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GOODWIN, TII0MAS (1600-1679), a prominent English divine of the later Puritan period, was born at Rollcsby, Norfolk, on the 5th of October 1600, and a little before the completion of his thirteenth year was enrolled a student of Christ's College, Cambridge, where in 1616 he proceeded to the degree of B.A. In 1619 he removed to St Catherine's Hall, and there in 1620 he was chosen fellow. In 1625 he was licensed a preacher of the university ; and three years afterwards he became lecturer of Trinity Church, to the vicarage of which he was presented by the king in 1632. Harassed by the interferences of his bishop, who was a zealous adherent of Laud, he resigned all his preferments and left the university in 1634. He then seems to have lived for some time in London, where in 1638 he married the daughter of an alderman; but, in the following year, he found it expedient to withdraw to Holland, and for some time was pastor of a small congregation of English merchants and refugees at Arnheim. Returning to London soon after Laud's impeachment by the Long Parliament, he ministered for some years to an Independent congregation in the parish of St Dunstan's-in-tlie-East, and rapidly rose to considerable eminence as a preacher ; in 1643 he was chosen a member of the Westminister Assembly, and at once identified himself with the Congregational party, generally referred to in contemporary documents as "the dissenting brethren." He frequently preached by appointment before the Commons, and in January 1650 his talents and learning were rewarded by the House with the presidentship of Magdalen College, Oxford, a post which he held until the period of the Restoration. He rose into high favour with the Protector, and ultimately became somewhat prominent among his more intimate advisers. From 1660 until his death, which occurred on the 23d of February 1679, he lived in London, and devoted himself exclusively- to theological study and to the pastoral charge of a small congregation which his piety and intellectual abilities had attached to him.
The works published by Goodwin daring his lifetime consist chiefly of sermons printed by order of the House of Commons ; but he was also associated with Nye and others in the preparation of the Apologetieall Narration (1643). His collected writings, which include expositions of considerable portions of the Epistle to the Ephcsians and of the Apocalypse, were published in five folio Toluenes between 1681 and 1704, and have recently been reprinted in twelve 8vo volumes (Edin. 1361-66). Characterized by great yet one-sided reading, remarkable at once for the depth and for the narrowness of their observation and spiritual experience, often admirably thorough in their workmanship, yet in style prolix to a degree that, by modern readers at least, is sometimes found to be almost intolerable, - they fairly exemplify both the merits aml the defects of the special school of religions thought to which they belong. Calamy's estimate of Goodwin's qualities may be emoted as both friendly and just. "He was a considerable scholar and an eminent divine, and had a very happy faculty in descanting upon Scripture so as to bring forth surprising remarks, which yet generally tended to illustration." A memoir, derived from his own papers, by his sou is prefixed to the fifth volume of his collected works ; as a " patriarch and Atlas of Independency " lie is also noticed by Wood in the Athena: OX0711ell3eS. A somewhat amusing sketch, from Addison's point of view-, of the Puritan president of Magdalen's is to be met with in No. 494 of the Spectator.