GASSENDI, gas-sen'di, PIERRE: French Roman Catholic philosopher and mathematician; b. at Champtercier, near Digne (55 m. n.e. of Aix), Jan. 22, 1592; d. at Paris Oct. 24, 1655. He was educated at Digne and Aix. At sixteen he was offered an instructorship in rhetoric at Digne, and in 1613 he became professor of theology at Aix. In 1617 he took orders, and was then professor of philosophy at Aix till 1623, when he resigned his position for a canonry at Grenoble. In 1633 he became provost of the cathedral at Digne, and in 1645 professor of mathematics at the Collbge Royal in Paris. Gassendi is known chiefly as an opponent of Descartes, and as the reviver of Epicureanism, which he endeavored to harmonize with Christianity. He adopted Epicurus's atomistic physics, his empirical theory of knowledge, his hedonistic ethics, and also his view of the freedom of the will. He held that God created the atoms and endowed them with certain properties, but that he also exercises a supervision over them. Gassendi prepared the way for the empiricism of Condillac and Locke and occupies an important place in the history of atomistic philosophy. Aside from a number of polemical writings against Descartes, his principal works are, Exercitationes paradoxite versus Aristoteles (bk. i., Grenoble, 1624; bk. ii. The Hague, 1659); De vita moribus et doctrine Epicure (Lyons, 1647); Institutio astronomica (Paris, 1647); and Syntagma philosophia Epicuri (Lyons, 1849).
Bibliography: De Camburat, Abrcpe de la vie et du systtme de Gassendi, Bouillon, 1770; C. Jeannel, Gassendi spiritualists, Montpellier, 1859. Works on his philosophy are by: L. Mandon, ib. 1861; P. F. Thomas, Paris, 1889.
GAST, gust, FREDERICK AUGUSTUS: German Reformed; b. at Lancaster, Pa., Oct. 17, 1835. He studied at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa. (B.A., 1856), and the Mercersburg Theological Seminary (1856-57). In 1859 he was ordained, and was pastor at NewHolland, Pa., 1859--65 and at Loudon and St. Thomas, Pa., 1865-67, in addition to being chaplain of the Forty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers from March to July, 1865. He was principal of the academy of Franklin and Marshall College 1867-71, assistant professor in the college 1871-72, and tutor in the theological seminary at Lancaster 1872-74. Since 1874 he has been professor of Hebrew and Old Testament theology in the same institution.
GATAKER, gat'a-ker, THOMAS: English Puritan; b. in London Sept. 4,1574; d. at Rotherhithe (2 m. s.e. of St. Paul's) July 27, 1654. He studied at St. John's College, Cambridge, and was appointed to a fellowship in the newly founded Sidney Sussex College in 1596. After preaching for a few months at Everton, near Cambridge, he went to London in 1600, where he preached occasionally at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields and served as tutor in the family of Sir William Cooke. In 1601 he received the lectureship at Lincoln's Inn, and in 1611 the rectory of Rotherhithe, which he held till his death. In 1643 he was nominated a member of the Westminster Assembly of Divines, and in 1644 he was put upon the committee for examining ministers. He bad previously declined the mastership of Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1645 he was a member of a committee to select persons to translate the directory of worship into Welsh, and also of the committee of seven charged with the preparation of the first draft of a confession of faith. On Jan. 18,1649, he signed the first address against the trial and execution of the king. In the matter of church government he advocated a modified episcopacy. Gataker was a man of minute scholarship, and his best-known works are his valuable annotated edition of Marcus Aurelius (London, 1652), and his commentaries on Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Lamentations, published in the Assembly's Annotations (1645, 1651). Other works are: Of the Nature and Use of Lots (London, 1619); A Discussion of the Popish Doctrine of Transubstantiation (1624); A Short Catechism (1624); and Sermons (2 parts, 1637). H. Witsius edited his Opera critica (2 vols., Utrecht, 1697-98).
Bibliography: Sources are his own Discours Apologetical, London, 1654; his autobiography in the posthumous Adversaries Miscellanea, ib. 1659; and Gray Hayres Crowned toroth Grace, a Puneral Sermon with Memoir, 1655. Consult: A. A Wood, Athena! Oxonienses, ed. P. Bliss, iii. 1257, 4 vols., ib. 1813-20; B. Brook. Lives of the Puritans, iii. 200, ib. 1813; D. Neal, Hist. of the Puritans, iii. 451, ib. 1822; A. F. Mitchell, Westminster Assembly and Standards, passim, ib. 1883; DNB, xxi. 80-$2.
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