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Jabours as displaying sufficient liberality and moderation. But it is my desire to render myself serviceable to all men, as well as to the English and the Scotch, not to those of our own times
unfolding or disclosing, or by what name soever he may choose to call • the Son's generation that cannot be declared.' (Isai. liii, 8.)
“ The books of Servelus were through the assiduity of Calvin burnt, not only at Geneva, but likewise at other places: I confess, that during the whole of my life I have never yet seen niore than one copy of his book in Latin; in wbich I certainly did not discover those allegations which were urged against bim by Calvin. Michael Servetus was, by Calvin's management, burnt alive at Geneva, in the year 1553 ; Melancthon received from Calvin whatever he afterwards wrote about Servetus. Before that period Ecolampadius seems to have been acquainted with him in Switzerland ; but he considered him a proper subject for rejection and exposure, though not to be murdered. Cal. vin, however, could declare : 'I freely confess and avow, that I provided the
accuser myself.' He adds : "The magistrates are not ouly permitted to ipflict punishment on the corrupters of the heavenly doctrine, but they have the Divine command thus to act, how unwilling soever ignorant per' sons may be to grant them such a liberty. And, in his letter to Farel, concerning the same Servetus, he says: I hope he will at least receive a capital
punishment.'—But the courteous and humane treatment which Calvin usually bestuwed on those who differed from him, is evident in his writings. He calls Castellio a inave and Satan, because he opposed that Piedestination which Calvin iuculcated; Koornhert, both a knave and a dog ; and the author of The Duty of a Pious Man in the Midst of this Religious Dissension,' (who was Cassander, but whom Calviu thought to be Baldwin,) is called a fellow of an iron front, devoid of piety, profane, impudent, an impostor, without natural affection and devoted to petulance. "When Baldwin bad written an answer to this production, Calvin called him a man of no character, an obscene dog, a disreputable falsifier, a fellow that cunningly plots wicked devices, and that enters into a conspiracy with wicked knaves, a cynic, a buffoon, a perfiduous and infatuated wretch, of beastly madness and devoted to Satan. He called Cassander self-complaisant and morose, a sorcerer, ghost, serpent, plague, and hang man! I will again declare the truth, how displeasing soever it may prove to Rivet: These circumstances so vexed Bucer as to compel that wild man to address him in the following words, which are by far too true : “ You form your judgment according to the love or the • hatred which you have conceived; but your love or hatred is formed ac*cording to the pleasure of your passions. Nay, on account of his atrocious sayings, Bucer bestowed on him the name of FRATRICIDE. ln a letter to Bucer, Calvin calls this passion for evil-speaking by the softened epithet of
impatience;' and says, that he maintained a great conflict with'it, and that he had obtained some advautages over it, but they were not such as completely to tame the monster.' 'If any one will read what Calvin wrote after that period, he will find that the advantages said to bave been obtained were all on the wrong side; so mightily was he pleased with that passage, I do that which I would not ! (Rom. vii, 16.) Thus likewise does Beza confess, that for the space of fifteen years, during which he had instructed others in the way of righteousness, he was himself neither rendered sober, liberal, por addicted to speaking the truth, and that he still remained fast in the miry clay.-1 do not adduce these things as though it were at all pleasing to me to maintain a contest with the dead ; the reason why I state them is, because I perceive it generally happens, that every one imitates the manners of him whom he chooses for his master. You may commonly see the followers of Melancthou and John Arndt, men of good and kind dispositions; and, on the contrary, the disciples of Calvin are full of asperity, and manifest such a disposition as they imagine God entertains towards the greatest portion of mankind. Of what immense consequence therefore is it to be judicious in the choice of the teacher whom you employ! I advise all those who have leisure, to read both Cassander's and Baldwin's answer to Calviu : For they are of great service in exhibiting the man's real dispositiou.”
