Aubry, John Baptist

, a French Benedictine of the congregation of St. Vannes, was born at Deyvillier, near Epinal, in 1736, and became prior of the house of Commercy, in which he continued to live after the suppression of the monastic orders. He was a man in very general esteem for abilities and amiable manners, both among his fellow ecclesiastics, and with the public at large. He is likewise praised for his humility, of which the following instance is given. Having written his “Questions Philosophiques sur la religion naturelle,” he solicited permission from the keeper of the seals to publish it, without having first consulted the superiors of his order, and for this he was condemned to dine in the refectory, upon bread and water, and on his knees, to which he submitted. Among other literary works, he was employed to continue “L’Histoire des auteurs sacres et ecclesiastiques,” begun by Flavigny, which was submitted to the revisal and highly approved by the congregation of St. Maur; but as that ancient order, once so celebrated in the republic of letters, began to be remiss in their exertions, this work never appeared. In 1775, he published his “Ami philosophique,” a performance well received by the public, and which procured him a very flattering letter from prince Charles of Lorraine. D’Alembert also bestowed high praises on it, a circumstance we should have thought rather suspicious, if we were not assured that Aubry, in all his writings, was a zealous defender of religion. Besides this and the “Questions philosophiques” above mentioned, he published 1. “Theorie de Tame des betes et de celle qu’on attribue a la matiere organisee.” 2. “Questions metaphysiques sur l’existence et la nature de Dieu.” 3. “Questions aux philosophes du jour.” 4. “L’Anti | Condillac, ou harangues aux ideologues modernes.” 5. “La nouvelle theorie des etres.” 6. “Aubade, ou lettres apologetiques, &c.” Aubry died about the end of the year 1809. 1


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