Preface to Poole's "Synopsis": Poole's Patrons
Updated: Feb 24, 2021
Now, since this Work has required great expenses and pains, it is most equitable that I remember with gratitude those, who, either by counsel, or by funds, or in other ways, have been a help to me. First, however, out of respect, those Reverend and most learned Theologians, domestic and foreign, are to be named, who have adorned the Exemplar produced by me with their Testimonies, exceedingly full of sincerity and goodwill, and they went before my other patrons by their example and authority. Their names follow:
The most Reverend Bishops: George of Winchester, John of Lichfield and Coventry, Edward of Norwich, Seth of Salisbury, Edward of Carlisle, Walter of Oxford, John of Rochester, Robert of Bangor, John Wilkins (Professor of Sacred Theology, now the Reverend Bishop of Chester), William Sancroft (Dean of St. Paul’s in London), Richard Allestree (Regius Professor of Sacred Theology at Oxford), John Lightfoot (Professor of Sacred Theology), Thomas Barlow (Professor of Sacred Theology, and preferred to Queen’s College, Oxford), Ralph Cudworth (Professor of Sacred Theology), Richard Perinchief (Professor of Sacred Theology), John Owen (Professor of Sacred Theology), Edmund Castell (Professor of Sacred Theology), William Lloyd (Professor of Sacred Theology), John Tillotson (Professor of Sacred Theology), Edward Stillingfleet (Professor of Sacred Theology), Simon Patrick (Professor of Sacred Theology), Richard Baxter, William Bates (Professor of Sacred Theology), Thomas Jacomb (Professor of Sacred Theology), Thomas Horton (Professor of Sacred Theology), Thomas Manton (Professor of Sacred Theology), Benjamin Whichcote (Professor of Sacred Theology), Ralph Bathurst (President of Trinity College, Oxford), John Wallis (Professor of Sacred Theology, and Professor of Geometry, Oxford). Now the foreign professors: Abraham Heidanus (Senior Professor of Sacred Theology at Leiden), Johannes Cocceius (Professor of Sacred Theology, and pro tempore Rector of the Academy at Leiden), Gisbertus Voetius (Professor of Sacred Theology, Utrecht), Andreas Essenius (Prefessor of Sacred Theology, Utrecht), Franciscus Burmannus (Professor of Sacred Theology, Utrecht).
To these are to be added those most learned and worthy Men, who directed with the highest fidelity and diligence the management of the finances, entrusted to them with my confidence and in the name of theSsubscribers; from whom three are next enumerated, in whose praise it will perhaps be sufficient to set forward their names: Simon Patrick (Doctor of Sacred Theology), John Tillotson (Doctor of Sacred Theology), Edward Stillingfleet (Doctor of Sacred Theology). They are joined in this duty with the following: James Langham (a most erudite and refined man, Eques Auratus), John Micklethwaite and Thomas Wharton (doctors of medicine in London, most celebrated for their merit), John King (Armiger, of the Society of the Inner Temple, Most Celebrated for his skill in Law and other good arts, to whom, on account of his prudent counsel and tireless labors required for my sake and for the sake of the Work, I acknowledge myself to owe much).
It is also proper to acknowledge with gratitude and to honor with just praise those who have made their goodwill toward this Work most well-attested by means of gratuitous and generous gifts. Among whom, let the Most Illustrious Peter Wentworth deservedly lead the crowd, Knight of the Honorable Order of the Bath. To you especially, O Illustrious Man, because of your distinguished generosity, eternal remembrance is owed, both from me and from all to whom our labors might be useful. You have, with those ancient examples of Heroic liberality, which had almost passed into fables through the stinginess of the present age, revived faith: You left behind to all following a perpetual monument of your virtue; so that our England might be able now to boast of two Wentworths, one with respect to political Science, the other with respect to exceptional Generosity concerning good literature, men to be celebrated unto all generations. The notable circle of benefactors follows, about which Patrons I am able and obliged to boast: Orlando Bridgman, Eques Auratus and Baronet, Privy Counselor to the King and Keeper of the Great Seal of England; Edward, Earl of Manchester, Privy Counselor to the King and Lord Chamberlain of the Royal Household; John, Earl of Bridgwater, Privy Counselor to the King; Arthur, Earl of Donegal, Privy Counselor to the King in the Kingdom of Ireland; John Hacket, the Reverend Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry; John Robarts, Baron of Truro, Privy Counselor to the King, and Viceroy of Ireland; Robert Brooke, Baron; Lord Thomas Fairfax, Baron of Cameron; William Morice, Eques Auratus, Privy Counselor to the King; Walter Saint John, Baronet; Gilbert Gerhard, Baronet; John Barnard, Eques Auratus; Thomas Grove, Armiger; William Corteene, Armiger; Samuel Smith, Armiger; Henry Spurstow, Armiger; Simon Patrick, Professor of Sacred Theology; Richard Colinge, Armiger; John Cooke, Armiger.
