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in concert, and the alliance was concluded Jan. 14, 1717. As a reward for this service, he obtained the restitution of his estate in France. He corresponded with several princes, noblemen, and statesmen, both catholic and protestant, and with a great many learned men in France, Italy, Germany, and England, upon subjects of a political or literary nature. The catholics appear to have confided as much in his opinion as the protestants, of which we have a remarkable instance in a French archbishop. This prelate, perplexed to know what step to take respecting the bull Unigenitus, the rigours of which put an end to the last hopes of reconciliation between the catholic and protestant churches, consulted Basnage, and requested to know how he would himself act, if in his place. Basnage replied, that it did not perhaps become him to give advice in a case of so much difficulty : but suggested that the archbishop ought to examine himself whether he acknowledged the pope's authority, or not: that in the first case he was obliged to admit the constitution; that in the second case he might reject it; but he should consider, that if he argued consequentially, this would carry him farther than he would go. Basnage was a man of great sincerity and candour, and had a politeness seldom to be met with among learned men. He was affable and easy in his behaviour, and always ready to use his interest in favour of the unfortunate. He answered every person who consulted him with the utmost affability and kindness. He was a good friend, a man of great probity, and though he confuted errors with zeal and spirit, yet he treated the persons themselves with peculiar moderation. His constitution, which before had been very firm, began to decline in 1722; and after a lingering illness he died with exemplary piety, Dec. 22, 1723, in the seventy-first year of his age. He left only one daughter, who was married to Mr. de la Sarraz, privy counselior to the king of Poland.
The favourite studies of his life, and much of his character, may be ascertained from his works, which were very numerous : 1. “ Examen des Methodes,"
" &c. Cologne, 1684, 12mo; or an exaniination of the methods proposed by the assembly of the clergy of France in 1682. Simon answered some remarks in this work on his “ Critical History.” 2. “ Consideration sur l'etat de ceux qui sont tombez." This consists of letters sent to the church of Rcan, respecting some falling-off among its members,
Rotterdam, 1686, 12mo. 3. “ Reponse à M. l'Eveque de Meaux sur sa lettre pastorale,” Cologne, 1686, 12mo; all the preceding without his name.
4. “ Divi Chrysostomi Epistola ad Cæsarium Monachum, &c." To this epistle are added three dissertations on the heresy of Apollinaris, on the works attributed to Athanasius, and an answer to father Simon. It was printed at Rotterdam, 1687, 8vo, and reprinted there 1694, under the title of “ Dissertationes Historico-Theologicæ.” 5. “ La Cominunion Sainte,” a treatise on worthily communicating, Rotterdam, 1688, 8vo, reprinted at least ten times, and even adopted as a pious and useful work, by some of the popish clergy. 6. " Histoire de la Religion des Eglises Reformées, &c.” containing an account of the succession of the reformed churches, the perpetuity of their faith, especially since the eighth century, the establishment of the reformation, the continuation of the same doctrines from the reformation to the present time, with an history of the origin and progress of the chief errors of the Roman church, in answer to the bishop of Meaux's “ History of the variations of the Protestant churches." This was first published at Rotterdam, 2 vols. 12mo, reprinted by the author in his church history in 1699, but enlarged and published separately in 1721, 5 vols. 8vo, and after the author's death, in 1725, 2 vols. 4to; the best and most complete edition. 7. “ Traité de la conscience,” Amst. 1696, 2 vols. 8vo; Lyons, 3 vols. 12mo. This is partly an answer to Bayle's philosophical commentary. 8. “Lettres Pastorales," intended to animate the protestants on the renewal of persecution, 1698, 4to. Histoire de l'Eglise depuis Jesus Christ jusqu'à present,” Rotterdam, 2 vols. fol. 10. “Traité des prejugez,” in answer to the pastoral charges of the French prelates de Noailles, Col. bert, Bossuet, and Nesmond, 1701, 3 vols. 8vo. 11. Defense du Traité des prejugez, &c.” Delft, 1703, 8vo. 12. “ Dissertation historique sur l'usage de la Benediction nuptiale,” inserted in the History of the Works of the Learned, for 1703, an attack upon some of the popish marriage ceremonies. 13. “ Dissertation sur la maniere dont le Canon de l'Ecriture Sainte s'est formé, &c.” intended as an apology for what he had said in his Church History against Mr. Richardson's “ Defence of the Canon of the New Testament.” 14. 6. Histoire de l'ancien et du nouveau Testament,” Amst. fol. 1705, with cuts by de Hooge, Vol. IV.
often reprinted, and in various forms. 15. ( Histoire des Juifs," Rotterdam, 1706, 5 vols. 12mo, Hague, 1716, 15 vols. 12mo, translated into English by Taylor, 1706, fol. and an abridgment of the English by Crull, 1708, 2 vols. 8vo. It appears that Dupin had reprinted this work at Paris, without consulting the author, and with alterations adapted to the sentiments of the church of Rome. This occasioned Basnage to publish a sixth, or supplementary volume, under the title of, 16. “ L'Histoire des Juifs reclamee et retablie par son veritable auteur, &c." Rott. 1711, 12mo. 17. “Entretiens sur la Religion,” Rotterdam, 1709, 12mo, and frequently reprinted, and in 1713 enlarged to two vols. 12mo, but without his name.
