John Goodwin - Encyclopedia




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JOHN GOODWIN (c. 1594-1665), English Nonconformist divine, was born in Norfolk and educated at Queens' College, Cambridge, where he was elected fellow in 1617. He was vicar of St Stephen's, Coleman Street, London, from 1633 to 1645, when he was ejected byparliament for his attacks on Presbyterianism, especially in his Osoµaxia (5644). He thereupon established an independent congregation, and put his literary gifts at Oliver Cromwell's service. In 1648 he justified the proceedings of the army against the parliament ("Pride's Purge") in a pamphlet Might and Right Well Met, and in 1649 defended the proceedings against Charles I. (to whom he had offered spiritual advice) in ' /3puQroblhat. At the Restoration this tract, with some that Milton had written to Monk in favour of a republic, was publicly burnt, and Goodwin was ordered into custody, though finally indemnified. He died in 1665. Among his other writings are AntiCavalierisme (1642), a translation of the Stratagemata Satanae of Giacomo Aconcio, the Elizabethan advocate of toleration, tracts against Fifth-Monarchy Men, Cromwell's "Triers" and Baptists, and Redemption Redeemed, containing a thorough discussion of. .. election, reprobation and the perseverance of the saints (1651, reprinted 1840). Goodwin's strongly Arminian tendencies brought him into conflict with Robert Baillie, professor of divinity of Glasgow, George Kendall, the Calvinist prebendary of Exeter, and John Owen, who replied to Redemption Redeemed in The Doctrine of the Saints' Perseverance, paying a high tribute to his opponent's learning and controversial skill. Goodwin answered all three in the Triumviri (1658). John Wesley in later days held him in much esteem and published an abridged edition of his Imputatio fidei, a work on justification that had originally appeared in 1642.

Life by T. Jackson (London, 1839).

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