Polemical writer, born at Villefranche (Rhone), France, 1797; died at Aix-en-Provence, 1872
Deschamps, NICOLAS, polemical writer, born at Villefranche (Rhone), France, 1797; died at Aix-en-Provence, 1872. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1826; taught literature and rhetoric in several colleges and wrote extensively. Apart from a few didactic and devotional books like “Cours elementaire de litterature” (Avignon, 1860) and “Les fleurs de Marie” (Paris, 1863), his works are largely polemical and bear on all the burning questions of his day, the monopoly of the University of France, the state faculties of theology, the Organic Articles, the liberty of association, Communism, Paganism in education, etc. The most important is undoubtedly “Les Societes secretes” published after the author’s death (Avignon, 1874-1876), reedited and brought up to date by Claudio Janet (Paris, 1880 and 1881). Deschamps sees in European Freemasonry, whose origin he traces back to Manichaeism, a baneful force working, under the cover of philanthropy, not only against religion but also against the social order, patriotism and even morality. If his conclusions are severe, they are not advanced at random but are supported by numerous facts and grave authorities.
J. F. SOLLIER