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John Howe

John Howe was a man of great piety, and ah excellent divine, but greatiy troubled on account of his nonconformity, when he was first induced to examine the grounds of conformity, he espoused the cause of the puritans, and continued with firmness to adhere to their sentiments. By the favour of Archbishop Laud, he became minister of Loughborough in Leicestershire; and because he could not in conscience observe all the superstitious ceremonies enjoined by this arbitrary prelate, he was thought unfit to continue his ministerial labours in so populous a town. Laud therefore suspended him from his ministry.* But the chief cause of his suspension and other troubles, was, his praying only once in the pulpit, that God would preserve the young prince from the infection of popery. The queen, the prince's mother, who was a notorious papist, had numerous popish priests about her, using their utmost endeavours to have the mind of the prince established in the popish opinions; and, indeed, one of the articles of the queen's marriage was, that all her children should be nursed and brought up near the queen, until they should

great cause of fear. Mr. Howe, for offering up the above prayer, was condemned in the high commission court, November 6, 1634, to be committed to prison during his majesty's pleasure, suspended from every part of his ministry, fined five hundrea pounds, required to make a public recantation before the court, and condemned in costs of suit.* Such was the terrible sentence inflicted upon this excellent servant of Christ for the above imaginary crime! Laud says, that " Mr. Howe's prayer expressed in these words, 4 That God would preserve the prince in the true religion, of which there was cause to fear,' was so grievous and graceless a scandal cast upon a religious king, as nothing could be greater. It was the shew of a prayer for the prince," says he, " but was, indeed, intended to destroy the ting in the hearts of the people. And," he adds, " if I had not there consented to his punishment, I had deserved to be punished myself. "}

How long this divine continued in prison, or by what means he was released from these troubles, we have not been able to learn. On account of these cruel oppressions, great numbers, both ministers and others, were driven to Holland,

• Calamy's Life of Howe, p. 5. Edit. 1784.

t Prynne't Cant. Doome, p. 420.

t Wfcartou's Troubles of Laud, Toi. I. p. 383.

arrive

There was, therefore, America, and other places; so Mr. Howe, to avoid persecution in future, sought an asylum in Ireland. He continued in that country till the breaking out of the rebellion, about the year 1641, when many thousands of protestants lost their lives. Indeed, Mr. Howe himself, and his family, were exposed to the greatest danger. The place to which they retired was for several weeks besieged and assaulted by the rebels, though without success; and by the special providence of God, which was the guard of his life, he was mercifully delivered from all his troubles. After being exposed for several years to the calamities of war, he returned to his native country, and settled in Lancashire; but at what place, or when he died, we are not able to learn.' The celebrated Mr. John Howe, silenced by the Act of Uniformity in 1662, was his son.t