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practice of real religion and virtue. This, he presumes to say, will not only give him a higher pleafure than gain or any worldly advantage, but will be sufficient to render any further apology needless and unnecessary.
LIFE, WRITINGS, and CHA
RACTER, of Mr. JOHN
H E lives of persons of worth and eminence, as Dr. Calamy justly observes, when drawn
with faithfulness and care, have been ever thought very entertaining and improving; and the most judicious authors have acknowledged, that to perpetuate the memory of eminent and useful men by recording their lives is doing an useful service to the public.
It is therefore hoped that none will censure the Editor of the following dis. courses, for endeavouring to make the life and character of so great a man as Mr, Howe more extensively known; since it is very poslīble they may fall into the hands of
several persons, who have heard but little of their excellent Author, and have never read the large account of him published twenty years ago : for which, and many other valuable memoirs of several eminent and worthy men, the world is greatly indebted to the late Dr. Calamy. The following narrative indeed is only an epitome, for the most part, of that elaborate work however a likeness may be preserved by a piece in miniature, as well as by another of equal proportion and dimensions with the original.
Besides he the more readily ingages in this design because the Compilers of the general Dictionary, lately published, have made but a short article of Mr. Howe; whose life would not have been the least entertaining in their useful collection, nor have given them much trouble, since so excellent materials were ready drawn up
for their service : to say nothing of their omiffion of the most important circumstances that are essential to his picture, without the knowledge of which none can have any tolerable idea of our excellent Author.
Mr. John Howe was born at Loughborough in the county of Leicester, on May 17, 1630 ; of which place his Fa-, ther was, for some time, the worthy Mi
nister. But archbishop Laud, who had settled him in that parish, afterwards ejected him; on account of his fiding with the Puritans, contrary to his expectations. Seveveral worthy and excellent men were driven into exile by the rigor of that prelate, and the ecclesiastical courts ; among whom was the Father of our Author, who went into Ireland, taking his son along with him, who was then but a child. After a short residence there, they were obliged to quit that country upon the account of the war, which continued for some years after the execrable maffacre of forty-one : and returning into England they settled in Lancashire, where Mr. Howe went through the first rudiments of learning, and the study of the languages; in which he made so great a progress that he was sent pretty early to Christ College in Cambridge (A). There he continued till he took the degree of Batchelor of Arts, and then removed to Oxford.
(A) Here it was that he became acquainted with several persons, who made a great figure in the learned world ; particularly the famous Dr. Cudworth, the profoundeft metaphysician perhaps of the list century, and Dr. Henry More. Of both these persons he was a great admirer ; and as the learned Author of his life well observes, “ it is not to be wondered at, that is in his early days he received that Platonic tincture, “ which so remarkably runs through the writings, “ which he drew up and published in his advanced
years.". p. 3. folio edit. & p. 7. octavo cdit.
In this celebrated University he made fo considerable progress in learning, and acquired so greať a reputation for many excellent qualities, that he was duly elected Fellow of Magdalen College, of which the famous Dr. Thomas Goodwin was at that time President (B).
Mr. Howe's promotion and reputation in the College, and through the University, added new spurs to his diligence and application; which was so great, that he fur
nished (B) DR. CAŁAMY relates a passage of the President, which does honour to his memory, and for that reason is inserted here. 66. The Doctor had ga" thered a Church among the scholars of that house, “ and finding Mr. Howe, who had an established “ reputation among them, did not offer to join with “ them, he took an occasion when they were alone “ to speak to him about it ; and signified his sur“ prize that one of his character for serious piety, “ Thould not embrace such an opportunity of Chri“ stian fellowship, which might be likely to have “ many good consequences attending it. Mr. Howe “ with great frankness told him, that the true and “ only reason why he had been so filent about that “ matter was, because he understood they laid a “ considerable stress among them upon some distin“guishing peculiarities, of which he had no fond“ ness; tho' he could give others their liberty to “ take their own way, without censuring them, or “ having any unkind thoughts of them : but that if “ they would admit him into their society upon “ catholic terms, he would readily become one of " them. The Doctor enibracing him told him, he " would do it with all his heart, and that to his “ knowledge it would be much to the fatisfaction « and edification of all that were concerned : and "he thereupon became a member of that Society.” p. 3. fol. edit. & p. 10, 11. ot.