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this request, that he restore it to his children at his death. I bequeath also to the school for boys, ten golden crowns, to be given by my brother and legal heir, and to poor strangers the same sum. Also to Jane, daughter of Charles Cos. tans, and of my half-sister by the paternal side, the sum of ten crowns. Furthermore, I wish my heir to give, on his death, to Samuel and John, sons of my said brother, my nephews, out of my estate, each forty crowns, after his death; and to my nieces Ann, Susan, and Dorothy, each thirty golden crowns. To my nephew David, as a proof of his light and trifling conduct, I bequeath only twenty-five golden
This is the sum of all the patrimony and property which God hath given me, as far as I am able to ascertain, in books, moveables, my whole household furniture, and all other goods and chattels. Should it however prove more, I desire it may be equally distributed between my nephews and nieces aforesaid, not excluding my nephew David, should he, by the favour of God, return to a useful manner of life.
Should it however exceed the sum already written, I do not think it will be attended with much difficulty, especially after paying my just debts, which I have given in charge to my said brother, on whose fidelity and kindness I confide. On this account I appoint him executor of this my last testament with Laurence de Normandie, a character of tried worth, giving them full power and authority, without a more exact command and order of court, to make an inventory of my goods. I give them also power to sell my moveables, that from the money thus procured they may fulfil the conditions of my above-written will, which I have set forth and declared this 25th of April, in the year of our Lord 1564.
When I, Peter Chenalat, the above-mentioned notary, had written this last will, the same John Calvin immediately con. firmed it by his usual subscription and hand-writing. On
the following day, April 26th, 1564, the same tried character, John Calvin, commanded me to be called, together with Theodore Beza, Raymond Chauvet, Michael Cops, Louis Enoch, Nicholas Colladon, James de Bordes, ministers and preachers of the word of God in this church of Geneva, and also the excellent Henry Scringer, professor of arts, all citizens of Geneva, and in their presence he hath declared and testified that he dictated to me this his will in the words and form above written. He ordered me also to recite it in their bearing, who had been called for that purpose, which I profess to have done, with a loud voice, and in an articulate
After thus reading it aloud, he testified and deE clared it to be his last will and testament, and desired it to be
ratified and confirmed. As a testimony and corroboration of this, he requested them all to witness the same will with their hands. This was immediately done by them on the day and year above written, at Geneva, in the street called the Canons, in the house of the said testator. In proof and witness of this I have written and subscribed with my own hand, and sealed with the common seal of our supreme magistrate, the will above mentioned.
Having made this will, Calvin sent to inform the four syndics, and all the senators, that he wished once more, before he departed this life, to address them in the senate-room, whither he hoped to be carried the following day. The senators answered, they would rather come to him, and requested him to have a regard to his health. The next day they all rem paired from the senate-room to the house of Calvin. After mutual salutations, and an apology on his part, because they had waited on him, when it was his duty to have visited them,
he commenced by stating "that he had for some time desired E to have this interview, but deferred it until he felt more
certainly assured of his dissolution.” He then said, “ I return you my warmest thanks, honoured Lords, for conferring
such great honours on me, who had done nothing to merit them, and for manifesting such forbearance towards my numerous infirmities, which I always considered the strongest proof of your uncommon kindness. Though in the discharge of my ministerial duty I have been engaged in va. rious disputes, and have endured numerous insults, a necessary part of the trials even of the best characters, yet I know and acknowledge that none of these have befallen me from any fault of yours. I earnestly entreat you also, if I have not performed my duty in any instance as I ought, to ascribe it rather to want of ability, than to want of will to serve you. For I can testify with sincerity, that I have felt.a deep and lively interest in the welfare of your republic; and, if I have not fully discharged all the duties of my station, I have certainly exerted myself to the utmost in promoting the public welfare.
