« AnteriorContinuar »
length opened, he obliged his boarder to quit the family. Soon
How oft, when press'd to marriage, have I said,
When love is liberty, and nature law. (e) This cruel misfortune is alluded to in the following lines of the fame epiftle:
Alas, how chang'd! what sudden horrors rise !
bit in the abbey of St. Dennis. The disorders of this house, where the abbot exceeded the rest of the monks in impurity as well as in dignity, foon drove Abelard from thence ; for having taken upon him to censure their behaviour, he thereby became so obnoxious, that they desired to get rid of him. He retired next to the territories of the count of Champagne, where he gave public lectures, and drew together iuch a number of hearers, that the other professors, whose pupils left them to go to Abelard, being stung with envy, began to raise persecutions against him. He had two formidable enemies in Laon, who perceiving the prejudices done to their schools in Rheims by his great reputation, fought an opporo tunity to ruin him, and they were at last furnished with a handle by his treatise on the Trinity, where they pretended to have discovered a moft dreadful heresy (f), and for this purpose they prevailed on their archbishop to call a council at Soissons, in the year 1121. This council, without allowing Abelard to make his defence, sentenced him to throw the book into the fames, and to shut himself up in the cloyster of St. Medard. Soon after he was ordered to return to the convent of St. Dennis. Here happening to say, that he did not believe their St. Dennis was the Areopagite mentioned in fcripture, this expression was immediately laid hold of, and carried to the abbot, who was overjoyed at it, because it gave him an opportunity of blending a state crime with an accusation of false doctrine. The abbot immediately called a chapter, and declared that he was going to deliver up to the secular power a man who had audaciously trampled on the glory and diadem of the kingdom. Abelard, knowing these menaces were not to be despised, fied by night into Champagne ; after the abbot's death, he obtained leave to lead a monastic life wherever he pleased. He now retired to a solitude in the diocese of Troies; there he built an oratory, which he named the (Paroclet), where great numbers of pupils, resorted to him. This revived that envy by which he had been so often perfecuted; and he now fell into the most dangerous hands, having drawn upon himself the fury and malice of St. Norbert and St. Bernard, who set up for being restorers of the ancient discipline ; enthusiasts whom the po
(f) It was alledged that Abelard yet he is not accused of Sabellianism, admitted three Gods, though it is but of Tritheism. This is his comcertain he was orthodox with regard parison, As the three popofitions of to this mystery. The comparison he a fyllogism are but one and the same drew from logic, tends rather to make truth; so the Father, Son, and Holy the divine persons one, than to mul. Ghoft are tiply the elfence of God to three; and fence.
one and the same era
pulace followed as new apostles. They raised fuch caļumnies against him, as hurt him greatly with his principal friends, and those who still continued to efteem him durft not fnew him any outward marks of their friendship. His life became so uneasy to him, that he was upon the point of Aying to some country where christianity was not professed;
but fate determined otherways, and he was brought anew Abelard. amongst Christians, and monks worse than Turks. The epift, p. 32. monks of the abbey of Ruis, in the diocese of Vannes, hav
ing chosen bim their fuperior, he now hoped he was got into a quiet afylum ; but it foon appeared that he had only exchanged one evil for another. He endeavoured to reform the corrupt manners of the monks, and took the revenues of the abbey out of their hands, so that they were now obliged to maintain their concubines and their children at their own expence. This strict though laudable behaviour raised a great fpirit against him, and brought him into many dangers (g). About this time the abbot of St. Dennis having expelled the nuns from Argenteuil, ' Abelard, in pity to Heloise their prioress, made her a present of the Paraclet, where she took up her residence with some of her fifter nuns. After this he made several journeys from Britany to Champagne, to settle Heloise’s affairs, and to relax himself from the cares and une easiness he met with in his abbey; for notwithstanding the horrid usage he had received by means of Heloise's relations, they still spread malicious calumnies. against him (b). In 1:40, he was accused of herefy before the archbishop of Sers. He desired he might be permitted to make his defence, and a council was accordingly summoned for that purpose, at which king Lewis the seventh was present, and St. Bernard appeared as his accuser. They began by reading in the affembly several propofitions extracted from the works of Abelard, which fo alarmed him, that he appealed to the pope. The council nevertheless condemned the propofitions, but determined nothing in regard to his person, and they sent an
(8) The monks attempted several more afraid of a dagger than of poitimes to poison him; but not being fon; so that he used to compare able to effect, that by his ordinary himself to the man whom the Sicilian food (for he was aware of their den tyrant placed at table with him under signs) they tried to poison him with a drawn (word, suspended only by a the sacramental bread and wine thread. Abelard. epift, p. 39. One day he abstained from a dish (b) Though his enemleş knew he which had been prepared for him, was incapablesof satisfying a woman, and his companion who eat it, died they yet affirmed that some remains instantly. Abelard excommunicated, of sensual delight still engaged him to the most rebellious of his monks; his mistress, but to no purpose, for at las he was
E L L AR D. account of their proceedings to pope Innocent II. praying him to confirm their determination. The pope complied with their requeft, and ordered Abelard to be confined, his book to be burnt, and that he should never teach again. His holiness, however, fome time after, softened the rigour of this fentence, at the interceffion of Peter the Venerable, who had not only received this heretic into his abbey of Clugni, but had even brought about a reconciliation betwixt him and St. Bernard, who had been the chief promoter of his perfecution in the council of Sens. In this sanctuary at Clugni Abelard was treated with the utmost humanity and tendernefs; here he gave lectures to the monks, and his whole behaviour fhewed the greatest humility and industry. At length, having become infirm, and being afflicted with the scurvy, and many other diforders, he was removed to the priory of St. Marcellus, a very agreeable place on the Saon, near Chalons, where he died on the 21st of April, 1142, in the fixty-third year of his age. His corpse was sent to Heloise, , who depofited it in the Paroclet.
