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An Elegy Upon the late Learned and Laborious Servant of Christ, John Owen

Anonymous 168311    This was printed in John Owen’s Seventeen Sermons, volume 1, (printed for, and sold by William and Joseph Marshall at the Bible in Newgate-street. 1720), after the Death Sermon on Owen by David Clarkson. It is unknown if the elegy was written by Clarkson or not.

When such a Father doth in Israel die,

Who can forbear to sound an Elegy?

Which may at once His Worth and Praise rehearse,

And Our great Loss lament in mournful Verse,

With tributary Tears doe to His Hearse;

Who was a piercing, burning, beautious Light,

Whose Rays enliven’d, warm’d, and shin’d most bright!

Not that this Venerable Person’s Hearse

Doth need (at all) the Ornament of Verse;

But this Respect is paid, due by the Laws

Of Gratitude; His Name asks no Applause;

He rais’d Himself a Monument of His own,

Which will out-last those of the hardest Stone:

His Fame will live to late Posterity

In’s Theo-Christo-Pneuma-tology,

And various Volumes more, where we may find

How in His Soul rich Gifts and Grace were joyn’d:

His Learned Tongue, which living, did impart

Words from His own unto His Hearers Heart,

And taught those Truths, whose Worth and Excellence

Were felt before in His Experience,

Alas! is silenc’d now! But still his Pen

Does and will preach to multitudes of Men:

Such sound and weighty Doctrines does unfold,

As try’d by Scripture Touch-stone, prove true Gold.

Which shew the Dross, the false, the vile Opinions

Of Atheists, Deists, Papists, and Arminians,

Of Neonomians, Quakers, and Socinians!

This skilful Architect, who built upon

The only Fundamental Corner-stone,

Took no small Care the Diff’rence to descry

Between true Grace, and meer Morality:

Did not, as most, the Outside only scower,

But to the form of Piety joyn’d the Power:

Not only taught, but trod the Gospel Path,

And both defended and adorn’d the Faith.

His zealous Love to Father, Son, and Spirit,

From all true Christian Hearts Esteem did merit!

Where shall we find on Earth His Parallel,

Who Spoke, and Wrote, and Liv’d, and Dy’d so well?

Many there are that have by Him been fed,

Instructed, Help’d, Rais’d, Cur’d, and Comforted:

These might have made His Hearse with Tears to swim,

But that their Loss prov’d greatest Gain to Him;

Who long had travell’d in the Narrow way,

And borne the heat and burden of the Day;

Tho’ to our Loss, we needs must yield, that such

Should go to Rest, who bore an did so much;

And may we learn of Him to conquer Death,

Who, when His Work was finish’d here beneath.

Lay down in Peace; and as the Sun (we say)

Setting serene, foretels ’twill shine next Day;

So This great Luminary’s lightsom Even,

Shew’d with what Splendor He now shines in Heav’n!

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