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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Abbot, George

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D.D., Archbishop of Canterbury, brother of Robert (inf.), one of the translators of the English Bible, and a man of great ability and learning, was born at Guildford, October 29, 1562, and entered at Baliol College, Oxford, in 1578; subsequently was made Master of University College, and, in 1599, Dean of Winchester. At the university he was first brought into contact with Abp. Laud, whose ecclesiastical schemes he opposed through life. In 1604, Dr. Abbot was the second of eight learned divines at Oxford, chosen by King James, to whom the care of translating all (but the Epistles of) the New Testament was committed. In 1608, he assisted in a design to unite the churches of England and Scotland; in which his prudence and moderation raised him high in the favor of the king, who bestowed upon him successively the bishoprics of Lichfield (1609) and of London (1610). In 1611 his majesty elevated him to the See of Canterbury.

As archbishop, he had the courage to displease the king by opposing the Book of Sports, the divorce of the Countess of Essex, and the Spanish match. In 1627, he ventured the displeasure of Charles 1, by refusing to license a sermon, which Dr. Sibthorpe had preached, to justify one of Charles's unconstitutional proceedings. For this act he was suspended from his functions, but was soon, though not willingly, restored to them. A cause of deep sorrow to him, in his latter days, was his having accidentally while aiming at a deer, shot one of Lord Zouch's keepers. He died Aug. 4, 1633. He was a Calvinist in theology, and, unfortunately, very intolerant toward Arminians and Arminianism. His Life, with that of his brother Thomas, was published at Guildford (1797d 8vo).

His chief works are: Six Lectures on Divinity (Oxford, 1598, 4to); Exposition of the Prophet Jonah (1600, 4to, new ed. Lond. 1845, 2 vols. with Life); A brief Description of the World (Lond. 1617, 4to, et al.) Treatise of the perpetual Visibility and Succession of the true Church (1624, 4to); Judgment of the Archbishop concerning Bowing at the Name of Jesus (Hamburg, 1632, 8vo). Middleton, Evang. Biog.; Collier, Eccl. Hist. vol. 2; Neal, Hist. of Puritans, 1:556; Mosheim, Ch. Hist. 3, 409.

(known as "The Puritan") son (or grandson). of Sir Thomas Abbot was born at Easington, East Yorkshire, in 1603 or 1604. He was elected probationer fellow of Merton College, Oxford, in 1624 and admitted LL.B. in 1630. He held Caldecote, Warwickshire, against prince Rupert and Maurice during the Civil War. Mr. Abbot was a member of the Long Parliament for Tamworth. He was not a clergyman, as has been said by some, nor yet a nephew of the archbishop of the same name; but he was a theologian and scholar of rare ability. He died Feb. 2 (or 4), 1648. He was the author of, The Whole Book of Job Paraphrased, or Made Easy for Any to Understand (1640): Vindicice Sabbathi (1641): Brief Notes upon the Whole Book of Psalms (1651). See Wood (Bliss's), Athenoe Oxonienses, s.v.; Cox, Literature of the Sabbath.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Abbot, George'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, September 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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