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to him, because the Chapel of Highgate is situated in that parish,
"Dr. Atterbury enjoyed a good share of health till he was about seventy, and usually preached once every Sunday: his delivery was simple and easy with out any manner of affectation. After this period, the infirmities of old age, and a stroke (though a gentle one) of the palsy, made him less constant in the pulpit, and occasioned his going frequently to Bath, where he died after a short illness on the 20th of October, 1731.
"In his will he gave some few books to the Libraries at Bedford and Newport, and upwards of 200. volumes of pamphlets to the Library of Chrift Church. He charged his estate for ever with the payment of ten pounds yearly to a school-mistress, to instruct the girls at Newport-Pagnel, which salary he had in his lifetime paid for many years.
"Dr. Atterbury published some translations from the French-Letters relating to the History of the Council of Trent-a Defence of Archbishop Tillotson's Arguments against Popery-a few single Sermons-and two small volumes of Sermons chiefly controversial,"
Between Dr. Atterbury and his brother the Bishop there seems to have been some disagreement about the Archdeaconry of Rochester, the Bishop having, virtually, promised it to him, and afterwards giving it to Dr. Brydges, brother of the Duke of Chandos. Had the Bishop been a Whig I should not have been surprized at his duplicity!!!
The posthumous Sermons of Dr. Atterbury, those, at least, which I have selected, may, strictly, be denominated Evangelical, Happy would it have been for the Church of England, had her Clergy, always, addressed such to her hearers, applying to their hopes. and fears, rather than with some, chiefly to the imagination, or with others, entirely to the understanding.
ZACHARY BROOKE was admitted of St. John's College, Cambridge, and took the degree of B. A. in 1737, and afterwards chosen Fellow of his College: he was made M. A. in 1741, B. D. in 1748, and S. T. P. in 1753. In 1766 he was chosen Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity, after a warm contest with Dr. Law, afterwards Bishop of Carlisle; to which Professorship is annexed the rectory of Tor rington in Norfolk. He had been, previously, appointed Chaplain to his late Majesty: he was collated by the Bishop of Ely to the rectory of Ickleton near Cambridge, with which he held the rectory of Forncet in Norfolk. He died in 1788.
The Monthly Reviewers do not represent his sermons as possessed of the highest excellence: for according to their opinion, a sermon, as to its composition, cannot posses excellence.
"The subjects of these discourses are chiefly practical, and are treated in a florid declamatory manner, having little more to recommend them to readers of discernment and taste, than a clear and easy flow of language. It is, indeed, extremely difficult to represent religious truths, though universally allowed to be of the utmost importance, in a striking and agreeable manner; mediocrity, therefore, in regard to composition, is, and necessarily must be, the general character of all productions of this kind."
I do not quote the Critical Review: Dr. Brooke's principles are, what those writers term, Evangelical; he is, therefore, very unworthily, the object of their abuse.
MR. CATCOTT was born about the year 1695: where he received his school-education I have not been informed. He was of St. John's College, Oxford, LL.B. and chosen Fellow. He was afterwards appointed Master of the Grammar-school in Bristol, and about five years before his death was presented by the Lord Chancellor to the rectory of St. Stephen's, in Bristol, in which he was succeeded by the celebrated Dean Tucker. As a preacher, he made a very distinguished figure, and in his parish he was highly esteemed: in the discharge of his professional duties he was very exemplary, and, in the several relations of life, recommended and enforced, by his example, the purity of that Gospel which he studied with diligence, and illustrated with ability. He was greatly afflicted in his health for the twenty last years of his life; and died at the age of fifty four. He is buried in the chancel of St. Stephen's.
Mr. Catcott, as a classical scholar, an Hebraist, and metaphysician, was, deservedly, eminent. It appears from his sermons that he was an Hutchinsonian, as also the Editor of them, who, it may be presumed, was
Mr. Catcott had five children. His eldest son, Alexander, was Vicar of Temple in Bristol: like his father, he was learned and ingenious. He was the author of a Treatise on the Deluge. He died in 1779. His second son, George, was among the advocates for the authenticity of Rowley's Poems. He was well acquainted with Chatterton, and corresponded with the first literary characters on the subject.of that controversy. He died in 1802.
For this short sketch I have to return my public thanks to a Clergyman of great worth and respecta bility, whose name I am not authorized to mention.
FOR the annexed memorial of Bishop Conybeare I am indebted to his son, the Rev. Dr. Conybeare, late Rector of St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, and Prebendary of York, extracted from the last edition of the Biographia Britannica, from materials supplied by himself.
"John Conybeare, D. D. Bishop of Bristol, and Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, son of the Rev. John Conybeare, Vicar of Pinho near Exeter, was born at Pinho, Jan. 31, 1691-2. He received the first rudiments of his education at the grammar-school in the city of Exeter. From hence he was removed in Feb. 1707-8 to Exeter College, in Oxford, where he was Fellow, and a tutor for many years; and at length was elected to the headship in 1730. With his fellowship he held the rectory of St. Clement's, in Oxford, a small living, to which he was presented by the Lord Chancellor Macclesfield. He had, likewise, the honor of being appointed one of his Majesty's preachers at Whitehall in 1724, on the first establishment of that institution."
"Dr. Conybeare was, early, noticed as a preacher before the University, and was, frequently, attended, even at his parish church, by many auditors from that body. His merits as a Divine, and the service he had rendered to Religion, by his defence of revealed Religion against the exceptions of Dr. Tindal, procured him the favor of Bishop Gibson, who recommended him to his Majesty, King George the second, for the deanery of Christ Church-a station which he filled for the space of twenty years and upwards."
"When advanced in life (1750) he was promoted to the bishopric of Bristol. He enjoyed this preferment but a short time, being carried off by the gout at Bath in July, 1755."
"Besides the two volumes of Sermons, published by subscription after his death; there are twelve sermons of the Bishop's extant, printed separately by him in his life-time, five of which have been published in the Enchiridion Theologicum printed at Oxford 1792."
I was told by the late Rev. Mr. Collins, Vicar of Knaresbrough, in Yorkshire, that, during his residence at Oxford, both when an under-graduate, and afterwards when a Fellow of University College, he regularly went to St. Clement's to hear Dr. Conybeare; of whom, as a preacher, he spoke with rapture, and thought that an injury was done to his memory by publishing his University, rather than his practical, sermons: and on Mr. Collins's judgment I had a perfect reliance.
I extract the following character of Bishop Conybeare's sermons from the Monthly Review.
"These discourses have afforded us no small satisfaction in the perusal; as they abound with just and solid reflections, useful observations on the conduct of human life, and clear reasonings on a variety of important subjects. The author's manner of writing may not, indeed, be very pleasing to those who expect to find in sermons something to touch their hearts, and warm their affections. Those, however, who are better pleased with an address to their judgments than to their feelings, will, in general, meet with a great deal of rational entertainment in these discourses."