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churchmen had contrived to represent even despotism itself as an ordinance of God, and the most abject slavery as submission to religious 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 his 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 Wrentham 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, became 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 Holi Boni et aliorum Walliæ Principum.'
He died in 1726, leaving behind him no competitor, perhaps, in variety of acquisitions as a linguist.
Daniel Whitby, D.D.
BORN A. D. 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 2 H
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
specimen of hierarchical despotism, practised in a Protestant country in the boasted days of Protestant liberty, that it is believed the readers of this article will be glad to see it entire. It not only relates to a remarkable incident in the life of Whitby, but is a prominent feature in the history of the age. The instrument is dated October 9th, 1683, about three months after the burning at Oxford, and is clothed in the following language: "I, Daniel Whitby, doctor of divinity, chaunter in the church of Sarum, and rector of the parish church of St Edmunds in the city, and diocese of Sarum, having been the author of a book called the PROTESTANT RECONCILER, which, through want of prudence, and deference to authority, I have caused to be printed and published, am truly and heartily sorry for the same, and for any evil influence it hath had upon the dissenters from the church of England established by law, or others. And, whereas it containeth several passages, which I am convinced in my conscience are obnoxious to the canons, and do reflect upon the governors of the said church, I do hereby openly revoke and renounce all irreverent and unmeet expressions contained therein, by which I have justly incurred the censure and displeasure of my superiors. And, furthermore, whereas these two propositions have been deduced and concluded from the same book, namely,-first, that it is not lawful for superiors to impose any thing in the worship of God, that is not antecedently necessary; and, secondly, that the duty of not offending a weak brother is inconsistent with all human authority of making laws concerning indifferent things,-I do hereby openly renounce both the said propositions, being false, erroneous, and schismatical, and do revoke and disclaim all tenets, positions, and assertions contained in the said book, from whence these positions can be inferred, and, whereinsoever I have offended therein, I do heartily beg pardon of God, and the church, for the same."
We ought not, however, to judge of the temper of the whole English church at that time by the conduct of Bishop Ward. If report speaks truly, as we have reason to think it does, from this example, his character was not one which the enlightened would praise, or the virtuous envy. As a professor of astronomy at Oxford, and for his mathematical attainments, he was justly eminent; but Anthony Wood-who speaks from personal knowledge-tells us of his shuffling for popular favour, and of his, "cowardly wavering for lucre and honour's sake, his putting in and out, and occupying other men's places for several years." such a man should be a tyrant, is not so strange as that a whole church should have looked on without indignation. If the conduct of Ward was reprehensible in the highest degree, the humiliating submission of Whitby is by no means to be commended. He had written what he believed to be the truth, and with the best motives; he had yielded to the impulse of his conscience, and ventured to say what he thought. His independence should not have forsaken him at the moment when it was most needed to maintain the honesty of his intentions, and the stability of his character, and thereby to give weight to his writings. The cause in which he had engaged, either did not deserve the labour which he had bestowed, or it was worthy of the noble sacrifice which he was called to make, of all worldly considerations, when brought in competition with truth and right. It was some apology, perhaps, that he had then published only half of his work, and that what remain
ed was calculated to wear off the rough aspect of his remarks on church authority. Had his enemies been patient, they would have had less occasion for violence. It was his object to bring churchmen and dissenters together by mutual concessions, and his plea was, that each party should yield to the other in things indifferent. As yet he had alluded chiefly to the concessions which it became the church to make. The affronted dignity and eager malice of his adversaries found it not convenient to wait till the whole subject should be fairly presented before them.
Shortly after Whitby's mortifying retraction, the author published the second part of the Protestant Reconciler.' This was especially designed for the dissenters, showing reasons why they might join conscientiously with the church of England, and answering the objection of non-conformists against the lawfulness of submission to that church. It has been insinuated, that he wrote this part under the influence of authority, with the purpose of counteracting the tendency of the first. This is an illiberal surmise; for the work must have been far advanced in printing before his retraction, and is evidently in unison with his original scheme.
Dr William Sherlock undertook to confute the whole work, two years after the second part was published. In his 'Dedicatory Epistle to the Archbishop of Canterbury,' he affects to consider the Protestant Reconciler's' arguments as very weak and inconclusive; but he condescends to allow, "that he had managed the cause to as much advantage as a popular and insinuating rhetoric could give it." Whitby made no reply to Sherlock, nor to any other person who wrote against him in this controversy. On the whole, it may be doubted whether this method of reconciling protestants was likely to be of much practical utility. Very important preliminaries must first be settled. What shall be called things indifferent? This must be debated by both parties, before they can start in the work of reconciliation. And next, which party shall yield first, and in the greatest number of particulars? Till these preliminaries are adjusted, nothing can be done; and it is idle to suppose that they ever can be adjusted by a mutual compact. Time and reflection, the dominion of reason, and the progress of moral improvement, guided by the light and precepts of the gospel, are the only effectual reconcilers of Christians.
Whitby continued to write occasionally against the church of Rome, and employed much learning in discussing the authority of general councils, the claims of the pope to infallibility, and various other matters then subjects of high debate between the English and Catholic churches. Among his best writings in this controversy is a ‘Treatise on Traditions.' His inquiries are first made to bear on the scriptures ; and he satisfies himself, that we have sufficient evidence from tradition that they are what they profess to be, the word of God; and that genuine and authentic copies have been perserved. In prosecuting these inquiries further, he maintains, that the church of Rome places too much confidence in traditions; that many things which have passed for traditions are novelties; and that the heathens used the same argument of traditionary authority in favour of their rites, which has been used by many Christians in support of ceremonies and customs not prescribed in the scriptures.