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He affirmed that the Scriptures were corrupted, espee cially the beginning of John's gospel, which, he contended, ought to be read In principio erat verbum, et verbum illud erat Der*.

The names of several other persons occur about this time, who are reputed to have held antitrinitarian sentiments ; but the limits prescribed to this sketch forbid the enumeration of them here, with the exception of Michael Servetust, a man who holds & pre-eminent rank in this class, and whose celebrity, arising both from his splendid talents and his tragicał fate, entitles him to particular notice. This distinguished person was born in 1509, at Villanueva in Arragon, where his father exercised the profession of public notary. After having passed with extraordinary success through the eustomary routine of juvenile instruction, he was sent to the university of Thoulouse to study the canon law. During the three years he passed in this celebrated seat of learning, he devoted a large portion of his time to the eritical perusal of the Scriptures,-an employment to which he was probably excited by the spread of the Refore mation, and which eventually led to his renunciation of the prevailing opinion concerning the Trinity. Ap

* Bock, ubi supra, tom. i. p. 103, tom. ii. p. 298.

† His Spanish name was SERVEDO : sometimes he called himself Reves, a word formed by the transposition of some of the letters of his original surname. Oceasionally it is found written RENES; but this is an evident error of the press, the letter u being mistaken for n. At the latter part of his life he ealled himself MICHAEL VILLANOVANUS, or simply VILLANQVANUS, from the place of his birth.


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prehending that in France he could not with safety pursue his theological inquiries, or give publicity to his own convictions, he removed, in 1530, to Basil in Switzerland, where he obtained the esteem and friendship of the most eminent of the reformed clergy in that city. Having given these divines credit for more enlarged views and a more liberal spirit than they had imbibed, he made no scruple of avowing to them the opinions he had been led to embrace. But he soon discovered that they were as little disposed as the Catholics to extend toleration to any who pursued their speculations further than themselves; his friend @colampadius having taken occasion in some letters which he addressed to him, to upbraid him in no very gentle terms with the heresy of his sentiments *. Finding himself thus under unpleasant restraint, where he had looked for freedom, he quitted Basil in 1530 or 1531, and went to Strasburg. In the latter year, and shortly after his arrival in this city, he published his first work on the Trinity under the following title-De Trinitatis Erroribus, Libri septem, per Michaelem Serueto, alias Reues, ab Aragonia Hispanum. It was printed at Haguenau in Alsace, by John Seccer for Conrad Rouse, a book

* Fingis, quasi nos humano more de filiatione Dei loquumur, et crude faciamus filium Dei, aboleamusque honorem filii Dei : id quod tum cum sumMA BLASPHEMIA facis, deprehendo enim

Interim dum non summam patientiam præ me fero, dolens Jesum Christum filium Dei sic dehonestari, parum Christiane tibi agere videor. In ALIIS MANSUETUS ERO: IN BLASPHEMUS QUÆ IN CHRISTUM, NON ITEM. Allwoerden, Hist. Michael. Serveti, p. 13. Bock, Hist. Antitrin. tom. ü. p. 331.



seller of Strasburg, to whom Servetus had given his manuscript at Basil. The appearance of this book produced a very powerful sensation among the leaders of the Reformation, who embraced every opportunity to hold it up to public execration, as much, apparently, from the dread of being charged by their Catholic adversaries with holding the opinions of the author, as from their real abhorrence of the tenets it advocated *. Bucer, who resided at Strasburg, is stated to have declared publicly to his congregation, that the writer deserved to have his intestines torn from his body.

Servetus, not deeming himself secure at Strasburg while this storm raged, returned in the same year to Basil; but finding Ecolampadius most highly incensed against him for his recent publication, he took his departure for Lyons. On his way he passed through Haguenau, where, in 1532, he published, with his name as before, his second work, intituled, Dialogorum de Trinitate, Libri duo'; De Justicia Regni Christi, Capitula quatuor. It is affirmed that, in order to obtain permission to quit Basil unmolested, he had promised to publish his recantation. This promise he artfully contrived to fulfil in words, in the preface to the latter work, in the first sentence of which he states that he retracted all that he had written in his seven books against the received doctrine of the Trinity,—not, however, he proceeds to intimate, because what he had written was false, but because it was imperfect *.

