« PreviousContinue »
Imputation of the Righteousness of Christ explained, confirmed, and vindicated;" wherein he has pursued a method and design that required a more than ordinary judgement
and skill. In this performance he has avoided the unpropofitable jangling of perverse disputation, wherewith this docpetrine of Justitication has been generally perplexed, and all
reflections on persons that differ from him. 12 It was not possible the real worth of so excellent a pei.
son should be concealed; and in many instances his reputation shone with such lustre as drew the admiration and respect of several persons of honour and quality upon him, who much delighted in his conversation ; particularly che earl of Orrery, the earl of Anglesea, lord Willoughby of Parham, lord W riton, lord Berkley, sir John Trevor, one of the principal secretaries of state; and even king Charles himself, and the duke of York paid a particular respect to him. When the Doctor was drinking the waters at Tunbridge, the duke of York being there, sent for him into his ient, and several discourses passed between them about the Dissenters and conventicles; and after he returned to London, the king hinself sent for him, and discoursed with him about two hours together, assuring hiin of his favour and respect, and telling him, he might have access to kim, as he would. At the same tiine the king was pleased to assure the Doctor how much he was for liberty of con. science, and how sensible he was of the wrong that had been done to the Dissenters; and as a testimony hereof gave him .. a thousand guineas to distribute among those who had suffered most by the late severities. The Doctor could do no less than thankfully accept his majesty's generosity, and did faithfully apply it to that purpose. When this was known, a clamour arose, among the churchmen, who reported he was in pension, to serve the Papal interest ; but the Doctor to wipe off this vile aspersion, declares solemnly, in his preface to the first part of his “ Evangelical Churches,” “ That never any person in authority, dignity, or power in this nation, nor any one that had any relation to public affairs, nor any of the Papists or Protestants did ever speak one word to him, or advise with him about any indulgence or toleration to be granted unto Papists, and challenges all the world to prove the contrary if they can." The Doctor had some friends also among the bishops, particularly Doctor Wilkins, bisbop of Chester, who was very Cordial in his respects to him, and Dr. Barlow, formerly his tutor, then bishop of Lincoln.
Vol. III.No. 71. 3$.
It is not to be wondered that a life filled up with so many labours should decline under the weight of infirmities which now began to grow upon him. Some few years before he died he was often iil, and sometimes confined to his bed or chainber, whereby he was taken off in a great mea. sure from his ministerial function, but not altogether dis. abled from serving the church of God; and whenever he was able to sit up, he would be continually writing, when not prevented by company, and several excellent books were composed by him, which might deserve a particular notice but our limits will not allow us to enlarge, and there. fore we refer the reader to his works. The time now drew near when he must die, and after all his labours and sufferings enter into the joy of his Lord. His infirmities of body grew on him apace, which obliged him to retire into the country for the benefit of the air. He went to Kensington and lived there some time. One day as he was coming from thence to London in the Strand two informers seized upon his coach and horses, upon which a mob gathered about him : the providence of God so ordered it, that sir Ed. mund Bury Godfrey came by at that time, and seeing a mob, asked what was the ma:ter? and being a justice of the peace, he ordered the informers and Dr. Owen to meet him at a justice of the peace's house near Bloomsbury Square upon a day appointed, and he would get some other of his brethren to be there to hear the cause : they met accordingly, and sir Edmund being in the chair, upon examining the whole matter they found the informers had acted so very illegally, that they discharged the Doctor, and se. verely reprimanded them; after which he was no more disa turbed by them. From Kensington he went to Ealing, where he had a house of his own; in which he finished his course." During which time he employed his thonghts in the contemplation of the other world, as one that was dram ing ncarer to it every day; which produced his “ Meditations on the Glory of Christ;" in which he breathed out the devotion of a soul that was growing continually into the tem. per of the heavenly state. He died August 24, 1683 *, in the sixty-seventh year of his age.
Dr. * A Correspondent has favoured me with an anecdote of the Doctor which transpired on the day of his death, and which I shall give iq his own words. Old Ms. Humphreys, of Colchester, but originally
Dr. Owen's published works were thirty in number, but as we have spoken concerning the principal of them, it may be unnecessary to enumerate them in this place. . .
