Ilive, Jacob

, was a printer, and a son of a printer; but he applied himself to letter-cutting in 1730, and carried on a foundery and a printing-house together. He was an expeditious compositor, and was said to know the letters by the touch; but being not perfectly sound in mind, produced some strange works. In 1751 he published a pre* tended translation of “The Book of Jasher;” said to have been made by one Alcuin of Britain. The account given | of the translation is full of glaring absurdities; but the publication, in fact, was secretly written by him, and printed off by night. He published, in 1733, an Oration, intended to prove the plurality of worlds, and asserting that this earth is hell, that the souls of men are apostate angels, and that the fire to punish those confined to this world at the day of judgment will be immaterial. This was written in 1729, and spoken afterwards at Joiners- hall, pursuant to the will of his mother, who had held the same extraordinary opinions. In this strange performance the author unveils his deistical principles, and takes no small liberty with the sacred Scriptures, especially the character of Moses. Emboldened by this first adventure, he determined to become the public teacher of infidelity, or, as he calls it, “The religion of nature.” For this purpose, he hired the use of Carpenters’-hall, where, for some considerable time, he delivered his orations, which consisted chiefly of scraps from Tindal, and other similar writers. In the course of the same year, 1733, appeared a second pamphlet called “A Dialogue between a Doctor of the Church of England and Mr. Jacob Hive, upon the subject of the oration.” This strange oration is highly praised in HolwelPs third part of “Interesting Events relating to Bengal.” For publishing “Modest Remarks on the late bishop Sherlock’s Sermons,” Hive was confined in Clerkenwell- bridewell from June 15, 1756, till June 10, 1758; during which period he published “Reasons offered for the Reformation of the House of Correction in Clerkenwell,” &c. 1757, and projected several other reforming treatises, enumerated in Gough’s “British Topography;” where is alsjo a memorandum, communicated by Mr. Bowyer, of Hive’s attempt to restore the company of Stationers to their primitive constitution. He died in 1763, 1

1

Nichols’s Bowyer.—Wilson’s Hist. of Dissenting Churches.