Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Leslie, Charles (1650-1722)

LESLIE, CHARLES (1650–1722), nonjuror and controversialist, sixth son of John Leslie, D.D. (1571–1671) [q. v.], by Katherine, daughter of Alexander Cunningham, dean of Raphoe, was born at Dublin on 17 July 1650. Educated at Enniskillen school and Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated M.A. in 1673, he studied law for some time at the Temple, but took holy orders in 1680, and went to reside with his elder brother, vicar of Donagh, Monaghan, at the family seat of Glaslough. On 13 July 1686 he was preferred, through the influence of the Earl of Clarendon, to the chancellorship of Connor, a place of more dignity than emolument. In 1687 he held, in answer to the challenge of Patrick Tyrrel, the recently invested Roman catholic bishop of Clogher, public disputations with some of the Roman catholic clergy at Monaghan and Tynan. As chairman of quarter sessions for co. Monaghan he committed for contempt William Barton, the high sheriff nominate, on his refusing to take the oaths of office on the ground that he was ‘of the king's religion.’ He also tried and committed some military officers for acts of pillage. This appears to be the only colour there is for Burnet's statement that he ‘was the first man that began the war in Ireland’ (Own Time, ii. 538). His loyalty to James II remained unshaken, and on the revolution he refused to take the oaths, was deprived of his chancellorship, and removed to London, where he acted as chaplain to the Earl of Clarendon, and officiated occasionally at Ely House and other places frequented by nonjurors. In 1691 he returned to Glaslough, and wrote his first work, ‘An Answer to a Book intituled the State of the Protestants in Ireland under the late King James's Government’ [see King, William, 1650–1729]. It was published without license at London in 1692, 4to, and though anonymous was at once ascribed to Leslie. Written in a strongly partisan spirit, it was treated by the government as a libel, Glaslough was searched, and the manuscript discovered in Leslie's study. He himself, however, could not be found, and the proceedings were allowed to drop. In 1693 he visited St. Germains, and obtained from the Pretender the congé d'élire for the consecration of the nonjuring bishops (Macpherson, Orig. Papers, ii. 383; Boyer, Polit. State, xii. 633). On his return to England he published a virulent attack on William III, entitled ‘Gallienus Redivivus, or Murther will out, &c. Being a true Account of the De Witting of Glencoe, Gaffney,’ &c., Edinburgh, 1695, 4to. The pamphlet revives the old story of William's complicity in the assassination of John de Witt, and insinuates that he was accessory after the fact to the irregular execution of Gafney by Lord Coningsby in 1690 [see Coningsby, Thomas, Earl]. It is, however, one of the principal authorities for the facts of the Glencoe massacre (see Macaulay, History of England, iv. 213 n., 8vo). There is a reprint of it in ‘A Collection of Tracts written by the Author of “The Snake in the Grass,”’ &c., London, 1730, 4to.

From the king Leslie turned to attack the whig divines. Burnet was found guilty of Socinianism in ‘Some Reflections upon the Second of Dr. Burnet's Four Discourses concerning the Divinity and Death of Christ’ (1694, 4to), and pilloried as a turncoat in ‘Tempora Mutantur; or the great Change from 73–93: in the Travels of a Professor of Theology at Glasgow from the Primitive and Episcopal Loyalty through Italy, Geneva, &c., to the Deposing Doctrine under Papistico-Phanatico-Prelatico Colours at Salisbury,’ 1694, 4to (reprinted in ‘A Choice Collection of Papers relating to State Affairs,’ 1703, i. 176 et seq.) Tillotson, or rather his memory—for he was just dead—was even more bitterly attacked in ‘The Charge of Socinianism against Dr. Tillotson considered.’ With this tract were reprinted the ‘Reflections’ upon Burnet, and a ‘Supplement’ was added ‘Upon Occasion of a History of Religion lately published. Supposed to be wrote by Sir R. H——d [Sir Robert Howard (1626–1698), [q. v.] ]. Wherein likewise Charles Blount's Great Diana is considered, and both compared with Dr. Tillotson's Sermons,’ Edinburgh, 1695, 4to. A funeral sermon on the late queen by Sherlock, whose desertion of the nonjurors Leslie keenly resented, elicited from him a savage diatribe, entitled ‘Remarks on some late Sermons, and in particular on Dr. Sherlock's Sermon at the Temple, 30 Dec. 1694,’ 1695, 4to. In 1696 he published ‘Now or Never: or, The Last Cast for England. Humbly addressed to both Houses of Lords and Commons,’ 4to; a plea for peace with France, and the evacuation of England by William's foreign troops.