alone, but I bestow the chief part of my attention on posterity; and if I should refuse to avail myself of those opportunities which are constantly occurring, a proper season for declaring the
Such were the expressions of Grotius in his Wishes for the Peace of the Church, from which we have already (page 208) given some interesting ex. tracts. In his Discussion of Rivet's Apology, he introduces some judicious re narks on the railiug to which the Calvinists had accustomed themselves. He adduces the instance of the COMMONITORY of Vincentius Lirivepsis, a new edition of which and of St. Augustine on the Christian Doctrine, had then been recently published in Germany by the famous Lutheran Divine, George Calixtus, for which pacific deed he obtained a plentiful share of abuse from the doctors of the Genevan School, who were always remarkable for their aversion to antiquity. Ou this subject Grotius says: “Tbose persons iu France, who were desirous of making such an assertion, have lately said, that Vincentius, the author of the Commonitory, was a Semi-Pelagian; but they have produced no proof except from theirown judgment. For they account all those who do not agree with Calvin, as Pelagians; or, when inclined to a more levient course, they call them 'Semi-Pelagians. If Rivet be not terrified with the epitbet Sesqui-Manicheism, no reason what. ever exists for real Catholics being afraid of the term Semi-Pelagianism. The Manichees declared, that evil actions proceeded from necessity. For they were deniers of the freedom of the human will, like some other persons in ibis age. But since they durst not deny that God is good, they preferred to deduce that necessity of evil actions from some other origin than fron, the Deity. Yet men have been found, who proceeded far beyond this point; and, while they agreed with the Manichees respecting that inevitable necessity, they had the audacity to ascribe the cause of it to no other source than 10 our gracious God: These are the men, wbo, for the best reasou in the world, are called Sesqui-Manichees. It would be difficult for me to say, whether or not Rivet be one of their number: For they are accustomed to varuish over their sentiments in a marvellous manner, wben they see them liable to incur odiuns from good men. And they manage all this with such consummate art, as never openly to condemn or to acknowledge the objec • tions made against them.
“ Baldwin has quoted, from Beza's answer to Castellio, the expressions which Beza uses when he says, that for the space of fifteen years he was neither rendered sober, liberal, nor addicted to speaking the truth, but that he still remained in the miry clay. Such a confession ought not to be considered disgraceful to those persons who suppose, that St. Paul, even after be had become an Apostle, was brought into captivity to the law of sin, by means of the law in his members; and that he was • carnal and sold under sin ;' (Rom. vii, 14, 23.) and who declare, that certain sins have dominion
over the regenerate, and that the most boly persons ou eartb_daily siu ' against their own consciences.' Holy men do not utter against themselves such calumnies as these phrases import: St. Paul declares himself to be • the chief of sinners ;' but this expression refers to the period before his conversion wben he was a persecutor of the Church. But, after receiving the knowledge of salvation, St. Paul and those who resemble him, do not say,
that they live without sin ;' neither do they say, that they are beld captive by their
sins,' which, as wé bave before declared, are destroyed at a single blow. St. Augustive is himself a witness that such sins as sacrilege, murder, adultery, false testimony, theft, rapine, pride, envy, avarice, and even anger, itself though long cherished, and drunkenness after frequent indulgence, are all destroyed. How many of Rivet's associates, wbo style theniselves the elect, have been detected in the commission of wicked actions and tiagitious crimes! He will say, 'These evil deeds are also found among other
denominations.' He will speak the truth : But, among those others, there are likewise causes which nourish vicious conduct. Cardinal Gropper also spoke truly, wben be said, in the Institution of Catechumens, 'It cannot be denied, for facts proclaim this truth, that by the neglect of penitence all
ecclesiastical discipline, which is the sole foundation of religion, is at ouce forgotten and grown nto disuse; and that, in its stead, the foulest and
truth would never arrive. Then, since the term of life is uncer, tain, I act in this production and in others, so as to leave nothing to the diligence of my heirs, of whose neglect I am daily a wit• most scandalous offences have in a body inundated the Church, and are • the causes of the disturbances that agitate the present times.'. But among the followers of Beza, no cause is more powerful than the opinion, that a man who is regenerate may fall into such sins and yet not fall from grace on that account, that his salvation is sure and certain, and that he ought to indulge in no doubts concerning it. Is it any thing wonderful, if these people are precipitately hurried into crimes, when the flesh allures them, and they are restrained by no fear? The man who admonishes others about these matters, does not hate men, but loves God and the salvation of mankind.
“ The Edicts which have been published in France in favour of those who call themselves the Reformed, Grotius does not wish to see either rescinded or curtailed, but to be most scrupulously observed; and of this fact he has numerous and great witnesses.
