulders was, and to us in our day one of David’s chieftains and mighty warriors by the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God; doing great and good execution. We question not but great is his reward in heaven, yet a reward of grace; he sits now, and will sit both in soul and body, in a high place in glory. This teacher shall shine as the stars, and as the brightness of the firmament having turned many not only from sin, but unto righteousness (Dan. 12, 3), i.e. justified them, by turning them to the imputed righteousness of Christ; a doctrine much despised by many of the prophets of our age.
In fine, it pleased the Lord that after this our small apostle had in body been frequently wrapt up into heaven in our view in prayer and preaching; or rather heaven descending into him, and upon him, in high communion and enjoyments of God, in which he had such illuminations, that he was not able to utter and express; it pleased
God, lest he should be exalted above measure, through the abundance of these discoveries, that a messenger of Satan should be sent to buffet him. (2. Cor. 12. 7). And though the Lord was besought abundantly by himself, and many others; yet would not the Lord cause it wholly to depart. He giveth not account of any of His matters. He is sovereign Lord of all; is in one mind, who can turn Him, does whatever He will in heaven and earth, and laughs at the trial of the innocent (Job 33. 13; 23. 13; 9. 23). Yet before his death, and in his dying, the grace of God was sufficiently manifested to him, and we may make use of that notion some had of the death of Moses, when it is written Deut. 34. 5 that Moses died in the land of Moab according to the word of the Lord; or by or upon the mouth of the Lord. That Jehovah kissed Moses when he died as the mother takes the sleeping child into bed, her cheek by the child’s cheek in her tender embraces; so may we say of this our brother Francis, Jehovah kissed him with the kisses of His mouth, at his departure out of this world, having given him a prelibation of glory in his spirit, and he now both soul and body rests in the everlasting arms and bosom of inifinite love. (Song 1. 2).
A. Funeral Sermon by T. Milway
“Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever? But my words and my statutes which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said. Like as the Lord of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.”
Zech. 1, 5-6.
“Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?” After the return of this people out of the Babylonish captivity, (that pit in which was no water, in the 9th chapter) out of which they were brought by the blood of the Covenant, God raised up two prophets, Haggai, and this Zechariah, to stir them up to build the temple of the Lord, and to settle His worship therein. The province of this Zechariah was in God’s Name to call the people to return to God, verse 3. “Therefore say thou unto them. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts.” A very great affective and inducement to return to Him, for He will be reconciled. The favour of God is better than life. And, “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Thus saith the Lord of hosts. Return.” It is the call of that God that can arm all in heaven and earth against you. One great obstacle to conversion, is our imitation of our fathers. It is very common with persons to speak of the dignity of their
progenitors, and yet to imitate them in their sins. “Be ye not as your fathers, (verse 4) to whom the former prophets cried.” So in the New Testament, Heb. 3. 7: Today if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts as your fathers did in the day of temptation, although they saw my works, (so we should read it.) Although they saw His works, yet they provoked Him. “Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying. Thus saith the Lord of hosts. Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings;
but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the Lord.”
There are two things I would open to you:
(I). That the prophets of God do not live for ever; we are all sensible of it. The Lord teaches us it this day; “The prophets do not live for ever.” But,
(II). Though they do not live, yet the Word of God lives, and will have its effect upon men for good or for evil.
(I). “The prophets do they live for ever?” Consider two or three things.
1. The prophets of God are subject to the same law that others are. There is a statute-law that is not reversed; it will not be repealed till Christ has swallowed up death in victory. The prophets of God and righteous men are subject to it as well as others. Heb. 9. 27. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” It is appointed (Gr. it is decreed). It is decreed to all, it is enacted, and the prophets have no exemption. Yea, that man Christ Jesus the Mediator and great High Priest, He was under this Law. He was made under the Law; He was to die: and by one offering for ever perfected them that are dedicated to God. “It is appointed unto men once to die”; and to die penally by the force of that threatening, Gen. 2. 17. “In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Christ died penally, “He was made a curse”; and His dying so hath delivered some that they shall not die penally. But to die naturally continues to all; to the prophets, and them that fear Him, as well as others, Rom. 8. 10. “If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” If Christ be in you, though there be that happy union, yet He lets the body be arrested by death, “the body is dead.” Believers’ bodies, the bodies of His ministers, of His prophets are dead. I think it has reference to the second verse:
“The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” How from the law of sin, he had shewed before; here he comes to shew how from the law of death. The body is dead, and that is by sin. Sin brought in death. Adam had not died if he had not sinned; and there being the relics of sin, that dwells in believers themselves, the fault and corruption of nature found in them, they must die; there’s no help, we must die. The spirit ( I think ’tis the soul) is life, and capable of living with God in a separate state,
and shall be in the fruition of God; and the body shall at length be joined with it. And as a pledge of this it is added, “The Spirit is life because of righteousness.” What God does in the sanctifying of His own here, is a pledge to them that their whole man shall live with Him hereafter.
