John Goodwin, in reply to whom the following large treatise on the Doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints was written, has been aptly described by Calamy as "a man by himself." An Arminian in creed, an Independent in church-government, and a Republican in politics, "he was against every man, and had almost every man against him." Estranged, by a singular idiosyncrasy of opinions, from all the leading parties of his time, dying in such obscurity that no record of the circumstances in which he left the world has been transmitted, stigmatized with unmerited reproach by the chief historian of his age, and long reputed the very type of extravagance and eccentricity in religion and politics, he has been more recently claimed as the precursor of a most influential religious body, and all honour rendered to him as the Wycliffe of Methodism, -- anticipating the theological views of its founder, Wesley, and redeeming them from the charge of novelty. Stronger expressions of respect and praise Goodwin never received from his contemporaries than are to be found in the pages of his antagonist, Owen, who, eulogizing his "worth," his "diligence," and his "great abilities," affirms that "nothing not great, not considerable, not in some way eminent, is by any spoken of him, either consenting with him or dissenting from him."
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