Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/458

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Hort
Hort
446

of Charles Anthony Swainson [q. v.], and Hort was elected on 26 Oct. In 1890 the appointment of Dr. Westcott to the see of Durham, in the place of Lightfoot, left him the survivor of the three scholar friends at Cambridge. On 1 May 1890 Hcrt preached the sermon in Westminster Abbey at Dr. Westcott's consecration. On 23 May the honorary degree of D.C.L. was conferred on him at Durham. But his health, which for years had not been robust, now began to fail, although his mental activity was unimpaired. In 1891 he appointed the Rev. Frederic Wallis of Gonville and Caius College (now bishop of Wellington) to act as his deputy.

In the summer of 1892 he went to Switzerland, but he was brought home in September in a very prostrate condition. Even so, however, he was' able to write under great pressure the full and interesting biography of his old friend Dr. Lightfoot for the present 'Dictionary.' It was a last effort; it seemed as if it exhausted the remaining threads of strength. He died in sleep in the early morning of 30 Nov. 1892. A portrait of Hort was painted in 1891, by Mr. Jacomb Hood, for Emmanuel College combination, room; copies are in the hall of Trinity College, in the library of the divinity school, Cambridge, at Rugby, and in the possession of Mrs. Hort.

In appearance, as the writer recalls him between 1875 and 1892, Hort was one of the most striking-looking men among the more distinguished personages of his university. He was of middle height; he had the slight stoop of an indefatigable reader; his hair and close-cut beard, moustache, and whiskers were prematurely white. He had well-cut features, with a strikingly fine and broad forehead. He was, as a young man, an ardent mountaineer, and one of the earliest members of the Alpine Club. His interest in natural science was always maintained, and he was a first-rate practical botanist. He had a good ear for music, and as a young man sang a good deal.

He had a love for poetry, and himself had something of true poetical gift (cf. his poem on 'Tintern Abbey,' written in 1855, in the Life and Letters, i. 301). As a lecturer he always maintained a high level. His lectures were prepared beforehand with most laborious care; many of them have been published since his death, almost word for word as he delivered them. Although, owing to his fastidiousness and passion for thoroughness, he produced comparatively little literary work, he was able by his superb stores of knowledge to aid scholars who from every quarter sought his assistance and counsel.

In his latter years he obtained a remarkable hold over younger teachers and scholars. In theological matters he kept strictly aloof from party movements and controversies. His historical sense dominated his whole mind. He could not be a partisan. His lectures on 'The Christian Ecclesia' and 'Judaistic Christianity' illustrate his capacity for working in 'a dry light.' He aimed only at arriving at truth, not at confirming opinion. He always vehemently contended for Holy Scripture being made the foundation of all English theological teaching, and insisted on doctrine being studied in the light of history. His own attitude of mind was one of intense reverence for the past, and of boldness in the simplicity of a strong faith (cf. Fairbairn, Catholicism, Roman and Anglican, p. 406). He was no mere schoolman, engrossed in texts and readings, as the outside world supposed. He combined in a rare measure the scholar and the thinker; and in some of the posthumous writings which have been published, notably in his 'Hulsean Lectures,' it is not hard to discern that, in spite of the long discipline of scientific criticism and textual classification, he kept alive the aspiration to express constructively and philosophically his own interpretation of the Christian position in relation to the problems of modern thought. Dr. Sanday called him (American Journal of Theology, pp. 95-117) 'our greatest English theologian of the century.' Distinguished foreign scholars like Dr. Caspar René Gregory Realencyclopädie f. prot. Theologie u. Kirche, 3 Aufl.) and Dr. Samuel Berger (d. 1900), the French protestant biblical scholar (Des Études d'Histoire Ecclésiastique: Leçon d'ouverture, 3 Nov. 1899, Paris, 1899) were as enthusiastic as his own countrymen in their testimonies to the eminence of Hort's achievements in New Testament criticism.

A complete bibliography of Hort's writings published during his lifetime will be found in Appendix iii. (pp. 492-5) of the second volume of 'The Life and Letters.' The more important of those published during his lifetime have been already mentioned. The following have been published posthumously:

  1. 'The Way, the Truth, the Life,' 1893 (Hulsean Lectures for 1871).
  2. 'Judaistic Christianity,' 1894.
  3. 'Prolegomena to St. Paul's Epistles to the Romans andEphesians,' 1895.
  4. 'Six Popular Lectures on the Ante-Nicene Fathers,' 1895.
  5. 'The Christian Ecclesia, a Course of Lectures on the Early History and Early Conception of the Ecclesia, and Four Sermons,' 1897.
  6. 'Vil-