(The following text is from the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica)
WESTCOTT, BROOKE FOSS (January 12, 1825 - July 27, 1901), English divine and bishop of Durham, was born on the 12th of January 1825 in the neighborhood of Birmingham. His father, Frederick Brooke Westcott, was a botanist of some distinction. Westcott was educated at King Edward VI. school, Birmingham, under James Prince Lee, where he formed his friendship with Joseph Barber Lightfoot (q.v.). In 1844 Westcott obtained a scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge. He took Sir William Brownes medal for a Greek ode in 1846 and 1847, the Members Prize for a Latin essay in 1847 as an undergraduate and in 1849 as a bachelor. He took his degree in January 1848, obtaining double-first honors. In mathematics he was twenty-fourth wrangler, Isaac Todhunter being senior. In classics he was senior, being bracketed with C. B. Scott, afterwards headmaster of Westminster.
After obtaining his degree, Westcott remained for four years in residence at Trinity. In 1849 he obtained his fellowship; and in the same year he was ordained deacon and priest by his old headmaster, Prince Lee, now bishop of Manchester. The time spent at Cambridge was devoted to most strenuous study. He took pupils; and among his pupils there were reading with him, almost at the same time, his school friend Lightfoot and two other men who became his attached and lifelong friends, E. W. Benson and F. J. A. Hort (qq.v). The inspiring influence of Westcotts intense enthusiasm left its mark upon these three distinguished men; they regarded him not only as their friend and counsellor, but as in an especial degree their teacher and oracle. He devoted much attention to philosophical, patristic and historical studies, but it soon became evident that he would throw his strength into New Testament work. In 1851 he published his Norrisian prize essay with the title Elements of the Gospel Harmony .
In 1852 he became an assistant master at Harrow, and soon afterwards he married Miss Whithard. He prosecuted his school work with characteristic vigour, and succeeded in combining with his school duties an enormous amount both of theological research and of literary activity. He worked at Harrow for nearly twenty years under Dr C. J. Vaughan and Dr Montagu Butler, but while he was always conspicuously successful in inspiring a few senior boys with something of his own intellectual and moral enthusiasm, he was never in the same measure capable of maintaining discipline among large numbers. The writings which he produced at this period created a new epoch in the history of modern English theological scholarship. In 1855 he published the first edition of his History of the New Testament Canon, which, frequently revised and expanded, became the standard English work upon the subject. In 1859 there appeared his Characteristics of the Gospel Miracles.
In 1860 he expanded his Norrisian essay into an Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, a work remarkable for insight and minuteness of study, as well as for reverential treatment combined with considerable freedom from traditional lines. Westcotts work for Smiths Dictionary of the Bible, notably his articles on "Canon", "Maccabees", "Vulgate", entailed most careful and thorough preparation, and led to the composition of his subsequent valuable popular books, The Bible in the Church (1864) and a History of the English Bible (1869). To the same period belongs The Gospel of the Resurrection (1866). As a piece of consecutive reasoning upon a fundamental Christian doctrine it deservedly attracted great attention. Its width of view and its recognition of the claims of historical science and pure reason were thoroughly characteristic of Westcotts mode of discussing a theological question. At the time when the book appeared his method of apologetic showed both courage and originality, but the excellence of the work is impaired by the difficulty of the style.
In 1865 he took his B.D., and in 1870 his D.D. He received in later years the honorary degrees of DC.L. from Oxford (1881) and of D.D. from Edinburgh (1883). In 1868 Westcott was appointed examining chaplain by Bishop Connor Magee (of Peterborough); and in the following year he accepted a canonry at Peterborough, which necessitated his leaving Harrow. For a time he contemplated with eagerness the idea of a renovated cathedral life, devoted to the pursuit of learning and to the development of opportunities for the religious and intellectual benefit of the diocese. But the regius professorship of divinity at Cambridge fell vacant, and Lightfoot, who was then Hulsean professor, declining to become a candidate himself, insisted upon Westcotts standing for the post. It was due to Lightfoots support almost as much as to his own great merits that Westcott was elected to the chair on the 1st of November 1870.
This was the turning-point of his life. He now occupied a great position for which he was supremely fitted, and at a juncture in the reform of university studies when a theologian of liberal views, but universally respected for his massive learning and his devout and single-minded character, would enjoy a unique opportunity for usefulness. Supported by his friends Lightfoot and Hort, he threw himself into the new work with extraordinary energy. He deliberately sacrificed many of the social privileges of a university career in order that his studies might be more continuous and that he might see more of the younger men. His lectures were generally on Biblical subjects. His Commentaries on St Johns Gospel (1881), on the Epistle to the Hebrews (1889) and the Epistles of St John (1883) resulted from his public lectures.