2. “The prophets, do they live for ever?” They are stewards, ambassadors, labourers; and so Christ will not have them live for ever.
They shall have their reward. They shall come and tell what is the issue of their performing their embassy in the world; what reception they had; how they were used.
a. We are stewards of the mystery and manifold grace of God (1 Cor. 4. 1, 2), and wisdom and faithfulness are required in a steward. A steward should be wise and faithful; the Lord make us so, who have a stewardship from Him. We must give an account of our stewardship, and you to whom we give a portion of meat in due season, should take some care that we give up our accounts with joy, and not with grief. Christ will call His stewards to account; they must tell what they have done with their talents, how they have improved and gained.
b. They are ambassadors also; they have the word of reconciliation committed to them (2 Cor. 5.19); they have it in them, and they treat with you about the highest concerns. “We pray you. . . be ye reconciled to God.” We pray you in Christ’s stead; if He had not other work to do in heaven. He would come and preach to you Himself; but we do it in His stead. Now is it not your advantage to be friends with God? But we must go back and give an account what reception we have had in the world. Ambassadors will be called home, they will not always lie fettered here below.
c. I might shew you this also for labourers. The day declines, and a man that has wrought hard all the heat of the day, is willing to go to rest. (1 Cor. 3. 9). “A servant earnestly desires the shadow.” (Job 7. 2). “And the sleep of the labouring man is sweet to him.”
3. “The prophets, do they live for ever?” Jesus Christ has rewards for them, small and great (Rev. 11). The time is come”. . . . that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great,” which is sometimes the only relief and support we have, when we cry out, “We have laboured in vain, and spent our strength for nought.” The blood is dried up; the bellows are burnt; we have no lungs to speak more to you. Well, Christ has rewards for His prophets and servants in heaven, “Great is your reward in heaven.” There’s no getting to heaven without dying. It may be you would be willing to be fetched in chariots of fire, but that is not every man’s lot. We have our work to do. Jesus Christ was his Father’s servant, an extraordinary one to
do extraordinary work; He finished it and glorified God on earth, and then God glorified Him with Himself. Thus it is with Christ’s servants; they have their work to do, they are to finish it, and to glorify God here below, and then God gathers them up, and rewards them. They die in the Lord, and cease from their labour, and their works follow them. (Rev. 14).
4. “The prophets die.” And God will thereby chastise an ungrateful world, and punish the barrenness of them that have enjoyed their ministry. You had need fear and tremble before Him, lest He do so by you. When the vineyard is barren. God will either take away the hedge and sling it up to be a prey to the beasts of the wood; or else he will take away the dresser. He shall no more dig and prune it, no more labour shall be spent upon it, no more cost and pains shall be taken with it. Says God, the rain came oft upon it and it brought forth briars and thorns; such are nigh unto cursing, and their end is to be burnt.
The Prophets live not for ever. God will teach you by it, that your season will not always last. Know your time, as Christ said, John 12. 35. “Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you; for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.” (The next step may be hell.) “While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.”
(II). Though the prophets live not for ever, yet the Word of God lives. Do but consider a little:-
1. The prophets of God used to come with their menaces, the threatening part of God’s Word; and you think the threatening is always conditional, and leaves space for repentance. This made the prophet Jonah refuse to go on his errand. I knew, said he, that Thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and wouldst repent Thee of the evil. So I should have my reputation stained: go and preach to Nineveh, and say. Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be destroyed; and then God repent. They will say, there’s a lying prophet. Yet let me tell you, when God denounces His judgments, sometimes He puts His oath to the threatening, swears to the matter, and then it is irreversible. “As I live, saith the Lord, my heart cannot be towards this people.”
