Abbot, George

Abbot, George D.D., Archbishop of Canterbury, brother of Robert (inf.), one of the translators of the English Bible, and a man of great ability and learning, was born at Guildford, October 29, 1562, and entered at Baliol College, Oxford, in 1578; subsequently was made Master of University College, and, in 1599, Dean of Winchester. At the university he was first brought into contact with Abp. Laud, whose ecclesiastical schemes he opposed through life. In 1604, Dr. Abbot was the second of eight learned divines at Oxford, chosen by King James, to whom the care of translating all (but the Epistles of) the New Testament was committed. In 1608, he assisted in a design to unite the churches of England and Scotland; in which his prudence and moderation raised him high in the favor of the king, who bestowed upon him successively the bishoprics of Lichfield (1609) and of London (1610). In 1611 his majesty elevated him to the See of Canterbury. As archbishop, he had the courage to displease the king by opposing the Book of Sports, the divorce of the Countess of Essex, and the Spanish match. In 1627, he ventured the displeasure of Charles 1, by refusing to license a sermon, which Dr. Sibthorpe had preached, to justify one of Charles's unconstitutional proceedings. For this act he was suspended from his functions, but was soon, though not willingly, restored to them. A cause of deep sorrow to him, in his latter days, was his having accidentally while aiming at a deer, shot one of Lord Zouch's keepers. He died Aug. 4, 1633. He was a Calvinist in theology, and, unfortunately, very intolerant toward Arminians and Arminianism. His Life, with that of his brother Thomas, was published at Guildford (1797d 8vo). His chief works are: Six Lectures on Divinity (Oxford, 1598, 4to); Exposition of the Prophet Jonah (1600, 4to, new ed. Lond. 1845, 2 vols. with Life); A brief Description of the World (Lond. 1617, 4to, et al.) Treatise of the perpetual Visibility and Succession of the true Church (1624, 4to); Judgment of the Archbishop concerning Bowing at the Name of Jesus (Hamburg, 1632, 8vo). — Middleton, Evang. Biog.; Collier, Eccl. Hist. vol. 2; Neal, Hist. of Puritans, 1:556; Mosheim, Ch. Hist. 3, 409.

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