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    [See Jeremiah 7:16, 11:14, 15:1.] The plague in 1665, which cut off 68,596 of the population, according to the London bills of mortality. The fire which destroyed a large part of London in 1666. Most probably the war with the Dutch, which had begun in 1665, and in the course of which the Dutch fleet sailed up the Thames, and destroyed the ships of war at Chatham. Probably the celebrated comet of 1680-81, known by the name of Halley’s comet. The observations made by Halley and Flamsteed on this body are partly the basis, on which Newton, from the theory of gravitation, proved the orbit of comets. It was visible for a considerable time, and shone with great brilliance.

    Some knowledge of the facts alluded to is needed, to appreciate the force and pertinence of Owen’s appeals; though, in the progress of science, a different inference would now be drawn from such celestial phenomena as the comet and the meteor. — Ed. The allusion is to the Popish Plot which Titus Oates was thought to have discovered. He was a clergyman of infamous character. Expelled from his benefice in the Church of England, he had entered the Jesuit college of St Omer. Thence he returned to England, and in 1678 lodged information before Sir Edmondsbury Godfrey that the Roman Catholics were busy with a scheme for burning London, landing a French army in Ireland, and assassinating the king. Sir E. Godfrey, who, as justice of the peace, had received the depositions of Oates, was shortly afterwards found dead in a field near London; and it was evident that he had been murdered. Papers were found on Edward Coleman, a Roman Catholic emissary, which afforded some corroboration to the story of Oates. These facts secured universal credit at the time for the allegations of Oates. The importance which Dr Owen attaches to this plot must evidently be understood in the light of the prevailing and universal impression among British Protestants at the time when the sermon was delivered. — Ed. See the sermon on this text, vol. 8 p. 207. A name derived from two Latin words, signifying faith alone. — Ed. Importance sometimes occurs in the writings of Owen, under a signification attached to it by some old English writers, and according to which it is equivalent to import, meaning, signification. — Ed. Upon this head, in its several branches, see his book, “Of Communion with God;” part 2, chapter 3, digression 1, in the Doctrinal Division of his works, vol. II. See the division as announced, p. 56. See note, p. 32 of this volume. Dr Owen, according to Whitelocke in his “Memorials,” p. 391, preached before the House of Commons on June 7, 1649. The following sermon was the one which he delivered on the occasion. It was a day of public thanksgiving for the defeat of the Levellers at Burford on May 18 of the same year. In times of political change and commotion, wild notions are frequently set afloat, incompatible with the restraints of law and the rights of property. A species of communism had sprung up in the Parliamentary forces. In Cromwell was obliged to resort to vigorous measures in order to restore discipline and subordination. The ringleaders were seized at a review of the troops, — tried by a court-martial on the spot, and condemned to be shot. The sentence was executed against one of them immediately, and the danger seemed to be gone; but disaffection was still cherished in the minds of many of the soldiers, and in 1649 broke out afresh in a more formidable shape. Many causes tended to foster this spirit of discontent. Some officers had taken offense at the way in which military honors had been distributed, and hence “the murmuring for pre-eminence” to which Owen in his sermon alludes. Evil principles, moreover, had been spread among the common soldiers. A party of them disturbed the worship of a congregation in the parish church of Walton-upon-Thames, and harangued the people in the churchyard on the necessity of abolishing the Sabbath, tithes, the ministry of the gospel, magistracy, and the Bible itself! Sympathy with these levelling views was evinced out of the army. At Cobham, one Everard, a disbanded soldier, gave himself out to be a prophet, and professed to have had a vision, in which he and his followers were commanded to arise and dig and plough the earth. Whitelocke (p. 384) supplies the interpretation of the vision. “They threaten,” says he,” to pull down park pales, and to lay all open.” Owen, too, in the course of his sermon, has a significant allusion to men, “heady, high-minded, throwing up all bounds and fences” It was, accordingly, both a mutiny and an insurrection, and spread over several counties, — Surrey, Oxford, Gloucester, Northampton, and so far north as Lancashire and the town of Newcastle. A small party of these Levellers came into contact with a detachment of the Parliamentary troops at Banbury, and were dispersed. Thesuppression of the whole movement, however, was intrusted to Cromwell, who accomplished the task with his characteristic energy. After an unsuccessful attempt on Oxford, the Levellers had taken up their position at Burford. Cromwell, by a rapid march of nearly fifty miles, took them by surprise during the night.

