Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Mace, Daniel

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MACE, DANIEL (d. 1753), textual critic, was probably a native of Cirencester, Gloucestershire, and was one of a family of thirteen children. He became presbyterian minister at Beckington, Somerset. Thence he removed to take charge of the presbyterian congregation at Newbury, Berkshire, at a stipend of 50l., preaching his first sermon there on 5 March 1727; he succeeded Joseph Standen, who had conformed to the established church. In 1729 his edition of the New Testament appeared anonymously. Whiston, who was at Newbury in 1748, 'in the week after Whitsun-week,' says he 'heard the worthy Mr. Mace preach twice on Sunday, in the same meeting-house where my old learned friend Mr. James Peirce [q. v.] had preached. 9 Mace died about Christmas 1753, and was buried in his meeting-house, near the pulpit. He left a widow, a son and a daughter.

He published: 1. 'The New Testament in Greek and English, containing the Original Text corrected from the Authority of the most authentic Manuscripts,' &c, 1729, 8vo, 2 vols, (anon.) The dedication to Peter King, first lord King [q. v.], at that time lord chancellor, refers to King's 'History of the Apostles' Creed,' published (1702) while he was a presbyterian. Mace's Greek type is remarkably beautiful, and is apparently peculiar to this edition, he discards soft breathings and accents, except the circumflex. For the materials of his text he relies upon Mill, whom he constantly quotes. His judgement in the construction of his revised text is exceedingly sound. Reuss, followed by Gregory and Abbot, regards his edition as a genuine precursor of the modern critical texts of the New Testament, and remarks upon the very large number of cases in which his readings are confirmed by the results of later research. Critical and historical notes are given as footnotes, or appended to the different books. Mace's edition was roughly handled by advocates of the received text, especially by Leonard Twells [q. v.] Scrivener treats it with very unwise contempt. The importance of the work was at once perceived abroad, and the readings of the 'anonymus Anglus' are carefully treated in the later volumes of J. C. Wolff's 'Curæ Philologicæ et Criticæ in N.T.,' &c, Hamburg, 1725-35, 4to, 4 vols. English critics were probably repelled by the peculiarities of his English version. His typography is eccentric: he begins each paragraph with a capital, but the separate sentences with a small letter (a similar arrangement was occasionally adopted by Charles Bulkdey [q. v.]) He is fond of odd words, e.g. 'grumes,' Luke xxii. 44; 'raparee,' 1 Cor. v. 10; 'brigues,' 1 Thess. v. 13; and the whole tone of his version is anti-ecclesiastical. Yet it exhibits genuine scholarship. A subject index shows Arianism very decidedly. The work has been erroneously ascribed to William Mace, appointed (30 Aug. 1744) Gresham lecturer on civil law, who died early in 1767. 2. 'XIX Sermons,' &c, 1751, 8vo, (on prayer, providence, &c.; Walter Wilson's manuscript, which gives a wrong date to the volume, says it was 'published' by Caleb Fleming, D.D. [q. v.], who may have seen it through the press; the long list of subscribers contains the names of David Hartley [q. v.] the philosopher and John Taylor, D.D., the hebraist).

[Whiston's Memoirs, 1753, p. 355; Christian Reformer, 1832, pp. 314 sq.; Reuss's Bibliotheca N. T. Gr., 1872; Scrivener's Plain Introduction to Criticism of N. T., 1883, p. 456; Gregory and Abbot's Prolegomena to Tischendorf's N. T., 1884, pp. 240 sq.; Newbury Weekly News, 29 March 1888 (article by Walter Money, F.S.A.), 12 July 1888 ; Walter Wilson's manuscript Notices of Dissenters, in Br. Williams's Library; Mace's Works; information from J. Ellis Mace, esq., Tenterden.]

A. G.