Fabricius, Francis

, professor of divinity in the university of Leipsic, was born at Amsterdam April 10, 1663. His father was a divine and pastor of the church of Meurs, but he had the misfortune to lose both parents when he was only five years old. His education then devolved upon his maternal grandfather, Francis Felbier, who appears to have done ample justice to him, and particularly introduced him to that intimate acquaintance with the French language for which he was afterwards distinguished. He began to be taught Latin in the public school of Amsterdam in 1673; “but in less than three months his grandfather died, and on his death-bed advised him to devote himself to the study of divinity, which was the wish and intention both of himself and of his parents. He accordingly pursued his classical studies with great assiduity; and in 1679, when in his sixteenth year, was much applauded for a discourse he | pronounced, according to the custom of the school. His subject was that” justice elevates a nation.‘ 7 After this he remained two more years at Amsterdam, and studied philosophy and rhetoric under the ablest professors; and at his leisure hours David Sarphati Pina, a physician and rabbi, gave him lessons in the Hebrew, Chaldaic, and Syriac languages, and enabled him to read the works of the Jewish doctors. In Sept. 1681 he removed to Leyden, where for two years he studied philosophy, Greek and Roman antiquities, and ecclesiastical history and geography, under the celebrated masters of that day, De Voider, Theodore Ryckius, James Gronovius, and Frederic Spanheim; and went on also improving himself in the Oriental languages. Such was his proficiency in this last pursuit, that he already was able to carry on a correspondence with his master at Amsterdam, the above-mentioned Pina, in the Hebrew language, and he translated the gospels of St. Matthew and Mark into that language.

At the age of twenty he began his theological studies, and in 1686 returned to Amsterdam, where he remained for a year, during which he had frequent disputes with his old Hebrew master on the subject of the Messiah. In 1687 he was ordained according to the forms of the Dutch church, and preached first at Velzen, where he was much admired, and here he married Anne van Teylingen, the daughter of a gentleman high in office in the Dutch East Indies. In 1696, the church of Leyden invited him to “become their pastor, which he accepted; and in 1705, on the death of James Trigland, he succeeded to the chair of divinity professor, of which he took possession Dec. 13, with an oration on the subject ofJesus Christ the sole and perpetual foundation of the church.“Besides his professorship, he had, like his predecessor, the charge of the schools attached to the college. So much employment rendered it necessary for him to resign part of his pastoral charge, but he fulfilled his share of its duties until within four years of his death. In 1723 the curators of the university of Leyden founded a professorship of sacred eloquence, and appointed him to it, where his business was to teach the art of preaching. In 1726 the London society for the propagation of the gospel elected him a member. In 1737 he suffered very much by the consequences of a repelled gout, which at length proved fatal on July 27, 1738. Fabricius was four times rector magmficus of the | university, in 1708, 1716, 1724, and 1736. On taking leave on this last occasion, he delivered a harangue very suitable to his age and character, on the duty of Christians in general, and divines in particular when they arrived at old age. The synod of South Holland had likewise chosen liim as one of their deputies. His works consist of five volumes of dissertations, the subjects of which he had treated, but not so fully, in his academical orations. 1” Chi istus unicum ac perpetuum fundamentum ec­’lesiae,“Leyden, 1717, 4to. 2.” De Sacerdotio Christ! juxta ordinemjlelchizedeci,“ibid. 1720, 4to. 2.” Christo* gia Noachica et Abrahamica,“ibid. 1727, 4to. This consists of twelve dissertations on several passages in the Old and New Testament, calculated to prove that Christ was the object of the faith of Noah and Abraham. At the end are some letters to the author. 4.” De Fide Christiana Patriarcharum & Prophetarum,“ibid. 4to. 5.” Orator Sacer," ibid. 1733, 4to. This contains the substance of his lectures on preaching, and is a complete treatise on the subject, although in some respects peculiarly adapted for the church of which he was a member. His sentiments, however, are so liberal, his view of the subject so comprehensive, and his historical illustrations so happy, that we are rather surprized this work has not found its way into ths country, by translation. Fabricius published also six sermons preached on public occasions. 1


Oratio de Vita, &c. F. Fabricii. —Chaufepie.Moreri.