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crimes as his master, he the Gallican prelate rest upon a is not worthy of any one's regard. foundation so unstable, that, had he All this may be dissembled, as it has been aware of it, it is to be hoped been by himself and others; but that he would have been ashamed it is no invention resting on indi- of propagating such defamation. vidual hear-say, but founded on the Berthelier, the original inventor of ocular testimony of contemporaries, this ill-constructed fiction, bad the which no one can hear without minor station of registrar in one of pity and horror. Truth however the inferior courts at Geneva. His requires that I should inform the profligate course of life had frereader, that I find no trace of the quently drawn on him, first the famous branding in the writings friendlyadmonitions, and, these provof Monsieur Desmay, although being ineffectual, eventually the pubmade diligent search for it on the lic animadversions, of Calvin ; who, spot. I wish his silence may be in concurrence with the other minisdeemed sufficient to subvert the ters, excluded him from participataffirmations, so opposite and so pub- ing in the Lord's supper, as unworlic, of others, who wrote more than thy to appear in the congregation forty and fifty years before him. of the faithful. Mortified, but not Perhaps M. Desmay might have huinbled by this disgrace, he cabalexamined the registers of the chap- led with others of a similar character, and not of the city. Besides, ter, who had equal reasons to dislike eighty years had elapsed since the the strict discipline of the Reformed judgment given against Calvin; and Church. These men, however, proit is generally asserted, that his ceeded farther than perhaps they friends had taken good care to at first intended; and, eventually erase the proceedings from the re- forming a treasonable conspiracy cords of the city *."
against the state, they were obliged This is indeed a serious and heavy to flee their country. Berthelier, charge; and, although we do not although he had escaped beyond the derive those tenets which as Pro reach of justice, was tried and contestants we hold, in opposition to demned to decapitation, should he the errors of Popery, from human ever be found in the Genevese terauthority, nor in that point of view ritories*.. conceive it of vital importance, This then is the man whom the whether the imputations cast on Senate of an independent and proud the early Reformers are founded in Republic employ in a public mission truth or built on error, we still deem to France-for so runs the story-in it but justice to the memory of the year 1551t, a period marked for those pious and truly eminent men, the fierceness of its persecution to rescue their names from the against the disciples, as they were stigma of reproach ; and, where the termed, of Calvin; and therefore means are within our reach, to shew chosen in their wisdom as an opporthe arts by which an antiscriptural tune time to expect, on the part of religion and an intolerant church this Catholic country, an open reare upheld amidst the increasing cognition of a Protestant embassy ! light of the nineteenth century. But this is not the only difficulty
In order to acquire a more thoto be contended with. The embasrough knowledge of the originating sage of Berthelier, must have been cause of this imputation on the cha- prior to the year 1552, as he was at racter of Calvin, it will be requisite
* Bayle, Dict. Historique et Crit. art to search a little into the history of Berthelier. the chief promoters of it, Berthelier + This was in the reign of Henry II. and Bolsec; and perhaps we shall who, two years previously, witnessed find, that the confident assertions of subjects at Paris.-L'Esprit de la Ligue,
• Discuss. Amicale, tom. i. pp. 88-92. tome i. p. 15.
