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John Owen, D. D. of Queen's him, as one infected with puri. College, Oxford, was lineally de- tanism, and he became so obnox. scended from the prince of ious to the Laudensian party, Clamorgan, one of the last sam- that he was forced to leave the ily of the five regal tribes of college. About this time he Wales. Henry Owen, father
was exercised with many perof the Doctor, was some time plexing thoughts about his minister at Stadham in Oxford- spiritual state, which, with his shire, and reckoned a strict puri- outward troubles, threw him intan. John, his second son, was to a deep melancholy, that lastborn in 1616. Such was his ed three months, and it was nearproficiency in learning, that he ly five years before he attained was admitted to the university a settled peace. at 12 years of age. He there When the civil war commencpursued his studies with such ed, he espoused the Parliament's diligence, that for several years cause, which his uncle, who had he allowed himself but four supported him at college, so ve. hours sleep in a night. His hemently resented, that he at whole aim was, as he afterward once turned him out of his fa. confessed with shame and sor- vour, and settled his estate upon row, to rise to eminence in another person. He then lived church or state. When Arch- with a gentleman of honour, who, bishop Laud imposed several though a royalist, used him with superstitious rites on the uni- great civility ; but he going into versity, Mr. Owen bad received the king's army, Mr. Owen went so much light, that his conscience to London, where he was a percould not submit to them; fect stranger. One Lord's day and God had now made such he went to Aldermanbury church, gracious impressions on his to hear Mr. Calamy ; but a heart, as inspired him with warm country minister (of whom he zeal for the purity of his worship could never after hear any thing and reformation in the church. more ) preached on Matt. viii. 26 Upon this his friends forsook which discourse was blest for the Vol. III. No. 2. ç
removal of his doubts, and laid him,“ Sir, you are the person I the foundation of that solid peace must be acquainted with ;” and and comfort, which he enjoyed from that time he contracted an through his future life. His intinzate friendship with him, health was now restored, and he which continued till death. He wrote his book, called a Display informed Mr. Owen of his inof Arminianism,which made way tended expedition into Ireland, for his advancement. The com- and insisted on his presiding in mittee for ejecting scandalous the college at Dublin.
With ministers presented him, on ac- great reluctance he complied, count of it, with the living of and continued there about a year Fordham in Essex, where he con- and a half, preaching and overtinued a year and a half, to the seeing the affairs of the college. great satisfaction of the parish He then returned to Coggeshall, and country round about. On a but was soon called to preach at report, that the sequestered in- Whitehall. cumbent was dead, the patron, In September, 1650, Cromwho had no regard for Mr. well required him to go with Owen, presented the living to him into Scotland. Having another; on which the people staid at Edinburgh half a year, at Coggeshall, about five miles he once more returned to his distant, invited him to be their people at Coggeshall, with whom minister, and the Earl of War- he hoped to spend the remainder wick, the patron), readily gave
of his days.
But he was soon him the living. Here he preach- called by the House of Commons ed to a more judicious and more to the deanry of Christ Church, numerous congregation (seldom Oxford, which, with the consent fewer than two thousand) with of his church, he accepted. In great success. Hitherto he had the following year (when he was been a Presbyterian ; but upon also diplomated D. D.) he was further inquiry he was convinc- chosen Vice Chancellor of the ed, that the Congregational plan university, in which office he was most agreeable to the New continued about five years. This Testament. He accordingly form- honourable trust he managed ed a church upon it, which flour- with singular prudence. He ished many years after his death. look care to restrain the vicious,
So great a man could not be to encourage the pious, to preconcealed. He was called to fer men of learning and industry, preach before the Parliament in and under his administration the 1646, and several times after whole body of the university ward on special occasions, partic- was reduced to good order, and ularly the day after the death of furnished a number of excellent Charles I. His discourse was scholars, and persons of distinon Jer. xv. 19, 20, and deserves guished piety. He discovered to be recorded, as a perpetual great moderation toward Pres. monument of his integrity, wis- byterians and Episcopalians; to dom, and modesty. Soon after, the former he gave several va. calling on general Fairfax, he cant livings at his disposal, and met Cromwell, who, laying his the latter he was ever ready to hands on his shoulders, şaid to oblige. He was bospitable in his
house ; generous in his favours, versity, but he was stopped by and charitable to the poor, espe- particular orders from the king. cially to poor scholars, some of He was afterward invited to be whom he took into his own fam- professor of divinity in the Unitily, and maintained at his own ed Provinces; but he felt such a charge. He still redeemed time love for his native country, that for his studies, preaching at St. he could not quit it, while there Mary's and often at Stadham, and was any opportunity of being other adjacent places, and writ- serviceable in it. ing some excellent books. In During the indulgence of 1657 he gave place to Dr. Co- Charles he was assiduous in nant as Vice Chancellor, and in preaching, and set up a lecture, 1659 he was cast out of his dean- to which many persons of qualiry, not long after Richard was ty' and eminent citizens resorted. made Protector.
