Henry Tozer, B. D.—This learned person was born at North-Tawton in Devonshire, in the year 1602, and educated in Exeter college, Oxford, where he took his degrees, and was afterwards chosen sub-rector and fellow of lhe house. Havmg entered into the ministerial oflice, it is said, that he
Was useful in moderating, reading to novices, and lecturing in the chapel. He was an able and a laborious preacher, had much of "the primitive religion in his sermons, and seemed to be a most precise puritan in his looks and life, on which account his sermons and expositions in the churches of St. Giles and St. Martin in Oxford, were much frequented by the puritanical party. In the year 1643, he was nominated one of the assembly of divines, but declined his attendance, "choosing," says VVood, " to remain at Oxford, and preach before the king or parliament, rather than venture himself among rigid Calvinists." He was a noted theologian, and having preached at Christ's Church before his majesty, or at St. Mary's before the parliament, he was appointed by the chancellor of the university, in 1646( to take his doctor's degree; but this in like manner he refused.*
Mr. Tozer was a divine of puritan principles; yet, on account of his unshaken loyalty and the use of the Common Prayer, after it was set aside, he experienced some trouble from the opposite party, of which the following account is given by the pen of Dr. Walker:—" Dr. Hakewell having retired from the college, the government," says he, " of course devolved upon Mr. Tozer as sub-rector; nor did he betray or disgrace his post, but shewed himself a stout champion against the illegal visitation, boldly and resolutely opposed it, maintained in the highest degree the rights of the college, and made a noble stand in defence of his own freehold, and that of the other fellows, when that mock-reformation was set on foot, after the surrender of the garrison to the parliament." March 21, 1647,1 find him upon a citation before the visitors at Merton college, having been accused to them of " continuing the Common Prayer in the college, after the ordinance for the directory came in force: Also of having sent for and admonished one of the house, for refusing to attend the chapel-prayers on that account." He had also constantly shewed" the utmost dislike to those of the parliament faction, and always countenanced and patronized the loyalists of his college. Although the visitors had thought fit to put off the term; yet, as Dr. Fell, the vice-chancellor, had proceeded to open it at the usual time in the university, without any regard to that order, so did Mr. Tozer also in his private college. * These informations," says our author, " the visitors had, gotten from the spies and setters of the house; for which they were afterwards rewarded with the fellowships of those who by that means were ejected. A most excellent encouragement to informers! And let me add," says he, " that in direct contradiction to the very letter of the statutes, they ordered one of them to receive the rents of the college, and soon after made him sub-rector, though he was at that time, or only a few months before, no more than batchelor of arts."
* Wood') Attica* Oxod. vol. ii. p. 71, 78. VOL. III. I
To the above criminations Mr. Tozer desired time to put in his answer, which was granted him. When he returned his answer, he disowned their authority, saying, " That the things about which he was questioned, concerned the disciplme of the college; and that he had some time before answered in the name of the whole college, that they could not, without perjury, submit to any other visitors than those to whom their statutes directed them." This answer being unsatisfactory to the visitors, they ordered him to be ejected; and committed the execution of the sentence to the soldiers of the garrison. However, Mr. Tozer still kept possession of his college for some time; and, June 29, 1648, the visitors sent for him again, and in direct opposition to the statutes of the house, peremptorily forbade him to proceed to an election the day following; and to effectually prevent him, they expelled him both from the college and the university. He refused after all to deliver up the keys of the college and to be perjured, when they proceeded to apprehend and imprison him. There is one circumstance more concerning his sufferings which, says our author, must not be omitted, viz. " That the second of the same month, he was dragged out of St. Martin's church by the soldiers, and forbidden to officiate there any more; because, forsooth! he preached pestilential doctrine." The visitors, however, afterwards moderated their sentence; allowed him the use of his chamber in the college; and appointed him the profits of a travelling fellowship, to be allowed him for three years: "but," our author adds, " whether it was ever paid him, or not, 1 cannot say."» Upon the appointment of this allowance, he went to Holland, aud became minister to the English merchants at Rotterdam, where he died September 11, 1650, aged forty-eight years, and his remains were interred in. the English church at that place. Dr. Thomas Marshall, who
.* Walker's Attempt,part ft.p. 115.
succeeded him in the preacher's office, says," he was always taken for an honest and a conscientious puritan."*
His Works.—1. Directions for a Godly Life, especially for communicating at the Lord's Table, 1628.—2. A Christian Amendment, a Sermon on New-years-day at St. Mary's Ch. in Ox. on 2 Cor. v. 17., 1633.—3. Dicta et facta t'hristi ex quatour Evangclistis collecta, et in online dispesila, 1634.—4. Christian Wisdom, or the Excellency, &c. of true Wisdom, a Sermon on 1 Kings x. 24., 1639.—5. A Scrnion on John xviii. 3., 1640.