that period à proscribed . fugitive, to expose to public scorn the man and not likely, it is presumed, to fill who was making such fearful inroads so important a station. He had on its sacred borders. The clergy consequently, in his possession an of France, says the learned Bayle authentic proof of Calvin's criminali- (and he says truly), would have ty, at the very time when the Refore bought such an authentic work at mer was publicly exposing his own its weight in gold: it would have vices before his fellow-citizens; and been inestimably valuable at that yet it seems he was gifted with the period of heated controversy. But uncommon forbearance of not pro. it did not make its appearance until ducing it, to the utter confusion of six years afterwards ; and was then his adversary. But is such forbear. made public, as we shall presently ance possible? Is it in human na- see, by one utterly unworthy of ture to suppose that a man of his credit. character, exposed to public shame Jerome Bolsec, a Carmelite friar and contumely, would not have turn- at Paris, became a nominal convert ed round on the person who was to the Reformed faith, on his expulthus instrumental in subjecting him sion from his conventual fraternity; to so severe a mortification : and and sought refuge in the court of divert the tide of indignation, as he the excellent and pious Renée might easily have done, from him- Duchess of Ferrara, the usual resort self, to the severe but hypocritical at that period of those whom reliMentor, as Calvin would certainly gious animosity had driven from have appeared, if there was ground France. Here however he did not for this imputation?_But if the cir- long remain ; and we may not percumstances connected with the per- haps uncharitably suppose, that sonage who extracted the records some inconsistency in his conduct from the court of justice at Noyon, deprived him of the countenance of throw so much doubt on the authen- one ever ready to succour the perseticity of the document, there are cuted people of God. From thence others connected with the city itself he proceeded to Geneva, and rewhich turn these doubts into cer- sumed his former occupation of tainty. Noyon derived a celebrity preaching. In the course of his from being the birth-place of the minsterial labours, however, he adgreatest heresiarch of his day, whose vanced opinions tending so directly very name was wormwood to all to Pelagianism, that Calvin felt called good Catholics and loyal subjects. upon to interfere ; and, finding priIt does not however appear, that his vate admonition and discussion ineferrors bad much infected his fellow- fectual, he publicly reprehended his citizens: it seems indeed that they departure from the truth. This cirwished to demonstrate the contrary, cumstance naturally excited the ire by the excessive joy they evinced of the ex-Carmelite, who connectin the year 1551, on a casual reported himself with those who for various of his death, which they considered causes were opposed to the Reforas an especial act of Divine good. mer; and, as in the case of Berness, and for which they offered up thelier, was drawn into treasonpublic thanksgiving. And yet we able practices against the state ; for are to suppose (according to the which, as well as for his heterodox bishop's account), that the devoted opinions, he was, with some of his Catholics of this good city never accomplices, sentenced to perpetual published the history of their towns- banishinent from the Genevese terman's delinquency! That no zealous ritories. On this he ventured to ecclesiastic was to be found in its France, and for a time continued in well-endowed cathedral who would the Reformed communion, but was do his church that good service, eventually expelled, as an apostate, by a general synod of minis- sembling a satire than a history* ters at Lyons".
Varillas, in his History of Heresy, Thus freed from the yoke of never once notices the worthy friar, heresy, he re-entered the fold of although he alludes to some reports the church, wherein his future life against the character of Calvin in fully justified the opinion formed of other authors t. But the most him at Geneva and Lyonst. It was hostile and determined opponent of after these events, and with a mind the Reformed faith was Florimond thus prejudiced, that Bolsec wrote de Remondt. Although educated his Life of Calvin; a work which in its truths, he afterwards abjured would have long since sunk into them; and, as is usual in such cases, deserved oblivion, but for the ca- he made every effort to throw dislumnious imputations it contains, credit and odium on the cause he and which have been brought for- deserted. What a fine field in which ward, from time to time, by little to expatiate on the evils of heresy scrupulous controversialists, as grave would this imputation on Calvin and potent charges against the me- have been; and how certainly would mory of that eminent man. It were such a man have availed himself of needless to point out the well- it, were there any shadow of evifounded reasons for regarding with dence to support it; but he declined suspicion the assertions of a man any reference to Bolsec's book, as like Bolsec. His evidence indeed unworthy of credit g. To these we may be deemed inadmissible, since may add the name of Papyre Masson, the supposed extracts from the court a contemporary biographer of Calat Noyon were never seen by any vin; who would gladly have availed one but himself; the only au- himself of so powerful a plea, to thority he adduces being that of give a keener edge to those weapons Berthelier, which is, as we have of controversy, which he wielded shewn, of an equally questionable against the Reformers and their character. But perhaps the most abettors ||. conclusive evidence against the bio- There is, however, one author graphical labours of the Carmelite, worthy of note, who has not been is the light in which his work has so scrupulous, Cardinal Richelieu. been viewed by some of the ablest While we admit this, we may reand most hostile writers of the mark, that it does not appear from Romish Church. Maimbourg, in his mode of procedure, as if his his History of Calvinism, necessa- Eminence placed much dependance rily entered largely into the merits on the verity of the imputation. and demerits of the founder of this When he composed his “ Treatise heretical defection from the truth. for the Conversion of those who had He mentions indeed his life by separated from the Church,” he posBolsec, but speaks of it as more re- sessed nearly regal power in France.
