Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/185

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JOHN HAIR. 555


likewise peculiarly unfettered in his clerical opinions. He condemned the monkish profuseness of David I., that " sair saunt to the crown," and in a work entitled " Disputationes de Fotestate Papae et Concilii," 6 he afterwards unca- nonically argued the necessity of excluding all spiritual dignitaries from author- ity in matters temporal. Mackenzie, in his corrected statement, continues, " he remained in Scotland about five years, and taught theology in the university of St Andrews." At what time he joined that university it would be difficult to discover, hut it appears that he was connected with the university of Glasgow until the year 1522, when he receives in the record the several titles already attributed to him, and with the addition of " Theologise Professor," and " The- saurus capellae regiae Strevelinensis." 7 He was, however, assuredly professor of theology in St Andrews in the year 1525, as Buchanan is said in his life, either written by himself or by Sir Peter Young, to have then studied under him, in the college of St Salvator. The celebrity of his lectures had attracted the poet's attention ; and, whether as a pupil of Major, or to fulfill his previous intentions, he followed his teacher to France. The connexion was the cause of an accusation of ingratitude against Buchanan. Buchanan had afterwards pen- ned an epigram on Major, in which he turned his name to the bitter qualifica- tion, " Solo cognomine Major." It is probable that the opportunity of so apt a witticism was the sole motive of Buchanan ; but Mackenzie and Christopher Ir- vine maintained that Buchanan had been fed both in mind and body by the charity of Major, who had procured him a professorship in the college of St Barbe. " He who had eat his bread," observes the latter, " and lived under his discipline, both in St Andrews and in the Sorbon, the space of five years, might have afforded him an handsomer character than solo cognomine Major ;" and concludes, " but I leave these wretches to the care of the great accuser, and go to my business." 8 There appears to be no other foundation for the charge but the inferences which may be drawn from a passage in Buchanan's life, which does not express such a meaning. 9 Mackenzie states that Major remained in Paris till 1530. Unfortunately little is known of the circumstances of his life during that period, nor will our limits permit an investigation among con- tinental authors, which might provide useful matter for a more extended me- moir. We know, however, that his fame was extensive and well supported. He has received high praise from such bibliographical writers as Dupin, Bel- larmin, and Vossius. He is alluded to by some of his countrymen with less praise ; and Leslie and Dempster, probably displeased at his view of the anti- quities of his native country, sneer at the barbarism of his style. Major was probably one of the latest commentators on that universal text book, the Sen- tences of Peter Lombard. In 1 51 9, he had published " In Libros Sententiarum primum et secundum commentaiium ;" a work which has passed to oblivion with its subject. In 1 521, he published an Introduction to Aristotle's Dialectics, and in 1529, " In Quatuor Evangelia Expositiones Luculentze," being a discussion on the arrangement of the Gospels as to date. Mackenzie mentions that he re- Continuing the train of reasoning, he concludes, " Tertio arguitur ad eandem conclusionem probandum . rpgem et posteros pro dementis populus potest exauthorare sicut et primo in- stituere. 1 ' p. 175.

6 Printed in the Vindicise Doctrinse Majorum Fcholse Parisiensis, &c. of Richerius.

T In the same year, " Dominus Decanus Johannes Major," is one of the " auditores com- puti," and-also one of the " lutrantes," and " Deputati Hectoris."

8 Norn. Scot., 1819 127.

9 Primo vero ad fanum Andrese missus est, ad Joannem Majorem audiendum, qui turn ibi dialeciicen, aul verius sophistictn, in extrema senectute docebat. Huncin Gallium aestate proxima secutus, in flammmn Luthuntnae sectse. jam latest spargentem incidit: ac biennium fere cum iniquitate fortunse colmctatus, tandem in Collegium iJarbaranum accilus, &c. Vila Euch. i.