Forbes, John

, of Corse, second son to the preceding, was born May 2, 1593, and after his school education, was sent to the university of King’s college, Aberdeen, in 1607. After a course of philosophy and theology here, he went to Heidelberg, where he attended the lectures of Paraeus, and afterwards spent some time at the other universities of Germany. With theology he applied vigorously to the study of the Hebrew language, and according to Pictet, maintained, in 1608, a public dispute against the archbishop and the Lutherans of Upsal. If there be no mistake in this date, he could now have been only fifteen or sixteen yeajs of age. He pursued his studies, however, abroad until 1619, when returning to Aberdeen, he gave such proofs of extensive knowledge and talents, that he was immediately appointed professor of divinity and ecclesiastical history in King’s college. How well he was qualified for the office appears from his “Historicotheological Institutions,” a work universally admired, even by those who differed from him with regard to matters of church-government. Having, however, subscribed the Perth articles, as they were called, proposed by the synod of Perth, as an introduction to episcopacy in Scotland, the favourite measure of James I. which Dr. Forbes ably defended, and having refused to subscribe to the national league and covenant, he was ejected from his professorial chair in 1640. He had before this made an ineffectual. attempt to compose the religious dissentions in Scotland, by publishing a work written with great moderation of sentiment, entitled “Irenicam,” dedicated to the lovers of truth and peace. This was printed at Aberdeen in 1629, 4to. In 1642 he went to Holland, where he remained a few years, and revising the lectures he had delivered when professor, he compiled from them the excellent work abovementioned, which he published at Amsterdam in 1645, fol. under the title of “Institutiones historico-theologicæ.” This was so much admired, and considered indeed as one of the best works of the kind that had ever appeared, as to pass through three editions in a very short time. In 1646 he published, at the same place, his father’s “Commentary Oh the Apocalypse,” 4to, translated into Latin. Returning then to Scotland, he spent the short remainder of his life in retirement on his estate of Corse, where he died April 29, 1648. Those who had ejected him from his professorship added two instances of persecution which are | peculiarly disgraceful. While professor, he had purchased a house at Old Aherdeen, where King’s college is situated, and made it over for the use of his successors; but having forgot to secure his life-rent in it, the prevailing party actually turned him out of it; and now, when dead, they would not allow him to be buried beside his father, though earnestly requested by many of his friends. The body was afterwards carried to the church-yard of Leuchil, where it lies without any monument. In 1703, a very elegant edition of all his works, in 2 vols. fol. was printed by the Wetsteins at Amsterdam, under the care partly of Mr. George Garden of Aberdeen, but principally of professor Gurtler of Deventer. The whole indicates great learning, and his “Exercitia Spiritualia,” a kind of Diary, shows no less piety. 1

1 Life prefixed to Works.