John Sherman.—This excellent divine was born at Dedham in Essex, December 26, 1013, and educated hi Emanuel college, Cambridge. By the pious instructions of his worthy parents, and the excellent preaching of Mr. John Rogers, he was led to "remember his Creator in the days of his youth." He was much admired for his youthful piety, ingenuity, and industry. At Cambridge he made great progress in the various departments of useful literature; but, being required to subscribe, in order to his taking the degrees, he scrupulously refused. His arguments against subscription were to him so powerful, that, after consulting Mr. Rogers, Dr. Preston, and other eminent divines, who commended his objections, he left the university under the reproachful name of a college puritan. Those objections which he had against the established church, its subscription and its ceremonies, by which he was induced to leave the university, soon occasioned his removal out of the kingdom. When he found that he could not enjoy the peaceable exercise of his ministry in his native country without defiling his conscience, he embarked for New England, with several other ministers, in the year 1634. There he hoped to employ his talent for the glory of God and the good of souls, and to enjoy rest from the oppressive measures of the prelates.
Mr. Sherman, upon his arrival in America, preached at various places with universal applause. Having preached* before an assembly of ministers, Mr. Hooker pleasantly said to his reverend brethren, "Brethren, we must look to ourselves and to our ministry; for this young divine will outdo us all." He settled at Newhaven; where, for about two ot three years, he suspended the exercise of his ministry. During this period, he was so highly esteemed in the colony, that
• Backus's Hist. vol. i. p. 106—531.
he was chosen one of the magistrates, and he served the public with exemplary discretion and fidelity. At the expiration of that period he resumed his ministry, and continued a most zealous and faithful preacher the remainder of his days. He was invited to various places; and, upon the death of Mr. Philips of Watertown, he became his successor in the pastoral office. There he lived near Cambridge; he became fellow of Harvard college, and performed many valuable offices for that society. For upwards of thirty years the students attended upon his lectures. He experienced the happiness of growing in grace, and enjoyed the vigorous exercise of his mental powers, even to old age. "Such keenness of wit," says Dr. Mather, " such soundness of judgment, such fulness of matter, and such vigour of language, were rarely seen in a man of his years." This was, indeed, manifest in his last sermon, from Eph. ii. 8. By grace are ye saved. He was soon after attacked by a malignant fever, and died triumphing in the Lord, August 8, 1685, aged seventy-two years. He was a strict observer of the sabbath, a constant preacher, a wise counsellor, a great divine, and an excellent mathematician and astronomer. He was a great reader, and possessed so strong a memory, that his own mind, it is said, became his library. In his public ministry, he was judicious, industrious, faithful; and so fine an orator, that he was called the golden-mouthed preacher. His wisdom, discretion, and meekness were conspicuously manifest in the orderly and pious government of his large family. He was twice married. By the first wife he had six children, and by the second he had twenty.*