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for bringing them to wait upon him in- from whom I suffered much shameful
ceived a letter from Farel, (now an old “ Again, I pray you to pardon all my man of seventy-five, and in infirm health,) infirmities, which I acknowledge and con- stating that he had determined to come to fess before God and his angels, and here see him from Neuchâtel, he wrote to him before you, my venerable lords.' He the following brief and affectionate reply: prayed Almighty God to shower down • Farewell, my best and most faithful upon them more abundantly the gifts of brother! and, since it is God's pleasure his grace and good providence, and by his that you should survive me in this world, Holy Spirit to direct all their consulta- retain the remembrance of our friendship, tions to the good of the whole republic. which has been useful to the church of He then shook hands with each of them, God, and the fruits of which await us in and they took their leave of him with heaven. Do not expose yourself to fatears, parting from him as from a com- tigue for my sake. I respire with diffi. mon parent.
culty, and continually expect my breath ". The following day (April 28,) by his to fail me : but it is enough that to Christ desire all the ministers under the juris- I both live and die, who to his people in diction of Geneva came to him, and he life and death is gain. Again, farewell addressed them to the following effect :
with the bretbren. Geneva, 2d May, • Stand fast, my brethren, after my de- 1564.' The good old man, however, came cease, in the work on which you have en- to Geneva according to his purpose, and, tered, and let not your hearts fail you, after an interview with his sinking friend, for the Lord will preserve this church returned the next day to Neuchâtel. and republic against all its enemies. Far “ « The remainder of his days,' Beza from you be all discords among yourselves : tells us, • Calvin passed in almost perembrace one another in mutual charity. petual prayer.
His voice indeed was inThink what you owe to this church, in terrupted by the difficulty of his respirawhich the Lord hath stationed you, and tion; but his eyes (which to the last redesert it not.... When first I came to this tained their brilliancy,) uplifted to heaven, city, the Gospel indeed was preached, but and the expression of his countenance, every thing was in disorder—as if Chris- shewed the fervour of his supplications. tianity had consisted in nothing else than His doors,' he proceeds, 'must have stood the overturning of images. Not a few open day and night, if all had been adwicked men were found in the church, mitted who from sentiments of duty and CHRIST. OBSERV. APP.
affection wished to see him : but, as he tenor of Scripture, and the universal could not speak to them, he requested practice of the inspired teachers; and they would testify their regard by praying he framed too boldly a system, which for bim rather than by troubling themselves about seeing him. Often also, was drawn, as he conceived, from though he ever shewed himself glad to re- Scriptural principles, but certainly ceive me, he intimated a scruple respecting the interruption thus given to my
not found explicitly in the sacred employments : so thrifty was he of time
volume. which ought to be spent in the service of
consequence of this admixture the church. The 19th of May was the of over-statement was, that a controday on which the ministers were again to versial air was given to Protestantism; meet on the affairs of the church, and at this time with special reference to the that the Lutheran churches were by celebration of the sacrament at Whitsun- degrees cooled in their communion tide. On these occasions he was accus- with those of Switzerland, and the tomed to partake of a friendly meal with separation occasioned by the Sacra. tbem: and he would now have the meeting held and supper prepared at his house.
mental question was widened. And, When the time came, he caused himself what is worse, the first encourageto be removed from his bed to the room ment was given to all those subsein which they were assembled, and thus briefly addressed them : 'I come to you
quent systems and courses of preachfor the last time, never more to sit down ing, which, going far beyond Calvin, with you at table.' He then offered up a
and omitting the sound and pracshort prayer, took a small portion of food, tical views, which in his theology and conversed with them for a little time corrected his opinions on predesin a cheerful manner
: but before supper tination-paved the way for the was finished he was obliged to be carried back to his chamber. He looked plea- Calvinistic controversy, and for santly upon his friends as he went out, that decline in vital religion and and said, “This will not prevent my be- really Scriptural truth which overing present with you in spirit.' He never afterwards left his bed. On the 27th of statements invariably occasion. ArMay, he spoke with less difficulty and in minianism, Semi-Pelagianism, cold. a stronger voice: but this was the last hearted orthodoxy without spiritual effort of nature. At about eight o'clock life, and the acerbity of theological in the evening the symptoms of dissoludebate throughout the Reformed tion suddenly came on. recently left him, was sent for, and on churches, were in no small measure hastening to the house found that he had the consequences of Calvin's incauexpired. He had departed without even tious language. a sigh, and in the full possession of his
But, after this admission, let it still powers to the last.” pp. 481-484.
