Abauzit, Firmin

Abauzit, Firmin a French Unitarian, was born at Uzes, in Languedoc, Nov. 11, 1679. Though his mother was a Protestant, he was forcibly placed in a Roman Catholic seminary, to be educated as a Papist. His mother succeeded in recovering him, and placed him at school in Geneva. At nineteen he traveled into Holland and England, and became the friend of Bayle and Newton. Returning to Geneva, he rendered important assistance to a society engaged in preparing a translation of the New Testament into French (published in 1726). In 1727 he was appointed public librarian in Geneva, and was presented with the freedom of the city. He died at Geneva, March 20, 1767. Though not a copious writer, he was a man of great reputation in his day, both in philosophy and theology. Newton declared him "a fit man to judge between Leibnitz and himself." Rousseau describes him as the ''wise and modest Abauzit," and Voltaire pronounced him "a great man." His knowledge was extensive in the whole circle of antiquities, in ancient history, geography, and chronology. His manuscripts were burned after his death by his relatives at Uzes, who had become Romanists; his printed works are collected, in part, in OEuvres Diverses de Firmin Abauzit (Amsterdam, 1773, 2 vols.). Many of his theological writings are contained in a volume entitled Miscellanies on Historical, Theological, and Critical Subjects, transl. by E. Harwood, D.D. (Lond.

1774, 8vo). A list of his works is given by Haag, La France Protestante, 1:3. See, also, Hoefer, Biog. Generale, 1:38.

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