Tossanus, Daniel

, a learned protestant divine, was born at Montbeillard, then belonging to the dukes of Wirtemberg, July 15, 1541. His father, Peter Toussain, who was minister of that place, had formerly been a canon of Metz, but afterwards embraced the reformed religion, and was employed by George duke of Wirtemberg to introduce it at Montbeillard, which he did with great effect until his death in 1573, in his seventy-fourth year. His latter days were embittered by the loss of two of his sons, one of whom was assassinated at Montbeillard, and the other perished in the massacre at Paris in 1572.

Daniel, the subject of this article, after some education in his native place, was sent to Basil in 1555, where he studied for two years, and was admitted to the first academic degree, probably that of bachelor of arts. He then went to Tubingen, where he continued his studies for two more years, under the patronage and at the expence of Christopher duke of Wirtemberg, who thus wished to reward his father’s services to the infant-church of Montbeillard. Here he applied himself to belles lettres and philosophy, and took the degree of master of arts. He had also gone through a course of divinity; for we find that when his father recalled him to his native place, he preached there, both in French and German; but finding himself | indifferently acquainted with the former of those languages, he went in 1559 to Paris, where he might acquire a greater facility in speaking and writing, and at the same time carry on his other studies. The following year he left Paris for Orleans, where he taught Hebrew for some time, and being admitted into the ministry, officiated in the church there, which was one of the most numerous and flourishing of the protestant congregations in France. There in 1565 he married the daughter of an advocate of parliament, who had been counsellor to queen Catherine de Medici before the troubles.

While Tossanus was here, he was frequently exposed to the greatest dangers during the war which broke out between the catholics and protestants, Orleans being besieged, and being full of adherents to the duke of Guise and his party. But by various means, although much persecuted, he escaped all, and finally reached Heidelberg, whither he had been invited by the pious Frederick III. elector palatine; and was so well received by that prince and by all descriptions of people, as soon to be able to forget his many dangers and sufferings. The prince afterwards employed him in visiting the reformed churches in his dominions, and in composing some differences of opinion among them, which he is said to have performed with equal ability and zeal. On the death of that prince, however, in 1576, he experienced a reverse, his son Louis being a Lutheran, and unwilling to retain Toussain, who was a Calvinist, in his service. His brother prince Casimir, who was of his father’s persuasion, then invited Toussain to Newstadt, made him superintendant of the churches there, and on the death of Ursinus, professor of divinity. He also officiated in the church of St. Lambert, composed of refugees; and preached to them in French, and by the prince’s desire, joined Zanchius and Ursinus in the publication of various works in support of the reformation. In 1578 he presided at a synod which prince Casimir had assembled for the purpose of establishing conformity in doctrine and discipline, and of assisting the exiles of the palatinate. With this prince Toussain became so great a favourite, that his highness took no steps in ecclesiastical matters without consulting him, and such was the general report of his character, that foreign princes or ambassadors who visited the court at Newstadt, made it a point to pay their respects to Toussain. On the death of the elector | Louis IV. in 1583, prince Casimir, his brother, had the charge of his infant son and successor Frederick IV. On this he removed to Heidelberg, in order to take the regency into his own hands, and employed Toussain in promoting the reformed religion. In this, however, he was much obstructed by the violence of the Lutheran party; and the prince, after in vain endeavouring by conferences to allay the fervour of their zeal, was under the necessity of dismissing the most turbulent from their situations in the church or university. This was no more than had been done by the late elector without any ceremony: but the prince regent in the present case took every pains to show that it was a matter of necessity with him, all other means of pacification having failed.

In the mean time Grynaeus, first professor of divinity at Heidelberg, having been removed to Basil in 1586, Toussain was appointed to succeed him, and after entering on the office, complied with the statutes of the university by taking his doctor’s degree. In 1587 his wife died, and about a year and a half after he married the widow of M. Chapelle, who had been chaplain to the prince of Conde. In 1592 he lost his illustrious patron prince Casimir, but as the young elector adhered to the same sentiments in religion, no change took place in ecclesiastical matters. In 1594, Toussain was chosen rector of the university, an office which he filled with great credit. In 1596 when the plague had driven not only the court, but most of the professors and students from Heidelberg, Toussain remained at his post, preaching, and administering what support and consolation he could to the sufferers. Beginning now to feel the infirmities of age, he would have resigned his professorship, but this was not accepted, although he was permitted to relax in every way suitable to his health. He died Jan. 10, 1602, in the sixty-first year of his age, and was buried in the chapel belonging to the university.

His son Paul, also a divine of much learning and reputation in his time, published a life of his father, “Vita et obitus Danielis Tossani,” &c. Heidelberg, 1603, 4to, with various other works, mostly of the controversial kind, and a translation of Luther’s Bible with notes, ibid. 1617, folio. These notes were attacked by the Lutheran divines, and defended by the author in an “Apologia pro suis notis Biblicis, &c.1618, 4to. He published also a “Lexicon Concordantiale Biblicum, &c.” of which there have been | several editions, the last at Francfort in 1687, folio. He died in 1629. His father’s works, in German and Latin, amountto many volumes 4to and folio, principally commentaries on various parts of the Bible, and defences of particular doctrines of the reformed church. A list may be seen in any of our authorities. 1

1 Melchior Adam.Niceron, vol. XXXVI. —Chaufepie,