be remembered, that his doctrines We proceed to offer some upon the deep and difficult subject cluding reflections, and they shall of the Divine purposes, were, upon be brief, on particular points in the the whole, no peculiarities of his; character and theology of Calvin. that they were not his main subject; We of course allude to his doctrines and that on nearly all the additional relating to the predestination and points which have been called Calelection of Almighty God. These vinism in later times, he took the are the chief grounds of odium against opposite side to that which his suphis theology, for which we at once posed followers occupied. We will frankly avow that some cause was briefly corroborate these statements. given. He carried his metaphysical With regard to the first, it is redeductions from Scripture beyond markable, as Mr. Scott justly obthe statements of the inspired ora- serves, that we pass through more eles ; he employed the word repro- than half of the twenty-eight years bate in a sense in which it does not of Calvin's ministry without eren occur in the Bible ; he alluded too hearing of the question of predestifrequently to the secret will and pur- nation. His sentiments were before poses of God, and spoke of men in the world on that subject, and he that point of view, so as sometimes never varied respecting it; but no to seem to contradict the general controversy arose upon it among
Protestants. Calvin, though he re- to apply it; the term Predestination duced the tenets he held on this head seems, in the apprehension of numto a more regular system, and some- bers, synonymous, or nearly synotimes carried them, as we have remark- nymous, with election or its opposite; ed, to a faulty excess, yet invented though it is obvious that the former none: he has said nothing which St. term has an unlimited extent, while Augustine had not said eleven hun- the latter is confined to one partidred years before he was born. And, cular subject. And it is in the wide what is more important, he rather view, rather the restricted one, that softened than aggravated what had both Luther and Melancthon seem previously been taught by Luther, chiefly to contemplate the doctrine." Melancthon, Zuingle, and others in The other passage is in the volume the earlier period of the Reformation, before us. It relates to the interAs that blessed work proceeded, the pretation of particular texts of Scripother churches sunk back, and Ge- ture. The text is the much controneva went somewhat beyond them, verted one, Romans vii.; but the without being considered as furnish- remark is peculiarly applicable to the ing the least ground of variance be- passages which speak of the Divine tween them. To the last, Calvin ve
purposes. nerated and loved Melancthon, and
“ It is to be regretted that those who used to call him the “The Divine :” have strongly taken opposite sides of the and it was not till 1552 that he pub- question, respecting this important pas. lished his work on Predestination.
sage of Scripture, should so often have
overlooked the obvious fact, that, accordWe entirely concur with Mr. ing to the general view which they take Scott's observation on this point, of the meaning and application of the and especially on the fault of im. whole, will be the interpretation which puting motives to pious and devout they respectively put on particular phrases men who take different views of this passage at large to describe the experience
or sentences. He, who understands the profound question. Let the facts be
Let the facts be of the true and even advanced Christian, allowed, that man is capable of no- qualifies his exposition of the clauses thing spiritually good by himself,
' carnal, sold under sin '- the good that and that it is God who worketh in would not, that do 1,' &c. so as to render
I would, I do not; but the evil which I him to will and to do of his good plea- them compatible with that interpretation. sure, and the doctrines of the Divine He, on the other hand, who reduces the purposes, in whatever way they are passage to little more than a description explained, or if they are even wholly vailing depraved
inclination, must at least
of the protests of conscience against preabstained from in public discourses, equally lower down the meaning of the will not disturb Christian unity. sentences, 'I delight in the law of God We have not room for the passage would not that do I'— now then it is no
after the inner man '-' the evil which I to which we allude, pp. 47–49; but
more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in we must cite two remarks of much me,' &c. to make them at all agree with moment. The first is in the second such an interpretation. Let each party, volume of the Continuation, p. 218. apply to the other's general interpretation “It can hardly have failed to be ob- he will find it easy to fix upon his oppo
his own exposition of particular parts, and served how very undefined, how po- nent charges of absurdity and even impular, and almost entirely practical, piety, which by no means really belong to are all those passages which have him.” pp. 207, 208. been adduced either by Dr. Milner or So much for the doctrines them, myself, from this great Reformer's selves, as propounded by Calvin. (Luther) writings on the subject of The proportionate space which they the predestination of men to eternal occupy in his theology should ņext be life. In fact, both he and Melanc- noted, in order to form an impartial thon but sparingly apply the doctrine view of the case. For instead of to the great and awful subject of these deep questions filling the vohuman salvation, to which in modern lumes of Calvin, there is little comtimes we are apt almost exclusively paratively on the subject in them.
