1815 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. James Scott

John Nichols, in Literary Anecdotes of the XVIII Century (1812-15) 9:125-26n.



James Scott, of Trinity College, Cambridge; B.A. 1757; M.A. 1760; B.D. 1768; D.D. 1775; a celebrated public Preacher at Cambridge, and well known in the days of Wilkes and Liberty as Writer of Political Letters in the Public Advertizer signed Anti-Sejanus. In 1760 he far outstripped his competitors for the Seatonian prize, in a Poem which was published under the title of Heaven; and afterwards printed Odes on Several Subjects, 1761 4to; Purity of Heart, a Moral Epistle, which gained the Author a second Seatonian Prize; An Hymn to Repentance, 1762, a third Prize Poem. In 1763 he published The Redemption, a Monody; written for the Seatonian prize, but rejected; and, in the same year, Every Man the Architect of his own Fortune; or, the Art of Rising in the Church, a Satire; in which he thus describes himself:

No sly Fanatic, no Enthusiast wild,
No Party-tool beguiling and beguil'd;
No slave to pride, no canting pimp to power,
No rigid Churchman, no Dissenter sour,
No fawning Flatter to the base and vain,
No timist vile, or worshiper of gain;
When gay not dissolute, grave not sever,
Tho' learn'd no pedant, civil tho' sincere;
Nor mean nor haughty, be one Preacher's praise,
That — if he rise, he rise by manly ways:
Yes, he abhors each sordid, selfish view,
And dreads the paths your men of art pursue.

In 1771, through the friendship of the Earl of Sandwich, he was presented by the Governors of Greenwich Hospital to the Rectory of Symondsburne, in the County of Northumberland; a Rectory of such magnitude and value, that, on the next presentation, it is intended to be divided into four, or, perhaps into six, distinct benefices, each of which will be a very acceptable preferment to the Divine who may be so fortunate to obtain it.

In the line of his profession Dr. Scott has been distinguished by several elegant Discourses. How far a Dependence, and a Sense of Gratitude, should influence our Conduct; a Sermon preached before the University of Cambridge, Jan 1, 1764. A Sermon at the Visitation at Wakefield, July 25, 1769; which produced a Pamphlet called Remarks, &c. censuring the Preacher for having entertained his audience with a political declamation. A Farewell Sermon at Trinity Church, Leeds, Nov. 5, 1769, Bethesda, or the House of Mercy; a Sermon preached at the Parish Church of St. Nicholas, in Newcastle upon Tyne, July 26, 1777, before the Governors of the Infirmary, A Sermon preached at York, on the 29th of March, 1780, for the Benefit of the Lunatic Asylum; and A Sermon preached at York, 1781.