Becan, Martin

, an eminent Jesuit, born in 156J, at Hilvarenbec, a small village of Brabant, entered the | society of Jesuits in 1583. He taught philosophy four years, and divinity twenty-two years, at Mentz, Wirtzburgh, and Vienna, and was reckoned one of the ablest professors of his time. The emperor Matthias maintained him at Vienna, and he was made confessor to the emperor Ferdinand II. The popish historians say he was happy in a clear conception, and could express himself so intelligibly to his scholars, even upon the most intricate points, that several universities contended which shoiil.l receive him. He published a tract upon scholastic divinity, which Dupin says is short and clear, and has been much esteemed, and several treatises of controversy. He was the friend and follower of Bellarmin, and supported him in his controversy with king James I. and bishop Andrews (see Andrews). It may supply a small defect in bishop Andrews’s life, to note here that Becan wrote “Refutatio Apologias et Monitorix prefationis Jacobi regis Anglian,” Mentz, 1610, 8vo. 2. “Refutatio Torturae Torti (bishop Andrews’s book. See his life, p. 219.) ibid. 1610, 8vo. This was answered by Robert Burhill, in” Responsio pro Torlura Torti, contra M. Becanum,“Lond. 1611, 8vo. 3.” Controversia Anglicana de potestate regis et pontificis, contra Lancelotum Andream,“Mentz, 1612, 8vo. All Becan’s works were published at Mentz, 1630, 2 vols. fol.; and at Doway, 1641, but in this collection his” Analogy of the Old and New Testament," one of the most esteemed of his productions, is omitted. He died at Vienna, Jan. 24, according to Dnpin, but in May, according to others, 1624. The fate of his works has been somewhat singular. In his opposition to king James and the bishop of Ely, he carried the power of the pope so far, that Paul V. was obliged to have his book condemned at Rome, Jan. 3, 1613; and a century and a half after this, in 1762, the parliament of Paris ordered the whole of his works to be burnt. 1

1 Dupin. Dodd’s Cb. History, vol. II. —Foppen Bibl. Belg.