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to take them out for every requisite purpose with great facility and correctness.
His judgment, logical sagacity, and accuracy were in no respect inferior to his memory; and few writers surpassed him in perceiving the various bearings of the subject which he investigated. He is indebted to this faculty for his uncommon power of generalization and success in making systems, and giving welldigested and clear catechetical instructions, which he highly valued as containing the true seeds of dootrine. All his writings are intended to cast light upon each other, and few authors of any age have exhibited greater uniformity, and consistency of sentiment one of the surest marks of a sound judgment than our reformer. Strong expressions occasionally occur, as in all controversial writers; but by carefully weighing and comparing them with each other, their harshness will be found to be much diminished. The scope, drift, relation, and connexion of a passage rarely escape the minuteness, clearness, and completeness of his discriminative powers.
His imagination is greatly inferior to the other faculties of his mind; and he very rarely indulges in the fascinations of this delightful and uncommon talent. When he suffers himself to be hurried off by any sudden sallies of this frequently wayward power, he invariably keeps it under the steady curb and unceasing restraint of judgment.
His affections were warm and ardent. As a brother, friend, husband, father, and minister of the word of God, he displayed strong and steady attachment. He carried his brother Anthony to Geneva, and manifested towards him and his family the greatest and steadiest love. After the death of his friend Caurault, he says, in a letter to Farel, "I am
so overwhelmed that I can put no limits to my sorrow. My daily occupations have no power to retain my mind from recurring to the event, and revolving constantly the impressive thought. The distressing impulses of the day are followed by the more torturing anguish of the night. I am not only troubled with dreams, to which I am inured by habit, but I am greatly enfeebled by those restless watchings which are extremely injurious to my health."* Calvin thus writes to Viret on the death of his wife: "I repress, as much as I am able, the sorrow of my heart. With all the exertions of my friends, I effect less in assuaging my grief than I could wish; but I cannot express the consolations which I experience. You know the tenderness of my mind, or rather with what effeminacy I yield under trials; so that without the exercise of much moderation I could not have supported the pressure of my sorrow." His unceasing efforts for the spiritual improvement of his church, both at Strasburgh and Geneva, leave no doubt of the warmth of his attachment. His friends also invariably manifested their strong love to Calvin, and this affords an undoubted evidence of mutual and reciprocal feelings. The tears of the magistrates and the ministers of Geneva, when he was on his death-bed, supply the clearest and most undoubted proof that he had a warm and a feeling heart.
How, it may be asked, did Calvin comfort himself under his wounded affections? He knew and felt that his light afflictions, which were but for a moment, were working out for him a far more abundant, even an eternal weight of glory. The following
* Our Reformer thus writes on the death of Bucer, "I feel my heart to be almost torn asunder, when I reflect on the very great loss which the church has sustained on the death of Bucer, and on the advantages that England would have derived from his labours had he been spared to assist in carrying on the Reformation in that kingdom."
extracts from his letters prove that he relied on no comfort but that of his gracious Saviour.
"The Lord," he writes to Farel, “has spared us to survive Caurault. Let us be diligent to follow his example ;* and watchful to tread in the path of increasing light, till we shall have finished our course. Let no difficulties dismay us, or any weight of earthly sufferings impede our progress towards that rest, into which we trust he is received. Without the hope of this glory to cheer us in our way, we shall be overcome with difficulties, and driven to despair. But as the truth of the Lord remains firm and unshaken, so let us abide in the hope of our calling, until the hidden kingdom of God be made manifest." After the death of his wife, he writes to Farel: "I now suppress the sorrow of my heart, and give myself no remission from my official duties. May the Lord Jesus strengthen me in this so great calamity, which would inevitably have overpowered me unless he had stretched forth his hand from heaven, whose office it is to raise the fallen, to strengthen the weak, and to refresh the weary."
Viret, in his answer to Calvin on the death of his wife, thus writes :-"I admire the influence of that divine Spirit which operates in you, and proves himself by his fruits worthy of the name of the true Comforter. Justly may I acknowledge the power of that Spirit in you, since you bear with so composed a mind those domestic misfortunes, which must intimately affect, with the greatest possible severity, your heart, that was always so readily involved in the calamities of others, and so accustomed to feel them, as if they were your own. Your example
* "They mourn the dead, who live as they desired."YOUNG.
+ The Rev. Andrew Fuller commenced writing his excellent treatise, "Calvinism and Socinianism Compared," as a means of solacing his grief for the loss of a beloved partner.
inspires others with new strength, since you can draw consolation from your own trials, and conduct yourself in all the duties of your office, at a time when your sorrows are recent, and have the keenest edge to wound and destroy your constancy, with as much readiness and ease as when all was well.* May the exuberant grace of divine goodness, from which proceed all those other gifts, that the Lord hath so richly bestowed upon you, supply your own mind with resolution to bear this cross." His feelings for the church at Geneva when he was most unjustly banished by them, show the ardour of his attachment to the church of God, which had once been intrusted to his care. In a letter to Viret, he says, "My thoughts relative to the arduous office of governing the church, disturb and perplex my mind with various anxieties; but their influence will not prevent me from doing every thing which I judge best for its welfare. Nothing is more conformable to my wishes and desires than to give up my life in the discharge of my duty. I entreated our friends with tears, that, omitting all consideration of me, they should consult, in the presence of God, what would be most beneficial to the church of Geneva."
Calvin thus writes on this subject in the Preface to his Commentary on the Psalms. "The obligation and responsibility of my office determined me to restore myself to the flock from which I had been violently separated; and the best of Beings is my witness with what depth of sorrow, abundance of tears, and extreme anxiety, I entered upon my office."
To what was Calvin indebted for all the courage,
* The steady performance of our various duties, domestic, social, professional, and Christian, is one of the most powerful and certain means, with the joy and consolation of the Spirit of God, to enable us to bear up under any bereave
learning, industry, and success, which he possessed? To a deep and settled piety. After leaving the darkness and superstitions of popery, he gave up his undivided attention to the sacred records of the divine will. Nor did he study them for the purpose of confirming his mind in preconceived opinions, but of discovering the counsels, the plans, the truths of infinite wisdom. His great design was to follow the Lamb of God whithersoever he went. Hence, by the illumination of the divine Spirit, that confidence and full assurance of faith, which he so strongly insists on and so beautifully describes. Hence that noble heroism, with which he pursued the onward tenour of his course, in breaking down the barriers of popery, and building up the exalted and stately pillars of the reformation. He knew the power of the divine word, that it was able to bring down all high thoughts in subjection to the dominion of Christ, and to overcome all principalities and powers. Hence his numerous commentaries, and his unwearied expositions, both by lectures and by preaching, of the word of God. To this, and this alone, was he indebted for the confidence with which he met all his enemies and all his trials; with which he faced all the combined artifice and violence of the Roman Catholics, and the various sects and heresies rising out of the bosom of the reformation itself.
Calvin, on his death-bed, looked back, with a selfapproving conscience, to the labours in which he had been engaged; and though he condemns himself for displaying too great violence of temper on certain occasions, never once complains of self-accusation on account of the death of Servetus, or of any other part of his arduous labours in opposing Castellio, or others. Conscience has two great offices to perform, and in one capacity it acts as an accuser and a judge, in the other as a director and a guide. The improper use of this