Toland, John

, an English writer, one of the founders of modern Deism, was born Nov. 30, 1669, in the most northern peninsula of Ireland, in the isthmus of which stands Londonderry. His Christian name was Janus funius; but, the boys at school making a jest of it, the master ordered him to be called John, which name he retained ever after. Some say he was of a good family, but that his parents were Papists. This last particular we learn from himself; for he tells us, that he “was educated from his cradle in the grossest superstition and idolatry; but God was pleased to make his own reason, and such as made use of theirs, the happy instruments of his conversion for he was not sixteen years old when he became as zealous against Popery, as he ever since continued.” Others have affirmed, that his father was a Popish priest; and this seems to be the general opinion, although one of his biographers has somewhat hardily asserted, that “the contrary is notorious, and has been proved.

From the school at Redcastle near Londonderry, he went in 1687 to the college of Glasgow in Scotland; and, after three years stay there, visited the university of Edinburgh, where he was created master of arts in June 1690, and received the usual diploma or certificate from the professors. He then went back to Glasgow, where he made but a short ttay, and intended to have returned to Ireland; but he altered his mind, and came into England, “where, he tells us, he lived in as good Protestant families as any in the kingdom, till he went to the famous university of Leyden in Holland, to perfect his studies.” There he was generously supported by some eminent Dissenters in England, who had conceived great hopes from his uncommon parts, and might flatter themselves that in time he would be serviceable to them in the quality of a minister; for he had lived in their communion ever since he forsook Popery, as he himself | owns in effect in his “Apology.” In 1692, Mr. (afterwards Dr.) Daniel Williams, a very eminent Dissenting minister, having published a book entitled “Gospel truth stated and vindicated,” Mr. Toland sent it to the author of the “Bibliotheque universelle,” and desired him to give an abstract of it in that journal: at the same time he related to him the history of that book, and of the controversy it referred to. The journalist complied with his request (vol. XXIII); and to the abstract of Mr. Williams’ s book he prefixed the letter he received from Mr. Toland, whom he styles “student in divinity.

After having remained about two years at Leyden, he came back to England, and soon after went to Oxford, where, besides the conversation of learned men, he had the advantage of the public library. He collected materials upon various subjects, and composed some pieces; among others, a Dissertation to prove the received history of the tragical death of Regulus, a fable; the substance, however, of which he owns he took from Palmerius, who had examined the subject in his “Observationes in optimos fere Authores Graecos.” Toland began likewise a work of greater consequence, in which he undertook to show, that there are no mysteries in the Christian religion; but he left Oxford in 1695, before it was finished, and went to London, where he published it the next year in 12mo with this title, “Christianity not mysterious: or, a treatise shewing, that there is nothing in the Gospel contrary to reason, nor above it, and that no Christian doctrine can be properly called a mystery.” For the foundation of this proposition, Mr. Toland defines mystery, as ha says it is always used in the New Testament, to be a thing intelligible in itself, but which could not be known without a special revelation; contending, as those do who have since called themselves rational Christians, that there is nothing in the New Testament either against or above reason. His treatise was no sooner abroad, than the public were very much alarmed, and several books came out against it.*


Among others Mr. Beconsall published “The Christian Belief: wherein is asserted and proved, that as there is nothing in the gospel contrary to reason, yet there are some doctrines in it above reason and these being necessarily enjoined us to believe, are properly called Mysteries in answer to a book intituled, Christianity not mysterious.” Mr. Beverly, a presbyterian minister, put out a pamphlet entitled, " Christianity the great mystery, in answer to a late treatise, Christianity not. mysterious that is,


not above or contrary to reason in pposition to which is asserted, Christianity is abore created reason in its pure state, and contrary to human reason, as fallen and corrupted 5 and therefore in a proper sense Mystery, Together with a postcript letter to the au:hor,on his second edition enlarged.“Jt was also animadverted upon by Mr. John Norris, in his ’ Account of Reason and Faith in relation to the Mysteries of Christianity” by Mr. Elys, in his “Letter to sir Robert Howard, with animadversions upon a book call ed Christianity not mysterious” by Dr. Payne, in some “Sermons” preached at Cambridge by bishop Stillingfleet, in his “Vindication of the doctrine of the Trinity,” &c. by the author of the “Occasional Paper, No,. III.:” by Mr. Miller, in his “Discourse of Conscience,” &c. by Mr. Gailhard, in his book against the Socimans by Synge, archbishop of Tuam in Ireland, in his “Appendix to the ”Gentleman’s Religion:" and by Mr. Brown, afterwards bishop of Cork.

