Matthew Tindal, an English author, born at Beer-Ferris, Devonshire, about 1657, died in London, Aug. 16, 1733. He was educated at Oxford, took the degree of bachelor in 1676, and was elected to a fellowship at All Souls, which he retained through life. He was created LL. D. in 1685, and soon after became a Roman Catholic, but returned to the church of England just before the revolution of 1688. After the revolution, of which he was a zealous partisan, he became an advocate, sat as judge in the court of delegates, and received a pension from the crown of £200. In 1706 he published "The Rights of the Christian Church asserted, against the Romish and all other Priests that claim an independent Power over it," in opposition to high church principles. This excited a long controversy, during which he published two defences, which he reprinted in 1709, with essays on obedience and the law of nations, the liberty of the press, and the rights of mankind in matters of religion. In 1710 he attacked the party of Dr. Sacheverell in a pamphlet entitled "New High Church turned Old Presbyterian;" but the house of commons on one day condemned Sacheverell's sermons, and on the next ordered Tindal's "Rights of the Christian Church" and the second edition of his "Defences" to be burned.
His most important work is "Christianity as old as the Creation, or the Gospel a Republication of the Religion of Nature " (1730), in Which he expressly denies that Christianity contains any truth which the human reason might not have discovered for itself. "Water-land, James Foster, Conybeare, Leland, Chapman, and others wrote replies to it. He left a second volume of this, only the preface to which has been published.