Papin, Isaac

, some time a minister of the church of England, and afterwards reconciled to that of Rome, was the author of some pieces which made a great noise in the seventeenth century. From an account of his life, published by himself, it appears that he was born at Blois in 1657, and descended from a family of the reformed religion. He passed through his studies in divinity at Geneva. That university was then divided into two parties | upon the subject of grace, called “particularists” and “universalists,” of which the former were the most numerous and the most powerful. The universalists desired nothing more than a toleration; an J M. Claude wrote a letter to M. Turretin, the chief of the predominant party, exhorting him earnestly to grant that favour. But Turretin gave little heed to it; and M. de Maratiz, professor at Groningen, who had disputed the point warmly against Mr. Daille, opposed it zealously; and supported his opinion by the authority of those synods who had determined against such toleration. There happened also another dispute upon the same subject, which occasioned Papin to make several reflections. M. Pajon, who was his uncle, admitted the doctrine of efficacious grace, but explained it in a different manner from the reformed in general, and Juneu in particular; and though the synod of Anjou in 1667, after many long debates upon the matter, dismissed Pajon, with leave to continue his lectures at Saumur, yet as his inU rest there was not great, his nephew, who was a student in that university in 1633, was pressed to con iemn the doctrine, which was branded with the appellation of Pajonism. Papin declared, that his conscience would not allow him to subscribe to the condemnation of either party; on which the university refused to give him a testimonial in the usual form. All these disagreeable incidents put him out of humour with the authors of them, and brought him to view the Roman catholic religion w;th less dislike than before. In this disposition he wrote a treatise, entitled “The Faith reduced to its just hounds;” in which he maintained, that, as the papists professed that they embraced the doctrine of the Holy Scriptures, they ought to be tolerate' I by the most zealous protestants. He also wrote several letters to the reformed of Bourdeaux, to persuade them that they might be saved in the Romish church, if they would be reconciled to it,

This work, as might be expected, exasperated the protestants against him; and to avoid their resentment, he crossed the water to England, in 1686, where James II. was endeavouring to re- establish popery. There he receive 1 deacon’s and priest’s orders, irom the hands of Turner, bishop of Ely; and, in 16S7, published a book against Jurieu, entitled “Theological Essays concerning Providence and Grace, &c.” This exasperated that | minister so much, that when he knew Papin was attempting to obtain some employ as a professor in Germany, he dispersed letters every where in order to defeat his applications; and, though he procured a preacher’s place at Hamburgh, Jurieu found means to get him dismissed in a few months. About this time his “Faith reduced to just bounds” coming into the hands of Bayle, that writer added some pages to it, and printed it. These additions were ascribed by Jurieu to our author, who did not disavow the principal maxims laid down, which were condemned in the synod of Bois-le-duc in 1687. In the mean time, an offer being made him of a professor’s chair in the church of the French refugees at Dantzic, he accepted it: but it being afterwards proposed to him to conform to the synodical decrees of the Walloon churches in the United Provinces, and to subscribe them, he refused to comply; because there were some opinions asserted in those decrees which he could not assent to, particularly that doctrine which maintained that Christ died only for the elect. Those who had invited him to Dantzic, were highly offended at his refusal; and he was ordered to depart, as soon as he had completed the half year of his preaching, which had been contracted for. He was dismissed in 168^, and not long after embraced the Roman catholic religion; delivering his abjuration into the hands of Bossuet, bishop of Meaux, Nov. 15, 1690.

Upon this change, Jurieu wrote a pastoral letter to those of the reformed religion at Paris, Orleans, and Blois; in which he pretended that Papin had always looked upon all religions as indifferent, and in that spirit had returned to the Roman church. In answer to this letter, Papin drew up a treatise, “Of the Toleration of the Protestants, and of the Authority of the Church.” The piece, being approved by the bishop of Meaux, was printed in 1692: the author afterwards changed its title, which was a little equivocal, and made some additions to it; but, while he was employed in making collections to complete it farther, and finish other books upon the same subject, he died at Paris the 19th of June, 1709. His widow, who also embraced the Roman catholic religion, communicated these papers, which were made use of in a new edition printed at large in 1719, 12mo. M. Pajon of the Oratory, his relation, published all his “Theological Works,1723, 3 vols. | 12mo they are all in French, and written with shrewdness and ability. 1


Chaufepie.Niceron, vol. II.—Mosheim.