Law, Edmund

Law, Edmund D.D., a noted English prelate, was born in 1703, near Cartmel, in Lancashire, and was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge; was elected fellow upon graduation, and in 1737 was, by the university, presented with the rectory of Gravstock, in Cumberland. To this living was added in 1743 the archdeaconry of Carlisle. These positions he held until 1756, when he returned to Cambridge as master of St. Peter's College. Later he was appointed librarian of the university and professor of casuistry. was made archdeacon of Stafford, was presented with a prebend in the church of Lincoln, and in 1767 with one of the rich prebends in the church of Durham, and in 1768, finally, was honored with the bishopric of Carlisle. He died in 1787. While yet a student at Cambridge, Law published two works which show at once the peculiar turn of his own mind, and secured him a place among the best and wisest instructors of their species. The first of these was his translation of archbishop King's Essay on the Origin of Evil, with copious notes, in which many of the difficult questions in metaphysical science are considered; the second was his Inquiry into the Ideas of Space and Time. In 1743, while a resident of Salkeld, on the pleasant banks of the Eden, a part of the living of Carlisle, which Law was then holding, he began his third work, Considerations on the Theory of Religion, etc. (Camb. 1745, 1749, 1755, 1765, 8vo; London, 1774, 8vo, 7th ed., Carlisle, 1784, 8vo; new edit. by bishop George H. Law, of Chester, with Life of bishop Edmund Law by Williams Paley, D.D., Lond. 1820, 8vo), and shortly after, Reflections on the Life and Character of Christ (Camb. 1749, 8vo; often reprinted with the Considerations), "a work of singular beauty, not to be read by any person without edification and improvement." In 1777 he published an edition of the works of Locke, with a life of the author. Of this English philosopher bishop Law was ever an ardent follower and able interpreter. Indeed, "the peculiar character of Dr. Law's mind appears to have been acquired in a great measure by a devoted study of the writings of that philosopher. From him he seems to have derived that value which he set on freedom of inquiry, in relation to theology as well as to every other subject. He took a prominent part of the great controversy respecting subscription, and acted accordingly himself. The most striking proof of this is afforded in the later edition of his Considerations, which contains many important alterations. From Locke also he seems to have derived his notions of the proper mode of studying the sacred Scriptures in order to come at their true sense. He was, in short, an eminent master in that school of rational and liberal divines which flourished in England in the last century, and is adorned by the names of Jortin, Blackburne, Powell, Tyrwhitt, Watson, Paley, and many others." See English Cyclopaedia, s.v.; Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, 2:1065.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.