And as the ministry of the prophets had a threatening part, so truly the Gospel has threatenings, most severe ones. Mark 16. 16. “He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Words that came out of the gracious mouth of the Son of God. Heb. 2. 3, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?” There’s no escaping damnation. The Word of God lives. The very threatening lives. Though the prophets die. God will take care to make good His threatening; be sure He will
do it, when He swears in wrath that we shall never enter into His rest.
2. The Word of God abides too, as it comprises the promises, which are a declaration of God’s grace and good will towards men. This was part of the prophet’s office, to publish the promise, Luke 1. 69. He “hath raised up an horn of salvation for us,. . . as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets. . . since the world began … to perform the mercy promised to our fathers.”. . . .So the Apostle Peter says, The Spirit of God spake by the prophets
concerning Christ, His sufferings, and the glory that should follow. So the ministers of the New Testament, O how they love to preach the New Covenant, and all the promises for the relief of distressed sinners! It is the most pleasing part of their work, 2 Cor. 1.20. “For all the promises of God in him (in Christ) are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” God glorifies Himself by us; God glorifies His faithfulness in performing His promises by our ministry. The promise lives; for God lives whose the promise is: He cannot lie, nor can He change. He shews by it the immutability of His counsel, that the heirs of salvation may have strong consolation.
God’s prophets and ministers die; but the Word dispensed by them, lives; it has its fulfillment. Our work is to declare to you the whole counsel of God that concerns your salvation; and God causes His prophets to stand in His covenant, and the secrets of God are with them. Says the Apostle, Acts 20. “I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God,” and “I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, testifying repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” His counsel shall stand. You shall see my face no more, says he to them, verse 38. But this whole counsel of God which I have declared, shall be fulfilled. And there is no person, there are no churches that do reject the counsel of God, but it is against themselves and to their own ruin. Luke 7. 30.
The Word of God lives; the prophets die, but the Word of God lives. The Word of God dispensed by us, is as seed sown, though it seem to die under the clods, yet it will live again; the Lord gives it a body, or rather a spirit. And so 1 Peter 1. 23 Â— “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” In all productions there is some seed out of which the creature is brought forth, so it is in the new creature: Born of the incorruptible seed, the Word which we preach to you; this Word lives and abides for ever; and if it be turned into a vital principle in your souls, that will abide too; it will be the seed of God that remains. And though in our sowing we go forth with
precious seed, we wish it might alike prosper, but we do not always meet with good ground. That which falls into good ground, by the blessing of God brings forth fruit, some more, and some less. The Word of God lives, the prophets die, the ministers of Christ die; but their Word lives and will take place.
Now I would make some application.
“The prophets, do they live for ever?” No, they do not live for ever; they are mortal and frail; they die sooner than other men; their labours are great, and that they do not live for ever, I would have you make these two or three uses of it.
1. Think with yourselves. God’s prophets and ministers die. It becomes us to have our hearts affected with it, to put our hearts to this matter, Isaiah 57. 1. “The righteous perish, and no man layeth it to heart.” The Lord will take notice how you are affected this day for this prophet. “The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart:
and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. He shall enter into peace.” Blessed be God for that admission into peace which God hath given his servant. “He shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds.” The grave is a cold bed, but really ever since Christ lodged in it, it is so perfumed that we need not be afraid to lie down and sleep, “each one walking in his uprightness.” But, says he, “The righteous perisheth,” “and no man layeth it to heart.” It is the complaint of God that we are not duly affected when He causes a righteous man to perish. Now the dying of a prophet is more than the perishing of a righteous man. “He that gives to a righteous man a cup of water in the name of a righteous man, shall have a righteous man’s reward. And he that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive a prophet’s reward.” Shall a prophet die, and shall not we put our heart to it? O! to think such a one is removed who used to give us such instruction, such reproof, such consolation; to give milk to babes, and strong meat to men; that had the tongue of the learned to speak a word in season to them that are weary; but now we shall hear him no more, nothing will drop from his lips any more. He is gone into his bed, and as to any use he can be, is perished. Let us lay our hearts to it.
