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in 1659, he was cast out of his Deanery, not long after Richard's being made Protector, and succeeded by Dr. EDWARD REYNOLDS, afterwards Bishop of Norwich. Nor can we wonder at these changes happening to an individual, when we consider the great alterations that took place in the whole government. Quitting his public station at Oxford, he retired to Stadham, the place of his birth, where he possessed a good estate and lived privately, till the persecution grew so hot that he was obliged to move from place to place, and at length came to London. All which time he was not idle, but employed every moment like a faithful servant of Christ, in preaching as he had opportunity, and in writing several valuable and useful books, to serve the common interest of religion and learning. In the year 1661, he published that elaborate and learned treatise, entitled, ɛoλoyouμeva: “De natura, ortu, progressu, et "studio veræ Theologiæ," "Concerning the nature, "rise, progress, and study of true Theology," which was afterwards reprinted at Bremen in Germany. This work must have cost him no small time and pains, as it evidently bespeaks a vast compass and variety of reading and learning.
$22. The next year, 1660, came out a book, called "Fiat Lux," written by JOHN VINCENT LANE, a Franciscan friar; wherein, under the pretence of recommending moderation and charity, he with a great deal of subtility invites men over to the church of Rome, as the only infallible cure of all church divisions. Two impressions of this book were printed off before the Doctor had seen it; at length it was sent him by a person of honor, who desired him to write an answer to it; which he did in a very short time: the answer bears the title of "Animadversions on Fiat Lux, by a Pro"testant;" which being generally accepted, made the
friar very angry, so that he published a sheet or two by way of reply, which produced the Doctor's answer, entitled, "A Vindication of Animadversions on Fiat "Lux," to which no reply was given. There was some difficulty in obtaining a license for this last book, when the bishops who were appointed by act of parliament to be the principal licensers of divinity books had examined it: at last Sir E. NICHOLAS procured the Bishop of London's license. This work recommended him to the esteem of Lord Chancellor HYDE, who, by Sir BULSTRODE WHITLOCK, sent for him, and assured him, that "he had deserved the best of any English protest"ant 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 he 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. "Say you so?" said the chancellor, "then I am much mistaken." They had some further discourse, and particularly about liberty of conscience; and to the Doctor's honor be it mentioned, he ever held it a sacred principle, whether in or out of power, that no peaceable persons, holding the foundation of the Christian faith, ought by the rule of scripture, or right reason, to have any violence offered them for their profession of religion, and their worshipping of God according to the dictates of their consciences.
$23. But notwithstanding all the good service he had done the church of England, and notwithstanding "he had deserved the best of any English protestant of "late years," he was still persecuted from place to place; which perpetual trouble inclined him to think of leaving his native country, having received an invitation
from his brethren in New England 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. About the time of his receiving these invitations from abroad, the nation was alarmed by the plague, that swept away above one hundred thousand persons, and the lamentable fire that consumed so great a part of the metropolis. On account of these awful visitations, there was a cessation for some time from prosecuting the dissenters, but the impressions they made soon wore off; the temporary indulgence alarmed the high church party, who instantly fled to Parliament for aid, lest the dæmon of persecution should be suffered to sleep too long. Nor were they disappointed. About this time the Doctor, who had lived privately in London for some years, went to visit his old friends at Oxford, and to attend some affairs of his own estate not far from thence; but, notwithstanding all his privacy, he was observed, and intelligence was given of the very house where he lay: upon which some troopers came and knocked at the door; the mistress of the house came down, and boldly opened the door, asking, "What they would have?" Who thereupon inquired of her, "Whether she had any lodgers in her house?” Instead of giving a direct answer to the question, she asked, "Whether they were seeking for Dr. OWEN?" "Yes," said they; she told them, "He went from my "house this morning betimes." Then they immediately went off: in the mean time the Doctor, who she really thought had been gone, (as he told her he intended) arose and went into a field near the house, whither he ordered his horse to be brought, and so rode off immediately to London,
$24. Nor did he escape the tongues and pens of calumny and false inuendos. His baffled antagonist, the author of "Fiat Lux," had charged the Doctor with having had a hand in the late troubles of the nation; to this he replies, "Let me inform you that the author of "the "Animadversions" is a person that never had a "hand in, nor gave consent to the raising of any war in "these nations, nor to any political alteration in them; "no, not to any one that was amongst us during our "revolutions: but he acknowledges that he lived and "acted under them the things wherein he thought his "duty consisted, and challenges all men to charge him "with doing, the least personal injury to any man, pro"fessing himself ready to give satisfaction to any one "that can justly claim it." It had also been insinuated, that it was through his influence, or rather by his doing, the synod at the Savoy consented to have these articles, "That it is not faith but Christ's righteousness that we "are justified by; and that Christ's righteousness im"puted is our sole righteousness," inserted in their confession. But this has been sufficiently confuted by Mr. JOHN GRIFFITH, who was scribe to the synod, by a solemn declaration made but a few weeks before his death, under his own hand, part of which follows: "I "declare upon my own certain knowledge, having been "a member of the Savoy meeting, and thoroughly ac"quainted with all matters of moment that passed in it, "from first to last, that what Mr. says about the "two aforesaid articles being put into the Savoy confes"sion by Dr. OWEN'S "doing," is altogether false, and that "whoever made this report to him, has done a great in"jury to that assembly, wherein nothing was laid down "as any part of their confession, which was not first de"bated, duly weighed, and approved, and agreed to by “all, and more especially in the great and important
"doctrine of justification. I thought it my duty to "leave this attestation, under my own hand, to clear "the aforesaid meeting of worthy ministers, and faith"ful brethren, from such a foul aspersion. And this I "do with the greatest regard to truth, as one daily ex"pecting my change, and to stand before my Judge; "and, therefore, I hope, under no temptation to favor "any party or persuasion of men through sinful par"tiality." To this we may add, that it ought to be mentioned, as one of his successors observes, to Doctor OWEN's honor, that he seems to be one of the first of our countrymen, who entertained just and liberal notions of the right of private judgment and 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 persecution 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 the year 1647, when the Parliament was arrived at full power, and he was much in repute.
$25. The Lord Chancellor HYDE having been impeached and discarded in 1667, and the Duke of Buckingham succeeding him as chief favorite, the dæmon of persecution was suffered once more to take a nap, or at least a momentary slumber. The nonconformists in London were connived at, and people went openly to their meetings without fear. This encouraged the country ministers to do the like in most parts of England, and crowds of the most religious people were their