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life to revise, enlarge, and rear- decree corresponded with the hurange it, the last edition, in 1559, mility and simplicity of mind with containing eighty, all the main po- which he undertook his charge: sitions and doctrines continue pre- " Had I been the servant of man,' cisely the same: the views of pre- he observed, “I must have comdestination, for instance, in the plained of being ill requited” (he first and last edition are identical; had received no stipend); “ but it so little truth is there in the insinua- is well for me that I have served tion that he did not begin to pub- One who never deserts those who lish his sentiments on that solemn devote themselves to him." He subject till the year 1557.
was recalled, however, in 1542, in In 1536 he visited Italy, and af- a manner the most honourable to terwards, for the last time, France. his character; not by any steps His design, on his return, was to taken by himself, but in consefix himself at Basle or Strasburg; quence of confusion prevailing at but the war which then raged com- Geneva, the death or removal of pelling him to pass through Dau- the principal persons concerned in phiny and Savoy, he was obliged, opposing him, and the general concontrary to his inclination, to pass viction of his piety, talents, and through Geneva. Farel here met intègrity. It was a penitent peohim, and urged him to remain; he ple entreating their injured pastor felt, for a considerable time, little to return. From 1542 till the peinclination to comply, but at last riod of his death in 1564, Calvin he yielded to importunity, and in devoted his almost unrivalled August, 1536, accepted the office powers to the establishment and of a Professor of Divinity. The diffusion of the principles of the state of public morals, however, Gospel. His published works examongst the population-the ig- tended to nine closely printed norance and vice and superstition folios, seven of which are occuwhich remained—the relaxation of pied with his invaluable commencivil order, which their long strug- taries on most parts of the Old gle for independence had occa- Testament, and the whole of the sioned—the party spirit and fami- New, with the exception of the ly feuds, not appeased at once by Apocalypse. The last of these the reception of the Reformation commentaries, that on the Book of which prevailed—the free consti- Joshua, was finished only just betution of the state, which allowed fore his death. He married in almost every man a voice—the 1540, but left no children. In 1548, large number of individuals who and again'in 1551, he wrote his had no real religious principle the letters to the protector Somerset, tumults excited by the Anabaptists and Bishops Hooper and Cranmer, -the chicanery and perseverance —and, after the accession of Elizaof the surrounding Papal states, beth, those to Cecil and Grindal. rendered the situation of Calvin no The case of Servetus, to which we easy post. A strict discipline in shall soon refer more at length, ocreligious concerns, and especially curred in 1553. His health began on admission to the Lord's Sup- sensibly to decline in 1557; and it per, formed a part of his plan of was in 1564, in the fifty-fifth year conduct, and was carried forward of his age, that he was gathered to
manner not, perhaps, alto- his fathers, and to that heavenly gether well adapted to the circum- rest in the mansions prepared for stances of the case. In two years him by his Redeemer, which he from his arrival at Geneva, he was had so long earnestly desired and banished from the republick. His pressed forward to, amidst the sins remark on being informed of the and sorrows of an evil and jarring
world. His habitual labours, con- recruiting his strength. He strictly, obtrasted with the weakness of his
served the directions of his medical at. health and his habitual infirmities, under their care, he suffered nothing to
tendants, but otherwise, and when not shows the power of his conscien- interrupt his work; preaching often under tious conviction of his responsibi- a headach which would have confined lity for the use of his time and ta- inost men to their couch.'” pp. 472, 473. lents, the strength of the grace of God supporting him, and those pass on to the case of Servemighty endowments of mind with tus, of which every one has heard which he was blessed.
