Arnauld, Antoine

Arnauld, Antoine, one of a family distinguished for piety, talent, and suffering, and which greatly influenced both religion and literature in France, was born at Paris Feb. 6, 1612. His father, named also Antoine Arnauld (died 29th Dec. 1619), was a distinguished advocate, and a great antagonist of the Jesuits. The Jesuits met with an opponent in the younger Arnauld as determined as his father had been. Arnauld the younger was educated at Calvi. He originally studied for the law, but was induced by the Abbot de St. Cyran to turn his attention to theology. In 1641 he was made priest and doctor of the Sorbonne, where he had been pupil of Lescot (afterward Bishop of Chartres), who taught him the scholastic theology. In this period of study he imbibed a love for Augustine and his writings, which he ever after preserved. In 1643 he was made an honorary member of the Society of Sorbonne for his extraordinary merit. In this year, 1643, he published his famous work, De la frequente Communion (7th ed. 1783), which excited great attention, and was vigorously attacked by the Jesuits. Arnauld now put forth, in reply, his Theologie Morale des Jesuites-the beginning of a fierce and protracted controversy. The Jesuits endeavored to have Arnauld sent to Rome; to escape this peril, he retired from public life for many years, but kept his pen ever busy, at the convent of Port-Royal des Champs, near Paris. SEE PORT-ROYAL. Soon after, he became involved in the disputes about Jansenius (q.v.), bishop of Ypres, and his book Augustinus, several propositions of which concerning the intricate questions of grace and freewill had been condemned by Pope Urban VII (Aug. 1, 1641). Arnauld boldly ventured to defend it against the censures of the papal bull. He published several pamphlets, closing with a first and second Apologie de Jansenius. In these years of strife, whenever a moment of armistice permitted, he occupied it in writing such works as Maeurs de l'Eg'ise Catholique, La Correction, La Grece, La Verite de la Religion, De la Foi, de l'Esperance, et de la Charite, and the Manuel de Saint Augustine. He also varied these occupations by translating into Latin his Frequent Communion, and by the composition of his Nove objectiones contra Renat. Descartis Meditationes, and several smaller tractates. In addition to his literary labors, he undertook the direction of the nuns at Port-Royal, of which his sister, Marie Jaqueline Angelique Arnauld, was abbess. In his retreat he had the society of such men as Pascal, Nicole, etc. Here they wrote in common numerous excellent works, e.g. Grammaire Generale Raisonnee, Elements de Geonmetrie, and L'Art de Penser. In 1649 the Jansenist controversy broke out more fiercely than ever. The Augustinus of the Bishop of Ypres was again attacked and condemned by the Sorbonne and the pope. Arnauld replied in his Considerations. In 1650 appeared what he conceived to be his best work, L'Apologie pour les Saints Peres. For the next half dozen years he was engaged in constant and painful disputes; yet, in spite of the polemical character of his life, the impression of his piety and earnestness was deepened in the mind of the nation; and, on reading some of his compositions, even Alexander VII Is reported to have praised the author, and to have exhorted him for the future to despise the libels of his adversaries. During the strife he published La Concorde des Evangiles and L'Offce du Saint-Sacrement. In 1655-56, for prudential reasons, he left his retreat at Port-Royal, and sought a secret place of security. About the same time he was expelled from the Sorbonne and the faculty of theology. Seventy-two doctors and many licentiates and bachelors went with him. In 1656, the war with the Jesuits was renewed - not, however, by Arnold in person. Under the nom deplume of Louis de Montalto, the great Pascal (q.'v.) discharged his scorpion wit against the Jesuits for about a year and a half in the Provincial Letters. Arnauld furnished him with materials. In 1658 he took the field in propria persona, by publishing his Cina Ecrits enfaveur des Cures-de Paris contre les Casuistes reldches. In 1662 appeared La Nouvelle Heresie (of the Jesuits); in 1669 the first volume of his Morale Pratique (of the Jesuits), the last of which was not published until the year of his death. After the peace of Clement IX, which for a time allayed the Jansenist controversy, and to which Arnauld contributed by an eloquent memorial to the pontiff, he was presented to the pope's nuncio, and also to Louis XIV, who received him graciously, and invited him " to employ his golden pen in defence of religion." His next work, in which he was associated with his friend Nicole, De la Perpetuite de la Foi de l'Eglise Catholiquea touchant l'Eucharistie, was dedicated to the pope. This occasioned a warm controversy between Arnauld and the reformed minister Claude, in the course of which Arnauld wrote Du Renversement de la Morale de J. C. par la Doctrine des Calvinistes touchant la Justification (Paris, 1672). Arnauld at the same time continued his war against the Jesuits, and wrote the greater part of the work styled Morale Pratique des Jesuites (8 vols. 12mo), in which many authentic facts and documents are mixed up with party bitterness and exaggeration. The Jesuits, of course, an ambitious society, did not bear this patiently. Harlay, the archbishop of Paris, assisted in prejudicing the king against Arnauld, and Louis XIV issued an order for his arrest. Arnauld concealed himself for some time at the house of the Duchess of Longueville; but in 1679 he repaired to Brussels, where the Marquis of Grana, the Spanish governor of the Low Countries, assured him of his protection. There he published in 1681 his Apologiepour les Catholiques, a defence of the English Romanists against the charges of Titus Oates's conspiracy. In this work he undertook the defence of his old antagonists the Jesuits, whom he considered as having been calumniated in those transactions. Another work, not so creditable to Arnauld's judgment, is one against the Prince of Orange, William III of England, whom he styled a. new Absalom, a new Herod, and a new Cromwell (8vo, 1689). It was published anonymously, but it afterward appeared that he was the author. In refutation of his old friend Malebranche's opinions, Arnauld wrote his Traite des Vraies et des Fausses Idees (Cologne, 1683); and afterward, Rfle xions Philosophiques et Theologiques sur le Nouveau Systme de la Nature et de la Grace du Pere Malebranche (1685). He continued to the last, although past 80 years of age, to carry on his various controversies with the Jesuits, with Malebranche, with the Calvinists, and with the sceptic philosophers, among whom was Bayle. His last work was Reflexions sur I'Eloquence dcs Predicateurs, 1694. He died in his exile at Brussels, on the 8th of August of that year, after receiving the sacrament from the curate of his parish. His works, which filled more than 100 volumes of various sizes, were collected and published at Lausanne and at Paris, in 48 volumes, 4to, 1775-83. The last volume contains the author's biography. Moreri gives a catalogue of his writings, 320 in number.-Penny Cyclopcedia; Ranke, History of Papacy, ii, 259 sq.; Edinburgh Review, July, 1841; Princeton Review, 21:467; Biog. Universelle, ii, 501; St. Beuve, Port-Royal, vol. ii; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, ii, 286.

 
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