Even in the Institutes they occupy sence of faith : he scruples not to only about a twentieth part of the use the word condition as indispenwork. The longest chapters are sable to acceptance with God; he on Prayer and the Moral Law. Out allows of the term co-operation, on of eight hundred pages, scarcely more the part of man, after grace received. than fifty are allotted to this myste- On final perseverance, he is so morious topic: and not only so, but all derate, that he the other doctrines, precepts, and speaks of the special call,' 'when by warnings of Scripture hold their pro- the inward illumination of the Spirit
God causes the word preached to sink portionate position in his instructions; into the heart, as • for the most part a position more prominent, more ex- vouchsafed only to the faithful;' but tensive, more influential than the one sometimes communicated to those who, to which so much objection is raised.
on account of their ingratitude, are after
wards forsaken and struck with greater Read his learned and most able Com
blindness.' mentaries from one end of the seven
These points practically modify folios to the other—you find the most and guard to an extraordinary deluminous and conscientious exposi- gree his doctrine of the Divine purtion of the Holy Scriptures—a pene- poses ; and we mention them in justration which solves almost all diffi- tice to a great name, of which a culties—an honesty and good sense wrong estimate has been very genewhich seize on the main point-a rally formed. fairness and impartiality which seem We should have been glad, if our to know no system. After three space allowed, of adding various centuries, the comments of John other extracts: but we must content Calvin remain unrivalled. The doc- ourselves with referring without citatrine of predestination was not his tion to the letters to our Reformers great subject; it was not that which in England, pp. 387, 464, 469; the mainly engaged his powers, much less passages illustrating Calvin's views that on which he exclusively dwelt.
of baptism, pp. 251, 305, 312, 323, Our third remark was, that on al. 415, 466, 468, 551, 592, 594 ; and most all the additional points which those which detect the mischiefs have been called Calvinism in later occasioned by new doctrines, and times, he took the opposite side to
an unsteady changeable mind, which that which his supposed followers are well deserving of notice at pp. occupy. We can only enumerate; 95, 97, 158, 162, 172, 251, 272, we cannot quote. Calvin held the 347, 355, 362, 364, 377, 379, 382, universality of redemption, and ex. 453, 456, 459, 469, 480, 505. pressly avowed his belief of it, as if
We might, in justice to the author, carefully to prevent any mistake as
add numerous passages illustrative of to his opinion, in his will. Four the soundness of mind, the moderation times within a few lines does he on in doubtful points, and the impartiality one occasion assert the universality which he has displayed throughout of the promises and offers of the his work. We can afford space only Gospel. On free-will, he is far more for a brief specimen. The following moderate than Luther or Melancthon are of the highest order. The proin their early writings. He did not positions relate to the profound ques. hold the doctrine of the imputation tion of the Divine predestination. of Adam's sin to all his posterity; “ God controls all things, yet without he maintained the authority and ob- being the author of evil: surely Scripligations of the moral law as the rule ture proclaims this, and reason must as. of life : he enforced the necessity of without constraint, and is therefore ac
sent to it. Yet man acts from choice, evidences of faith being appealed to; countable: both consciousness, and Scripthough, in opposition to the Popish ture, and the common sense of mankind doctrine of perpetual doubt as to ac- assure us of this. And beyond these two ceptance, he sometimes seemed to propositions we shall not advance far in
our present state. Let us hold them both confound the assurance with the es- fast, not suffering what we do know to
be disturbed by what we do not know *.' history, with a few remarks on him as