It was even presented by the grand-jury of | Middlesex; but, as usual, without any effect in preventing the sale.

This book being sent by the London booksellers into Ireland, made no less noise there than it had made in England; and the clamour wa much increased when he went thither himself in 1697. Many particulars concerning this affair are related in the correspondence hetween Mr. Locke and Mr. Molyneux, which will serve also to illustrate the temper and character of Toland himself, who was certainly a very extraordinary man. In a letter, dated Dublin, April the 6th, 1697, Mr. Molyneux writes thus to Mr. Locke: “In my last to you, there was a passage relating to the author of * Christianity not mysterious.‘ I did not then think that he was so near me as within the bounds of this city; but I find since that he is corne over hither, and have bad the favour of a visit from him. I now understand, as I intimated to you, that he was born in this country; but that he hath been a great while abroad, and his education was for some time under the great Le Clerc. But that for which I can never honour him too much, is his acquaintance and friendship to you, and the respect which on all occasions he expresses for you. I propose a great deal of satisfaction in his conversation: I take him to be a candid free thinker, and a good scholar. But there is a violent sort of spirit that reigns here, which begins already to shew itself against him; and, I believe, will increase daily; for I 6nd the clergy alarmed to a mighty degree against him; and last Sunday he had his welcome to this city, by hearing himself harangued against out of the pulpit, by a prelate of this country.” In a letter, dated May the 3d, Mr. Locke replies to Mr. Molyneux: “I am glad to hear that the gentleman does me the favour to speak well of me on that side the water; I never deserved | *tfoer of him, but that he should always have done so on this. If his exceeding great value of himself do not deprive the world of that usefulness that his parts, if rightly conducted, might be of, I shall be very glad. I always value men of parts and learning, and I think I cannot do too much in procuring them friends and assistance: but there may happen occasions that may make one stop one’s hand; and it is the hopes young men give, of what use they will make of their parts, which is to me the encouragement of being concerned for them: but if vanity increases with age, I always fear, whither it will lead a man. I say this to you, because you are my friend, for whom I have no reserves, and think 1 ought to talk freely, where you inquire, and possibly may be concerned; but I say it to you alone, and desire it may go no farther. For the man I wish very well, and could give you, if it needed, proofs that I do so, and therefore I desire you to be kind to him; but I must leave it to your prudence in what way, and how far. If his carriage with you gives you the promises of a steady useful man, I know you will be forward enough of yourself, and I shall be very glad of it; for it will be his fault alone, if he prove not a very valuable man, and have not you for his friend.” Mr. Molyneux thanks Mr. Locke for these hints concerning Mr. Toland, in a letter -dated May the 27th, and says, that “they perfectly agree with the apprehensions he had conceived of him. Truly,” says he, “to be free, I do not think his management, since he came into this city, has been so prudent. He has raised against him the clamours of all parties; and this not so much by his difference of opinion, as by his unseasonable way of discoursing, propagating, and maintaining it. Coffee-houses and public tables are not proper places for serious discourses, relating to the most important truths: but when also a tincture of vanity appears in the whole cours.e of a man’s conversation, it disgusts many that may otherwise have a due value for his parts and learning.-. Mr. ToJand also takes here a great liberty on all occasions, to vouch your patronage and friendship, which makes many, that rail at him, rail also at you. I believe you will not approve of this, as far as I am able to judge, by your shaking him off, in your letter to the bishop of Worcester.” The reader is requested to keep in mind these early discoveries of Toland’s vanity. They unfold his whole character. Vanity was predominant with him from first to last; and if | the lives of other infidels are examined with Care, from Toland to the last garbler of Toland in our own days, it will be found that vanity was the ruling passion, and the inspirer of those paradoxical opinions which they maintained with obstinacy even when, it is to be feared, they did not believe them themselves. It is with good reason, and certainly with shrewdness and ability, that in a late ingenious work, the life of Toland is sketched as an instance of one of the “victims of immoderate vanity .*


D’Israeli’s Calamities of Authors, vol. II.

