Fabricius, John Lewis

, an eminent protestant divine of the seventeenth century, was born at Schafhousen, July 29, 1639. He began his studies under the inspection of his father, who was rector of thq college; but in 1647 went to Cologne, where his brother Sebaldus lived, and there for about a year studied Greek and Latin. In 1643 he returned to Schafhousen, but left it for Heidelberg in the following year, where his brother had been appointed professor of history and Greek. In 1650 he went to Utrecht, and for about two years was employed in teaching. At the end of that time he visited Paris as tutor of the son of M. de la Lane, governor of Reez, and remained in tnis station for three years. Having returned to Heidelberg in 1656, he took his degree of master of arts, and the following year was admitted into holy orders, and appointed professor extraordinary of Greek, but was, not long after, requested by the elector to go again to Paris as tutor to the baron Rothenschild, and in 1659 he accompanied his pupil to the Hague, and afterwards into England. On their return to France they parted, and Fabricius went to Leyden, where he took his degree of doctor in divinity. Soon after he was appointed professor of divinity at Heidelr berg, superintendant of the studies of the electoral prince, inspector of the college of wisdom, and philosophy professor. In 1664 he was appointed ecclesiastical counsellor to the elector, who, in 1666, sent him to Schafhousen to explain to that canton the reasons for the war of Lorraine, which office Dr. Boeckelman had discharged in the other cantons. In 1674, when the French army advanced towards Heidelberg, Fabricius retired to Fredericksburgh, and to Cologne, but returned the same year. In 168O, although a Calvinist, he was commissioned with a Roman catholic to open the temple of concord at Manheim. In 1688, the French, who had taken possession of Heidelberg, showed so much respect for his character as to give him a passport, which carried him safely to Schafhousen; but the continuance of the war occasioned him again to shift his place of residence, and when at Francfort, he was employed by the king of England (William III.) and the States General to join the English envoy in Swisserland, | and watch the interests of the States General. In the execution of this commission he acquitted himself with great ability, and was particularly successful in adjusting tjbe differences between the Vaudois and the duke of Savoy, and afterwards in accomplishing an alliance between the duke and the States General. We find him afterwards at Heidelberg, and Francfort, at which last he died in 1697. From these various employments it appears that he was a man of great abilities and political weight, and he derived likewise considerable reputation from his writings as a divine. Such was his abhorence of Socinianism that he opposed the settlement of the Socinian Poles when driven out of their own country in the Palatinate; in which, however, at that time he was not singular, as, according to Mosheim, none of the European nations could be persuaded to grant a public settlement to a sect whose members denied the divinity of Christ. The same historian informs us that he “was so mild and indulgent” as to maintain, that the difference between the Lutherans and Roman catholics was of so little consequence, that a Lutheran might safely embrace popery; an opinion, which, mild and indulgent as Mosheim thinks it, appears to us more in favour of popery than of Lutheranism. His works, on controversial topics, were collected and published in a quarto volume, by Heidegger with a life of the author, printed at Zurich in 1698. 1