To these, who, for my sake and for the sake of the Work, contributed money for printing of more copies, are to be subjoined: Jonathan Keate, Eques Auratus and Baronet; Andrew Rickard, Eques Auratus; John Hewly, Eques Auratus; Francis Rolle, Eques Auratus; Daniel Farington, Armiger; John Davy, merchant. There are others, whom it has not yet been granted to me to know; and there are all those, who by their tireless labors procured the help of others. From the naming of all these I am compelled to desist, lest this Preface become immense.
Nevertheless, those Most Illustrious men that most generously shared some of their own thoughts and collections with me are not to be passed over: 1. John Wilkins, Professor of Sacred Theology, now the most Reverend Bishop of Chester: to rehearse completely the most deserved praises of him would be to light an oil lamp before the Sun. 2. Thomas Brograve of Hertford, Baronet, who adorned his Rank in no common way with sound scholarship and the highest virtues. 3. John Lightfoot, Professor of Sacred Theology: most noted in the World for his Works, Works most famous and most full of arcane knowledge. 4. The most erudite John Palmer, Archdeacon of Northampton. 5. Thomas Guidott, physician at Bathe, most learned and famous. What each might have supplied, I have judged it unnecessary to relate here, since those distinctive contributions are identified in their proper places of the Synopsis.
Although Divine mercy won over to me many Patrons and roused other men, men most renowned in all England and the educated world, who were most kindly lending an obstetrical hand to my efforts, I have endured adversaries, neither few nor inactive, who have slandered me with a thousand reproaches and calumnies, and have tried to subvert thoroughly my design in its very infancy. But I do not wish to call again to mind those squalls, which the gracious providence of God easily dissipated. Those blows, the unavoidable concomitants of labors of a certain kind, were naturally foreseen by me, the repetition of which I even now expect. Perhaps there will be no lack of those that will read my Synopsis for the purpose for which Julian read the Sacred Scriptures, so that they might have knowledge of that which they would be efficacious to assail. Some men will complain of words, some of sentences, others of method. Some will find fault in overmuch brevity, others perhaps even in excessive carefulness. In this place, a multiplicity of omissions will be complained of; in that place, many superfluities, which by their very variety might possibly overload and overwhelm the student. This possibility is to be considered somewhat more carefully. Perhaps some will be anxious that the minds of the Readers might be distracted by such a great variety both of Versions and of Interpretations, and that the truth, as it usually happens, would be jeopardized in the great crowd of conflicting opinions. In response to which several things can be put down: 1. A representation of diverse Expositions was not only designed and proposed by me, but was also in a way necessary in this Work. Otherwise, if I had prepared the entire Commentary out of the aforementioned Authors, having rejected those things which might appear less consonant with the Text and the truth, and having selected and recorded those things which I might judge to be more agreeable to them (from which deliberation the Authors were absent), I would have suffered under a most heavy presumption that I had exercised a kind of Dictatorship over my Authors and Readers. 2. This variety serves not only for delight (which is by no means to be despised, so that the Readers might devour with pleasure useful things), but it displays exceptional usefulness, inasmuch as, by means of discordant opinions, with the movements of arguments fully and faithfully exhibited, and also patiently and tranquilly weighed, the investigation would be easier for the Reader and more reliable with respect to the Truth. Now, such is the Truth’s evidence, its power and the authority, that, if it but shine forth with its innate splendor, and if what is so worthy of attention be not presented in a false light, it would force itself upon human eyes and minds; for we do not find it as difficult as we make it. The placing of errors next to the Truth will not be harmful to the Truth at all; rather, from the comparison of such, the Truth itself will shine forth more brightly. 3. I might wish that these would consider that this work was intended, not for unlearned and uncultivated intellects (the feeble capacities of which would easily be thrown into confusion by this variety), but for learned men and for those who have their senses exercised unto judgment; that I have prepared not milk for infants, but solid food for adults, for whom, from the variety of the fare, there is little reason to be concerned about danger or a lack of usefulness and profit. There is even another advantage, that this variety of differing opinions will both exercise the intellect of the Reader beyond the ordinary measure and move him unto the free exercise of his own judgment. For nothing is less worthy of a Christian man, but especially of a Theologian, than to surrender his own judgment to the opinion or caprice of others and to concede with blind impetuosity the agenda to whatever might please others. 4. That variety of Versions and Expositions, and the inconsistency in them, presents itself for the most part in those passages or matters, concerning which it might be lawful for this or that opinion to be embraced without great danger. However, in differences of importance, let us ardently invoke God and His promise to all the pious who seek the same Lord; let us confidently beseech the Holy Spirit, who, if we would but yield to His Word, which is indeed necessary for salvation, will most certainly lead us into all truth. And to this point this may be sufficient to have said.
