Le Cene, Charles

, a learned protestant divine, was born about the end of 1646, at Caen, in Normandy, where he was first educated. He afterwards went through a course of theological studies at Sedan. Returning thence in 1669, he was very honourably received by the learned of his native country, which he again left, in order to attend the lectures of the divinity-professors at Geneva. Here he remained until Nov. 1670, and after a residence of some time at Sanmur, came back in March 1672 to Caen, with the warmest recommendations from the various professors under whom he had studied. He then became pastor at Honfleur, where he married a lady of fortune, which joined to his own, enabled him to prosecute his studies without anxiety. It appears to be about this time that he conceived the design of translating the Bible into French, on which he was more or less engaged for a great many years. He continued his functions, however, as a minister, until the revocation of the edict of Nantes, in 1685, which annihilated the protestant churches in France.

On this event he came over, accompanied by many of his brethren, to England, and wajs so fortunate as to bring with him the greater part of his valuable library, and | property enough to enable him to relieve many of his suffering companions. He might probably have received some church-preferment in this country, had he not objected to re-ordination. He died at London, in 1703. He wrote some controversial pieces, but the chief object of his labours was to make a good translation of the Bible, which was published by his son at Amsterdam, in 2 vols. fol. It contains some valuable preliminary dissertations. He had in 1696 announced his intention in a volume entitled “Projet d’une nouvelle version Francois de la Bible,” from which a high opinion was formed of his undertaking. This projet was published in English, under the title of " An Essay for a new translation of the Bible/' and so well received, that a second edition appeared in 1717. The translation itself, however, although ably executed, did not answer the expectation of the public, which was principally owing to the author’s introducing certain whims and fancies of his own, and taking unnecessary liberties with the text. 1


Dict. Hist. in Cene.—Works of the Learned for 1741.