His influence on the philosophers and theologians of the thirteenth century was, however, very great. It was exercised chiefly through Peter Lombard, his pupil, and other framers of the "Sentences." Indeed, while one must be careful to discount the exaggerated encomiums of Compayré, Cousin, and others, who represent Abelard as the first modern, the founder of the University of Paris, etc., one is justified in regarding him, in spite of his faults of character and mistakes of judgment, as an important contributor to scholastic method, an enlightened opponent of obscurantism, and a continuator of that revival of learning which occurred in the Carolingian age, and of which whatever there is of science, literature, and speculation in the early Middle Ages is the historical development.
Cousin, Petri Abælardi Opera, 2 vols. (Paris, 1849–1859), Ouvrages inédits d'Abélard (Paris, 1836); P. L. CLXXVIII; Rémusat. Abélard (Paris, 1845); Vacandard, P. Abélard, etc. (Paris, 1881); Deutsch, Peter Abälard (Leipzig, 1883); Denifle in Archiv f. Litt. u. Kirchengesch. d. Mittelalt., I (1885), 402–469, 584–624; Prantl, Gesch. der Logik, II. 2d ed. (Leipzig, 1885), 162 sqq.; Turner, Hist. of Philosophy (Boston, 1903), 285 sqq.; Stöckl, Hist. of Philosophy, tr. by Finlay (Dublin, 1903). 350 sq.
Abelly, Louis (1603–91) was Vicar-General of Bayonne, a parish priest in Paris, and subsequently Bishop of Rodez in 1664, but in 1666 abdicated and attached himself to St. Vincent de Paul in the House of St. Lazare, Paris. His ascetical works reveal his deep and sincere piety. He was a bitter foe of the Jansenists, chiefly of St. Cyran, against whom he directed his "Life of St. Vincent de Paul", a work which Hurter describes as "full of unction." His "Medulla Theologica" went through many editions, and is characterized by its "solidity, directness, and usefulness". According to St. Alphonsus, Abelly is "a classic in probabilism". His "Défense de la hiérarchie de l'Eglise" was directed against an anonymous Gallican writer. He wrote also two Enchiridions, one for bishops, another for priests; a treatise entitled "De l'obéissance et soumission due au Pape"; and another called "Traité des Hérésies". Replying to a Jansenist work known as "Monita Salutaria", he published his "Sentiments des SS. Pères, touchant les excellences et les prérogatives de la T.S. Vierge."
Hurter, Nomenclator, VII, 586.
Abenakis.—A confederation of Algonquin tribes, comprising the Penobscots, Passamaquoddies, Norridgewocks, and others, formerly occupying what is now Maine, and southern New Brunswick. Their territory joined that of the Micmacs on the northeast, and that of the Penobscots on the southwest. Their speech is a dialect of the Micmac language of the North American Indians. They took sides with the French and maintained an increasing hostility against encroachments of the English. When their principal town, Norridgewock, was taken, and their missionary, Rasle, was killed (1724), the greater part of them removed to St. Francis, in the province of Quebec, Canada, whither other refugees from the New England tribes had preceded them. They are now represented by the Amalecites on the St. John River, New Brunswick, and Quebec (820); the Passamaquoddies, on the Bay of that name, in Maine (300); the Penobscots, at Oldtown, Maine (400), and the Abnakis at St. Francis and Becancourt, Quebec (430). There are a dozen variations of the name Abenakis, such as Abenaquiois, Abakivis, Quabenakionek, Wabenakies, etc. They are described in the "Jesuit Relations" as not cannibals, and as docile, ingenious, temperate in the use of liquor, and not profane. Their language has been preserved in the monumental dictionary of Sebastian Rasle. After the unsuccessful attempt of de la Saussaye, in 1613, to plant a colony as Mount Desert, where the Jesuit Fathers Biard, Masse, and Quentin proposed to evangelize the Indians, the Capuchins and the Recollects, aided by secular priests from the seminary of Quebec, undertook the work, but met with indifferent success.
Abenakis Mission Chapel, Point Pleasant, Maine, U.S.A.The Jesuit Druillettes was sent to them in 1646, but remained only a short time. Subsequently other missionaries like Bigot, Thury, and de la Chasse laboured among them, but three years after the murder of Father Rasle, that is to say in 1727, when Fathers Syvesme and Lauverjat withdrew, there was no resident pastor in Maine, though the Indians were visited by priests from time to time. They remained unalterably attached to the Faith, and during the Revolution, when Washington sent to ask them to join with the colonies against England, they assented on condition that a Catholic priest should be sent to them. Some of the chaplains of the French fleet communicated with them, promising to comply with their request, but beyond that nothing was done. At the present time there are Indian missions for the remnants of the tribe at Calais, Eastport, and Old Town.
Aben-Ezra (Or Ibn 'ezra), Abraham-ben-Méir, a celebrated Spanish Rabbi, born at Toledo in 1092; died on his journey from Rome, or Rodez, to his native land, 23 January, 1167. He excelled in philosophy, astronomy, medicine, poetry, linguistics, and exegesis. He was called the Wise, the Great, the Admirable Doctor. Having to leave his native city on account of the vexations inflicted on the Jews, he travelled through a great part of Europe, through Egypt and Palestine. Rome, London, Narbonne, Mantua, Verona, and Rodez are some of the places he visited. His chief work is his commentary on the Sacred Books, which is nearly complete, the Books of Paralipomenon being the only ones missing. His commentary on the Pentateuch appeared in several revisions. In his commentary Aben-Ezra adheres to the literal sense of the Sacred Books, avoiding Rabbinic allegories and Cabbalistic extravagances, though he remains faithful to the Jewish traditions. This does not prevent him from exercising an independent criticism, which, according to some writers, even borders on rationalism. But in his other works he follows the Cabbalistic views. "The Book of the Secrets of the Law", "The Mystery of the Form of the Letters", "The Enigma of the Quiescent Letters", "The Book of the Name", "The Book of the