Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 63.djvu/35

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Wordsworth
Wordsworth
11

parently sincere in character, and unhesitating in faith and doctrine. A certain tendency to sarcasm and severity was kept under by rigorous self-discipline. To many he seemed a living embodiment of the spirit of the early fathers of the church, and on those who knew him well, or followed his teaching for any time in the pulpit, he at all periods of his life exercised a remarkable influence — not least on his Harrow — pupils winning their lasting love and veneration.

His monumental work was a commentary on the whole Bible. He began intentionally with the New Testament, in the light of which he always taught that the Old should be read. He published a revised Greek text and commentary in four parts, 1856−60. The Old Testament followed with extraordinary rapidity in twelve parts, 1864−1870. His great merit as a commentator is in showing the interdependence of the various portions of scripture and in supplying homiletic material. The introductions are specially valuable. His ‘Church History up to A.D. 451,’ in four volumes, was the work of his old age (1881−3). It is specially interesting from his sympathy with, and firsthand knowledge of, the fathers.

Besides the works already mentioned, Wordsworth's publications included, apart from numerous single sermons, tracts, pamphlets, addresses, and charges: 1. ‘Athens and Attica,’ 1836. 2. ‘Pompeian Inscriptions,’ the first published collection of ‘graffiti,’ 1837, republished in No. 34. 3. ‘Greece, Pictorial and Descriptive,’ 1839; 6th edition 1858, with 600 engravings and a notice of Greek art by (Sir) George Scharf; new edition edited by the Rev. H. F. Tozer, 1882; a French translation, 1840. 4. ‘Preces Selectæ,’ 1842. 5. ‘A Manual for those about to be Confirmed,’ 1842; like No. 4, for the use of Harrow school. 6. ‘King Edward VI's Latin Grammar’ (1841), long a standard schoolbook, but superseded in 1871 by the publication of the ‘Public Schools Latin Grammar.’ 7. ‘The Correspondence of Richard Bentley,’ 1842, which had been commenced by Dr. Monk and carried on by the bishop's brother, John Wordsworth, who died in 1839 while engaged in the work. 8. ‘Theophilus Anglicanus,’ 1843, was intended in the first instance simply to instruct his Harrow pupils in church principles, but, appearing at a time when those principles, having been revived by the Oxford movement, were receiving a shock by the threatened secessions to Rome, it just met a deeply felt want. 9. ‘Theocritus,’ 1st edit. 1844, which was superseded by the fuller edition of 1877, a work of much scholarship and full of acute conjectures. 10. ‘Discourses on Public Education,’ 1844. 11. ‘Hulsean Lectures [first series] on the Canon of Scripture,’ 1848. 12. ‘Hulsean Lectures [second series] on the Apocalypse,’ 1849. 13. ‘Occasional Sermons’ (first series), 1850: chiefly on the Gorham controversy. 14. ‘Occasional Sermons’ (second series), 1851. 15. ‘Memoirs of William Wordsworth’ (1851), his uncle the poet, with whom he had been on terms of the greatest intimacy, and whose literary executor he became. 16−17. ‘Occasional Sermons’ (1852), the third and fourth series. 18. ‘Sermons on the Irish Church,’ 1852. 19. ‘S. Hippolytus and the Church of Rome’ (1853), which threw much light upon a then little known period of church history. 20. ‘Boyle Lectures on Religious Restoration’ (1854), forming the fifth series of his ‘Occasional Sermons.’ 21−2. ‘Occasional Sermons,’ sixth series 1857, and seventh series 1859. 23. ‘Lectures on Inspiration,’ 1861. 24. ‘The Holy Year,’ 1862: his only publication in English verse, intended for congregational use, and to illustrate in detail all the teaching of the Book of Common Prayer. Many hymns from this book are now in common use. They are largely scriptural and patristic in substance, and are often a sort of essence of his commentaries. They are intensely devotional in tone, but the element of individual emotion is generally suppressed. 25. ‘Sermons on the Maccabees,’ 1871; preached at Cambridge. 26. ‘Ethica et Spiritualia,’ 1872: a collection of about five hundred pithy maxims, intended for the students at the Scholæ Cancellarii. 27. ‘Twelve Diocesan Addresses,’ 1873. 28. A revised English version of ‘Bishop Sanderson's Lectures on Conscience and Human Law,’ 1877. 29. ‘Miscellanies, Literary and Religious,’ 1879, 3 vols. 8vo, containing an extraordinary variety of matter, some of which was printed for the first time. 30. ‘Conjectural Emendations of Passages in Ancient Authors, and other Papers,’ 1883 (see No. 3). 31. A tract on ‘John Wiclif,’ 1884, à propos of the Wycliffe tercentenary. 32. ‘How to read the Old Testament,’ 1885: written for his grandchildren.

[Life of Christopher Wordsworth, Bishop of Lincoln, by J. H. Overton and Elizabeth Wordsworth (1888); Bishop Wordsworth's Works, passim; personal knowledge and private information.]

J. H. O.

WORDSWORTH, DOROTHY (1804−1847), author. [See under Quillinan, Edward.]