Stillingfleet, bishop of Worcester, in his “Vindication of the doctine of the Trinity,” had taken occasion to animadvert on Mr. Toland’ s “Christianity not mysterious;” and, as he supposed that Toland had borrowed some principles from Locke’s “Essay on human understanding,” in support of his heretical doctrines, he bestowed some animadversions also on that work. This, and Mr. Toland’s persisting to represent him as his patron and friend, together with his very exceptionable conduct, made Locke renounce all regard for him, and almost disclaim the little countenance he had given him. To this purpose he expresses himself, in a letter dated the 15th of June: “As to the gentleman to whom you think my friendly admonishments may be of advantage for his conduct hereafter, I must tell you, that he is a man to whom 1 never writ in my life; and, I think, I shall not now begin: and as to his conduct, it is what I never so much as spoke to him of; that is a liberty to be taken only with friends and intimates, for whose conduct one is mightily concerned, and in whose affairs one interests himself. I cannot but wish well to all men of parts and learning, and be ready to afford them all the civilities and good offices in my power: but there must be other qualities to bring me to a friendship, and unite me in those stricter ties of concern; for I put a great deal of difference between those whom I thus receive into my heart and affection, and those whom I receive into my chamber, and do not treat there with a perfect strangeness. I perceive you think yourself under some obligation of peculiar respect lo that person, upon the account of my recommendation to you; but certainly this comes from nothing but your over-great tenderness to oblige me. For if I did recommend him, you will find it was only as a man of parts and learning for his age; but without any | intention that they should be of any other consequence, or lead you any farther, than the other qualities you shall find in him shall recommend him to you; and therefore whatsoever you shall, or shall not do, for him, I shall no way interest myself in.” At that time Mr. Peter Brown, senior fellow of Trinity college near Dublin, afterwards bishop of Cork, having published a piece against Mr. “Poland’s book, Mr. Molyneux serit it to Mr. Locke, with a letter dated the 20th of July:” The author, says he, “is my acquaintance but two things I shall never forgive in his book one is the foul language and opprobrious names he gives Mr. Toland; the other is upon several occasions calling in the aid of the civil magistrate, and delivering Mr. Toland up to secular punishment. This indeed is a killing argument; but some will be apt to say, that where the strength of his reasoning failed him^ there he flies to the strength of the sword.” At length the storm rose to such a height that Toland was forced to retire from Ireland; and the account which Mr. Molyneux gives of the manner of it, in a letter dated the llth of September, would excite pity, were it not considered as representing the natural consequences of his vanity. “Mr. Toland is at last driven out of our kingdom: the poor gentleman, by his imprudent management, had raised such an universal outcry, that it was even dangerous for a man to have been known once to converse with him. This made all wary men of reputation decline seeing him, insomuch that at last he wanted a meal’s meat, as I am told, and none would admit him to their tables. The little stock of money which he brought into this country being exhausted, he fell to borrowing from any one that would lend him half a crown; and ran in debt for his wigs, cloatbs, and lodging, as I am informed. And last of all, to complete his hardships, the parliament fell on his book; voted it to be burnt by the common hangman, and ordered the author to be taken into custody of the sergeant at arms, and to be prosecuted by the attorney-general at law. Hereupon he is fled out of this kingdom, and none here knows where he has directed his course.” Many in Englan-o approved this conduct in the Irish parliament; and Dr. Gonth in particular was so highly pleased with it, that he complimented the archbishop of Dublin upon it, in the dedication of his third volume of “Sermons,” printed in 1698. After having condemned our remissness here in England, for bearing with Dr. Sherlock, whose notions of the | Trinity he charges with heresy, he adds, “but, on the contrary, among you, when a certain Mahometan Christian (no new thing of late) notorious for his blasphemous denial of the mysteries of our religion, and his insufferable virulence against the whole Christian priesthood, thought to have found shelter among you, the parliament to their immortal honour presently sent him packing, and, without the help of a faggot, soon made the kingdom too hot for him.” As soon as Poland was in London, he published an apologeticai account of the treatment he had received in Ire-< land, entitled “An Apology for Mr Toland, &c. 1697” and was so little discouraged with what had happened to him there, that he continued to write and publish his thoughts on all subjects, without regarding in the least who might, or who might not, be offended at him. He had published, in 1696, “A discourse upon Coins,” translated from the Italian of signior Bernardo Davanzati, a gentleman of Florence: he thought this seasonable, when clipping of money was become a national grievance, and several methods were proposed to remedy it. In 1698, after the peace of Hyswick, during a great dispute among politicians, concerning the forces to be kept on foot for the quiet and security of the nation, many pamphlets appeared on that subject, some for, others against, a standing army; and Toland, who took up his pen among others, proposed to reform the militia, in a pamphlet entitled “The Militia Keformed, &c.” The same year, 1698, he published “The Life of Milton,” which was prefixed to Milton’s prose works, then collected in three volumes folio. In this he asserted that the “Icon Basilike” was a spurious production. This being represented by Dr. Blackall, afterwards bishop of Exeter, as affecting the writings of the New Testament, Toland vindicated himself in a piece called, “Amyntor; or, a Defence of Milton’s Life, 1699,” 9vo. This Amyntor however did not give su< h satisfaction, but that even Dr. Samuel Clarke and others thought it necessary to animadvert on it, as being an attack on the canon of the scriptures. Yet Toland had the confidence afterwards (in the preface to his “Nazarenus”) to pretend that his intention in his “Amyntor” was not to invalidate-, but to illustrate and confirm the canon of the New Testanunt; which, as Leland justly observes, may serve as one instance, among the many that might be produced, of the vfriter’s sincerity. The same year, 1699, he published | The Memoirs of Denzil lord Holies, baron of IfieJd in Sussex, from 1641 to 1648,” from a manuscript communicateJ to him by the late duke of Newcastle, who was ono of his patrons and benefactors.

