Mesengui, Francois Phillippe

Mesengui, Francois Phillippe a French ecclesiastic, celebrated for his connection with Jansenism, was born at Beauvais, in August, 1677. His parents being poor, friends defrayed the expenses of his education in the College of Beauvais and at the Seminary of Trente-Trois in Paris. After having been invested with the first minor orders, he became a professor of humanities in his native city. On his return to Paris in 1707, through the influence of his friends he was appointed superintendent of the department of rhetoric in the college at Beauvais. Coffin, who succeeded Rollin as the director of that institution, selected the abbe Mesengui for his coadjutor, and upon him devolved the duty of teaching the catechism to the students. The opposition, however, which he manifested to the papal bull known as Unigenitus constrained him in 1728 to resign his official functions. He subsequently became a member of the clergy at Saint-Etienne-du-Mont. Suspected of harboring the doctrines of Jansenism, he was in consequence prohibited from all ecclesiastical avocations, and confined to privacy and obscurity. He took up his residence in Paris, and devoted himself to the composition of various works designed for the propagation of the Jansenistic doctrines, which he finally adopted. He died in February, 1763, at Saint-Germain-enLaye. Mesengui published: Idee de la vie et de lesprit de N. Choart de Buzauval, eveque de Beauvais, avec un abrege de la vie de AM. Hermant (Paris, 1717, 12mo):Abrege de l'histoire et de la morale de I'Ancien Testament

(Paris, 1728, 12mo) :-Le Nouveau Testament, trad. en Francais, avec des notes litterales (Paris, 1729, 12mo; 1752, 3 vols. 12mo):-Vie des Saints pour tons les jours de l'annee (Paris, 1730, 6 vols. 12mo).-: Abrege de l'histoire de l'Ancien Testament, avec des eclaircissements et des reflexions (Paris, 1735-53, 10 vols. 12mo): -Abrige de l'histoire de 'Ancien et du Nouveau Testament (Paris. 1737-38, 3 vols. 12mo): — Epitres et Evangiles, avec des reflexions (Paris, 1737; Lyons, 1810,12mo): -Exposition de la doctrine Chretienne, ou instructions sur les principales verites de la religion (Utrecht [Paris], 1744, 6 vols. 12mo; new edition, revised and enlarged, Paris, 1754-58, 4 vols. 12mo). Some writers state that the duke of Orleans endeavored to prevail upon Mesengui to expunge from his works such passages as reflected upon the religious controversies of his day; but Mesengui evidently turned a deaf ear to the duke's entreaties. A new edition of the last work, issued in Italy, was placed in the Index Expurgatorius by an apostolic brief from pope Clement XIII in 1761. In a posthumous Memoire, addressed to the cardinal Passionei, Mesengui attempted to justify his religious views. Among his other works may be mentioned, La Constitution Unigenitus, avec des Remarques (Paris, 1746, 12mo): Entretien de Theophile et d'Eugene sur la religion (ibid. 1760, 12mo). Mesengui took. part with Vigier and Coffin in the liturgical writings which' M. de Vintimille, archbishop of Paris, disseminated in his diocese. See Legneux, Memoire abrege sut la aie et les ouvrages de l'abb ie Mesengui (Paris, 1763, 8vo). .

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