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MR. GOODWIN'S MEETING, COLEMAN STREET.
to the highest pitch of perfection; but each have been warped in their judgment by an undue bias for or against the principles he professed. In doctrine an Arminian, in discipline an independent, and in politics a republican, he did not fail to incur the hatred of those who were otherwise minded. That he was a man of considerable learning is evident from his writings, as well as from the testimony of learned men ; and he appears to have possessed a remarkable talent for disputation. Dr. Calamy observes of him, “he had a clear head, a fluent tongue, a penetrating spirit, and a marvellous faculty in descanting on scripture ; and with all his faults must be owned to have been a considerable man, by those who will take the pains to peruse his writings."* The late Mr. Toplady, whose zeal in behalf of the supra-lapsarian system, improperly called Calvinism, is well known, will not allow our author a single good quality. On the contrary, he has loaded his name with the most reproachful epithets, and taxed him with crimes which are merely the offspring of party prejudice. As the name of Mr. Toplady has acquired considerable weight in the religious world, it may be necessary to inform the reader, that Mr. Goodwin's Arminian principles were the sole foundation of all the spleen discovered by that writer ; who, not contented with pronouncing him an heretic, has likewise made him an hypocrite. Though this be an easy way of getting rid of an adversary, it does not at all affect the points in dispute; but it weakens a cause when the author resorts to the disgraceful practice of calling ill names. The publishers of one of Mr. Goodwin's posthumous pieces has given a more favourable account of him. They express themselves thus : “ The author himself, now at rest, having finished the work which God had judged meet for him, and for which he was sent into the world, was a man whose heart was set within him, to serve his generation with all
• Calamy's Account, p. 53.
+ Toplady's Historic Proof, Introduction
MR. GOODWIN'S MEETING, COLEMAN-STREET.
faithfulness in the great work of the ministry of the gospel; not much valuing the approbation, or displeasure of men, when the interest of his great Lord and Master, and the present peace and everlasting welfare of men were concerned, being indeed very faithful and laborious in that great work. So that we may, without vanity, say of him, as our blessed Saviour said of John the Baptist, He was, in his time, a burning and a shining light; and many did much rejoice, at least for a season, in his light ; although at some times, in the faithful discharge of his duty, he met with the same measure which his great Lord and Master had measured unto him in the days of his flesh.”* (1)
The character of Mr. Goodwin, as drawn by the accurate pen of Mr. Granger, is too striking to be omitted. “JOHN GOODWIN, minister of Coleman-street, was a man who made more noise in the world than any other person of his age, rank, or profession. He had the hardiness to introduce Arminianism among the Calvinists, which he bravely and zealously defended, both in his sermons and writings. It is hard to say, whether he displayed more courage in attacking or repelling the enemy. It is certain that he had a very powerful body to deal with, as it was said, that “ he was a man by himself; was against every man, and had every man almost against him." His genius seemed to be adapted to polemical divinity, and to an age of faction and tumult. He was appointed by the council of war to attend upon Charles I. a little before his execution. This was deemed an insult upon fallen majesty; as no man more eagerly promoted, or more zealously defended the murder of the King.
• Mr. Goodwin's Discourses on being filled with the Spirit. Prefatory Epistle.
(1) By a manuscript in Lambeth palace, quoted by Mr. Granger, it should seem that Mr. Goodwin was a Norfolk man. The MS, says, “ Johannes Goodwin, Norfolc, became fellow of Queen's College, in Cam. bridge, in 1617."-Biog. Hist. England, vol. iii. p. 42, note,
His discourses and writings on this subject were wril remembered at the Restoration; but it was alsu remembered, that he had sown the seeds of division among the sectaries, which is supposed to have saved his life.”*
As Mr. Goodwin displayed considerable talent in polemical writing, so the number of his controversial pieces was extremely great, insomuch that it would be no easy thing, as Dr. Calamy observes, to reckon them up with any exactness. Several of these pieces have been already nouced: it only remains to mention briefly such other of his performances as have come to our knowledge. The title of his first publication we are not acquainted with, unless it be one of those hereafter-mentioned, to which we can affix no date. The second piece which Mr. Goodwin published, was entitled, “ God a good Master, and Protector to his people. Opened in several sermons on Isaiah viii. 13, 14." Lond. 1641. Twelves. It is dedicated to Mrs. Elizabeth Hampden, mother to the patriot, and aunt to Oliver, Lord Protector. One of his next publications was, “quartz; or, the grand Imprudence of fighting against God: Two Sermons on Acts v. 38.” 4to. 1644. In 1648, he published in quarto, “ The Divine Authority of the Scriptures asserted; or, the Great Charter of the World's Blessedness vindicated." Lond. 1648. To this book is prefixed a good portrait of the author, engraved by Glover; and underneath are eight verses expressive of the rare combination of gifts and graces possessed by the person wbom it represents. The book is dedicated to the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled. It was about this time that Mr. Goodwin published in quarto, a treatise, entitled, “ Imputatio Fidei; or, a Treatise of Justification;" which was followed in 1651, by what may be accounted his principal performance, not only on account of its bulk, but as it has made the most noise in the world. It is entitled, “ 'Amorú pedig
• Granger's Biog. Hist. England, vol. iii. p. 42.