The writings, which he continAfter the Doctor had quitted ued to produce, drew upon him his public station, he retired to the admiration and respect of Stadham, where he possessed a several persons of honour, pargood estate, and lived privately, ticularly the Earl of Orrery, till the persecution obliged him the Earl of Anglesea, Lord 10 remove from place to place, Willoughby, Lord Wharton, and at length he came to Lon- Lord Berkley, and Sir John don, where he preached, as he Trevor. The Duke of York, alhad opportunity, and continued so, sent for him, and several writing. His animadversions on times discoursed with him cona popish book, called Fiat Lux, cerning the Dissenters ; and afrecommended him to the esteem ter his return to London he was of Chancellor Hyde, who assured sent for by king Charles himself, him that he had deserved “the who discoursed with him two best of all English Protestants of hours, assuring him of his favour late years, and that the church and respect, telling him he might was bound to own and advance have access to him when he him ;" at the same time offer would. At the same time he as. ing him preferment, if he would sured the Doctor he was for lib. accept it'; but he expressed his erty of conscience, and was sensurprise, that so learned a man sible of the wrong, done to the embraced the novel opinion of in- Dissenters; as a testimony of dependency. The Doctor offered which, he gave him a thousand to prove that it was practised sev. guineas to distribute among eral hundred years after Christ, ihose, who had suffered the against any bishop, his lordship most. The Doctor had friends should please to appoint. But also among the Bishops, particnotwithstanding all the good ser- ularly Dr. Wilkins, Bishop of yice the Doctor had done the Chester, and Dr. Barlow, Bishop church of England, he was per- of Lincoln. secuted from place to place. His great worth procured him When laid aside here, he had the esteem of many strangers, thoughts of going into New who resorted to him from forEngland, where he was invited eign countries ; and many forto the government of their uni- eign divines, having read his Latin works, learned English and comely ; his aspect and de. for the benefit of the rest. His portment genteel; his mental correspondence with the learn, abilities incomparable ; his tem, ed abroad was great, and sev. per affable and courteous ; bis eral travelled into England, to common discourse moderately converse with him. Hiş nu, facetious. He was a great mas. merous labours brought on him ter of his passions, and possessed frequent infirmities, by which great serenity of mind, neither his public services were much elated by honour or estate, nor interrupted ; but he was contin- depressed by difficulties. Of ually writing, whenever he was great moderation in judgment, able to sit up. At length he re- and of a charitable spirit, not tired to Kensington. As he confining Christianity to a party. was once coming from thence to A friend of peace, and a diligent London, two informers seized promoter of it among Christians. his carriage, but he was discharg. In point of learning he was one ed by Sir Edmund Godfrey, a of the brightest ornaments of Ox. justice of the peace, who provi- ford. Even Mr. Wood owns dentially came by at that instant. that "he was well skilled irrthe The Doctor afterward removed to tongues, in Rabbinical learning, a house of his own at Ealing, and Jewish rites; that he had a where he finished his course. great command of his English He there employed his thoughts pen, and was one of the fairest on the other world, as one draw. and genteelest writers against ing near it, which produced the church of England." His his Meditations on the glory of Christian temper in managing Christ, in which he breathed controyersy was indeed admira. out the devotion of a soul con: ble. He was well acquainted tinually growing in the temper with men and things, and would of the heavenly state.