Sermons sur divers sujets, &c." Rott. 2 vols. 8vo, on which Niceron makes a curious remark, that there is more morality in them than is generally in those of the Protestants. 19.“ Prospectus novæ editionis Canisii, Dacherii, &c.” He had undertaken an improved edition of Canisius's “ Lectiones antiquæ," but his booksellers pot being able to support the expence, transferred it to the Wetsteins, who published this great collection under the title of “ Thesaurus Monumentorum Eccl. et Hist. &c." Antwerp, 1725, 7 vols. fol. 20. “ Preface sur la durée de la persecution,” prefixed to Claude's “ Complaints of the Protestants.” 21. “ Antiquitez Judaiques, ou Remarques critiques sur la Republique des Hebreux,” Amst. 1713, 2 vols. 8vo, intended as critical remarks on Cunæus “ De Republica Hebræorum.” 22. 66 Reflexions desinterressées sur la Constitution du pape Clement XI. qui condamne le nouveau Testament du P. Quesnel," Amst. 1714, 8vo. 23. “ L'unité, la visibilité, &c. de l'Eglise,” Amst. 1715, 8vo.
la tenue d'un Concile National en France, &c." 1715, Svo, without his name. 25. “L'etat present de l'Eglise Gallicane," chiefly on the conduct of pope Clement XI. Amst. 1719, 12mo. 26. “ Instructions pastorales aux Reformez de France," concerning obedience due to the king, 1720, 12mo. This was written at the desire of the regent duke of Orleans, yet it was attempted to be answered by Catelan, a French bishop. The controversy, however, was carried on between him and Basnage with great liberality. 27. “ Annales des, Provinces Unies,” vol. I. Hague, fol. 1719. This volume contains the history of the united provinces from 1646 to 1667. The second, published in 1726, proceeds as far:
as the peace of Nimeguen in 1678. This valuable work was undertaken at the request of the counsellor deputies of Holland and West Friesland, who furnished the author with materials from their archives. 28. " Nouveaux Ser1720, 8vo.
29. “ Dissertation historique sur les Duels et les ordres de Chevalerie.” This dissertation on duels is said to be a very curious work. Besides these, M. Basnage was an occasional contributor to the literary journals, and left many manuscripts. His style, in the greater part of his writings, is inferior to his matter, a remark which belongs generally to voluminous writers.
BASNAGE (HENRY), DE BEAUVAL, brother to the preceding, was born at Roan, in 1659, and, like his father, became an advocate of the parliament of Normandy. On the revocation of the edict of Nantes, he took refuge in Holland, where he published a very liberal and sensible work, entitled, “ Traité de la Tolerance,” 1684, 12mo. When Bayle discontinued his “ Republic of Letters,” Basnage commenced a similar literary journal, entitled “ Histoire des ouvrages des Savans,” in Sept. 1687, and concluded it in June 1709, in all 24 vols. 12mo, written with great impartiality, and containing many valuable analyses and extracts from books. He also published an improved edition of Furetiere's dictionary, 3 vols. fol. The “ Dictionnaire Universel,” printed at Trevoux, in 1704, 3 vols. fol. is an exact copy of the preceding, but without the least notice of either Furetiere or Basnage. Our author died at the Hague, in 1710.
BASSANO. See PONTE.
BASSANTIN (JAMES), a Scotch astronomer in the sixteenth century, whose writings have deservedly transmitted his memory to posterity, was the son of the laird of Bassantin in the Merse, and born some time in the reign of king James IV. He was sent while young to the university of Glasgow; where, instead of applying himself to words, he studied things; and, while other young men of his age were perfecting themselves in style, he arrived at a surprising knowledge, for that time, in almost all branches of the mathematics. In order to improve himself in this science, and to gratify his passion for seeing other countries, he travelled, soon after he quitted the college of
? Gen. Dict.--Memoirs of Literature, vol. IX. XII. and XIII. Niceron.Fabric, Bibl. Græc.
% Dict. Hist. -Gen. Dict.
Glasgow, through the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany, fixing himself at last in France, where he taught the mathematics with applause, in the university of Paris. He fell in there with the common notions of the times, and was either credulous enough to entertain a good opinion of judicial astrology, or had so much address as to make the credulity of others useful to him, by supporting an erroneous system, then in too great credit for him to demolish, if he had been disposed, as the humour of beJieving such kind of predictions never ran so strong as at this time, nor any where stronger than in that country. At last, having a desire to see his relations, and spend his remainivg days in his own country, he resolved to quit France, where he had acquired a high reputation, and some fortune, and returned home in the year 1562. It was doubtless to our author that sir James Melvil alludes in his Memoirs, when he says that his brother, sir Robert, while he was using his endeavours to reconcile the two queens, Elizabeth and Mary, met with one Bassantin, a man learned in the high sciences, who told him “ that all his travel would be in vain; for, said he, they will never meet 'together: and next, there will never be any thing but dissembling and secret hatred, for a while; and at length, captivity and utter wreck to our queen from England.” He added, “ that the kingdom of England at length shall fall, of right, to the crown of Scotland; but it shall cost many bloody battles; and the Spaniards shall be helpers, and take a part to themselves for their labour." A prediction in which Bassantin partly guessed right, which it is likely he was enabled to do from a judicious consideration of probable circumstances and appearances.
It does not at all appear in what manner he spent the remainder of his life after he came back to Scotland; but it is certain he did not survive long, since his decease happened, as those who were well acquainted with him attest, in 1568. As to his learning, we are told by those who admired it most, it lay not in languages, of which, except his mother-tongue, he knew note thoroughly, though he spoke and taught in French, but in a very incorrect manner, and wrote much worse. He had
clear notions in most parts of his writings, and was far from being a contemptible astronomer, though the commendations bestowed on him by some authors very
his déserts. He was too much tinctured with the superstition of the times,