Jenyns, Soame

Jenyns, Soame an English politician, and a writer on theological subjects, born at London in 1704, was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge. He was in his early years a well-known infidel, but extended Biblical studies caused his conversion and he at once entered the lists in active defense of the Gospel truths. His ablest work, and one which has given rise to the supposition on the part of some that Jenyns published it only with intent to injure the Christian cause, now generally refuted on good grounds, is, View of the Internal Evidence of the Christian Religion (1776, 12mo; 10th. ed. 1798, 8vo, and often since). Baxter (Ch. History, p. 659) says that the work "brought out the internal evidence to the truth of Christianity arising from its peculiar and exalted morality," and points to it as one of the efforts by which "infidelity, if not convinced, was silenced." (See, for the pamphlets on the controversy which this work elicited, Chalmers, Biog. Dict. 18, 520, note 8). He also wrote A free Inquiry into the Nature and Origin of Evil (1756, 8vo, and often), which was rather a failure as a theological treatise, and was very severely criticized by Dr. Johnson (see Boswell's Johnson, year 1756). The entire writings of Jenyns are collected in 4 vols. 8vo (Lond. 1790-93), together with his biography by Charles Nelson Cole. Jenyns died Dec. 18, 1787. See Allibone, Dict. of Authors, 1, 965; English Cyclopoedia, s.v. (J.H.W.)

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