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representations of their own government, he and Farel persisted in their views; whereupon the Genevese council protested against them, and came to a resolution to conform to the rites of Berne. This step naturally increased the excitement, and emboldened the Libertine party. Troops of them paraded the town by night, insulted the ministers in their homes, and threatened to throw them into the Rhone. An indiscretion of Courault's hastened the crisis. The injunction not to meddle with politics, published on the 11th of March, did not seem to apply so particularly to himself, as to his colleagues. Notwithstanding his blindness and his age, he caused himself, therefore, to be led into the pulpit, where he spoke in a rude and insulting manner of the state of Geneva, comparing it with the kingdom of the frogs, and the citizens to rats which lived concealed in the straw.1 He was immediately forbidden the pulpit; but having violated this injunction, was arrested and imprisoned. Next day Farel and Calvin, attended by some of their friends, appeared before the council, and demanded his release. The council refused, and in turn directed the ministers to conform to the usages of Berne. Calvin and Farel requested the council to await the decision of the synod appointed to meet at Zurich; and, on the latter refusing, not only declared that they would not conform to the Bernese ceremonies, but that they would not administer the communion on Easter Sunday, one of the appointed days, and which was now fast approaching; alleging that they could not do so conscientiously in a city where such debauchery and insubordination prevailed. On the Saturday before Easter the council again sent for them, and exhorted them to use unleavened bread in the communion; and as they again not only refused to do this, but even to administer that rite at all, the council forbade them to mount the pupit.3 Regardless of this prohibition, however, they both preached twice, Calvin at St. Peter's and Farel at St. Gervais's, without any communion; though their sermons turned on the sacred nature of that rite, and the necessity that it should not be profaned. This created a great disturbance. Swords were even drawn, but the affair passed over without bloodshed.3
On the following morning the council met and passed sentence of banishment on Farel and Calvin, with an order to quit the city in three days. On this being announced to them they exclaimed: "Very well; it is better to serve God than
INFLEXIBILITY OF FABF.L AND CALVIN. 79
man."1 Courault was also released from prison in order to accompany his colleagues into banishment. These sentences were confirmed by the couneil of Two Hundred, and by the general assembly, convened specially for that purpose. No sooner had they left Geneva, than the council ordered the decrees of the Lausanne synod to be published by sound of trumpet. The fonts were ordered to be re-erected, and on the following Sunday the communion was administered with unleavened bread.
On quitting Geneva, Calvin and Farel repaired to Berne to lay their grievances before the council of that town, and to justify their conduct; while Courault went to Thonon, to his friend Christopher Fabri, who procured him a situation at Orbe, where he died in the October following. The Bernese acted in this affair with moderation and good temper. However anxious they were that their usages should be observed, still, as they were things indifferent, they thought that the Genevese had pushed matters too far in banishing their ministers for non-compliance. Accordingly they wrote a letter on the 27th of April to the Genevese council, in which they expressed their displeasure at their proceedings, and represented the scandal which they were calculated to produce. "If," said they, "we wrote to you to solicit your conformity with our ceremonies, we did it out of friendship toward you, and merely by way of request, and not with any view to constrain either you or your ministers in respect to things which are indifferent." But to this letter the Genevese paid no attention.3
The synod of Zurich, which had been fixed for the 29th of April, was now on the point of assembling, and thither Calvin and Farel bent their steps. The proper object of this meeting was to effect a union with Luther. It was attended by the deputies of the Reformed cantons of Switzerland. The Basle deputies brought with them Capito and Bucer from Strasburgh, whom Luther had charged to explain his sentiments to the Swiss. The deputies from Berne were the ministers Conz and Erasmus Ritter, and the councilor Bernard Tillmann.
It does not belong to our subject to detail the proceedings of this assembly. Calvin and Farel sewed the occasion to
1 On ordonne a Farel et a Calvin de se retirer dans trois jours puisqu'ils ne veulent pas obe'ir aux magistrate; et ils repondent, 'A la bonne heure vaut mieux obeir a Dieu qu'anx hommes.' "—Jidgistres, 23 Avril, 1538.
f B.uchat, v.. 68.
