Jurieu, Pierre

Jurieu, Pierre, an eminent French Protestant theologian, was born at Mer, in the diocese of Blois, in 1637. He was the son of a Protestant minister, and nephew of the celebrated Rivet and Du Moulin. He possessed uncommon talents, and when barely nineteen received the master's degree, and after traveling in Holland and England, returned to his country to succeed his father in his pastoral office. His reputation for learning in 1674 obtained for him the situation of professor of theology and the Hebrew language in the Huguenot seminary at Sedan. When in 1681 the Protestants were deprived by Louis XIV of the permission, to give public instruction in that town, he retired to Rouen, and from thence went to Rotterdam, where he was appointed professor of theology. In that city the ardor of his zeal soon drew him into controversy with Bayle, Basnage, and Saurin, in the heat of which he manifested the same rancor which unfortunately disgraces most of his polemical writings. He allowed himself likewise to fall into various errors by too much indulging a naturally lively imagination in the interpretation of prophecy. In his Commentary on the Apocalypse he even predicted the establishment of Protestantism in France during the year 1686. Those who differed from him in opinion, however high their character for learning and piety, he treated with a most unbecoming severity. Grotius and Hammond, perhaps the two greatest theologians of their age, because they differed from him on the subject of the Antichrist predicted in the book of Revelation, he styles "the disgrace of the Reformed Church, and even of Christianity." The same spirit is manifested in his well known controversy with the great Bossuet, whom he does not scruple to accuse of falsehood and dishonesty, though on the other hand; it must be allowed that the recriminations of this celebrated defender of the Church of Rome; if more politely expressed, are equally severe and destitute of truth; the great object of Bossuet being, it would appear, to charge his antagonist with holding the heretical opinions of the Socinians (Bossuet, Hist. des Vindications, 4, 64; 5, 236-238). With all these defects, Jurieu stands deservedly high as a controversialist. His learning was most profound; he is generally exact in the citation of his authorities, and he had a special talent in discovering the weak point in the cause of his antagonists. In respect of style and eloquence he is immeasurably behind Bossuet, but he is at least his equal in polemical talent, and by some is considered his superior in erudition. All of his writings are held in esteem by theologians of every shade as a storehouse of great research. Jurieu's private life was becoming that of a Christian minister; he was charitable to the poor almost beyond his means, and employed his influence abroad in alleviating the sufferings of his exiled brethren. He died Jan. 11, 1713. His principal works are, Histoire. du Calvinisme et du Papisme mise en parallele, etc. (Rotterdam, 1682, 2 vols. 12mo; 2d edit., ibid. 1683, 12mo): — Lettres Pastorales (Rotterdam, 1686-7, 3 vols. 12mo): — Le Vrai Systeme de l'Eglise (Dord. 1686, 8vo): L'Esprit de M. Arnauld (Deventer [Rotterdam], 1684, 2 vols. 12mo): — Prejuges legitimes contre le Papisme (Amst. 1685, 8vo): — Apologie pour l'Accomplissement des Propheties (1687, which has been translated into English, Lond. 1687, 2 parts, 8vo): — La Religion des Latitudinaires (Rotterd. 1696, 8vo); Histoire des Dogmes et des Cultes (Amst. 1704, 12mo; also translated into English, Lond. 1705, 2 vols.): — La politique du clerge de France (Amst.

1681, 12mo). English Cyclop.; Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 7, 126; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Générale, 27, 267 sq.

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