Worthington, William (DNB00)

WORTHINGTON, WILLIAM (1703−1778), divine, son of Thomas Worthington of Aberhafesp, Montgomeryshire, was born in 1703, and educated at Oswestry school. He was matriculated at Jesus College, Oxford, May 1722, and graduated B.A. on 22 Feb. 1725−6. Afterwards he became usher in the school at Oswestry. He took the degree of M.A. at St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1742, was incorporated in that degree at Oxford on 3 July 1758, and accumulated the degrees of B.D. and D.D. in the latter university on 10 July the same year. He was patronised by Francis Hare [q. v.], bishop of St. Asaph, who presented him In 1729 to the vicarage of Llanyblodwell, Shropshire, and in 1740 removed him to Llanrhaiadr, Denbighshire. Hare also gave him the sinecure rectory of Darowen, Montgomeryshire, in 1737; and Archbishop Drummond, to whom he had been chaplain for several years, presented him in 1762 to a stall in the cathedral of York. He died at Llanrhaiadr on 6 Oct. 1778.

His principal works are:

  1. ‘An Essay on the Scheme and Conduct, Procedure and Extent, of Man's Redemption; designed for the honour and illustration of Christianity. To which is annexed a Dissertation on the Design and Argument of the Book of Job,’ London, 1743, 8vo; 2nd edit, enlarged, London, 1748, 8vo.
  2. ‘The Historical Sense of the Mosaic Account of the Fall proved and vindicated,’ London, 1751, 8vo.
  3. ‘The Use, Value, and Improvement of Various Readings shown and illustrated,’ Oxford, 1764, 8vo.
  4. ‘A Disquisition concerning the Lord's Supper, in order to ascertain the right Notion of it,’ 1766, 8vo.
  5. ‘The Evidence of Christianity deduced from Facts, and the Testimony of Sense, throughout all Ages of the Church,’ 2 vols. London, 1769, 8vo, being the Boyle lectures for 1766−8.
  6. ‘The Scripture Theory of the Earth, throughout all its Revolutions, and all the Periods of its Existence, from the Creation to the final Renovation of all Things; being a Sequel to the Essay on Redemption, and an Illustration of the Principles on which it is written,’ London, 1773, 8vo.
  7. ‘Irenicum, or the Importance of Unity in the Church of Christ considered; and applied towards the Healing of our unhappy Differences and Divisions,’ 1775, 8vo.
  8. ‘An impartial Enquiry into the Case of the Gospel Demoniacks; with an Appendix, consisting of an Essay on Scripture Demonology,’ 1777, 8vo. This was an attack on the opinion expressed by {{Farmer, Hugh (DNB00)|Hugh Farmer]] [q. v.], a dissenting minister, in his ‘Essay on the Demoniacks.’ 1775.
  9. ‘A further Enquiry into the Case of the Gospel Demoniacks, occasioned by Mr. Farmer's Letters on the Subject,’ 1779, 8vo, a posthumous publication.

[Cooke's Preacher's Assistant; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715−1886; Gent. Mag. 1778, p. 495; Graduati Cantabr. (1823), p. 530; Le Neve's Fasti (Hardy), iii. 204, 206; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. vii. 477; Watt's Bibl. Brit.; Williams's Eminent Welshmen, p. 544.]

T. C.