Fevre, James Le

, or Jacobus Fabku, Stapulensis, a man of genius and learning, was born at Estaples, in Picardy, about 1440; and was one of those who contributed to revive polite literature in the university of Paris. He became, however, suspected of Lutheranism, and was | obliged to give way to the outrage of certain ignorant zealots, who suffered him not to rest. He then retired from Paris to Meaux, where the bishop was William Briconnet, a lover of the sciences and learned men; but the persecution raised by the Franciscans at Meaux obliging the bishop, against his inclination, to desert Faber, the latter was forced to retire to Blois, and from thence to Guienne. Margaret queen of Navarre, sister to Francis I. honoured him with her protection, so that he enjoyed full liberty at Nerac till his death, which happened in 1537, when he was little short of a hundred.

He was one of those, who, like Erasmus, though they did not outwardly depart from the church of Rome, and also disapproved in some things the conduct of those who established the reformation in Germany, yet at the bottom were inclined to a change. He took a journey to Strasburg, by the queen of Navarre’s order, to confer with Bucer and Capito concerning the reformation of the church. He published, so early as 1512, a translation of St. Paul’s epistles, with critical notes and a commentary, in which he frequently censures the Vulgate. He published in 1522 similar notes and commentary upon the other parts of the New Testament. Natalis Bedda, a divine of Paris, censured his divinity, as well as that of Erasmus; and the inquisitors of Rome under Clement VIIL put his commentary on the whole New Testament in the catalogue of prohibited books, till it should be corrected and purged from its errors. Father Simon has passed a judgment on this work of Faber' s, which he concludes by observing, that “he ought to be placed among the most able commentators of the age. But Erasmus, who wrote at the same time, and with infinitely more politeness, greatly lessened his reputation. The works of Faber are no longer read at Paris; whereas those of Erasmus are highly esteemed even at this day.

His natural moderation left him when he wrote against his friend Erasmus, and the quarrel did not end at all to his advantage. Faber was angry at Erasmus, it is said, because he had not adopted all his opinions upon certain passages of scripture, when he published his notes on the New Testament. He therefore rudely attacked him, and accused him of having advanced impious notions. Erasmus defended himself; and when he had said what was Sufficient for that purpose, begged of his adversary the | continuance of his friendship, assuring him that he had always loved and esteemed him. The letter he wrote him on this occasion is dated April 1517, the year that Luther began to preach. Erasmus was very sincere in his professions to Faber; and, accordingly, was much displeased with the compliments which he received from his friends on his victory, desiring them not to change their opinion of Faber on account of this quarrel. What Erasmus wrote on this head to Tonstal, the English ambassador at Paris in 1517, does much honour both to himself and Faber. “What you write concerning my answer to Faber, though J know you wrote it with a most friendly intention, yet gave me uneasiness on a double account; because it revives my past grief, and because you seem on this occasion to speak with less esteem than I could wish of Faber; a man who for integrity and humanity has scarcely his equal among thousands. In this single instance only has he acted unlike himself; in attacking a friend, who deserved not such usage, in so violent a manner. But what man was ever wise at all times? And I wish I could have spared my adversary: but now I am afflicted for two reasons; both because I am constrained to engage with such a friend, and because I perceive some to think less candidly of Faber, for whom it is my earnest desire that all should entertain the utmost esteem.” These liberal sentiments had their effect on Faber, who repented of his attack, and made no reply.

Some very singular things are related of his last hours. Margaret of Navarre was very fond of Faber, and visited him often. He and other learned men, whose conversation greatly pleased the queen, dined with her one day; when, in the midst of the entertainment, Faber began to weep. The queen asking the reason, he answered, That the enormity of his sins threw him into grief; not that he had ever been guilty of debaucheries, but he reckoned it & very great crime, that having known the truth, and taught it to persons who had sealed it with their blood, he had had the weakness to keep himself in a place of refuge, far from the countries where crowns of martyrdom were distributed. The queen, who was eloquent, comforted him; yet he was found dead a few hours after going to bed, which, considering his very advanced age, was not very extraordinary. He wrote several works in divinity, besides those above-mentipned, particularly an edition of the | Psalter, in five languages, Paris, 1509, fol. “Traite de, Duplici, et unica Magdalena,” 4to “Agones martyruia mensis Januarii,” fol. without date of place or year, but of the beginning of the sixteenth century; a French version of the Bible, Antwerp, 1530, fol. very scarce, known by the name of the Emperor’s Bible, from the printer’s name. This translation, say the catholics, was the foundation of those which the protestants and doctors of Louvahi have published. 1

1

Bayle in Gen. Dict. —Moreri. Jortin’s Erasmus. Clement Bibl, Curie use.