Martel, Andre

Martel, Andre a Swiss Protestant theologian, was born at Montauban in 1618; studied theology at Saumur, and was appointed pastor of Saint-Affrique. In 1647 he was called to Montauban to fill the same office. In 1653 he became professor of theology in the Reformed academy of that town; he was rector there in 1660, when he was transferred to Puylaurens. Although very reserved in all that could wound the pretensions of the Catholic clergy, he was nevertheless involved in a suit instituted against the pastors of Puylaurens, who were accused of having received into the Church those who, once converted to Romanism, had relapsed into Protestantism, contrary to the royal prescriptions of April, 1663, of June, 1665, and of April, 1666. He was conducted with them to the prisons of Toulouse. The attention of the government was particularly directed to him; it was hoped that if they succeeded in extracting from him an abjuration, his example would draw a great number of his fellow-reformers, and would serve as an excuse to those who only asked a pretext for passing over to Romanism. His moderation, moreover, induced them to believe in the possibility of success. Consequently they endeavored to move him sometimes by menaces, sometimes by promises. All was useless, and they finally liberated him. After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, the ministers of Montauban and of the neighboring churches retired to Holland. Martel preferred Switzerland, and withdrew to the canton of Berne, where he very soon obtained the direction of one of the principal churches. He died at Berne towards the close of the 17th century, about seventy years of age. Of Martel's productions, we have Response a la methode de M. le cardinal de Richeleu (Rouen, 1674, 4to). This reply, said Cathala-Couture, indicates in the author a profound klnowledge, and, above all, a tone of moderation and propriety far removed from the bitterness and fanaticism which prevail ordinarily in the greater part of controversial works: — De Natura Fidei et de Gratia efficaci (Montauban, 1653, 4to): — inaugural thesis — a number of theses which he delivered, during his presidency, to the scholars of the academy of Montauban, from 1656 to 1674: — a collection of sermons that Cathala-Couture attributes to him, without, however, giving their titles in detail. See Cathala-Couture, hist. du Querci, vol. iii; Haag, La France Protest.; Bayle, Nouvelles Lettres (La Haye, 1739), p. 314, 315; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, vol. 33, s.v.

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