Page images
PDF
EPUB

thing that there be no divisions amongst them ; * But to be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment: as the apostle expresseth it. Thence it cometh to

pass, that there is so much disunion in affection bei cause there is so much distraction in opinion.f Whereas the primitive believers, while they were all of one faith, they were answerably all of one heart and of one soul; and so preserving the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. I

TEC Thirdly, A chain also for the worth and dig, nity of it, Proverbs i. 9. “ They shall be an onnament of grace unto thine head, and chains about thy neck.” Persons of quality and authority are wont to wear their golden chains wherewith they are set out and adorned... It is the expression of Christ to his church, Cant. i. 10. “Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels : Thy neck with chains of gold.” And again, Cant. iv. 9. - Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse, thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.” This system and body of truth which is here in part commended unto us, is the precious and glorious chain upon the neck of the true spouse of Christ, which makes her look

* 1 Cor. i. 10. + Acts iv. 32.

Ephes. iv. 3. § Gen. xli. 42. Dan. v. 29. Ezek, xvi. 11.

pleasingly, and amiably in the eyes of her beloved, and distinguishes her from all false and coun. terfeit lovers.

To all this we may finally add, what it is in the very work itself, and the contrivances of it: wherein (not to anticipate the thoughts of others that shall peruse it) soundness of judgement with elegance of expression ; sublimity of sentiment with sobriety of spirit; variety of reading with accuracy of composure ; sweetness of wit with savouriness of heart, do seem to be linked together in so rare, and happy a conjunction, as makes this Chain of Principles to be a chain of pearls.

The Lord by his Holy Spirit set home the truths in it upon the hearts of all those who shall be made partakers of it.

6 To him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages world without end." Amen.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

SHORT ACCOUNT

OF THE

LIFE AND CHARACTER .

OF

JOHN ARROWSMITH, D.D.

JOHN ARKOWSMITH was born at Gateshead, near Newcastle upon Tyne, in the county of Northumberland, in England, on the 29th day of March, in the year 1602, educated in St John's College, Cambridge, and afterwards chosen fellow of Katherine Hall in the same University. It is remarkable, that this erinent divine was born in the same year, on the same day, and almost even at the same hour, with that much celebrated English divine, Dr John Lightfoot.* Divine providence raised up most seasonably many very eminent men, about this time, who were great ornaments to the Reformed Church; and who have acquired immortal fame by their valuable writings, and have carefully transmitted their great usefulness to succeeding generations, in their learned and pious productions.

Respecting the early life and education of the illustrious subject of this Memoir, it is difficult to procure any particular account : but it is evident by his writings and employments, that he had been highly favoured with a well directed and liberal education. He was elected one of the Uni

Lightfoot's Life, prefixed to the folio edition of his Works 1684, and 1686,

versity preachers, was sometime preacher of the gospel at Lynn, or King's-Lynn, an ancient sea-port town, in the county of Norfolk, afterwards preacher at St Martin's, Iron-monger's Lane, London, and was called to sit in the Assembly of Divines at Westminster. Here he was eminently distinguished by his abilities, learning and piety. Mr Robert Baillie, one of the Commissioners from the Church of Scotland to the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, says, when writing for Scotland respecting the business of that Assembly: “ Our letter to foreign churches, formed by Mr Marshall, except some clauses belonging to us put in by Mr Henderson, is now turned into Latin by Mr Arrowsmith,

an with a glass eye, in place of that which was put out by an arrow, a learned divine, on whom the Assembly put the writing against the Antinomians."! He constantly attended during the Session and united with several of his brethren, was principally engaged in drawing up the Assembly's Catechism ; he was one of the divines approved by the parliament to be consulted in ecclesiastical matters.

While the Reformation was advancing, several improve, ments were requisite, highly deserving the attention of our reformers, to render the English Universities more capable of answering the noble ends of their institution. Disgracefuļ charges were brought against these useful seminaries of learn, ing: and our zealous ancestors consulted both the honour and interest of these venerable foundations, by endeavouring to amend in them what was amiss. Laudable attempts were made to restore the credit of their Alma Mater. Learning and piety were now the chief recommendations for offices, Accordingly, the utmost exertions were made, that all departments might be supplied with learned and pious men, The famous Earl of Manchester was appointed to visit the University of Cambridge, in order that she might correct what was wrong in it. Among other things, he ejected some heads of Colleges, and made choice of some divines who were then sitting in the Assembly at Westminster, to be masters

* See Neal's List of the Assembly of Divines at Westminster. Hist. Purit. vol. iii. chap. ii. Baker's MS. Collec. vol. i. p. 265.

+ Baillie's Letters, vol. i. page 414.

in their places : among whom was the illustrious subject of this memoir. Mr Baillie, above-mentioned, who was then at Westminster, says, “ When we were going to the rest of the propositions concerning the Presbytery, my Lord Manchester wrote to us from Cambridge, what he had done in the University, how he had ejected, for gross scandals, the heads of five Colleges :- and that he had made choice of five of our number, to be Masters in their places, Mr Palmer, Vines, Seaman, Arrowsmith, and our countryman, Young, requiring the Assembly's approbation of his choice; which was unanimously given ; for they are all very good and able divines."• Agreeably to this account, Mr Arrowsmith having been first examined, and approved by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, was constituted master of St John's College, in the University of Cambridge, April 11, 1644, when Dr Beale was ejected, in the following manner :-" The Right Honourable Edward Earl of Manchester, in per suance of an ordinance of Parliament, for regulating and reforming the University of Cambridge, came in person into the chapel of St John's college, and, by the authority to him committed, did, in the presence of all the fellows then resident, declare and publish Mr John Arrowsmith, to be constituted master of said college, in room of Dr Beale late master there, but now justly and lawfully ejected ; requiring him the said John Arrowsmith, then present, to take upon him the said place, and did put him into the said master's seat or stall, within the said chapel; and did likewise straitly charge all and every of the fellows, &c. to acknowledge him to be actually master of the college, and sufficiently authorized to execute the said office."

Upon his admission, he was required to make and subscribe a solemn declaration, of which the following is a copy; $ “ I, John Arrowsmith, being called and constituted by the right honourable Edward Earl of Manchester (who is authorised thereto by an ordinance of parliament) to be Master of St John's College, in the university of Cambridge, with the ap

* Baillie's Letters, vol. i. page 439.
+ Neal's Hist. Purit. vol, iii. chap. iii.
♡ Baker's MS. Collec. vol. xii. p. 169, 170.

C

« PreviousContinue »