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scribed by Phlegon," in answer to a Dissertation of Dr. Sykes upon that Eclipse and Earthquake; in 1736, “ Athanasian Forgeries, Impositions, and Interpolations;" the same year, « The Primitive Eucharist revived," against Bp. Hoadly's “ Plain Account of the Lord's Supper;" in 1737, “ The Astro-. nomical Year, or an Account of the many remarkable Celestial Phænomena of the great Year 1736," particularly of the Comet, which was foretold by sir Isaac Newton, and came accordingly; the same year, in folio, “ The genuine Works of Flavius Josephus, the Jewish Historian *, in English, as translated from the original Greek according to Havercamp's accurate edition ; illustrated with new Plans and Descriptions of Solomon's, Zorobabel's, Herod's, and Ezekiel's Temples, and with correct Maps of Judea and Jerusalem ; together with proper Notes, Observations, Contents, parallel Texts of Scripture, five complete Indexes, and the true Chronology of the several Histories adjusted in the Margin: to which are prefixed eight Dissertations of."
In 1739, he put in his claim to the Mathematical Professorship at Cambridge, then vacant by the death of Saunderson, in a letter to Dr. Ashton, the Master of Jesus College; but no regard was paid to it. In 1745, he published his “ Primitive New
* I have a copy of it, with a considerable number of curious Notes in MS. by Mr. Bowyer.
+ “1. The Testimonies of Josephus vindicated. 2. The Copy of the Old Testament, made Use of by Josephus, proved to be that which was collected by Nehemiah. 3. Concerning God's Command to Abraham, to offer up his Son Isaac for a Sacrifice. 4. A large Enquiry into the true Chronology of Josephus. 5. An Extract out of Josephus's Exhortation to the Greeks, concerning Hades, and the Resurrection of the Dead. 6. Proofs that this Exhortation is genuine. 7. A Demonstration that Tacitus, the Roman Historian, took his History of the Jews out of Josephus. 8. A Dissertation of Cellarius against Harduin, in Vindication of Josephus's History of the family of Herod, from Coins : with an Account of the Jewish Coins, Weights, and Measures." This is reckoned the most useful of all Whiston's learned labours, and accordingly has met with the greatest encouragement. . It was shrewdly suspected that the letter was secreted, and never produced to the Heads who were the Electors.
Testament in English;" in 1748, his «Sacred History of the Old and New Testament, from the Creation of the World till the Days of Constantine the Great, reduced into Annals;" and the same year, “ Memoirs of his own Life and Writings," from which this article is principally formed.
He continued long a member of the Church of England, and regularly frequented its' service, although he disapproved of many things in it; but at last forsook it, and went over to the Baptists *.
This conscientious and worthy many died, after a week's illness, Aug. 22, 1752, aged 84 years eight
* This happened when he was at the house of Samuel Barker, esquire, at Lyndon in Rutland, who had married his only daughter; and there it was that he dates the following memorandum :
“ I continued in the Communion of the Church of England till Trinity Sunday 1747 ; for, though I still resolved to go out of the church if Mr. Belgrave continued to read the Athanasian Creed, so did he by oniitting it, both on Easter-day and Whitsunday this year, prevent my leaving the public worship till Trinity Sunday, while he knew I should go out of the church if he began to read it-yet did he read it that day, to my sura prize; upon which I was obliged to go out, and go to the Baptist meeting at Morcot two miles off, as I intend to go hereafter, while I am here at Lyndon, till some better opportunity presents of setting up a more primitive congregation myself."
