General Dictionary/Larroque, Matthew de

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LARROQUE (MATTHEW DE) in Latin Larroquanus, one of the moſt illuſtrious Miniſters the Reformed ever had in France, was born at Leirac, a ſmall city of Guienne, near Agen in the year 1619. He was hardly paſt his youth when he loſt his father and mother, who by their condition and by their virtue were the chief perſons in their city. This misfortune was ſoon followed by the loſs of his whole patrimony; nor could it be known by what fatality it happened, or to whoſe fraud it was owing. But this was ſo far from diſcouraging him, that on the contrary it animated him more ſtrongly to comfort himſelf by ſtudying, and to add to polite Literature, which he had already learnt, the knowledge of Philoſophy, and above all that of Divinity. He made a conſiderable progreſs in theſe Sciences, and was admitted a Miniſter with great applauſe. Two years after he had been inſtalled in his office, he was obliged to go to Paris to anſwer the cavils of thoſe, who intended to ruin his Church. He could not prevent the effect of their artifices, but he happened to meet with ſuch circumſtances as proved favourable to him. He preached ſometimes at Charenton, and was ſo well liked by the Ducheſs de la Tremouille, that ſhe appointed him Miniſter of the Church of Vitré in Britany, and gave him afterwards a great many proofs of the particular eſteem ſhe had for him; as did also the Prince[notes 1] and Princeſs of Tarente, and the Ducheſs of Weimar.[notes 2] He served that Church about twenty ſeven years, and ſtudied the ancient Fathers with the utmoſt application. He gave very ſoon public proofs of the progreſs he had made in that ſtudy, for the anſwer he publiſhed to the motives, which a certain Miniſter[notes 3] had alledged for his converſion to Popery, abounded with paſſages quoted from the Fathers. The works which he publiſhed afterwards raiſed his reputation exceedingly.[1] There was an intimate friendſhip between him and Meſſieurs. Daillé father and ſon, which was kept up by a conſtant literary correſpondence. The journey he took to Paris procured him the acquaintance of ſeveral illuſtrious men of letters.[2] The Church of Charenton reſolved to call him in the year 1669, but the envy of ſome falſe brethren againſt him was ſo ſtrong, that they had recourse to ſeveral artifices to prepoſſeſs the Court againſt him, ſo that his Majeſty ſent a prohibition to that Church not to think of calling him, notwithſtanding the Deputy General of the Reformed[notes 4] had offered to anſwer for Monſ. de Larroque’s good behaviour. The grief he was under at being calumniated was very great, but the teſtimony of a good conſcience was his comfort. He was choſen to be both Miniſter and Profeſſor of Divinity at Saumur. He accepted the office of a Miniſter, but refuſed the Profeſſorſhip of Divinity, not thinking it conſiſtent with the ſtudy of Church-Hiſtory, for which he had a very ſtrong inclination. He was preparing himſelf for his journey to Saumur, when the Intendant of the Province[notes 5] forbad him to go thither. The Church of Saumur brought in their complaints againſt this unjuſt prohibition, and petitioned very zealouſly for the neceſſary permiſſion, which ſhe obtained. But Monſieur de Larroque did not think it proper to make an advantage of it, nor to enter upon an employment in ſpite of the Intendant. He continued therefore ſtill at Vitré, where he did not ſuffer his pen to be idle. Three of the moſt conſiderable Churches of the Kingdom choſe him at once, namely the Church of Montauban, that of Bourdeaux, and that of Roan. He accepted the invitation of Roan, and there he ended his life January the 31ſt 1684, at the age of threeſcore and five years, having gained the reputation not only of a learned man, but alſo of an honeſt man, and of a good Paſtor.[notes 6] All theſe good qualities were united in him,[3] though they be but too often ſeparated. See his Elogy in the Nouvelles de la Republique des Lettres for March, 1684, Article V.

