Abbadie, James

, a learned Protestant divine, was born at Nay in Berne, in 1658, according to Niceron, or in 1654, as in the Gen. Dictionary. He studied at Puy Laurent, at Saumur, at Paris, and at Sedan; at which last place he received the degree of doctor in divinity. He intended to have dedicated himself very early to the ministry; but the circumstances of the Protestants of France rendering it impracticable there, he accepted the offer of the count d’Espense, an officer in the service of the elector of Brandenburgh, by whom he was settled at Berlin, as a French minister. Here he resided many years, and his congregation, at first very thin, was greatly increased by the revocation of the edict of Nantes. In 1688, the elector, Frederic William, died, and our author accepted of an invitation from marshal Schomberg, to go with him first into Holland, and then into England, with the prince of Orange. In 1689 he went to Ireland, and was there in the following year, when his patron was killed at the battle of the Boyne. On his return to England, he became minister of the French church at the Savoy, but the air disagreeing with him, he went again to Ireland, and would have been promoted to the deanery of St. Patrick’s had he been acquainted with the English language. He obtained, however, that of Killaloo, the value of which was far inferior, and never had any other promotion. He occasionally visited England and Holland, for the purpose of printing his works, which were all in French. In one of these visits to London, he died at Marybone, Sept. 25, 1727. He was strongly attached to the cause of king William, as appears by his elaborate defence of the Revolution, and his history of the Assassination-plot. He had great natural abilities, which he cultivated with true and useful learning. He was a most zealous defender of the primitive doctrine of the Protestants, as appears by his writings; and that strong nervous eloquence, for which he was so remarkable, enabled him to enforce the doctrines of his profession from the pulpit with great spirit and energy.

His works are: 1. “Sermons sur divers textes de l’Ecriture,” Leyderi, 1680. 2. “Panegyrique de M. l’Electeur de Brandenbourg,Rotterdam, 1684, 4to. Gregorio Led translated this into Italian, and inserted it in his History of Brandenburgh. 3. “Traite de la Verite de la Religion Chretienne.” This treatise on the truth of the Christian Religion has passed through many editions, and | has been translated into English, 2 vols. 8vo, and Dutch, and has long been esteemed an able confutation of infidel principles. The abbe Houteville, a steady Catholic, gives it the following character: “The most shining of these treatises in defence of the Christian religion, which were published by the Protestants, is that written by Mr. Abbadie. The favourable reception it obtained, the almost unexampled praise it received on the publication, the universal approbation it still preserves, render it unnecessary for me to join my commendations, which would add so little to the merit of so great an author. He has united in this book all our controversies with the infidels. In the first part, he combats the Atheists; the Deists in the second; and the Socinians in the third. Philosophy and theology enter happily into his manner of composing, which is in the true method, lively, pure, and elegant, especially in the first books.” 4. “Reflexions sur la Presence reelle du Corps de Jesus Christ dans l’Eucharistie,Hague, 1685, 12mo, and Rotterdam, 1713, but both editions so erroneous as to induce the author to disown them. 5. “Traite de la Divinitie de notre Seigneur Jesus Christ,Rotterdam, 1689, 8vo. A translation of this was published about the year 1777, by the Rev. Abraham Booth, a dissenting clergyman in London. 6. “L’art de se Connoitre Soimeme; ou, la recherche des Sources de la Morale,Rotterdam, 1692, 12mo. An edition of this excellent treatise was published at Lyons in 1693, in which all the passages in favour of the Protestant religion are left out. 7. “Defence de la Nation Britannique,” &c. London, 1692, 8vo. This defence of the Revolution in England was in answer to Mr. Bayle’s “Avis important.” 8. “Panegyrique de Marie reine d’Angleterre,Hague, 1695, 4to. 9. “Histoire de la Conspiration derniere d’Angleterre,” &c. Lond. 1698, 8vo, reprinted in Holland, and translated into English, but at present a very scarce book. It regards what was called the Assassination-plot, and was written by order of king William 111.; the original papers and documents were furnished by the earl of Portland, and sir William Trumball, secretary of state. 10. “La Verite de la Religion lleformee,Rotterdam, 1718, 2 vols. 8vo. Dr. Henry Lambert, bishop of Dromore, translated this work for the instruction of the Roman Catholics in his diocese. 11. “Le triomphe de la Providence et de la Religion, en l’ouverture des Sept Sceaux par le Fils de Dieu,” &c. Amsterdam, | 1723, 4 vols. 12mo. In this commentary on the Revelations, for such it is, the author has been supposed more inclining to conjecture and fancy than in his other works. Besides these he revised, in 1719, the French translation of the Common Prayer, and published some single sermons and small tracts.1


Biog. Britan. —Niceron.