Berruyer, Joseph Isaac

Berruyer, Joseph Isaac born November 7th, 1681, at Rouen; became a Jesuit, and died at Paris in 1758, after having made much stir in the world by his Histoire da Peuple de Dieu. The first part, the O.T., appeared in 1728 (7 vols. 4to). The work is shocking not only from its almost infidelity, but from its style, the O.T. history being, in fact, turned into a romance, in many cases irreconcilable with. decency and propriety. The general of the order commanded the writer to put forth a new edition, which appeared in 1733 (8 vols. 4to), but it was still very far from satisfactory. The second part, containing the N.T., or, at least, part of it, in style and matter even worse than the first, appeared in 1753 (4 vols. 4to). The superiors of the three Jesuit establishments at Paris, seeing the storm which the book had raised, immediately put forth a declaration to the effect that the work had appeared without their knowledge, and compelled the author to sign an act of submission to the episcopal mandate. A formal censure on the part of the faculty of theology, and then a papal brief, and, lastly, a bull of Benedict XIV, proscribing the book in whatever language it might appear, followed. The third part appeared in 1758 at Lyons, containing a paraphrase of the epistles, filled with absurdities, and even outraging the doctrine of the Trinity. Clement XIII condemned it in 1758. The publication of this work produced a violent commotion among the Jesuits. Father Tournemine, the head of the opposition party, denounced the work to' the superiors in a very forcible tract; the opposite party replied; the dispute waxed hotter and hotter, but ultimately, by the death of Tournemine, the party of Berruyer gained the upper hand, and his infamous book is still reprinted. — Landon, Eccl. Dict. 2, 204.

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