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which, with the consent of his church, he accepted ; and in the following year (when he was also diplomated D. D.) he was chosen vicechancellor of the university, in which office he continued about five years. This honourable trust he managed with singular prudence. He took care to restrain the vicious, to encourage the pious, to prefer men of learning and industry, and under his administration the whole body of that university was visibly reduced to good order, and furnished with a number of excellent scholars, and persons of distinguished piety. He discovered great moderation both towards Presbyterians and Episcopalians, to the former of whom he gave several vacant livings at his disposal, and the latter he was ever ready to oblige. A large congregation of them, statedly celebrated divine service very near him, according to the liturgy of the church of Eng. land, but he never gave them the least disturbance, though he was of. ten urged to it. He was hospitable in his house, generous in his favours, and charitable to the poor, especially to poor scholars, some of whom he took into his own family, and maintained at his own charge, giving them academical education. He still redeemed time for his studies, preaching every other Lord's day at St. Mary's, and often at Stadham, and other adjacent places, and writing some excellent books. In 1657 he gave place to Dr. Conant as vice-chancellor, and in 1659 he was cast out of his deanry, not long after Richard's being made protector. It has been said*, that he had a principal hand in deposing Richard, but this he himself and his friends solemnly denied. After the Doctor had quitted his public station, he retired to Stadham, where he possessed a good estate, and lived privately, till the persecution grew so hot that he was obliged to remove from place to plad and at length came to London, where he preached as he had opportunity, and continued writing. His animadversions on a popish book, called Fiat Lur (for which Sir E. Nichols procured him the bishop of London's licence) recommended him to the esteem of the Lord Chancellor Hyde, who assured him, that he had deserved the best of any English Protestant of late years, and that the church was bound to own and advance him ;' at the same time offering him preferment, if he would accept it: but expressed his surprise that so learned a man should embrace the novel opinion of Independency. The Doctor offered to prove that it was practised for several hundred years after Christ, against any bishop his lordship should please to appoint. They had further discourse about liberty of conscience, &c. But notwithstanding all the good service the Doctor had done the Church of England, he was persecuted from place to place, and once very narrowly escaped being seized by some troopers at Oxford, who came in pursuit of him to the house where he was, but rode off on being told by the mistress that he was gone early that morning, which she thought had been the case. When laid aside here, he had thoughts of going into New England, where he was invited to the government of their university, but he was stopped by particular orders from the king. He was afterwards invited to be professor of divinity in the United Provinces ; but he felt such a love for his native country, that he could not quit it so long as there was any opportunity of being serviceable in it. During Charles's indulgence, he was assiduous in preaching, and set up a lecture, to which many persons of quality and eminent citizens resorted. The writings which he still continued to produce, drew upon him the admiration and respect of se. veral persons of honour, who were much delighted in his conversation, particularly the Earl of Orrery, the Earl of Anglesea, Lord Willough. by of Parham, Lord Wharton, Lord Berkley, and Sir John Trevor. When he was at Turnbridge, the Duke of York sent for him, and several times discoursed with him concerning the Dissenters, &c. and after his return to London, he was sent for by King Charles himself, who discoursed with him two hours, assuring him of his favour and respect, telling him he might have access to him when he would. At the same time he assured the Doctor, he was for liberty of con. science, and was sensible of the wrong that had been done to the Dissenters; as a testimony of which he gave him ove thousand guineas to distribute among those who had suffered the most. The Doctor had some friends also among the bishops, particularly Dr. Wilkins, bishop of Chester, and Dr. Barlow, bishop of Lincoln, formerly his

* Mr. Baxter says in his Life, 'Dr. Owen and his assistants did the mainwork.' In the memoirs of Dr. Owen this is contradicted, with some degree of asperity. Dr. Calamy as warmly maintains it, by relating what Dr. Manton had declared to several then living, viz. 'That being invited to the meeting at Wallingford-house, standing in a passage, he 'distinctly heard Dr. Owen say with vehemence, He must come down, and he shall come down. But this is no decisive evidence, as the Doctor might not then be speaking of the Protector; and it is confessed that Dr. Manton did not so understand him till after the event. Mr. Baxter, however, stands exculpated from any intention to propagate falsehood concerning Mr. Owen, by what Mr. Sylvester relates in his preface, ' That he wrote to Mrs. Owen in a most affectionate and respectful manner, to desire her to send him what she could in favour of the Doctor, that he might insert it, or expunge the above passage; but that his offer was rejected with contempt.'

