Garden, Francis (1810-1884) (DNB00)


GARDEN, FRANCIS (1810–1884), theologian, son of Alexander Garden, a Glasgow merchant, and Rebecca, daughter of Robert Menteith, esq., of Carstairs, N.B., was educated partly at home and partly at the college at Glasgow, whence he passed to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took his degree of B.A. in 1833 and M.A. in 1836. In 1833 he obtained the Hulsean prize for an essay on the ‘Advantages accruing from Christianity.’ At Cambridge he belonged to the set of which R. Chenevix Trench, F. D. Maurice, and John Sterling were among the leaders, whose intimate friendship, together with that of Edmund Lushington and G. Stovin Venables, he enjoyed. His name occurs frequently in Trench's early letters (Memorials, i. 118, 182, 186, 236, &c.), and he was Trench's companion in Rome and its environs in January 1835. He was ordained deacon in 1836, as curate to Sir Herbert Oakeley at Bocking in Essex. In 1838–9 he was curate to Julius Charles Hare at Hurstmonceaux in Sussex, succeeding after an interval his friend Sterling. There was hardly sufficient sympathy between Garden and Hare for him to stay long as his curate, and he removed in 1839 to the curacy of St. James's, Piccadilly, from which he became successively the incumbent of Holy Trinity Church, Blackheath Hill (1840–4), junior incumbent of St. Paul's, Edinburgh (1845–9), curate of St. Stephen's, Westminster, assistant minister of the English chapel at Rome (1851–2), and finally, in 1859, he succeeded Dr. Wesley as sub-dean of the Chapel Royal, an appointment which he held till his death in 1884. In 1841 he undertook the editorship of the ‘Christian Remembrancer,’ which he retained for some years. In his earlier years Garden attached himself to the Oxford school, which was then exercising a powerful attraction over thoughtful minds. Trench describes a sermon he heard him preach in 1839 on ‘the anger of God,’ as ‘Newmanite and in parts very unpleasant.’ He subsequently became somewhat of a broad churchman, adopting the teaching of F. D. Maurice on the incarnation, the atonement, and other chief Christian doctrines, and contributing several thoughtful essays to the series of ‘Tracts for Priests and People,’ a literary organ of that school. The bent of his mind was essentially philosophical, disinclined to rest in any bare dogmatic statements without probing them to the bottom to discover the intellectual basis on which they rested. In 1848 he published ‘Discourses on Heavenly Knowledge and Heavenly Love,’ followed in 1853 by ‘Lectures on the Beatitudes.’ A pamphlet on the renunciation of holy orders, then beginning to be debated, appeared in 1870 under the title ‘Can an Ordained Man become a Layman?’ ‘An Outline of Logic’ was issued, which came to a second edition in 1871. He was also the author of ‘A Dictionary of English Philosophical Terms,’ 1878; ‘The Nature and Benefits of Holy Baptism;’ ‘The Atonement as a Fact and as a Theory.’ He was a contributor to Smith's ‘Dictionary of the Bible,’ the ‘Christian Remembrancer,’ ‘Contemporary Review,’ and other periodicals. In 1837 he married Virginia, the daughter of Admiral Dobbie, who died early, leaving one daughter. The maiden name of his second wife was Boucher.

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