In 1700 he published Harrington’s “Oceana,” and his other works, with his life in folio; and about the same time came out a pamphlet, entiiled “Clito, a poem on the force of eloquence.” In this piece, under the character of Atieisidaemon, which signifies unsuperstitious, he promises in effect not to leave off writing till he had detected knavery and imposture of every kind. In 1701 he published two political pieces, one called “The Art of governing by Parties;” the other “Propositions for uniting the two East India Companies.” The same year, being informed that the lower house of convocation had appointed a committee to examine impious, heretical, and immoral books, and that his “Christianity not mysterious,” and his “Amyntor,” were under their consideration, he wrote two letters to Dr. Hooper, the prolocutor, either to give such satisfaction as should induce them to stop their proceedings, or desiring to be heard in his own defence, before they passed any censure on his writings but, without paying any regard to this application, the committee extracted five propositions out of his “Christianity not mysterious,” and re-“solved, that,” in their judgment, the said book contained pernicious principles, of dangerous consequence to the Christian religion; that it tended, and (as they conceived) was written on a design, to subvert the fundamental articles of the Christian faith; and that the propositions extracted from it, together with divers others of the same nature, were pernicious, dangerous, scandalous, and destructive of Christianity.“This representation was sent to the upper house, which likewise appointed a committee to examine Toland’s book, and, upon receiving their report, unanimously determined to proceed (as far as they legally might) against the. work and the author: but, having taken the opinions of some able lawyers upon the point, they were obliged to declare, that they did not find, how, without a licence from the king (which they had not yet received), they could have sufficient authority to censure judicially any such books. This declaration of the bishops gave occasion to several pamphlets on the subject, and Toland published a defence of himself, under the title of” Vindieiqs Liberius, or Mr. Toland’s defence against the lower | house of convocation, &c." in which he gave full scope to his vanity, and removed much of the disguise with which he had hitherto covered some of his principles both religious and political.

Upon the passing of an act of parliament, in June 1701, for settling the crown, after the decease of king William and the princess Anne, and in default of their issue, upon the princess Sophia, electress dowager of Hanover, and the heirs of her body, being Protestants, Toland published his “Anglia libera, or, the limitation and succession of the crown of England explained and asserted, c.” 8vo; and when the earl of Macclesfield was sent to Haribver with this act, Toland attended him. He presented his “Anglia libera‘ 7 to her electoral highness, and was the first who had the honour of kissing her hand upon the act of succession. The earl recommended him particularly to her highness, and he stayed there five or six weeks; and on his departure he was presented with gold medals and pictures of the electress dowager, the elector, the young prince, and the queen of Prussia. He then made an excursion to the court of Berlin, where he had a remarkable conversation with M. Beausobre, upon the subject of religion, in the presence of the queen of Prussia. Beausobre communicated an account of it to the authors of the” Bibliotheque Germanique,“who printed it in that journal; and from thence we learn, that it was concerning the authority of the books of the New Testament, which Mr. Toland, with his usual self-sufficiency, undertook to question and invalidate. On the llth of November, 1701, a proclamation was issued out, for dissolving the parliament, and calling another to meet in December. While the candidates were making interest in their respective countries, Toland published the following advertisement in the Post-man:” There having been a public report, as if Mr. Toland stood for Blechingly in Surrey, it is thought fit to advertise, that sir Robert Clayton has given his interest in that borough to an eminent citizen, and that Mr. Toland hath no thoughts of standing there or any where else.“This advertisement afforded matter of pleasantry to an anonymous writer, who published a little pamphlet, entitled” Modesty mistaken: or, a Letter to Mr. Toland, upon his declining to appear in the ensuing parliament."

