Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 01.djvu/15

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.





ABBADIE, JACQUES (or JAMES), D.D.(1654?–1727), dean of Killaloe, preacher, and christian apologist, was born at Nay, near Pau, probably in 1654, although 1657 and 1658 have been given. There is some colour for the assertion of Mr. Smiles that he was ‘the scion of a distinguished Bearnese family;’ although it is probable that the poverty of his parents would have excluded him from a learned career if some of the leading protestants of the district had not charged themselves with the expenses of his education. This was commenced under M. Jean de la Placette, the minister of Nay, and prosecuted successively at Puylaurens, Saumur, and Sedan, where, as is generally said, he took the decree of D.D. at seventeen years of age. An obituary notice, however, which appeared in the ‘Daily Courant’ for 5 Oct. 1727, says: ‘He was not above twenty-two when he undertook of himself his admirable treatise on the “Truth of the Christian Religion.” A few years later he took, with vast applause, his degree of doctor in divinity in the university of Sedan, and about the same year he was sent for by his electoral highness, Frederick William, elector of Brandenburg, to be minister of the French church at Berlin.’ The electoral summons found Abbadie at Paris, whither he had repaired to study the masters of protestant eloquence, and it was conveyed through the Count d'Espense, who had been commissioned by his master to make the selection.

The congregation of refugees, small enough at first to be accommodated in an apartment of the Count d'Espense's residence, was augmented gradually by the zeal of the preacher, and by the increased emigration to Brandenburg, caused by the revocation of the edict of Nantes in 1685. The elector ordered the ancient chapel of his palace to be prepared for the congregation, and the services were frequently attended by the younger members of his family. Abbadie's arrival in Berlin has been variously assigned to the years 1680 and 1681. During seven or eight years he used his increasing favour with the elector to relieve the distress of the refugees from France, and especially from his native province of Bearn.

Among the earliest literary ventures of Abbadie were four ‘Sermons sur divers Textes de l'Ecriture,’ 4to, Leyde, 1680; ‘Réflexions sur la Présence réelle du Corps de Jésus-Christ dans l'Eucharistie,’ 12mo, La Haye, 1685; and two highly adulatory addresses on persons in high stations, entitled respectively ‘Panégyrique de Monseigneur l'Electeur de Brandebourg,’ 1684, 4to and 8vo, Berlin and Rotterdam; and ‘Panégyrique de Marie Stuart, Reine d'Angleterre, d'Ecosse, de France, et d'Irlande, de glorieuse et immortelle memoire, décédée à Kensington le 28 décembre 1694,’ 8vo, Amsterdam, 1695, also published in England as ‘A Panegyric on our late Sovereign Lady,’ 4to, London, 1695. These four productions, with other occasional sermons, were in 1760 republished collectively, in three 8vo volumes, at Amsterdam, and preceded by an ‘Essai historique sur la Vie et les Ouvrages de M. Abbadie.’ The pamphlet on the Eucharist was also reprinted at Toulouse, in 1835, under the title of ‘Quatre Lettres sur la Transsubstantiation,’ and appeared in an English translation, by Mr. John W. Hamersley, as the ‘Chemical Change in the Eucharist,’ 4to, London, 1867.

Abbadie's residence at Berlin was varied by several visits which he paid to Holland in 1684, 1686, and 1688, chiefly for the purpose of superintending the printing of several of his works. One of the most