The Theology Of Canon Mozley -- By: Charles F. Thwing

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 041:162 (Apr 1884)
Article: The Theology Of Canon Mozley
Author: Charles F. Thwing

The Theology Of Canon Mozley1

Rev. Charles F. Thwing

It is my purpose to give an account of the theology of Canon Mozley. Before entering upon this task, it is fitting to present the principal facts of his life.

James Bowling Mozley was born the fifteenth of September, 1813, in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. Early he was sent to Grantham — a school which had graduated, among other great men, Sir Isaac Newton. His preparation for the university, thus begun, was completed under private tuition. In October 1830 he entered Oriel College, Oxford. For the following twenty-six years he resided at the university. In 1840 he was elected a Fellow of Magdalen. In 1856, on his marriage, he accepted the living of Old Shoreham. By Mr. Gladstone’s recommendation, which was also the premier’s first act of patronage, he was in 1869 presented to the canonry of Worcester. Two years later he was made Regius

Professor of Divinity at Oxford. After an illness of somewhat more than two years, he died at Old Shoreham, on the fourth of January, 1878.

It was not till perhaps after his death that the church in the United States, or even in England, came to realize the loss which the cause of theology and of literature thus sustained. His mind was of slow growth. In that brilliancy to which John Henry Newman, Keble, Pusey, and Hurrell Proude contributed the fire of their genius the light of his intellect shone but dimly. Nature had endowed him with certain intellectual treasures as rich as those that any Oxford contemporary possessed; but time was needed for their development. Nature also gave him the qualities necessary for the training of his powers. Diligence, conscientiousness in the use of opportunities, constant discipline and self-correction continued through more than fifty years, served to develop his intellect into an instrument of thought strong, vigorous, and incisive. He was pre-eminently a thinker. His scholarship was noble, his knowledge broad and exact; but in thought, abstract and profound, he specially delighted. “Thinking was part of his diversion “even from boyhood. His powers of thought were to a large degree devoted to religious doctrine. He entertained profound views of doctrine, and supported these views with arguments equally profound. His style is precise,

concise, powerful, and at times of great beauty. He was a controversialist, but, unlike many controversialists, he believed in and did “underground work.” Whatever he undertook he accomplished, and whatever he accomplished was accomplished with honor to himself and to the cause h...

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