In 1702 he published three pieces: “Paradoxes of state, &c.” in 4to j “Reasons for addressing his majesty to | invite into England the electress dowager and elector of Hanover; 7 ’ and his” Vindicius liberius,“already mentioned. After the publication of this book, he went to the courts of Hanover and Berlin, where he was received very graciously by the princess Sophia, and by the queen of Prussia, both ladies who delighted in conversing with men of learning and penetration, whose notions were new or uncommon. He had the honour to be often aumitted to their conversation; and, as he made a longer stay at Berlin than at Hanover, so he had frequent opportunities of waiting upon the queen, who took a pleasure in asking him questions, and hearing his paradoxical opinions. After his return therefore into England, he published in 1704? some philosophical letters; three of which were inscribed td Serena, meaning the queen of Prussia, who, he assures us> was pleased to ask his opinion concerning the subject of them. The title rr.ns thus:” Letters to Serena, containing, 1. The origin and force of prejudices. 2. The history of the soul’s immortality among the heathens. 3. The origin of idolatry, and reasons of heathenism; as also, 4. A letter to a gentleman in Holland, shewing Spinoza’s system of philosophy to be without any principle or foundation. 5. Motion essential to matter, in answer to some remarks by a noble friendon the confutation of Spinoza. To which is prefixed a preface, declaring the several occasions of writing them,“8vo. About the same time he published an” English translation of the Life of Æsop, by M. de Meziriac,“and dedicated it to Anthony Collins, esq. It was prefixed to” The fables of;sop," with the moral reflections of M. Baudoin.

In 1705 he published several pamphlets’. “Socinianism truly stated, &c.” to which is prefixed, “Indifference in disputes recommended by a Pantheist to an orthodox friend,” in 4to; “An account of the courts of Prussia and Hanover,” in 8vo; “The ordinances, statutes, and privileges of the* academy erected by the king of Prussia in the city of Berlin,” translated from the original, in 8vo; “The memorial of the state of England, in vindication of the queen, the church, and the administration, &c.” This last was published, without the name of the author, by the direction of Mr. Harley, secretary of state; and afterwards a defence of it was written, by order of the same person, but for some reasons suppressed, after six or seven sheets Of it were printed. Mr. Harley was one of Toland’s chief | patrons and benefactors, and used to employ him as a spy, Harley having accidentally found, among other manuscripts, a Latin oration, to excite the English to war against the French, communicated it to Toland, who published it in 1707, with notes and a preface, under this title, “Oratio Philippica ad excitandos contra Galliam. Britannos; maxime vero, ne de pace cum victis pra j matur& agatur: sanctiori Anglorum concilio exhibita, anno Christi 1514.” Soon after he published, at the request of the elector’s minister, “The elector Palatine’s declaration in favour of his Protestant subjects.

He set out for Germany in the spring of 1707, and went first to Berlin; but an incident too ludicrous to be mentioned, says Mr. Des Maizeaux, obliged him to leave that place sooner than he expected. What that incident was cannot now be gathered from his correspondence. From thence he went to Hanover, on the territories of a neighbouring prince. He proceeded to Dusseldorp, ‘and was very graciously received by the elector Palatine; who, in consideration of the English pamphlet he had published, presented him with a gold chain and medal, and a purse of an hundred ducats. He went afterwards to Vienna, being commissioned by a famous French banker, then in Holland, who wanted a powerful protection, to engage the Imperial ministers to procure him the title of count of the empire, for which he was ready to pay a good sum of money; but they did not think fit to meddle with that affair, and all his attempts proved unsuccessful. From Vienna he visited Prague in Bohemia; and now, his money being all spent, he was forced to make many shifts to get back to Holland. Being at the Hague, he published, in 1709, a small volume, containing two Latin dissertations: the first he called “Adeisidaemon sive, Titus Livius a superstitione vindicatus” the second, “Origines Judaicse; sive, Strabonis de Moyse & religione Judaica historia breviter illustrata.” In the first of these pieces, he endeavours to vindicate Livy from the imputation of superstition and credulity, although his history abounds with relation* of prodigies and portents; in the second, he seems inclined to prefer Strabo’s account of Moses and the Jewish religion to the testimony of the Jews themselves. In this dissertation, also, he ridicules Huetius for affirming, in his “Demonstratio evangelica,” that many eminent persons in the “Old Testament” are allegorized in the heathen | mythology, and that Moses, for instance, is understood by the name of Bacchus, Typho, Silenus, Priapus, Adonis, &c. and, if he had never done any thing worse than this, it is probable that the convocation would not have thought him an object of their censure. Huetius, however, was greatly provoked with this attack; and expressed his resentment in a French letter, published in the “Journal of Trevoux,” and afterwards printed with some dissertations of Huetius, collected by the abbé Tilladet.

