Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lowman, Moses

LOWMAN, MOSES (1680–1752), nonconformist divine, born in London in 1680, became a student at the Middle Temple in 1697, but a year later abandoned law for divinity. On 17 Sept. 1698 he entered the university of Leyden (Peacock, English Students at Leyden, Index Soc., p. 62), and studied theology at Utrecht under De Vries and Witsius. In 1710 he became assistant to Mr. Grace, presbyterian minister at Clapham, but from 1714 till his death acted as chief minister to the congregation. In 1716 Lowman contributed to the second volume of a religious periodical called ‘Occasional Papers,’ and in 1735 he preached, at Salters' Hall, a sermon entitled ‘The Principles of Popery Schismatical.’ Though very active in the performance of his duties, he does not seem to have shown any ability in the pulpit. Lowman died on 2 May 1752; Chandler, who preached his funeral sermon, described him as a man of high character.

Lowman entered into controversy with Collins the deist in ‘Argument from Prophecy that Jesus is the Messiah vindicated, in some considerations on the Prophecies of the Old Testament as grounds and reasons of the Christian Religion,’ a treatise written in 1718, but not printed till 1733. It was praised by Leland. But Lowman was chiefly learned in Jewish antiquities, and his reputation rests on his ‘Dissertation on the Civil Government of the Hebrews,’ 1740, 2nd edit., with appendix, 1745, written in answer to Morgan's ‘Moral Philosopher,’ and said to have been approved by Dr. Sherlock and other churchmen. Of Lowman's ‘Paraphrase and Notes upon the Revelation of St. John’ (1737, 1745, 4to; 1791, 1807, 8vo) Doddridge (Works, ii. 37, Leeds edit.) wrote: ‘I have received more satisfaction with respect to’ the difficulties of the subject ‘than ever I found elsewhere, or expected to find at all.’ Lowman's ‘Paraphrase’ forms the concluding portion of the modern collective editions of the ‘Commentaries’ of Patrick, Lowth, Whitby, and Arnald.

Lowman's other works are: 1. ‘A Defence of Protestant Dissenters, in answer to Sherlock's “Vindication of the Corporation and Test Acts,”’ 1718. 2. ‘Remarks on Dr. Sherlock's Answer to the Bishop of Bangor's “Common Rights of Subjects,”’ 1719. 3. ‘An Argument to prove the Unity and Perfections of God à priori,’ 1735. 4. ‘Considerations on Mr. Foster's “Discourse on Jewish Theocracy,”’ 1744. 5. ‘A Rationale of the Ritual of the Hebrew Worship, in which the design and usefulness of that Ritual are explained and vindicated,’ 1748. 6. Three posthumous tracts, with preface, revised and published by Chandler and Lardner, 1756.

[Chalmers's Biog. Dict. (based on the Protestant Dissenters' Mag. and Chandler's sermon); Georgian Era, i. 570; Allibone's Dict.; Watt's Bibl. Brit.; Bogue and Bennett's Hist. of Dissenters, 2nd edit. ii. 396–8; Josiah Thompson's MS. Hist. of Prot. Dissenting Churches, vol. iv. (in Dr. Williams's Lib.); Encycl. Londoniensis.]

G. Le G. N.