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a native of Bretagne in France, and had studied at Saumur. His teftimonial from that academy is dated 1682, and is now in the poffeffion of his defcendants. He came into England a young man, along with his father, uncle, two aunts, and two fifters, about the year 1685, when the proteftants fled from France, on account of the revocation of the edict of Nantz by Lewis the Fourteenth. Soon after his fettlement in this country, he married Martha, daughter of the rev. Daniel Rogers, of Haverfham in Buckinghamshire, who defcended from a family of the fame name, that refided at Lees near Chelmfford in Effex, in the reign of Henry the Eighth, and had produced fome clergymen, diftinguished by their abilities and learning.

"Mr. Renatus Jortin was appointed one of the gentlemen of the privy chamber to king William the Third, in the year 1691; and was afterwards fucceffively fecretary to admiral Edward Ruffell earl of Orford, fir George Rooke, and fir CloudeЛley Shovel, and perifhed with the latter when his fhip unfortunately ftruck upon the rocks, called "the Bishop and his Clerks," off Scilly, October 22, 1707.

"After this melancholy event, Mrs. Jortin removed into the neighbourhood of the Charter-houfe, the better to accommodate the education of her fon, who was now nine years of age, and fent him to that feminary as a day-fcholar. He learned French at home, and spoke it well. At the age of fifteen he had completed his claffical ftudies at fchool, after which he remained at home about a year, and perfected himfelf in writing and arithmetic.

"On the 16th of May 1715, he was admitted penfioner of Jefus

college in Cambridge; and diftin' guifhed himself fo much by his abilities and application, that whilst he was an under graduate, he was engaged by the recommendation of his tutor, the learned Dr. Styan Thirlby, to tranflate fome of Euftathius's notes on Homer for Mr. Pope.

"Mr. Pope began his translation of the Iliad with notes in 1712, his twenty-fifth year, and concluded it in 1718, his thirtieth year. This circumftance afcertains with fufficient accuracy, that Mr. Jortin was not more than eighteen or nineteen years of age, when the good opinion of his tutor had recommended him to this literary exexcife.

"Mr. Jortin was admitted to the degree of bachelor of arts, in January 1718-19; and was elected fellow of Jefus college, October 9, 1721. He proceeded to take the degree of mafter of arts at the commencement of 1722.

"On the 10th of October 1722, Mr. Jortin was appointed one of the moderators, at the difputations in the fophs' fchool, and, at Michaelmas in the fucceeding year, he was elected one of the taxors. The learned Dr. Edmund Law, late bifhop of Carlifle, who took his first degree in arts 1723, told me, some few years before his death, that he kept an opponency under Mr. Jortin when moderator, and though he was every way eminently qualified to discharge the duty of his office, was a man of few words. The bifhop added, however, in the course of our converfation, that, in confequence of that exercife, Mr. Jortin recommended him in the univerfity, and thereby laid the foundation of his future advancement.

"In the courfe of the year 1722,


Mr. Jortin published a few Latin poems, which were well received, entitled" Lufus Poetici," in a thin quarto of twenty-four pages, with a preface: a fecond edition appeared in 1724, in a small octavo: and a third in 1748, in quarto, printed by Bowyer, with additional poems, but without the preface. His name is prefixed only to the first edition; the two laft were printed to be given to his friends.

"In a more recent edition of his Lufus Poetici, republished in the first volume of Tracts, &c. 1790, (p. 1-53.) the editor has introduced five additional poems which were found among the author's papers, and deemed not unworthy a place amidft their predeceffors. At the end of the fame volume, (p. 460-470.) he has preferved fome tranflations from the originals.

“Dr. Vicefimus Knox, who is certainly a writer of claffic tafte, and one whom we shall have occafion to mention more than once in thefe memoirs, fays (in fome curfory remarks on the life and writings of Dr. Jortin), that his Latin poetry is claffically elegant; and has obferved that the firft efforts of genius have commonly been in poetry. Unreftrained by the frigidity of argument, and the confinement of rules, the young mind gladly indulges the fights of imagination. Cicero, as well as many other ancient philofophers, orators, and hiftorians, is known to have facrificed to the mufes in his earlier productions. Dr. Jortin, fays he, adds to the number of those who confirm the obfervation. In his Lufus Poetici, one of the firft of his works, are united claffical language, tender fentiment, and harmonious verfe. Among the modern Latin poets, there are few who do not

yield to Dr. Jortin. His fapphics,
on the ftory of Bacchus and Ari-
adne, are easy, elegant, and poetical.
The little ode, in which the calm
life of the philofopher is compared
to the gentle stream gliding through
the mind, and is perfectly elegant
a filent grove, is highly pleafing to
In the compofition. The lyrics
are indeed all excellent. The poem
on the immortality of the foul is
imitation of the ftyle of Lucretius.
ingenious, poetical, and an exact
In fhort, the whole collection is
fuch as would fcarcely have dif-
graced a Roman in the
of an