He continued in Holland till 1710; and, while he was there, had the good fortune to get acquainted with prince Eugene, who gave him several marks of his generosity. Upon his return to England, he was for some time sup* ported by the liberality of Mr. Harley, and by his means was enabled to keep a country-house at Epsom in Surrey. He published, in 1711, “A Description of Epsom, with the Humours and Politics of that Place.” He afterwards lost the favour of this minister, and then wrote pamphlets against him. He published in 1710, without his name, a French piece relating to Dr. Sacheverell, “Lettre d’urt Anglois a un Hollandois an sujet du docteur Sacheverell:” and the three following in 1712: “A Letter against Popery, particularly against admitting the authority of fathers or councils in controversies of religion, by Sophia Charlotte, the late queen of Prussia;” “Queen Anne’s reasons for creating the electoral prince of Hanover a peer of this realm, by the title of duke of Cambridge;” and, “The grand Mystery laid open, viz. by dividing the Protestants to weaken the Hanover succession, and, by defeating the succession, to extirpate the Protestant religion.” At that time he also undertook to publish a new edition of Cicero’s works by subscription, and gave an account of his plan in a “Latin dissertation,” which has been printed among his posthumous pieces.

In 1713 he published “An Appeal to honest People, against wicked Priests,” relating to Sachevereirs affair; aixi another pamphlet called “Dunkirk or Dover, or, the queen’s honour, the nation’s safety, the liberties of Europe, and the peace of the world, all at stake, till that fort and port be totally demolished by the French.” In 1714- he published a piece which shewed that he was very attentive to times and seasons, for it ran through ten editions within a quarter of a year: the title is, “The art of Restoring, or, the piety and probity of general Monk in bringing about | the last restoration, evidenced from his own authentic letters; with a just account of sir Roger, who runs the parallel as far as he can.” This sir Roger was intended for the earl of Oxford, who was supposed to be then projecting schemes for the restoration of the Pretender. The same year, 1714, he produced “A collection of Letters by general Monk, relating to the restoration of the royal family;” “The Funeral Elegy of the princess Sophia,” translated from the Latin; and “Reasons for naturalizing the Jews in Great Britain and Ireland, on the same foot with all other nations; with a defence of the Jews against all vulgar prejudices in all countries. He prefixed to this an ingenious, but ironical dedication to the superior clergy. In 1717 he published” The State Anatomy of Great Britain," &c. which being answered by Dr. Fiddes, chaplain to the earl of Oxford, and by )aniel De Foe, he produced 9 second part, by way of vindication of the former.

He seems now to have quitted politics, and to have betaken himself, in a great measure, to learned and theological inquiries; for, in 1718, he published a work of about one hundred and fifty pages in 8vo, with this long title, “Nazarenus or Jewish, Gentile, or Mahometan Christianity containing the history of the ancient Gospel of Barnabas, and the modern Gospel of the Mahometans, attributed to the same apostle, this last Gospel being now first made known among Christians. Also, the original plan of Christianity occasionally explained in the Nazarenes, whereby divers controversies about this divine (but highly perverted) institution may be happily terminated. With the relation of an Irish manuscript of the four Gospels, as likewise a summary of the ancient Irish Christianity, and the reality of the Keldees (an order of lay religious) against the two last bishops of Worcester.” We make no observation upon this work: the reader knows enough of Toland to conclude that it was not written with any friendly view to revelation. He published the same year “The Destiny of Rome; or, the speedy and final destruction of the Pope,” &c.