Meanwhile, I apply my hand and mind to the Second Volume of the Synopsis, which even now begins to sweat under a twofold press, and (if the most merciful God will grant to me life and vigor) it will continue to sweat, until it will have been brought to completion. Now, you, Christian Reader, with most vigorous prayers for my sake will prevail upon the Father of Lights, that He might think it fitting to impart all gifts and helps necessary for such a Work, and that He might crown these and all other labors, which serve in the explicating of the Sacred Scripture, with those successes so-much desired; that, with the darkness of all errors and ignorance finally dispelled, the Word of God might be restored to its majesty and purity, and so that, being understood in the right manner, it might be converted through the lively faith and constant obedience of each Christian into marrow and blood.
 For those interested in this period of the English Reformation and in the life and labors of Matthew Poole, the following list of names will repay careful attention.
 George Morley (1597-1684) began his career as Canon of Christ Church and then Rector of Mildenhall (1641). He proved himself to be loyal to the prelatical form of government, engaging in efforts to resist the Parliament’s attempt to advance Presbyterianism. Consequently, he was deprived (1647), and even imprisoned for a brief time before leaving the shores of England. He allied himself with the cause of Charles II and was able to regain his living and to advance to become the Bishop of Worcester (1660) and of Winchester (1662). He was the principal representative of the prelatic party at the Savoy Conference (1661), which Conference failed to compose the differences between the bishops and the Nonconformist ministers.
 John Hacket (1592-1670) was rector of St. Andrew’s and Cheam when the civil war came. He was deprived of the living of St. Andrew’s, but he retained that of Cheam and was able to ride out the war. After the Restoration, he was installed as Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry (1661).
 Edward Reynolds (1599-1676), although a moderate Episcopalian, sided with the Presbyterians during the Civil War. He sat as a member of the Assembly of Divines (1643) and swore the Covenant (1644). Although he did reenter the prelatic establishment after the Restoration, his ministry continued to be actuated by Puritan principles.
 Seth Ward (1617-1689) began his career as lecturer in mathematics at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge (1643). However, he was soon deprived by parliamentary commissioners for refusing to take the Solemn League and Covenant. He continued his career as Professor of Astronomy at Oxford, which did not require the swearing of the Covenant. After the Restoration, he was consecrated Bishop of Exeter (1662) and translated to Salisbury (1667). He spent an enormous amount of money restoring the ornamentation of ecclesiastical buildings. Although he was known for his generosity, he was quite severe with Nonconformists.
 Edward Rainbowe (1608-1684) was a fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge, when he was deprived by the Parliament. After the Restoration, he was reinstated and advanced until he was consecrated Bishop of Carlisle (1664).
 Walter Blandford served as Vice-Chancellor of Oxford (1662) and Bishop of Gloucester (1660), of Oxford (1665), and of Worcester (1671).
 John Dolben (1625-1686) fought in the Civil War, siding with the Royalists. So zealous was he for the Anglican service that he practiced it in private during the time of its prohibition. After the Restoration, he began to ascend through the ecclesiastical ranks, serving as the Bishop of Rochester from 1666 to 1683 and as the Archbishop of York from 1683 to 1686.
