Jeffery, John

, an English divine, was born Dec. 20, 1647, at Ipswich, where he had his grammar-learning; and thence removed in 1664 to Catharine-hall, Cambridge, under the tuition of Dr. John Echard. Here he took his first degree, and as soon after as he could, he went into orders, and accepted of the curacy of Dennington in Suffolk. He applied very closely to his studies, lived quite retired, and was not known or heard of in the world for some years. At length, becoming known, he was, in 1678, elected minister of St. Peter’s of Mancroft in Norwich; where his good temper, exemplary life, judicious preaching, and great learning, soon recommended him to the esteem of the wisest and best men in his parish. Sir Thomas Brown, so well known to the learned world, respected and valued him. Sir Edward Atkyns, lord chief baron of the Exchequer, who then spent the long vacations in that city, took great | notice of his singular modesty of behaviour, and rational method of recommending religion in sermons; gave him an apartment in his house, took him up to town with him, carried him into company, and brought him acquainted with Dr. Tillotson, then preacher at Lincoln’s-inn, who often engaged Mr. Jeffery to preach for him, and was probably the means of making him known to Dr. Whichcote, three volumes of whose sermons he afterwards published, and to other eminent men. In 1687, Dr. Sharp, then dean of Norwich, afterwards archbishop of York, obtained for him, without solicitation, the two small livings of Kirton and Falkenham in Suffolk; and, in 1694, archbishop Tillotson made him archdeacon of Norwich. In 17 Jo he married a second wife; and after his marriage, discontinued his attendance on the convocation: and when he was asked the reason, would pleasantly excuse himself out of the old law, which saith, “that, when a man has taken a new wife, he shall not be obliged to go out to war.” He died in 1720, aged 72.

He published, “Christian Morals, by sir Thomas Browne.” “Moral and religious Aphorisms, collected from Dr. Whichcote’s Papers,” and three volumes of sermons, by the same author, 1702. In 1701 he had printed a volume of his own discourses, and occasionally various sermons and tracts separately, for twenty years before. All these were collected, and published in 2 vols. 8vo, in 1751. Dr. Jeffery was an enemy of religious controversy, alleging, “that it produced more heat than light.” He left behind him many manuscript volumes, entitled, Τα Εισ Εαυτον, affording an irrefragable proof of his great industry. 1


Memoirs prefixed to his Sermons. Birch’s Tillotson.