1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Drelincourt, Charles

8172641911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 8 — Drelincourt, Charles

DRELINCOURT, CHARLES (1595–1669), French Protestant divine, was born at Sedan on the 10th of July 1595. In 1618 he undertook the charge of the French Protestant church at Langres, but failed to receive the necessary royal sanction, and early in 1620 he removed to Paris, where he was nominated minister of the Reformed Church at Charenton. He was the author of a large number of works in devotional and polemical theology, several of which had great influence. His Catechism (Catéchisme ou instruction familière, 1652) and his Christian’s Defense against the Fears of Death (Consolations de l’âme fidèle contre les frayeurs de la mort, 1651) became well known in England by means of translations, which were very frequently reprinted. It has been said that Daniel Defoe wrote his fiction of Mrs Veal (A True Relation of the Apparition of Mrs Veal), who came from the other world to recommend the perusal of Drelincourt on Death, for the express purpose of promoting the sale of an English translation of the Consolations; Defoe’s contribution is added to the fourth edition of the translation (1706). Another popular work of his was Les Visites charitables pour toutes sortes de personnes affligées (1669). Drelincourt’s controversial works were numerous. Directed entirely against Roman Catholicism, they did much to strengthen and consolidate the Protestant party in France. He died on the 3rd of November 1669.

Several of his sons were distinguished as theologians or physicians. Laurent (1626–1681) became a pastor, and was the author of Sonnets chrétiens sur divers sujets (1677); Charles (1633–1697) was professor of physic at the university of Leiden, and physician to the prince of Orange; Peter (1644–1722) was ordained a priest in the Church of England, and became dean of Armagh.