Why then did he not order (as he • Bayle, art. Bolsec; Middleton's Evang. might easily have done) the judiBiog. vol. ii. pp. 38, 39. Drelincourt, in his defence of Calvin, gives an authenticated copy of the act of his condemnation, “ Bolsec fait plût une satire et un insigned by the Syndics of Geneva. The vective continuelle qu'une histoire.”crimes alleged are, Pelagianism and sedi. Histoire de Calv. lib. iv. p. 336. Bayle. tion.-Defense de Calvin, p. 150. Bayle. + Varillas Histoire de la Naissance et
t “Ubi contra quam sperarat ecclesias Progrés de l'Heresie. aftligi animadvertit, repetita medicina ad # Vide his character in Bayle, tom. iii. hostes evangelii manifesta defectione p. 2569; and Burnet's Reply to Varillas, (uxore quoque Canonicis Augustodunen- p. 28. sibus prostituta) transivit. Unde nunc $ Florimond de Remond, Tresor Chroetiam quibus potest maledictis veritatem nologique. proscindit.”—Beza, in Vita Calvini. apud # P. Masson, Vie de Jean Calvin, A.D. Bayle, art. Bolsec.
cial records of Noyon to be sub- their characters shine, when truth mitted to his inspection, and publish unravels the intricate mazes of that in his own mighty name, and with sophistry which seeks to slander all the array of legal evidence, the and defame them. We rest not in.. shame of the Reformer? Simply, deed, as before remarked, the great. because he could not. The fact is, cause of the Reformation on india, according to Monsieur Drelincourt, vidual merit : it originates in a far that the cardinal prime minister higher and holier source, and can did exert himself on this occasion; derive no aid from unassisted man. and it was only on the total failure But we wish to mark the all-pervadof more worthy evidence, that he ing influence of that Spirit which condescended to avail himself of this prepares the heart, and opens the unfrocked and profligate friar. mind to the perception of Divine
Such then were the origin and truth, as unfolded in the volume of progress of this unfounded imputa- inspiration, to trace its gradual ention. There cannot surely remain franchisement from the chains of a doubt, on even the most preju- error, and its noble efforts to disdiced mind, as to the thorough in- seminate those truths which have sufficiency of the evidence by which spoken peace and happiness to itself it is supported; nor the least hesi- among the perishing sinners of our tation in attributing it to the vin- race. Such was Calvin. Bigotry dictive feelings of its primary in- may revile or ignorance misrepreventors. That it should have been sent him, but his name will be held advanced, and gravely too, in the in estimation by every sincere lover present day, when detection is so of pure evangelical religion; and very easy; affords indeed a remark- such will join in devout acknowable instance of the facility with ledgments to the Giver of all good, which men are inclined to take up to whom alone be the glory and the any idle tale of slander, which, in praise. their idea, may help forward a favour- Permit me, sir, in conclusion, ed cause or party; and ought to be slightly to advert to another point, a lesson to controversialists, even not irrelevant I trust to the subject for their own sake, to weigh well on which I have ventured to address the evidence on which their facts you, without presuming to more inrest, and not risk the credit of the formation than that which the daily cause they advocate by alleging in occurrence of passing events affords. its support what can only tend to its I think it will not be deemed advenrefutation.