About this time Leslie lodged with a quaker, whose consumptive wife he afterwards claimed to have converted ‘to Christianity’ shortly before her death (see A True and Authentic Account of the Conversion of a Quaker to Christianity, and of her Behaviour on her Deathbed, London, 1757, 8vo). Here he made the acquaintance of Penn and other leading Friends, but could see nothing in their mystical doctrine of the ‘light within’ but ‘blasphemous pride’ and ‘idolatry.’ Penn, as a Jacobite, he spared, but in 1696 he attacked his co-religionists in ‘The Snake in the Grass; or Satan transformed into an Angel of Light,’ London, 8vo. At the same time he took up the cudgels for George Keith (1650?–1715) [q. v.] against Thomas Ellwood [q. v.], and in anticipation of a promised attack on Keith by George Whitehead, in ‘Satan Disrob'd from his Disguise of Light; or the Quakers' Last Shift to cover their Monstrous Heresies laid fully open,’ London, 1696, 4to; 2nd edit. 1698, 4to. This he followed up with ‘Some Seasonable Reflections upon the Quakers' solemn Protestation against George Keith's Proceedings at Turners' Hall, 29 April 1697,’ London, 1697, 4to; and ‘Primitive Heresie Revived in the Faith and Practice of the People called Quakers,’ with ‘A Friendly Expostulation with Wm. Penn upon account of his Primitive Christianity,’ London, 1698, 4to (reprinted with the preceding tract in ‘Five Discourses by the Author of “The Snake in the Grass,”’ London, 1700, 8vo). He also published a new edition of ‘The Snake in the Grass,’ largely rewritten, with a preface on Madame Bourignon, whose enthusiasm he sought to connect with quakerism, and a supplement in answer to Whitehead's ‘Antidote against the Venome of the Snake in the Grass,’ &c., London, 1697, 8vo. A third edition, 1698, 8vo, elicited a dignified reply from Joseph Wyeth, ‘Anguis Flagellatus; or a Switch for the Snake,’ London, 1699, 8vo. Leslie, however, had the last word, and a very long and strong one, in ‘A Defence of a Book intituled “The Snake in the Grass,”’ London, 1700, 8vo, and ‘A Reply to a Book entituled “Anguis Flagellatus” … shewing that the Quakers are plainly self-condemn'd in this their last Answer. And therefore it is to be hop'd that this will put an end to that controversy,’ London, 1702, 8vo.

All this while Leslie had been skirmishing vigorously in defence of the sacraments. In 1697 he published ‘A Discourse proving the Divine Institution of Water Baptism,’ London, 4to. In the preface to this tract Leslie boasts that only a year's study of it had sufficed to convert an inveterate male quaker. It was followed by ‘A Discourse shewing who they are that are now qualify'd to administer Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Wherein the cause of Episcopacy is briefly treated,’ London, 1698, 4to. Both tracts were reprinted in ‘Five Discourses by the Author of “The Snake in the Grass,”’ London, 1700, 8vo, and the former separately in 1707, London, 4to. Leslie further discussed the matter in ‘A Religious Conference between a Minister and Parishioner concerning the Practice of our Orthodox Church of England in Baptism and Confirmation. With a Vindication of the Lawfulness of Godfathers and Godmothers and of the Sacred Order of Bishops,’ London, 1698, 8vo; and ‘The Case of Sureties in Baptism. In which is shewn that schismaticks ought not to be admitted as Godfathers and Godmothers in the Ministration of the Holy Sacrament,’ London, 1701, 4to. The following miscellanea also belong to the same period: ‘The History of Sin and Heresie attempted,’ London, 1698, 4to; ‘A Parallel between the Faith and Doctrine of the present Quakers and that of the chief Hereticks in all ages of the Church,’ London, 1700, 4to; ‘An Essay concerning the Divine Right of Tythes,’ London, 1700; ‘The Present State of Quakerism in England. Upon occasion of the relapse of Sam. Crisp [one of Leslie's converts] to Quakerism,’ London, 1701.

