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that the House of Commons would not support their violent and unreasonable demands to suppress all other sects, they brought forward the Scotch Parliament to request that their counsels should be complied with, and to publish a declaration against toleration. The whole body of the London ministers addressed a letter to the Assembly in which they most solemnly declare how much they "detest and abbor the much-endeavoured toleration." The Jus divinum of church government published by the same body, argues for a com pulsive, co-active, punitive, corrective power to the political magistrate, in favour of religion." The provincial assembly of the metropolis, the ministers of Warwickshire and Land cashire published declarations or addresses to the same purport. We select from a paper signed by eighty-four of the latter body, entitled " The Harmonious Consent of the Lancashire Ministers with their brethren at London," the following singular expressions.
*** A toleration would be the putting a sword into a madman's hand; a cup of poison into the hand of a child; a letting loose of madmen with firebrands in their hands; and appointing a city of refuge in men's consciences for the devil to fly to ; a laying of a stumbling block before the blind ; a proclaiming liberty to the wolves to come into Christ's fold to prey upon the lambs; neither would it be to provide for tender consciences, but to take away all conscience.''
Such was the spirit of the sectaries, who at that memorable, period rose up against the mild and apostolical church of England ! They had complained of persecution merely because they were desired to comply with the decent.forms of a long established worship; whilst; on their part, they had no 'sooner attained to a transient authority, than they denounced toleration as at once the greatest of all sins and the most alarming of national calamities! As to Owen, there is not the slightest doubt that he at first beld all the punitive and corrective notions of his party till bis mind was expanded by the more liberal views which began to gain ground in the parliamentary army under Cromwell and his adherents. His connexion with the independents was accelerated by the following circumstance. : The deprived incumbent of Fordham having died in 1646, the patron presented another person to the living and disa? possessed Owen : a circumstance, we may remark in passa ing, which proves that, in such cases, the parliamentary presentations did not permanently interfere with the right of the patron; and that a person preferred in the place of one! who had been rejected for insufficiency, 'beld the parish only during the life of the sequestered minister. On being deprived of Fordham, he was presented by the Earl of Warvick to Coggeshall; where he found it expedient to abjure the Presbyterian polity and to form his congregation on the Independent model. Warwick, from his personal friendship and domestic relationship with Cromwell, was led to cooperate in all bis leading measures; and the congregational system of ecclesiastical management being now a favourite object with that celebrated demagogue, the preferment of Mr. Owen was an act which seems to have implied a perfect understanding between the patron and the new incumbent. Mr. Orme wishes his reader to believe that Dr. Owen had long besitated, on pürely spiritual grounds, between Presbyterianism and Independeney; and also that his ultimate decision, in favour of the latter, was influenced by a sacred regard to the interests of truth : but he who has observed with attention the successive apostasies which had already stained the youthful life of this ambitious divine, and noted the striking fact that his conscience never failed to supply him with arguments in support of the prevailing party, will be slow to ascribe, to a heavenly impulse any change whieb may be so easily accounted for on human motives.
lo From this period, Owen became a ready tool in the hands of the ruling faction. He was soon afterwards employed by General Fairfax as his chaplain, and, in this capacity, preached to the army on the fall of Colchester, one of the famous sermons which were printed for the edification of the faithful.
“ Where is the God of Marston Moor, and the God of Naseby! Oh! what a catalogue of mercies hath this nation to plead in a time of trouble! God came from Naseby and the Holy One from the West! His glory covered the heavens and the earth was full of his praise. He went forth in the North, and in the East he did not withhold his hand. The poor town wherein I live is more enriched with a store of mercies in a few months than with a full trade of many years."
On the 31st of January, 1649, Owen was summoned to preach before parliament, and his greatest admirers in the present day congratulate themselves upon finding that he did not directly approve the tragical event which had just occurred. We agree, however, with Dr. Grey, in thinking that the following passage intimates as high a degree of approbation as a cautious preacher might find it expedient to atter in the presence of men whose hands were still reeking with blood; and 'whio, it is well known, were more"desirous to ascribe the murder of the king to the general will of the nation than to vouch it by their own individual responsibility.
As the flaming sword," said the orator, " turns every way, so God can turn it into every thing. To those who cry, Give me a king,' God can give 'him in his anger ; and from those that cry, • Take him away, he can take him away in his wrath. When kings turn seducers, they seldom want good stòre of followers. Now, if the blind lead the blind, they shall both fall into the ditch. When žings command untrighteous things, and the people suit them with willing compliance, none doubts but the destruction of them both is just and righteous." *The mere title of the discourse expresses, we think, not only the good pleasure of the author in all that had been done, but, moreover, appears to insinuate that the counsels of heaven were thereby fulfilled, and the sanction of the Almighty revealed in favour of the regicides,
What is the meaning of the phrase, “ Righteous zeal encouraged by Divine protection," when applied to the events in question, if we are not to understand that the author approved the holy zeal of the Parliament, and pointed to the divine protection as a proof that their doings were acceptable in the eyes of heaven.
