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THE

MONTHLY REPOSITORY

32-4

THEOLOGY

VOCIBUS.

OF

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AND

GENERAL LITERATURE.

1240

V.19

POPULUMQUE FALSIS
DEDOCET UTI

Hor.

"To do something to Instruct, but more to undecelve, the timid and admiring student ;to excite him to place more confidence in his own strength, and less in the infallibility of great names;-to help him to emancipate his judgment from the shackles of authority;-to teach him to distinguish between showy language and sound sense ;-to warn him not to pay himself with words;-to shew him that what may tickle the ear or dazzle the imagination, will not always inform the judgment; -to dispose him rather to fast on ignorance than to feed himself with error."

Fragment on Government.

1824

JANUARY TO DECEMBER, INCLUSIVE,

1824.

VOLUME XIX.

4182

1824.

HACKNEY:

Printed for the Editor, by George Smallfield;

PUBLISHED BY SHERWOOD, JONES, AND CO.

PATERNOSTER-ROW.

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Monthly Repository.

No. CCXVII.]

[Vol. XIX.

A Summary of the Theological Controversies which of late Years have agitated the City of Geneva. By M. J. J. CHENEVIÈRE, Pastor and Professor of Divinity.

JANUARY, 1824.

(Drawn up by the Professor for the Monthly Repository, and translated from the original French by a Friend of the Editor's.)

Geneva, October 1823.

Introduction.

GENEVA had been elevated by leagues, their fellow-citizens, their

instructors.

the Reformation to a height of prosperity and glory which might have been thought unattainable by so small a state. Surrounded by powerful nations that were under the dominion of Rome, Geneva had preserved the light of revelation in all its purity; she had stretched out her arms to receive and to shelter the friends of truth whom superstition had driven from country to country; her clergy enjoyed a reputation firmly established on the bases of knowledge and virtue, The pages of the traveller and the historian had been employed in details and commendations of this favoured city, in a measure utterly disproportioned to her limited extent and political insignificancy.

Suddenly all is changed: at the beginning of the nineteenth century, an offensive league is formed against Geneva; as if the language of commendation were exhausted, she now hears only the voice of reproach and outrage. Nothing good is now to be found either in her creed or her religious instructions; her ministers are attacked, insulted, calumniated; the press becomes a weapon of offence, the wide circulation of journals and the unfriendly speed of travellers are employed to scatter the venom of injurious reports. We observe with astonishment that they are not Jews or Pagans whose wrath is thus excited; that this attack is not made, in the first instance, by the members of a different communion, attempting to injure the Reformation by beating down one of its fortresses; no, it is a sect amongst the Reformed, whose zeal is kindled against Geneva; it is from the lips of clergymen, of citizens, of pupils, that evil surmises and calumnies have proceeded, against their col

When the restoration of peace admitted strangers to the continent of Europe, Geneva, on account of its geographical situation, and its profession of the reformed religion, was fixed on by a zealous sect for the scene of its labours, the central point whence its missionaries should go forth to propagate Methodism on the Continent. No means were neglected which could contribute to the accomplishment of this undertaking, and it was expected that auxiliaries would be found in the clergy, who were the successors of Calvin; the pastors of Geneva, however, would not consent to retrograde by treading in the steps of the Methodists; resistance, therefore, was opposed where numerous and intelligent helpers were hoped for: Inde ira, hence dissatisfaction and anger; hence that accumulation of wrathful and defamatory pamphlets issued against a city hitherto so much esteemed, and against the clergy of that city. Experienced men, with two or three exceptions, saw the danger, and remained firm and on their guard. Unthinking and ardent young men were then applied to, and they easily fell into the snare. A number of women, men who had fallen under evil tongues, and various honest but mistaken persons, joined themselves to the party. Money, promises, extravagant praises of the converts, violent abuse of the pastors of Geneva and their friends, such are the elements the combination of which has produced theological controversies, puerile in theinselves, but afflicting in their consequences.

Geneva is no longer Christian! is the cry which resounds in the city itself, and, reiterated by malevolence,

VOL. XIX.

B

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