Molinier, Jean-Baptiste a French divine, was born at Arles in 1675, began his studies in his own country, and continued them at Pezenas, under the fathers of the Oratory; he then entered the army, but finally quitted the sword to take holy orders. He taught theology at Aries, and entered the Congregation of the Oratory in 1700. He was subsequently sent to the seminary of Saint-Magloire of Paris, and to Macon and Grenoble. He evinced remarkable talent for preaching, and was very successful at Toulouse, Lyons, Orleans, and at Paris. Massillon, hearing him, was impressed by his eloquence, but at the same time surprised at the inequality of his talent, which sometimes rose to the sublime, and again sank heavily to the obscure and commonplace. Biographers say that when Molinier devoted much labor to his discourses, he equalled the most celebrated French orators; but he relied too much upon his talent, and did not sufficiently moderate the impetuosity of his imagination. His discourses are the production of a happy genius, which expresses itself with much fire, energy, force, dignity, and ease. He only lacked taste; his style is incorrect, unequal, and marred by common phrases, which form a strange contrast to many parts full of life and grandeur. Molinier left the Oratory in 1720, and retired to the diocese of Sens, whence he returned to Paris to resume his preaching, but was prohibited from doing so by M. de Vintimille. No longer permitted to preach, Molinier wrote. He left the following works: Traduction nouvelle of the Imitation de Jesus-Christ (Paris, 1725, 12mo): Sermons Choisis (1732-34, 3 volumes, 12mo); the sermon Du Ciel is considered his principal production: Panegyriques (1732-34, 3 volumes, 12mo): — Discours sur la verite de la religion Chretienne (1732-34, 2 volumes, 12mo): — Instructions et Prieres prores a soutenir les dimes dans les
voies de la penitence, etc. (12mo); a sequel to the Directeur des ames penitentes of Vauge: — Exerciae du penitent, with an Office de la penitence (18mo): — Les Psalmes, translated into French, with some Notes littgrales et morales. (12mo): — Paraphrase du psaume Miserere: — Sur l'Arianisme (1718, 4to); very rare. He retired from public life but a short time before his death, which occurred in Paris, March 15, 1745. See Bougerel, Histoire des Hommes illustres de Provence; Chaudont and Delandine, Dict. hist. s.v.