Imágenes de páginas

unction, as frivolous and unscrip- gelical churches abroad.” On the tural ceremonies; considers the subject of church government he reasons alleged by many for their says; “Let them give us such an languor and tardiness; advises, hierarchy, in which bishops may that political reasoning be regarded be so above the rest, as they refuse in secular concerns, but rejected not to be under Christ, and depend as soon as the salvation of souls is upon him as their only head ; that at stake; and bitterly inveighs they maintain a brotherly society, against the impiety, swearing, &c. If there be any that do not drunkenness, and uncleanness, behave themselves with all revewhich had grown to such a height rence and obedience towards in England, beseeching him to them, there is no anathema but I use the power with which he was confess them worthy of it.” invested for the restraining such Our Reformer was cheered by great evils, and praying the Al- visits from Farel and Viret, who mighty to qualify him for the dis- assisted him in his endeavours to charge of his high office by the gift stem the insurrectionary torrent of the Holy Spirit *. So far from which again threatened the city, endeavouring to excite division warning the Senate of its danger. among the English Reformers, ac- Calvin declared his willingness to cording to the representation of cer- release Perrin, if he and his party tain writers, Calvin discovered his would engage to conduct themdesire of peace in the whole of his selves as peaceable citizens. On epistolary intercourse with the these conditions he was restored Protector and the Primate. He to the magistracy; but the more professed, in a letter to the latter, prudent apprehended evil consethat he would cross ten seas with quences. Viret's servant, receiving

cheerfulness for the good of Chris- a letter from Calvin for his master, · tendom, or of the Church of Eng- carried it to the Syndics, who

land alone, but laments his inabi- opened it, and found some paslity, commending the cause to sages written in the confidence of God: and Strype assures us, that friendship, which those who were in consequence of the satisfaction already inimical easily converted experienced on the Continent, on to his prejudice, especially where account of the Reformation in Eng- he tells his correspondent, that land under Edward VI., Calvin, “ the Genevese would govern withBullinger, and others, “ in a let- out God, and that he had to deal ter to the King, offered to make with hypocrites.” They sent for him their defender, and to have him to explain these expressions ; bishops in their churches, as there when he justified his language by were in England; with a tender of mentioning instances of persons their service to assist and unite to- who were suffered to scoff at the gether.” Some time after, in the word of God, and to slight the inreign of Elizabeth, he wrote to structions of the pastors. Calvin Archbishop Parker, desiring him accompanied Farel to Zurich, “ to prevail with her Majesty to where they attended a Synod of summon a general assembly of all the Swiss and Grison churches, to the Protestant clergy, wheresoever compose some differences on the dispersed ; and that a set form and subject of the Lord's Supper; and method might be established, not the effect of this conference was only in her dominions, but also increased harmony among the Helamong all the reformed and evan- vetic Protestants.

In 1550, the Consistory of Ge* Calvini Epp. fol. 39.-Strype's Crán- neya resolved that the ministers mer, p. 413.

should not confine their instructions to public preaching; but at from missing Calvin in his accusstated seasons should visit families tomed seat in the church; but how from house to house, attended by was he chagrined at beholding the an elder, requiring from indivi. Reformer (who had mixed with the duals an account of their faith; crowd, having arrived after the which was followed by a decree commencement of the discourse,) for the abolition of holidays. These rise up, and with calm dignity adregulations enraged the Perrinites, dress the assembly for an hour, who treated the pastors with fresh replying to every argument in sucindignities. They jostled Calvin on cession! He assumed, however, his return from worship, and gave an appearance of great effrontery, his name to their dogs to show their while Calvin cited so many pascontempt of his person. One even- sages from Scripture, and quoted ing, they were scarcely restrained so many sentiments from Augusfrom throwing an excellent minister, tine's writings in favour of the imnamed Raymond, into the river. pugned doctrine, as to excite the Jerome Bolsec, a designing cha- admiration of all who heard him, racter, took advantage of these concluding with this keen ejaculasymptoms of unpopularity, to tion, “ Would to God that he who preach against the doctrines inain hath so much cited St. Augustine, tained by the ministers. This man had seen more of him than his cohad been a Parisian Carmelite, vering !” The ex-Carmelite, proved who had laid aside the habit, and thus a tyro in divinity as an empycame to Geneva to practise as a ric in physic, was seized by an inphysician; but not succeeding in dignant magistrate, and committed his new profession, he aimed to to prison as a seditious offender. establish his credit as a divine, by He was afterwards brought to haranguing against predestination. trial; when the Senate, having reCalvin mildly remonstrated with quested the judgment of the Helhim, but without effect; for on the vetic churches, condemned him 16th of October, he took occasion, for sedition and Pelagianison, and in preaching from John, viii. 47, ordered him to be banished from “ He that is of God, heareth God's the city and its jurisdiction. words; ye therefore hear them not, Bolsec retired to a neighbouring because ye are not of God," so town, where he caused great discompletely to pervert the sense of turbances; and having been twice the text, as to declaim on the ab- driven from the canton of Berne, he surdity of believing that man was went to Paris and Orleans, seekdestitute of free-will, and that ing the charge of the ministry predestination was irrespective of among the reformed, affecting reworks foreseen; “ charging Calvin pentance for his conduct at Genewith making God the author of sin, va, and expressing a desire of reand by that means contributing to conciliation. But, fearing the perthe condemnation of the wicked; secution raised against Protestanas if God had been a Jupiter or a tism, he returned to the Popish

