« AnteriorContinua »
discourse, and had a happy tendency, in those gloomy times, to compose the minds of good men, and to incourage them “ to “ trust God chearfully (as the Author “ himself expresses it ) with the govern“ ment of this world, and to live in the
joyful hope and expectation of a better.”
IN 1682, things were much in the same state, as the year before ; and so likewise in the year following, when the severest of the penal laws against nonconformists were put in execution, notwithstanding the famous resolution of the House of Commons before mentioned. But especially those, who had signalized their zeal for liberty and the Protestant religion, were marked out for examples of a peculiar vengeance. And
“ is professed by this or that sect, but that which is “ true in all sects ; so nor do I take that to be reli“ gion, which is peculiar to this or that party of “ Christians (many of whoin are ready to say, here “ is Christ, and there is Christ, as if he was divided) “ but that which is according to the mind of God
among them all.” There are several instances of a fine imagination in this little Treatise, which it were easy to point out to the reader. The Author's style is often charged with having long periods, but yet it is remarkable, that in some of his discourses there is a great deal of the laconic, and particularly in this ; which abounds with a great variety of usca ful maxims, that deserve to be treasured up in the memory, and quoted with applause, as much as the fineft maxims and sayings of the Ancients, which are justly admired, VOL. I.
in fact some of the best blood was poured out, as a sacrifice, to appease the wrath of the Duke of York; particularly that of a most illustrious ornament of the English nobility, William Lord Russel, who was beheaded on July 20, 1683. This is the rather mentioned because Dr. Calamy has preserved an excellent letter, which Mr. Howe wrote upon that melancholy occasion to the mournful widow, his lady ; : which is too long to be inserted here (X).
In the year 1684, Mr. Howe published a little pathetic piece, intitled, The ReDE EMER'S TEARS WEPT OVER LOST SOULS (Y.) In which
also several warm things, of a very different tendency, came
from (X) The letter here alluded to takes up about 6 pages folio, and about 18 octavo. p. 27-33. fol. & p. 83–102. oct.
(Y) This is one of the most moving and pathe, tic of all Mr. Howe's Discourses, and not without reason is very much admired by those, who have a taste for his writings. There is also an appendix to it, in which are some excellent thoughts concerning the blasphemy against the Holy Ghoft; and the quertion, How God is said to will the salvation of them that perish? is so well stated and considered, that nothing more perhaps needs to be said upon the subject, in order to give fatisfaction to every reasonable and serious Christian. There are indeed several curious inquiries, which (the Editor humbly begs leave to say) younger students would do well thoroughly to understand, for the regulation of their sentiments on this head, and to direct them in their exhortations to funers to comply with the terms of the Gospel, which
from the press; particularly a letter published by bishop Barlow of Lincoln, for putting in execution the laws against dissenters. In answer to which Mr. Howe sent his lordship a free letter by the post, a copy of which the doctor has inserted in his memoirs *.
The dissenters were now run down universally, and hardly any one durft speak or write in their favour; and the prospects Mr. Howe had, together with many others, with respect to the public, grew every day more and more gloomy. He therefore readily accepted of an invitation given him by the lord Wharton to travel with him into foreign parts. But being obliged to go away silently with his lordship, he could not take a folemn leave of his friends as he could have wished, but he made them ample amends by an excellent epistle which he sent to them from the other side the water, in which he shews the great and tender affection he had for them, and the warmest zeal imaginable for their eternal welfare t.
IN is so great a part of the ministerial office, but is not always managed in the most prudent manner, for want of having confiftent fentiments of those things on which their exhortations are supposed to be grounded.
* P. 34,--37. fol. p. 104,--112. oct. + P. 37,--41. fol. p. 113,--125. oct.
In the course of his travels with this no. ble lord, Mr. Howe had the satisfaction of seeing divers noted places, and conversing freely, not only with a number of learned papists, but several Protestant divines, both Lutherans and Calvinists, and making a variety of remarks for his own use. But, in the mean time, he was not a little affected with the melancholy tidings of the swift advances they were making in England towards
popery and Navery, which he most heartily lamented, as well as the hardships and severities, which his nonconforming brethren met with in particular. Having therefore no incouragement to think of returning home, while affairs were in such a . posture, he at length took a house at Utrecht in 1686, and resided there for some time ; and had the earl of Sutherland and his countess, and some English gentlemen, together with his two nephews, Mr. George, and Mr. John Hughes, boarding with him (Z). He took his turn of preaching at the English Church in that city, with
(Z) The former of whom was afterwards the diffunting minifter at Canterbury, and the latter at Ware, in Hertfordshire, for many years; both of them perfons of diftinguithed character and who for their excmplary piety, and eminent abilities are rememhered with honour to this day.
Mr. Mead and others, who were there at the same time ; and generally preached on the Lord's-days in the evening in his own family. And there being several English students then at that university, Mr. Howe was pleased to give them his particular instructions and advice, which some have owned to have been of no small advantage to them.
There were many other worthy persons of the British nation there, and in the united provinces ; by whom Mr. Howe was much respected, while he was in those parts. Among other persons of distinction who visited him Dr. Burnet was one, who was afterwards bishop of Salisbury ; with whom he had a great deal of free conversation
upon a variety of subjects (A). And so great was his reputation while he re
mained (A) “Once discoursing of nonconformity the Dr. “ told our Author, that he was apprehensive it could “ not subsist long, but that when Mr. Baxter, Dr. “ Bates, and he, and a few more were once laid in “ their graves, it would sink, and die, and come to « nothing.” Mr. Howe replied, that that must be left to God, tho at the same time he intimated that he had different apprehensions; and did not reckon it to depend upon persons but upon principles, which when taken up upon good grounds, approved upon search, could not be laid aside, by men of conscience. It is a little furprizing that Dr. Burnet Mould judge fo ill, and that several years after he thould tell Dr. Calamy, when he visited him once at his palace in Sarum, that it was not only his, but the comincn ap