Waterland, Daniel (DNB00)

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WATERLAND, DANIEL (1683–1740), theologian, second son of Henry Waterland, rector of Walesby and Flixborough, Lincolnshire, by his second wife, was born at Walesby on 14 Feb. 1682–3. He was educated at the free school, Lincoln, and Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he was admitted on 30 March 1699, and elected scholar on 26 Dec. 1702 and fellow on 13 Feb. 1703–4. He graduated B.A. in 1703 and B.D. in 1714, and proceeded M.A. in 1706 and D.D. in 1717. On 8 May 1724 he was incorporated at Oxford. Waterland was an exemplary don, devoted to tutorial work and university business. He was examiner in arts in 1710 and in the philosophical schools in 1711. In February 1712–13 he was appointed by the visitor (Lord Suffolk and Bindon) to the mastership of his college, vacant by the death of Gabriel Quadring, and presented to the rectory of Ellingham, Norfolk. At the public commencement in 1714 he held a disputation with Thomas Sherlock [q. v.] on the question of Arian subscription. On 14 Nov. 1715 he succeeded Sherlock as vice-chancellor of the university. In 1716 he preached the sermon on occasion of the university's public thanksgiving (7 June) for the suppression of the rebellion, and on 22 Oct. presented to the Prince of Wales at Hampton Court an address of congratulation upon the event. In the following year he was appointed chaplain in ordinary to the king. The unauthorised publication of a correspondence which had passed between him and John Jackson (1686–1763) [q. v.] on the Arian tendency of Dr. Samuel Clarke's ‘Scripture Doctrine of the Trinity’ drew from Waterland ‘A Vindication of Christ's Divinity,’ Cambridge, 1719, 8vo, in which he attacked not only Clarke, but Daniel Whitby [q. v.] Whitby replied, and Waterland published an ‘Answer’ to his reply, Cambridge, 1720, 8vo. The learning and acumen which he displayed in this controversy marked him out as the true successor of Bishop George Bull [q. v.], and caused him to be selected as the first lecturer on Lady Moyer's foundation. The ‘Eight Sermons in Defence of the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ’ preached by him in this capacity in St. Paul's Cathedral, and published at Cambridge in 1720, 8vo, possess a value independent of the polemics in which they originated, and were reprinted at Oxford in 1815.

Waterland joined in the censure passed by the heads of houses in January 1720–1 on Bentley's libel on John Colbatch (1664–1748) [q. v.] In 1721 he was presented by the dean and chapter of St. Paul's to the London rectory of St. Austin and St. Faith. On 21 Dec. 1722 he was appointed by Archbishop Dawes chancellor of the diocese of York. He took an active part in the final stage of the struggle with Bentley, being a member of the syndicate appointed on 26 Sept. 1723 to take such steps as might be advisable for the purpose of defeating or delaying his restoration. In the same year appeared his ‘Critical History of the Athanasian Creed’ (Cambridge, 8vo), in which, upon an exhaustive review of the then accessible evidence, he assigned that symbol to the decade 430–40, and its composition to St. Hilary of Arles. The importance of the work was at once recognised, and a second edition was issued in 1728. Reprints appeared at London in 1850, 12mo, and at Oxford, edited by John Richard King, in 1870, 8vo (for criticism of Waterland's argument see Lumby, History of the Creeds, 3rd ed. 1887).

A Windsor canonry was added to Waterland's preferments on 27 Sept. 1727, and in 1730 the archdeaconry of Middlesex (13 Aug.) and the vicarage of Twickenham (October), upon which he resigned his London rectory. He now engaged in the deistical controversy with ‘Scripture Vindicated’ (Cambridge, 1730–2, 3 pts. 8vo), a reply to Matthew Tindal's ‘Christianity as Old as the Creation’ [see Middleton, Conyers].

To Bishop Law's ‘Enquiry into the Ideas of Space, Time, Immensity, and Eternity’ (1734), Waterland contributed by way of appendix ‘A Dissertation upon the Argument a priori for proving the Existence of a First Cause,’ in which, with special reference to Clarke, he essayed to dispose of the ontological argument in the supposed interests of orthodoxy. ‘The Importance of the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity Asserted,’ London, 1734, 8vo; 3rd ed. Cambridge, 1800; and ‘Review of the Doctrine of the Eucharist as laid down in Scripture and Antiquity,’ Cambridge, 1737, 8vo, complete the list of Waterland's majora opera. A reprint of the latter treatise appeared at Oxford in 1868, 8vo; new ed. 1896.

