Forbes, William

Forbes, William bishop of Edinburgh, was born at Aberdeen, 1585, and was educated at Marischal College. About the age of twenty he went abroad and studied at the German universities, especially Helmstadt and Heidelberg. He returned after five years, and was offered the chair of Hebrew at Oxford; but he declined it, and became minister first at Alford, next at Monimusk, and afterwards at Aberdeen. About 1617 he was chosen principal of Marischal College in that city, and about 1619 he accepted a pastorate in Edinburgh, When Charles I was in Scotland in 1633 he heard Forbes preach, and said that he had found a man who deserved to have a see erected for him. His patent from the king, to be the first bishop of Edinburgh, bears date the 26th of January, 1634, and he died April 1 in the same year. He wrote Considerationes modestae et pacificae controversiarum de justificatione, purgatorio, invocatione sanctorum, which was published postumomsly (Lond. 1658, 8vo; are printed, With an English version, in the Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology, Oxford, 1850-56, 2 volumes, 8vo). This work is a storehouse of learning on. the subject, but does not maintains the Protestant doctrine of justification. It embodied a proposal for an accommodation between the Protestant Episcopal churches and the Church of Rome, the only result of which would have been to make episcopacy regarded with more suspicion in Scotland than it was. Some other polemicas works. of. his which had raised high expectations were lost. Burnet, characterizing his eloquence, says that "he preached with a zeal and vehemence that made him forget all the measures of time — two or three hours was no extraordinary thing for him" (English Cyclopedia).— Hook, Eccles. Biog. 5:158; Encyclopedia Britannica, 9:777.

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