« Prev To the truly noble and my ever honoured friend,… Next »

To the truly noble and my ever honoured friend,
Sir Edward Scot,
of Scot’s Hall in Kent,
Knight of the Honourable Order of the Bath.


Having of late been deprived of the happiness to see you, I make bold to send to visit you; and because that the times are troublesome, I have made choice of this messenger, who, having obtained a license to pass, fears no searching. He brings no news, at least to you, but that which was from the beginning, and must continue unto the end, which you have heard, and which (for some part thereof) you have practised out of the word of God. He hath no secret messages prejudicial to the state of church or commonwealth; neither, I hope, will he entertain any such comments by the way, considering from whom he comes and to whom he goes; of whom the one would disclaim him and the other punish him. Ambitious I am not of any entertainment for these few sheets, neither care much what success they find in their travel, setting them out merely in my own defence, to be freed from the continued solicitations of some honest, judicious men, who were acquainted with their contents, being nothing but an hour’s country discourse, resolved from the ordinary pulpit method into its own principles. When I first thought of sending it to you, I made full account to use the benefit of the advantage in recounting of and returning thanks for some of those many undeserved favours which I have received from you; but addressing myself to the performance, I fainted in the very entrance, finding their score so large that I know not where to begin, neither should I know how to end. Only one I cannot suffer to lie hid in the crowd, though other engagements hindered me from embracing it — namely, your free proffer of an ecclesiastical preferment, then vacant and in your donation. Yet, truly, all received courtesies have no power to oblige me unto you in comparison of that abundant worth which, by experience, I have found to be dwelling in you. Twice, by God’s providence, have I been with you when your county hath been in great danger to be ruined, — once by the horrid insurrection of a rude, godless multitude, and again by the invasion of a potent enemy prevailing in the neighbour county; at both which times, besides the general calamity justly feared, particular threatenings were daily brought unto you: under which sad dispensations, I must crave leave to say (only to put you in mind of yourself, if it should please God again to reduce you to the like straits), that I never saw more resolved constancy, more cheerful, unmoved Christian courage in any man. Such a valiant heart in a weak body, such a directing head where the hand was but feeble, such unwearied endeavours under the pressures of a painful infirmity, so well advised resolves in the midst of imminent danger, did I then behold, as I know not where to parallel. Neither can I say less, in her kind, of your virtuous lady, whose known goodness to all, and particular indulgences to me, make her, 4as she is in herself, very precious in my thoughts and remembrance: whom having named, I desire to take the advantage thankfully to mention her worthy son, my noble and very dear friend C. Westrow; whose judgment to discern the differences of these times, and his valour in prosecuting what he is resolved to be just and lawful, place him among the number of those very few to whom it is given to know aright the causes of things, and vigorously to execute holy and laudable designs. But farther of him I choose to say nothing, because if I would, I cannot but say too little. Neither will I longer detain you from the ensuing discourse, which I desire to commend to your favourable acceptance, and with my hearty prayers that the Lord would meet you and yours in all those ways of mercy and grace which are necessary to carry you along through all your engagements, until you arrive at the haven of everlasting glory, where you would be. I rest your most obliged servant in Jesus Christ, our common Master,

John Owen.

« Prev To the truly noble and my ever honoured friend,… Next »
VIEWNAME is workSection