Twells, Leonard

, a learned English divine, was educated at Jesus college, Cambridge, where he proceeded B. A. in 1704-. In 1733 the university of Oxford conferred on him the degree of M. A. by diploma, in approbation, as we presume, of his “Critical Examination, &c.” hereafter mentioned. He was at that time vicar of St. Mary’s at Marlborough; but in 1737 was presented to the united rectories of St. Matthew, Friday-street, and St. Peter, Cheap. He was also a prebendary of St. Paul’s, and one of the lecturers of St. Dunstan’s in the West. Some of these promotions came late, nor had he more than 100l. a year to support a family of five children till within five years of his death, which took place Feb. 19, 1741-2. By the advice of some friends, two volumes of his sermons at Boyle’s and lady Moyer’s lectures were published for the benefit of his family, 1743, in 2 vols. 8vo. His publications in his life-time were, 1. “A Critical Examination of | the late new text and version of the Testament, in Greek and English, in three parts;” the first two were printed in 1731, and the last in 1732, 8vo. The work here examined was entitled “The New Testament in Greek and English, containing the original text corrected, from the authority of authentic Mss. and a new version formed agreeably to the illustrations of the most learned commentators and critics, with notes and various readings, &c.” Mr. Twells’s object is to prove that the editor’s text is corrupt, his version false, and his notes fallacious, and that the tendency of the work is to injure Christianity in general, and the tenets of the Church of England in particular. Mr. Twells also published, 2. “A Vindication of the gospel of St. Matthew,1735, 8vo; and “A Supplement to the Vindication.” 3. “Answer to the Inquiry into the meaning of the Demoniacks in the New Testament,1737, 8vo. 4. “Answer to the ‘ Further Inquiry,’ 1738,” 8vo. 5. “The Theological Works of Dr. Pocock,1740, 2 vols. fol. with a life of Pocock, to which we have already referred, replete with curious information respecting that great orientalist, his contemporaries, and the times in which he lived. Mr. Twells, we are sorry to add, gained little by this pub-. Hcation. He himself states that his reward for writing the life, compiling indexes, collating and correcting the errors of the old edition, which with soliciting for subscriptions, travelling to London, Oxford, &c. more or less employed his time and exercised his patience for five years, would be in all probability not more than 50l. 1


Bibl. Topog. Brit. No. II. Nichols’s Bowycr.