The Doctor was buried at Bunhill Fields, with uncommon respect, where he has a tomb stone with a Latin inscrip lion, drawn up by Mr. Thomas Gilbert, of Oxford, but very inaccurately engraved, and in Dr. Calamy's account as inaccurately printed. The following is a true copy :
“ JOHANNES Owen, S. T. P.
Agro Oxoniepsi oriundus;
Et seculi hujus insignissimis annumerandus :
Mensura parum communi, instructus
Ab illo jussis suæ famulari theologiæ;
Arminio, Socino, Cano, Venenosa strinxit guttura :"
Et missis, cæteris, coluit ipse, sensitque,
In terris viator comprehensori in cælis proximus:
Quibus opus erat, et copia, consulendi :" '
Pura doctrinæ evangelicæ lampas præluxit;
Sic prælucendo periit,
Morbis creberrimis im petiti,
Durisque laboribus pottissimum attriti, corpotis from Saffron Walden told me a little before his death, that Mr. Payne who for several years kept an academy at Saffron Walden (at which several eminent Dissenting ministers were educated) being instructed by Dr. Owen to put his last performance to the press, came in to see the Doctor the morning of that day on which he died, and told bim, Doctor, I have been just putting your book “ On the Glory of Christ' to the press; to which the Doctor answered, “I am glad to hear that performance is put to the press; and then ' lifting up boih his haods and his eyes, as in a kind of rapture, he said, “ But; O brother Payne, the long looked for day is come at last, in which I shall see that Glory in another manger than I have ever done yet, er was capable of doing '. in this world."
(Fabricz, donec ita quacsatæ, spectabilis) ruinas,
Deo ultrà fruendi c:1pida, deseruit;
Thi, à cælesti Numine, felici reddito;
MDCLXXXIo. Etat. LxvII."
an eminent divines but more eminent himself, and justly to be ranked among the most illustrious of the age. Furnished with the aids of palite and solid learning, in a very -common de gree, he led them all, in a well-ordered train, to tbe serviced his great study, Christian divinity, controversial, practical, and casuistical. In each of these, he excelled others, and *as even equal to himself. In the one branch of this sacred science, lie, with powers more than Herculean, seized and vanquisbed the envenomed monsters, of Arminian, Socinian, and Popishe rors. In the other, first experiencing in his own breast, according to the unerring rule of Scripture, the Sacred energy of the Holy Spirit, he taught the whole æconomy of that divine indu. ence. Rejecting lower objects, he constantly cherished and largely experienced, that blissful communion with God which he so admirably described. Though a pilgrim on earth, he ye next to a spirit in heaven. In Experimental Divinity, all who could have the blessings of his counsels found him as an oracle He was a scribe every way accomplished for the kingdom of he: ven. To inany iu private dwellings, from the pulpit to mort and froin the press to all, who were aiming at the heavenly prize, he shone a pure lamp of Gospel doctrine. Thus brightly shining he was gradually consumed, not upobserved by himself and his afflicted friends, till his holy soul, longing for the fuller fruition of its. God, quitted the ruins of a body depressed by constan: infirmities, ematiated by frequent diseases, but chiefly wara out by severe labours, and so no further suitable for the service
of God: a fabric, till thus reduced, most comely and majestic “He left the world on a day, rendered dreadful to the church by
the powers of the world, but blissful to himself by the plaedit of his God, the 24th of August, 1683, aged sixty-seven."
OWEN, THANKFUL, M. A. president of St. John's College. He was born in London, and was remarkably preserved in his youth as he was swimming near Oxford, after he had suok iwice under water. He was a man of an excellent temper, and possessed a considerable share of po lite literature. He was adınired for an uncommon fluency and easiness in his composures, and for the peculiar punts of his Latin "style. He was ejected by the commissioners in 1660, after which he went to London and lived privately, much respected, and never repented of his nonconformity,
Upon Dr. Goodwin's decease he was chosen to succeed him,
OXENBRIDGE, JOHN, A. M. was born at Daventry,
• See this argumeut since discussed in Dr. Conyers Middleton's Let' ters from Rome
Lecs, IoThe piee maintained his which he bring grateful vari his