Espen, Zeger Bernard Van

, an eminent canonist, was born at Louvain in 1646, “and after taking his degree of doctor of laws in 1675, filled a chair in the college of pope Adrian VI. with great success. Being fond of retirement and study, he is only known to the world by his writings. Having lost his sight in the sixty-fifth year of his age, by a cataract, which was removed two years afterwards, he neither lost any thing of his vivacity nor his application. His sentiments on the Formulary, and on the frull Unigenitus, and the kind of approbation which he gave to the consecration of Steenoven, archbishop of Utrecht, brought on him much unmerited persecution, chiefly from the envy of individuals. What they made him suffer, however, forced him to retire to Maestricht, and then to Amersfort, where he died, Oct. 2, 1728, at the age of eighty-three. Van Espen is doubtless one of the most learned canonists of his times. His principal work, still consulted, is his” Jus ecclesiasticum universum,“in which the most important points of ecclesiastical discipline are circumstantially discussed with profound knowledge of. the subject. At Paris, under the imprint of Louvain, was published, in 1753, a collection of all the works of Van Espen, in 4 vols. folio. This edition, which is enriched with the observations of Gibert on the” Jus ecclesiasticum," and the notes of father Barre, a canoiv-regular of St. Genevieve, contains every particular of importance in ethics, the canon, and even the civil law, and since that time a supplementary volume was published by Gabriel de Bellegarde. 2