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On the 18th of March, 1651, he was raised to the deanery of Christ church ; Goodwin being raised at the same time to the presidency of - Iagdalene college. His appointment gave very general satisfaction to the students. In about a year and a half after, he was made vicechancellor of the university, on the r.omination of Cromwell now chancellor. The office in these times was a difficult and invidious one; but Owen's administration reconciled many difficulties, and exterted the approbation even of the episcopalian party. Granger admits, that “supposing it to be necessary for one of his persuasion to be placed at the head of the university, none was so proper as this person (Owen ;) who governed it several years with much prudence and moderation, when faction and animosity seemed to be a part of every religion;" and Lord Clarendon's testimony is still more decisive. He says, that the university “yielded a harvest of extraordinary, good, and sound knowledge in all parts of learning; and many who were wickedly introduced, applied themselves to the study of learning, and to the practice of virtue. So that when it pleased God to bring King Charles II. back to his throne, he found that university abounding in excellent learning, and little inferior to what it was before its desolation.” Mr Orme has collected the following particulars descriptive of the vicechancellor's personal conduct. “ The doctor managed the different parties in the university by his gentlemanly behaviour and condescension, by his impartiality and d:cision, and by his generous disinterestedness. He was moderate, but firm; dignified, and at the same time full of gentleness. He gained the good wishes of the episcopalians, by allowing a society of about three hundreu of them, who used the liturgy, to meet every Lord's day over against his own door without disturbance, although they were not legally tolerated. He secured the support and favour of the presbyterians, by giving away most of the vacant benefices in his gift to persons of that denomination ; and with the presbyterians of the university he had the most intimate intercourse. Among the students he acted as a father. While he discountenanced and punished the vicious, he encouraged and rewarded the modest and the indigent. He was hospitable in his own house, generous to poor scholars, some of whom he took into his family, and others he assisted by presents of money. Foreigners as well as natives experienced his bounty; for some of them by his favour, and that of the canons of Christ church, were admitted to free commons and the use of the library."
In 1654, Dr Owen was returned as representative for the university of Oxford, but his eligibility being questioned by the committee of privileges, on the ground of his being in the ministry, he sat only for a short time. The attempt has repeatedly been made, but without success, to show that Owen, during his vice-chancellorship, engaged much in political intrigue. The truth is, that in every instance in which he was not necessitated by the duties of his high official situation to act otherwise, he stood carefully aloof from all parties in the state. His subsequent conduct upon his dismissal from Oxford, when Richard Cromwell was chosen chancellor in room of the protector, who had resigned, was equally guarded. Vernon and other party-libellers of the day, attempted to represent him as being mainly instrumental in comJelling Richard Cromwell to dissolve his parliament. But he met the
charge with a bold and unqualified denial. “Let me inform you,” says he in his · Vindication of Animadversions on Fiat Lux'—“that the author of the Animadversions is a person who never had a hand in, nor gave consent to the raising of any war in these nations; nor to any political alterations in them; no—10t to any one that was amongst us during our revolutions. But he acknowledges that he lived and acted under them the things in which he thought his duty consisted; and challenges all men to charge him with doing the least personal injury to any, professing himself ready to give satisfaction to any one that can justly claim it." Owen preached before parliament for the last time, on the 8th of May, 1659. Soon after he was employed by the congregational churches in London, to draw up a letter of remonstrance to Monk, who was now in Scotland, and who seemed to be preparing to support the presbyterian party in England. "The result of the negotiation which ensued with that hypocritical and selfish man have been already detailed. Owen's connexion with Oxford was soon after this completely dissolved by his dismissal from the deanery of Christ church, to make room for the presbyterians' man, Dr Reynolds.
