Assheton, William

Assheton, William an English clergyman, was born at Middleton, Lancashire, in 1641, and educated at Brasenose College, Oxford. He took orders, and published at Oxford, in 1670, A Treatise against Toleration, which reached a second edition in the following year. Four years after appeared his work Of Scandal and of Persecution, which obtained for him the living of Beckenham, in Kent, in 1676. At this period he was a warm advocate of the divine right of kings, and published the Royal Apology, in favor of king James II, in which he upheld the scriptural doctrine of obedience to the kingly authority (Lond. 1685). But in the course of three years his opinions changed, and he put himself forward as the champion of the prince of Orange and his wife, in a work called An Apology for the Reigning Sovereigns (ibid. 1688). He also wrote many works against the Dissenters, especially the Anabaptists and Socinians. In 1701 he published the first part of his Explication of the Church Catechism; and in the year following, Directions for Prayer, as well as A Project for Establishing in each Diocese a Fund for the Relief of Poor Clergymen. In 1703 he published his Defence of the Immortality of the Soul; and in 1706 his chief devotional work viz. A Praxis of Devotion for the Sick and Dying. He also gave to the public, in that year, A Treatise on the Possibility of Apparitions; and subsequently, A Collection of Prayers for all Occasions, taken from Taylor, Cosin, Ken, and others; and a Defence of the Clergy, in reply to a work entitled The Rights of the Christian Church. The above are but a few of the many writings which he left. - He died at Beckenham, Sept. 17,1711. See Wood, Athen. Oxonien.

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