* The following may be taken as a sample of their language on this occasion. It is an extract from a letter addressed by Ecolampadius to Bucer, and dated August 5, 1531 :Invisi hac hebdomada Bernates, qui te et Capitonem salutant plus rimum. Libellus DE TRINITATIS ERRORIBUSa quibusdam ex illis visus duntaxat, supra modum offendit. Vellem te scribere Luthero, quod nobis insciis liber alibi excusus sit. Impudentia etiam erat adscribere Lutheranis, justificationis rationem eos iga norare : ut de reliquis taceam. Sed PHOTINIANus ille, vel nescio cujus sectæ homo, solus sapere sibi videtur. Nisi ab ecclesice nostræ doctoribus explodetur, pessimé auditura est. aliis, oro vigiles : et si non alibi, certe in confutatione tua ad in peratorem ecclesias nostras excusa, utcunque BESTIA irrepserit. Abutitur omnibus in suum sensum, tantum ne confiteatur Filium coæternum Patri et consubstantialem. Atque hic est qui suscipit probandum, hominem Christum esse Filium Dei. Allwoerden, ubi supra, p. 29. Bock, tom, ii. p. 335.

Tu, pre * Quæ nuper, contra receptam de Trinitate sententiam, septem libris scripsi, omnia nunc, candide lector, retracto. Non QUIA FALSA SINT, SED QUIA IMPERFECTA, ET TANQUAM A PARVULO PARVULIS SCRIPTA.

On his settlement at Lyons, Servetus, in order to escape persecution, took the name of Villanovanus, froin his birth-place. After a residence of three years in this city he went to Paris, where he applied himself to the study of medicine with so much success that he soon obtained his degree of doctor, and was admitted one of the public lecturers at the university. From Paris he returned to Lyons. Here he was occupied in superintending the press of the Trechselii, celebrated printers of that place, for whom he edited an edition of Ptolemy's Geography, which was published in 1535, and again in 1542;—and also an edition of Pagninus's Bible in Hebrew, with an interlined Latin translation, which appeared in 1542. In 1541 he removed his residence to Vienne in Dauphiny,


where he practised as a physician, and enjoyed the friendship and patronage of the archbishop of the province, to whom he dedicated the second edition of Ptolemy's Geography.

After his settlement at Vienne, Servetus entered into a correspondence with Calvin, then residing at Geneva. In the letters * which passed on this occasion, both the learned combatants displayed considerable warmth and acrimony of spirit in the defence of their respective theological systems; and the freedom with which Servetus arraigned the tenets of the Reformer laid the foundation of that implacable resentment to which he ultimately owed his ruin ; for Calvin scrupled not to avow that he would be satisfied with no atonement for this attack upon his creed short of the death of his adversary, should the disposal of his life be ever in his powert. While things were in this state, Servetus committed to the press his last and most celebrated work, intituled Christianismi Restitutio, or “Christianity Restored.” It was printed in 1553 at Vienne, by Balthazar Arnollet, but neither the place nor the printer's name appears in the title page : nor was the author's name attached to this publication ;-the letters M. S. V., standing for Michael Servetus Villanovanus, are how

* Thirty of the letters which Servetus addressed to Calvin are inserted at the end of his last work, Christianismi Restitutio, pp. 557 et seqq.

+ Calvin, writing in 1546 to Viret, minister of Lausanne, uses these words : Servetus cupit huc venire: si venerit, NUNQUAM PATIAR UT SALVUS EXEAT. Bock, ubi supra, tom. ii.

P. 360.

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