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headed these; who first brought in Arminianism among the sectaries. None of the preachers were so thorough-paced for him (i. e. for Cromwell) as to temporal matters, as Goodwin was; for he (Goodwin) not only justified the putting the king to death, but magnified it as the gloriousest action men were capable of. He (Goodwin) filled all people with such expectation of a glorious thousand years speedily to begin, that it looked like a madness possessing them (b).” Such being the principles of John Goodwin, what a masterpiece of political cunning must bis conduct have been, which could fix him so tightly in the saddle of Cromwell's esteem! On the one hand, Cromwell was taking large strides toward the throne; and, soon, actually acquired kingly power, though (by spinning his thread of affected moderation too finely) he missed the name of king. On the other hand, Goodwin, “ who had long represented kingship as the great Antichrist which hindered Christ's being set on his throne (c),” carried himself fairly with the Protector, who was, every day, visibly approximating nearer and nearer to that very “ kingship” which Goodwin abhorred as “ the great Antichrist” that excluded the Messiah from possessing his right: little to save appearances, Cromwell canted, occasionally, to Goodwin, and the rest of the fifthmonarchy men; and, in return, Goodwin as cantingly pretended to be convinced of Cromwell's holy and upright intentions !
It surprised every body, says Burnet, that John Goodwin, who had been so furious and active against Charles I. should come off with impunity after the restoration of Charles II. But, (adds the right reverend historian), Goodwin had been so zealous an Arminian, and had sown such division among all the sectaries, on these heads, that it was said, this
(6) Burnet's Own Times, vol. i. p.
(c) Burnet, ibid.
procured him friends (d).” It has long been universally known and acknowledged, that Charles II. himself had been, for some time before the commencement of his reign, a concealed papist; and that he continued such, to the last moment of his life. No wonder, therefore, that Goodwin's Arminianism (e) atoned for the rancour and frenzy of his political principles and behaviour. « Goodwin had, so often, not only justified, but magnified, the putting the king to death, both in his sermons and books, that few thought he could have been either forgot or excused; for (Hugh) Peters and he were the only preachers who spoke of it in that strain (f).” Who will say, that John Goodwin knew not how to balance a straw? During the civil commotions, the ranter kept himself secure, by his abhorrence of monarchy. After the nation was resettled, he preserved his neck, and his treasons were overlooked, on account of his zeal for Arminianism. He had been already serviceable to the popish cause, by “ sowing divisions” among protestants; and he was suffered to live, by a popish prince who aimed at arbitrary power, in order to his being farther useful in the same laudable department.
So much for Goodwin, as a politician: a word or two, now, concerning him as a divine, and an individual; for it is chiefly in these latter respects, that I have honoured Mr. John Wesley with, what Mr. Sellon calls “the great commendation" of being the John Goodwin of the present age.
(d) Burnet, ibid. p. 163.
(e) Goodwin, however, soon after the coming in of "Charles II. trembled for his neck, and thought proper to lie hid for a season. The immediate occasion of which panic was this, in August, 1660, “ was called in a book of John Goodwin (then lately a minister in Coleman-street, London), entitled, The Obstructers of Justice; written in defence of the sentence against his majesty Charles I. At which time also the said Goodwin absconded, to prevent justice.” (Wood's Athenæ, vol. i. col. 882. edit. 1691.) The fox, however, at length, ventured out of his hole, and was not earthed till 1665.
(5) Burnet, ibid.
Dr. Calamy informs us, that, on the restoration, Goodwin, “ not being satisfied with the terms of the uniformity act, lived and died a non-conformist. He was a man by himself; was against every man, and had every man almost against him. He was very warm and eager (in) whatsoever be engaged in (9).” The same writer observes, that Goodwin “ wrote such a number of controversial pieces, that it would be no easy thing to reckon them up with any exactness (h).” If, instead of the word “wrote,” we only substitute the word “pilfered,” the whole of these two passages will fit both the Mr. Johns as neatly as their skins.