  1. In the year 1665 he publiſhed an anſwer to a book of the Gentlemen of Port-Royal, intitled, L’Office du S. Sacrement, ou Tradition de l’Egliſe touchant l’Euchariſtie, recueilli des Saints Peres & autres Auteurs Eccleſiaſtiques. i. e. “The Office of the Holy Sacrament, or the Tradition of the Church concerning the Lord’s Supper, collected from the Holy Fathers and other Eccleſiaſtical Authors.” This anſwer was very much eſteemed. Mirâ cum ſolertiâ nimis Catholicorum virorum, qui ut legentibus fucum facerent, SS. Patrum textum vel mutilaverant, vel pravo commento inquinaverant, pias fraudes vel impias dicam neſcio, retexit. Mirati ſunt omnes nihil inter reſpondendum illum fugiſſe, nihilque vindicandum intactum fuiſſe, tantâ ſagacitate ac diligentiâ unum quodoue expendens officium, ut in ejus meſſem nemo pedem, vel Spicilegii cauſa intulerit.[1] i. e. “He laid open with great ſubtlety the pious or impious frauds, I know not how to call them, of thoſe over-catholic men, who to impoſe upon their readers had caſtrated the text of the Holy Fathers, or perverted the ſenſe of it by a wicked commentary. All the world wondered how he could remember every thing in his anſwer, and forget nothing that deſerved to be vindicated; he had diſcharged his whole taſk with ſo much ſagacity and diligence, that no man pretended to undertake it after him, even by way of eſſay.” How good ſoever this book was, it was not to be compared with the excellent work, which the ſame author publiſhed ſome years after with this title, Hiſtoire de l’Euchariſtie. i. e. “The Hiſtory of the Euchariſt, or of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.” There were two editions of it publiſhed in leſs than two years, and it has been tranſlated into Engliſh. The author’s name was not put to the firſt edition, but it was prefixed to the ſecond, which was printed in the year 1671. It is true that his name was a little altered through an error of the Printer, who undoubtedly took a q for a g, in the author’s manuſcript ſigning,[2] Hence it came that ſeveral polemical writers of the Roman Catholic Church called him Larrogue inſtead of Larroque. In the year 1670 he publiſhed at Geneva two Latin diſſertations de Photino & Liberio, in which he took notice amongſt other things of ſome errors committed by Father Petavius concerning the time when Photinus was condemned. He refuted in a third diſſertation what Mr. David had objected againſt the firſt. After this he undertook the defence of his good friend the learned Monſieur Daillé, (in Latin Dallæus) againſt two celebrated Engliſh writers. That work is intitled, Obſervationes in Ignatianas Pearſonii Vindicias, nec non in Beverigii Annotationes. i. e. “Obſervations on Dr. Pearſon’s Vindication of Ignatius, and on Dr. Beveridge’s Remarks.” He had almoſt finiſhed his reply to Dr. Beveridge’s anſwer; but being deſired by ſome friends to give up this controverſy, he very willingly granted them their requeſt. His book of the agreement between the diſcipline of the Reformed Church in France with that of the Primitive Church was publiſhed after the works I have been mentioning, and was followed by a treatiſe on receiving the Sacrament in both kinds, wherein he refutes a work of the Biſhop of Meaux. This is what we find in the author’s life, prefixed to a poſthumous work of his, which his ſon Monſieur Daniel de Larroque published in the year 1688. He does not mention there the treatiſe of the nature of the Church, nor that of the Regale: we must therefore add theſe two treatiſes to the former; and as for his poſtumous work, let us obſerve that it is intitled, Matthæi Larroquani Adverſariorum ſacrorum libri tres. Opus poſthumum. Acceſſit Diatriba de Legione fulminatrice, in quo expenduntur Veterum teſtimonia quibus hactenus hæc Hiſtoria vera habita eſt. Authore Daniele Larroquano M. Filio. i. e. “Three Books of Sacred Obſervations, by Matthew de Larroque: A Poſthumous Work: To which is added a Diſſertation on the Thundering Legion, wherein are examined the authorities of the Ancients on which this hiſtory has hitherto been admitted as true.” Monſieur Daniel de Larroque the ſon, who had already given proofs of his learning and wit, is the author of that diſſertation on the Thundering Legion. He tells us that his father undertook to write a Church hiſtory, and had finiſhed the three firſt centuries, and begun the fourth. It is to be hoped that the publick will ſome time or other be preſented with that work.
  2. Amongſt others that of Monſieur Juſtel, of Monſieur Amproux,[3] and of Monſieur Conrart. They with Meſſieurs Daillé and Monſieur Allix were the Proteſtants, for whom he had the greateſt friendſhip. He alſo made himſelf known to ſeveral learned men of the church of Rome, particularly to the Abbot de Marollea, and to Monſieur de Launoi. They have found amongſt his papers ſeveral letters of theſe two gentlemen, and chiefly of the latter.[4]
  3. I have referred you to his Elogy in the Nouvelles de la Republique des Lettres; I refer you alſo to the preface from which I ſhall again tranſcribe ſome lines of Gregory of Nazianzen. Id duntaxatſubjungamus colophonem huic elogio impoſituri, quod de ſuo parente nimirum dicebat Gregorius Nazianzenus, etenim noſtro apprime accommodari poteſt.[5]

    Ην μοὶ πατὴρ χαλός τε χᾀγαθὸς σφόδρα
    Ἱηραίος, ἁπλῦς τὸν τρόπον, τάθμη βίȣ,
    Πάτραρχος ὅντυς Ἀβρυάμ τιι διύτφος,
    Ων ὐ δοχᾶν ἅριςος, ὐ τὲν νῦν τρόπον.[6]
    —————————— Χρις ὐ φἱλος.
    Ἔπειτα ωοιμἡν, ποιμίνων ὅτι χρἀτος.

    That is, “To conclude this elogy, let us add here, what Gregory of Nazianzen ſaid of father, for it may very well be applied to mine. My father was a very good and honeſt old man, ſincere, of a regular life, like another Patriarch Abraham; he choſe rather to be than to appear good, which is not the faſhion now…. He loved Chriſt, was a true, paſtor, and an ornament to his order.”

  1. Son to the Ducheſs de la Tremouille.
  2. Daughter to the ſame Ducheſs.
  3. Named Martin.
  4. The Marquis de Rævigai.
  5. Named Monſ. Voiſis.
  6. Taken from the Short Account of his Life, prefixed to a work, which his ſon Mr. de Larroque publiſhed at Leyden in the year 1688, intitled, Matthæi Larroquani Adverſariorum Sacrorum Libri tres.
  1. ^  Daniel Larroquanus, in Vita Summa Mattbæi Larroquani, fol. **5.
  2. ^  Compare this with what is obſerved above, in the remark [N] of the article CAYET.
  3. ^  Counſellor in the Parliament of Paris.
  4. ^  Taken from his Life, prefixed to bis Adverſariorum Sacrorum Libri tres.
  5. ^  Daniel Larroquanus, in Summa Vitæ Matthæi Larroquani, in fine.
  6. ^  This is the Elogy which Æſchylus beſtows on Amphiaraus. See above, the remark [H] of the article AMPHIARAUS before the 1ſt break, or a-linca.