ABELLY (Lewis) bishop and count of Rhodes. He was born at Paris, and for some time rector of St. Joffe in that city. He wrote several pieces, and amongst the rest a treatise on divinity, intitled Medulla Theologica ; whence Boileau gave him the epithet of Moëlleux. The principles and tenets laid down in this performance differ greatly from those of the Jansenists (a). He wrote also. The life of Vincent de Paul, founder and first superior-general of the congregation of the Mission; a book on T'he principles of Chriftian morality; one on Heresies; and another on The tradition of the church with regard to the worship of the virgin Mary. This last piece, a second edition of which was printed at Paris in 1675, gave great pleasure to the Protestants, because it furnished them with a weapon against those who endeavoured to perfuade them, that if any thing was overstrained in this kind of worship, it arose wholly from the extravagant conceits of the monks, which abuse the bishops were daily reforming. It served also as an excellent handle against a piece published by the bishop of Condom: and indeed Mr. Abelly became the protector, as it were, of the most extravagant notions relating to the devotion of the virgin Mary, so that he quite defeated the efforts of this bifhop, and of those
(c) Abbé le Camus, a strong Jan. " when Abelly wrote it:' Menagisenik, speaking of this piece, says, ana, p. 65. if Dutch edition ! that the moon was in the wane
persons who published or approved of the treatise entitled, The blessed virgin's falutary advice to her indiscreet devotees. Mr. Abelly was doctor of divinity in the faculty of Paris, and made bishop of Rhodes, when Mr. de Perefixe, the king's preceptor, was promoted to the archiepiscopal fee of Paris. When he was so far advanced in years as not to be able to perform his pastoral function, he resigned his bishopric, and retired to the house of St. Lazare, where he died on the 4th of October, 1691, in the eighty-eighth year of his age.
ABIMELECH, king of Gerar, a country of the Philistines, was cotemporary with Abraham. The patriarch having retired into this prince's country with his family, his wife Sarah, though in her nintieth year, was not safe ; for Abimelech became so smitten with her beauty, that he carried her off with a resolution to marry her. Abraham might have prevented this accident, had he declared himself the husband of Sarah; but being afraid of his life, he thought proper to give out that she was his sister, and prevailed upon her to call him her brother. It is believed that the king of the Philistines was afflicted with a distemper which rendered him impotent;
but however this be, we are told he was not permitted to Josepb. Antig. lib. I. gratify his passion for Sarah, having been warned in a dream
that she was the wife of a prophet, and that he fhould die if he did not restore her to Abraham. The king accordingly gave her back to him, reproaching them at the same time for their false affirmations. Abraham, amongst other excuses, said, she was really his sister, being born of the same father, though of a different mother, for which we have the authority of scripture. Josephus (according to M. Bayle) falsely sup
poses that Abraham declared Sarah was his brother's daughJoseph. Antig. ib.
ter, and that upon the restitution of Sarah, Abimelech and Abraham made a covenant. It is true, says he, that the covenant of Beer-sheba was made between them; but this was fome years after. Josephus, contrary to the authority of Moses, makes this covenant prior to Isaac's birth; whereas the scriptures fix it after the rejection of Ishmael, which was not till after Isaac was weaned (a). Josephus also tells us,
Cen. xxi. 31, 32.
(a) Theodore Beza expresses him. effe multis locis Mofem et sacros self thụs in regard to Josephus: omnes fcriptores. - Sed nos potius Hoc ego semel pronuncio, quod tu istos pro veris ipfius Dei interpretibus, nunquam falsum esse oftendes, fi verus illum vero pro sacerdote rerum saest multis locis Jofephus, mentitum crarum valde imperito, atque etiam