MR. GOODWIN'S MEETING, COLEMAN-STREET.
'Atoautphoews ; or, Redemption Redeemed. Wherein the most glorious Work of the Redemption of the world by Jesus Christ, is by Expressness of Scripture, Clearness of Argument, Countenante of the best Authority, as well ancient as modern, vindicated and asserted in the just Latitude and Extent of it, according to the Counsel and most gracious Intentions of God, against the Incroachments of later Times made upon it, whereby the unsearchable Riches and Glory of the Grace of God therein have been, and yet are much obscured, and hid from the Eyes of many. Together with a sober, plain, and thorough Discussion of the great Questions relating hereunto, as, viz. concerning Election and Reprobation, the Sufficiency and Efficacy of the Means unto Men by God to repent and believe; concerning the Perseverance of the Saints, and those who do believe; concerning the Nature of God, his Manner of acting, bis Intentions, Purposes, Decrees, &c. the Dependency of all Creatures, or second Causes, upon him, as well in their Operations, as simple Existences, or Beings, &c. By John GOODWIN, a-Servant of God in the Gospel of his dear Son." Lond. 1651. Folio. The long title of this book will give the reader some idea of the important subjects upon which it treats; and it cannot be denied that he has discussed them with great learning and ingenuity. The quotations from ancient and modern authors are very numerous; and, some persons will be surprised to find not only the most eminent fathers and reforiners of the church, but even Calvin himself, represented as favouring the doctrine of general redemption. This work is dedicated to the learned Dr. Benjamin Whichcot, Provost of King's College, and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.
In the year 1655, Mr. Goodwin attacked the Baptists in a treatise, in quarto, entitled, “ Catabaptism ; or, NewBaptism waxing old, and ready to vanish: a Treatise for Infant Baptism.” In 1663, he published, in quarto, “ An Exposition of the ninth Chapter of the Epistle of Paul to the
MR. GOODWIN'S MEETING, COLEMAN-STREET.
Romans.” To the following pieces we cannot assign their dates : “ A Catechism ; or, principal Heads of the Christian Religion.”—“ The Saint's Interest in God; opened in several Sermons.”—“ Return of Mercies ; or, Saints' Advantage by Losses.” Besides the works here enumerated, it is probable that Mr. Goodwin published many other pieces upon controversial and other subjects, the titles of which have not come to our knowledge.
After his death there was published, in quarto, “ langwua rò Ilvevyatınóv; or, a being filled with the Spirit. Wherein is proved, that it is a Duty incumbent on all Men (especially Believers) that they be filled with the Spirit of God. With rules whereby to judge whether Men be filled with the Spirit of God, or a contrary Spirit. Likewise the Way and Means whereby Men may be filled with the Spirit of God. As, also, the Divinity, or Godhead of the Holy Ghost asserted, and the Arguments brought against it thoroughly examined and answered, &c. In several Sermons from Eccles. v. 18. By that pious, learned, and laborious Servant of God, Mr.John Goodwin." Lond. 1670. A recommendatory epistle was prefixed to this book by Mr. Ralph Venning, an eminent nonconformist minister, of known calvinistical principles. He says concerning it, “ I cannot but acknowledge to have profited by the perusal.—Though I confess myself not to be of the same mind and opinion with the learned author in some other controverted points, yet I cannot but give my testimony concerning this piece, that I find an excellent spirit moving on the face, and acting in the heart of it, to promote the glory of God, the power of godliness, and consequently the good of men, especially of Christian men. Possibly an expression here and there (as all human writings do) call for a grain of salt, as we use to phrase it; but as to the tenor of the whole, and the tendency thereof, I do judge it to be very inoffensive, and not a little, but very useful. The author, 'tis true, according to his wonted genius, doth often traverse a great deal of ground, fetcheth