Papin, Isaac

Papin, Isaac a noted divine who flourished first in the Protestant, but later in the Roman Catholic Church, was born at Blois, France, March 24, 1657. He was a student for a while at. Geneva, and slater at Saumur. At the former school the professors were then divided into two parties upon the subject of grace, called "Particularists'" and "Universalists" of which the former were the most numerous, and the most powerful. The Universalists tried simply toleration; and M. Claude wrote a letter to M. Turretin, the chief of the predominant party, exhorting him earnestly to grant that favor. But Turretin gave little heed to it, and M. de Maratiz, professor at Groningep, who had disputed the point warmly against M. Daill, opposed it zealously; and supported his opinion by the authority of those synods who had determined for intolerancy. There was also a dispute upon the same subject at Shumur, where M. Pajon, who was Papin's uncle, and was then one of the professors of theology, admitted the doctrine of efficacious grace, but explained it in a different manner from the Reformed in general, and Jurieu in particular; and though the synod of Anjou, in 1667, after many long debates upon the matter, had dismissed Pajon, with leave to continue his lectures, yet his interest there was none of the strongest; so that his nephew, who was a student in that university in 1683, was pressed to condemn the doctrine, — which was branded with the appellation of Pajonism (q.v.). Papin declared that his conscience would not allow him to subscribe to the condemnation of either party; whereupon the university refused to give him the usual testimonial. All these disagreeable incidents estranged him not only from the author of them, but also from his. Church, and brought him to take a favorable view of the Roman Catholic religion. In this disposition he wrote a treatise, entitled The Faith reduced to its just Bounds; wherein he maintained that, as the Papists professed that they embraced the doctrine of the Holy Scriptures, they ought to be tolerated by the most zealous Protestants. He also wrote several letters to the Reformed of Bordeaux, to persuade them that they might be saved in the Romish Church, to which they were reconciled. This work, as might be expected, drew upon him the intense displeasure of the Protestants, and in 1686 he crossed the water to England, where James II was then endeavoring to reestablish popery. Papin was granted deacon's and priest's orders from the hands of Turner, bishop of Ely. In 1687 Papin published a book against Jurieu. This exasperated that minister so much that, when knew Papin was attempting to obtain some employment as a professor in Germany, he dispatched letters everywhere in order to defeat Papin's applications; and. though the latter procured a preacher's place at Hamburg, Jurieu found means to get him dismissed in a few months. About this time his Faith reduced to its just Bounds coming into the hands of Bayle, that writer added some pages to it, and printed it: but the piece was ascribed by Jurieu to Papin, who did not disavow the principal maxims laid down in it, which were condemned in a synod. Meanwhile, an offer being made him of a professor's chair in the church of the French refugees at Dantzic, he accepted it: but after some time, it being proposed to him to conform to the synodical decrees of the Walloon churches in the United Provinces, and to subscribe them, he refused to comply; because there were some opinions asserted in those decrees which he could not assent to, particularly that doctrine which maintained that Christ died only for the elect. Those who had invited him to Dantzic were highly offended at his refusal; and he was ordered to depart as soon as he had completed the half year of his preaching which had been contracted for. This occurred in 1689. Not long after he embraced the Roman Catholic religion, putting his abjuration into the hands of Bossuet, bishop of Meaux, Nov. 15, 1690. Upon this change Jurieu wrote a pastoral letter to those of the Reformed religion at Paris, Orleans, and Blois, in which he asserts that Papin had always looked indifferently upon all religions, and in that spirit had returned to the Roman Church. In answer to this letter, Papin drew up a treatise, Of the Toleration of the Protestants, and Of the Authority of the Church (printed in 1692). He afterwards changed its title, which was a little equivocal, and made some additions to it; but while he was employed in making collections to complete it farther, and finish other books upon the same subject, he died at Paris, June 19, 1709. His widow, who also embraced the Roman Catholic religion, communicated these papers, which were made use of in a new edition printed at large in 1719 (12mo). M. Pajon, of the Oratory, his relative, published all his Theological works (1713, in 3 vols.

l2mo). They contain, besides his biography, Essais 'de theologie sur la providence et sur la grace; Lafoi reduitee a ses veritibles principes et renformee dans sesjustes bornes; La tolerance des Protestans, afterwards under the title of Les deux voyes oppssees enz matiere de religion. They are all very solidly written. Among other things Papin declares that, if the authority of a synod, as that of Dort (q.v.), has to be acknowledged, the same authority must be accorded to that of Trent (q.v.) also. See Hagenbach, Hist. of Doctr. (Index in vol. ii); id. Kirchengesch. vol. v.

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