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os sé as es sume saing be is thu.'
of the town their subjects are nos become obsolete; and
L7th, 1630. of more general interest to the christian
by Archbishop modern works more adapted to the taste
person on more logical, though less erudite. In cribed as amiable and liberal ; but in
sowe removed with sufficient loftiness and severity
anaged to return justly deserves the distinction assign
against the pro
the return of the learned and able divines of the chur successful defenders of the reformes
there Mr John Howe into six folio volumes.
as been preserved either wom, he was instructed.
ege, Cambridge, where he OID
aequired the friendship of
of whose characters and timacy which Mr Howe
whers is thought to have Oliver Heywood, the
hilosophy which is obthe representatives of an
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mo his bachelor's degree eighteenth year he was a
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, where several of his children were born: and in this difficult station he endeavoured to be faithful, and to keep a good conscience. During Mr Howe's residence at Whitehall we find him lecturer at St Margaret's, Westminster, where he was greatly esteemed as a preacher, and highly respected for the urbanity, moderation, and uniform consistency of his conduct. While he held the situation of chaplain he employed his influence with the protector on behalf of good men of all parties, and was especially serviceable to Dr Seth Ward, afterwards bishop of Exeter and Salisbury. Indeed Mr Howe lost no opportunity of promoting the interests of religion
and learning. Cromwell once said to him, in allusion to his frequent applications,—"You have obtained many favours for others, but I wonder when the time is to come that you will move for any thing for your
“A plain argument,” says Calamy, “ that he took terested person, and as free from selfishness as he
John Howe, M.A.
BORN A. D. 1630.—DIED A. D. 1705.
John Howe, the son of the Rev. Mr Howe, ininister of the town of Loughborough in Leicestershire, was born May 17th, 1630. The living of this parish was given to Mr Howe by Archbishop Laud, and afterwards taken from him by the same person on account of the leaning he manifested to the principles of the puritans. After his ejectment from this parish, Mr Howe removed with his family to Ireland, but was shortly after obliged to return to his native country by the war which was raised against the protestants, and which raged for several years. On the return of the fanıily to England they settled in Lancashire, and there Mr John Howe received his early education, but no memorial has been preserved either of the place in which, nor the persons by whom, he was instructed. He was sent at an early age to Christ college, Cambridge, where he pursued his studies with great diligence, and acquired the friendship of Dr Henry More, and Dr Ralph Cudworth, of whose characters and talents he became a warm admirer. The intimacy which Mr Howe contracted with these distinguished philosophers is thought to have been the source of that tincture of Platonic philosophy which is observable in his writings. At Cambridge Mr Howe continued till he took the degree of B. A., when he removed to Brazen-nose, Oxford. There he became Bible clerk in 1648, and took his bachelor's degree in 1649. He distinguished himself by great diligence and high attainments, and was at length elected fellow of Magdalene college. Here he enjoyed the friendship and constant society of some of the most distinguished men of the university and of the age. In 1652 he took the degree of M. A., and soon after was ordained by Mr Charles Herle' at Warwick in Lancashire, assisted by several ministers employed in chapelries in Mr Herle's parish. Mr Howe used to refer to his ordipation with great satisfaction, saying, that he thought few in modern times had enjoyed so primitive an ordination.
Mr Howe was first settled at Great Torrington in the county of Devon, where his ministry was much esteemed and extensively successful. In March, 1654, he married the daughter of Mr George Hughes of Plymouth, a minister of great influence and reputation in that part of the country. With him Mr Howe kept up a weekly correspondence in Latin. A singular anecdote is related of this correspondence. A fire broke out in Mr Howe's habitation at Torrington, which at one time threatened the destruction of the house and of all the property it contained. But a violent rain came on which mainly contributed to extinguish the fire before it bad done much injury. On that very day Mr Howe received one of the Latin letters from his father-in-law, which concluded with this singular prayer: Sit ros cæli super habitaculum vestrum—“may the dew of beaven be upon your dwelling.” This singu
" This Mr Charles Herle was a very distinguished man in his day, and after the death of Dr Twisse, was chosen prolocutor to the Westminster Assembly of divines.
lar coincidence so wholly beyond the foresight of human minds, made a deep impression upon all the parties interested, and was especially marked with devout gratitude by Mr Howe.
