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BORN A. D. 1632.-DIED A. D. 1718.
This learned prelate was born in London in 1632. He received his education at the school of St Paul's, and at Magdalene-college, Oxford. His first clerical preferment was to the rectory of Brampton, in Northamptonshire. In 1691 he was elevated to the bishopric of Peterborough. He died in 1718.
Bishop Cumberland bore an unblemished reputation throughout a long life. As a prelate, he was unostentatious; assiduous in the discharge of his functions; charitable, and pious. As a scholar, his reputation stood high among his contemporaries. His principal works are, • De Legibus Naturæ Disquisitio Philosophica,'-a treatise, directed against the philosophy of Hobbes, which was translated into several European languages; An Essay on Jewish Weights and Measures ;'
Origines Gentium Antiquissimæ ;' and · The Phænician History of Sanchoniathos, translated from Eusebius.'
BORN A, D. 1678.-DIED A. D. 1720.
Simon OCKLEY, an eminent Orientalist, was born at Exeter in 1678. After a proper foundation in school-learning he was sent, in 1693, to Queen's college, Cambridge, where he soon distinguished himself by great quickness of parts, as well as by intense application to literature, and to the Oriental languages more particularly. He took at the usual times the degrees in arts, and that of B. D.
Having taken holy orders, he was, in 1705, through the interest of Simon Patrick, bishop of Ely, presented by Jesus college, in Cambridge, to the vicarage of Swavesey in that county; and, in 1711, he was chosen Arabic professor of the university. These preferments he held to the day of his death, which happened at Swavesey, the 9th of August, 1720.
Ockley had the culture of Oriental learning very much at heart; and his several publications were all intended solely to promote it. In 1706, he printed at Cambridge a useful little book, entitled, "Introductio ad Linguas Orientales,' 12mo. Prefixed is a dedication to his friend the bishop of Ely, and a preface addressed to young collegians, whom he labours to excite by various arguments to the pursuit of Oriental learning; assuring them in general, that no man ever was, or ever will be truly great in divinity without at least some portion of skill in it: “Orientalia studia, sine quorum aliquali saltem peritiâ nemo unquam in Theologia vere magnus evasit, imo unquam evasurus est." There is a chapter in this work relating to the famous controversy between Buxtorf and Capellus, upon the antiquity of the Hebrew points, where Ockley professes to think with Buxtorf, who contended for it: but he afterwards changed his opinion and went over to Capellus, although he had not any opportunity of publicly declaring it.
In 1707, he published from the Italian of Leo Modena, a Venetian rabbi, The history of the present Jews throughout the World; being an ample, though succinct, account of their customs, ceremonies, and manner of living at this time: to which is subjoined a supplement, concerning the Carraites and Samaritans, from the French of Father Simon, 12mo. In 1708, he published a curious little book, called, The Improvement of Human Reason, exhibited in the life of Hai Ebn Yokdham, written above 500 years ago by Abu Jaafar Ebn Tophail,' from the Arabic, and illustrated with figures, 8vo. The design of the author, who was a Mahometan philosopher, is to show, how human reason may, by observation and experience, arrive at the knowledge of natural things, from thence to supernatural, particularly the knowledge of God, and a future state ; the design of the translator, to give those who might be unacquainted with it, a specimen of the genius of the Arabian philosophers, and to excite young scholars to the reading of Eastern authors. This was the point our rabbi had constantly in view ; and therefore in his · Oratio Inauguralis' for the professorship, we find him insisting upon the beauty, copiousness, and antiquity of the Arabic tongue in particular, and upon the use of Oriental learning in general, and dwelling upon the praises of Erpennius, Golius, Pocock, Herbelot, and all who had any ways contributed to promote the study of it.
In 1713, his name appeared to a little book with this title, “An Account of South West Barbary, containing what is most remarkable in the territories of the King of Fez and Morocco.