shrewdly guess a man's temper In a letter, which he dictated and designs on the first acquaint; but two days before his death, ance. His ministerial labours he thus expresses himself to a were incredible. He was an ex. particular friend, “I am going cellent preacher, having a good to him, whom my soul has loved, elocution, graceful and affectionor rather, who has loved me On all occasions he could, with an everlasting love, which is without any premeditation, ex, the whole ground of all my con- press himself pertinently on any solation. I am leaving the ship subject; yet his sermons were of the church in a storm ; but, well studied, though he general, while the great Pilot is in it, the ly used no notes in the pulpit. loss of a poor under rower will be His piety and devotion were em inconsiderable. Live, and pray, inent, and his experimental and hope, and wait patiently, knowledge of spiritual things and do not despond ; the prom: very great ; and in all relations ise stands invincible, that he will he demeaned himself as never leave us, nor forsake us." Christian,
He died on Bartholomew day, Dr. Savage, one of his succes. 1683, aged 67. His stature was sors, observes " that he was one tall; his visage grave, majestic, of the first of our countrymen,
who entertained just and liberal siderations about union among notions of the right of private Protestants. Vindication of judgment and toleration ; which Nonconformists from charge of he was honest and zealous schism. Account of the nature enough to maintain in his writings, of the Protestant religion. when the times were the least Octavo. Two catechisms. encouraging ; not only when the Rules forchurch fellowship. DiDissenters were suffering perse. atriba de justitia divinæ. Mortis cution under Charles II. but in fication of sin in believers. Dis. 1647, when the Parliament was course of the true nature of "arrived at full power, and he was schism. Review of ditto, with in much repute.”
a vindication of Congregational Works. Folio. The saints' churches. Nature and power of perseverance. Expositions on temptation. Defence of Cotton the Hebrews, 4 volumes. Com. against Cawdry. Exercitationes plete collection of his sermons 4 pro sacris Scripturis. Divine and several tracts. Discourses origin and authority of Scripture. on the work of the Spirit. Primer for children. Animad
Quarto. A display of Armin. versions on Fiat Lux. Vindica. ianism. Duty of pastors and tion of ditto. Brief instruction people. Salus Electorum Sane in the worship of God. Nature guis Jesu. Of the death of of indwelling sin. Truth and Christ. Vindiciz Evangelicæ, or innocence vindicated in a surthe mystery of the gospel. Of vey of a discourse of ecclesiasti communion with God, Father, cal polity. Brief vindication of Son, and Spirit. De naturæ, or- the Trinity. Of the Sabbath, tu, progressu, and studio vera &c. Of evangelical love, church Theologiæ. Exposition of the peace and unity. Vindication of 130th Psalm. Doctrine of jus- his book on communion with tification by faith through im- God, against Dr. Sherlock's exputed righteousness. Glorious ceptions. Nature of apostasy. mystery of the person of Christ. Reason of faith in Scripture. Grace and duty of being spiritu- Ways and means of understand ally minded. Inquiry into the ing the mind of God in Scriporiginal, nature, &c. of evangeli: ture. Testimony to the goodcal churches. True nature of a ness and severity of God in his gospel church, and its govern dealing with sinful churches ment. Review of the annota- and nations. Work of the tions of Grotius. Discourse on Spirit in prayer. Meditations liturgies and their imposition. on the glory of Christ, &c. in Indulgence and toleration con- two parts. Dominion of sin and sidered. A peace-offering, or grace. Evidence of the faith of plea for indulgence. Church God's elect; and three sermons of Romne no safe guide. Con- in the morning exercises.