He now retired to Stadham, his native place, where he had purchased an estate, and where he undertook the charge of a small congregation ; but the Oxford militia broke it up, and Owen himself was compelled to seek safety in concealment and flight. He then took up his residence in London, where Baxter represents him as “ keeping off, as if he had been more ashamed or afraid of suffering than his brethren." But it is not true that he “kept oft" in this sense ; on the contrary, he was never wanting, when the occasion called for it, to vindicate the conduct and principles of his brother-sufferers for conscience sake, and, when Baxter himself shrunk from the task of replying to Parker's · Discourse of Ecclesiastical Politie,' alleging in excuse that he considered himself' “as excepted from the reproaches which had been thrown out, and that if he were to answer Parker, they would soon make him as odious as the rest.” Owen undertook the duty from which Baxter “ kept off,” and drew down upon himself the treatment which Baxter had rightly anticipated for the apologist of dissent. We also find him during the plague, and after the great fire in London, when the clergy forsook the churches, opening places for public worship throughout the city in conjunction with Thomas Goodwin, Nye, Griffiths, Brooks, Caryl, Vincent, and others, both presbyterians and independents. Owen afterwards formed a congregation in London, and instituted the Pinners' hall weekly lecture, in conjunction with Manton, Bates, Baxter, Jenkins, and Collins. On the death of Caryl, in 1673, his church united with that under Owen. In 1674, Dr Owen was honoured with a conference with the duke of York, and subsequently his majesty sent for him, and after strong professions of his regard for liberty of conscience, gave him a thousand guineas to distribute among those who had suffered most by the late severities, Stillingfleet insinuates, that the duke's object in wishing to conciliate the dissenters at this period, was the promotion of his own interests as to the succession ; but Owen declares, “ that never any one person in authority, nor any one that had any relation to public affairs, did ever speak one word to him about any indulgence or toleration to be grant ed unto papists.”
Owen married his first wife soon after his presentation to Fordham. By her he had eleven children, all of whom, except one daughter, died young. In 1677 he married again, and received such a fortune with his second lady as enabled him to keep his carriage and country-house at Ealing, in Middlesex, where he mostly lived during the latter years of his life, which were chiefly devoted to writing. His last production was, “Meditations and Discourses on the glory of Christ,' which was put to press on the day he died. Anthony Wood malignantly asserts, “ that he did very unwillingly lay down his head and die.” Were it at all necessary, we could here insert abundant evidence to the contrary of this, but no one who is acquainted with Owen's writings, or has studied the character of the man, will require such proof from us. His death took place on the 24th of August, 1683.
A noble monument to Owen's memory might be reared from the testimonies of his rivals and enemies. Baxter speaks of his “ complying mildness, and sweetness, and peaceableness.” Wood declares that he could, “by the persuasion of his oratory, in conjunction with some other outward advantages, move and wind the affections of his admiring auditory almost as he pleased ;” and that “ he was one of the fairest and most genteel writers who have appeared against the church of England, as handling his adversaries with far more civil, decent, and temperate language than many of his fiery brethren." Stillingfleet bears testimony to the same effect; and Chancellor Hyde cannot sufficiently express his surprise, that so learned a man as Dr Owen embraced the novel opinion of independency. Owen's integrity is not for a moment to be called in question, when we recollect his own confession, that at the outset of life he was highly ambitious, and then witness liim almost immediately attaching himself to the most despised body of religionists in the kingdom. As a writer, while we cannot give Owen the praise of an elegant style, and should, we dare say, find it impossible to select a single ornate sentence from his voluminous writings, we must claim for him the higher praise of simplicity of lan. guage, lucid reasoning, and clear systematic views of religious truth. His expository writings entitle him to no mean rank as a biblical critic, and his practical treatises are only surpassed by those of the seraphic Howe in devotional ardour and spirituality. An anonymous writer, who has studied and felt Owen's character deeply, thus writes of bim : _“When I bring before me, in idea, the scene of the civil war,crowded with daring spirits wound up to desperation ---agitated by the clash of rival energies, rival principles, rival prejudices, rival motives, and rival arms ;-while crowns, mitres, and maces, lie as broken shields upon the arena of conflict ; I feel as if it must have been impossible to do any thing during the struggle except to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.' But to be at this time, at once a presiding spirit in the conflict, and a student such as Owen was, would have been to me inconceivable, were not his works before me. Cæsar wrote commentaries during his campaigns, but the world never witnessed the union of public enterprise and private exertion, in the same degree in which they subsisted in Owen. His engagements seem, in fact, subversive of each other; for what more apparently incompatible than solving cases of conscience, and counselling the great assembly of the nation ; than being alternately closeted with statesmen and penitents ; than guiding the studies of universities, and the steps of pilgrims; than preaching before parliament, and before the Essex farmers ; than walking with God and with Cromwell! And yet these are the extremes which he managed to combine, without compromising principle, or serving the Lord deceitfully.' The Muses obeyed his call at Oxford, and re-visited the banks of Isis in the fulness of their inspiration ;-and the graces of the Holy Spirit came at his intercession to Coggeshall. He made the sages of antiquity popular at the university, and rendered Christ 'precious' in the humblest churches. The learned “heard him gladly' as a chancellor, and the common people' as a pastor. Like the angel Gabriel, who could accommodate himself with equal facility to the timid Mary, and to the learned Daniel, Owen became all things to all men without disappointing any man, and was a Proteus free from stratagem. The explanation of all this is to be found, I apprehend, in his spiritual mindedness; that enabled him to pass ' unspotted' through the contaminating and conflicting world' in which he lived. Spirituality encircled him with an enshrining halo, which, while it attracted general notice, intimidated even the ambitious from attempting to suborn him to their purposes. Neither Cromwell nor Charles II. dared to tamper with his integrity :
“ Abashed, the Devil stood." The author of Owen's epitaph lias anticipated me ip pointing out the true secret of his eminence : ‘though a pilgrim on earth, he was next to a spirit in heaven.'”