 Robert Morgan (1608-1673) was Bishop of Bangor from 1666 to 1673.
 John Wilkins (1614-1672) swore the Solemn League and Covenant, and, as the War progressed, sided with Oliver Cromwell. He served as Warden of Wadham College, Oxford (1648). Wilkins married Cromwell’s sister, Robina, and Richard Cromwell appointed him Master of Trinity College, Cambridge (1659). After the Restoration, he was deprived (1660), but it was not long before he found favor with Charles II and began to climb the ecclesiastical ladder, until he was consecrated Bishop of Chester (1668). Wilkins was highly influential in the founding of the Royal Society.
 William Sancroft (1616-1693) was fellow of Emanuel College, Cambridge, but during the Civil War he was deprived (1649). After the Restoration, he began his ecclesiastical advancement: Master of Emanuel College (1662), Dean of St. Paul’s (1664), and Archbishop of Canterbury (1677). In 1688, Sancroft was among the “Seven Bishops” who petitioned James II against the Declaration of Indulgence. In 1691, he was himself deprived for refusing to take the oath to William and Mary.
 Richard Allestree (1619-1681) was a student at Christ Church College, Oxford, when he joined the Royalist army. Even after returning to Oxford, he vigorously resisted the Covenant and parliamentary visitation of the school (1648), leading to his expulsion. He survived as a chaplain and tutor until the time of the Restoration, after which he became Canon of Christ Church, lecturer, and finally Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford. In 1665, he took up the labor of Provost of Eton College.
 Thomas Barlow (1607-1691) served as fellow of Queen’s College, Oxford (1635), keeper of the Bodleian Library (1652), provost of Queen’s College (1657), Archdeacon of Oxford (1661), and finally Bishop of Lincoln (1675). He seems to have weathered the Civil War by emphasizing the points of his theology which were in favor at any given time and deemphasizing those out of favor.
 Ralph Cudworth (1617-1688) studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he was elected fellow (1639) and Regius Professor of Hebrew (1645). He was supportive of the Commonwealth, but, after the Restoration, he appears to have had little difficulty accepting appointments in the established church, serving as Vicar of Ashwell, Hertfordshire (1662), and then Prebendary of Gloucester (1678). He was a leader of the Cambridge Platonists. His father, Ralph Cudworth, Sr. (1572-1624), edited the works of William Perkins, and was the continuator of Perkins’ commentary on Galatians, completing the final chapter after Perkins’ death.
 Richard Perinchief (d. 1673) was prebendary of Westminster. He shows himself to be a faithful Royalist in his Indulgence not Justified: Being a Continuation of the Discourse of Toleration and The Royal Martyr, or the Life and Death of King Charles I.
 John Owen (1616-1683) sided with the Parliament during the Civil War. However, he did not embrace the Presbyterianism of the Westminster Assembly, preferring Independency. He won the esteem of Oliver Cromwell, and Cromwell made him Dean of Christ Church, Oxford (1651) and then Vice-chancellor (1652). He lost the deanery at the Restoration. After the Restoration, Owen would suffer the vicissitudes that accompanied his convictions, but his was the most persuasive and respected voice for Independency and toleration.
 Edmund Castell (1606-1685) was an expert in oriental languages. He served as the king’s chaplain and Professor of Arabic at Cambridge (1666). He spent most of his productive years on two great works: Dr. Brian Walton’s Polyglot Bible and his own Lexicon Heptaglotton Hebraicum, Chaldaicum, Syriacum, Samaritanum, Æthiopicum, Arabicum, et Persicum.
 William Lloyd (1627-1717) held a succession of preferments in the established church after the Restoration, including the prebendary of Salisbury (1667), the deanery of Bangor (1672), the vicarage of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields (1676), and the bishoprics of St. Asaph (1680), of Lichfield and Coventry (1692), and of Worcester (1699). He opposed the Romanism of James II, supported the Glorious Revolution of William and Mary, and was instrumental in producing several works on the history of the English Reformation.
