Racine, Bonaventure

, a French ecclesiastical historian, was born November 25, 1708, at Chauny. He completed his studies at the Mazarine college at Paris, where he acquired great skill in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and ecclesiastical history, and was sent for by M. de la Croix-Castries, archbishop of Albi, in 1729, to re-establish the college at Rabastens. Here he remained two years, and under his care the college became flourishing but, being afterwards banished by the intrigues of the Jesuits, for his attachment to the anti-constitutionists, retired to M. Colbert at Montpellier, who employed him in | superintending the college of Lunel. This situation he privately quitted in a short time, to avoid some rigorous orders and, going to Paris, undertook the education of some young men at the college of Harcourt but this place too he was obliged to quit in 1734, by cardinal Fleury’s order; from which time he lived sequestered from the world, wholly occupied in his retreat in study and devotion. M. de Caylus, bishop of Auxerre, being determined to attach M.Racine to himself, gave him a canonryat Auxerre, and admitted him to sacred orders, all which, however, occasioned no change in. his way of life. He died at Paris, worn out by application, May 15, 1755, aged 47, and was buried at St. Severin. His principal works are, four tracts relative to the dispute which had arisen concerning “Fear and Confidence,” written with so much moderation, that they pleased all parties; and an “Abridgment of Ecclesiastical History,” 13 vols. 12mo and 4to. This work has been extremely admired, particularly by the opponents of the bull Unigenitus, and of the Jesuits, who are treated in it with great severity, as they had been the cause of all his troubles. He intended to have continued his Abridgment down to the year 1750 at least, had he lived longer; and a history of the first 33 years of the eighteenth century has been published by one of his friends, 2 vols. 12mo; and some Reflections, by M. Racine, on Ecclesiastical History, have also appeared, 2 vols. 12mo, which are a summary of his Abridgment. 1