Owen - BX9315 O81

THE LIFE OF The writings which he still continued to produce drew upon him the admiration and respect of several persons ofhonour, who were much delighted in his conversation, particularly the earl of Orrery, the earl ofAnglesea, lord Willoughby of Parkhaus, lord Wharton, lord Berkley, and Sir John Trevor. When he was at Tunbridge theduke of York sent for him, and several times dis- coursed 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 be might have access to him when he would. At the same time he assured the Dr. he was for liberty of conscience, and was sensible of the wrong that had been done to the Dissenters; as a testimony of which he gave him 1000 guineas to distribute among those who had suffered the most. The Dr. had some friends also among the bi- shops, particularly Dr. Wilkins, bishop of Chester, and Dr. Barlow, bishop of Lincoln, formerly his tutor, who . when be applied to him on behalf of JohnBunyan) promised to s' deny himnothing that he could legallydo;" though in this case he hardly fulfilled his word. This bishop once asked the Dr. " What canyou object to our liturgical worship which I cannot answer?" The Dr.'s answer occasioned the bishop to make a pause; on which the Dr. 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 fo- reign divines having read his Latin works, learned En- glish for the benefit of the rest. His correspondence with the learned abroad was great, and several travelled into England to see and converse with him. His many labours brought upon him frequent infirmities, whereby he was greatly taken off from his public service, tho' not rendered useless, for he was continually writing whenever he was able to sit up. At lengthhe retired to Kensing- ton. As he was once coming from thence to London, two informers seized upon his carriage, but he was dis- charged upon the interposition of Sir Edmond Godfrey, a justice of the peace, who happened to come by at that instant. The Dr. 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 his Medita- tions on the Glory of Christ, in which he breathed out the devotion ofa soul continually growing in the temper of the heavenly state. Mr. Wood's ill-natured reflec- THE AUTHOR. 6 Lion, as thathe didvery unwillingly lay down hishead 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 G° 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 serfs, ft 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 thejourney. I am leaving the ship of the church in 4, 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; Isis stature was tall; his visage grave, majestic and comely; his aspect and deportment, genteel; his mental abilities, incomparable; his temper, afiuble 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. Ofgreat moderation in his judgment, and of a charit- able 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 reflections, 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 iu 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. Hecould, on all occasions, without any premeditation, express himself pertinently onany subject; yet his sermons were