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John Howe, M.A.

BORN A. D 1630.-DIED A.D. 1705.


John Howe, the son of the Rev. Mr Howe, minister of the town of Loughborough in Leicestershire, was born May 17th, 1630 The living of this parish was given to Mr Howe by Archbishop Laud, and afterwards taken from him by the

same person account of the leaning he manifested to the principles of the puritans. After his ejectment from this parish, Mr Howe removed with his family to Ireland, but was shortly after obliged to return to his native country by the war which was raised against the protestants, and which raged for several years. On the return of the family to England they settled in Lancashire, and there Mr John Howe received his early education, but no memorial has been preserved either of the place in which, nor the persons by whom, he was instructed. He was sent at an early age to Christ college, Cambridge, where he pursued his studies with great diligence, and acquired the friendship of Dr Henry More, and Dr Ralph Cudworth, of whose characters and talents he became a warm admirer. The intimacy which Mr Howe contracted with these distinguished philosophers is thought to have been the source of that tincture of Platonic philosophy which is observable in his writings. At Cambridge Mr Howe continued till he took the degree of B. A., when he removed to Brazen-nose, Oxford. There he became Bible clerk in 1648, and took his bachelor's degree in 1649. He distinguished himself by great diligence and high attainments, and was at length elected fellow of Magdalene college. Here he enjoyed the friendship and constant society of some of the most distinguished men of the university and of the age. In 1652 he took the degree of M. A., and soon after was ordained by Mr Charles Herle' at Warwick in Lancashire, assisted by several ministers employed in chapelries in Mr Herle's parish. Mr Howe used to refer to his ordination with great satisfaction, saying, that he thought few in modern times had enjoyed so primitive an ordination.

Mr Howe was first settled at Great Torrington in the county of Devon, where his ministry was much esteemed and extensively successful. In March, 1654, he married the daughter of Mr George Hughes of Plymouth, a minister of great influence and reputation in that part of the country. With him Mr Howe kept up a weekly correspondence in Latin. A singular anecdote is related of this correspondence. A fire broke out in Mr Howe's habitation at Torrington, which at one time threatened the destruction of the house and of all the property it contained. But a violent rain came on which mainly contributed to extinguish the fire before it had done much injury. On that very day Mr Howe received one of the Latin letters from his father-in-law, which concluded with this singular prayer : Sit ros cæli super habitaculum vestrum—“may the dew of heaven be upon your dwelling." This singu

" This Mr Charles Herle was a very distinguished man in his day, and after the death of Dr Twisse, was chosen prolocutor to the Westminster Assembly of divines

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Engraved by S. Freeman from a

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A. Fullarton & C! London Edinburgh.

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