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“ saries, in acrimony of style; they recriminated with vehemence, “and charged their accusers with instances of misconduct, diffe“ rent in kind, but equally condemnable. They reproached them “ with having dealt disingenuously, by disguising, under ambiguous “expressions, the real doctrine of the reformed churches; they “ observed further, that their adversaries, notwithstanding their “consummate prudence and circumspection, gave plain proofs, on “ many occasions, that their propensity to a reconciliation between “the two churches arose from views of private interest, rather “ than from a zeal for the public good.” It is observable that Mosheim applies these observations to a late stage of the reformation, when much of its first violence had subsided.
The nearest approach to a re-union between any protestant churches seems to be that, which took place at Sendomer, in the year 1570. In a former part of this work, mention was made of this convention, of its dissolution, and of the subsequent union of the Helvetian and Bohemian protestant congregations in the Synods, held at Astrog, in the years 1620, and 1627. The original settlement of these churches was in Bohemia and Moravia. Persecution scattered the members of them : a considerable number of the fugitives settled at Herrenhut, a village in Lusatia. There, under the protection and guidance of Count Zinzendorf, they formed themselves into a new community, which was designed to comprehend their actual and future congregations, under the title of “ The Protestant Church of the Unitas Fratrum, or United Brethren of the Confession of Augsburgh.” That Confession is their only symbolic book; but they profess great esteem for the eighteen first chapters of the Synodical document of the church of Berne in 1532, as a declaration of true Christian Doctrine. They also respect the writings of Count Zinzendorf, but do not consider themselves bound by any opinion, sentiment, or expression which these contain. It is acknowledged, that, towards the middle of the last century, they used in their devotional exercises, particularly in their hymns, many expressions justly censurable: but these have been corrected. They consider Lutherans and Calvinists, to be their brethren in faith, as according with them in the essential articles of religion; and therefore, when any of their members reside at a distance from a congregation of the united brethren, they not only attend a Lutheran, or Calvinist church, but receive the Sacrament from its niinisters, without scruple. In this, they profess to act in conformity to the convention at Sendomer. The union, which prevails both among the congregations, and the individuals which compose them, their modest and humble carriage, their moderation in lucrative pursuits, the simplicity of their manners, their laborious industry, their frugal habits, their ardent but mild piety, and their regular disa charge of all their spiritual observances, are universally acknowledged and admired. Their charities are boundless, their kindness to their poor brethren is most edifying ; there is not among them a beggar. The care which they bestow on the education of their children, in forming their minds, chastening their hearts and curbing their imaginations,-particularly in those years,
“When youth, elate and gay,
are universally acknowledged, universally admired, and deserve universal imitation.
But, it is principally by the extent and success of their missionary labours that they now engage the attention of the public. These began in 1732. In 1812, they had thirty-three settlements in heathen nations. One hundred and thirty-seven missionaries were employed in them: they had baptised twentyseven thousand four hundred converts: and such had been their care in admitting them to that sacred rite, and such their assis duity in cultivating a spirit of religion among them, that scarcely an individual had been known to relapse into paganism. All travellers who have visited their settlements speak with wonder and praise, of the humility, the patient endurance of privation and hardship, the affectionate zeal, the mild and persevering exertions of the missionaries; and the innocence, industry and piety of the converts :--the European, the American, the African,
and the Asiatic traveller speaks of them in the same terms: and, that they speak without exaggeration, the conduct both of the pastor and the flock in the different settlements of the united brethren in England, incontestibly proves. Whatever he may think of their religious tenets, Talis cùm sis, utinam noster esses, must be the exclamation of every christian, who considers their lives. Those, who desire further knowledge of this amiable and worthy denomination of Christians, will find it in David Cranz's antient and modern History of the Brethren, printed at Barby, 1771, and the two continuations of it, Barby, 1791, and 1804. The · History has been translated into English ; and is become ex
ceedingly scarce: the continuations have not been translated. · Mr. La Trobe, the Pastor of the united brethren in London, has published a Concise Historical Account of the Protestant Church of the United Brethren adhering to the Confession of Augsburgh. .
C. Published, the par
Attempts for a reunion of the Calvinist churches
to the see of Rome.
