1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Grabe, John Ernest

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GRABE, JOHN ERNEST (1666–1711), Anglican divine, was born on the 10th of July 1666, at Königsberg, where his father, Martin Sylvester Grabe, was professor of theology and history. In his theological studies Grabe succeeded in persuading himself of the schismatical character of the Reformation, and accordingly he presented to the consistory of Samland in Prussia a memorial in which he compared the position of the evangelical Protestant churches with that of the Novatians and other ancient schismatics. He had resolved to join the Church of Rome when a commission of Lutheran divines pointed out flaws in his written argument and called his attention to the English Church as apparently possessing that apostolic succession and manifesting that fidelity to ancient institutions which he desired. He came to England, settled in Oxford, was ordained in 1700, and became chaplain of Christ Church. His inclination was towards the party of the nonjurors. The learned labours to which the remainder of his life was devoted were rewarded with an Oxford degree and a royal pension. He died on the 3rd of November 1711, and in 1726 a monument was erected to him by Edward Harley, earl of Oxford, in Westminster Abbey. He was buried in St Pancras Church, London.

Some account of Grabe’s life is given in R. Nelson’s Life of George Bull, and by George Hickes in a discourse prefixed to the pamphlet against W. Whiston’s Collection of Testimonies against the True Deity of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. His works, which show him to have been learned and laborious but somewhat deficient in critical acumen, include a Spicilegium SS. Patrum et haereticorum (1698–1699), which was designed to cover the first three centuries of the Christian church, but was not continued beyond the close of the second. A second edition of this work was published in 1714. He brought out an edition of Justin Martyr’s Apologia prima (1700), of Irenaeus, Adversus omnes haereses (1702), of the Septuagint, and of Bishop Bull’s Latin works (1703). His edition of the Septuagint was based on the Codex Alexandrinus; it appeared in 4 volumes (1707–1720), and was completed by Francis Lee and by George Wigan.