complain of the treatment which they had received at Geneva; they gave a deplorable account of the church there, and requested the protection of the synod not only for it, but for their own persons; they acknowledged, at the same time, that they might have been too hot on some points, and declared their readiness to be advised A debate ensued respecting the contested articles, on the occasion of Bucer delivering in a paper which Calvin had drawn up in Latin, in fourteen heads, as the basis on which he and Farel were willing to accommodate matters. In this paper the disputed points were conceded, but with some trifling modifications, as will be seen from the following account of the substance of it: 1. Fonts are admitted, provided baptism be administered during church hours, and that the service be recited from the pulpit. 2. Also the use of unleavened bread, provided it be broken. 3. The four festivals observed at Berne are allowed, provided they be not too strictly enforced, and that they who wished might go to work after prayers. 4. The Bernese were to acknowledge that they did not find fault with the method hitherto used at Geneva as contrary to Scripture, but that their sole view was unity in ceremonies. 5. If the Genevese ministers were restored, they were to be allowed to exculpate themselves. 6. Calvin's scheme of church discipline was to be established. 7. The city was to be divided into parishes. 8. Sufficient ministers were to be chosen to serve the different districts. 9. The German method of excommunication was to be adopted; viz., the council was to choose from each parish certain worthy and discreet men, who were to exercise that power in conjunction with the ministers. 10. That the ordination of priests, by imposition of hands, was to be left entirely to the clergy. 11. That the Bernese were to be requested to come to an accommodation with them on two other points; viz., 12. First, that the Lord's Supper should be more frequently celebrated, and at least once a month. 13. Second, that psalm-singing should form part of divine service. 14. That the Bernese should prohibit obscene songs and dancing, as their example was always pleaded by the Genevese in excuse.1
The synod admitted the importance of these articles, and considered them a proof that the Genevese ministers were not actuated solely by obstinacy; but at the same time recommended moderation to them, and Christian mildness in their
APPEAL TO THE SYNOD OF ZURICH. 81
dealings with a rude and uneducated people.1 By the advice of Bullinger, the chief minister at Zurich, a letter was addressed to the Genevese in favor of the exiles; and the Bernese were requested to support the application by sending an embassy to Geneva. The Bernese deputies who were present at the synod promised to exert themselves in their favor. Calvin and Farel now returned to Berne, bearing with them several letters of recommendation, both public and private. In that to the provost of Wattenwyl, Bullinger admits that they are over-zealous, but thinks it may be pardoned in favor of their learning and piety.3
In Berne fresh trials awaited them. The treatment they experienced there is described in a joint letter from Farel and Calvin to Bullinger, dated in June, 1538.3 After enduring much insolence, especially from Conz, a day was at length fixed for hearing them; but when it arrived, they were told, after waiting two hours, that the ministers were top busy with consistorial causes to attend to them. In the afternoon they again attended, but found the ministers less prepared than before. They were now told that their articles required time for consideration. Although they plainly saw that they were purposely treated with indignity, they were forced to dissemble their feelings. When the hearing at length came on, almost every syllable of their articles was objected to. On coming to the second, respecting the breaking of the bread, Conz flew into a violent rage, and abused them roundly. His colleagues could hardly hold him down at his desk. Farel, who was not a man to be daunted by trifles, was sp impressed by the scene that he declared, long afterward, that it never recurred to him without exciting his horror.4 Bitter, however, seems to have supported the exiles. After the lapse of some days they were called before the council of Berne, and required three times in one hour to renounce their articles. Instead of complying, they insisted on the necessity for uniformity; and when the Bernese replied, reasonably enough, that uniformity had been already adopted, they refused to change their opinions, on the ground that they should be sanctioning thereby the proceedings of a worthless faction at Geneva. This reply, on the part of Calvin and Farel, makes us acquainted with the true motive of their conduct, which can not but be characterized as stiff and obstinate. Nevertheless, the Bernese magistrates did not desert them. They sent Viret to Geneva to endeavor, by his sermons, to dispose the minds of the Genevese to a milder and more Christian conduct. They also dispatched two councilors, and Erasmus Bitter, to accompany the exiles to Geneva, and to endeavor to get them restored. But at a little distance from that city they were met by a messenger, who forbade Calvin and Farel to enter. The Bernese embassadors advised them to comply with this injunction; and it was fortunate that they did so, as it was afterward discovered that an ambush had been laid to intercept them a little without the town, and that the gate itself was occupied by twenty armed assassins.1
1 Kirchhofer, Leben Farels, i., 246. 2 Ibid.
3 This letter will be found in Henry, i., Beil. 9.
4 Kirchhofer, i., 347.
The Bernese embassadors, however, proceeded on their road, and were admitted to an audience of the Genevese council on the 22d of May. They represented, in strong terms, to the Genevese the wrong they had done in banishing their ministers, and that their conduct had been condemned by the synod of Zurich. They requested that the exiles might be permitted to appear; and that, on making a suitable apology, they might be restored to their places, in consideration of the eminent services which Farel had rendered to Geneva. And they further represented that each of them had declared, before the council of Berne, his willingness to adopt the ceremonies in dispute.3 But their intercession was in vain. The matter was, however, referred to a general assembly of the people, convened for the 26th of May. In this assembly, Ludvig Ammann, one of the Bernese duputies, as well as Viret, made eloquent speeches in favor of the exiles. At first they seemed to make a favorable impression on the people, till one of the syndics took from his pocket the articles which had been drawn up by Calvin at Zurich, and read them aloud, making invidious comments as he proceeded. In these articles the exiled ministers had called the Genevese their church, and had mentioned the Bernese council without its proper title of honor. "See," cried he, "how they call the church theirs, as if they had already gotten possession of it, and with what contumely they treat their superiors! But, above all, see at what a despotism they aim. For what is excommunication but a despotic power over the church?" Conz, the bitter enemy of Farel and his coadjutors, had sent these articles to Vandel, who boasted, before the embassy arrived from Berne, that he had got the condemnation of the
i Farel and Calvin to Bnllinger, apud P. Henry, 1. c.