William, an English theologian, born in Peterborough in July, 1743, died May 25, 1805. He graduated at Christ's college, Cambridge, as senior wrangler, in 1763, and after teaching for three years returned to his college as fellow, became a tutor, and lectured on moral philosophy and divinity. In 1775 he became rector of Musgrove in Westmoreland, and shortly after married. After other preferments, he was made in 1782 archdeacon of Carlisle. In 1785 appeared his "Principles of Moral and Political Economy," the copyright of which brought him £1,000. He published "Horaa Paulinas " in 1790, and " Reasons for Contentment" in 1791. In 1794 appeared his "View of the Evidences of Christianity," and three additional preferments were immediately conferred on him, one. of them worth £1,000 per annum. His political sentiments prevented his preferment to a bishopric. In 1802 he published his " Natural Theology." His ethical theory denies the existence of a moral sense or any original moral constitution of human nature, and makes the expectation of future reward or punishment the only motive of virtuous action. Utility is the ground of obligation, but it must be determined with reference to remote as well as direct efforts, to eternity as well as time.
Applying this principle to politics, he makes the " will of God as collected from expediency " the ground of civil obedience. If an illegitimate government has become peaceably established so that it advances the good of the subjects, public utility requires that it should be obeyed; but if a legitimate government is injurious to the public welfare, it should be overthrown. He affirms that the " divine right of kings is on the same footing with the divine right of • constables," namely, the law of the land. " The final view," he says, " of all natural politics is to produce the greatest amount of happiness." Expediency prevails even in his view of religious establishments, no one form of which, he contends, is a part of Christianity. The authority of the church is founded on its utility. His greatest work is his "Natural Theology," designed to demonstrate the existence and perfections of God from the evidences of design in the adaptations of nature. The proof is entirely a posteriori, no appeal being made to man's moral instincts or a priori ideas.
An annotated edition by Lord Brougham and Sir Charles Bell was published in 1836 (2 vols. 8vo), to which were added by 'the former in 1839 "Dissertations on Subjects connected with Natural Theology" (2 vols.), and a "Discourse of Natural Theology." A complete edition of his works was edited by his son, the Rev. Edmund Paley (4 vols., London, 1838). The best biography is that by Meadley (1839).
Frederick Apthorp, an English author, grandson of the preceding, born at Easingwold, near York, in 1816. He graduated at St. John's college, Cambridge, in 1838, continuing his residence till 1846, when he became a Roman Catholic. He is now (1875) classical examiner in the university of London. He has published several architectural and ecclesiological works, the most important of which are a "Manual of Gothic Mouldings" (8vo, London, 1845), and " A Manual of Gothic Architecture" (1846). He nas edited with notes iEschylus, Euripides, Hesiod, Ovid's Fasti, Propertius, Theocritus, Homer's Iliad, and other works, and has translated into English the plays of AEschylus (1864) and the odes of Pindar (1869).