exaggerated statements, and which
the infidel rejoices to appeal to. " An extraordinary account is given of Gibbon hesitates not to declare,“ I Calvin's labours, from the time of his return to Geneva. In every fortnight he
am more deeply scandalized at the preached one entire week'-whether daily single execution of Servetus,than at or not does not appear. Thrice in every the hecatombs which have blazed week he delivered divinity lectures: on in the auto-da-fés of Spain and Porthe Thursdays he presided in the consistory, and on the Fridays in what was
tugal.” He then says, that “Calcalled the congregation, a meeting for
vin's zeal was summoned by perthe collation and exposition of Scripture. sonal malice, and perhaps envy;" Frequently he was called to assist the that he “ accused his adversary becouncil with his advice, which his skill in fore their common enemies, the the science of law, combined with his neral wisdom and talent, made him very judges of Vienna; and betrayed, for competent to do. His correspondence, his destruction, the sacred trust of also, was very extensive, the fame of his private correspondence.” Mr. Roslearning and piety causing him to be con. coe also, in his Leo X., gravely sulted from all quarters: and he himself complains of the continual interruptions pronounces that“the annals of perwhich, as might naturally have been ex
secution cannot furnish a pected, he encountered from the visits of atrocious instance of bigotry and strangers, and from other avocations. Yet cruelty, than the burning of Servehis copious commentaries on the Scriptures, and other writings, chiefly in a po
tus in a Protestant city, and by Prolished Latin style, are known to be very
testant priests.” The plain fact is, elaborate and accurate.--Such were the that the subject of toleration was performances of a man, whose constitu
not understood at ihe period when tion was delicate, and his health bad, and who never completed his fifty-fifth year,” falsely supposed that the Mosaical
this mournfulevent occurred. Men "He was naturally of a spare and fee
enactments against the blasphemer ble frame, of a sallow complexion and bi
bound Christian countries. The lious habit, tending to consumption. He judgment as to particular instanwas subject to severe headachs, from which
ces of imprisonment, banishment, strict abstinence alone afforded him relief. Hence, for more than ten years together,
or death, rested on the nature of he took only one meal in the day, gene
the laws in each state, the truth and rally in the evening; and frequently he supposed enormity of the facts alfasted for thirty-six hours together. His leged, and the impartiality of the digestion was bad ; and his sleep scarcely trial. Cranmer in England went deserved the name. his death, he was attacked by a spitting of far. greater lengths
in this false blood; and, when his long continued in
road than Calvin. The ministers termitting fever left him, that 'host' of at Berne and Constance acted upon disorders to which we have alluded, and which he himself enumerates—asthma,
it with respect to the fanatical Anagout, (ascending from his feet to his baptists. Fourteen years after the knees,) stone, gravel, cholic, and a severe
execution of Servetus, a public prohæmorrhoidal affection--began to show position was made at Geneva by themselves, and, as he observed in writing Gentiles, an Antitrinitarian, to hold to the physicians, the inaction to which the
a disputation with the orthodox, on pains in his legs and feet, together with the complaint which rendered him unable
the condition that “the party who to ride, reduced him, left him no hope of could not prove their doctrine from Ch. Adv.-VOL. X.
the word of God, should be put to effigy, with five bales of his books. death as impostors.
With this Calvin had no concern, The whole of this spirit we need except that a citizen of Lyons renot say how unequivocally we con- siding at Geneva obtained from demn; we are decided and warm him by great importunity some of advocates for the most unfettered Servetus's letters, which were howtoleration; but we do not the less ver never brought forward in evidistinguish between an action per- dence. Servetus came next to formed under a false principle, from Geneva, with this sentence out obedience to the existing laws, in against him; and he was commitcompliance with what was uniform- ted to prison at Calvin's instance, ly considered as a duty of the civil according to the existing statutes magistrate, at the period when it of the republic, by one of the syntook place, and which proceeded dics. A series of articles was exfrom no private malice; and the tracted from his works, and presame action, if it had been commit- ferred against him, and as much ted three centuries later, when the time allowed him as he required, extent and obligation of toleration to retract, explain, or deny them. were known, and nothing but per- In short, it would be difficult to sonal revenge and a strained inter- point out a case where either the pretation of the laws could dictate errors and the behaviour of the the crime.
