Amner, Richard

, a dissenting divine, was born at Hinckley in Leicestershire in 1736, and was for many years a preacher at Hampstead, near London, and afterwards at Coseley, in Staffordshire, from which he retired in his latter days to his native town, where he died June 8, 1803. He was a man of some learning in biblical criticism, as appears by his various publications on theological subjects. He wrote, 1. “An account of the occasion and design of the positive Institutions of Christianity, extracted from the Scriptures only,1774, 8vo. 2. “An essay towards an interpretation of the Prophecies of Daniel, with occasional remarks upon some of the most celebrated commentaries on them,1776, 8vo. 3. “Considerations on the doctrine of a Future State, and the Resurrection, as revealed, or supposed to be so, in the Scriptures; on the inspiration and authority of the Scripture itself; on some | peculiarities in St. Paul’s Epistles; on the prophecies of Daniel and St. John, &c. To which are added, some strictures on the prophecies of Isaiah,” 1798, 8vo. In this work, which is as devoid of elegance of style, as of strength of argument, and which shows how far a man may go, to whom all established belief is obnoxious, the inspiration of the New Testament writers is questioned, the genuineness of the Apocalypse is endeavoured to be invalidated; and the evangelical predictions of Isaiah are transferred from the Messiah to the political history of our own times. The most singular circumstance of the personal history of Mr. Amner, was his incurring the displeasure of George Steevens, the celebrated commentator on Shakspeare. This he probably did very innocently, for Mr. Steevens was one of those men who wanted no motives for revenge or malignity but what he found in his own breast. He had, however, contracted a dislike to Mr. Amner, who was his neighbour at Hampstead, and marked him out as the victim of a species of malignity which, we believe, has no parallel. This was his writing several notes to the indecent passages in Shakspeare, in a gross and immoral style, and placing Mr. Amner’s name to them. These appeared first in the edition of 1793, and are still continued. 1

1 Gent. Mag. 1798, 1803.