Basnage, Benjamin

, the first of a family of French Calvinists, celebrated for learning and piety, was the son of N. Basnage, minister of Norwich in England, and afterwards of Carentan in Normandy, and was born in 1580. After studying divinity, he succeeded his father as minister of Carentan, and remained in that sacred charge the whole of his life, although invited to Roan, and some other more considerable churches, and even permitted by the national synod of Charenton to change his situation. He used to say that his first church was his spouse, from which he ought not to be separated unless by death. At the abovementioned synod, he satin 1623, as deputy from the | province of Normandy, but when named again in 1631, by the same province, the king forbad his going to the synod, and deprived him of his church, until the remonstrances of the assembly induced his majesty to restore him. In 1637, he presided as moderator of the national synod of Alenc.on, and contributed very essentially to preserve moderation during a crisis peculiarly important to the reformed church of France. In 1644, being chosen assistant moderator to the national synod of Charenton, he was deputed by them to the queen-dowager, who received him with marks of favour. He entered into the usual controversies with Lescrivain, Draconis, and other adherents of the church of Rome. His principal work, “Treatise on the Church,” printed at Rochelle in 1612, was much esteemed, and he left behind him, but in an imperfect state, a work against worshipping the Virgin Mary. He died in 1652, after having been in the ministry fifty-one years. He is frequentlymentioned in Quick’s Synodicum, having been deputed to king James I. and having gone to Scotland, where he served the churches in matters pertaining to their temporal interest. King James’s letter of leave styles him, “deputy from all the churches of France.1


Ceo, Dict., Collar’s Dict. vol. IV.