“Were I not to acknowledge that the Lord has sometimes on his part condescended to grant that my services have not been altogether without advantage to you, I should justly deserve to be charged with dissimulation. But I again earnestly entreat your pardon for having performed so little either in my private or public capacity, in comparison with what I ought to have done. I certainly grant, with the greatest readiness, that I am very much indebted to you on account of your patience in enduring that vehemence of mine, which has sometimes been immoderate. I trust God himself has pardoned all these my sins.
Touching the doctrine you have heard from me, I testify that I have not taught the word of God intrusted to me in a rash and uncertain manner, but with purity and sincerity. Had I acted otherwise, I should have been as fully assured of God's anger, already impending over my head, as I now feel confident that my labours in teaching have not been displeasing to him. And I testify this before God, and in your presence, so much the more willingly, because I cannot doubt that Satan, after his usual manner, will raise up wicked,
vain, light-minded, ambitious men, to corrupt the sound doctrine which you have heard from me as the servant of God."
Then, passing to those immense benefits which they had received from the Lord, he said, “I am the person who can best testify from how many and great dangers the hand of the Lord hath delivered you. You see, moreover, in what circumstances you are placed. Whether in prosperity or adversity, keep this truth, I beseech you, constantly before your eyes,—that it is God alone who can give stability to kingdoms and states, and on this account it is his pleasure to be worshipped by mortal men. Remember it was the tes. timony of the illustrious David, that he fell when he enjoyed profound peace; from which he never would have arisen, had not the Lord, with singular favour, stretched out his own hand to his relief. What then may the lot be of such little weak mortals, when this prince, distinguished for power and fortitude, experienced such a fall! It requires, therefore, great humility of mind, that you may walk wi care and great fear of God, relying on his defence alone. You will thus be assured of the continuance of the same protection which you have hitherto so often in reality experienced, and may proceed with stability under his aid, even when your safety and security may, as it were, hang suspended from a slender thread. If your affairs are prosperous, be careful, I request you, not to exalt yourself, like the profane, but rather, with deep submission of mind, return thanks to God for all your blessings. If your affairs are adverse, and death, therefore, surrounds you on all sides, still trust in him who raises up even the dead. Nay, consider on such an occasion with
the greatest earnestness, that God is in this manner awakenming you from sloth, that you may learn more fully to look to * him alone with entire confidence.
would preserve this republic in security, see to it with unremitting care, that the sacred seat of authority, in which God hath placed you, be not defiled with the pollution
of sin ; for he is the only sovereign God, King of kings, and Lord of all lords, who will honour those that honour him ; but, on the other hand, will cast down, and cover with disgrace, those by whom he is despised. Worship him, there. fore, according to his precepts, and let your minds be more and more intensely directed to the obeying of his will, for we are always at a very great distance from the performance of our duty. I know the temper and manner of you all, and am aware of your needing exhortation. There is none, even of those who excel, without many imperfections; and let each in this case examine himself with care, and ask of the Lord the supply of his known deficiencies.
“ We see what vices reign in the greatest number of the assemblies convened in the world. Some, cold and indifferent to the public interest, pursue with eagerness their own private emoluments ; others, are only intent upon the gratification of their own passions ; some make a bad use of the distinguished talents bestowed upon them by God; while others are vain-glorious, and confidently demand that the rest of their fellow-counsellors should sanction their opinions.
“ I admonish the aged not to envy such young persons as they find to be endowed by God with particular gifts ; and I warn younger persons to conduct themselves with modesty, and to avoid all presumption. Let there be no interruption of one another in the performance of your duties. Shun animosities, and all that acrimony which has diverted so many from a proper line of conduct in the discharge of their office. You will avoid these evils, if each of you confines himself within his proper sphere, and all perform with fidelity the part intrusted to them by the state. In civil trials I beseech you to avoid all favour, or enmity ; use no crooked arts to pervert justice ; let none, by any plausible address of his own, prevent the laws from having their due effect; nor depart from equity and goodness. If the evil passions excite temptation in any one, let him resist them with firmness, and look to Him by whom he has been placed