Beda, Noel

, a French divine of the sixteenth century, principal of the college of Montaigu in 1507, and syndic of the faculty of theology at Paris, was born in Picardy. He published a violent attack on the paraphrases of Erasmus. That illustrious scholar condescended to take the trouble to refute it with great minuteness, averring that he had convicted his censurer of having advanced 181 lies, 210 calumnies, and 47 blasphemies. The doctor, having no reasonable answer to make, took extracts from the works of Erasmus, denounced him as a heretic to the faculty, and succeeded in getting him censured. It was he who prevented the Soroonne from deciding in favour of the divorce of Henry VIII. of England, an opinion not discreditable to him, although he is said to have carried it by his vehemence. “As Beda (says pere Berthier) could neither bridle his pen nor his tongue, he dared to preach against the king himself, under pretext, perhaps, that the court did not prosecute heretics with as much vigour as his bold and extravagant temper would have wished. His intolerant | spirit drew upon him twice successively a sentence of banishment. Recalled for the third time, and continuing incorrigible, he was condemned by the parliament of Paris, in 1536, to make the amende-honorable before the church of Notre-Dame, for having spoken against the king, and against truth.” He was afterwards ex led to the abbey of Mont St. Michel, where he died Feb. 8, 15^7, with the reputation (adds pere Berthier) of being a violent declaimer and a vexatious adversary. Beda wrote, l.“A treatise” De unica Magdalena, Paris," 1519, 4to, against the publications of Faber Stapulensis. 2. Twelve books against the Commentary of Faber. 3. One against the Paraphrases of Erasmus, 1526, folio; and several other works, which are all marked with barbarism and rancour. His Latin is neither pure nor correct. Henry Stephens has preserved a circumstance of him, which sufficiently marks his character. He undertook to dissuade Francis I. from employing professors of languages in the university of Paris, and maintained before that prince, in the presence of Budaeus, that the Greek tongue was the cause of heresies. 1


Gen. Dict.—Moreri.—Dupin.—Collier’s Church History.