An English lawyer and writer, born 1613 at Walpole, in Norfolk; died London, 1669. He was a student of St. John's College, Cambridge, and of Lincoln's Inn, and about 1640 embraced the Catholic Faith. He was highly esteemed in his profession and was looked on as a master of English style. His time was entirely devoted to books and literary pursuits. He enjoyed the friendship of such scholars as the antiquary Blount, Christopher Davenport (Franciscus a Santa Clara), John Sergeant, and others. Among his writings are: "The Christian Moderator; or Persecution for Religion condemned by the Light of Nature, by the Law of God, the Evidence of our Principles, but not by the Practice of our Commissioners for Sequestrations--In Four Parts" (London, 1652, 4to.) . It was published under the pseudonym of William Birchley, and in it he frequently disclaims the pope's deposing power. "In his work, Autin assuming the disguise of an independent, shows that Catholics did not really holds the odious doctrines vulgerly attributed to them, and makes an energetic appeal to the independents to extend to the adherents of the persecuted church such rights and privileges as were granted to other religious bodies" (Dict. of Nat. Biogr., II, 264). "The Catholique's Plea; or an Explanation of the Roman Catholik Belief, concerning their Church, Manner of Worship, Justification, Civil Government, Together with a Catalogue of all the Poenal Statutes against popish Recusants, all which is humbly submitted to serious consideration, By a Catholick Gentleman" (London, 1659, 18mo.) also under the pseudonym of William Birchley; "Reflections upon the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance; or the Christian Moderator, The Fourth Part, By a Catholick Gentleman, an obedient son of the Church and loyal subject of his Majesty" (London, 1661); "A Punctual Answer to Doctor John Tillotson's book called 'The Rule of Faith'" (unfinished), "Devotions, First Part: In the Ancient Way of Offices, With Psalms, Hymns, and Prayers for every Day in the Week, and every Holiday in the Year". It is not known when and where the first edition appeared; the second, a duodecimo, is dated 1672. An edition printed at Edinburgh, 1789, contains a life of the author, presumably by Dodd. This work was adapted to the uses of the Anglican Church in Hick's "Harmony of the Gospels", etc., (London, 1701), and has been often reprinted as a stock book under the Hick's Devotions. "Devotions, Second Part, The Four Gospels in one, broken into Lessons, with Responsories, To be used with the Offices, Printed Anno Domini 1675" (2 vols., Paris, 12mo), a posthumous work, divided into short chapters with a verse and prayer at the end of each. The prayers, says Gillow, "gave rise to offense under the impression that they favoured Blackloe's doctrine concerning the middle state of souls, and on account of this the work was not republished". A third part of the "Devotions" was never printed; it contained, according to the author's own statement " Prayers for all occasions framed by an intimate friend according to his (Austin's) directions, and overlooked by himself". He also wrote several anonymous pamphlets against the divines who sat in the Westminster Assembly.
More Catholic Encyclopedia
Browse Encyclopedia by Alphabet
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Browse the Catholic Encyclopedia by Topic
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online