Gaussen, Louis

Gaussen, Louis a Swiss divine, was born in Geneva August 25, 1790, and in 1816 became pastor of Satigny, near Geneva. Here he came under the influence of pastor Cellerier, who had retained his Christian fidelity and simple faith amid the general falling away of the Swiss clergy. The revival of religion in Switzerland about that time, due largely to the labors of the brothers Haldani (q.v.), was odious to the majority of the Geneva clergy, and the Venerable Compagnie des Pasteurs passed some ordinances infringing strongly upon Christian liberty. Gaussen and Cellerier protested against the proceeding by republishing the Helvetic Confession in French, with a preface advocating the need and utility of confessions of faith. Gaussen continued to labor faithfully in Satigny for twelve years, and his name became known throughout Switzerland as an earnest upholder of evangelical Christianity. His aim was, not to divide the national Church, but to reinspire it with Christian life. His energy and orthodoxy were alike displeasing to the Rationalists, and he was involved in long disputes with the Venerable Compagnie. They ordered him to use the emasculated and Rationalistic Catechism which had been substituted in Geneva for Calvin's: lie refused, and was censured (see Letters du Pasteur Gaussen la

Venerable Compagnie, etc., 1831; and, on the other side, Expose des discussions entre la Compagnie etc. et M. Gaussen, 1831). He kept on his way, and, in union with Merle (d'Aubigne) and Galland, formed the "Evangelical Society" for the distribution of Bibles, tracts, etc. The Consistory at last suspended him, so low had orthodox Christianity sunk in Geneva, the home of Calvin. In 1834 he took the chair of theology in the newly-founded evangelical school of Geneva, where he taught a strictly orthodox doctrine, perhaps without sufficient knowledge of the condition of modern thought. In his Theopneustie (1840, translated in England and America) he maintained, in its strongest form, the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures. In 1860 he published his Canon des Ecritures Saintes (translated, Canon of Holy Scripture, 1862), in which he vindicated his theory of inspiration against the attacks of Scherer and others. His Lemons sur Daniel contained the substance of his lectures and catechetical lessons on Daniel. He died June 18, 1863. We have translations of several of his writings besides those already named, viz. Geneva and Jerusalem (1844): — Geneva and Rome, a discourse (1844): — It is written, Scripture proved to be from Col (1856): — Lessons for the Young on the six Days of Crelation (1860). — Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 19:538.

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