Morin, Jean

Morin, Jean a most learned French writer on theological subjects, and a convert to the Romanists, was born at Blois in 1591. His parents were members of the Reformed faith, but at Leyden, where he was studying philosophy and theology, the violent discussions between Calvinists and Arminians estranged him for a time from all religious connection, and he finally, falling under the influence of Romanists, accepted their creed, at Paris, under cardinal Perrone. Some time after his conversion to Romanism he entered into the Congregation of the Oratory, then but recently established, and began to make himself known by his learning and his works. In 1626 he published De Patriarcharum et Primatum Origine (Paris, 4to), dedicating the work to pope Urban VIII. In 1628 he undertook an edition of the Septuagint Bible, with the version made by Nobilius, supplying it with a preface, in which he treats of the authority of the Septuagint. He commends the edition of it that had been made at Rome by order of Sixtus V in 1587, which he followed, and maintained that we ought to prefer this version to the present Hebrew text, because that has been, he says, corrupted by the Jews. Having gone from the Protestant to the Romish fold, Morin very naturally, like all apostates, became a most enthusiastic adherent of Romanism, and therefore now engaged upon a systematic defence of those versions which the Church had approved by weakening the texts which passed for original (Simon, Einleitung, page 522). Before this work was ready to appear, he published in 1629 Histoire de la deliverance de l'Eglise Chretienne par l'Empereur Constantin, et de la grandeur et souverainete temporelle donnee l'Eglise Romaine par les rois

de France (Paris, fol.); but this book was not well received at Rome, and Morin was forced to promise that he would retrench and correct it. Soon after he published Exercitationes eccesiasticae in utrumque Samaritanorum Pentateuchum (Paris, 1631, 4to), for the sake of establishing which, he, as we have already seen above, also now stoutly attacked the integrity of the Hebrew text. As there was then preparing an edition of the Polyglot at Paris, Morin took upon himself the care of the Samaritan Pentateuch. His endeavors to exalt this, together with the Greek and Latin versions of the Bible, at the expense of the Hebrew, made him very obnoxious to many savans, especially Hebraists; and he was attacked by Hottinger and Buxtorf in particular. Simon and Kennicott, however, countenance Morin's position. The opposition which Morin encountered only enhanced his merit at the court of Rome, insomuch that cardinal Barberini invited him thither by order of the pope, who received him very graciously, and intended to employ him in the communications that were then passing between the Eastern and Western churches looking towards reunion. He was greatly caressed at Rome. and intimate with Holstenius, Allatius, and all the learned there. After having remained nine years at Rome, he was recalled by order of cardinal Richelieu to France, where he spent the remainder of his life in learned labors, and died at Paris in 1659. Morin's works are very numerous, and some of them much valued by Protestants as well as Romanists on account of the Oriental learning contained in them. The writer of a sketch of his life and labors in Kitto's Cyclopedia pronounces Morin "the restorer of the ancient Samaritan language,' but takes exception, like most Hebraists, to "his anti-Masoretic zeal as not according to knowledge, as later investigations in the same field have abundantly proved." The most important works not yet mentioned are, Exercitationes Biblicae de Hebraici Graecique textus sinceritate (Paris, 1633, 4to, and greatly enlarged and improved in 1699, fol.: prefaced with a life of the author by father Constantine, of the Oratory). But also in positive theology Morin exerted himself as an author. Thus he wrote Commentarius historicus de disciplina in administratione sacramenti penitentice xiii primis sceculis in Ecclesia occidentali et huc usque in orientali observata (Paris, 1651, fol.; Anvers, 1682, fol.; Bruxelles, 1687, fol.), a work on which he is said to have spent thirty years of hard mental labor, but which, nevertheless, failed to gain much admiration. He attacks in it both the Port Royalists and the Jesuits: — Commentarius historico- dogmaticus de sacris Ecclesiae ordinationibus secundum antiquos recentiones Latinos, Graecos, Syros, et Babylonicos, in quo demonstratur

orientalia ordinationes conciliis generalibus et sunmmis pontificibus ab initio schismatis in hunc usque diem fuisse probatae (Paris, 1655, fol.), which is generally praised, and pronounced among his best efforts: Opera posthuma de catechumenorum expiatione, de sacranento confirmationis, de contritione et attritione (Paris, 1703, 4to): — Antiquitates Ecclesiae Orientalis (Lond. 1682, 12mo), treating of ecclesiastical antiquities as gleaned from his correspondence with the savans of Europe. Several of his works remain unedited and unpublished. Among these we notice De Sacrament of Matrimonii, and De Basilicis Christianorum et de Paschale et de vetustissimis Christianorum paschalibus ritibus. See Niceron, Memoires, 9:30-48; Du Pin, Bibl. des Auteurs Ecclesiastiques; Schrockh, Kirchengesch. seit der Reformation, 4:123 sq.; Marsh, Lect. Divinity; Wolf, Bibliotheca Hebraica, part 4, page 7; part 2, pages 25 and 270. Simon's biography is a mere satire, and unworthy of credit. (J.H.W.)

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