authority of the scriptures,’ and that he treated them as ‘curious remains of antiquity.’ In his ‘Critical Remarks’ he attacked the credit of Moses as an historian, a legislator, and a moralist. Even Dr. Priestley seemed to doubt whether ‘such a man as Geddes, who believed so little, and who conceded so much, could be a Christian.’
Soon after the first volume of his translation appeared, an ecclesiastical interdict, signed by Drs. Walmesley, Gibson, and Douglass, as vicars apostolic of the western, northern, and London districts, was published, in which Geddes's work was prohibited to the faithful. Against this prohibition, which Bishop Thomas Talbot refused to subscribe, Geddes published a remonstrance, but he was suspended from all ecclesiastical functions. The only addition to his labours on the ‘New Version’ after the appearance of the ‘Critical Remarks’ was a translation of a portion of the book of Psalms. He died on 26 Feb. 1802, having on the previous day received absolution from Dr. St. Martin, a French priest, who, however, said afterwards that he could not with certainty affirm that he perceived the least disposition in Geddes to recant (Good, p. 525). Public mass for the deceased was prohibited by an express interdict of Bishop Douglass. Geddes was buried in Paddington churchyard, in the New Road, Marylebone, where a monument was erected to his memory in 1804 by Lord Petre, inscribed with the following sentences extracted by his own desire from his works: <poem. Christian is my name, and Catholic my surname. I grant, that you are a Christian, as well as I; And embrace you, as my fellow disciple in Jesus: And, if you are not a disciple of Jesus, Still I would embrace you, as my fellow man. </poem> Charles Butler, who, with other members of the catholic committee, remained throughout the doctor's friend, says of his translation of the bible: ‘The frequent levity of his expressions was certainly very repugnant, not only to the rules of religion, but to good sense. This fault he carried, in a still greater degree, into his conversation. It gave general offence; but those who knew him, while they blamed his aberrations, did justice to his learning, to his friendly heart, and guileless simplicity. Most unjustly has he been termed an infidel. He professed himself a trinitarian, a believer in the resurrection, in the divine origin and divine mission of Christ, in support of which he published a small tract. He also professed to believe what he termed the leading and unadulterated tenets of the Roman catholic church. From her, however scanty his creed might be, he did not so far recede as was generally thought. The estrangement of his brethren from him was most painful to his feelings’ (Hist. Memoirs, 3rd edit. iv. 481).
An engraved portrait of Geddes is prefixed to the eulogistic ‘Memoirs’ of his life and writings, by his friend, John Mason Good, London, 1803, 8vo.
In addition to the works already enumerated, he wrote: 1. ‘Linton: a Tweeddale Pastoral,’ Edinburgh, 8vo. 2. ‘Cursory Remarks on a late fanatical publication, entitled “A Full Detection of Popery,”’ London, 1783, 8vo. 3. ‘Letter to the Rev. Dr. Priestley, in which the Author attempts to prove, by one prescriptive argument, that the Divinity of Jesus Christ was a primitive tenet of Christianity,’ London, 1787, 8vo. 4. ‘Letter to a Member of Parliament on the Case of the Protestant Dissenters; and the expediency of a general Repeal of all Penal Statutes that regard religious opinions,’ London, 1787, 4to. 5. ‘An Answer to the Bishop of Comana's Pastoral Letter, by a Protestant Catholic,’ 1790, 8vo. This was elicited by the famous pastoral of Bishop Matthew Gibson (1734–1790) [q. v.] 6. ‘A Letter to the Archbishop and Bishops of England, pointing out the only sure means of preserving the Church from the Evils which now threaten her. By an Upper-Graduate,’ 1790, 8vo. 7. ‘Epistola Macaronica ad fratrem, de iis quæ gesta sunt in nupero Dissentientium Conventu,’ London, 1790, 4to. One of the happiest attempts extant in the macaronic style. An English version for the use of ladies and country gentlemen was published by the author in the same year. 8. ‘Carmen seculare pro Gallica Gente tyrannidi aristocraticæ erepta. … A Secular Ode on the French Revolution,’ London and Paris, 1790, 4to. 9. ‘The First Book of the Iliad of Homer, verbally rendered into English verse; with critical annotations,’ 1792, 8vo. 10. ‘An Apology for Slavery,’ 1792, 8vo. An ironical essay. 11. ‘L'Avocat du Diable: the Devil's Advocate,’ 1792, 4to, in verse. 12. ‘Dr. Geddes' Address to the Public, on the publication of the first volume of his New Translation of the Bible,’ London, 1793, 4to. 13. ‘A Norfolk Tale, or a Journal from London to Norwich,’ 1794, 4to. 14. ‘Ode to the Hon. Thomas Pelham, occasioned by his Speech in the Irish House of Commons on the Catholic Bill,’ 1795, 4to. 15. ‘A Sermon preached before the University of Cambridge, by H. W. C[oulthurst], D.D., &c.; in doggrel rhymes,’ 1796, 4to. Dr. Coulthurst had published ‘The Evils of Disobedience and Luxury,’ 1796. 16. ‘The Battle of B[a]ng[o]r, or the Church Triumphant. A Comic-Heroic Poem,’ 1797, 8vo.