BORN A. D. 1597.—DIED A. D. 1684.
Dr George Morley, who successively filled the sees of Worcester and Winchester, was the son of Mr Francis Morley, by a sister of Sir John Denham ; and was born in London on the 27th of February, 1597. At the age of fourteen he was elected a king's scholar at Westminster, and in 1615, became a student of Christ church, Oxford. After a residence of seven years at his college, he became chaplain to the earl of Carnarvon, and lived in that nobleman's family seven years.
In 1642, he took his degree of D. D.; but his sermon which he preached before the house of commons soon after, gave so little satisfaction that the customary compliment of requesting him to print it was not paid him by that assembly, and he remained ever after under suspicion as a royalist. He was, however, permitted to attend Charles as one of his chaplains; and he attended Lord Capel on the scaffold. In 1649, he went abroad, and attached himself to the family of Sir Edward Hyde in the quality of chaplain. The restoration, to which he mainly contributed by his active and judicious services, opened up preferment to him in his own country. Upon the king's return he was made dean of Christ church; and in October, 1660, was nominated to the bishopric of Worcester.
In the following year, Bishop Morley took an active part in the conference betwixt the episcopal and presbyterian divines, who had been commissioned to review the liturgy. Baxter informs us, that on this occasion, Morley proved himself a very able divine, and the best speaker among the bishops. The death of Dr Duppa made way for his translation to the richer bishopric of Winchester, which he enjoyed twenty-two years. He died on the 29th of October, 1684, having reached an advanced age by the temperance and regularity of his habits.
Morley was a hard-working student, and a pious as well as learned man. Calamy records several instances of his moderation towards dissenters ; but he was at times very irritable, and gave way to a peevishness of disposition greatly beneath a man of his elevated rank and commanding talents. He was the author of a number of pamphlets chiefly of a polemical character.
Benjamin Calamy, D.D.
DIED A. D. 1686.
BENJAMIN CALAMY, son of Edmund Calamy by a second wife, was educated first in St Paul's school, from whence he was removed to Catherine Hall, Cambridge, where, after taking several degrees, he became fellow and tutor. Having distinguished himself as a scholar and a preacher, he was chosen minister of St Mary Aldermanbury, the church from which his father had been ejected fifteen years before. His zeal in the cause of episcopacy obtained for him the favour of the court, and in a short time he was appointed chaplain in ordinary to the king. He took the degree of D.D. in 1680, and in 1683 preached in his own church the famous sermon on Luke xi. 41, entitled, a · Discourse about a scrupulous conscience. It was subsequently published with a dedication to Sir George Jefferies, chief justice, and afterwards lord-chancellor. This sermon, containing a challenge to the nonconformists, was answered by Mr Thomas Delaune in a letter to Dr Calamy. Delaune was immediately committed to Newgate. He wrote to Dr Calamy supplicating his interference, and deprecating such a method of conducting the controversy. Calamy answered coldly, but promised assistance. Nothing effectual, however, was done, and it was but too evident that Calamy was well pleased to see his adversary placed under so powerful a restraint. In the January following Delaune was tried at the Old Bailey for a libel, and sentenced to pay a fine of 100 marks, and to remain prisoner till the same was paid. Delaune had no means of raising this sum of money, and his opponant, who had at least been the occasion of his sufferings, if not the direct agent of the persecution, made no effort to raise it for him. He did indeed apply to Jefferies for his pardon, but this could not be obtained. The result was, that Delaune, one of the ablest scholars and divines of the age, perished in Newgate, with his wife and children. His death is said to have given Dr Calamy great concern, as well it miglit. Delaune's appeal to Dr Calamy, after the trial and condemnation, is exceedingly powerful and touching, and has fixed an indelible stain upon the character of his persecutor.
Dr Calamy resigned the living of Aldermanbury in 1683, upon his admission to the vicarage of St Lawrence Jewry with St Mary Magda