Hubert, Matthew

, a celebrated French preacher, was born in 1640, and was contemporary with Bourdaloue, whom, indeed, he could not rival, but was skilful enough to please; being esteemed by him one of the first preachers of the time. He was a priest of the congregation of the Oratory, and no less remarkable for his gentle piety and profound humility, than for his eloquence. He excelled consequently rather in the touching style of the sacred, than the vivid manner of the temporal orator. He was used to say, that his brother Massillon was fit to preach to the masters, and himself to the servants. He died in. 1717, after displaying his powers in the provinces, in the capital, and at court. Eight years after his death, in 1725, his sermons were published at Paris, in 6 vols. 12mo, and were much approved by all persons of piety and taste. “His manner of reasoning,” says his editor, father Monteuil, “had not that dryness which frequently destroys the effect of a discourse; nor did he employ that studied elocution which frequently enervates the style by an excess of polish.” The best composition in these volumes is the funeral oration on Mary of Austria. As a trait of his humility, it is related, that on being told by a person in a large company, that they had been fellow-students; he replied, “I cannot easily forget it, since you not only lent me books, but gave me clothes.3