FARMER, HUGH: Dissenting English minister and theological writer; b. near Shrewsbury Jan. 20, 1714; d. at Walthamstow (7 m. n.n.e. of London), Essex, Feb. 5, 1787. After studying five years (1731-36) in Philip Doddridge's academy in Northampton, he took charge of the congregation at Walthamstow in 1737, whose pastor he remained till 1780. In 1761 he removed to London, where he was afternoon preacher at Salter's Hall (1761-72) and also one of the preachers of the "merchants' lecture" on Tuesdays (1762-80). In 1762 he was elected a trustee of Dr. Williams' foundations and also a trustee of the Coward trust. His works, written in a vigorous style and characterized by more independence and freedom of thought than was usual in his day, exercised a decisive influence on current opinion. The principal ones are, An Inquiry into the Nature and Design of Christ's Temptation in the Wilderness (London, 1761; 5th ed., 1822), in which he contends that our Lord's temptation was merely subjective, a divine vision; A Dissertation on Miracles (1771); An Essay on the Demoniacs of the New Testament (1775), in which he maintains that demoniacs are only persons afflicted with certain diseases; and The General Prevalence of the Worship of Human Spirits in the Ancient Heathen Nations (1783).