tyant; alleging farther, that St. profession, resumed the study of Augustine was forcibly drawn in medicine, became a gross railer to be a patron of this doctrine, against the reformed doctrines, and though he was not of that opinion, abandoned the wife whom he had of which he warned them to take married as a Protestant, to the heed, as it was a new and dan- Canons of Autun. The Consistory gerous tenet, introduced by Lau- of Geneva, in a public meeting, rentius Valla.”

asserted the doctrine of predestinaThe preacher had proceeded in tion, and bore their testimony to a his discourse the more boldly, treatise composed by Calvin on

the mysterious questions connected nance, Calvin, at the head of the with that article of Christian faith. Consistory, desired leave of the

Philibert Berthelier, registrar of Senate and Council to address the the lower court of justice, having people on the late proceeding, as been forbidden the sacrament for it concerned the abrogation of a law viciousness of life, applied for re- made by the people; which led the lief to the Senate; but Calvin put govern:went to refer the matter to in a caveat against the appeal, on an assembly of the Swiss Cantons. the ground, that the civil magis- Calvin wrote to the principal trate ought to defend the ecclesi- ministers of Helvetia, conjuring astical constitution, and not oppose them to use their influence in obthe measures of the Presbytery. A taining from this assembly an abparty in the Council of Two Hun- solute approbation of the discipline dred, jealous of the authority of of Geneva, as consonant to the the pastors, induced that body to word of God, and a protest against vote, that the final judgment of any innovation. Three questions causes of excommunication should were proposed by the Senate of belong to the Senate, which ac- Geneva: 1. After what manner, cordingly granted letters of abso- by God's commandment, accordlution to Berthelier, empowering ing to the Scripture, and true relihim to receive the sacrament, gion, excommunication ought to be which was to be administered with- exercised ? 2. Whether it might in two days. The Reformer im- not be exercised some other way, mediately preached a powerful dis- than by the consistory? 3. What course on the subject, and de- was the custom of their churches clared in a loud tone, and with in like cases !—The Swiss pastors uplifted hands, that he would imi- answered, that they had heard of tate the firmness of Chrysostom in those consistorial laws, and acthis particular, and rather submit knowledged them to be godly orto be slain at the table than give dinances, drawing towards the the elements to an unworthy com- prescript of the word of God; for municant; when the faction of Ber- which cause, they did not think it thelier, confounded at such energy. good for the church of Geneva by advised him not to present himself innovation to change the same, but for participation. The day follow- rather to keep them as they were, ing the celebration of the ordi

[To be continued.]


When in anger the thunder is hurl’d,

The child to its parent will flee;
Thus, amidst the rebukes of the world,

I turn, O my Father, to thee.
Do they scornfully bid me “ begone,"

And from “ troubling the Master" to cease?
I cannot abandon the Throne,

”Till I win some sweet answer of peace.
In this valley of sorrow and strife,
· I cannot but pray while I breathe ;
Prayer must mix in the business of life,

And soften the struggles of death.
Lord Jesus, thy servant is weak;

I dwell in a land of alarms;
In love from the Mercy-seat speak,

And lay me to rest in thine arms.

THE COTTAGE VISITOR.–No. III. « My father and mother were my poor family to starve. Oh, both honest, God-fearing folks; Sir, “ the heart is deceitful above they knew what religion was, and all things, and desperately wicked.” tried to bring up their children in One day that I had been drinking the fear of the Lord; but, ah! sir, a long time, and was almost tipsy, I did not mind their instructions; two jockeys entered the publicI was “ hardened by the deceit- house where I was; the converfulness of sin," and my young sation turning upon horses, I beheart, foolish and wicked as it gan, in a swaggering manner, te was, early led me into ways of sin talk of my own horsemanship; I and folly. I never went to church went on undisturbed for some time,

