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beath's Modern Language Series
EDITED WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND NOTES
PROFESSOR IN YALE UNIVERSITY :
BOSTON, U. S. A.
Yun naut &. Huggard
Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet was born at Dijon on September 27, 1627. His father and uncle were magistrates, yet they agreed in preparing the boy for the priesthood. He was sent to a Jesuit school at Dijon, and when fifteen years of age went from there to the College of Navarre at Paris. Here he took his first degree, in 1648, defending his thesis, Sur la nature de Dieu triple et un et sur les Anges, before the Prince of Condé, governor of Bossuet's home province of Burgundy. Some additional years were passed in attaining his doctorate in the University. In 1652 this diploma was won, and with the title of archdeacon of Sarrebourg Bossuet was sent to Metz, to which his family had moved long before. The new priest was now in his twenty-fifth year. He had exercised his powers in occasional sermons in the college chapel. Prolonged study of the Scriptures, and extensive reading of the Church Fathers, particularly Tertullian and St. Augustine, had deepened his faith and broadened his learning. He was well fitted for the post to which he had been appointed.
Metz was but partly Catholic. Both Calvinists and Lutherans were to be found there in considerable numbers, and they were led by pastors of unusual ability. Metz was also noted
for its Hebrew colony, which, though oppressed and isolated, ń still enjoyed, alone of all the congregations in France, certain
rights which had been confirmed to it by law. For an ardent defender of the Christian tradition, a zealous advocate of the Sunity of true religion, here was work enough ready and waiting. w Bossuet welcomed the opportunity and gave himself entirely