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Benjamin Hoadly

1676-1761. Anglican theologian. One of the most scandalous of the eighteenth-century bishops, he owed his ecclesiastical career and translation to the rich dioceses of Bangor (1715), Hereford (1721), Salisbury (1723), and Winchester (1734) entirely to his championship of the Whig party, and his authorship of skillful pamphlets against Tories and High Churchmen. As the leader of the “Whig” or “Low Church” Anglicans, he was a notorious Latitudinarian,* writing down all mysteries and dogma, and justifying the most generous inclusion of all groups within his church, including Arians. In 1716 a sermon which denied that there was a visible Church of Christ at all and defined Christianity as merely “sincerity” provoked the Bangorian Controversy* which led to an outcry and the government's suspension of Convocation, which did not meet for 150 years thereafter. A later essay (1735) on the merely memorialist nature of the Lord's Supper led to an accusation of Socinianism. This minimizing and controversial prelate survived for another twenty- six years.

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