turous to assert that the " ark of I fear, sir, I have trespassed too our covenant” is exposed to many much on your space by this detail. dangers. What then is the duty.of But I thought it necessary—if en- those who profess to venerate it as, tered on at all—to pursue this re- under God, the great bulwark of the vived slander through its devious Reformation? Is it not to “let their mazes, and shall feel truly thankful light shine before men,” to afford a if my humble labours can in any convincing evidence that their faith way tend to confute so false a stigma is not an empty name; that Proteston the memory of one of the mostantism is not the mere badge of able, holy, and eminent instruments party, the designating mark in the raised up by the providence of God arena of worldly politics, but a relito free mankind from the yoke of a gion derived from the only source blind and degrading superstition. of truth, the word of God, and foundIt cannot fail to strike the serious ed on that Rock of ages
which nomind, in perusing these abortive thing can shake? And is it not esattempts to detract from the good pecially their duty to be instant in name of those honoured instruments prayer and fervent in supplication to of God; how clearly and how highly the Throne of Grace, that the Lord
would mercifully look down upon meets such a case ; and as it was his Sion, and bless the efforts now drawn by a conveyancer of the first making to enlighten those who are eminence, it may be safely relied “sitting in the darkness and shadow on. By inserting it in your widely of death, being fast bound in misery extended publication, it may be the and iron."
means of preventing, in some instances at least, the defeat of the
pious intentions of benevolent indiTothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.viduals, who, without injustice either
to creditors or relatives, might wish The religious public must feel in. to promote the cause of religion, by debted to ATTORNATUS for the infor- testamentary dispositions. I may mation he communicates, on the sub- just remark, that if the testator's ject of Charitable Bequests, in your property consists principally of real Number for March last. I conceive, estate, as distinguished from leasehowever, that the form of bequest holds, and other chattels real, it may he recommends, as well as most of be well that the will should also those adopted by the several bene- contain a general charge upon the volent institutions of the day, is, in realty, of so much of the debts, one respect, materially deficient.
funeral and other expenses, and In directing that the sum left to legacies, as the personalty will not a charity shall be paid out of such extend to pay. part only of the personal estate as
Form. shall not consist of mortgages or I give and bequeath the legacy chattels real, the testator only pro- or sum of to the treasurer vides for that which the law itself [or trustees] for the time being, would insist on.
of a certain charitable institution Suppose the case of a bequest to called by the name of a charity by a person possessed of in trust to be applied to the uses a valuable landed property, freehold and purposes of that institution. or leasehold, and of large sums of And 'I direct that the receipt of money invested on mortgage se- the said treasurer (or trustees] curity, but whose chattels personal shall be an absolute discharge for are inconsiderable, adequate how- the said legacy. And I also diever to pay the charitable legacy if rect that such part of my personal applied in the first instance to that estate as is by law applicable to purpose : but as the chattels person. the payment of a charitable leal are the primary and natural fund gacy, shall in the first place, and for the payment of debts, funeral before answering any other purpose expenses, and general legacies, the whatever, be applied in or towards executor may very probably in dis- the payment of the aforesaid charicharging these, either from inadvert- table legacy.
I. D.L. ence, or want of benevolent feeling, exhaust the effects which are alone applicable to the payment of the charitable legacy. Nor would he
Tothe EditoroftheChristian Observer, be compellable, even in a court of equity, to marshal or arrange the I have observed, at p. 150 of assets in favour of the charitable Number for March, a letter from legatee; that is, to throw the debts L. R., who is desirous a search and general legacies on the real should be made at Geneva for a estate and chattels real, to the ex- Latin correspondence, supposed to emption of the chattels personal, have taken place between Calvin unless there is a direction to this and Cranmer, on the subject of effect in the will.
baptism; in order as he says, to The subjoined form, I conceive,“ settle at once all controversies