+ His principal Works have been mentioned in the course of the above Memoir; so that nothing more need be said of them in particular; and for his complexion and character, though they may easily be collected from the foregoing account, yet, as they happen to have been delineated by two very distinguished persons, it may be right to subjoin what each hath said of him; and the rather, as they both intended to represent him fairly. The persons here meant are, bp. Hare and Mr. Collins. The former, taking occasion to speak of Mr. Whiston, calls him a man of “ a fair untulemished character; one, who has all his life been cultivating piety and virtue, and good learning; rigidly constant himself in the public and private duties of Religion, and always promoting in others virtue and such learning as he thought would conduce most to the honour of God, by manifesting the greatness and wisdom of his works. He has given the world sufficient proofs that he has not mis-spent his time, by very useful works of Philosophy and Mathematicks. He has applied one to the explication of the other, and endeavoured by both to display the glory of the great Creator. And, to his study of Nature, he early joined the study of the Scriptures; and his attempts, whatever
months and 15 days *; and was buried at Lyndon, near his wife, who died in January 1750-1, at the house of his son-in-law Mr. Barker.
the success be, were at least well meant; and, considering the difficulty of the subjects he has been engaged in, it must be alJowed that in the main they are well aimed." In 1724, which was about a dozen years after Bp. Hare's piece came out, Mr. Collins published " A Discourse of the Grounds and Reasons of the Christian Religion ; which, after having examined in it a Work of Mr. Whiston, he concludes with an account of Mr. Whiston himself; who, he tells us, by his numerous writings, had for some time past made no small noise, not only in England, but in divers parts of Europe. “ He is,” says Mr. Collins, 1" a person of extraordinary natural parts, and of great acquired 'learning, particularly in Philosophy and Mathematicks, but abore all in Theology; which he has studied with the greatest application and integrity in the Scriptures, and in the Writings of the Antients ; despising the Catechisms, Confessions, or Articles of Faith and Traditions of all modern Churches, and the Commentarics on Scripture and systematical books of all modern TherJogues. He knows how to make the best of every argument he takes in hand. By his sagacity and quickness, by the compass of his reading, and by his great memory, he omits nothing that can be urged or wire-drawn to support any sentiments he espouses; as is manifest from many of his Theological Works. He is an upright and very religious man, and a most zealous Christian; lead. ing a moral life, as is cominon to most who are styled Heretics; cultivating in himself, and promoting in others, such virtue and learning as he thinks would conduce most to the honour of God, by manifesting the greatness and wisdom of his works ;' re. nouncing glory, riches, and ease, which he might have had with the applause of all, and envy of none, anı. willingly and courageously undergoing obloquy, poverty, and persecution (all three whereof have been his lot, and the two former will be always), for the sake of a good conscience."
* The following original anecdotes are from a MS note by his son John : “ Mr. William Whiston being in company once with Mr. Addison, Sir Richard Steele, Mr. Secretary Craggs, and Sir Robert Walpole, they were busily engaged in a dispute, whether a Secretary of State could be an honest man. Mr. Wbiston. not intermeddling in it, was pressed to declare his opinion : which at length he did, by saying — He thought honesty was the best policy; and if a Prime Minister would practise it, he would find it so. To which Mr. Craggs replied. It might do for a fortnight, but would not do for a month.' Mr. Whiston asked him, - If he had ever tried it for a fortnight? To which ha making no reply, the company gave it for Mr. Whiston.-He was much esteemed by the late Queen Caroline, who generously made him a present of 50l. every year from the time she became
. He left behind him one daughter, Sarah, the wife of Mr. Barker (see p. 503); and two sons * ; George, and John Whistont, for many years a very consi
Queen ; which pension his late Majesty continued to him so long as he lived. The Queen usually sent for him once in the summer, whilst she was out of town, to spend a day or two with her. At Richmond (it happened) she, who loved his free conversation, asked him what people in general said of her. He replied, “That they justly esteemed her, as a Lady of great abilities, a Patron of Learned Men, and a kind Friend to the Poor.' • But (says she) no one is without faults-pray which are mine?' Mr. Whiston begged to be excused speaking on that subject; but she insisting, he said, Her Majesty did not behave with proper reverence at Church.' She replied, “ The King would talk with her. He said, 'A greater than Kings was there only to be regarded,' She acknowledged it, and confessed her fault. Pray (says she) tell me what is my next.' He replied, "When I hear your Majesty has amended of that fault, I will tell you of your next.' So it ended. I have often heard my Father tell this. J. W." · * A Mr. Daniel Whiston, nearly related to William, died April 19, 1759, æt. 82.