One of his most valuable works, The
of Life (1892), a study of Christian doctrine,
the materials upon which he was engaged in a series of
more private and
esoteric lectures delivered on week-day evenings. The
work of lecturing
was an intense strain to him, but its influence was
immense: to attend
one of Westcotts lectures, even to watch him
lecturing--was an experience
which lifted and solemnized many a man to whom the
references to Origen
or Rupert of Deutz were almost ludicrously
years 1870 and 1881 Westcott was also continually
engaged in work for
the revision of the New Testament, and, simultaneously,
preparation of a new text in conjunction with Hort. The
years in which
Westcott, Lightfoot and Hort could thus meet frequently
for the discussion of the work in which they were all
three so deeply
engrossed formed a happy and privileged period in their
lives. In the
year 1881 there appeared the famous Westcott and Hort
text of the New
Testament, upon which had been expended nearly thirty
The reforms in the regulations for degrees in divinity, the formation and first revision of the new theological tripos, the inauguration of the Cambridge mission to Delhi, the institution of the Church Society (for the discussion of theological and ecclesiastical questions by the younger men), the meetings for the divinity faculty, the organization of the new Divinity School and Library and, later, the institution of the Cambridge Clergy Training School, were all, in a very real degree, the result of Westcott's energy and influence as regius professor. To this list should also be added the Oxford and Cambridge preliminary examination for candidates for holy orders, with which he was from the first most closely identified. The success of this very useful scheme was due chiefly to his sedulous interest and help.
The departure of Lightfoot to the see
Durham in 1879 was a great blow to Westcott.
Nevertheless it resulted
in bringing him into still greater prominence. He was
compelled to take
the lead in matters where Lightfoots more practical
previously been predominant. In 1883 Westcott was
elected to a
professorial fellowship at Kings. Shortly afterwards,
resigned his canonry at Peterborough, he was appointed
by the crown to
a canonry at Westminster, and accepted the position of
chaplain to Archbishop Benson.
His little edition of the Paragraph Psalter (1879), arranged for the use of choirs, and his admirable lectures on the Apostles Creed, entitled Historic Faith (1883), are reminiscences of his vacations spent at Peterborough. He held his canonry at Westminster in conjunction with the regius professorship. The strain of the joint work was very heavy, and the intensity of the interest and study which he brought to bear upon his share in the labors of the Ecclesiastical Courts Commission, of which he had been appointed a member, added to his burden.
Preaching at the Abbey gave him a valued opportunity of dealing with social questions. His sermons were generally portions of a series; and to this period belong the volumes Christus Consummator (1886) and Social Aspects of Christianity (1887).
In March 1890 he was nominated to the
Durham, there to follow in the steps of his beloved
who had died in December 1889. He was consecrated on the
1st of May at
Westminster Abbey by Archbishop Thompson (of York), Hort
preacher, and enthroned at Durham cathedral on the 15th
of May. The
change of work and surroundings could hardly have been
greater. But the
sudden immersion in the practical administration of a
gave him new strength. He surprised the world, which had
to be a recluse and a mystic, by the practical interest
he took in the
mining population of Durham and in the great shipping
industries of Sunderland and Gateshead.
Upon one famous occasion in 1892 he succeeded in bringing to a peaceful solution a long and bitter strike which had divided the masters and men in the Durham collieries; and his success was due to the confidence which he inspired by the extraordinary moral energy of his strangely prophetic personality, at once thoughtful, vehement and affectionate. His constant endeavour to call the attention of the Church to the religious aspect of social questions was a special note in his public utterances. He was a staunch supporter of the co-operative movement. He was practically the founder of the Christian Social Union. He continually insisted upon the necessity of promoting the cause of foreign missions, and he gladly gave four of his sons for the work of the Church in India. His energy was remarkable to the very end. But during the last two or three years of his life he aged considerably. His wife, who had been for some years an invalid, died rather suddenly on the 28th of May 1901, and he dedicated to her memory his last book, Lessons from Work (1901). He preached a farewell sermon to the miners in Durham cathedral at their annual festival on the 20th of July. Then came a short, sudden illness, and he passed away on the 27th of July.
Westcott was no narrow specialist. He had the keenest love of poetry, music and art. He was himself no mean draughtsman, and used often to say that if he had not taken orders he would have become an architect. His literary sympathies were wide. He would never tire of praising Euripides, while few men had given such minute study to the writings of Robert Browning. He followed with delight the development of natural science studies at Cambridge. He spared no pains to be accurate, or to widen the basis of his thought. Thus he devoted one summer vacation to the careful analysis of Comte's Politique positive. He studied assiduously The Sacred Books of the East, and earnestly contended that no systematic view of Christianity could afford to ignore the philosophy of other religions. The outside world was wont to regard him as a mystic; and the mystical, or sacramental, view of life enters, it is true, very largely into his teaching. He had in this respect many points of similarity with the Cambridge Platonists of the 17th century, and with F. D. Maurice, for whom he had profound regard. But in other respects he was very practical; and his strength of will, his learning and his force of character made him really masterful in influence wherever the subject under discussion was of serious moment. He was a strong supporter of Church reform, especially in the direction of obtaining larger powers for the laity.