    Has the text of Owen’s sermon any reference to the fact of this surprise? The poor Levellers, completely disconcerted by the vigor of their opponent, at once yielded when quarter was conceded to them, The mutiny was at an end; and, from the apparent ease and the rapidity with which it was suppressed, it is difficult now to understand the reason for all the alarm which it excited. Not a few of these Levellers, however, as Owen intimates in the sermon, and as their conduct showed, were brave and desperate men. Some of them, on being tried, confessed that one of their objects was the restoration of Prince Charles; and one passage in the sermon is evidently based on the belief in some such strange conjunction of interests. But for the activity of Cromwell, the movement might have been the beginning of disastrous anarchy throughout England. An extract from Whitelocke will show what estimate was formed by the Parliament of the threatened danger, the sense entertained of Cromwell’s services on the occasion, and the importance attached to the event in regard to which Owen was called at this time to preach before the House of Commons. “Report by Lieutenant-General Cromwell of the suppressing of the Levellers: The House gave him their hearty thanks for that great service, and ordered one of their members to attend the General with the hearty thanks of the House for his great service in that business; and ordered a general day of thanksgiving for that great mercy,” p. 389.

    The sermon of Owen is altogether remarkable for the skill and tact with which he suits himself to the occasion. — ED. So in the text (the Hebrew being ble yreyBiaæ ); as if the LXX. had read it, by mistake, bel ydeb]a\ , “who have lost their heart.” In the parallel from Isaiah, they render it ajpolwleko>tev than . It is much better rendered by Symmachus, in the first instance, uJperh>fanoi than , — in the second, sklhroka>rdioi . ryBiaæ sometimes signifies a bull ( Psalm 22:13), — the symbol, when untamed, of stubbornness, Jeremiah 31:18. It is an ingenious suggestion of Vitringa, adopted also by Parkhurst, that the original words correspond strikingly with the” esprits forts” of the French. — ED. See Isaiah 59:15, where the same woeful occurs again in the Hithpael form; and, as in the Targum and by Jerome, is rendered, “maketh himself a prey.” — Ed. This sermon was preached May 19, 1670. This sermon was preached May 26, 1670. This sermon, according to the method announced, p. 224, is given under a threefold division. The second branch of the subject has either been omitted, or, what is more probable, to judge from the strain of the author’s remarks, the illustration of the second is merged and contained in the first branch. — Ed. This sermon was preached November 11, 1670. This sermon was preached November 25, 1670. Joseph Caryl, so well known from his “Exposition of the Book of Job,” was born in 1602. He studied at Oxford, and entered into holy orders in 1627. After preaching for some time in Oxford, he came to London, and preached with much acceptance before the Society of Lincoln’s-Inn. He was a member of the Assembly of Divines in 1643; and in 1645 he was appointed to the charge of St Magnus’, near London Bridge. Along with Dr Owen, he accompanied Cromwell to Scotland in 1650; and towards the close of 1653 he acted on the Commission of Triers , for removing ignorant and scandalous ministers.

