Martin, James

, a learned Benedictine of the congregation of St. Maur, was born at Tanjaux in Upper Languedoc, in 1694, and became a Benedictine in 1709. After having taught the learned languages in his native province, he removed to the capital in 1727. He was there regarded as a man of a singular and violent temper; rather whimsical as a scholar, and not always sufficiently prudent or modest as a writer; yet he was one of the ablest authors produced by the congregation of St. Maur, and would have been excellent had he met with any judicious friend to correct the sallies of his too active imagination. His latter years were much embittered by the gravel and the gout, under the torments of which complaints he suffered, with great piety, a kind of lingering death, which did not dismiss him from his sufferings till 1751, when he was in his seventieth year. He wrote, 1. “A treatise on the Religion of the ancient Gauls,Paris, 1727, 2 vols. 4to. This book is much esteemed for the curious and learned researches of the author; but contains some uncommon opinions, which have not been generally adopted by his readers. One point which he particularly labours, is to derive the religion of the ancient Gauls from that of the patriarchs. Tbis subject has been more successfully handled lately by Mr. Maurice, with the aid of oriental knowledge. 2. “History of the Gauls, &c. from their origin to the foundation of the French monarchy,1754, 2 vols. 4to, continued and published by his nephew de Brezillac, and much esteemed. 3. “An Explication of several difficult Texts of Scripture,Paris, 1730, 2 vols. 4to. The fire, | the ingenuity, and the presumption of the author, are sufficiently manifest in this book; which would be much more valuable if deprived of several discussions and citations about trifles, and some points by no means suited to a book of divinity. 4. “An Explanation of ancient Monuments, &c. wiih an examination of an edition of St. Jerom, and a treatise on Judicial Astrology,Paris, 173u, 4to. Besides a vast scope of erudition, this book is adorned by many lively traits, and a very animated style. 5. “A Project for an Alphabetical Library,” containing much learning, and many misplaced witticisms. 6. “A Translation of -the Confessions of St. Augustin,” which is exact, and is accompanied with judicious notes. 1