Marets, Samuel Des

, a celebrated divine of the reformed church, was born at Oisemond in Picardy, in 1599. At thirteen he was sent to Paris, where he made great advances in the belles lettres and philosophy; and three years after to Saumur, where he studied divinity under Gomarus, and Hebrew under Ludovicus Capellus. He returned to his father in 1618, and afterwards went to | Geneva, to finish his course of divinity. The year following he went to Paris, and, by the advice of M. Durand, applied immediately for admission to the holy ministry, to the synod of Charenton, in March 1620, who received him, and settled him in the church of Laon. But his ministerial functions here were soon disturbed; for, the governor of La Fere’s wife having changed her religion, wrote him a letter in vindication of her conduct, and sent him a pamphlet containing the history of her conversion. His answer to this lady’s letter provoked his adversaries to such a degree, that a Jesuit was supposed to have suborned an assassin, who stabbed him deeply, but, as it happened, not mortally, with a knife into his breast. This induced Des Marets to leave Laon, and go to Falaise in 1624. He afterwards accepted a call to the church of Sedan; and soon after took the degree of doctor in divinity at Leyden, in July 1625. Having made a short visit to England, he returned to Sedan. In 1640, he had an invitation to a professorship at Franeker; and to another at Groningen, in 1642. This last he accepted; and from that time to his death, rendered such services to that university, that it was reckoned one of the most flourishing in the Netherlands. The magistrates of Berne, well informed of his abilities and learning, offered him, in 1661, the professor of divinity’s chair at Lausanne; and, in 1663, the university of Leyden invited him to a like professorship there. He accepted of this last, but died before he could take possession of it, at Groningen, May 18, the same year.

A chronological table of the works of this celebrated divine may be found at the end of his ' System of Divinity.“They are mostly of the controversial kind, and now seldom inquired after. He designed to collect all his works into a body, as well those which had been already published, as those which were in manuscript. He revised and augmented them for that purpose, and had materials for four volumes in folio; but his death prevented the execution of that project. The first volume was to have contained all those works which he had published before his being settled at Groningen. The second, hisOpera theologica didactica.“The third, hisOpera theologica polemica.“The title of the fourth was to have been” Impietas triumphata.“Its contents were to have been the” Hydra Socinianismi expugnata,“the” Biga fanaticorum eversa,“and the” Fabula Praeadamitaruru refutata" three | works which had been printed at different times. Marets’s system of divinity was found to be so methodical, that they made use of it at other academies; and indeed this author’s reputation procured him so much authority in foreign countries as well as his own, that a person in Germany, who published some reflections on him, received orders to suppress his book. 1


Gen. Dict. —Niceron, vol. XXVIII. —Moreri. —Saxii Onomast.