Church, Thomas

, D. D. was born in 1707, and educated at Brasen Nose college, Oxford, where he took liis degree of M. A. in 1731. In 1740 he was instituted to the vicarage of Battersea, which, with a prebendai stall in St. Paul’s cathedral, was the only preferment he obtained. He distinguished himself much in the field of controversy, in which he engaged with men of very opposite talents and pursuits; with Wesley and Whitfield, for their industry in promoting methodism, and with Middleton for equal zeal in attacking the doctrines of Christianity. Against the latter he published “A Vindication of the Miraculous Powers which subsisted in the three Centuries of the Christian Church, in answer to Dr. Middleton’s Free Inquiry. By which it is shewn, that we have no sufficient reason to believe, from the Doctor’s reasonings and objections, that no such powers were continued to the church after the days of the Apostles. With a preface, containing some observations on Dr. Mead’s account of the Demoniacs, in his Medica Sacra,1749. This was followed about a year after, by “An Appeal to the serious and unprejudiced, or a Second Vindication, &c.” These were so highly approved of, that the university of Oxford conferred on him the degree of D. D. by diploma. He was also too zealously attached to religion to let the opinions of lord Bolingbroke pass unnoticed, notwithstanding he had been his patron. His publication upon this subject, however, was anonymous, “An Analysis of the Philosophical Works of the late lord Bolinghroke,1755. Dr. Church published eight single sermons between 1748 and 1756, in which last year he died. 2


Lysons’s Environs.- Nichols’s Bowyer, vol. II.