Wonderful original early 18th century painting of the influential and persecuted Welsh Puritan, James Owen.
Measuring 25 x 30 without the frame and 28 x 33 with it, this painting has been lovingly and professionally restored and is ready to hang. This is the original 18th century painting of Owen and would be a lovely addition to a library of Puritan, Presbyterian, or Welsh theological works.
James Owen, born in Carmarthenshire, Wales in 1654, was the second son of John Owen. Edmund Calamy, the puritan historian and friend of James, records in his history of the Nonconformists that Owen, when just 22, was accused of Conventicle holding while preaching in North Wales and was forced to flee. He was taken in by Welsh Puritan, Hugh Owen [1639-1700], known as the Apostle of Meironnydd, and became for some time his assistant. Hugh Owen himself had been ejected at the Act of Uniformity in 1662. After a short time, James took charge of the Dissenting congregation at Oswestry and there became fast friends with Philip Henry and his son, Matthew. From there, Owen’s reputation grew among Dissenters as a Divine of deep personal piety and pastoral and theological care. He preached the funeral sermons for both Philip Henry and for Hugh Owen and also began his own theological academy, which was held in high repute among Puritans and other Dissenters.
Owen was at heart a Presbyterian and what might be described as a moderate Calvinist, considering people like Richard Baxter and Philip and Matthew Henry as his theological equivalents.
His published words include, Moderation a Virtue and its sequel, Moderation Still a Virtue. He was, much like Philip and Matthew Henry, a person of deep piety, and recognized the same spirit in Anglicans, Congregationalists, and other Dissenters he knew and cared for, regardless of theological differences. This made him a person of some flexibility on issues of conscience. Additionally, he published several theological works in Welsh, including a Reply to Benjamin Keach on Baptism, a Translation of the Shorter Westminster Catechism, and a Welsh hymnal with contributions by revivalist Daniel Rowland and Griffith Jones of Llanddowror. We could also add to the list The Dissenters Fully Vindicated, Church Pageantry Displayed; Or, Organ Worship Arraign’d and Condemn’d, and many others. He was a leading man in the last generation of experimental puritanism in England and Wales.
His life is recalled in Some Account of the Life and Writings of the Late Pious and Learned Mr. James Owen, 1709, Calamy’s Noncomforists’ Memorial, etc.