Merlin, Pierre

Merlin, Pierre a French Protestant theologian, the son of Jean-Raymond, was born about 1535.' After having been a disciple of Theodore de Beza, according to De Thou, he became religious adviser to the prince de Conde. D'Aubigne, however, maintains that he was a minister of the Gospel under admiral de'Chatillon. The latter version is the likelier of the two. Certain it is that he was with admiral de Chatillon during the St. Bartholomew massacre. Through a fortunate circumstance he escaped the slaughter and fled to Geneva, where he formed the acquaintance of J. J. Scaliger. In process of time, however, he returned to France, and then became the pastor in ordinary of a nobleman named Laval, residing at Vitre. He was highly esteemed by his co-religionists, and presided at the general synods held respectively at Sainte-Foi, in 1578, and at Vitre, in 1583. As a delegate from the churches in Brittany, he also attended the Synod of Saumur in 1596. Pierre de L'Estoile relates that the impetuous Covenanter, Jean Boucher, in a sermon preached in July, 1591, represented that Merlin was really the father of Henry of Navarre (Henry IV). From this singular fabrication likewise sprang the other story that he had clandestinely married Jeanne d'Albret, the queen of Navarre, and that the celebrated D'Aubigne was the issue from that union. Prosper Marchand, in his Dictionnaire, took great pains to refute all these allegations made by the Covenanters,' or opposers of Henry IV. Merlin died about 1603. He wrote: Vingt Sermons sur le livre d'Esther (La Rochelle, 1591, 8vo; Geneva, 1594, 8vo):-Job Commentariis illustratus (Geneva, 1599, 18mo): Sainctes Prikre s recueillies de plusieur passages de. 'Ancien et. du Nouveau Testament (Geneva, 1609, 8vo):-Discours theologiques de la tranquillite et vrai repos de l'ame (Geneva, 8vo). See Haag, La France Protestante.-Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale,. S. V.

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