In 1720 Dr. Hare, then dean of Worcester, published a fourth edition of his visitation sermon, entitled “Church authority vindicated,” &c, and subjoined a postscript, in which, speaking of bishop Hoadly’s writings, he has the following stroke at Mr. Toland: “It must be allowed his lordship judges very truly, when he says they are faint | resemblances of Mr. Chillingworth for envy itself must own his lordship has some resemblance to that great man, just such a one as Mr. Toland has to Mr. Locke, who, in 4 Christianity not mysterious,’ is often quoted to support notions he never dreamed of.” Toland, upon this, advertised against Dr. Hare, that he never named Locke in any edition of that book, and was so far from often quoting him, that he had not so much as brought one quotation out of him. This was true, and Hare immediately corrected himself by another advertisement, in which he directs, “makes great use of Mr. Locke’s principles,” to be read, instead of, “is often quoted to support notions he never dreamed of.” Dr. Hare’s advertisement occasioned the publishing of a pamphlet with this title, “A short essay upon Lying, or, a defence of a reverend dignitary, who suffers under the persecution of Mr. Toland, for a lapsus calami.

Upon a dispute between the Irish and British houses of lords, with respect to appeals, when the latter ordered a bill to be brought in for the better securing the dependency of the kingdom of Ireland upon the crown of Great Britain, Mr. Toland published “Reasons most humbly offered to the House of Commons, why the bill sent down to them should not pass into a Law,1720. About this time he printed a profane Latin tract, entitled “Pantheisticon: sive, formula celebrandae sodalitatis Socraticae, in tres particulas divisa: quae Pantheistarum, sive sodalium, continent; I. Mores et axiomata. 2. Numen et philosophiam. 3. Libertatem et non fallen tern legem neque fallendam. Prsemittitur de antiquis et novis eruditorum sodalitatibus, ut et de universo infinito et seterno, diatriba. Subjicitur de duplici Pantheistarum philosophia sequenda, ac de viri optirni et ornatissimi idea, dissertatiuncula. Cosmopoli, MDCCXX.” He had subscribed himself a Pantheist, as we have seen, in a pamphlet published in 1705, and here we have his doctrines and his creed explicitly set forth: “In. mundo omoia sunt unum, unumque est omne in omnibus. Quod omne in omnibus, Deus est; geternus ac imraensus, neque genitus, neque interiturus. In eo vivimus, movein ur, et existimus. Ab eo natum est unumquidque, in eumque denuo revoluturum; omnium ipse principium et finis.” This is Pantheism, that is, it is atheism, or there is no such thing. The author knew it very well; and fear* ing lest he migh; have gone too far, he got it printed se-< cretly, at his own charge, and but a few copies, which he | distributed with a view of receiving presents for thent. There is a short preface to this piece, under the name of Janus Junius Eoganesius; which, though it was his true Christian name, and the name of his country, luis-Eogan being the place of his birth, yet served for as good a cover as any whatever, nobody in England being acquainted with these particulars.

Some time after, but in the same year, 1720, he published another learned work, of about 250 pages in 8vo, including the preface, entitled “Tetradymus.” This is divided into four parts, each of which has a distinct title. The first is called “Hodegus; or, the pillar of cloud and fire that guided the Israelites in the Wilderness, not miraculous, but, as faithfully related in Exodus, a thing equally practised by other nations, and in those places not only useful, but necessary/’ The second is called” Clydophoras; or, of the exoteric and esoteric philosophy;“that is, of the external and internal doctrine of the ancients; the one open and public, accommodated to popular prejudices and the established religions; the other private and secret, wherein, to the few capable and discreet, was taught the real truth, stripped of all disguises. There is more display of learning in this dissertation than in any work produced by Toland; though they all of them display learning where the subject admits it. The title of the third is,Hypatia; or, the history of the Philosophic Lady, who was murdered at Alexandria, as was supposed at the instigation of the clergy. “The fourth is called” Mangoneutes;" or, A defence of Nazarenus against Dr. Mangey, who had attacked it. In the last of these tracts he inserted his advertisement against Dr. Hare, with the doctor’s answer.

In 1721, Dr. Hare published a book, entitled“Scripture vindicated from the Misrepresentations of the lord bishop of Bangor;” in the preface of which, speaking of the Constitutions of Carolina, he observes, that, by one of the articles, none are excluded from settling in that country upon account of their opinions, “but downright atheists,” says he, “such as the impious author of the Pantheisticon;” and, at the bottom of the page, he refers us to a profane prayer, composed by T6!and, a more perfect copy of which he afterwards, upon farther intelligence, inserted in the errata. The prayer runs in these terms: “Omnipotens & sempiterne Bacche, qui humanam societatem max u me in bibendo cotisiiumii j concede propitius, ut istorum | capita, qui hestern& compotatione gravantur, hodierna leventur; idque fiat per pocula poculorum. Amen.” Des Maizeaux, however, affirms, that it was not composed by To­)and, who knew nothing of it; but by a persoo whose name he forbears, on account of his profession; though he believes he only designed it as a ridicule on Mr. Toland‘ s club of Pantheistic philosophers, whom he injuriously imagined to be all drunkards, whereas they are grave, sober, and temperate men. This year, 1721, Toland published, and it was the last thing he published, “Letters of lord Shaftesbury to Robert Moles worth, esq.” afterwards lord Molesworth, with a large introduction by himself, 8vo.

