Bullet, John Baptist

, a learned French writer, member of the academies of Besanc, on, Lyons, and Dijon, and a corresponding member of the academy of inscriptions, was born in 1699, and was professor of divinity in the university of Besangon from the year 1728; and afterwards dean. He had a surprising memory, and although devoted to controversial -studies, was of a mild and affable disposition. His works are of two kinds; some turning on religious matters, and others on literary inquiry. They are all accurate and solid; but we are not to look in them for elegance of style. The principal of them are: 1 “History of the establishment of Christianity, taken from Jewish and Pagan authors alone,1764, 4to. 2. “The existence of God demonstrated by nature,” 2 vols. 8vo. 3. “Answer to some objections of unbelievers to the Bible,” 3 vols. 12mo. 4. “De apostolica ecclesise Gallicanae origiue,1752, 12mo. 5. “Memoirs on the Celtic tongue,1754—59, 3 vols. fol. 6. “Researches into the history of Cards,1757, 8 vo. 7. “A dissertation on the history of France,1757, 8vo.

Of these works, the first was translated into English, and published in 1776, under the title of “The History, &c. translated by William Salisbury, B. D. with notes by the translator, and some strictures on Mr. Gibbon’s account of Christianity, and its first teachers,” 8vo. This is a very valuable work, but the original was long a scarce one in this country. Dr. Lardner, before he published the third volume of his “Collection of Testimonies,” endeavoured to procure a copy, but without success, and was therefore obliged to publish his last volume without being able to make any use of it. Dr. Lardner’s work is undoubtedly more complete and perfect, but the present contains within a narrow Compass, and therefore more useful to the general reader, a clear and distinct view of the facts on which Christianity is founded, during the first three centuriej, which are by far the most important. There are also in professor Bullet’st work some useful things which are not in Lardner; particularly a vindication of certain contested proofs; an argument in favour of | the Christian cause, huilt upon the supposed silence of Josephus concerning Jesus Christ, &c. His plan is also different from Lardner’s, forming a connected discourse, without interruption, and therefore probably better suited to a numerous class of readers.

Our learned professor’s “Researches into the history o Cards” is at least amusing; but his “Memoires sur la langue Celtique” contributed most to his reputation as a scholar of profound research. In these he has endeavoured to prove that all Europeans are descended from one common origin, and, consequently, now speak only different dialects of the same language. In this investigation an immense number of books and Mss. appear to have been consulted, and he made some progress in all the languages of the earth, and had recourse to every living and dead tongue, where the smallest vestiges of the Celtic were to be found. In his dissertations on different subjects of the history of France are many curious inquiries. 1


Dict. Hist.—Month. Rev. vol. LVII.