• Having thus summarily noticed the unsuccessful attempts to
effect an union between the Lutheran and Calvinist churches, · we proceed to a similar summary mention of the attempts,
equally unsuccessful, to effect the reunion of the Calvinists to the church of Rome, which were made, 1st during the reign of Henry the Fourth : 2dly, during the reign of Lewis the Thirteenth: and 3dly, during the reign of Lewis the Fourteenth : 4thly, we shall afterwards notice the Revocation of the edict of Nantes, and the complete restoration of the protestants of France to their civil rights in the reign of Lewis the Eighteenth.
II. 1. An attempt to reunite the Calvinists to the church of Rome was made at the celebrated conference held at Poissi in 1561. In the work which we have cited, the Abbé Tabaraud gives a short and clear account of this conference. It failed of success, and a long civil war of religion ensued. It was closed by the conversion of Henry the Fourth to the Roman-catholic religion. He was no sooner quietly seated on the throne, than he conceived the arduous, but certainly the noble project of pacifying the religious contests of the world. It appears that he was induced to entertain hopes of the success of this measure, by the assurances given bim by the Calvinist ministers, when bis change of religion was in agitation, that salvation might be obtained in the church of Rome; and from his expectation of finding a spirit of conciliation and concession in the see of Rome. “ I have heard from persons of distinction,” says Grotius, Epist. 1706, p. 736, “ that Henry the Fourth declared that he had great hopes of procuring for the King of England, and the other protestant princes, who were his allies, conditions, which they could not honorably refuse, if they had any real wish of returning to the unity of the church ; and that he had once an intention of employing bishops of his own kingdom on this project; but that this project failed by his death."
It is said, that with these views he had sent for Isaac Casaubon, a protestant divine of equal learning and moderation, and appointed him his librarian; and that he intended confidentially employing him in preparing means for the success of the mea, sure, and smoothing the obstacles which might impede its progress. Grotius, (epist. 613), mentions, as a saying of Casaubon, that“ the catholics of France had a juster way of thinking than the ministers of Charenton :" these were the most rigid of the French Hugonot ministers. It is observable that the French government always considered the Huyonots of a much more refractory disposition than the Lutherans.
II. 2. The pacific views of Henry the Fourth were terminated by his decease. The capture of la Rochelle by the arms of Lewis the 13th was a fatal blow to the political consequence of the protestant party in France. Cardinal Richelieu immediately set on foot a project for the general conversion of the body: two persons of very different characters were employed by him in this measure ; Father Joseph, a capuchin friar, the confident of all the cardinal's political and private schemes, and Father P. Dulaurens, an oratorian, who lived in retirement, wholly ab: sorbed in the exercises of religion. They began the work of re-union by holding frequent conferences, on an amicable footing, with several of the protestant ministers; and it was resolved, that, with the permission of the pope, and the authority of the king, an assembly should be convened of ecclesiastics of each communion. Father Dulaurens recommended that the intended communications with the ministers should not take place, till they reached the capital : but the cardinal thought it more advisable that the ministers should be separately informed of the project before they left the provinces. It was accordingly communicated to them, and favourably received by the ministers of Languedoc and Normandy, but met with an unfavourable reception from the ministers of Sedan. It was resolved that the assembly should meet and begin their deliberations with the differences in the opinions of the two churches, respecting the Sacraments. Father Dulaurens recommended, that for some time, at least, the Bible, even in the Calvinist version of Olivétan, should be the only book appealed to on either side, as authority: but the Cardinal insisted on a resort to tradition. Grotius mentions that in several articles, (as communion under both kinds, and the invocation of saints), the Cardinal was willing that concessions should be made to the Protestants ; and suggested, that, as a medium, to reconcile them to the Pope, a patriarchate should be established in France, and he himself be the first patriarch. (Epist. Part 1. Epist. 482. Part 11. Epist, 53.) Notwithstanding the general loftiness and overbearing nature of his manners, it appears, particularly from M. de Rullhiếres, (Eclaircissemens sur l'édit de Nantes, Part 1. C. 6.) that the Cardinal acted on this occasion with great moderation, and recommended to his royal master a similar line of moderation, in all his conduct towards his Protestant subjects.