“ With regard to Servetus, those who have perused bim will not, I think, be persuaded that he agreed in sentiment with Paul Samosatenus. But it is true, as Melancthon states, that Servetus does not sufficiently explain his thoughts of those things which he discusses. He had undoubtedly become involved in error : But he did not go to Geneva for the purpose of instilling his own notions into the miuds of the people; nor did he remain in that city in order to collect together a new denomination. He had come with the express intention of consulting Calvin : But, long before his arrival, Calvin had predestinated him by a horrible deeree to a death of infamy. In proof of this may be cited Calvin's letter to Farel, in which he declares, that if his anthority possessed any validity, he would take care that he should not depart alive. It is sufficient to have stated these things: And nothing need be added, except this, that magistrates are with the greatest propriety warned by Grotius to be on their guard against the men who defend these maxims. For it is only necessary to look, and instantly to discover how they destroy christian love and gentleness, and all the bonds of human society. Privces who hold erroneous opinions, do not account themselves heretics ; neither do those subjects who differ from their rulers, number themselves among the favourers of heresy. Now if Princes should believe that they ought to kill heretics, and if subjects should foster the opinion, that they ought to resist by arms the operation of those edicts which take away the free exercise of their religion, what shall we have but civil wars in all directions, without any hope of intermission ? Because foreigners, under the influence of the same maxims, will unite themselves either to these Princes or to their subjects, as their own sentiments may accord with the one party or the other, and will thus prevent those whose cause they espouse from being subdued by their adversaries. Grotius is easily persuaded, that Rivet's associates in France do not approve of the Genevau dogma of punishing heretics with the sword.' For they know how dangerous such a proposition is to themselves; not because they account themselves to be heretics, no more thau Servetus thought himself one; but because they are conscious, that they are viewed as heretics by their sovereign, nay as blasphełners, on that point especially in which they make God to be the author of sin.
“ Grotius has no wish to exasperate kings and all orders of men against Rivet and his party; but be admonishes them to beware of dogmas that not only disturb the peace of the church, but likewise the peace of society. If they will receive this admonition and act accordingly, they will raise themselves to a greater height in the estimation of kings and men of all ranks, than that to which they have ever yet attained. This is no triling point of safety, which Grotius is desirous to procure for them. The business of peace is the conceru of Christ bimself. The light is the Holy Scriptures, understood according to their ancient meaning and interpretation : Prejudices and passions diffuse darkness over the mind. Grotius is not among the number of those who, through covetousness and with feigned words, make merchandize of the souls of men ; (2 Pet. ii, 3.) and it is not his endeavour ness." This was courageous discourse and a noble attempt for a man that had nearly attained to sixty years of age ; but he had to complain, that his endeavours to reconcile the great body of Protestants together, and then to effect a union between them and the Papists, was not supported by many of his friends, as, in his opinion, it ought to have been at that juncture. He says, “ If Erasmus and Cassander had waited until there had been no sedi. tious movements of the people, they might have imposed on theme by this labour to obtain either advantage or honour. Neither is he so imprudent as not to have foreseen the odium which would be excited by this pacific attempt. He wishes to see all dishonest gains removed from the church; and he will vever repent of having intreated God and admonished men, for the completion of this purpose. The dogs that lie in the manger, [in allusion to Æsop's fable,] are not only unwilling to enjoy peace them. selves, even that ivequitable kind of peace which was established by the decrees of the Synod of Dort, but they likewise divert from peaceful observances other people that do pot belong to their party. In the mean time, they view themselves with such complacency, as to lay claim to the pecu. liar title of the sheep and the spouse of Christ;' they place the fact beyond all controversy, that they are God's people aud beritage ; and on these fouvdatious, as though they were well laid, they erect grand superstructures, for trophies to themselves as the conquerors of all other people. Such a degree of confidence do these carnal weapons impart, with which they see then selves on every side defended! Their spirits swell, like the sails of a ship that have long been filled with prosperous breezes. When they obtain access to the ears of men in power, they close them against all men besides they are not content with having imposed silence on other people, but add reproaches and insults, while they scornfully sing, Woe betide the vanquished !. They are without a single rival, and will remain so; for their conduct is such, as to cause them to indulge in self-love unto desperation, while none, except their own dear selves, can manifest towards them any tokens of affection."