    He attended the Conference at the Savoy in 1658, when several Independent divines endeavored to agree on a Confession of Faith. He was again in Scotland with Major-General Whalley and Colonel Goffe, in order to confer with Monk on the state of public affairs. After the Restoration, he was ejected from St Magnus’, in 1662; but continued to preach to a congregation of his former hearers till his death, which occurred in February 1672-3. The public duties to which he was often called bespeak his ability, and the confidence reposed in him by the leading men of his day. The savor of his piety yet remains in his works; which consist chiefly of sermons, and his bulky but precious commentary on Job. He had some share in the preparation of an English-Greek Lexicon for the New Testament; and his qualifications for the task must have been considerable, when they extorted from Anthony Wood the commendation of their author as “a learned and zealous Nonconformist.’’ Before his death, his congregation had been for some years worshipping in Leadenhall Street. The church under the care of Owen had been in the habit of assembling for worship at no great distance from them. About four months after the death of Caryl, the two churches united. It appears that, previously to the union, Owen’s congregation consisted only of 36 members; in the Leadenhall Street congregation there were 136 communicants. In this small number, however, amounting only to 172, there were many whose names deserve to be held in remembrance for their rank in society and public services, and still more for their eminent Christian worth. — See “Life of Owen,” vol. 1, p. 90.

    On the 5th of June 1673 the two congregations met together for the first time under the ministry of Owen; and it was in these circumstances he preached this sermon, — very suitable to the occasion, and rich in suggestions for the cultivation of Christian unity and love. — Ed. [Fire or power?] This sermon was preached October 16, 1673. This sermon was preached March 27, 1674. In the original edition the words are, “he expresses it again.” As these words are very ambiguous, and seemingly ascribe the language quoted from the Revelation of John to the apostle James, mentioned in the preceding sentence, we have ventured, in this instance, on a slight alteration of the text. — Ed. This sermon was preached on a solemn day of fasting and prayer, March 21, 1675. For which occasion the Doctor had prepared another discourse; but by a special reason which then occurred, had his thoughts directed to this subject. [Such is the note appended to the sermon in the edition of 1721. It is to be regretted that it is not more full and explicit. We have not been able to discover what the circumstances were to which it makes allusion. Owen seems to have been unwell when the discourse was preached. See page 298. — Ed.] This sermon was preached April 22, 1675. On the subject of the continuance of Christ’s mediatorial office in heaven, Dr Owen gives a detailed exhibition of his views in the last chapter of his “Treatise on the Person of Christ,” published four years after this sermon was delivered, vol. 1 p. 271. — Ed. This sermon was preached November 3, 1676, being a day set apart for solemn fasting and prayer. Thueydides. This sermon was preached September 26, 1680. At this time many eminent servants of Christ, who had been associated with Owen in the Christian ministry, and in important public duties, during the eventful times of the Protectorate, were passing into their eternal rest. In 1679, Thomas Goodwin, President of Magdalene College, a member of the Westminster Assembly, a happy expositor of Scripture, and, according to Anthony Wood, “one of the Atlases and Patriarchs of Independency,” — was removed from this world, and became, in the highest sense of his own phrase, “a child of light.” It was but two months before this sermon was preached that Stephen Charuock died. He had been Senior Proctor in the University of Oxford during the Protectorate; and left behind him manuscripts, from which two large folios of posthumous works have been published, — works held in such estimation, that besides the detached issue of particular treatises, they have been, in their collected form, four times reprinted.