Nor was Leslie so preoccupied with the quaker as to neglect the deist and the Jew. To a lady friend, ‘who had been staggered with the arguments of deism even to distraction,’ he wrote a letter containing a brief summary of the evidences of Christianity, as he conceived them, ‘prevailed with her to copy it in her own hand,’ and thus established her in the faith. This argument he published, retaining the epistolary form, but substituting ‘sir’ for ‘madam,’ as ‘A Short and Easie Method with the Deists, wherein the truth of the Christian Religion is demonstrated by such rules as stand upon the conviction of our outward Senses, and which are incompatible with the Fabulous Histories of the Heathen Deities, the Delusions of Mahomet, or any other Imposture whatsoever. In a Letter to a Friend,’ London, 1698, 8vo. That such was the origin of this celebrated argument Leslie himself states (Vindication, § 1). It has been conjectured that the lady was a sister of Henry Hyde, second earl of Clarendon, Lady Frances Keightley, who went into retreat at Glaslough in 1686, in which case the first draft was probably made while Leslie was still in Ireland; but of this there is no proof [see under Keightley, Thomas, 1650?–1719]. Oddly enough, Leslie's own account has been set aside in favour of a tradition which makes the Duke of Leeds the person for whose benefit Leslie wrote (see A Short and Easy Method with the Deists, &c., ed. Jones, London, 1799, p. viii, and A Letter to a Noble Duke on the Incontrovertible Truth of Christianity, 2nd edition, London, 1808, p. xiii). A companion treatise against the Jews, entitled ‘A Short and Easie Method with the Jews. Wherein the certainty of the Christian Religion is demonstrated by infallible proof from the four rules made use of against the Deists,’ dated, with dramatic propriety, on Good Friday, appeared the same year, and both were reprinted in one volume, London, 1699, 12mo. The ‘Method with the Deists’ is nothing if not historical. The miracles are supposed to vouch for the doctrine, and be in their turn vouched for by conformity to four rules of historical evidence, such conformity being assumed sufficient to prove the truth of any alleged ‘matter of fact,’ however extraordinary. The rules to which the miraculous narratives in the scriptures in Leslie's view conform are: ‘1. That the matter of fact be such as that men's outward senses, their eyes and ears, may be judges of it. 2. That it be done publicly in the face of the world. 3. That not only public monuments be kept up in memory of it, but some outward actions to be performed. 4. That such monuments and such actions or observances be instituted, and do commence from the time that the matter of fact was done.’ The argument in its original shape is very loosely stated; a few of the Old Testament miracles only are discussed in detail, and the Christian miracles are merely referred to in general terms. He argues in a circle at every turn, and the monumental and ceremonial evidence which he adduces to prove the authenticity of the scriptures really presupposes their authenticity.

The vicious circle latent in the original draft of the ‘Method’ became patent in a ‘Vindication’ of it, published in answer to some criticisms by Leclerc and Defoe (see Bibliothèque Choisie, viii. 394–6, and A Detection of the True Meaning and Wicked Design of a Book intitul'd A Plain [sic] and Easie Method with the Deists, London, 1711, 8vo). In the ‘Vindication’ Leslie explicitly assumes the authenticity of the records, and even treats them as the principal part of the ‘monumental’ evidence. Even so, however, he fails to bring more than a few, and those not the most important, of the miracles under all the four rules. With this important modification, and the addition of the substance of the ‘Method with the Jews,’ he republished the arguments in the shape of a dialogue, under the title ‘The Truth of Christianity demonstrated,’ London, 1711, 8vo; 2nd edition, 1726, 8vo. An appended ‘Dissertation concerning Private Judgment’ is an argument for the via media, afterwards expanded in ‘The Case stated between the Church of Rome and the Church of England,’ London, 1713, 8vo (see infra).

