Vinet, Alexandre Rodolphe
Vinet, Alexandre Rodolphe an eminent Swiss divine and author, was born at Ouchy, canton of Vaud, near Lausanne, June 17, 1797. He studied in the academy at Lausanne, under the direction of the Protestant Church, of which he was ordained a minister in 1819. He taught French literature at the University of Basle from 1817 to 1837, when he was appointed professor of practical theology at Lausanne, which post he held until 1847, after which he again taught French literature. He obtained in 1823, through the efforts of Guizot, a prize for his essay Sur lat Liberte des Cultes. Vinet became one of the commission for organizing the Protestant Church in the canton of Vaud; but his views concerning the functions of Church and State being rejected, he seceded from the State Church and aided in forming an independent organization, the Free Church of Vaud and other cantons. In 1846 (Dec. 2) he lost his professorship on account of his opposition to the new radical authorities of the canton. He died May 18, 1847. He was an eloquent and earnest preacher, clear and brilliant rather than profound in thought; and, although highly evangelical and orthodox, advocated the utmost liberty and toleration of opinion and practice in matters of religion. He wrote largely. both on literature and religion, and most of his works have been translated into English. His works on French literature show that he was thoroughly acquainted with its history, and possessed the critical faculty in no mean degree. As a philosophico-religious writer he is very popular both in England and America. His principal works are, Chrestomathie Française (1829, 3 vols.): —Histoire de la Litterature Frangaise au XVII lieme
Siecle (1851, 2 vols.): —Etudes sur la Litterature Française au XIXieme Siecle (1849-51, 3 vols.): —Memoire en Faveur de la Liberte des Cultes (1826): —Discours sur quelques Sujets Religeux (1831): —Essai sur la Manifestation des Convictions Religieuses, et suri la Separation de l'Eglise et de l'Etat (1842): —Etudes sur Blaise Pascal (1848): — Miditations Evangeliques (1849): —Theologie Pastorale, ou Theologie du Ministere Evangelique (1850): and Homiletique, ou Thiorie de la Predication (1853). His biography has been written by Scherer, A. Vinet, sa Vie et ses (Euvres (Paris, 1853); and by Rambert, A. Vinet, Histoire de sa Vie et de ses Ouvrages (Lausanne arid Paris, 1875). See also Sainte- Beuve, Portraits Contemporains, vol. 2.