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a line of debate, I have transgressed against my own purpose,– I hope it will be pardoned; though I am heartily desirous any thing which passeth my pen may be brought to the test, and myself reduced where I have gone amiss. Yet my spirit faints within me to think of that way of handling things in controversy which some men, by reciprocation of answers and replies, have wound themselves into. Bolsec, and Staphylus, and Stapleton, seem to live again, and much gall from beneath to be poured into men's ink. O the deep wounds the gospel hath received by the mutual keen invectives of learned men! I hope the Lord will preserve me from being engaged with any man of such a frame of spirit. What hath been asserted may easily be cast up in a few positions ;—the intelligent reader will quickly discern what is aimed at, and what I have stood to avow.
If what is proposed be not satisfactory, I humbly offer to the honourable Parliament, that a certain number of learned men, who are differently minded as to this business of toleration, which almost every where is spoken against, may be desired and required to a fair debate of the matter in difference before their own assembly; that so, if it be possible, some light may be given to the determination of this thing, of so great concernment in the judgments of all men, both on the one side and on the other; that so they may “try all things, and hold fast that which is good.”
Corol. 1. That magistrates have nothing to do in matters of religion, as some unadvisedly affirm, is exceedingly wide from the truth of the thing itself.
Corol. 2. Corporeal punishments for simple error were found out to help to build the tower of Babel.
Si quid novisti rectius istis,
Bolsec was a bitter opponent of Calvin, and wrote with much acrimony against him.-De J. Calv. Hist. Col. 1580. STAPHYLUS was at one time an evangelical theologian of the Lutheran Church, and afterwards became a violent enemy of the Reformation, 1558–1564. STAPLETON was a celebrated Roman Catholic divine, born in Sussex 1535. He left England on the accession of Queen Elizabeth, and was appointed Regius Professor of Divinity in the University of Louvain. He died in 1595. His works were published at Paris in 1620, in four vols. folio.--Ed.
THE STEADFASTNESS OF THE PROMISES,
THE SINFULNESS OF STAGGERING:
Ol’ENED IN A SERION PREACHED AT MARGARET'S IN WESTMINSTER, BEFORE
THE PARLIAMENT, FEBRUARY 28, 1619,
BRING A DAY SET APART FOR SOLEMN HUMILIATION THROUGHOUT THE NATION,
Tae following discourse was preached after Owen's return from Ireland. The expedition of Cromwell had been eminently successful in establishing peace, after the massacres and commotions which had long prevailed in that island. Owen, however, had set his heart upon securing for it higher blessings than outward peace, enforced by the conquering sword of the Protector. It is affecting to note the depth of spiritual concern and anxiety he evinces, that Ireland should enjoy the gospel of Christ, as the only cure for its manifold and inveterate disorders. How humbling, that extensive districts of it should have remained to our day substantially under the same wants and necessities which had a voice so clamant in the ear of Owen! It reads as if the utterance of yesterday, when we find him declaring his heartfelt wish, that "the Irish might enjoy Ireland as long as the moon endureth, so that Jesus Christ might possess the Irish.”
Mr Orme holds, apparently on good grounds, that this germon was really delivered before the House of Commons, not in February 1649, as the title bears, but in February 1650. The epistle dedicatory to the preceding sermon on Righteous Zeal,” etc., has the address and date,“ Coggeshall, Feb. 28,” (undoubtedly 1649), which is the same day on which, by the title of the present sermon, he was preaching at London. Some allusions in this sermon are thought to indicate that Owen had been in Ireland; and though, in all the editions of it, the year is said to have been 1649, by the present mode of reckoning it would be 1650. We may add, that in the old collections of Owen's sermons, this one follows the sermon next in the present order, on Heb. xii. 27. On the other hand, Asty affirms that it was preached before Owen went to Ireland, and speaks of it as giving rise to his acquaintance with Cromwell. The allusions to Ireland may not be regarded by some as very decisive on the point; and it is singular that the number of the year should differ from the mode of reckoning common to the dates of the other sermons published by Owen about this time. Since authorities differ, we have given the evidence on both sides, and the sermons appear in the order in which, by the dates and titles, they are said to have been preached. Mr Orme seems to us clearly in the right; and, though the matter is not of much importance, we have, under this view, some record in this discourse of the impressions left on the mind of Owen by his visit to Irzland. On the first occasion on which he ever preached before the House of Commons, he entreated that the destitute parts of England and Wales might be supplied with the gospel; and now on his return from his mission to Dublin, as soon as he has the ear of Parliament, he implores, in fervent terms, that the gospel may be sent to Ireland. The fact bespeaks his own heartfelt sense of its value, and shows how wisely he could turn opportunities to account for the advancement of his Master's cause.-ED.
Die Veneris, 1 Martii, 1649. ORDERED by the Parliament, That the thanks of this House be given to Mr Owen for his great pains taken in his sermon preached yesterday before the Parliament, at Margaret's, Westminster (being a day set apart for public humi. liation); and that he be desired to print his sermon; and that he have the like privilege in printing as others in like cases have usually had. Ordered, That Sir William Masham do give the thanks of this House to Mr Owen accordingly.
Ilex. SCOBELL, Cler. Puri.
THE COMMONS OF ENGLAND,
IN PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED.
SIRS, That God in whose hands your breath is, and whose are all your ways, having caused various seasons to pass over you, and in them all manifested that his works are truth and his ways judgment, calls earnestly by them for that walking before him which is required from them who, with other distinguishing mercies, are interested in the specialty of his protecting providence. As, in a view of present enjoyments, to sacrifice to your net, and burn incense to your drag, as though by them your portion were fat and plenteous, is an exceeding provocation to the eyes of his glory; so, to press to the residue of your desires and expectations by an arm of flesh, the designings and contrivances of carnal reason, with outwardly appearing mediums of their accoinplishment, is no less an abomination to him. Though there may be a present sweetness to them that find the life of the hand, yet their latter end will be, to lie down in sorrow. That you might be prevailed on to give glory to God, by steadfastness in believing, committing all your ways to him, with patience in well-doing, to the contempt of the most varnished appearance of carnal policy, was my peculiar aim in this ensuing sermon.
That which added ready willingness to my obedience unto your commands for the preaching and publishing hereof, being a serious proposal for the advancement and propagation of the gospel in another nation, is here again recommended to your thoughts, by