Lambert, Francis (generally known as Lambert of Avignon, the name of his native place), also called JOHN SERRANUS, a French theologian, and one of the early apostles of the Reformation, was born in 1487. At the age of sixteen he became a Gray Friar, was then ordained priest, and preached for a while with great success. He soon, however, tired of the world, and, thinking to find peace of mind in stricter seclusion, he asked permission to join the Carthusians. Refused by his superiors, he left his order in 1522, and embraced the doctrines of Luther, whose writings he had secured and carefully studied. On a visit to Switzerland he was received by Sebastian de Monte Falcone, prince-bishop of Lausanne, and went to Berne and Zurich, where he had a public conference with Zwingle. He thereupon cast aside the dress of his order, took the name of John Serranus, and began preaching the reformed principles in the several cities of Switzerland and Germany. In 1522 he held public conferences at Eisenach, and was greatly instrumental in propagating the Reformation in Thuringia and Hesse. In January, 1523, he joined Luther at Wittenberg, where he wrote his commentaries on Hosea and other books. In 1524 he went to Metz, and afterwards to Strasburg, where he remained until called to Hombourg by the landgrave, Philip of Hesse, in 1526. Here, in a synod held in October of the same year, he argued in Latin, and Adam Craton, or Crafft, in German, against the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church as defended by Nicholas Herborn and John Sperber. The latter were declared vanquished and driven out of Hesse. The convents were closed up, and their revenues employed to establish four hospitals and a Protestant academy at Marburg. Lambert became its first professor of theology. In 1529 he took part in the Conference of Marburg between the theologians of Switzerland, Saxony, Suabia, and other southern German provinces. He died April 18, 1530. All the writers of his time agree in calling him a learned, industrious, and upright man. His numerous works are now very scarce; among the most important are Commentarius iln Evangelium Lucae (Wittemberg, 1523, 8vo; Nuremberg and Strasburg, 1525, 8vo; Frankfort, 1693, 8vo): — In Cantica canticorum Salomonis libellIus, etc. (Strasburg, 1524, 8vo): — De fidelium vocatione in regnum Christi, id est Ecclesiam, etc. (Strasburg, 1525, 8vo): — Farrago omnium fere rerum theologicarum (1525?), consisting of 385 propositions arranged into thirteen chapters, and which contain the whole theological system of the author: — In Johelem prophetam, etc. (Strasb. 1525, 8vo): — In Amos, Abdiam, et Jonam, et Allegoriae in Jonam, (Strasburg, 1525, 8vo): — In Micheam, Naum et Abacue (Strasburg, 1525, 8vo): — Theses theologicae in synodo Homsburgensi disputatae (Erfurt, 1527, 4to and 8vo): — Exegeseos in, Apocalipsim libri vii (Marburg, 1528, 8vo): — De Symbolo foederis numquam rumpendi quam communionem vocant; Fr. Lamberti Confessio, etc. (1530, 8vo; translated into German, 1557, 8vo): — Commentarii in quatuor libros Regum et in Acta Apostolorum (Strasb. 1526; Frankft. 1539): — De Regno, Civitate et Domo Dei ac Domini nostri J.C., etc. (Worms, 1538, 8vo). See J.G. Schelhorn, Amaenitates Litterariae, 4:307, 312, 324, 328, 10:1235, Seckendorf, Commentarius de Lutheranismo, lib. 2, sect. 8; Freher, Theatrum Virorum Doctorum, 1:104; Bayle, Hist. Deuteronomy Dit. 2:708 sq.; J. Tilemann, Vitae Professoruom theologiae
Mapurgensium; Abraham Scultet, Annales AEvangelii, ann. 1526; Le Long, Biblioth. Sacra; J.F. Hekelius, Epistolae Sigular. manip. primus; Nicéron, Memoires, 39:234 sq.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 29:132; Baum (Johann W.), Lambert v. Avignon nach seinem Leben, etc. (1840); Schrockh, Kirchelgesclichte s. d. Ref. 1:380, 434; 2:219.