Notwithstanding its inconclusiveness, the ‘Method with the Deists’ sufficed to convert Charles Gildon [q. v.], whom Leslie congratulated upon the event in a letter dated July 1704, and first published in Gildon's ‘Deist's Manual’ (1705). It has since been reprinted in some of the numerous later editions and abridgments of the ‘Method’ and ‘The Truth of Christianity demonstrated.’

The question of the true relations of church and state, raised in its most acute form by the consecration of the nonjuring bishops, was discussed by Leslie in ‘The Case of the Regale and of the Pontificat (sic) stated,’ New-year's day, 1700. His theory, which marks the culminating point of English sacerdotalism, represents the episcopate and episcopally ordained clergy as a spiritual power co-ordinate with the temporal power, and associated with it in a federal union, the regal supremacy in matters ecclesiastical being treated as a mere derivative from the papal usurpation. It was answered in an anonymous tract entitled ‘The Regal Supremacy in Ecclesiastical Affairs asserted,’ to which Leslie replied by republishing ‘The Case,’ with a supplementary defence of it, broaching a project for a union of the Anglican and Gallican churches, and a preface, ‘wherein is shewed that there is no Danger in asserting the divine and inherent rights of the Church,’ London, 1702, 8vo. ‘The Case’ thus restated was examined by Matthew Tindal [q. v.] in ‘The Rights of the Christian Church,’ 1706, to which Leslie rejoined in various numbers of ‘The Rehearsal’ (Nos. 155 et seq.). During the tractarian movement ‘The Case’ was reprinted, with the omission of the preface and supplement, London, 1838, 8vo. By way of counterblast to Dennis's reply to Sacheverell's sermon on ‘Political Union’ [see Dennis, John], Leslie published ‘The New Association of those called Moderate-Church-Man (sic) with the Modern Whigs and Fanatics to undermine and blow up the present Church and Government. With a Supplement on occasion of the New Scotch Presbyterian Covenant,’ London and Westminster, 1702, 4to; 4th edit. 1705. This violent attack upon the dissenters and their sympathisers helped to bring Defoe into the field with his ‘Shortest Way.’ Leslie replied in ‘The New Associations. Part II.,’ London and Westminster, 1703, 4to, in which he denounced as a new ‘presbyterian covenant’ some resolutions of provincial Scottish synods, reasserting presbyterian principles on occasion of the accession of Queen Anne, and censured Burnet for a passage, which he professed to have seen, in his as yet unpublished ‘History of my own Time.’ An appendix, entitled ‘A Short Account of the Original of Government,’ is a first and very rough sketch of Leslie's political philosophy, afterwards elaborated in ‘The Rehearsal.’ To an anonymous critic who demurred to the doctrine of passive obedience he replied in ‘Cassandra (but I hope not) telling what will come of it,’ London, 1704, 4to.

Amidst this turmoil of political controversy Leslie still found time to demonstrate the wickedness and disastrous consequences of mixed marriages in ‘A Sermon preached in Chester against Marriages in different Communions,’ London, 1702, 8vo; to contribute to Samuel Parker's abridged translation of the ‘Historia Ecclesiastica’ of Eusebius Pamphili (1703) ‘A Dissertation concerning the Use and Authority of Ecclesiastical History,’ and to write an elaborate letter to Bossuet on ‘The True Notion of the Catholic Church’ (dated 26 Sept. 1703) printed in 1705 in ‘Several Letters which passed between Dr. George Hickes and a Popish Priest’ [see Hickes, George]. A speech of Burnet in opposition to the bill against occasional conformity drew from him an ironical pamphlet entitled ‘The Bishop of Salisbury's proper Defence,’ London, 1704, 4to. In support of the bill he wrote ‘The Wolf stript of his Shepherd's Cloathing, in answer to a late celebrated Book intituled “Moderation a Vertue” [see Owen, James, 1654–1706], wherein the Designs of the Dissenters against the Church are laid open. With the case of Occasional Conformity considered,’ &c., London, 1704, 4to. He returned to the charge in the following year in ‘The Principles of the Dissenters concerning Toleration and Occasional Conformity,’ London, 4to.

