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Lamy [1]

(or LAMI), Bernard, an eminent priest of the French Oratory, was born at Mans in June, 1640; studied under the Oratorians, joined their order in 1658, and completed his studies at Paris and at Saumur. He next taught belles-lettres at Vendome and Juilly, and philosophy at Saumur and at Angers. In 1676 he was deprived of his professorship for his zealous advocacy of the Cartesian philosophy. His enemies, the Thomists, even obtained a lettre de cachet against him under the accusation that he opposed the principle of royal authority. He was banished to Grenoble, where cardinal Le Camus, who had established a seminary for the education of ecclesiastics, and who held Lamy in high estimation, appointed him professor of divinity. In 1686, his sentence having been revoked in its most essential charges, he was recalled to Paris, and remained for a while in the Seminary of St. Magloire, but, having violated the rules of the establishment by publishing without the knowledge of the superior a work (Lettre au P. Fourre, de l'Oratoire), which, besides, was considered to contain objectionable teachings (viz. as that Christ did not celebrate the Jewish Passover with his disciples [a view adopted by some of the soundest scholars]; that John the Baptist was imprisoned twice, by the Sanhedrim and by Herod; and that the three Mar's mentioned in the Gospels are identical), he was again exiled, this time to Rouen. He died in the latter city January 29, 1715. Lamy was a very prolific writer, and his works are generally distinguished for clearness of thought and expression. The most important are, Apparatus Biblicus ad intelligenda Sacra Biblia (originally [Grenoble, 1687] no more than tables of the chief facts of Scripture, with rules for its study, and compiled simply for his pupils; he subsequently enlarged and published it at Lyons, 1696, sm. 8vo, and it was in its day considered the best "introduction" to the Bible extant; an English edition was prepared by R. Bundy, Lond. 1723, 4to): Entretiens sur les Sciences (1684), a work which was highly esteemed by J.J. Rousseau: Introduction a l'Ecriture Sainte, ou l'on traite de tout ce qui concerne les Juifs, etc. (Lyons, 1709, 4to): Harmonia, sive concordia quatuor Evangelistarum, editio novissima (Paris, 1701, 12mo): Commentarius in harmoniam, sive concordiam quatuor Evangelistarum (Paris, 1699, 4to): Dissertutio de Levitis cantoribus (Ugol. 32, 571): De tabernaculo foederis, de sancta civitate Jerusalem, et de templo ejus (Paris, 1720, fol.). To this last-named work Lamy is said to have devoted the last thirty years of his life. It was published (after his death) under the editorship of pere Desmoulins. See Ellies Dupin, Bibl. des A uteurs eccls. volume 19, 4to ed.; Journal de tout ce qui s'est passi en 1'Universite d'Angers, 1679, 4to; F. Bouillier, Hist. du Cartesianisme, volume 2; B. Haureau, Hist. Litter. du Maine, 2:117-165, Hook, Eccles. Biog. 6:515; Kitto, Biblical Cyclopaedia, 2:779, 780. (J.H.W.)