Moor, Michael

, a very learned divine of the Roman catholic persuasion, was born in Dublin in 164O. After being taught at a grammar-school for some time, he was sent to France, and had his first academical learning at the college of Nantz, whence he removed to Paris, and completed his studies in philosophy and divinity, in both which he attained great reputation, as he did likewise for his critical skill in the Greek language. He taught philosophy and rhetoric in the Grassin college for some years: but at length returning to Ireland, was, with considerable reluctance, prevailed upon to take priest’s orders, and had some preferment while the popish bishops had any influence. When James II. came to Ireland, Dr. Moor was recommended to him, often preached before him, and had influence enough to prevent his majesty from conferring | Trinity-college, Dublin, on the Jesuits, to which he had been advised by his confessor father Peters. Dr. Moor being made provost of this college, by the recommendation of the Roman catholic bishops, was the means of preserving the valuable library, at a time when the college was a popish garrison, the chapel a magazine, and many of the chambers were employed as prisons for the protestants. But the Jesuits could not forgive him for preventing their gaining the entire property of the college, and took advantage to ruin him with the king, from a sermon he preached before James II. at Christ Church, His text was, Matt, xv, 14. “If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” In this discourse Dr. Moor had the boldness to impute the failure of the king’s affairs to his following too closely the councils of the Jesuits, and insinuated that they would be his utter ruin. Father Peters, who had a defect in his eyes, persuaded the king that the text was levelled at his majesty through his confessor, and urged that Moor was a dangerous subject, who endeavoured to stir tip sedition among the people. James was so weak as to believe all this, and ordered Dr. Moor immediately to quit his dominions. Moor complied, as became an obedient subject, but hinted at his departure, “that he only went as the king’s precursor, who would soon be obliged to follow him.” Moor accordingly went to Paris, where the reputation of his learning procured him a favourable reception; and king James, after the battle of the Boyne, followed him, as he had predicted. But here it appears that the king had influence enough to oblige Moor to leave France as he had done Ireland, probably by misrepresenting his conduct to the Jesuits.

Moor now went to Rome, where his learning procured him very high distinction. He was first made censor of booksj and then invited to Montefiascone, and appointed rector of a seminary newly founded by cardinal Mark Antony Barbarigo, and also professor of philosophy and Greek. Pope Innocent XII. was so much satisfied with his conduct in the government of this seminary, that he contributed the sum of two thousand Roman crowns yearly towards its maintenance; and Clement XI. had such a high opinion of Moor that he would have placed his nephew under his tuition, had he not been prevented, as was supposed, by the persuasions of the Jesuits. On the death of James II. Dr. Moor was invited to France, and such was | his reputation there, that he was made twice rector of the university of Paris, and principal of the college of Navarre, and was appointed regius professor of philosophy, Greek, and Hebrew. He died, in his eighty-fifth year, at his apartments in the college of Navarre, Aug. 22, 1726. It is evident he could have been no common character, who attained so many honours in a foreign land. His writings, however, are perhaps not much known. One of them, “DeExistentiaDei, et humanae mentis immortalitaie,” &c. published at Paris, 1692, 8vo, is said by Harris to have been translated into English by Mr. Blackmore, perhaps sir Richard, but we have not been able to find this work in any of our public libraries. Dr. Moor also published “Hortatio ad studium lingua; Graecae et Hebraicae,” Montefiascone, 1700, 12mo; and “Vera sciendi Methodus,Paris, 1716, 8vo, against the philosophy of Des Cartes. 1


Harris’s edition of Ware.