1676 - 1749 Author of "Thou Spakest, Lord, and into One" in The Cyber Hymnal Coffin, Charles, born at Buzaney (Ardennes) in 1676, died 1749, was principal of the college at Beauvais, 1712 (succeeding the historian Rollin), and rector of the University of Paris, 1718. He published in 1727 some, of his Latin poems, for which he was already noted, and in 1736 the bulk of his hymns appeared in the Paris Breviary of that year. In the same year he published them as Hymni Sacri Auctore Carolo Coffin, and in 1755 a complete ed. of his Works was issued in 2 vols. To his Hymni Sacri is prefixed an interesting preface. The whole plan of his hymns, and of the Paris Breviary which he so largely influenced, comes out in his words.
"In his porro scribendis Hymnis non tam poetico indulgendunv spiritui, quam nitoro et pietate consulendum esse existimavi. Pleraque igitur, argumentis convenientia e purissiinis Scripturae Sacrae fontibus deprompsi quac idoneis Ecclesiae cantui numeris alligarem."
His hymns are described by a French critic as having less brilliancy than those of Santüil (q.v.), but more simplicity and unction. They number 100 in the edition of 1736. Translated into English by J. Chandler, I. Williams and others, are noted under their respective Latin first lines. [William T. Brooke]
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)