-never read my Bible -never till at last one who sat by me of. knelt upon my knees to pray. The fered to ride with me for two pots ale-house was my only resort, and of beer. I accepted the chalgambling and drankenness my only lenge, the jockeys lent us their delight. O it goes to my heart to horses for the purpose, and we acthink how I grieved my poor fa- cordingly started; but I had not ther and mother; in spite of all gone far from the door when I lost they told me I got worse and my seat in the saddle, and fell with worse, and cared for neither God great violence on the ground. I nor man. One day with some was taken up and carried into the more wicked companions, bent house to all appearance dead; only on mischief, we robbed a my skull was laid open, my arm poor woman of her fowls; we broken in two places, the whole were caught in the fact, dragged side very much bruised, and a before a magistrate, and sent to severe cut on my face. Oh, Sir, prison for a month. While I was low awful for me to have been here, I began to think of my killed in such a state. “ Bless wicked ways, and I made a re- the Lord, O my soul!" I think I solution, that when I got out I was nearly six months before I rewould lead a better life. I was as covered from this fall; but it good as my word; I left off going pleased the Lord in my illness to to the ale-house, forsook my wick- show me the depravity of my ed companions, went regularly to heart, and what an awful state I church, and began to think my was in. My sins rose in my view, self very good : but oh, Sir, I and I appeared the vilest sinner did not know the wickedness of that ever breathed; but the Lord my heart; I did not know what was very merciful to me. I was the blessed Saviour meant when led, after much prayer for mercy, he said, “ ye must be born again.” to give up my soul io Jesus; and, Soon after this I got married, and blessed be his holy name, he did by hard labour I contrived to ma- not cast me out. O what shall I nage; things went on pretty well render unto the Lord for all his for about four years; I had then benefits to so unworthy a sinner. two children, and my wife was By labour and perseverance I was again near ber confinement; but able, when I got about again, to at the end of that time I began to get a living for myself and family, take to my former wicked ways, and was as happy as I could wish; to go to the ale-house, to get but you know, Sir, “ man is born drunk, and to neglect my work. unto trouble.” One night I woke All that my poor wife could say and found the room full of smoke, did me no good: I spent all the I jumped out of bed, roused my little wages I could get, and left wife, and as I burst open the door

MAR. 1825.

the flames came right in my face; my dear wife ; she died about two I rushed through them into the hours after the babe was born, next room, where my children which almost directly followed were sleeping in the middle of the her. Thus did I lose all that I fire, and in spite of every danger thought valuable upon earth.” I succeeded, as I thought, in sav- Here the big tear started into ing all my family from death. my eye, as I recollected how siWith great thankfulness I looked milarly I had once been situated. upon the almost naked and ter- I hastily dashed it away, and the rified little creatures; but who can old man continued his narrative. tell what I felt when I found that " She was as good a creature as one of them was not there? I im- ever breathed, and it grieves my mediately jumped into the fire, and very heart to think that I should with a great deal of difficulty, ever have used her so bad; but, while the thatched roof was all in dear soul, she is happy now, a light blaze, and the timber crack- and will never sorrow more. That ed in a frightful manner, I at child," pointing to his daughter, length brought him into the open " is all that is left me of six air; but oh, Sir, think what I en- children, and my faithless heart dured, when I found that he was often makes me murmur when I dead!-yes, he was quite dead; think of those that are gone. But he was not burnt, but suffocated blessed be God, I can yet praise with smoke. This was too much him; he has brought me hitherto in for us all ; our spirits were now all my trials, and I know that the gone, and we sat down together blessed Jesus will not now forsake to watch the fire burning all the me; little property we had in the world. « Though tempest-toss'd and half a wreck, To this day I know no more than My Saviour in the floods I seek; you how the fire begun. Oh this Let neither winds nor stormy rain was a great trial; but, blessed be Drive back my shatter'd bark again.” God, he did not leave me and my The good old man's countenance dear wife in our distress; then it brightened, as he repeated this was we found the value of religion, appropriate stanza. A short pause it was our only support, and we ensued. did not need any other. By the . “ Your trials have been great,” goodness of God, and the charity said I, “but the good hand of of my friends, I was soon after God has wonderfully supported placed in this cottage, and for you. The Psalmist may well say, some time enjoyed more happiness - Blessed is the man that trusteih than I deserved; but it was not in thee.'” for me to be happy long. A fever “ ( yes, Sir,” he replied, “ I was about in the country,one of have ever found it so. "Had not my little boys caught it, brought God supported me, I never could it home, and in one week I fol- have stood at all. O that I could lowed three of my children to the praise him as I wish !” grave. O this was cutting to our “Well, my aged friend,” said I, very hearts; but still we found “ the time is not far distant, when that precious promise, “I will you will see him as he is,' and never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” “praise him as you ought.”

“ But my greatest trial was yet 0, Sir, it is that which makes to come; for the flowers had hardly me rejoice! Welcome, welcome withered on their little graves, hours! I long to fly away. It when my wife was confined with will not be long I feel that 'tis her sixth child; but oh, Sir! the near at hand; and then I shall rise day I received another son, I lost and praise my Saviour for ever.”

« AnteriorContinuar »