Written by a person who had been a slave there a considerable time, and published from his authentic manuscript. To which are added, Two Letters ; one from the present King of Morocco to Colonel Kirk; the other to Sir Cloudesley Shovel; with Sir Cloudesley's answer,' 8vo. While we are enumerating these small publications of the professor, it will be but proper to mention two sermons; one, Upon the dignity and authority of the Christian Priesthood,' at Ormond chapel, London, in 1710; another, “Upon the necessity of instructing Children in the Scriptures,' at St Ives, in Huntingdonshire, 1713. To these we must add a new translation of the second Apocryphal book of Esdras, from the Arabic version. Mr Whiston, we are told,' was the person who employed him in this translation, upon a strong suspicion that it must needs make for the Arian cause he was then reviving ; and he accordingly published it in one of his volumes of • Primitive Christianity Revived.' Ockley, however, was firmly of opinion, that it could serve nothing at all to his purpose, as appears from a printed letter of his to Mr (afterwards Dr) Thirlby, in which are the following words : “ You shall have my Esdras in a little time, two hundred of which I preserved when Mr Whiston reprinted his, purely upon this account, because I was loath that any thing with my name to it should be extant only in his beretical volumes. I only stay till the learned
· See the preface to • An Epistolary Discourse concerning the Books of Ezra genuine and spurious, but more particularly the Second Apocryphal Book under that name,
and the variations of the Arabic Copy from the Latin,' By Francis Lee, M. D. author of the 'History of Montanism.'
churchmen had contrived to represent even despotism itself as an ordinance of God, and the most abject slavery as submission to religi. ous principles. Against such doctrines the bishop-though himself a high churchman-entered his protest in this work, and proved that the apostle Paul requires no more submission to the higher powers of a state, on the part of the governed, than that which is enjoined by the laws of the country.
BORN A. D. 1671.-DIED A. D. 1724.
This prelate was the son of Sir John Dawes, Baronet, and was born near Braintree in Essex, on the 12th of September, 1671. He received his early education at Merchant-tailors' school in London; and had made very great proficiency in the classics, and in Hebrew, before going to the university. In 1687 he became a scholar of St John's college, Oxford, of which he was afterwards chosen a fellow ; but on the family estate and title devolving upon him, by the death of his father and two elder brothers, he went to Cambridge, and entered himself as a nobleman at Catherine hall, where he took his degree of M. A. On arriving at competent age, he was ordained deacon and priest, by Compton, bishop of London; and shortly after was created D. D. by royal mandate, in order to qualify for the mastership of Catherine hall, vacant by the death of Dr Eachard.
In 1696 he was made one of his majesty's chaplains in ordinary, and soon after was presented to a prebendal stall in Worcester cathedral. He stood high in favour with Queen Anne, and would have earlier arrived at a bishopric, but for his having given utterance to some rather unpalatable truths from the pulpit in his majesty's hearing. When told of what he had done, and the opportunity he had lost of advancing himself, he replied that he was not at all concerned about the matter; it had never been bis intention to gain a bishopric by falsifying his preaching. To the see of Chester, however, he was elevated in 1707, on the death of Dr Stratford ; and in 1713, by the special recommendation of his predecessor, Dr Sharp, he was translated to the archiepiscopal see of York. He filled this high station about ten years.
His death took place in April, 1724. His works were collected and published after his death, in three vols. 8vo. Archbishop Dawes was a sincerely good and pious man.
He identified himself with no party in the state; but appears to have confined himself as much as his station would allow him to his proper ecclesiastical duties. His talents were not of a high order, but his character and conduct were in all respects unimpeachable.
William Wotton, D. D.
BORN A. D. 1666.-DIED A. D. 1726.
William Wotton, son of the Rev. Henry Wotton, rector of Wren. tham in Suffolk, was born in August, 1666. It is said that at the age of five years he had made considerable progress in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. His memory was prodigious, and to it he was mainly indebted for his singular acquirements. Before he had completed his tenth year he was admitted of Catharine-hall, Cambridge, on which occasion, Dr Eachard, the master, entered his name on the rolls in the following terms: “ Gulielmus Wottonus, infra decem annos, nec Hammondo nec Grotio secundus." At twelve years of age he had added a knowledge of the Arabic, Syriac, and Chaldee languages to his previous acquisitions. He took the degree of B. A. in 1679; and, in 1691, becanie B. D. The same year he was presented by Bishop Lloyd to the sinecure of Llandrillo ; and, in 1693, the earl of Nottingham preferred him to the rectory of Middleton-Keynes. In 1705, Bishop Burnet gave him a prebendal stall in Salisbury cathedral; and in 1707 he had the degree of D. D. conferred upon him by Archbishop Tenison.
