Rogers, Dr. John

, an English divine, was born in 1679, at Ensham in Oxfordshire, where his father was vicar and rector of Wick-Rissington, in Gloucestershire. He was educated at New college school, in Oxford; and, in 1693, elected scholar of Corpus Christi college. After taking the degrees in arts, and entering into orders, he waited a long time for a fellowship, by reason of the slowsuccession in the college; but at length succeeded Mr, | Edmund Chishull, in 1706, but in the mean time had becti presented to the vicarage of Buchland, in Berkshire, about ten miles from Oxford, in which he continued about five or six years, dividing his’ time usefully between his cure and the university. At the former he became so popular, that the inhabitants entered into a handsome subscription for an afternoon sermon by him, which was discontinued after he left them. Jn 1710, be took a bachelor of divinity’s degree; and, two years after, went to London, to be lecturer of St. Clement’s Danes. He afterwards became lecturer of the united parishes of Christ-church, and St. Leonard’s Foster-lane. In 1716, he was presented to the rectory of Wrington, in Somersetshire; and, the same year, resigning his fellowship, married the hon. Mrs. Lydia Hare, sister to the lord Colerane, who was his pupil in the university. Some time after, he was elected canon residentiary of the church of Wells; in which he also bore the office of sub-dean. In 1719, he engaged in the Bangorian controversy, and published, upon that occasion, “A Discourse of the visible and invisible Church of Christ: in which it is shewn, that the powers, claimed by the officers of the visible church, are not inconsistent with the supremacy of Christ as head, or with the rights and liberties of Christians, as members of the invisible church,” 8vo. The Rev. Dr. Sykes having published an “Answer to this Discourse,” our author replied to him in “A Review of the Discourse of the visible and invisible Church of Christ.

He gained much credit by these performances, even those who were against his argument allowing him to have good parts and an excellent pen; and the university of Oxford made a public acknowledgment of their opinion of his merit, by conferring on him, in 1721, without his knowledge, and by diploma, the 'degree of doctor in divinity. In 1726, he was made chaplain to George II. then prince of Wales and about the same time appeared in defence of Christianity, against the attacks of Collins in his “Scheme of Literal Prophecy.” Rogers did not at, first professedly write against the “Scheme;” but, publiihing, in 1727, a volume of sermons, entitled “The necessity of Divine Revelation, and the truth of the Christian Religion, asserted,” he prefixed to them “A Preface with Remarks on the Scheme of Literal Prophecy.” This preface, however, in the opinion of his friends, seemed Kable to some exception, or at least to demand a more full | and distinct explication: and he received a letter upon it the same year from his friend Dr. Nath. Marshall. He endeavoured to give satisfaction to all; and therefore, Collins having written “A Letter to the Rev. Dr. Rogers, on occasion of his eight Sermons concerning the necessity of Divine Revelation, and the Preface prefixed to them,” our author published “A Vindication of the Civil Establishment of Religion, wherein some positions of Mr. Chandler, the author of the l Literal Scheme, 7 &c. and an aiionymo-us Letter on that subject, are occasionally considered. With an Appendix, containing a Letter from the Rev. Dr. Marshall, and an Answer to the same,1723, 8vo.

The same year, 1726, having resigned his lecture of St. Clement’s Danes, he retired from London, with an intention to spend the remainder of his life in the country, chiefly at Wrington: but he had not been there long, when he received an offer, from the dean and chapter of St. Paul’s, of the vicarage of St. Giles’s Cripplegate, in London. Be was instituted to it, Oct. 1728, but with the greatest anxiety and reluctance; for he had set his heart upon the country, and was then, as he had always been from hi youth, remarkably fond of rural exercises and diversions. He did not enjoy his new preferment above six months; for he died May 1, 1729, in his fiftieth year. He was buried in the parish church of Ensham, where a handsome monument is erected to his memory: his funeral sermon was preached by Dr. Marshall. After his decease, some volumes of his sermons were published and two tracts, viz. “Reasons against Conversion to the Church of Rome,” and “A Persuasive to Conformity addressed to Dissenters,” never before printed.

Dr. Rogers was a man of good abilities, and an excellent writer, though no profound scholar, nor ambitious of being thought one. He neither collected nor read many books; being persuaded, that a few well chosen, and read to good purpose, serve infinitely more to edification, if not so much to ostentation and parade. We are told, that the judicious Hooker and the ingenious Mr. Norris were his favourites; and that he was particularly conversant in their writings. 1


Life by Dr. Burton prefixed to his Sermons. Biog. Brit.