ISAAC TAYLOR (1787-1865), a voluminous writer on philosophical and theological subjects, was born at Laven-ham, Suffolk, in 1787, and was trained by his father to be an artist, but early adopted literature as a profession. From 1824, the year of his marriage, he lived a busy but uneventful life at Ongar, in the parish of Stanford Rivers, Essex, where he died on June 28, 1865.
He early became a contributor to the Eclectic Review, when it was conducted by Robert Hall and John Foster, and in 1822 he published a small volume entitled Elements of Thought. This was followed by a translation of Theophrastus with original etchings, a History of the Transmission of Ancient Books to Modern Times, Memoirs and Correspondence of Jane Taylor (his sister, who died in 1824), and a translation of Herodotus. None of these works attained very great popularity; but in 1829 he published anony-mously a work bearing upon the religious and political problems of the day, entitled The Natural History of Enthusiasm, which was eagerly read and speedily ran through eight or nine editions. The success of this publication encouraged him to produce, also anony-mously, The Natural History of Fanaticism, Spiritual Despotism, Saturday Evening, and The Physical Theory of Another Life, all of which commanded a large circulation. Among his subsequent works may be mentioned Ancient Christianity, a series of disserta-tions in reply to the "Tracts for the Times," a volume entitled The Restoration of Belief, and a course of lectures on The Spirit of Hebrew Poetry.