2. If the prophets die, and do not live, you that have enjoyed their ministry. Oh! how highly does it concern you to follow their faith, observing the end of their conversation, Heb. 13. 7. “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the Word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.” He speaks of them that had been guides to them, and had spoken the Word of God, but they were dead and gone; the Lord had removed them, and gathered them up to Himself;
they “have spoken unto you the word of God.” Now, says he, “whose faith follow.” That glorious Gospel of the blessed God that they preached to you, that faith follow, and imitate it, that your hearts may be established in the true grace of the Gospel. And remember, bear in mind, how they used to live by faith, and vigorously to act it upon the Son of God. Do you imitate it, follow the steps of their
faith, observing the end of their conversation. “The end of their conversation;” what God has brought them to; what issue and period God hath put to them and their days, observing “the end of their conversation”, 1 Cor. 10. 13, God makes a way of escape out of temptation. God delivers them from all their sins and sufferings;
wipes all tears from their eyes; makes a good end with them. Mark the perfect man, and observe the upright, the end of that man is peace. This is your duty.
3. When the prophets die, do you take care that when the prophets of God are admitted into the kingdom of heaven, that you be not shut out. It will be a very great aggravation, it will aggrandize your misery to enjoy such prophecy, such preaching, and then the prophets die and go to Heaven; but when you come to die, to go to another place, Luke 13. 28. “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.” O think with yourselves, what will be the anguish of those that perish from under such a ministry! “What! shall I perish now from under such a ministry?” That’s one use: Have a care you be not thrust out. The prophets come and preach the kingdom of God to you; and having the key of knowledge, they open the door. Come, say they, enter the kingdom, take it by violence. And it may be many will neither go in themselves, nor suffer others to enter in. When the prophets go to heaven, have a care lest you should be shut out.
4. Though the prophets die, yet the Word of God lives. Remember that, God will make you to remember it. And your business is to enquire what has been the quickening and enlivening virtue and power of the word upon your souls. We preach the Gospel, and we are not ashamed of it, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes. Has it been productive of such a thing as faith in your souls, that purifies the heart, apprehends Christ, and all that is in Christ? Has the word come with life and power to you, and caused life in your souls? 1 Thess. 1. 5, “Our Gospel”, says the apostle, “came not unto you in word only, but in power,” etc. Pray inquire into that.
And if the Word of God lives though the minister die, then really it will be of some effect or other to you all; either a savour of life unto life, or of death unto death. Thanks be to God, that makes us to triumph. (2 Cor. 2. 14, 15, 16). The Gospel will be of some use when we are gone; either a “savour of life unto life, or of death unto death”.
Nay, let me say this, because the Word lives though the prophets die, the Word of God will follow you to judgment, and there will meet you when you come up from the dead, and it may be God’s prophets will be a cloud of witnesses against you. John 12. 48, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth
him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” The word lives till you come to judgment, and then will decide your condition. Christ will do it according to the word.
5. One thing more. The prophets die. I will speak one thing for your comfort, and that is, Christ lives; ministers die, but Christ lives. He was once dead, but He is alive, and lives for evermore. And He lives as the great prophet raised up by God. As one said of the prophets. Who is their Father? He that is the Father of eternity. He is alive. Heb. 7. 23, “They were not suffered to continue by reason of death: But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.” He has an office that does not pass from Him to another. The Prophets die, ministers die; but the spring of consolation is, Christ lives. He lives to reward your faith and perseverance. You that have believed upon hearing the word of truth, the Gospel of salvation, He lives to reward that faith, and your persevering in that faith. Come! hold on in faith, in holiness, in the order and fellowship of the Gospel, (that which this servant of Christ so much desired in his going off.) Christ lives to reward your constancy, “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1. 9).
And then, that He lives too, it is to give us more prophets, to raise up more prophets for us, and to make some able ministers of the New Testament. And truly they are only of Christ’s making. We have no sufficiency of ourselves for this work. He gives pastors and teachers for the work of the ministry. He is ascended for it. And I would that all that meddle with that work were of His giving. Amos 2. 11, “I raised up of your sons for prophets.” He is alive. He can raise up prophets for you; He can raise up your sons to be prophets.
