John Frederick Denisoii Maurice, an English clergyman, born in 1805, died in London, April 1, 1872. He was the son of a Unitarian minister, and was sent at an early age to Trinity college, Cambridge, where he contracted a friendship with John Sterling, and they married sisters. He declined a fellowship on the ground that, being a dissenter, he could not sign the thirty-nine articles of the church of England, and take a degree. Going with Sterling to London, he became connected with the " Athenaeum," and published a novel entitled "Eustace Conyers, or Brother and Sister." It was not put in circulation till 1834, when the publisher had quite lost sight of the author. The villain of the novel was called Capt. Mar-ryat; and Mr. Maurice received a challenge from Capt. Frederick Marryat, whose astonishment was great on learning that the anonymous author of " Eustace Conyers " had never heard of the author of "Frank Mildmay," and, being in holy orders, was obliged to decline fighting a duel. At the end of two years he became a member of the church of England, and a candidate for holy orders, and about 1828 received ordination. Endeavoring to make the theology of his church minister to the social wants of the people, he pursued a career of activity and usefulness in that direction, although he encountered much opposition.
Allying himself from the outset with that movement in the established church now known as the " Broad Church" party, of which Dr. Arnold of Rugby was the acknowledged pioneer, he was after the death of the latter commonly regarded as his successor in its leadership. His personal influence secured many adherents; and his numerous writings, nearly all of which were devoted to the exposition of "Broad Church" views, were widely circulated in Great Britain and America. Not less remarkable was his advocacy of " Christian socialism," in which he found an able and enthusiastic colleague in the Rev. Charles Kingsley. He founded a working- men's college in London, to which he devoted much time and attention. In 1846 he was appointed chaplain and reader to Lincoln's Inn, and about the same time professor of theology in King's college, London, which latter post he resigned in 1853; and in 1860, by the queen, incumbent of the district church of Vere street, Marylebone. In 1866 he became professor of moral philosophy in the university of Cambridge, and in 1867 received the honorary degree of M. A. Charles Kingsley says that, although he was a great and rare thinker, he was greatest in his personal influence.
His principal works are: " Theological Essays" (1853), which cost him his professorship in King's college; "Philosophy of the First Six Centuries," and " Unity of the New Testament" (1854); -The Patriarchs and Lawgivers of the Old Testament," and " The Prophets and Kings of the old Testament " (1855); " The Epistles of St. John;' and "Mediaeval Philosophy" (1857); "Parochial Sermons " (6 vols., 1860); " The Religions of the World," and " Lectures on the Apocalypse " (1861); "Modern Philosophy" (1862); "'kThe Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven" (1864); " The Gospel of St, John," and " The Conflict of Good and Evil in our Day " (1865); " The Workman and the Franchise," and " The Commandments, as Instruments of National Reformation" (1866); "The Conscience" (1868); and "Social Morality, Twenty-one Lectures delivered in the University of Cambridge" (1869). In connection with a layman he wrote " The Claims of the Bible and of Science" (1863). A posthumous work on the Lord's prayer, with a biographical sketch, was published in 1872, and "The Friendship of Books, and other Lectures," edited by Thomas Hughes, in 1874. A memorial of him has been printed, the proceeds to be devoted to placing his bust in Westminster abbey, to establishing the workingmen's college on a more permanent basis, and providing for lectures in it, chiefly on the history and study of the Bible.