A very humorous circumstance, respecting Goodwin, is related by Anthony Wood: an ingenious writer of that age published a book against Goodwin, with this facetious title: “ Coleman-street Conclave visited; and that grand Impostor, the Schismatic's Cheater in Chief (who hath long slily lurked therein) truly and duly discovered; containing a most palpable and plain Display of Mr. John Goodwin's Self-conviction, and of the notorious Heresies, Errors, Malice, Pride, and Hypocrisy, of this most huge Garagantua. London, 1648.” The title is curious ; but the frontispiece, prefixed, was · exquisitely laughable, and most justly descriptive of the original. “ Before the title (continues Wood) is Job Goodwin's picture, with a windmill over his head, and a weathercock upon it, with other hieroglyphics, or emblems, about him, to show the instability of the man (i).” The writer of the above piece was Mr. John Vicars, the famous author of “ The Schismatic sifted;" who, if he sifted all schismatics as searchingly as he appears to have sifted John Goodwin, the schismatics of that age had no great reason to be much in love either
(9) Account of Ejected Ministers, p. 53.
with the sifter, or the sieve. What a masterly sifting would such a man have given to John Wesley and Walter Sellon! But they must not content themselves with Goodwin's legacy of the windmill surmounted by a weathercock.
Goodwin had an excellent talent at scurrility and abuse; whereof take the following concise example: Mr. Nedham had written two treatises against him ; the one entitled, “ Trial of Mr. John Goodwin at the Bar of Religion and right Reason:" the other, “ The great Accuser cast down;" on which the inflammable Arminian immediately took fire, and gave vent to his rage in explosions not the most gentle. He characterized Nedham as having “a foul mouth, which satan bath opened against the truth and mind of God;" as being “a person of infamous and unclean character for the service of the triers;" as "a man that curseth whatsoever he blesseth, and blesseth whatsoever he curseth (k).” And yet John Goodwin is represented as having been, like Mr. John Wesley, “a meek, lovinghearted” Arminian! Let me add, concerning the first of these Johns, that (among a multitude of other refuters) he was taken to task, in 1653, by the learned Mr. Obadiah Howe, in a performance entitled, “ The Pagan Preacher silenced (1).” I question, if any of Goodwin's pagan preachments are still extant : but such of his pagan treatises as have reached the present times, are, I find, the very Bible and Common Prayer Book of Mr. Walter Sellon. I shall close these remarks on Goodwin with some of the encomiums heaped on him by his said admirer. John Goodwin, saith this sagacious critic, was a man “whom envy itself cannot but praise; a glorious champion for the truth of the gospel, and for the genuine doctrines of the church of England (m).” Thus chaunts the godly and
(1) Athenæ, vol. ii. col. 469. (1) Ibid. 558. (m) Sellon, p. 26.
loyal Mr. Sellon : the veracity, the modesty, and the propriety of whose panegyric, may be amply collected from the foregoing testimonies, which I have produced, concerning the ranting fifth-monarchy man, J. Goodwin.
Mr. Sellon is no happier in deducing conclusions, than in the drawing of characters: witness his judicious commentary on a passage of mine, from whence he labours to distil no less than the doctrine of uni. versal salvation. In my remarks on Dr. Nowell, I testified my firm belief, that the souls of all departed infants are with God in glory: that, in the decree of predestination to life, God hath included all whom he intended to take away in infancy; and that the decree of reprobation hath nothing to do with them (n). From these premises, says Sellon, it follows, that “Mr. Toplady himself maintains general redemption, and even the universal salvation of mankind.” Logica Selloniana! As if all mankind died in infancy. “Oh, but you quoted Matthew xviii. 14. to prove the salvation of infants :" true; I did so. Let us review the text itself. is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” Supposing this to be spoken of infants, literally so called, it certainly proves, that all who die in that state are saved. “Oh, but our Lord says nothing about their dying in that state; he speaks of little ones in general, whether they live long, or die soon.” Does he indeed ? Consult verse 10. “ Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that their angels (i. e, as I understand it, the souls of such of them as die in infancy) do always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.” Now, I should imagine it impossible for the angels, or souls, of little children, always to behold the face
(n) See my Vindication of the Church of England from Arminianism.