compared with some of his great conWe have not room to quote; but temporaries—leaders in the work of Rewe must refer to two places in which formation. Five persons of this descripour author copes with the gigantic attention, and we have now traced, even Hooker, and proves that misinforma- to their close, the histories of Luther and tion had cast some prejudice into Melancthon, of Zwingle, and Ecolamthe judgment of that candid and padius, and Calvin. These five persons perspicacious divine, (p. 366, &c.,
may perhaps be admitted into one class,
which, as far as Germany and Switzerland and p. 450, &c.) He was, however,
are concerned, must be exclusively their one of the most zealous eulogists of own : though among them, whether we Calvin, much as he objected to the regard the mental powers which they ex
erted, or the effect of their labours, we Geneva system of discipline. We are mistaken if our readers which the others have not attained. In
must acknowledge a 'first three,' unto will not thank us for the following Calvin we trace not indeed the chivalrous remarks:
heroism of the great Saxon reformer; nor “ Each of the three great branches of the sometimes too adventurous' eleva
tion of the father of the Swiss reforma. the Reformation, at an early period, suffered a check, which to the apprehension tion; nor, certainly, the genius and the
tenderness of Melancthon; nor of contemporaries must have threatened its destruction. Such was the case in meekness of wisdom' which peculiarly Switzerland by the victories obtained by other important qualities he excelled them
But in some the Roman Catholics over the Reformed all. Perhaps in learning he was superior (1531): in Germany, by a similar cause, followed by the suppression of the League
to any one of them: in sound and correct of Smalkald, and the introduction of the judgment, formed upon a comprehensive Interim (1547), and in England by the
and dispassionate consideration of all death of the good king Edward, and the the points involved in a great question, I succession of the bigoted and bloody should
him to have been Mary (1553). Yet in each case the fears
Firm as Luther, without his impeof its friends and the hopes of its enemies tuosity, he avoided all the embarrassments were alike disappointed. In each case
which arose from the scrupulous anxiety the church was taught that her belp of Melancthon. Inferior to none, sucometh from the Lord,' and that he will perior to most of them, in sagacity and not forsake his people, but in the time penetration, he was more a man of system of exigency will appear for their deliver- and order in all things, whether relating ance : that the wrath of man shall praise to doctrine, to discipline, or to his com him, and the remainder of wrath' -all positions as an author, than any other of that would go beyond his purposes— will their number. The first among them, we he restrain. In each case, what might may perhaps pronounce, in sheer intellect,
he fell short of more than one of them in have been thought destruction proved to be only correction : it was pruning, and the powers of imagination, and of all of not excision ; and promoted, not prevent
them in warmth of heart. Hence, while ed, the production of good fruit, to the he commands our veneration, he does not glory of God and the benefit of mankind.” equally attract our affection." pp. 491,492.
Two reflections press upon our pp. 118, 119.
We conclude our extracts with minds in rising from the study of our author's concise, but masterly this truly valuable volume, comparison of the great leaders of The first is, the great importance the Reformation.
of genuine ecclesiastical history—the “ We will conclude this review of Cal- history of good and great men; of vin's character, and this portion of our their times, their services, their prin
ciples; the errors into which they fell, « * It is a truly golden_sentence of or against which they contended; Dr. Paley's, in his Natural Theology, the their holy temper and frame of wide application of which I recommend to heart; their temptations, their strugall my younger readers to study— True fortitude of understanding consists in not gles with enemies within and withsuffering what we do know to be disturb- out the spiritual church; their blessed ed by what we do not know.' It contains and triumphant deaths. If it were * the seed' of answers not only to the only from the pleasure which intergreat mass of infidel objections, but to almost every perversion of Christian, if esting narratives inspire, and the not also of philosophical, truth.” common instruction they convey