accused were so aggravated, or all We boldly affirm, then, with our the advantages of a fair hearing so author, that most, if not all, the fully granted. Every pains was peculiar indignation excited in mno- taken to the very last, and by Caldern times against the individual vin himself, in the greatest sincereformer whose life we are review- rity, to reclaim him; time without ing, is a calumny, an infliction of limit was allowed him; all papers false punishment for an offence and documents were submitted to which did not exist in the sense in him, with such books as he dewhich it is alleged. For this Ser- sired. And at last his violent and vetus was, by the confession of all, insolent conduct when under exaa monster of blasphemy; not only mination, and his confidence that venting the most fearful insults he should triumph over his prose, against the Saviour, but relying on cutors, by the aid of the powerful the seditious libertine faction in faction then opposed to Calvin, Geneva for protection. In this
were such, that the learned Chaufcourse he
persevered from the year fepié (whose account Gibbon pro1532, to 1553. Calvin first offered
nounces the best), says, that he to meet him in Paris, in 1534, in “fell a victim to his own pride and order to reclaim him from his er- false anticipations." rors; and as late as 1546, corres- Nor was this all the alleviation ponded with him for the same which the case, so far as regards purpose. At that time he also so
Calvin, receives, when calmly conlemnly warned him from coming sidered. Before sentence was to Geneva, assuring him that the passed, copies of the proceedings laws would in such a case have were transmitted to the churches their course against him; so tho- of Zuric, Berne, Basle, and Schaffroughly was the state of the law
hausen: the replies from which as to blasphemy then understood. agreed on the fact of Servetus's In fact, Servetus was in 1552, im- enormous heresies, and on the prisoned by the Popish authorities duty of using the power committed in Vienne, and only escaped the to them in preventing his doing death pronounced against him by further mischief to the church. flight: he was burned, however, in After the sentence had been passed, (concerning which Calvin ut- he lived, before the intolerant notered not a sentiment, except as
tions which the Reformers had he strove to mitigate the kind of imbibed from the persecuting death,) he sent for Calvin two church in which they were edu. hours before his execution, and cated, were shaken off. It is imbegged his pardon.
possible to justify or palliate the "Calvin, in reply, told him, that he had deed; it would be revolting to never thought of revenging himself on every feeling of humanity and rehim for any personal injuries; and admo- ligion to do so; but Calvin's connished him with all mildness; reminding duct we believe to have been thohim that sixteen years before he had endeavoured, even at the risk of his own
en roughly conscientious, and, aclife, to reclaim him, and that it had not cording to his own full conviction, been through his fault thal Servetus had salutary and Christian. Would it not by repentance been restored to the be equitable to visit on Judge friendship of all religious persons. After Hale, or any other individual, the this, Calvin added, he had treated with him in private correspondence, without
moral guilt of those inflictions of wishing to draw public attention, to the severity upon supposed witches same purport; and had omitted no office and wizards, which we now know of kindness, till, irritated by his faithful
to have been fearfully barbarous reproofs, Servetus had poured forth a tor.
and cruel; but which at the time rent of abuse against him. Calvin then exhorted him to seek forgiveness of God;
were considered wise and just, as but, finding his admonitions unavailingwell as legal visitations? Why he desisted and withdrew.”—pp. 427, 428. then visit upon Calvin what be
And what were the prevailing longed not fairly to the individual, sentiments of the best and holiest, but to the age? the most humane and moderate We now hasten to the instrucmen, at the time when it occur- tive narrative of the closing days red? The gentle Melancthon ex- of this eminent man, in which pressed surprise that any objection there is a remarkable union of the should be raised. Bucer, Bul- deepest piety, genuine lowliness of linger, Farel, Viret, Peter Martyr, heart, servent love for the breand Beza were of the same mind; thren, zeal for the glory of God, nor does it appear that one dis- and anxiety to improve every mosentient voice was raised against ment of existing life, to the welthe proceeding by any except one fare of survivors. We know of no personal and avowed foe of our case on record of a more distinReformer. No apology was ever guished person conducting himself deemed necessary; and his bitter- in a more dignified, consistent, est enemies, Bolsec and Maim- and wise manner. It will be more bourg, bring no charge against satisfactory to quote rather than him on that head.
abridge: and if our extracts are We cannot then but consider long, our readers will require no the case as settled for ever; and apology at our hands. we rank Mr. Scott's impartial examination of it, as one of the most
“Amid all the sufferings under which
he languished for three months, we are important services which he has
told not an impatient word escaped him. rendered to the Christian world. Sometimes he would direct his eyes upThe age of Calvin, and the preva
wards, and simply say, How long, O lent state of the laws in that age,
Lord ?' a phrase which during his health
he had often had on his lips when he reas it respects toleration, we again ceived tidings of the calamities of his brecondemn as loudly as any of his thren, or reflected on the oppressions of bitterest calumniators; but to judge the church: or he would repeat the words fairly of Calvin's personal conduct, didst it :"' or those of Isaiah, “I did mourn
of David, 'I held my peace because Thou we ought to place ourselves in the
as a dove.' And again he was overheard circumstances of the age in which saying, ' Thou bruisest me, O Lord, but it amply suffices me that it is Thy hand.'- waiting upon them, he proceeded to adStill he persisted in dictating and writing dress them to a purport which he had for as he was able, and, when entreated by some time wished to do, but had chosen to his friends to forbear, he replied, “Would defer till he had a sure foresight of his you have my Lord find me idle when he
approaching dissolution. He renewed cometh ?' What a triumph was here ex- his thanks for the great kindness he had hibited, not only of mind over matter, but experienced from them, the honours they still more of pious zeal over the demands had conferred on him, and the forbearance of nature for repose.