"Jortin was ordained deacon by
terborough, September 22d, 1723.
Dr. White Kennet, bishop of Pe-
bishop of Ely, June 24, 1724. On
and priest by Dr. Thomas Greene,
the 20th of January 1726-7, he was
of Jefus college to the vicarage of
prefented by the mafter and fellows
Swavefey near Cambridge, and in
January 1727-8, agreeably to the
ftatues, he refigned his fellow-

1728, he married Anne, daughter of
"About the month of February
Mr. Chibnall of Newport Pagnell
in Buckinghamshire. On the first
of February 1730-1 he refigned his
vicarage of Swavefey, and not long
after fettled in London, where he
at a chapel belonging to the parish
was engaged as reader and preacher
of St. Giles in the Fields, then in
New-ftreet, near great Ruffel-street,
Bloomsbury. In this fituation he
continued till 1746.

London he publifhed "Four fer-
"On Mr. Jortin's removal to
religion," in a fmall volume in
mons on the truth of the chriftian

longer to be confulted in the form
Thefe fermons are no
in which they firft appeared; they
have been inferted with advantage

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in fome of our author's fubfequent publications.

"In the years 1731 and 1732, Mr. Jortin, in conjunction with fome literary friends, published in a feries of twenty-four fixpenny numbers, "Mifcellaneous Obfervations upon authors ancient and modern;" making together two volumes in octavo. They have been much efteemed by the learned both at home and abroad; and though the fcarcity of thefe volumes has arisen from a wasteful and taftelefs deftruction of feveral copies, as I was credibly informed by the late Mr. Lockyer Davis, they have of late years been much fought after.

"This ftore of critical learning was tranflated into Latin, and printed at Amfterdam, entitled, "Mifcellaneæ obfervationes in auctores veteres et recentiores; ab eruditis Britannis, anno 1731, edi coeptæ, cum notis et auctario variorum virorum doctorum."

"Our author's skill and tafte for critical learning were again exhibited in fome excellent Remarks on Spenfer's poems," publifhed in 1734, in octavo; to which were fubjoined "Remarks on Milton." And in a periodical work, entitled, "The prefent state of the republic of Letters," for Auguft in the fame year, he published "Remarks on Seneca."

"Of Mr. Jortin's criticifms upon those rare English claffics, Spenfer and Milton, it would be trifling to offer any praise, after the teftimony borne to their excellence by the late bifhop Newton and Mr. Thomas Warton.

"Mr. Jortin was prefented by the earl of Winchelfea to the vicarage of Eaftwell in Kent, worth about one hundred and twenty pounds a year, fome time in 1737;

but, the air of the place not agreeing with his health, he foon refigned it, and returned to London. He therefore continued to officiate at the chapel in New-street, until he was appointed (March 20, 1746-7.) by his friend Dr. Zachary Pearce, then rector of St. Martin's in the Fields, afternoon preacher at a chapel of cafe belonging to that parish in Oxenden-ftreet, in the place of the rev. Jolmfon, then lately deceased; in which situation he continued till 1760.

"In the year 1746, Mr. Jortin publifhed his "Difcourfes concerning the truth of the christian religion," which included the subftance of the "Four difcourfes" before mentioned, and have fince paffed through feveral editions. Bifhop Watfon has repeatedly, and very defervedly, claffed Jortin among fome great and eminent names who have honourably and fuccefsfully laboured to establish the truth, and illuftrate the doctrines of Chriftianity: and bifhop Law, while engaged in the fame fervice, very juitly pronounces him "a very learned and ingenious writer." Dr. Knox does not hesitate to fay that his "Difcourfes on the chriftian religion, one of the first fruits of his theological purfuits, abound with that found fenfe and folid argument, which entitled their author to a rank very near the celebrated Grotius."

"Thefe Difcourfes have received much advantage from the acceffion of additional matter, and their prefent arrangeinent. They contain a valuable collection of facts, and very mafterly display of arguments upon fome very interefting parts of the enquiry into the evidences and truths of chriftianity; concerning which, "if he has advanced any wrong notions, there

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is reafon to hope," as he expreffes himfelf, "that they proceed not frem a bad mind, but are only the iffues of unfortunate inquiry."

"Mr. Warburton, then preacher at Lincoln's Inn, engaged Mr. Jortin, in the year 1747, to aflift him occafionally at the chapel there, and he continued his affiftant about three years.


Upon the tranflation of Dr. Matthew Hutton from the fee of Bangor to the archbishopric of York, Dr. Zachary Pearce was appointed to fucceed him. Dr. Pearce requested Mr. Jortin to preach the fermon at his confecration in the parish church of Kensington, on February 21, 1747; which was afterwards publifhed, with the ufual authoritative mandate prefixed, juffu fuperiorum.