Meanwhile, in August 1704, he had started, in opposition to Tutchin's ‘Observator’ and Defoe's ‘Review,’ a periodical entitled ‘The Rehearsal.’ It was published at first weekly, on Saturdays, afterwards on Wednesday also, beginning with 10 April 1706. The title was borrowed from the well-known play by the Duke of Buckingham. In form ‘The Rehearsal’ was a lively dialogue between Rehearser and Observator or Countryman, and, though largely occupied with matters of merely ephemeral interest, afforded Leslie scope for a familiar exposition of his views on serious matters. His criticism of Locke's ‘Treatises of Government,’ in which he exposes the unhistorical character of their fundamental assumptions, may still be read with interest. His own political philosophy, however, which is developed at great length, is merely a modification of the patriarchal theory of Sir Robert Filmer [q. v.] Tindal's ‘Rights of the Church’ and the peculiar views of Asgill, Coward, and Dodwell on death and immortality are also discussed in detail. The last number appeared on 26 March 1709, and the entire series was then republished under the pseudonym ‘Philalethes’ and the title ‘Rehearsal. A View of the Times, their Principles and Practices,’ London, 1708–9, 4 vols. fol. It was an open secret that Leslie was the author. While still occupied with ‘The Rehearsal’ Leslie published in ‘The Socinian Controversy discuss'd in six Dialogues,’ London, 1708, 4to, a reply to Biddle's ‘Brief History of the Unitarians,’ and recent works of a like tendency. It is a formal defence of Athanasian Trinitarianism, founded principally on the utter incomprehensibility of the divine nature. To strictures by Thomas Emlyn [q. v.] Leslie rejoined in an ‘Answer,’ which elicited from Emlyn a ‘Vindication.’ To an ‘Examination’ by Emlyn of his views on the atonement, and to an accusation of tritheism brought against him in John Clendon's ‘Tractatus Philosophico-Theologicus de Persona; or, A Treatise of the Word Person,’ Leslie published a joint answer in 1710. Meanwhile he carried on his ecclesiastico-political warfare with hardly abated energy. Benjamin Hoadly's attack on Bishop Blackall's accession-day sermon (8 March 1708–9) ‘On the Divine Institution of Government’ elicited from him an animated counter-attack entitled ‘The Best Answer ever was made. Addressed in a Letter to the said Mr. Hoadly himself. By a Student of the Temple,’ London, 1709, 8vo. Hoadly replied in a ‘Postscript’ to his ‘Reply’ to Blackall's ‘Answer’ (Hoadly, Works, 1773, ii. 180). Leslie rejoined in ‘Best of All. Being the Student's Thanks to Mr. Hoadly,’ London, 1709, 8vo. To Higden, on the publication of his ‘View of the English Constitution,’ he addressed a controversial letter, in which he attempted to wrest the facts of history to the support of the theory that ‘God made kings and kings made parliaments.’ This he entitled ‘The Constitution, Laws, and Government of England vindicated,’ London, 1709, 8vo. Incensed by some pointed references to himself in Burnet's speech on the impeachment of Sacheverell (16 March 1710) and his sermon in Salisbury Cathedral on 27 May following, he affected, as on a former occasion, to treat as spurious both speech and sermon while caustically dissecting them, and published ‘The Good Old Cause, or Lying in Truth,’ London, 1710, 4to. The pamphlet appeared under the pseudonym ‘Misodolos,’ but its authorship was at once detected by Hoadly, who in ‘The Jacobites Hopes Revived,’ &c., charged Leslie with maintaining that the queen was a usurper. Leslie replied, somewhat faintly, in ‘Beaucoup de Bruit pour une Aumelette; or, Much Ado about Nothing,’ London, 1710, 8vo.

