Dale or Dalen, Antonius Van

Dale Or Dalen, Antonius Van, was born Nov. 8,1638, in Haarlem. He was brought up to business against his will. At the age of thirty he applied himself to the .study of the ancient languages, and at the same time to that of medicine. He became a practising physician, and attained distinction in his profession. His faithful and disinterested attention to his poor patients secured him high praise. He also exercised for a time his preaching gift among the Mennonites; but his sermons were overloaded with learned citations, and hence were hardly acceptable to the people. His European reputation rests, however, on the learned works which he wrote against what he regarded as superstition. In 1683 he published De oraculis Efhnicorum dissertationes duce, quorum prioar de ipsorum duratione ac defectu, posterior de eorundf in auctoribus (Amst. 8vo). In this work he combated the opinion that demoniac influence was exerted in connection with the oracles of the ancients, and that sorcery is to be ascribed to Satan. The work. produced a great sensation. Fontenelle made free use of it in the composition of his Histoire des Oracles (Paris, 1707, 12mo). He wrote several other works in Latin, and one in his native tongue, on the same subject, discrediting belief in Satanic agency, especially when applied to the interpretation of Scripture. He also published a Dissert. super Aristea de LXX interpretibus, with a history of ceremonies of baptism among the Jews, and among the various Christian communions (Amst. 1704, 4to). He died Nov. 28,1708, deeply lamented. I. Clericus, T. Janssonius, and Prof. Morus were among his friends.

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