    Others might be mentioned who died about this period, such as Matthew Poole, author of the “Synopsis Criticorum;” and Theophilus Gale, author of “The Court of the Gentiles.” Such facts may help to account for the touching and solemn tone of these discourses on preparation for death, as well as for the particular allusion in the paragraph above. — Ed. This sermon was preached October 3, 1680. The decease to which Dr Owen refers must have occurred between September 26 and October 3. Colonel Desborough, a member of his congregation, brother-in-law to Oliver Cromwell, and one of the heroes of the Commonwealth, died on the 10th September 1680. He refused to sit on the trial of Charles I.; and though so nearly related to Cromwell, opposed him when he sought to become king. But it is evident, from the dates, that the allusion cannot be to him. The quaint and pious Thomas Brooks, a preacher of distinguished pathos and usefulness, and author of some well-known treatises, such as “Heaven upon Earth,” “The Unsearchable Riches of Christ,” “Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver,” etc., died on the 27th of September 1680. The date would answer to the allusion in the discourse, if the terms of it did not leave an impression that Owen refers to a member of his own congregation. Brooks was a zealous Congregationalist; but this could hardly be all the “church-fellowship” to which Owen refers. In his work, “The Golden Key,” he subscribes himself “late preacher of the word at Margaret’s, New Fish Street.” — Ed. This sermon was first preached October 10, 1680. There is a similar strain of exhortation and reasoning, in which Christian faith and hope shine triumphant over the fears natural to all men in the prospect of dissolution, in the author’s preface to his “Meditations on the Glory of Christ,” vol. i., p. 280. The reader will find the paragraph to which this note is appended on p. 283, wrought up and refined, with the author’s last touch and corrections, into a high degree of Christian eloquence. — Ed. This sermon was preached September 30, 1681. Delivered January 28, 1672. Delivered February 7, 1672. No date is assigned to this discourse. It was about the time, however, in which these discourses seem to have been delivered, that many of the Scottish Covenanters were banished. They were crowded into vessels bound for the West Indies or North America; and, after enduring fearful sufferings on the passage, were sold, when they reached Jamaica or Carolina, to work as slaves on the plantations. By refinement of cruelty, it was provided that this punishment should be reserved for “such rebels as were penitent”! From the language of Owen, it would seem that he alludes to some occurrences that had taken place at a distance, and not within the sphere of his own observation. It is probable, therefore, that he refers to the proceedings of the government in Scotland. — Ed. Delivered March 24, 1675-6. Delivered April 7, 1676. Delivered April 19, 1676. Delivered March 22, 1676. Delivered April 19, 1677. Delivered May 4, 1677. Bohqe>w, ( Boh< qe>w ) to run in answer to a cry for help, Hebrews 2:18. — Ed. See this meaning supported in Willet on Daniel. The highest modern authorities consider the word as equivalent to two words combined, — viz., ynlOoP] — an individual; ynimol]aæ — one who is nameless. — Ed. Delivered March 14, 1678. Delivered February 15, 1680. This sermon was preached June 27, 1669. It is a duty to apprize the reader, that the passage from which the text of Owen is selected has occasioned much embarrassment to critics. On the strength of a patient collation of old manuscripts, Kennicott has proposed important changes on the present rendering in our authorized version. The changes principally relate to the insertion of “Jehovah” in verse 4, the omission of the negative in the first clause of verse 5, and the connection of the last words of the same verse with the first words of the verse that follows. Michaelis affirms, “that, in the latter chapters of the Second Book of Samuel, the manuscripts have come down to us more disfigured with mistakes than in any other part of the Old Testament.” The alterations proposed in the present instance serve to evince the prophetic character of the passage, as descriptive of the Messiah, and to strengthen the evidence of his divinity. The reader must be referred to the discussion of this passage by a master in Israel, Dr Pye Smith, in his profound and exhaustive work on “The Scripture Testimony to the Messiah,” etc. We add his proposed version of the passage; which agrees substantially with the version proposed by Kennicott: — 4. “Ruling over man is a Righteous One, Ruling in the fear of God:

    Even as the light of the morning shall he arise, Jehovah, the sun; A morning without clouds for brightness, [As] after rain the herbage from the earth. 5. Truly thus is my house with God; For an everlasting covenant he hath fixed with me, Ordered in every thing and secured; For [this is] all my salvation, and all [my] desire: 6. But the wicked shall not grow.”

    Owen himself, as will be seen above, very properly corrects the authorized version in one point; and thus warrants our reference to subsequent discoveries, by which greater accuracy has been imparted to the original text in this part of Scripture. His own reasoning in the discourse principally depends upon the negative in the beginning of verse 5, which Kennicott would omit, on the slender authority, as it appears, of one manuscript dating from the close of the thirteenth century. It is a fair question, therefore, if the external evidence for the rejection of the negative be as strong as for the insertion of “Jehovah” in the preceding verse. Boothroyd, attaching an interrogative sense to the particle yKi , throws the clause into the form of a question, and elicits the best meaning with the least violence to the text, — “Is not my house thus with God?”