He had, for above four years past, lived at Putney, from whence he could conveniently go to London, and come back the same day; but he used to spend most part of the winter in London. Being in town about the middle of December, he found himself very ill, having been out of order for some time before: his appetite and strength failed him; and a physician, who was called to him, made him worse, by bringing a continual vomiting and looseness upon him. He made a shift, however, to return to Putney, where he grew better, and had some hopes of recovery. In this interval, he wrote “a dissertation to prove the uncertainty of physic, and the danger of trusting our lives to those who practise it.” He was preparing some other things, but death put an end to all his purposes, the llth of March, 1722, in his fifty-second year. We are told that he behaved himself, throughout the whole course of his sickness, with a true philosophical patience, and looked upon death without the least perturbation of mind, bidding farewell to those about him, and telling them, “he was going to sleep.” Some few days before he died, he wrote his own epitaph. *


" H. S. E. Nee minis, nee mails est inflexus,

Joannes Tolandus, Quin, quam elegit, viam perageret:

Qui in Hibernia prope Deriam natus, Utili honestum anteferens.

In Scotia & Hibernia studuit. Spiritus cum eelhereo patre,

Quod Oxonii quoque fecit adolescen A quo prodiit olim, conjungittir

Atque Germania plus semel petita, Corpus item, naturae cedens,

Virilem circa Londinem transegit In materno gremio reponitur.

octatem. Ipse vero aeternum est resurrectum,

Omnium literarum excultor, At idem futurus Tolandus

At linguarum plus decem sciens. nuuqnam.

Veritatis propugnator, Nat us Nov. 30.

Libeitatis assertor Csetera ex scriptis jaete."

Nullius antem sectator aut cliens,

Toland was a man of uncommon abilities, and, perhaps, | the most learned of all the infidel writers; but his system being atheism, if to own no God but the universe be atheism^ he was led to employ those great parts and learning, very much to the offence and injury of society. Vanity, and an immoderate desire to distinguish himself, were predominant qualities in his composition, and his character in many other respects was far from being a desirable one, for neither were his morals pure, npr his manners amiable. In his political career, he had all the selfishness of the common hireling.

His “Posthumous Works” were published in 1726, 2 vols. 8vo, and republished in 1747, with an account of ins life and writings by Des Maizeaux, the title of which runs as follows: “The Miscellaneous Works of Mr. John Tolaud, now first published from his original manuscripts, containing, I. An history of the British Druids, with a criii al Essay on the ancient Celtic customs, literature, &c. to whic li is added, An account of some curious British Antiquities. 2. An account of Jordano Bruno, and his celebrated book on the innumerable worlds. 5. A disquisition concerning those writings which by the ancients were, truly or falsely, ascribed to Jesus Christ and his Apostles. 4. The secret History of the South-Sea scheme. 5. A plan for a National Bank. 6. An essay on the Roman Education. 7. The tragical death of Attilius Regulus proved to be a fiction. 8. Select Epistles from Pliny, translated into English, y. A diverting description of Epsom and its amusements. 10. Four Memorials to the Earl of Shaftesbury, relating to affairs of state in 1713 and 1714. 11. Physic without physicians. 12. Letters on various subjects. 13. Cicero illustratus, dissertatio Philologico-critica; sive, Consilium de toto edendo Cicerone, alia plane methodo quam hactenus unquam factum. 14. Conjectura de prima typographic origine.

At the end of Des Maizeaux’s life there is “An Elegy on the late ingenious Mr. Toland,” which, that biographer says, was published a few days after his death; and be adds, that it was a matter of doubt with some, whether the author intended to praise or ridicule him. Few things can be more weak than Des Maixcaux’s own defence of Toland. There is a considerable collection of To land’s Mss. in the British Museum (Ayscough’s Catalogue), but of little real Talue. 1


Life by Des Mtizeaux. Life by Moshein; see Bibl. Germanique, vol. Vf. and Mosheim’s Hist. Gen. Dict. Biog. Brit —Leland’s Deistical Writers. D’Israeli’s Calamities.