Arrowsmith, John

, an English divine and writer, was born at or near Newcastle- upon Tyne, March 29, 1602. He was admitted of St. John’s college, in Cambridge, in 1616, and took his first two degrees from thence in 1619 and 1623. In this last year he was chosen fellow of Katherine hall, where he is supposed to have resided some years, probably engaged in the tuition of youth; but in 1631 he married, and removed to Lynn in Norfolk. He continued in this town, very much esteemed, for about ten or twelve years, being first assistant or curate, and afterwards minister in his own right, of St. Nicholas chapel there. He was afterwards called up to assist in the assembly of divines had a parish in London, and is named with Tuckney, Hill, and others, in the list of Triers, as they were called i. e. persons appointed to examine and report the integrity and abilities of candidates for the eldership in London, and ministry at large. When Dr. Beale, master of St. John’s college, was turned out by the earl of Manchester, Mr. Arrowsmith, who had taken the degree of B. D. from Katherine hall eleven years before, was put into his place; and also into the royal divinity chair, from which the old professor Collins was removed and after about nine years possession of these honours, to which he added that of a doctor’s degree in divinity, in 1649, he was farther promoted, on Dr. Hill’s death, to the mastership of Trinity college, with which he kept his professor’s place only two years his health being considerably impaired. He died in Feb. 1658-9.

Dr. Arrowsmith is represented as a learned and able divine, but somewhat stiff-and narrow; his natural temper | is said to have been incomparably better than his principles, and all agree that he was a man of a most sweet and engaging disposition. This, says Dr. Salter, appears through all the sourness and severity of his opinions, in his “Tactica Sacra,” a book written in a clear style, and with a lively fancy in which is displayed at once much weakness and stiffness, but withal great reading and a very amiable candour towards the persons and characters of those, from whom he found himself obliged to differ. This book he dedicated to the fellows and students of his college, and published it in 1657, to supply the place of his sermons, which his ill health would not permit him to preach in the chapel. He also printed three sermons; and in 1659 his friends, Horton and Dillingham, masters’ of Queen’s and Emanuel colleges, published a collection pf his theological aphorisms in quarto, with the title of "Armilla Catechetical Dr. Whichcote, in one of his letters, speaks of him with high respect, although he had no agreement with him in his principles, which were Calvinistic. Mr. Cole praises him for being remote from the latitudinarian principles of modern times. 1


Dr. Sailer’s Preface to Whichcote’s Letters appended to Dr. W’s Aphorisms, H53. Neal’s Hist, of the Puritans, vol. II. Cole’s ms Athens Cantab, m Brit. Mus.