 John Tillotson (1630-1694) was a member of the Presbyterian party until the Act of Uniformity (1662). He was appointed Curate of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire (1662), and then Rector of Kedington, Suffolk (1663). In 1664, he became Preacher to Lincoln’s Inn and distinguished himself for tact and persuasiveness. He employed his considerable rhetorical skills in the cause of the Protestant religion against atheism and Romanism. He continued to rise through the ecclesiastical ranks, a rise uninterrupted by the Glorious Revolution, until he was consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury (1691). He continued to attempt the reform of certain abuses in the church until his death.
 Edward Stillingfleet (1635-1699) held multiple preferments in the Anglican Church after the Restoration, including the archdeaconry of London (1677), the deanery of St. Paul’s (1678), and the bishopric of Worcester (1689). Stillingfleet was a man of profound scholarship and of a profoundly irenic spirit, promoting the comprehension of the Presbyterian ministers.
 Simon Patrick (1626-1707) was a faithful son of the Church of England, holding multiple preferments in succession, and rising to the office of bishop. He was a man of profound learning, and his exegetical (most notably, his Commentary on the Historical and Poetical Books of the Old Testament) and devotional works were quite influential, even among the Nonconformists. He was widely esteemed, not only for his learning, but also for his irenic and moderate disposition.
 Although Richard Baxter (1615-1691) did not have the benefit of a solid education in his early years, he made thorough use of a good library to supplement what was lacking. He entered the ministry in 1638 and grew into the duties of the office over time. He became the minister of Kidderminster in 1640, an appointment which lasted until after the Civil War. Although a moderate Episcopalian, Baxter sided with the Parliament. After the Restoration, Baxter was deprived, and labored (to no avail) for a comprehension of the moderate dissenters, taking a leading role in the Savoy Conference. He was offered a bishopric but could not accept it on the terms offered. Baxter suffered varying degrees of toleration and persecution for the rest of his life.
 William Bates (1625-1699) was a most eminent Nonconformist divine and Presbyterian minister. He was ejected in 1662 with the Act of Uniformity. He labored for a comprehension, participating in the Savoy Conference, but to no avail. He was eventually restored to the pastorate in Hackney, where he died.
 Thomas Jacomb (1622-1687) was a Nonconformist divine. During the Civil War, he ministered at St. Martin, Ludgate. The Act of Uniformity deprived him of his living.
 Thomas Horton (1620-1673) held several academic and ecclesiastical posts during the Civil War: Professor of Divinity at Gresham College (1641), Preacher of Gray’s Inn (1647), and Vice Chancellor of Cambridge (1649). With the Act of Uniformity, he was deprived, but he afterwards conformed.
 Thomas Manton (1620-1677) was a prominent and influential member of the Presbyterian party and a popular preacher. He was one of three scribes at the Westminster Assembly, and he was commissioned to pen the commendatory epistle for the Confession and Catechisms. After the Restoration, Charles II offered to make him Dean of Rochester, but he refused and resigned the living that he had, on account of the Act of Uniformity.
 Benjamin Whichcote (1609-1683) held both ecclesiastical and academic positions. He served as minister at North Cadbury, Somerset (1643), and then as Provost of King’s College, after the Parliament took control of the universities. Whichcote was the only one who held such a position without swearing the Solemn League and Covenant. With the Restoration, he was temporarily removed from his position until the Act of Uniformity, which he accepted. He went on to be Minister of St. Anne’s, Blackfriars (1662) and Vicar of St. Lawrence Jewry (1668). Whichcote was a leader of the Cambridge Platonists and a controversial figure, denying the doctrine of total depravity and espousing a latitudinarian toleration.
 Ralph Bathurst (1620-1704) desired to be an Anglican priest, but the Civil War prevented this career path. Instead, he devoted himself to medicine. He worked with some eminent experimentalists, such as Robert Boyle and Thomas Willis. After the Restoration, he resumed his career in the church, and was made President of Trinity College (1664).
 John Wallis (1616-1703) was a Presbyterian minister and mathematician. He served as chaplain at St. Gabriel, Fenchurch Street (1643) and as a scribe for the Westminster Assembly. In 1649, he was appointed to the Savilian Chair of Geometry, Oxford. Although he would continue to serve his church in various capacities, he is most remembered for his achievements in mathematics, having been recognized as instrumental in the development of modern calculus.