The circumstances connected with his introduction to Cromwell when protector are especially worthy of the reader's notice. Mr Howe had some business which called him to London. Being there, he was detained longer than he expected, and having one, and only one Sunday to remain in town, his curiosity led him to the chapel at Whitehall. The protector, who was present, and who was generally observant of all persons about him, perceived the stranger, and suspecting that he was a country minister, watched him narrowly. Being much struck with his appearance, and persuaded that he was no ordinary man, he sent a niessenger to say that he desired, after the conclusion of the service, to speak with him. Mr Howe, not a little surprised at being thus unexpectedly summoned to appear before the protector, nevertheless obeyed. After some inquiries as to who he was, and whence he came, Cromwell desired that he would preach before him the next Sunday. Mr Howe endeavoured to excuse himself, modestly declining the honour. But Cromwell told him it was a vain thing to attempt to excuse himself, for that he would take no denial. Mr Howe pleaded that having despatched his business in town, he was tending homewards, and could not be absent any longer without inconvenience. Cromwell inquired what damage he was liable to sustain, by tarrying a little longer. Mr Howe replied, that his people, who were very kind to him, would be uneasy, and think he neglected them, and slighted their respect. Cromwell promised to write to them himself, and send down one to supply his place; and actually did so; and Mr Howe stayed and preached as he was desired : and when he had given him one sermon, Cromwell still pressed for a second and a third ; and at last after a great deal of free conversation in private, nothing would serve him (who could not bear to be contradicted, after he had once got the power into his hands,) but he must have him to be his household chaplain, and he would take care his place should be supplied at Torrington to the full satisfaction of his people. Mr Howe did all that lay in his power to excuse himself and get off; but no denial would be admitted. And at length (though not without great reluctance) he was prevailed with to comply, and remove with his family to Whitehall, where several of his children were born: and in this difficult station he endeavoured to be faithful, and to keep a good conscience. During Mr Howe's residence at Whitehall we find him lecturer at St Margaret's, Westminster, where he was greatly esteemed as a preacher, and highly respected for the urbanity, moderation, and uniform consistency of his conduct. While he held the situation of chaplain he employed his influence with the protector on behalf of good men of all parties, and was especially serviceable to Dr Seth Ward, afterwards bishop of Exeter and Salisbury. Indeed Mr Howe lost no opportunity of promoting the interests of religion and learning. Cromwell once said to him, in allusion to his frequent applications,—" You have obtained many favours for others, but I wonder when the time is to come that you will move for any thing for yourself and family.” “A plain argument," says Calamy, “ that he took him for a very disinterested person, and as free from selfishness as he was from partiality.”
Although Mr Howe enjoyed a considerable share of the protector's favour, yet he was not afraid to risk it in the cause of truth. He observed, what he considered to be a fanatical opinion respecting faith in the efficacy of prayer, and an enthusiastical notion of the impression made on the minds of such as prayed that their prayers would be answered, whatever they might ask, and that this notion was a favourite one with the protector, and had been publicly taught by one preacher of note at Whitehall. He, therefore, deterinined publicly to oppose it, when it came to his turn to preach again before the protector. He accordingly did so, and observed that Cromwell listened with great attention, and would sometimes knit his brows and discover great uneasiness. Mr Calamy says, “Mr Howe told me, that when the sermon was over, a person of distinction came to him, and asked him if he knew what he had done—that Cromwell would be so incensed upon that discourse, that he (Mr H.) would find it difficult ever to make his peace with him, or secure his favour for the future.” Mr Howe replied, “that he had but done his duty, and could leave the event with God." It appears, however, that though Cromwell became, or Mr Howe thought he became, cooler to him than formerly, yet he no otherwise expressed his dissatisfaction, and Mr Howe himself never had cause to regret what he had done. It is no little credit to the protector, that he continued his favours to Mr Howe, and never appeared further to withdraw that confidence he had reposed in him, although he had so boldly attacked a favourite opinion. This is what few persons in his exalted station would have done, and evinces a high respect for the sacredness of the ministerial office. In our opinion this anecdote is almost equally honourable to the magnanimity of both parties.
Mr Howe continued in his situation of chaplain at Whitehall till the death of Cromwell. After that event he was continued in the same situation by Richard Cromwell, and was present at the assembly of congregational ministers held at the Savoy, when they discussed the confession of their faith. He took no conspicuous part in the politics of that period, any more than in those of former times, but endeavoured to preserve his mind steadily fixed on his professional engagements. It is recorded of him, however, that he was decidedly opposed to Richard's dissolving his parliament at the instigation of the council of officers,-foreseeing, as he said he clearly did, that it would prove his ruin. After the deposition of Richard Cromwell, Mr Howe returned to his former charge at Great Torrington, where he continued quietly and zealously discharging his pastoral duties until the restoration. After that event he soon began to feel the hand of oppression and persecution. But on the passing of the act of uniformity, he was ejected from his living and exposed to much hardship. Some time after, falling accidentally into the company of the learned Dr Wilkins, bishop of Chester, who held Mr Howe in great esteem, the doctor told him the act of uniformity had produced consequences at which he was a little surprised : some, he observed, whom he should have thought too stiff and rigid ever to have fallen in with the establishment, had conformed, while others, whom he thought possessed sufficient latitude to conform, had stood out and continued non-conformists; and he intimated to Mr Howe, that he took him to be of the latter description. Among other observations Mr Howe replied, that his latitude of which the doctor