A warrant was soon afterwards (July 1710) issued for his apprehension. He found an asylum in a house belonging to Francis Cherry [q. v.] at White Waltham, Berkshire. Here he gave to Higden and Hoadly what he reckoned ‘The Finishing Stroke. Being a Vindication of the Patriarchal Scheme of Government in Defence of the Rehearsals, Best Answer, and Best of All. Wherein Mr. Hoadly's Examination of this Scheme in his late Book of the Original and Institution of Civil Government is fully Consider'd. To which are added Remarks on Dr. Higden's late Defence in a Dialogue between three H.'s,’ London, 1711, 8vo. This is probably the most plausible presentation ever made of the older form of the patriarchal theory of the origin of government. In the dialogue, which is humorously described as ‘A Battle Royal between Three Cocks of the Game,’ Higden and Hoadly are very cleverly played off against each other, and Hottentot, who stands for man in the supposed state of nature, against both. It was also while at White Waltham that Leslie published the ‘Vindication of the Short and Easy Method with the Deists,’ and ‘The Truth of Christianity demonstrated,’ which are dated ‘from my Tusculum, All Saints, 1710.’ He remained there disguised in regimentals until April 1711, when he made his escape to St. Germains, whither he brought a memorial on the state of parties in England and the prospects of the Jacobite cause, which he represented as extremely favourable if an army were at once landed in Scotland. He also advised the Pretender not to dissemble his religion, but to profess himself open to conviction (Secretan, Life of Robert Nelson, p. 71; Macpherson, Orig. Papers, ii. 210).

Leslie afterwards returned to England, where he passed under the alias of Mr. White, and published ‘Natural Reflections upon the Present Debates about Peace and War, in Two Letters to a Member of Parliament from his Steward in the Country,’ dated respectively December 1711 and March 1711–1712, an argument for peace. He was also supposed to be the author of an address to the queen presented by William Gordon in December 1712, in which she was congratulated upon the security which the change of ministry had brought to the principle of hereditary right (Boyer, Polit. State, iv. 337). In August 1713 he repaired to Bar-le-Duc by the invitation of the Pretender, who gave him a place in his household, and promised to listen to his arguments in favour of the Anglican church, a promise which, according to Bolingbroke, he did not keep (Letter to Sir William Windham, 2nd edit., 1760, p. 154). Leslie, however, continued to be active in his interest, and, when the expediency of requiring his expulsion from Lorraine and of setting a price upon his head was discussed in parliament, published ‘A Letter to a Member of Parliament in London,’ dated 23 April 1714, in which he gave the Pretender an excellent character and represented him as ready, in the event of his restoration, to make certain concessions to the Anglican church. He also published two other manifestoes in his favour, viz. a letter to Burnet on his sermon before George I of 31 Oct. 1714 (‘Mr. Lesley to the Lord Bishop of Sarum,’ dated New-year's day, 1715), and a letter to the Anglican clergy, entitled ‘The Church of England's Advice to her Children, and to all Kings, Princes, and Potentates,’ dated 26 April 1715.

Leslie also published while at Bar-le-Duc ‘The Case Stated between the Church of Rome and the Church of England,’ London, 1713. This tract has been attributed to Nathaniel Spinckes [q. v.], but internal evidence—the argument is substantially the same as that of the ‘Dissertation on Private Judgment and Authority’—points to Leslie as the author. It was examined by an unknown writer, who signed himself ‘A. C.’ in ‘The Case Restated,’ to which Leslie rejoined, under the pseudonym of ‘Philalethes,’ in ‘The Case Truly Stated; wherein “The Case Restated” is fully considered,’ London, 1714, 8vo. After the suppression of the rebellion Leslie accompanied the Pretender to Avignon and Rome. His last effort in his interest was to procure from him and circulate among the Anglican clergy a letter pledging him, in the event of his restoration, to maintain inviolate the rights and privileges of the church of England. His last publications were two letters relating to the controversy on the usages initiated by Jeremy Collier [q. v.], viz. ‘A Letter from Mr. Leslie to his Friend against Alterations or Additions to the Liturgy of the Church of England,’ London, 1718, 4to, and ‘A Letter from the Reverend Mr. Charles Leslie concerning the New Separation’ (addressed to Mr. B., i.e. William Bowyer [q. v.]), London, 1719, 4to. In the autumn of 1721 he returned to Ireland, and died at Glaslough on 13 April 1722. He was interred in Glaslough churchyard.

