Thomassin, Lewis

, a learned French divine, was born Aug. 28, 1619, at Aix in Provence, of a good and ancient family, and admitted at the age of fourteen into the congregation of the oratory, where he had been educated. After teaching ethics in his congregation, and philosophy, he was appointed professor of divinity at Saumur, and introduced in his school the method of treating theological subjects according to the scriptures, the fatheri, and councils. Being invited to Paris in 1654, he began | to bold conferences of positive theology in the seminary of St. Magloire, according to the method he had adopted it Saumur, and continued them till 166S, at which time his superiors and several eminent prelates persuaded him to give the fruits of his labours to the public. He complied, and afterwards became so celebrated by his works, that pope Innocent XI. endeavoured to draw him to Koine, with an intention of giving him a cardinal’s hat, and making use of his talents; but the king of France replied that so learned a man was necessary in his dominions. The French clergy gave him a pension of Jooo livres, which the poor always shared with him. He was mild, modest, active, agreeable in his manners, and very assiduous in all his pursuits. He died December 25, 1695, aged seventyseven. His principal works are: 1. A large treatise on “Ecclesiastical Discipline,” reprinted 1725, 3 vols. fol. in French; of which he, made a Latin translation, reprinted also in 1706, 3 vols. fol. This work is highly praised by persons in the catholic community. 2. “Theological Dogmas,1680, 3 torn. fol. in Latin. 3. “Tracts on the Divine office, 8 vo; on the Feasts, 8vo; on the Fasts, 8 vo; on Truth and Falsehood, 8vo; on Alms, 8vo on Trade and on Usury, 8vo; 4.” Tr. dogmatique des Moyens dont on s’est servi dans tous les terns pour maintenir Tunite de i’Eglise,“1703, 3 vols. 4to. To these may be added,” Directions for studying and teaching philosophy in a Christian manner,“8vo the same” for the profane historians,“8vo; apian of the same kind for grammar or the languages with relation to the Holy Scriptures, 2 vols. 8vo;A Universal Hebrew Glossary,“printed at the Louvre, 1697, fol.” Dissertations on the Councils,“in Latin, 1667, 1 vol. 4to;” Memoires sur la Grace," 1682, 4to, &c. His Life, written by father Bordes, is prefixed to his Hebrew Glossary. 1


Niceron, vol. III.—Perrault’s Les Hommes Illustres.—Moreri.—Dict. Hist.