Francois, Laurence

, a French abbé and very useful writer, was born at Arinthod, in Franche-comte, Nov. 2, 1698, and for some time belonged to the chevaliers of St. Lazarus, but quitting that society, came to Paris and engaged in teaching. He afterwards wrote several works, in a style perhaps not very elegant, but which were admired either for their intrinsic usefulness, or as antidotes to the pernicious doctrines of the French philosophers and deists, who, conscious of his superiority in argument, affected to regard him as a man of weak understanding, and a bigot; reproaches that are generally thrown upon the advocates of revealed religion in other countries as well as in France. The abbé François, however, appears from his works to have been a man of learning, and an able disputant. He died at Paris, far advanced in years, Feb. 24, 1782, escaping the miseries which those against whom | he wrote, were about to bring on their country. His principal works are, I. “Geographic,” 12tno, an excellent manual on that subject, often reprinted, and known by the name of “Crozat,” the lady to whom he dedicated it, and for whose use he first composed it. 2. “Prenves de la religion de Jesus Christ,” 4 vols. 12mo. 3. “Defense de la Religion,” 4 vols. 12mo. 4. “Examen du Catechisme de i’honnete homme,” 12mo. 5. “Examen des faits qui servent de fondement a la religipn Chretienne,1767, 3 vols. 12mo. 6. “Observation sur la philosophic de i’histoire,” 8vo. He left also some manuscripts, in refutation of the “.Philosophical Dictionary,” the “System of Nature,” and other works which emanated from the philosophists of France. 1