William Bates - Encyclopedia


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WILLIAM BATES (1625-1699), English nonconformist divine, was born in London in November 1625. He was admitted to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and removed thence to King's College in 1644. Of Presbyterian belief, he held the rich living ,of St Dunstan's-in-the-West, London. He was one of the commissioners at the conference in the Savoy, for reviewing the public liturgy, and was concerned in drawing up the exceptions to the Book of Common Prayer. Notwithstanding this he was appointed chaplain to Charles II., and was offered the deanery of Lichfield and Coventry, but he came out in 1662 as one of the 2000 ejected ministers. Bates was of an amiable character, and enjoyed the friendship of the lord-keeper Bridgeman, the lordchancellor Finch, the earl of Nottingham and Archbishop Tillotson. With other moderate churchmen he made several efforts towards a comprehensive settlement, but the bishops were uncompromising. He addressed William and Mary on their accession in behalf of the dissenters. After some years of pastoral service at Hackney he died there on the 14th of July 1699. Bates published Select Lives of Illustrious and Pious Persons in Latin; and after his death all his works, except this, were printed in 1 vol. fol.; again in 1723; and in 4 vols. 8vo in 1815. They treat of practical theology and include Considerations on the Existence of God and the Immortality of the Soul (1676), Four Last Things (1691), Spiritual Perfection (1699).

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