Nicolas, Michel

Nicolas, Michel a Protestant French Rationalist, was born May 22, 1810, in Nimes. After having studied at Geneva and Strasburg, he completed his education by visiting, from 1833 to 1834, the German universities of Halle, Berlin, and Heidelberg. He was nominated suffragan pastor at Bordeaux in June, 1834, and pastor in title at Metz in 1835; he afterwards went to Montauban, where from 1838 he occupied the chair of philosophy in the faculty of Protestant theology. Deeply versed in the Oriental languages and ecclesiastical matters, he is justly regarded as one of the most instructive and laborious writers of the Reformed Church of France. He died in 1874. We have of his works, Instruction Chretienne a l'usage des catechumenes (Metz, 1838, 18mo): — Reponse a la Lettre de l'abbe Lacordaire sur le saint siege (ibid. 1838, 8vo): — De la Destination du savant et de l'homme de lettres (Paris, 1838, 8vo), translated from the German of Fichte: — De l'Eclectisme (Paris, 1840, 8vo), a refutation of the attacks of Pierre Leroux: — Quelques considerations sur le pantheisme (ibid. 1842, 8vo), translated into English: — Jean-Bon Saint Andre, sa vie et ses ecrits (ibid. 1848, 12mo), this notice contains two articles of that conventionalist, and among other things the recital of his captivity upon the shores of the Black Sea: — Introduction a le'tude de I'histoire de philosophie (ibid. 1849-50, 2 vols. 8vo):Considerations generales sur Videe et le developpement historique de la philosophie Chretienne (ibid. 1851, 8vo), translated from the German of H. Ritter: — Notice sur la vie et les ecrits de Laurent Angliviel de La Beaumene (ibid. 1852, 8vo), which was sharply criticised bv M. Nizard in the Athenaeum of Oct. 8, 1853: — Histoire Litteraire de Nimes (Nimes, 1854, 3 vols. 12mo): — Histoire des artistes nes dans le departement du Gard (ibid. 1859, 12mo): — Des doctrines religieuses des Juifs pendant les deux siecles anterieurs & l'ere Chretienne (Paris, 1860, 8vo): — Etudes critiques sur la Bible (1862), a work of great merit for its scholarly treatment of the subject, and containing perhaps the clearest account of the controversy regarding the authorship of the Pentateuch as carried on between the school of De Wette and Ewald and the extreme Rationalists about 1835 in Germany. Prof. Nicolas may be classed among the moderate Rationalists, together with Colani and Coquerel, yet he had much that was akin to the conservative spirit of Pressense. M. Michel Nicolas founded, in connection with Messrs. Michelant and Emile Begin, L'Austrasie, revue de la Moselle, in which he inserted several articles; and he contributed to different periodical publications, such as L'Evangeliste, Le libre Examen, La. Revue theologique, of Montauban; La Revue de thiologie, of Strasburg; Le Courrier du Gard. Le Bulletin de la Societe du Protestantisme Frangais, La Liberte de penser) La Revue Germanique, etc. He was also one of the collaborators of the Nouvelle Biographie Generale. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 37:1015; Farrar, Crit. Hist. of Free Thought, p. 304, 448. (J. H.W.)

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