"On the recommendation of archbishop Herring, and bishop Sherlock, Mr. Jortin was appointed by the earl of Burlington, on the 26th of December 1749, preacher of the lecture founded by Mr. Boyle. An appointment, honourable from the nature of the foundation, and from the refpectable characters of feveral of the clergy who had preceded him in the duties of it, and, we may alfo add, from the patronage of the noble trustee, and the recommendation of the two prelates, at whofe inftance he had received it.

"The mutual friendship between Mr. Warburton and Mr. Jortin continued after their connection at Lincoln's Inn chapel had ceafed; infomuch, that the former announced, in the fecond edition of his Julian, the fpeedy publication of his "learned friend Mr. Jortin's curious differtations on ecclefiaftical antiquity; compofed, like his life, not in the spirit of controverfy, nor what is ftill

worse, of party, but of truth and


"Mr. Warburton's favourable notification of the forwardness of the "Remarks on ecclefiaftical hiftory," was very foon followed by the publication of the first volume, early in the year 1751; and, however fanguine may have been the expectations of the friends of Mr. Jortin, they were not difappointed.

"The appendix to this firft volume of the "Remarks on ecclefiaftical hiftory," is the work of Mr. Warburton, and so much more mifchief does the ill-judging friendfhip of fome men effect, than their refentments can accomplish, that Mr. Jortin has loft more credit by the admiffion of thefe few pages Mr. Warburton's, than if this imagined Coloffus had replied to every line of the remarks, or "whipped him at the cart's tail in a note to the Divine legation, the ordinary place of his literary executions: or pilloried him in the Dunciad, another engine, which as legal proprietor, he ry ingeniously and judicioufly applied to the fame purpofe."

"Mr. Jortin tells us that bishop Pearce and Mr. Warburton were willing to appear as his friends, and his coadjutors in this work, and prefixes a copy of Latin verfes, written more from the goodness of his heart, and in the fpirit of poetry, than in the fpirit of prophecy. "By fome fatality," fays an ingenious effayift, he was duped, not only to accept of a poftfcript to the first volume of ecclefiaftical remarks, exhibiting the vifions of a Welch prophet, with the commentaries of Warburton upon them, but to celebrate the new alliance with anbit et hoc noftri per fæcula foedus amoris."


No particular notice was taken of this appendix, worth recording, except in the paffage juft cited, until the year 1772, when the late learned Mr. Taylor publifhed fome very mafterly remarks upon it, in a tract, entitled, "Confufion worfe confounded; rout upon rout; or the bishop of G

's commen

tary on Rice, or Arife Evans's Echo from heaven, examined and expofed. By Indignatio." That this examination and expofure fhould follow, at fo long a period from the time of the orignal publication, is accounted for by Mr. Taylor's not having feen the appendix to which it refers, before the preceding fummer, and may be excufed in the recollection that the mullum tempus bill is not extended to the church.

"Hitherto it fhould feem that Mr. Jortin had partaken of fome of the ingredients which are too frequently found to conftitute a scholar's wages, according to Erafmus, "fhort commons and little reputation, mixed with much envy and detraction." He had mary friends who knew how to value is learning, but none of them had hitherto fuccessfully fought to reward it. Certain jealousies were entertained of his liberal and catholic principles, though it was very generally acknowledged that his writings would be read and admired as long as any pittances of good fenfe, foiid erudition, and exalted liberality of mind fhould remain upon English ground. To take off, as much as might be, any reproach to his patron, the "Difcourfes on the truth of the chriftian religion" were made the oftenfible motive for prefenting him with the preferment défigned for him. "The dangerous preface was then in its infancy," as a certain writer exprelles himself," the outcry against

it had not reached the ulterior banks of the Thames. It has, however, been faid, that the patron never heard the laft of his injudicious munificence to a man, who had affronted, (as certain druids are wont to fay) the establishment that maintained him."

"Be this, however, as it may, in the month of May 1751, archbishop Herring gave Mr. Jortin, unfolícited, the rectory of St. Dunstan in the Eaft, London, worth two hundred pounds a year; "a favour valuable in itfelf, but made doubly fo by the giver, by the manner, by being conferred upon one," as himfelf fays, "who had received few obligations of this kind, and by fettling him amongst those whom he had great reason to love and to esteem."


Nothing could more enhance the obligation, than the public and handfome manner in which it was conferred. The account which is given of the interview between the archbishop and Mr. Jortin is, I believe, authentic, and has in it fome circumftances which fhew the liberal and amiable character of the prelate, and characterize the fimple manners of the clerk. Mr. Jortin dined at the feaft of the fons of the clergy, where archbishop Herring was prefent, and on being told that the archbishop was defirous of renewing his acquaintance with him, he prepared for going to the upper end of the room, by looking for his hat, among a great number which lay together in a confufed manner, but being told by his friends that his hat was by no means neceffary, he proceeded to the prelate without it. The archbiflop complimented him on his talents and learning, and clofed the converfation, by giving him, in the prefence of the clergy, the rectory


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