Cartwright, Christopher (DNB00)

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CARTWRIGHT, CHRISTOPHER (1602–1658), divine, was born in the parish of St. Michael-le-Belfry, York, in 1602. He was admitted to Peterhouse, Cambridge, on 13 Dec. 1617; graduated B.A. 1620, M. A. 1624; was elected to a fellowship at Peterhouse on 30 March 1625, and was afterwards a clergyman in York. His writings are: 1. 'The Magistrates' Authority in matters of Religion and the Soul's Immortality vindicated in two sermons,' 1647. The first sermon, published by a Colonel Leigh, is directed against some soldiers in the army at York, who had roused Cartwright's indignation by denying the power of the magistrate to restrain heretics. 2. 'The Doctrine of Faith . . .' 1649 (thirty-six sermons). 3. 'Certamen Religiosum, or a Controversy between the late King of England and the late Lord Marquesse of Worcester concerning Revelation, with a Vindication of the Protestant Cause from the pretences of the Marquesse his last Papers, which the necessity of the King's affairs denied him opportunity to answer,' 1651. The 'Certamen Religiosum,' published in 1649 by Thomas Baylie [q. v.] is here reprinted with Cartwright's answer. 4. 'Electa Thargumico-Rabbinica sive Annotationes in Exodum ex triplice Thargum seu Chaldaica paraphrase …' 1658. Dedicated to Ussher. 5. 'Mellificium Hebraicum seu observationes diversimodae ex Hebraeorum, praesertim antiquorum, monumentis desumptse, unde plurimi cum Veteri cum Novi Testamenti loci vel explicantur vel illustrantur.' The last was first published in the ninth volume of the 'Critici Sacri,' 1660, and the eighth volume of the edition of 1698. The 'Electa Thargumico-Rabbinica' was first inserted in the 'Critici Sacri' of 1698 (vol. i. pt. i.) Cartwright shows great learning in illustrating the Bible from ancient rabbinical writings, and is respectfully menttioned by contemporaries. When Baxter wrote his first work, 'Aphorisms of Justification, &c.,' he submitted it to Cartwright among others. Cartwright made various remarks, to which Baxter replied. Cartwright then replied by some 'exceptions.'." Baxter lost the manuscript, which turned up some years after Cartwright's death. In 1676 Baxter published his 'Treatise of Justifying Righteousness,' in two books, the second of which, entitled 'A Friendly Debate with the learned and worthy Mr. Christopher Cartwright,' contains all the preceding papers, together with Baxter's final reply. 'The Substance of Mr. Cartwright's Objections considered.' It is a curious illustration of Baxter's dialectical subtlety and candour. He calls Cartwright a 'very learned, peaceable and godly man.' Cartwright died at York in 1658, and left some books to the library of Peterhouse.

[Sylvester's Baxter, i. 50. 107; Coles's MSS. xlii. 100, 136; E. Leigh's Treatise of Religion and Learning (1656), p. 155; Wood's Athenae Oxon. ii. 527, iii. 201, 432, 928, 1027; Drake's Eboracum, p. 378; Calamy's Baxter, ii. 783.]

L. S.