they had manifested towards his infirmi. “ On the 10th of March, his brother mi- ties, particularly "his vehemence, which nisters coming to him, as they frequently he confessed had sometimes exceeded due did, found him sitting at the table at bounds. He was bound to acknowledge, which he was accustomed to study. He he said, that God had been pleased to emsat silent for a short time, resting his head ploy him in rendering them some service, on his hand, as his manner was when and in his heart he had been ever devoted thinking; and then, with a kind and to their republic; but he was conscious cheerful countenance, he warmly thanked of his many deficiencies. Where he had them for all their attentions to him, and failed he hoped they would forgive him, told them he still hoped at a fortnight's and impute it to his want of ability rather end (when the stated time recurred,) to than his want of will to serve them: and meet them in the consistory, but for the he trusted that God had pardoned all his last time; for by that period, said he, 'I offences. With respect however to his think the Lord will manifest his pleasure doctrine, he could solemnly declare that concerning me, and will probably take he had not taught rashly and uncertainly, me to himself.' He accordingly did at- but had delivered purely and sincerely tend the consistory on the 23d of March; the word of God with which he was put in and when the business was over he ob- trust. Had he done otherwise, he must served, that some further continuance have been as much assured of God's anger seemed to be appointed for him. He then impending over him, as he now was that took up a French Testament with notes, his labours as a teacher had not been unwhich he was correcting, and asked his acceptable to the Divine Majesty. And brethren's opinion on some points. He this,' said he, 'I am the more anxious to suffered however for this exertion. On testify, because I cannot doubt that Satan, the 27th, having a new regent or tutor to as his practice is, will raise up heady, propose for the college, he caused himself light-minded, ungodly men to corrupt the to be carried to the senate-house, and be- sound doctrine which you have heard from ing supported by his friends walked into
me.'”—pp. 478—480. the hall; when uncovering his head he Again I pray you to pardon all my inreturned thanks to the senate for all the firmities, which I acknowledge and conkindness they had shown him, especially fess before God and his angels, and here during his illness.
With a faultering before you, my venerable lords.' He voice he then added: 'I think I have en- prayed Almighty God to shower down tered this house for the last time :' and upon them more abundantly the gifts of took his leave, tears being shed on both his grace and good providence, and by sides. On the 2d of April, which was his Holy Spirit to direct all their consultaEaster day, he was carried to church, and tions to the good of the whole republic. received the sacrament from the hands of He then shook hands with each of them, Beza, joining in the hymn with such an and they took their leave of him with expression of jóy in his countenance as at- tears, parting from him as from a comtracted the notice of the congregation. mon parent. On the 25th, he sent for a notary and dic- " The following day (April 28,) by his tated bis will, which he signed, and the desire all the ministers under the jurisdic. next day caused to be read over to Beza 'tion of Geneva came to him, and he adand the other ministers, and attested by dressed them to the following effect: them in his presence.”—pp. 473_475. Stand fast, my brethren, after my de.
“ After having thus despatched the bu- cease, in the work on which you have ensiness of his will, Calvin sent to inform tered, and let not your hearts fail you,
for the syndics and all the members of the the Lord will preserve this church and resenate,' that he wished once more to ad- public against all its enemies. Far from dress them in their hall, whither he hoped you be all discords among yourselves : the next day to be carried for the purpose. embrace one another in mutual charity. They begged him to have regard to what Think what you owe to this church, in his health would bear, and promised to at. which the Lord hath stationed you, and tend him at his own house. Accordingly desert it not.
When first I came to they'all' came to him the next day from this city, the Gospel indeed was preached, the senate-house,' After mutual saluta- but every thing was in disorder—as if tions, and an apology on his part for bring- Christianity had consisted in nothing else ing them to wait upon him instead of his than the overturning of images. Not a