I have now but a little more to say. As for our honoured and beloved brother fallen asleep in Jesus, a great man is fallen in our Israel, a prophet; yea more than a prophet; an able minister of the New Testament. Consider him as to his knowledge in the mystery of Christ, and it was rich and great. God had so divinely irradiated his mind and heart, by giving him the knowledge of His glory in the face of Christ, that he was well able to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ to the Gentiles; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of this mystery. You that knew him understood his knowledge in that mystery. As to his way of preaching, though it seemed less methodical, yet truly when I have sometimes considered it, it has appeared to me, at least, apostolical, primitive, and divine. He knew how to speak, as Acts 14, “That a great multitude. . . . believed;” and his words being mostly those of the Holy Ghost, they had a quick and penetrating power and efficacy with them. So that in his ministry he was wont to commend himself to the conscience of every one before God. His bow abode in strength and his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob. His arrows were sharp in the
hearts of the King’s enemies, whereby the people fell under Christ.
As to the discharge of his ministry, he was much in labours and indefatigable. If it might not be an offence, I think I might almost say, he laboured more than us all. He was one who laboured in word and doctrine (1 Tim. 5. 17.) and therefore has honour, double honour, and that from above. He did labour much and in many things. He did not labour in vain, nor spend his strength for nought, for he had great success. Christ had chosen him to be a vessel to bear His name; and he brought forth fruit that remained, which shall be his joy and crown of rejoicing in the day of Christ. In the house of God he knew how to behave himself, and was faithful to Him that appointed him; and therefore had honour. And though sometimes he might seem to have too much of the spirit and power of Elijah with him, yet it was tempered with the sweetness and gentleness of the Gospel. His affection to the house of God, was such that the zeal of it ate him up: and there was no greater rejoicing to him, than to see persons walk according to the constitution, frame, and order of Christ in the New Testament. Nothing more afflicting than to see any turn aside to crooked paths. As for his conversation, it was holy, it was heavenly. His citizenship was in heaven, from whence he looked for a Saviour. So that the character that is proper to a bishop of the New Testament, was found with him, 1 Tim. 3. He was “blameless, . . . vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach.” His conversation was a continual teaching. Pray! do you observe the end of it? And as for his sufferings, they did nothing to move him. Said the Apostle, Acts 20, 23, 24. “Bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me.” He was set for the defence of the Gospel. And as in the course of his ministry (I speak as one intimately acquainted with him), he had the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind; so in his afflictions and persecutions the Spirit of God and glory did rest upon him. To sum up all, you that were inwardly acquainted with him, you fully knew his doctrine, 2 Tim. 3. 10, 11, you have fully known his doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, charity, patience, persecution, afflictions: but out of them all the Lord hath delivered him.
But you will say, what was the reason of God’s dark and severe dispensation towards him in his latter days? Truly I am not in God’s stead to give you an account of His matters. The Lord doth save men upon the point of sovereign grace, and God doth exercise the same dominion in His providence, and sometimes will laugh at the very trial of the innocent. His ways and judgments even towards His own are unsearchable and past finding out. Let us sanctify the Lord God of hosts in our hearts, and fear before Him. Phil. 3. 10, “That I may know him and the fellowship of his sufferings.” The Apostle discerned that the sufferings of Christ were attended with desertion and darkness. “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” And
for a time that Man so dear to his Father, being His eternal Son, yet He had lost that joy which the fruition of God, and the fulness of grace was wont to afford Him. It may be thus with His ministers, and if it be, they have but a fellowship with Him in His sufferings. But now blessed be God that the sun breaks out of the cloud: God did not let him die in the dark, but brought his soul to peace and rest;
and to a rejoicing in God’s eternal love to him. The Sun of Righteousness did arise before he gave up the ghost. The Sun of Righteousness did arise upon him with healing under his wings, and that gave him an abundant entrance into the heavenly kingdom. Christ has shewed all His dealings with him for several years, (not all springing from a Divine hand, but natural causes as hypocondria also) yet He has shewed that they were such as were consistent with the eternal love of God, to make him partaker of His holiness. And Christ having loved him as His own, and loved him to the end, (to perfection) has loved him into glory. There we leave him, till the blessed glorious resurrection.
*Students from the Cambridge colleges made an uproar in derision by beating a drum. as they had often done before to interrupt Holcrott’s preaching.