Shower, John

, an eminent and pious divine, was born at Exeter in May 1657, and educated in school learning at his native city, whence, at the age of fourteen he was placed at a dissenting academy at Taunton, and afterwards at another at Newington-green, London. Having gone through the usual course of studies in these seminaries, and having decided in favour of nonconformity, he was encouraged by the celebrated Dr. Manton, to preach as a candidate for the ministry before he was quite twenty years of age. Two years after, in 1679, he received ordination from some dissenting ministers, but in a very private way, and his first settlement appears to have been as assistant to Mr. Vincent Alsop, at the meeting Tothill-fields, Westminster. He was also one of those who established a lecture against popery, which was carried on with good success in a large room in Exchange-alley.

In 1685 he was prevailed upon by sir Samuel Barnardiston to accompany his nephew on his travels upon the continent. This gave him, what few of his brethren had enjoyed, an opportunity of visiting the most remarkable places in France, Swisserland, Italy, &c. and of returning with additional stores of useful knowledge. On his return through Holland, Mr. Shower parted with the companions | of hfs tour, and resided in that country about two years. In 1686 he was again in London, and took his turn at the lecture in Exchange-alley, but disapproving of the vacillating measures of the court both towards the dissenters and the papists, he again went abroad, and took up his residence partly at Utrecht, and partly at Rotterdam, where far three years he officiated as lecturer to the English church. Here he remained until 1690, when he accepted a call to become assistant to the learned John Howe, at his meeting in Silver-street, London; whence, after other changes, he was finally settled at the new meeting-house in the Old Jewry, lately pulled down. Here he continued to preach with great popularity* until his death, after lingering illnesses, June 28, 1715, in the fifty-ninth year of his age. He was buried at Highgate. His works are very numerous, but consist chiefly of sermons moulded, for the press, into the shape of treatises, of which the principal appear to be, J. “Serious Reflections on Time and Eternity,” 12mo. 2. “Practical Reflections on the late Earthquakes in Jamaica, Italy, &c. with a particular historical account of those and divers other earthquakes,1693, 12mo. 3. “Family Religion, in three letters to a friend,” 16L4, 12mo. 4. “The Life of Henry Gearing,1694, 12mo. 5. “The Mourner’s Companion, or Funeral Discourses on several texts,1699, 12mo. 6. “Sacramental Discourses, &c.” 7. “Winter Meditations,” &c. &c. &c. 1


Life by Tong.—Wilson’s Hist, of Dissenting Churches.—Prot. Dissenters’ Magazine, vol. 1V. and VI.