Maresius or Marets, Jean De

Maresius Or Marets, Jean De a most remarkable character in French history, flourished in the 17th century. In his youth he was an infidel. He has himself left us a picture of his morals in early life, which is by no means an advantageous one; for lie owns that, in order to triumph over the virtue of such women as objected to him the interest of their salvation, he made no scruple to lead them into atheistical principles. "I ought.," says he, "to weep tears of blood, considering the bad use I have made of my address among the ladies; for I have used nothing but specious falsehoods, malicious subtleties, and infamous treacheries, endeavoring to ruin the souls of those I pretended to love. I studied artful speeches to shake, blind, and seduce them; and strove to persuade them that vice was virtue, or, at least, a thing natural and indifferent." But after his conversion Marets ran into as great extremes in the opposite direction. In short, he became at last a visionary and a religious fanatic, dealing in nothing but inward lights and revelations. Among other things, he promised the king of France, upon the strength of some prophecies, whose meaning, he tells us, was imparted to him from above, that he should overthrow Moharmmedanism and become the promoter of Christian unity, under the leadership of the pope of Rome. But Maresius deserves our attention especially for the relation he sustained to the Jansenists. Appointed inquisitor, he became one of the severest persecutors of Jansenism, and was bent upon the extirpation of this heresy from French ground. In Delices de l'esprit, one of his productions, he seriously boasts that "God, in his infinite goodness, had sent him the key of the treasures contained in the Apocalypse, which was known but to few before him;" and that, "by the command of God, he was to levy an army of 144,000 men, part of which he had already enlisted, to make war upon the impious and the Jansenists" (p. 76). He died in 1676. See Genesis Biog. Dict. vol. 9, s.v.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, vol. 33, s.v.

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