Waterland declined in 1734 the office of prolocutor to the lower house of convocation, as also at a later date (December 1738 or May 1740) the see of Llandaff. He died without issue on 23 Dec. 1740. His remains were interred in the south transept of St. George's Chapel, Windsor. In 1719 he married Theodosia (d. 8 Dec. 1761), daughter of John Tregonwell of Anderton, Dorset.

Waterland did more than any other divine of his generation to check the advance of latitudinarian ideas within the church of England. His deep and accurate learning and his command of nervous and perspicuous English rendered him unusually formidable as a controversialist. Of mysticism and philosophy he was suspicious, and was therefore reduced to rest the defence of Christianity entirely on external evidence.

His minor works include, besides sermons and charges:

  1. ‘The Case of Arian Subscription Considered,’ Cambridge, 1721, 8vo.
  2. ‘A Supplement to the Case of Arian Subscription Considered,’ London, 1722, 8vo [see Sykes, Arthur Ashley].
  3. ‘The Scriptures and the Arians compared in their accounts of God the Father and God the Son,’ London, 1722, 8vo.
  4. ‘A Second Vindication of Christ's Divinity,’ London, 1723, 8vo.
  5. ‘A Further Vindication of Christ's Divinity,’ London, 1724, 8vo [see Clarke, Samuel, (1675–1729)].
  6. ‘Remarks upon Dr. Clarke's Exposition of the Church Catechism,’ London, 1730, 8vo [see Emlyn, Thomas; and Sykes, Arthur Ashley].
  7. ‘The Nature, Obligation, and Efficacy of the Christian Sacraments Considered,’ London, 1730, 8vo.
  8. ‘Supplement’ to the foregoing tract published the same year.
  9. ‘Advice to a Young Student,’ London, 1730; 3rd ed. Cambridge, 1760; London, 1761.
  10. ‘Regeneration Stated and Explained,’ London, 1740, 1780, 8vo.
  11. ‘A Summary View of the Doctrine of Justification.’
  12. ‘An Inquiry concerning the Antiquity of the Practice of Infant Communion.’ The two last tracts first appeared posthumously with Waterland's ‘Sermons,’ ed. J. Clarke, London, 1742, 2 vols. 8vo; 2nd ed. 1776.

A collective edition of Waterland's works, with engraved portrait and a review of his life and writings by William Van Mildert [q. v.], bishop of Llandaff, appeared at Oxford in 1823, 10 vols. 8vo. The last volume is chiefly made up of letters, to which may be added ‘Fourteen Letters to Zachary Pearce,’ ed. Edward Churton, Oxford, 1868, 8vo, and ‘Five Letters to William Staunton,’ appended to the latter's ‘Reason and Revelation Stated,’ London, 1722, 8vo. Four letters to John Anstis the elder [q. v.] are in Stowe MS. 749, ff. 273–49.

[Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Waterland's Life by Van Mildert, above referred to; Addit. MSS. 5836 f. 25, 22911 f. 219, 31013 f. 164, 31014 ff. 46–8, 32459 f. 52, 32690 f. 278; Fam. Minor. Gent. (Harl. Soc.) iii. 875; Cooper's Ann. of Cambr. iv. 114, 143; Monk's Life of Bentley, 2nd ed.; Biogr. Brit.; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. and Illustr. of Lit.; Hist. MSS. Comm. 2nd Rep. App. p. 235, 8th Rep. App. iii. 12; Gent. Mag. 1740 p. 623, 1742 p. 280; Notes and Queries, 5th ser. iii. 85, 134, 259; Leslie Stephen's Hist. of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century; Abbey and Overton's English Church in the Eighteenth Century; Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Angl.; Fisher's History of Christian Doctrine (Internat. Theol. Libr.); Lowndes's British Librarian; Watt's Bibl. Brit.]

J. M. R.