 Abraham Heidanus (1597-1678) was a Dutch Calvinist Professor of Theology at the University of Leiden (1648). He was influential in drawing Johannes Cocceius to that university. He authored Corpus Theologiæ Christianæ (1686), and his thought shows some Cartesian influence.
 Johannes Cocceius (1603-1689) was born in Bremen, Germany, and went on to become Professor of Philology at the Gymnasium in Bremen (1630), held the chair of Hebrew (1630) and Theology (1643) at Franker, and was made Professor of Theology at Leiden (1650). He was the founder of the Cocceian school of covenant theology, bitter rival to the Voetian school.
 Gisbertus Voetius (1589-1676) was an eminent Dutch Calvinist divine and leader of the Nadere Reformatie (the Dutch Second Reformation). He was called to serve as pastor in his native Heusden (1617). He later became Professor of Theology and Oriental Languages at the University of Utrecht (1634), where he taught theology, logic, metaphysics, and Semitic languages, including Hebrew, Arabic, and Syriac. He was the father of the Voetian school of covenant theology, and he was involved in controversies with the Cocceians, Arminians, and Cartesian Rationalists.
 Andreas Essenius (1618-1677) was educated at the University of Utrecht under the tutelage of Gernardus Schotanus and Gisbertus Voetius. He first served as a minister, and then as a professor of theology at Utrecht (1653). Among his students were Wilhelmus à Brakel and Philipp van Limborch. Essenius wrote both Systema Theologicæ Dogmaticæ (1659) and Compendium Theologiæ Dogmaticæ (1669), as well as multiple works on the Ten Commandments.
 Franciscus Burmannus (1628-1679) was Professor of Theology at Utrecht. He was of the Cocceian school of covenant theology.
 Sir James Langham of Cottesbrooke (c. 1620-1699) was educated at Emmanuel College Cambridge, and later trained for law at Lincoln’s Inn. He served as MP for Northamptonshire (1656-1658), MP for Northampton (1659, 1661-1663), and Sheriff of Northampton (1664). In 1678, Langham was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.
 Eques Auratus could be translated as Golden Knight; such were allowed to gild their armor.
 Sir John Micklethwaite (1612-1682) was the personal physician of King Charles II, and served as President of the Royal College of Physicians (1676-1681).
 Thomas Wharton (1614-1673) was an anatomist. He obtained his medical degree in 1647 and was elected to the Royal College of Physicians in 1650.
 Sir John King (1639-1677) was a lawyer, descended from a Huguenot family in Rouen France. He joined the Inner Temple in 1660 and was admitted to the bar in 1667. He was made a king’s counselor and attorney general to the Duke of York. He was knighted in 1674.
 The Society of the Inner Temple was formed for the housing and training of lawyers.
 Sir Peter Wentworth, Knight of Bath (1592-1675) was an MP for Tamworth, and thus a member of the Long Parliament. At the dissolution of the Long Parliament, Wentworthy was severely criticized by Oliver Cromwell for “immorality” that had disgraced the house. Nevertheless, his political career continued. This Wentworth was also a friend and benefactor of John Milton.
 This Peter Wentworth (1530-1596) was a member of the House of Commons. He contended earnestly and bravely for the rights and liberties of Parliament against Elizabeth’s ever-expanding royal prerogative. This Wentworth was the grandfather of the previously mentioned Peter Wentworth.
 Sir Thomas Brograve (c. 1638-1670) was created the first Baronet Brograve, of Hammels, Hertford, on March 18, 1663. He was the Sheriff of Herfordshire from 1664 to 1665.
 John Palmer (1612-1679) was Rector of Ecton in Northamptonshire (1641-1679) and Archdeacon of Northampton (1665-1679).
 Thomas Guidott (1638-1706) was a physician, renowned in his own day, who wrote several works on the town of Bathe and its famous springs.
 Julian the Apostate (331-363) was the last pagan Emperor of Rome. He was raised as a Christian, but he rejected Christianity in favor of Theurgy, a form of Neoplatonism. He sought to revive paganism and to reduce the influence of Christianity. He died after a battle with Persian forces, and it is said that his dying words were, Vicisti, Galilæe, Thou hast conquered, O Galilean.
 Hebrews 5:14.
 John 16:13.
 James 1:5, 6, 17.