In April following, Owen preached again before Parliament; when he delivered a striking sermon on the “ Shaking and Translation of the Heavens and the Earth ;" for which he next day received the thanks of the house, and an order to print it. In his Dedication to the Commons, he apologises for his inability to do justice to the subject, from the little time he had to prepare it, and “the daily troubles, pressures, and temptations he had to encounter in the midst of a poor and numerous people.” Would it be uncharitable to imagine that this hint about the poverty and pressure of bis parish was intended to suggest the expediency of placing so useful a man more at his ease? If his whole ambition originally was to raise himself to an eminent station in church or state, whilst he was indifferent to either, it may be presumed that he could not look upon the numerous facilities which now presented themselves for securing wealth and preferment, withogt experiencing some little revival of his old propensities. Nor were his expectations altogether disappointed; for,
“ Calling before he left town to pay his respects to General Fairfax, with whom he had become acquainted at the siege of Colchester, he there accidentally, met with Cromwell. When Owen waited on his Excellency, the servants told hiin he was so much indisposed that several persons of quality had been refused admittance, He, however, sent in his name, requesting it to be mentioned to the general, that he only came to express his obligations for the many favours 'received from liim. In the meantime, Cromwell came in with a number of his officers, who, seeing Owen, immediately walked up to him, and laying his hand on his shoulder, in the familiar manner which he used to his friends, said, Sir, you are the person I must be acqainted with." Owen'modestly replied, " That will be much more to my advantage than yours. We shall soon see that,' said Cromwell; and taking him by the hand, led him into Fairfax's garden, where he tolà him of his intended expedition to Ireland, and requested that he would accompany him for the purpose of regulating the affairs of Trinity College., Owen objected on account of the charge of his church at Coggeshall; but Cromwell would take no denial, and from entreaties proceeded to commands. Owen finding how things stood, at last consulted some of his brethren in the ministry, who advising him to comply, he finally began to make some preparation for the journey."
Nothing very important occurred during his residence in Ireland. He preached a great deal, and his labours were so far crowned with success, that he could number among his converts, a female who had never before thought of religion, and a major, wḥo ascribed his first convictions to the evangelical earnestness of Owen. He employed part of his time, too, in composing an answer to Baxter's remarks on his Work on Redemption ; exposing the arguments of an antagonist who had no fixed views on the nature of the Christian covenant, and who contrived to unite in his theological system, some of the distinguishing tenets both of Calvin and of Arminius.
Before Owen set out for Dublin, the city of London gave a great entertainment in Grocers' Hall, to the General, the officers of State, and the House of Commons, to which they repaired in great pomp, after having beard two sermons from Goodwin and the minister of Cogges
On the Oxford Committee, that they should name the preachers as heads of colleges in that university, and returned them thanks for their sermons. This recommendation was not forgotten. It was not not, however, till the year 1651, upon the return of Owen from Scotland, whither he had likewise accompanied the army, that he was preferred to the deanery of Christ Church, and Goodwin appointed to the presidency of Magdalene College. Having reached this eminent station, he gave vent, in the true spirit of the times, to the following
my vanced in ve
expressions of consummate cant and disguised pride, which his simple biographer most unaffectedly ascribes to his
natural modesty and Christian humility," “I now clearly found that I who dreaded almost every acade,
, when I had entertained hopes that, through the goodness of God, in giving me leisure and retirement and strength for study, the deficiency of genius and penetration might be made up by industry and diligence, was now so circumstanced that the career of
studies must be interrupted by more and greater impediments than ever.
could be expected from a man not far ad. years, and who had for some time been very full of employment, and accustomed' only to the popular mode of speaking; and who, being entirely devoted to the investigation of the grace of God, through Jesus Christ, had taken leave of all scholastic studies; whose genius is by no means quick, and who had even forgot, in some measure, the portion of polite learning that he might have formerly acquired." ha
But this deep feeling of incapacity did not prevent him from filling the place and eating the bread of Dr. Reynolds, a presbyterian brother, who had been ejected by the Parliament, simply because he refused to pledge bis allegiance to a government without a King or a House of Lords. Nor did his principles, as an independent, prove any obstacle to his
acceptance of an office which had always been regarded as part of an ecclesiastical establishment. In a word, his conscience had learned to regulate its decisions agreeably to Acts of Parliament and private views of expediency; and his conduct throughout 'képt'pace with the measures of his political patrons, and took its character from the spirit of their administration. Had Cromwell succeeded in placing himself on the throne, and found it convenient to re-establish episcopacy, Owen would have discovered some holy reason for allowing himself to be compelled to become primate of all England, and for sanctifying, by his godly presence, the palace wherein Laud framed his statutes for square cap and surplice, and matured' his plans against the inroads of Puritanisin. The indignant Milton opened the thunder of his wrath upon such time-serving hypocrites. I bato,” says he; " that Independents should should take that name, and seek to be dependents on the magistrates for their maintenance, which "two things, Independence and state-hire in religion, can never consist long or certainly together." to
Nor was Dr. Owen altogether a stranger to the fact, that the greater number of the figuring characters of his day were nothing better than masquers playing their part on the great