Fagius, Paul

, or sometimes Phagius, whose German name was Buchlein, a protestant minister, and one of the early reformers, was born at Rheinzabern in Germany, 1504, and laid the foundation of his learning in that town under the care of his father, who was a school-master. He was sent to Heidelberg at eleven, and at eighteen to Strasburgh; where not being properly supported, he had recourse to teaching others, in order to defray the expence of his own books and necessaries. The study of the Hebrew becoming fashionable in Germany, he applied himself to it; and by the help of Elias Levita, the learned Jew, became a great proficient in it. In 1527 he took upon him the care of a school at Isne, where he married and had a family. Afterwards, quitting the occupation of a schoolmaster, he entered into the ministry, and became a sedulous preacher among those of the reformed religion. Buffler, one of the senators of Isne, being informed of his perfect knowledge in the Hebrew tongue, and of his natural bias to the arts, erected a printing-house at his own charge, that Fagius might publish whatever he should deem useful to religion in that way; but the event did not answer the expence.

In 1541 the plague began to spread at Isne; when Fagius understanding that the wealthiest of the inhabitants were about to leave the place, without having any regard to the poorer sort, rebuked them openly, and admonished them of their duty; telling them that they should either continue in the town, or liberally bestow their alms before they went, for the relief of those they left behind; and declaring at the same time, that during the time of that calamity he would himself in person visit those that were sick, would administer spiritual comfort to them, pray for them, and be present with them day and night: all which he did, and yet escaped the distemper. At the same season the plague raged in Strasburg, and among many others, | proved fatal to the reformer, Wolfang Capito; upon which Fagius was called by the senate to succeed him. Here he continued to preach till the beginning of the German wars, when the elector Palatine, intending a reformation in his churches, called Fagius from Strasburg to Heidelberg, and made him the public professor thefe: but the emperor prevailing against the elector, an obstruction was thrown in the way of the reformation. During his residence here, however, he published many books for the promotion of Hebrew learning, which were greatly approved by Bucer and others, and form the most important of the works he has left.

His father dying in 1548, and the persecution in Germany rendering that country unsafe to all who did not profess the Romish doctrine, he and Bucer came over to England in consequence of receiving letters from archbishop Cranmer, in which they had assurances of a kind reception and a handsome stipend, if they would continue here. They arrived in April 15*y, but Strype says in 1548 were entertained some days in the palace at Lambeth, and appointed to reside at Cambridge, where they were to undertake a new translation and illustration of the scriptures, Fagius taking the Old Testament, and Bucer the New, for their several parts. A pension of 100l. a year was settled on Fagius, and the same on Bucer, besides the salary they were to receive from the university. But this was all put an end to, by the sudden illness and death of both these professors. Fagius fell ill at London of a quartan fever, but would be removed to Cambridge, on hopes of receiving benefit from the change of air. He-died there Nov. 12, 1550; and Bucer did not live above a year after. Melcbior Adam and Verheiden suggested that Fagius was poisoned, but for this we find no other authority. By a disgraceful bigotry, both their bodies were dug up and burnt in the reign of queen Mary.

Fagius’s works were numerous, both in German and Latin. Among them we find, 1. “Sententise vere elegantes pian, sive capitula Patrum,” Heb. et Lat. Isne, 1541, 4to. ii. “txpositio Dictionum Hebraicarum literalis in quatnor capita Geneseos,” Isne, 1542, 4to. 3. “Liber Fidei,” Heb. et Lat. ibid. 1542, 4to. 4. “Liber Tobijr,” Heb. et Lat. ibid. 1542, 4to. 5. “Isagoge in Linguam Hebracam/‘ Const. 154’.*, 4to. 6.” Sententice Morales Ben Syrgp,“| with notes, 1542, 4to. 7.” Breves annotationes in Targum," 1546, fol. &c. &c. 1


Melchior Adam in vitig Germ. Theol. —Moreri. —Strype’s Life of Cranmer, p. 193, 197, 199, and Appendix, No. 44, 117, where he is frequently called Phagius.