Morin, John

, a learned ecclesiastic, was born at Blois, of protestant parents, in 1591. He was instructed in the belles lettres at Rochelle, and afterwards went to Leyden, where he attained a critical knowledge of the Greek, Latin, and Oriental tongues, and applied himself to philosophy, law, mathematics, and divinity. Returning to France, he went to settle at Paris, where he gained an acquaintance with cardinal du Perron, and was induced by him to embrace the Roman catholic religion. Some time after, he entered into the congregation of the oratory, lately established, and began to make himself known by his learning and his works. In 1626 he published some “Exercita’ions upon the original of Patriarchs and Primates, and the ancient usage of ecclesiastical censures, dedicated to pope Urban VIII.” He undertook, in 1628, the edition of the “Septuagint Bible,” with the version made by Nobilius; and put a preface to it, in which he treats of the authority of the Septuagint; commends the edition of it that had been made at Rome by order of Sixtus V. in 1587, which he had followed; and maintains, that we ought to prefer this version to the present Hebrew text, because this has been, he says, corrupted by the | Jews. Before this work was ready to appear, he gave the public, in 1629, a “History,” written in French, of the deliverance of the church by the emperor Constantine, and of the greatness and temporal sovereignty conferred on the Roman church by the kings of France; but this performance was not well received at Rome, and Morin was obliged to promise that he would alter and correct it. He published, soon after, “Exercitations upon the Samaritan Pentateuch;” for the sake of establishing which, he attacks the integrity of the Hebrew text. The Polyglott being then printing at Paris, Morin took upon himself the care of the Samaritan Pentateuch; but his endeavours to exalt this, together with the Greek and Latin versions of the Bible, at the expence of the Hebrew, made him very obnoxious to some learned men; and he was attacked by Hottinger and Buxtorf in particular. This, however, enhanced his merit at the court of Rome; and cardinal Barberini invited him thither, by order of the pope, who received him very graciously, and intended to employ him in the re-union of the Greek to the Roman church, which was then in agitation. He was greatly caressed at Rome, and intimate with Lucas Holstenius, LeoAllatius, and all the learned there. After having continued nine years at Rome, he was recalled, by order of cardinal Richelieu, to France, where he spent the remainder of his life in learned labours, and died of an apoplexy at Paris, Feb. 28, 1659.

His works are very numerous, and some of them much valued by protestants as well as papists, on account of the Oriental learning contained in them. Father Simon has given us, under the title of “Antiquitates Ecclesiae Orientalis,” a collection of letters to and from Morin, which were found among the papers of father Amelot; and caused them to be printed at London in 1682, with the life of Morin, of which he himself is supposed to be the author. These letters contain many curious particulars relating to criticism and history, and are full of Oriental erudition. 1

1 Dupin. Morei i. —Niceron, vol. IX. and X. PerrauU’s Les Horames II­histres. Saxii Qnooiast.