Cave, William

, a very learned divine, was born at Pickwell, in Leicestershire, of which parish his father was rector, Dec. 30, 1637. On the 9th of May, 1653, he was admitted into St. JohnVcollege, in Cambridge, where he took the degree of B. A. in 1656, and that of M. A. in 1660. In August 1662, he was admitted to the vicarage of Islington, in Middlesex-, and some time after became chaplain in ordinary to king Charles 11. He took the degree of D. D. in 1672, and on the 16th of September, 1679, was collated by the archbishop of Canterbury to the rectory of Allhallows the Great, in Thames-street, London. In July 1681, he was incorporated D. D. at Oxford, and in | November 1684, he was installed canon of Windsor, upon the death of Mr. John Rosewell; about which time, as Mr. Wood tells us r he became rector of Hasely, in Oxfordshire; but that seems to be a mistake, as the rectory of Hasely is annexed to the deanery of Windsor. He resigned his rectory of Allhallows in 1689, and the vicarage of Islington in 1691; but on the 19th of November before, namely, in 1690, he was admitted to the vicarage of Isleworth, in Middlesex, which being a quiet and retired place, probably suited best his most studious temper. He published: 1. “Primitive Christianity; or the Religion of the ancient Christians in the first ages of the Gospel,London, 1672, reprinted several times since. 2. “Tabulae Ecclesiastics,” tables of the ecclesiastical writers, Lond. 1674, reprinted at Hamburgh, in 1676, without his knowledge. 3. “Antiquitates Apostolicae: or the history of the lives, acts, and martyrdoms of the holy apostles of our Saviour, and the two evangelists, St. Mark and St. Luke. To which is added an introductory Discourse concerning the three great dispensations of the church, Patriarchal, Mosaical, and Evangelical. Being a continuation of `Antiquitates Christianas,' or the Life and Death of Holy Jesus,” written by Jeremy Taylor, afterward bishop of Down and Connor, Lond. 1676, fol. 4. “Apostolici, or the History of the lives, acts, deaths, and martyrdomsof those who were contemporaries with or immediately succeeded the Apostles as also of the most eminent of the primitive fathers for the first three hundred years. To which is added, a Chronology of the three first ages of the Church,” Lond. 1677, fol. 5. “A Sermon preached before the right honourable the lordmayor, aldermen, and citizens of London, at St. Mary-leBuw, on the fifth of November, M.DC.LXXX.London, 1680, 4to. 6. “A Dissertation concerning the Government of the Ancient Church, by bishops, metropolitans, and patriarchs. More particularly concerning the ancient power and jurisdiction of the bishops of Rome, and the encroachments of that upon other sees, especially the see of Constantinople;” Lond. 1683, 8vo. 7. “Ecclesiastic!, or the History of the lives, acts, deaths, and writings of the most eminent Fathers of the Church that flourished in the fourth century. Wherein, among other things, an account is given of the rise, growth, and progress of Arianism, and all other sects of that age descending from | it. Together with an Introduction, containing an historical account of the state of Paganism under the first Christian emperor,” Lond. 1682, fol. 8. “A Sermon preached before the king at Whitehall, on Sunday, January 18, 1684-5, on Psalm iv. 7. Publisheo 1 by his majesties special command,” Lond. 1685, 4to. 9. “Chartopbylax Ecclesiasticus,” Lond. 1685, 8vo. This is aii improvement of the “Tabulae Ecclesiastics,” above-mentioned, and a kind of abridgment of the “Historia Literaria,” and contams a short account of most of the ecclesiastical writers from the birth of Christ to 1517. 1O. “Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Historia Literaria i. e. A Literary History of Ecclesiastical Writers, in two parts,” fol. the first printed at Lond. 1688; and the second in 1698. 11. “A Serious Exhortation, with some important advices relating to the late cases about Conformity, recommended to the present dissenters from the Church of England.” It is the twenty-second in the “London Cases.” This very learned person died at Windsor, on the 4th of August, 1713, and was buried in Islington church, where a monument was erected to his memory. He was an excellent pud universal scholar, an elegant and polite writer, and a florid and very eloquent preacher. He was thoroughly acquainted with the history and constitution of the Christian church. His works, particularly his Lives of the apostles, Lives of the fathers, and Primitive Christianity, evince his great knowledge of antiquity, and are justly esteemed the best books written upon those important subjects. Yet the “Historia Literaria” is perhaps the work on which his fume will now be thought principally to depend. This very useful work was reprinted at Geneva, in 1705 and 1720, but the best edition is that printed at the Clarendon press, by subscription, in 2 vols. fol, 1740— 1743, which contains the author’s last corrections and additions, and additions by other hands. What share Mr. Henry Wharton had in this work will be noticed in our life of that writer. From a manuscript letter of Cave’s in our possession, it appears that he had much reason to complain of Wharton. During the last twelve years of his life Cave had repeatedly revised this history, and made alterations and additions equal to one third part of the work, all which were carefully incorporated in the new edition. The copy thus improved, he left in the hands of his executors, the lord chief justice Reeve, and the rev. Dr. Jones, canon of | Windsor, but they both dying soon after the work went to press, Dr. Daniel Waterland undertook the care of it. The venerable Dr. Watson, bishop of Llandaff, observes, that “Casimiri Oudini Commentarius de Scriptoribus Ecclesix, &c.” Leipsic, 1722, 3 vols. fol. is a kind of supplement to Cave’s “Historia Literaria,” and other works of the same kind. 1


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