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tutor, who (when he applied to him on behalf of John Bunyan) promised to deny him nothing that he could legally do ;' though in this case he hardly fulfilled his word. This bishop once asked the Doc. tor, What can you object to our liturgical worship which I cannot answer ? The Doctor's answer occasioned the bishop to make a pause; on which the Doctor said, “Don't answer suddenly, but take time till our next meeting ;' which never happened. His great worth procured him the esteem of many strangers, who resorted to him from foreign parts ; and many foreign divines having read his Latin works, learned English for the benefit of the rest. His correspondence with the learned abroad was great; and several tra. velled into England to see and converse with him. His many la. bours brought upon him frequent infirmities, whereby he was greatly taken off from his public service, though not rendered useless, for he was continually writing, whenever he was able to sit up. At length he retired to Kensington. As he was once coming from thence to London, two informers seized upon his carriage ; but he was discharged upon the interposition of Sir Edmond Godfrey, a justice of the peace, who happened to come by at that instant. The Doctor afterwards removed to an house of his own at Ealing, where he finished his course. He there employed his thoughts on the other world, as one who was drawing near it, which produced bis • Meditations on the Glory of Christ,' in which he breathed out the devotion of a soul continually growing in the temper of the heavenly state. Mr. Wood's ill-natured reflection, that he did very unwillingly lay down his head and die,' needs no other answer than the following extract from a letter which he dictated to a particular friend but two days before his death: “I am going to him whom my soul has loved, or rather who has loved me with an everlasting love, which is the whole ground of all my consolation. The passage is very irksome and wearisome, through strong pains of various sorts, which are all issued in an intermitting fever. All things were provided to carry me to London to-day, according to the advice of my physicians ; but we are all disappointed, by my utter disability to undertake the journey. I am leaving the ship of the church in a storm; but whilst the great Pilot is in it, the loss of a poor under-rower will be inconsiderable. Live, and pray, and hope, and wait patiently, and do not despond : the promise stands invincible, that he will never leave us, nor forsake us,” &c. He died on Bartholomew-day, 1683, aged 67. His character (which is drawn at length in his Memoirs may be briefly summed up as follows: As to his person, his stature was tall ; his visage grave, majestic, and

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comely; his aspect and deportment, genteel ; his mental abilities,

; incomparable ; his temper, affable and courteous; his common discourse moderately facetious. He was a great master of his passions, especially that of anger; and possessed great serenity of mind, neither elated with honour or estate, nor depressed with difficulties. Of great moderation in his judgment, and of a charitable spirit, willing to think the best of all men as far as he could, not confining Christianity to a party. A friend of peace, and a diligent promoter of it among Christians. In point of learning, he was one of the brightest ornaments of the university of Oxford. Mr. Wood, after some base re. flections, thinks fit to own, That "he was a person well skilled in the tongues, Rabinical learning, and Jewish rites ; that he had a great command of his English pen, and was one of the fairest and genteelest writers that appeared against the church of England. His Christian temper in managing controversy was indeed admirable. He was well acquainted with men and things, and would shrewdly guess a man's temper and designs on the first acquaintance. His labours as a minister of the gospel were incredible. He was an excellent preacher, having a good elocution, graceful and affectionate. He could, on all occasions, without any premeditation, express himself pertinently on any subject; yet his sermons were mostly well studied and digested, though he generally used no notes in the pulpit. His piety and devotion were eminent, and his experimental knowledge of spiritual things very great. In all relations he behaved himself like a great Christian.

It ought to be mentioned (as one of his successors observes) to Dr. Owen's honour, that he seems to have been one of the first of our countrymen who entertained just and liberal notions of the right of private judgment, and of toleration; which he was honest and zealous enough to maintain in his writings, when the times were the least encouraging ; for he not only published two pleas for indulgence and toleration in 1667, when the Dissenters were suffering persecu. tion under Charles II. but took the same side much earlier, pleading very cogently against intolerance, in an essay for the practice of church-government, and a discourse of toleration, both which are printed in the collection of his sermons and tracts; and clearly appear to have been written, and were probably first published about the beginning of 1647, when the parliament was arrived at full power, and he was much in repute.

He was buried at Bunhill, with uncommon respect, where he has a tomb-stone with a Latin inscription.

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PREFACE.

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It is a great promise concerning the person of Christ, as he was to be given unto the church, (for he was a Child born, a Son given unto us, Isa. ix. 6.) that God would lay him in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation, whereon he that believeth, shall not make haste, Isa. xxviii. 16. Yet it was also foretold concerning him, that this precious foundation should be for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of offence, to both the houses of Israel ; for a gin, and for a snare, unto the inhabitants of Jerusalem : so as that many among them should stumble and fall, and be broken, and be shared, and be taken, Isa. viii. 14, 15. According unto this promise and prediction, it hath fallen out in all ages of the church, as the Apostle Peter declares concerning the first of them: Wherefore (faith he) also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious; and he that believeth on him, shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe, he is precious; but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient, whereunto also they were appointed, 1 Pet. ii. 6, 7, 8.

Unto them that believe unto the saving of the soul, he is, he always hath been, precious; the Sun, the Rock, the life, the bread of their souls, every thing that is good, useful, amiable, desirable here, or unto eternity. In, from, and by him, is all their spiritual and eternal life, ligh power, growth, consolation and joy here, with everlasting salvation hereafter. By him alone do they desire, expect and obtain deliverance from that woful apostacy from God, which is accompanied withal, which containeth in it virtually and meritoriously, whatever is evil, noxious and destructive to our nature, and which, without relief, will issue in eternal misery. By him are they brought into the nearest cognation, alliance, and frendship with God, the firmest union unto him, and the most holy communion with him, that our finite natures are capable of, and so conducted unto the eternal enjoyment of him. For in him shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory, Isa. xlv. 25. For Israel shall be saved in the Lord, with an everlasting salvation, they shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end, ver. 17. On these and the like accounts, the principal design of their whole

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