Leslie married, soon after his ordination, Jane, daughter of Richard Griffith, dean of Ross, by whom he had two sons, Robert, who succeeded to the Glaslough estate, and Henry. Leslie wrote an easy and lively style, had some learning and wit, and more scurrility, and was adroit at logical fence. He was a most unsparing controversialist. Swift, while professing abhorrence of his political principles, warmly praised his services to the Anglican church. Johnson declared him the only reasoner among the nonjurors, and ‘a reasoner who was not to be reasoned against’ (Swift, Works, ed. Scott, iv. 347–8; Boswell, Life of Johnson, ed. Birkbeck Hill, iv. 287).

A collective edition of Leslie's ‘Theological Works,’ published by subscription in 1721 (London, 2 vols. fol.), was reprinted, with a brief sketch of his life and an engraving of his portrait by Vertue, at Oxford in 1832, 7 vols. 8vo. A reprint of the ‘Rehearsal,’ with ‘Cassandra’ and some other miscellanea, and an engraving of the portrait by Vertue, appeared at London in 1750, 6 vols. 8vo. Separate reprints of Leslie's apologetic writings have also appeared from time to time, of which the principal are the following: ‘The Short and Easy Method with the Deists,’ Edinburgh, 1735, 8vo, London, 1745, 8vo; ed. Randolph in ‘Enchiridion Theologicum,’ Oxford, 1792, 8vo; in ‘The Scholar Armed against the Errors of the Time,’ London, 1795, 1800, 1814, 1820, 8vo; ed. Jones, London, 1799, 12mo: ed. Jackson in ‘The Christian Armed against Infidelity,’ London, 1837, 8vo; ed. Lorimer in ‘The Christian's Armour against Infidelity,’ Glasgow, 1857, 12mo; ‘Deism Refuted; or the Truth of Christianity Demonstrated by Infallible Proof from Four Rules which are incompatible to any Imposture that can possibly be. In a Letter to a Friend,’ London, 1755, 8vo, Dublin, 3rd edit. 1758, 12mo; ‘The Short and Easy Method with the Deists; together with the Letter from the Author to a Deist [Gildon] upon his Conversion by reading his book and the Truth of Christianity demonstrated,’ Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London, 1832, 1865, 12mo; the same (except that only extracts from the ‘Letter’ are given) with an ‘Introductory Essay’ by David Russell, Edinburgh, 1838, 12mo. Abridgments of both the ‘Method with the Deists’ and the ‘Truth of Christianity demonstrated,’ by Francis Wrangham [q. v.], appeared at York in 1802, and were reprinted separately, and in ‘The Pleiad; or a Series of Abridgements of seven Distinguished Writers in Opposition to the Pernicious Doctrines of Deism,’ 1820, 8vo, and by the Religious Tract Society, 1830, 12mo. Other abridgments of the ‘Short and Easy Method with the Deists’ are ‘A Letter to a Noble Duke on the Incontrovertible Truth of Christianity. With a dedication to the Duke of Leeds,’ 2nd edit. London, 1808, 12mo; ‘The Truth of the Scripture History abridged from Mr. Leslie's Short and Easy Method,’ London, 1820(?); ‘Leslie's Four Marks. An Extract from that Author's Work entitled “A Short and Easy Method with the Deists. Illustrated by two Diagrams,”’ ed. Sir E. Denny, London, 1874, 16mo. An American edition was published about 1724, and reprinted at Windsor, Vermont, in 1812, 12mo. An abridgment appeared in Uzal Ogden's ‘Antidote to Deism,’ vol. ii. Newark, U.S. 1795. A French translation, with slight variations, was published as a posthumous work of the Abbé Saint-Réal as ‘Méthode Courte et Aisée pour combattre les Déistes,’ in his ‘Œuvres,’ ed. 1757, ii. 95 et seq., and long passed in France for the original (see Biographie Universelle, ‘Saint-Réal;’ Hallam, Lit. of Europe, ed. 1839, iv. 164). Other French translations are: ‘Courte Démonstration de la Vérité du Christianisme,’ Paris, 1831, 12mo, and ‘Le Déisme réfuté par une Méthode Courte et Facile,’ Paris, 1837, 12mo. There is also a version in Spanish, ‘La Verdad y la Divinidad de la Religion Cristiana demostradas al alcance de todos, por la Realidad de los Milagros de Moisés y de Jesucristo,’ Bogotá, 1858, 8vo, and another entitled, ‘Demostracion de la Verdad de la Religion Cristiana,’ 1863, 12mo. Of ‘The Short and Easy Method with the Jews’ reprints appeared at London in 1737 8vo, 1755 12mo, 1758 12mo; in ‘The Scholar Armed,’ &c., vol. ii. London, 1795 8vo, 1800 8vo; also under the auspices of the London Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews, London, 1812, 8vo, and of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London, 1825, 12mo. A reprint of the ‘Case of the Regale and of the Pontificat stated,’ with the omission of the preface and supplement, appeared at London in 1838, 8vo. ‘The Churchman Armed against the Errors of the Time,’ vol. ii. (London, 1814), contains a reprint of ‘The Case stated between the Church of Rome and the Church of England,’ of which an abridgment appeared at Edinburgh in 1835 under the title ‘A Short Method with the Romanists.’

