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58327

BY

REV. ROBERT BAIRD, D.D.

In compliance with the request of many friends, who desire to know something of the family, life, character, and literary labors of the Rev. Dr. MRRLE D'AUBIGNE, author of the celebrated “ History of the Reformation in the Sixteenth Century,” I furnish the brief memoir which follows.

John Henry Merle (or, as he is called in England and this country, Merle d'Aubigné) was born in the city of Geneva, in the year 1794. Consequently he is a little more than fortyeight years of age.

Although a Swiss by birth, Dr. Merle is of French origin. His family, like that of many of the inhabitants of Geneva, is descended from Huguenot ancestors, who were compelled to leave their native country because of their religion, and to take refuge in a city upon which one of their countrymen, John Calvin, had been the instrument, under God, of conferring the blessings of the Reformation.

The great-grandfather of the Rev. Dr. Merle d'Aubigné, op his paternal side, was John Lewis Merle, of Nismes. About the epoch of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685), this worthy man, who was a sincere Protestant, fled from his country, and took refuge in Switzerland, in order to enjoy the religious liberty which France, under the rule of Louis XIV., denied him.

His son, Francis Merle, married, in the year 1743, Elizabeth, the daughter of a Protestant nobleman, residing in Geneva, whose name was George d'Aubigné. Agreeably to a usage which exists at Geneva, and, I believe, in many other portions of Switzerland, by which a gentleman adds the name of his wife to

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