Milner, John

, a learned English divine, the second son of John Milner of Skircoat, near Halifax in Yorkshire, was born probably in Feb. 1627-8, as he was baptised on the 10th of that month. After being educated at the grammar-school of Halifax, he was sent at fourteen years of age to Christ’s college, Cambridge, where he took the degrees of B. A. and M. A. at the regular periods. He was first curate of Midleton in Lancashire, but was forced thence, on sir George Booth’s unsuccessful attempt to restore king Charles II. a little before the fight at Worcester. After this he retired to the place of his nativity, where he lived till 1661, when Dr. Lake, then vicar of Leeds, and his brother-in-law, gave him the curacy of Beeston, in his parish. In 1662 he took the degree of B. D, and the same year was made minister of St. John’s in Leeds. He was elected vicar of Leeds in 1673, and in 1681 was chosen prebendary of Ripon. In 1688, not being satisfied about the revolution, he removed from his vicarage, and was deprived of all his preferments; on which he retired to St. John’s college, Cambridge, where he spent the remainder of his days, continuing a nonjuror till his death, which happened in St. John’s college, Feb. 16, 1702, in his seventy- fifth year. He left an only son, Thomas Milner, M. A. vicar of Bexhili in Sussex, who proved a great benefactor to Magdalen college, Cambridge. Dr. Gower, lady Margaret’s professor at Cambridge, gave the following character of Mr. John Milner to Mr. Thoresby “Great learning and piety made him really a great man he was eminent in both, and nothing but his humility and modesty kept him from being more noted for being so. I had the happiness of much of his conversation, but still desired more. He was a blessing to the whole society, by the example he gave in every thing good. He died beloved, and much lamented here, and his memory is honourable and precious among us, and will long continue so.

His works are, 1. “Conjectanea in Isaiam ix. 1, 2. Item in parallela quaedam veteris ac novi testament), in quibus versionibus LXX interpretum cum textu Hebræo | conciiiatio,” &c. Lond. 1673, 4to. Dr. Castel, the Arabian professor, called this “a most excellent essay, wherein the author shewed incredible reading and diligence, in perusing so many copies, versions, and various lections, with the best interpreters of sacred writ.” 2. “A collection of the Church History of Palestine, from the birth of Christ, to the beginning of the empire of Diocletian,” Lond. 1688, 4to. 3. “A short Dissertation concerning the four last Kings of Judah,” Lond. 1689, 4to. This was occasioned by Joseph Scaliger’s “Judicium de Thesi Chronologica,” &c. 4. “De Nethinim sive Nethinaeis, &c. et de iis qui se Corban Deo nominabant, disputatiuncula, adversus Steuch. Eugubinum, Card. Baronium,” &c. Camb. 1690, 4to. 5. “An Answer to the vindication of a Letter from a person of quality in the North, concerning the profession of John, late bishop of Chichester,” Lond. 1690, 4to. 6. “A Defence of the Profession of John (Lake) lord bishop of Chichester, made upon his death-bed, concerning passive obedience, and the new oaths; with some passages of his lordship’s life,” Lond. 1690, 4to. 7. “A Defence of archbishop Usher against Dr. Cary and Dr. Is. Vossius, with an Introduction concerning the uncertainty of Chronology, and an Appendix touching the signification of the words, &c. as also the men of the great Synagogue,” Camb. 1694, 8vo. 8. “A Discourse of Conscience, &c. with reflexions upon the author of Christianity not mysterious,” &c. Lond. 1697, 8vo. 9. “A View of the Dissertation upon the epistles of Phalaris, Themistocles, &c. lately published by the rev. Dr. Bentley. Also, of the examination of that Dissertation by the hon. Mr. Boyle,” ibid. 1698, 8vo. 10. “A brief Examination of some passages in the Chronological part of a Letter written to Dr. Sherlock, in his vindication. In a letter to a friend.” 11. “A further Examination of the Chronological part of that Letter. In a second letter to a friend.” 12. “An Account of Mr. Locke’s religion, out of his own writings, and in his own words: together with observations, and a two-fold appendix,” Lond. 1700, 8vo. 13. “Animadversions upon Mons. Le Clerc’s Rejections upon our Saviour and his Apostles, &c. primitive fathers, &c.” Camb. 1702. He left also several manuscripts enumerated in our principal authority, on subjects of chronology, biblical criticism, &c.1

1 Watson’s Halifax. Thoresby’s Vicaria Leodensis, p. 114, &c, Wilford’s Memorials.