This description of the Calvinists of 1643, was drawn by the hand of one of the greatest men, and certainly the most accomplished and universal scholar, of that learned age; and the opinions avowed, in the two treaties from which it is quoted, are supported ihroughout hy stubborn facts. This description is the more interesting on account of the author's wishes, expressed fully in the text, (page 272,) to render these pamphlets, which were among the very last of his literary labours, a sedative to the turbuleut spirits of the Calvinisis in this country. He enjoyed better opportunities of knowing the concerns of every religious denomination than any other man in Europe; his information is therefore the more valuable. On every occasion he displays a strong desire to benefit Englishınen, by infusing a better disposition into the Puritans. In the last pamphlet which he wrote, he says : * Many persons both at Paris and throughout France, iu Poland and Germany, and not a few in England, who are mild men and lovers of peace, know, that the labours of Grotius for the peace of the church have pot been dipleasing to sereral equitable and compeient judges. For what man, who is not infected with the same poison, will require one to please the Brownists [Independents), who are indulging their frantic humours to the extent which we now behold, and others that resemble them, if any such there be, with wbom Rivet will enjoy more complete concord thau with the English Bishops !" This great and good man died four years prior to the beheading of King Charles the First, and was mercifully taken away from a sight of the evils which were then impending, and which would have wounded his benevolent spirit. Ouly a few months prior to his decease, be made the following remark in a letter to his brother : " The events which have transpired in England are just such as ! predicted,—the number of sects has increased to immensity: The English has always been esteemed by men of learning as THE BEST LITURGY."
selves an eternal silence. Those vipers always hiss, especially when they are invigorated by the gales which blow from the Lake of Geneva. Bearing these things with patience, I am unwilling to defer the completion of those labours which I consider it a part of my duty as a Christian to undertake. Life itself is not in our own hands : * Our toils will be profitable either to
* It must not be supposed that Grotius, at this jurcture, began to entertain, for the first time, the godlike design of uniting the different denominations of professing Christians into one hody. In the first edition of his treatise on the Truth of the Christian Religion, published several years before his pamphlet on "Antichrist, be closes the eleventh chapter of his sixth book, by an eloquent and pious exhortation to Christian unity and concord, and proves that the soldiers of Christ ought to employ arms of a different description to those of the Mahomedans. How well that evangelical counsel had beeu approved by those who were then most celebrated for their moderation, learning, and piety, may be seen in the subjoined quotation from one of his letters to his brother, 'in 1611 :
“I am much pleased that your business allows you leisure to go to Amsterdam ; for your presence will, I hope, cause those additions which must be inade to the Annotations on the Gospels, to be correctly published. If, while I live, they do not produce the effect which I desire, and to which (if I may be permitted so to express myself) I consider myself to have been destined from my mother's womb, yet it will prove of the utmost consequence to have planted trees that may be serviceable to a future generation.-A few days ago, a very learned Englishman called upou me: He has lived a long time in Turkey, and has translated my book on the Truth of the Christian Religion into Arabic; and he will endeavour, if it be possible, to have his translatiou of it printed in England. He thinks no book can be more useful, either for the instruction of the Christians in that part of the world, or for the conversion of the Turks who reside in Turkey, Persia, Tartary, Barbary, or the East Indies. This very pious man earnestly intreated me to persist in the purpose which I had expressed at the end of that treatise, and not to suffer myself to be deterred, by any factions and calumnies whatever, from offering to the acceptance of all Christiaus the cup of concord. Nothing creates a greater aversion to Christianity among those who are without, than a sight of the numerous denominations divided among themselves. I returned" such answers as the occasion suggested. Beside the Christians in Turkey, there are, iu all parts of the world, many others, I do not doubt, who are under similar oppressive influence. I have fully determined, as much as in my power, to'shew both the causes of these divisions and the remedies. But I beseech you not to imagine, that it concerns my reputation to render satisfaction to the Calviuists, (nearly all of whom are seditious persons,) in preference to other denominations that are not less, but perhaps are much more, Christian. God has bestowed on me this (Swedish) embassy, that I may be able to speak freely; and should I even resign this office, I would use the same freedom of speech in some other situation. I entreat you therefore, my dear brother, neither to be yourself alarmed, nor to suppose that I shall by any means be alarmed, if my enemies call me no member of the Church, a Papist, a Socinian, or whatever name they please. The French Bishops and a majority of Divines oppose superstitions, and openly profess a desire of restoring that union of the Church which we owe to Christ. Shall I shew myself a loiterer, or inactive in such a good work as this, when God has imparted to me those gifts for which I shall never be able to render him sufficient praise and thankfulness? May I bavish from my mind all such fear and indolence !"
No one can withhold the tribute of admiration from the noble frankness displayed in this acknowledgment of the talents which God had communicated. I have always viewed such an avowal, on proper occasions, to be equally distaut from the effrontery of braggardism, and from the obtruding meekness of a specious buinility, which often seeks, by a voluntary selfdegradation, to obtain unmerited applause.