South, Robert

In Latin: Not far from this monument Robert South D.D. gave orders his ashes should rest near those of his master Busby: a man of learning, piety and simplicity of manners. He was a scholar of Westminster School, then a student of Christ Church [Oxford], and after the restoration of King Charles, by the interests of Lord Clarendon, prebendary of both colleges where he was educated. A firm and indefatigable champion for the church, in her flourishing and afflicted state. A stout asserter of the Christian faith. Excellent in his sermons for a new method entirely his own, but illustrious and admirable; insomuch that, versed in all these qualities, there is room to doubt whether he was most excellent in his fine turn of thought, or force of argument, the richness of his doctrine, or the beauty and weight of his language. With these assistances being undoubtedly at the same time possessed, he not only gained upon the souls of his audience but inflamed and moved them. In orthodox divinity, as well as human learning, he was scarce equalled; and, at the same time, familiar with the schoolmen, out of whom he made use of whatever was wholesome and nourishing, and having relieved it from their nice and intricate distinctions, and cloud and jargon of words, he set if off in fine language. If at any time he was severe in his exposing the vices of men, or the times, it ought not to be ascribed to party, or ill nature; for in all these cases he openly expressed what he had before deliberately weighed in his mind; and, being well assured by his own innocence, he, warmed with a generous indignation, exposed whatever was base in life, or superficial, or affected in religion. Intent on these studies, and his mind working that way, when he was more secluded from men in his conversation, he was not wanting to them in his assistance. How benign, how full of pity he was in his temper to those in distress, is evident from his extended charity, and legacies at his death. He was rector of Islip, where he rebuilt the rectory and founded and endowed a school for the education of poor children. An encourager of learning, both at this place and Christ Church, for the enlarging the buildings of which college he left by his will the sum of one thousand pounds, three hundred of which were to be paid in one year after his decease; lasting monuments of his piety to God and benevolence towards men. He died 8 July 1716 aged 82. [Translation courtesy of Westminster Abbey website, adapted.]
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Year of death: 1716.
Age at death: 82 (classed as: ).