[Life prefixed to Oxford edit. of Leslie's Theological Works; R. J. Leslie's Life and Writings of Charles Leslie, 1885; Leslie's Life and Times of the Right Reverend John Leslie, D.D., 1885, p. 288; Colonel Leslie's Hist. Records of the Family of Leslie, iii. 326–8; Hist. Reg. 1722, Chron. Diary, p. 21; Salmon's Chron. Hist. ii. 122; Dublin Graduates; Biog. Brit.; Ware's Writers of Ireland, ed. Harris, i. 282; Noble's Continuation of Granger's Biog. Hist. of England, ed. 1806, i. 140; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. iv. 847; Cotton's Fasti Eccl. Hibern. iii. 259, 361; Clarendon and Rochester Corresp. i. 577, ii. 279, 317; Hist. MSS. Comm. 1st Rep. App. 118, 2nd Rep. App. 232, 234, 236, 245, 8th Rep. App. 392; Hearne's Collections, ed. Doble (Oxford Hist. Soc.), i. 36, 40, 57, 234, 243, ii. 5, 152, 297, iii. 36, 44, 221; Luttrell's Relation of State Affairs, vi. 440, 609, 615, 627; Somer's Tracts, viii. 638, 667, 676; Burnet's Own Time, fol. ii. 436; Macpherson's Orig. Papers, ii. 134, 174, 210, 215, 430–1, 445; Tindal's Rapin, ii. 357 n.; Boyer's Queen Anne, 1735, p. 697; Stuart Papers, ed. Glover, i. 24 n., 37; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. i. 195, iv. 80; Lathbury's Hist. of the Nonjurors, 246, 283, 365; Secret Memoirs of Bar-le-Duc from the Death of Queen Anne to the Present Time, Dublin, 1716, Notes and Queries, 1st ser. ix. 324, 575; Abbey and Overton's English Church in the Eighteenth Century; Stephen's Hist. of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century; Wilson's Memoirs of the Life and Times of Daniel Defoe.]

J. M. R.