In 1694 Wotton published his Reflections upon Ancient and Modern Learning,' in refutation of Temple's celebrated essay upon the same subject. His next publication of any importance was · The History of Rome, from the death of Antoninus Pius to the death of Severus.' This appeared in 1701. It was undertaken at the request of Bishop Burnet, for the use of his pupil, the duke of Gloucester. In 1718 he published a valuable work, entitled, Miscellaneous Discourses relating to the Traditions and Usages of the Scribes and Pharisees.' In 1730 was published his posthumous work, of immense labour and erudition, entitled, “Leges Wallicæ Ecclesiasticæ et Civiles Hæli Boni et aliorum Walliæ Principum.'
He died in 1726, leaving behind him no competitor, perhaps, in variety of acquisitions as a linguist.
Daniel wahitby, D. D.
BORN A. V. 1638.--DIED A. D. 1727.
ALTHOUGH Whitby's life was lengthened to nearly a century, yet very few facts concerning him are found recorded, except such as may be gleaned from his own writings, and these exhibit little more, so far as he is personally concerned, than a history of his opinions. Thirty years before his death, Anthony Wood, in the • Athenæ Oxonienses,' wrote a brief account of his life and writings up to that period; and this has served as the basis, and sometimes has furnished the materials of the entire structure, for succeeding biographers. To the second edition of Whitby's Last Thoughts, printed after his death, Dr Sykes prefixed a short notice of the author, which contained little else than a repetition of Wood's account, and the titles and dates of all Whitby's works. The same was again repeated without any essential addition, in the · Biographia Britannica." The supplement to Moreri's Dictionary comprises a few other particulars, collected from notices of some of Whitby's publications, as inserted from time to time in Le Clerc's Bibliothèque.' In Chauffepie's Continuation of Bayle, the article on Whitby in the Biographia Britannica, is translated, but without any thing new, except a few remarks on his writings. From
all these sources, and from some others of minor consequence, it is not possible to collect materials, which can be put together in the shape of a memoir, or connected narrative. A short analysis of some of the author's principal works is all that will be attempted.
Daniel Whitby was born at Rushden, Northamptonshire, 1638. His father was a clergyman of that place, and a man of some eminence as a scholar and divine. Under his guidance the son made rapid progress in his early studies, and at the age of fifteen was admitted a commoner of Trinity college, Oxford. He took the degree of M. A. in 1660, and four years after was elected fellow of the same college. He was appointed chaplain to Dr Ward, bishop of Salisbury, and in 1688, was made prebendary of Yatesbury. In 1672 he took the degree of Doctor of Divinity, was admitted chanter of the Cathedral church, in his bishop's diocese, and raised to the rectorship of St Edmund's church, Salisbury. He was appointed prebendary of Taunton-Regis in 1696, and to the duties of some or all of these stations, he seems to have been devoted during the remainder of his life.
While Whitby was at the university, the popish controversy ran high in England, and his early publications were on that subject. As an author he first came before the public about the time that he was advanced to his fellowship; and during the fifteen years following, he published six different treatises, chiefly in confutation of some of the peculiarities of the Romish church, or in reply to opponents. He also found leisure to write concerning the laws, both ecclesiastical and civil, which ignorance, or power, or prejudice, or bigotry, had made in different ages of the church against heretics ; and he exposed in their true colours the wickedness and folly of persecution.
One of his most celebrated works, · The Protestant Reconciler,' was published in 1683. The title is a significant indication of the author's design. His project was to bring all protestants together, and especially the protestants of England, in the bonds of Christian union and love. He first pleads for condescension on the part of the established church towards dissenters, in things indifferent and unnecessary; and among those he reckons some of the ceremonies of the church, to which dissenters had always been strenuously, and no doubt conscientiously, opposed. He took the ground, that whatever is indifferent, or whatever may be changed without violating the laws of God, ought not to be imposed by superiors as absolute terms of communion. By relaxing the rigour of established forms on these points, and admitting all persons to church-fellowship whose faith and conduct rendered them worthy, he flattered himself that the barriers of separation might be demolished, and a method provided for reconciliation and peace. But the sequel proved, that he little knew in what dreams he was indulging. His work was condemned by a formal decree of the university of Oxford, as containing doctrines false, impious, and seditious; and, as Wood affirms, it was forthwith burned by the hands of the universitymarshal in the quadrangle of the schools. This was no doubt an excellent thing for the bookseller, as nobody would fail to buy and read a book which had been judged worthy of such a distinction by the grave convocation of a university. The offending author was arraigned before Bishop Ward, in whose diocese he held his offices in the church, and was compelled to make a formal retraction. This is so curious a