Henry Rogers - Encyclopedia

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HENRY ROGERS (1806-1877), English Nonconformist divine, was born at St Albans on the 18th of October 1806, and was educated privately and by his father, a surgeon of considerable culture. Rogers was meant to follow his father's profession, but the reading of John Howe turned him to theology, and after qualifying at Highbury College he accepted a call to the Congregational Church at Poole in 1829. In 1832 he was appointed lecturer in logic at Highbury, in 1836 professor of English at University College, London, and in 18 3 9 professor of English, mathematics and mental philosophy at Spring Hill College, Birmingham. In 1836 appeared his Life and Character of John Howe, and in 1837 The Christian Correspondent, a collection of some 400 religious letters "by eminent persons of both sexes." His contributions to the Edinburgh Review began in 1839 and were collected in volume form in 1850, 1855 and 1874. His most famous book, The Eclipse of Faith, or a Visit to a Religious Sceptic, was published anonymously in 1852 and went through six editions in three years. It drew a Reply from F. W. Newman, which Rogers answered in a Defence (1854). Two volumes of imaginary letters, Selections from the Correspondence of R. E. H. Greyson (an anagram for his own name), appeared in 1857 and show his style at its best. In 1858 he became principal and professor of theology at the Lancashire Independent College, where he edited the works of John Howe (6 vols., 1862-63) and wrote for the British Quarterly. He retired in 1871, and died at Machynlleth on the 21st of August 1877. Rogers was widely read, and as a Christian apologist carried on the traditions of the 18th century as illustrated by Butler.

See Memoir by Dr R. W. Dale, prefixed to the 8th edition of The Supernatural Origin of the Bible Inferred from Itself (the Congregational Lecture for 1873, delivered by Rogers).

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