A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Clarke, Samuel

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Clarke, Samuel (1675-1729).—Divine and metaphysician, b. at Norwich, was ed. at Camb., where he became the friend and disciple of Newton, whose System of the Universe he afterwards defended against Leibnitz. In 1704-5 he delivered the Boyle lectures, The Being and Attributes of God, assuming an intermediate position between orthodoxy and Deism. In 1712 he pub. views on the doctrine of the Trinity which involved him in trouble, from which he escaped by a somewhat unsatisfactory explanation. He was, however, a powerful opponent of the freethinkers of the time. C. also pub. an ed. of the Iliad, a Latin translation of the Optics of Newton, on whose death he was offered the Mastership of the Mint, which, however, he declined.