BOST, PAUL AMI ISAAC DAVID: Swiss evangelist; b. at Geneva June 10, 1790; d. at La Force (6 m. w. of Bergerac), France, Dec. 14, 1874. He devoted four years to theology at the University of Geneva, but gained little spiritual profit from his studies, and was ordained in 1814 in a spirit of empty formalism. In 1816 he accepted a call as assistant pastor at Moutiers-Granval in the Canton of Bern, where he remained two years, ascribing to this period his firm belief in the doctrines of grace and justification. A parish proved too small for his energies, however, and in 1818, under the auspices of the "London Continental Society," he began the missionary journeys which were to occupy almost thirty-five years of his life. After the first of these trips, he withdrew from the Church of Geneva, and in the following year was in Colmar. He was expelled from France, however, and began a roving life, oppressed by poverty and burdened with a large family, yet preaching in Offenbach, Frankfort, Hanau, Friedrichsdorf, and Carlsruhe.

In 1825-26 Bost was in Geneva as the pastor of the free church of Bourg-de-Four. In answer to the attacks of the State Church, he published his Défense de ceux des fidèles de Genève qui se sont constitués en églises indépendantes (Geneva, 1825), charging the national Church with abandoning the Gospel and adopting Arianism. He was accordingly tried for slander, but was acquitted, although he was fined 500 francs for his libelous statements regarding the "Compagnie des pasteurs." Despite the fact that this trial marked a union of the divergent elements of the Free Church, Bost resigned


his pastorate at Bourg-de-Four and founded a new congregation at Carouge near Geneva, which he dissolved after two years in favor of a more diversified activity, establishing the religious and political magazine L'Espérance in 1838. Two years later he successfully sought readmission to the clergy of Geneva, without retracting any of his views. After a brief pastorate at Asnières and Bourges in France, he was appointed chaplain of the prison of the Maison Centrale at Melun, where he remained until 1848, then living successively at Geneva, Nîmes, Neuchâtel, Jersey, and Paris, and spending his last years at La Force. The chief works of Bost, who also gained a certain amount of reputation as a writer of hymns, are as follows: Genève religieuse (Geneva, 1819); Histoire des frères moraves (2 vols., 1831; abridged Eng. transl., London, 1834); Sur la primauté de Pierre et son Épiscopat (3 pamphlets, 1832); Histoire générale de l'établissement du Christianisme (a revised translation of Blumhardt's Versuch einer allgemeinen Missionsgeschichte der Kirche Christi, 4 vols., Valence, 1838); Les propètes protestants (Melun, 1847); and Mémoires pouvant servir à l'histoire du réveil religieux (Paris, 1854-55).

(E. BARDE†.)

BIBLIOGRAPHY: E. Guers, Premier réveil à Genève, Paris, 1871; Lichtenberger, ESR, ii, 373-374.


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