He kept himself aloof from all party strife. He describes himself when he says,
His theological work was always distinguished by the place which he assigned to Divine Revelation in Holy Scripture and in the teaching of history. His own studies have largely contributed in England to the better understanding of the doctrines of the Resurrection and the Incarnation. His work in conjunction with Hort upon the Greek text of the New Testament will endure as one of the greatest achievements of English Biblical criticism. The principles which are explained in Hort's introduction to the text had been arrived at after years of elaborate investigation and continual correspondence and discussion between the two friends. The place which it almost at once took among scientific scholars in Great Britain and throughout Europe was a recognition of the great advance which it represented in the use and classification of ancient authorities. His commentaries rank with Lightfoots as the best type of Biblical exegesis produced by the English Church in the 19th century.
The following is a bibliography of Westcott's more important writings, giving the date of the first editions: Elements of the Gospel Harmony (1851); History of the Canon of First Four Centuries (1853); Characteristics of Gospel Miracles (1859); Introduction to the Study of the Gospels (1860); The Bible in the Church (1864); The Gospel of the Resurrection (1866); Christian Life Manifold and One (1869); Some Points in the Religious Life of the Universities (1873); Paragraph Psalter for the Use of Choirs (1879); Commentary on the Gospel of St John (1881); Commentary on the Epistles of St John (1883); Revelation of the Risen Lord (1882); Revelation of the Father (1884); Some Thoughts from the Ordinal (1884); Christus Consummator (1886); Social Aspects of Christianity (1887); The Victory of the Cross: Sermons in Holy Week (1888); Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews (1889); From Strength to Strength (1890); Gospel of Life (1892); The Incarnation and Common Life (1893); Some Lessons of the Revised Version of the New Testament (1897); Christian Aspects of Life (1897); Lessons from Work (1901). Lives by his son B. F. Westcott (903), and by J. Clayton (1906).
(The following text is from the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica)
HORT, FENTON JOHN ANTHONY (April 23, 1828 - November 30, 1892), English theologian, was born in Dublin on the 23rd of April 1828, the great-grandson of Josiah Hort, archbishop of Tuam in the 18th century.
In 1846 he passed from Rugby to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was the contemporary of E. W. Benson, B. F. Westcott and J. B. Lightfoot. The four men became lifelong friends and fellow-workers. In 1850 Hort took his degree, being third in the classical tripos, and in 1852 he became fellow of his college. In 1854, in conjunction with J. E. B. Mayor and Lightfoot, he established the Journal of Classical and Sacred Philology, and plunged eagerly into theological and patristic study. He had been brought up in the strictest principles of the Evangelical school, but at Rugby he fell under the influence of Arnold and Tait, and his acquaintance with Maurice and Kingsley finally gave his opinions a direction towards Liberalism.
In 1857 he married, and accepted the college living of St Ippolyts, near Hitchin, in Hertfordshire, where he remained for fifteen years. During his residence there he took some part in the discussions on university reform, continued his studies, and wrote essays for various periodicals. In 1870 he was appointed a member of the committee for revising the translation of the New Testament, and in 1871 he delivered the Hulsean lectures before the university. Their title was The Way, the Truth, and the Life, but they were not prepared for publication until many years after their delivery. In 1872 he accepted a fellowship and lectureship at Emmanuel College; in 1878 he was made Hulsean professor of divinity, and in 1887 Lady Margaret reader in divinity.
In the meantime he had published, with his friend Westcott, an edition of the text of the New Testament. The Revision Committee had very largely accepted this text, even before its publication, as a basis for their translation of the New Testament. The work on its appearance created an immense sensation among scholars, and was vehemently attacked in many quarters, but on the whole it was received as being much the nearest approximation yet made to the original text of the New Testament. The introduction was the work of Hort, and its depth and fulness convinced all who read it that they were under the guidance of a master. Hort died on the 30th of November 1892, worn out by intense mental labor.
Next to his Greek Testament his best-known work is The Christian Ecclesia (1897). Other publications are: Judaistic Christianity (1894); Village Sermons (two series); Cambridge and other Sermons; Prolegoinena to . . . Romans and Ephesians (1895); The Ante-Nicene Fathers (1895); and two Dissertations, on the reading μονογενησ θεοσ, in John i. 18, and on The Constantiaopolitan and other Eastern Creeds in the Fourth Century. All are models of exact scholarship and skilful use of materials. His Life and Letters was edited by his son, Sir Arthur Hort, Bart. (1896)
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