Free Online Bible Library | Samuel Horsley

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Samuel Horsley

1733-1806. Anglican bishop. Son of a clergyman, Horsley was educated at Cambridge and held various livings and domestic chaplaincies, was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1767 and later served as its secretary, was consecrated bishop of St. David's in 1788, of Rochester in 1793, and of St. Asaph in 1802. He was a man of scientific bent, and in the course of a twelve-year controversy with Joseph Priestley over the latter's philosophical and historical methods strongly defended the Trinitarian and christological beliefs of the early church. In religion a High Churchman and in politics a strong Tory, he upheld the establishment and opposed all innovations, particularly Sunday schools. He was a genuine, if ostentatious, friend of the poor, and his social teaching is a novel blend of Utilitarianism and traditional Christian philanthropy. Under the impact of the French Revolution he adopted an extravagant millenarianism and was mentally unbalanced when he died.