    It will be found, however, that the chief aim of Owen is to educe from the covenant of grace considerations fitted to sustain and console the minds of Christians under the grief of blighted hope. His argument is conclusive, whatever becomes of the mere criticism of his text. — Ed. This sermon was preached January 1, 1670. This sermon was preached at the ordination of a minister, January 23, 1673. This sermon was preached at an ordination, April 3, 1678. This sermon was preached at an ordination, September 8, 1682. It is proper to inform the reader, that several things in this sermon are to be found in Dr Owen’s “True Nature of a Gospel Church,” chapter 5. Euctical (eu]comai , to desire earnestly, or to pray), expressive of desire. — ED. The “indelible character” is the dogma of the church of Rome; — that a man ordained to be a priest within its pale never can lose his priestly character; and though he even cease to be a Christian, cannot cease to be a Christian bishop, priest, or deacon, if he has previously held any of these offices in the church. The dogma can be traced no farther back than the days of the schoolmen. The Council of Nice decreed that certain bishops and presbyters, who had been ordained by Miletius, a deposed bishop, should be re-ordained before they could exercise their office. Dr Campbell, in his “Lectures on Ecclesiastical History,” reviews at some length the discussions on the “indelible character.”

    Speaking of those who argued for the unreiterable sacraments, to which ordination, according to the church of Rome, belongs, he remarks (lecture 11), “The whole of what they agreed in amounts to this, — something, they know not what, is imprinted, they know not how, on something in the soul of the recipient, they know not where, — which never can be deleted.” — Ed. This sermon was preached June 7, 1674, at Stadham. This sermon was preached at Stadham, June 7, 1674. This sermon was preached at Stadham, June 14, 1674. This sermon was preached at Stadham, June 21, 1674. This sermon was preached April 9, 1680. This sermon was preached April 30, 1680. This sermon was preached May 7, 1680. This sermon was preached May 21, 1680. Delivered October 10, 1669. Delivered November 26, 1669. Delivered December 10, 1669. Delivered December 24, 1669. Delivered January 7, 1669-70. Delivered January 21, 1669-70. Delivered July 7, 1673. The reference is to Hebrews 10:20, pro>faton , new (prow ), newly killed, “The blood of other sacrifices was always to be used immediately upon its effusion; for if it were cold or congealed, it was of no use to be offered, or to be sprinkled, Leviticus 17:11. But the blood of Christ is always hot and warm..... Hence the way of approach which we have to God thereby is said to be zw~sa kai< pro>sfatov , — always living, and yet always as newly slain.” — See Owen on the Holy Spirit, book 4 chapter 5— Ed. Delivered November 2, 1673. Delivered February 22, 1673-4. Delivered May 17, 1674. Delivered August 9, 1674. Delivered February 21, 1674-5. Delivered April 18, 1675. The close of this sentence is obscure, and hardly develops and completes the author’s argument. If it were not too great a liberty with the text, the following alteration might have been made, and seems to elicit the meaning designed to be conveyed: — “ [whereas] had he been called to [die] for nothing else but barely to confirm the truth he had preached, he would have done [it] without much trouble or shaking of mind.” It must be borne in mind that these discourses were not only posthumous, but printed from notes taken by the hearers of Owen. — Ed. Delivered September 5, 1675. Delivered October 31, 1675. Delivered April 16, 1676. Delivered June 11, 1676. Delivered September 3, 1676. Delivered October 29, 1676. Owen seems desirous, by this paraphrase, to express the full meaning of the original word, paraku>yai . — Ed. Delivered February 18, 1676. Delivered July 8, 1677. Delivered September 30, 1677. Delivered September 20, 1682.


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