, Ruzelin, or Rucelin, a canon of Compeigne, who flourished about the end of the eleventh century, was born in Bretagne. He was a man well versed in the learning of the times, a profound dialectician, and the most eminent doctor of the sect called Nominalists, and by applying some of their tenets to the subject of the Trinity excited a warm controversy in France about 1089. He held it inconceivable and impossible that the son of God should assume the human nature alone, i. e. without the Father and the Holy Ghost becoming incarnate also, unless by the three persons in the Godhead were meant three distinct objects, or natures existing separately (such as three angels or three distinct spirits), though endued with one will and acting by one power. When it was insinuated to Roscellinus, that this manner of reasoning led directly to Tritheism, or the doctrine of three Gods, he answered boldly, that the existence of three Gods might be asserted with truth, were not the expression harsh, and contrary to the phraseology generally received. He was, however, obliged to retract this error in a council held at Soissons, in 1092; but he resumed it when the council was dismissed and the danger apparently over. He was, however, assaulted on account of his doctrine, and therefore took refuge in England, where he excited a controversy of another kind, by maintaining, among other things, that persons born out of lawful wedlock ought to be deemed incapable of admission to holy orders. Some even of the prelates being in this condition, Roscellinus made very powerful enemies, and among others Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, and was finally obliged to quit England. He then returned to France, and by propagating his doctrine concerning the Trinity, occasioned such contests as made him glad to retire to Aquitaine, where he passed the rest of his days unmolested. He is supposed to have died about 1106, Such is the account given of his doctrines by John, his accuser, in a letter to Anselm, published by Baluzius in his “Miscellanea,” and by others who, however, as the annotator on Mosheim remarks, were the inveterate enemies of Roscellinus, and perhaps comprehended his meaning imperfectly, or perverted it wilfully. But as none of the writings of this metaphysical ecclesiastic are extant, we cannot form any | other notion of the controversy than appears from the testimony of his enemies. 1


Moreri.—Mosheim, and note.