The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume X. The Age of Johnson.
§ 6. The later Nonjurors: the Wagstaffes; Deacon; Henry Dodwell; Bonwicke
If Hoadly typifies the comfortable Erastianism of the leaders of the establishment, William Law’s enthusiasm and depth were reproduced in not a few of the later nonjurors. It was some time before the inspiring self-sacrifice of Sancroft and Hickes and their colleagues died down into the sordid, insignificance which Johnson professed to have witnessed. The spirit of literary audacity which had fled the established church was still to be found among the nonjurors. The two Thomas Wagstaffes—the father (1645–1712) nonjuring bishop of Ipswich, the son (1692–1770) English chaplain to the banished Stewarts—were writers of considerable power. The Vindication, by the pen of the elder, of Charles I’s authorship of Eikon Basilike, followed by A Defence of the Vindication, is a work of considerable, though not of convincing, force. Both were noted as antiquaries, and belong, indeed, to the school, as we may call it, of Carte, Leslie, Rawlinson and Hearne. Thomas Deacon, again, was a scholar of no mean order with a range of theological knowledge unusual in his day. By profession a physician, he was ordained by the nonjuring bishop Gandy in 1716, and consecrated, probably in 1733, by Archibald Campbell, bishop of Aberdeen, whom Dr. Johnson described as “very curious and inquisitive but credulous.” The nonjurors (as has been seen in the case of Hickes) were close students of liturgiology, and the revised communion office of the “Usagers,” with the Compleat Devotions of 1734, bear witness to the accuracy of Deacon’s study and influenced the important liturgies of the Scottish and American churches of the present day.