Owtram, William

, a learned English divine, was born in Derbyshire in 1625, and in 1641 was admitted of Trinity college, Cambridge, where he took the degree of B. A. in 1645, and according to his epitaph, seems to have been fellow of that college, as he was afterwards of Christ’s. In this last he took the degree of M. A. in 1649, and that of D. D. in 1660. His first preferment was in Lincolnshire, and he appears to have succeeded Dr. Josias Shute in the rectory of St. Mary Woolnoth, which he resigned in 1666. On July 30, 1669, he was installed archdeacon of Leicester, to which he was collated by Dr. William Fuller, bishop of Lincoln. In July 1670 he was also installed prebendary of Westminster, and was some time rector or minister of St. Margaret’s, Westminster. He died August 23, 1679, aged fifty-four, and was interred in Westminster abbey, where a monument was erected to his memory, with a Latin inscription. In this he is recorded as “a complete divine in all respects, a nervous and accurate writer, and an excellent and constant preacher.” It is also noticed that intense application to study brought on the stone, which at last proved fatal to him. He was an accomplished scholar in the Oriental languages, as appears by his excellent work “De Sacrifices,” Loud. 1677. This is divided into two books: in the first he treats of the origin of sacrifices; the places for sacrificing, and the tabernacle and temple of the Jews. His object is to defend the doctrine of vicarious punishment, and of piacular or expiatory sacrifices, in opposition to the Socinian notions. | In the second book he treats of the priesthood of Christ; proves that Christ is a priest properly so called; that his sacrifice is an expiatory sacrifice, which takes away the sins of mankind; that his death is a vicarious punishment, or, that he suffered for, and in the stead of, sinful men, &c. &c. Some of his sermons having been surreptitiously printed, his relations selected twenty from his Mss. which were published by Dr. James Gardiner, afterwards bishop of Lincoln. Of these a second edition appeared in 1697, 8vo, with a preface by the editor, in which he gives a high character of Dr. Ovvtram. Baxter also speaks highly of him, Peck has published, in his “Desiderata,” a fragment of one of Dr. Owtram’s sermons. 1

1 Biog. Brit Baxter’s Life, part III. p. 19.