+ Mr. John Whiston, in a MS note in the Life of Father White · (otherwise Thomas de Albis), an English priest, well known in the seventeenth century, says, “ He wrote a little tract, 'On the Grounds of Obedience and Governinent, 1652,' 4to. to defend submission to Cromwell's Government, on the Doctrine of St. Paul, · The Powers that be are ordained of God. In the Rebellion of 1745, I wrote a letter, printed in the General Evening Post (about December), with a large quotation from this book, addressed to the Papists, shewing their obedience to the Government to be just and lawful, from their own principles. J. W."
There is a neat print of Father White by Vertue.
The following detached literary notes from the pen of the same ingenious Writer are worth preserving.
“ Sir Richard Baher's Chronicle was much in esteem till Ra. pin's History of England was published, which was the best His. tory we then had. Baker's method of arrangement was a very good one; very convenient for the memory, by separating Civil from Ecclesiastical affairs; famous men who Hourished in each monarch's reign; remarkable events in Nature, &c.; each under a particular head.
“Mr. Thomas Baker was Author of an ingenious Book, called Reflexions upon Learning : shewing the uncertainty of it in many points, and how superficially we know what we think we know best. He was a great Antiquary in English affairs, and a general Scholar. He took the Oaths to King William and Queen Anne, but refused them to George the First. This was strange! Queen Vol. I. LL
derable bookseller in Fleet-street; London; who died on the 3d of May, 1780.
Anne's Title stood upon Act of Parliament; King George's did the saine. Upon his own principles he should have been a Nonjuror at the Revolution."
“Captain John Bererley published a History of Virginia, 1724; a very sensible history, and worth reading."
“ Dr.Castell's Library was purchased by Mr. Hollings of Shrewsbury; whose grandson, Counsellor Hollings, sold most of it to me. There were many curious Oriental books, and a few MSS. which I sold to Dr. Letherland."
“John Dunton, an eminent Printer and Author among the Dissenters, and a great Projector, and ruined himself thereby. He wrote a book which he called his “ Life and Errors;" very candidly confessing them. He gives an account of his dealings in trade ; and intersperses the characters of the most eminent Booksellers from 1670 to 1700. It is an entertaining work. Those whom he speaks in particular very well of are, Chiswell, Knapton, Knaplock, Browne senior, Grafion, &c."
“ Dugdale's Embanking, a very scarce book; many of them being burnt in the Fire of London, 1666.-Of the Origines Judiciales there are three editions, 1666, 1671, 1680. The copper plates are finer in the first edition ; but there are additions in the two last. That of 1690 is the most useful edition. Of the Monasticon the third volume is the scarcest. The three I have known sold for 18 pounds, or guineas, about 1728.”
“ Joseph Greenhill, a Surgeon, wrote “ The Art of Embalming 1706,” 4to, with plates; a curious work."
“Before the castrated sheets of Holinshed were printed, a perfect sett sold for 401."
“ George Monk. He was a phlegmatick man, so could easily command his temper; a happy constitution! But his behaviour towards Clarendon on his fall seems very blameable. His conduct was very mysterious in 1659; but, when he saw the strong bent of the people to their lawful Sovereign, he fell in with it. His Son soon dissipated the wealth his Father had amassed; and was made Governor of Jamaica to support him, where he soon died. Dr. Sloane (Sir Hans) went over with him, as his Physician, about 1636.".
" Andrew Motte, a good Mathematician, and Fellow of Gresham College. He published an Abridgement of the Philosophical Transactions from where Lowthorp ended in 1700, to 1720, in two vols. 4to. ; also a Treatise on Mechanicks and Mechanical Powers, 8vo.: 2d edition is enlarged. He died about 1730: was brother to Benjamin Motte, an eminent Bookseller.”