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for the accomplishment of his work, to shew us, that all means are in his hand : And he suffers many persons to come within the sound and compass of them, who are not in the least affected by them, to demonstrate, that not all the means in the world can have any efficacy, without the concurrence of his divine power. He uses sometimes soft and lenient methods, and sometimes cutting and severe. To some souls he blesses the gentle persuasives and comforts of a Barnabas ; while to others he succeeds the vehemence and thunder of a Boanerges, to awaken them from their sins, and to drive them from ruin.
Of this latter kind was WILLIAM FAREL, the subject of the present article. This learned minister of the Protestant church, and most intrepid Reformer, was the son of a gentleman of Dauphiny in France, and was born at Gap, in the year 1489. He studied philosophy and the Greek and Hebrew tongues at Paris with great success, and was for some time a teacher in the college of cardinal Le Moine. Briconnet bishop of Meaux, who being inclined to the Reformed religion, invited him to preach in his diocese in the year 1521; but the persecution, raised there against those that were styled heretics, in the year 1529, obliged him to seek his security out of France. He retired to Strasburg, where Bucer and Capito readily admitted him as a brother, and he was afterwards received as such by Zuinglius at Zurich, by Haller at Berne, and by Oecolampadius at Basil *! As he was thought a very proper man for the purpose, he was advised to undertake the Reformation of religion at Montbellecard, in which design he was supported by the duke of Wittenberg, who was lord of that place ; and he succeeded in it most happily. He was a man of the most lively zeal, which however he tempered a little according to Oecolampadius's advice. A remarkable instance of this warmth is recorded of him, which however
* At Balil, in 1524, Farel proposed several thesis for public difputa. tions, among which w re the following:
“ That Chwilt hath prescribed for us a perfect rule of life.
" That the commands of Clirist are to be obeyed; among which it is “ ordained, that they, who have not the gift of continence, thould marry.
" 'l hat lo:g and wo:dy prayers are dangerous, and contrary to the “ precept of Chiilt.
That he, who believes that he shall be saved and juflified by his own " righteousness and ilrength, makes himself God.
« That such sacrifices, as the Holy Ghost prefcrilies, are to be offered to 46 God alone."
we do not pretend to justify. Once on a procession-day, he pulled out of the priest's hand the image of St An. thony, and threw it from a bridge into the river : It is a wonder he was not torn to pieces by the mob. Erasmus did by no means like Farel's temper, as appears from what he wrote of him to the official of Berançon. "You have • (says he,) in your neighbourhood the new evangelist • Farel; than whom I never saw a man more false, more « virulent, more seditious.' He has given a frightful character of him elsewhere, and even descended to the meanness of giving him a nick name. But he thought Farel had abused himn in some of his writings, and therefore, is not to be altogether believed in every thing he says of him. Farel was blunt ; but Erasmus could trim and walk in so fine a line between error and truth, that it required a considerable share of penetration to discern sometimes to which he belonged.
In the year 1528, he had the same success in promoting the Reformation in the city of Aigle, and soon after in the bailiwick of Morat. He went afterwards to Neufchatel, in the year 1529, and disputed against the Roman catholic party with so much power, that this city embraced the Reformed religion, and established it entirely on the fourth of November, 1530. He was sent a deputy to the synod of Waldenses, held in the valley of Angrogne. Hence he went to Genova, where he and Viret laboured against popery : But the grand vicar, and the other clergy resisted him with so much fury, that he was obliged to retire. He was called back in the year 1534, by the inhabitants, who had then renounced the Roman catholic religion : And he was the chief person that procured the perfect abolition of popery in the next year. Added to this, he was the great means of fixing Calvin at Geneva, where neither of them met with that gratitude and affection which they both deserved; for,
In the year 1538, he was banished with his great friend Calvin from Geneva, and retired to Basil, and afterwards to Neufchatel, where there was great probability of a large evangelical harvest. From thence he went to Metz, but had a thousand difficulties to struggle with, and at length was obliged to retire into the abbey of Gorze, where the count of Furstemberg protected him and the new converts. But they could not continue there long; for they were presently besieged in the abbey, and obliged at last to surrender, upon a capitulation. Farel very happily escaped, though strict search was made after him, having been put
in a cart among the sick and infirm. He took upon him his former functions of a minister at Neufchatel, whence he took now and then a journey to Geneva. He went to Geneva in the year 1564, to take his last leave of Calvin, who was dangerously ill. ' He took a second journey to Metz in the year 1565, being invited by his ancient flock, to come and see the fruits of the seed, which he had sown in their hearts. He returned to Neufchatel, and died there the thirteenth of September in the same year, and in the seve.lty-sixth of his age, having survived his good friend Calvin not more, (say some,) than eleven months, but, according to Melchior Adam, one year, three months, and fourteen days.
He married at the age of sixty-nine, and left a son, who was then but one year old, and who survived him but three years. Though he was far better qualified to preach than to write books, yet he was the author of some few pieces. The difficulties this minister underwent in promoting the Reformation, and the courage he shewed in surmounting them all, are almost incredible. He was to be bent by no difficulties, affrighted by no threats, and overcome by no malice, that men or devils could give him. Yet with all this invincible courage, he was not only remarkable for his piety, learning and innocency of life, but the most exemplary and unassuming modesty. He had an extraordinary presence of mind, great ardour and force of expression, insomuch that, says Melchior Adam, he seemed rather to thunder, than to speak.' And he possessed such a wonderful gift of prayer, that he not only appeared wrapt up himself with the life of heaven, but lifted up the hearts of his audience thither. He was often surrounded with drawn swords: Bells were rung to prevent his being heard; but in vain : They could neither interrupt nor terrify the preacher. And when they haled him before the magistrates, and it was. inquired of liim, by whose command and desire he pre< sumed to preach ;' he answered, with his usual intrepidity,---by the command of Christ, and the desire of his meinbers, and then went to defend himself in a manner, they could answer in no better form than by persecution. His marriage was thought very strange, and out of season, by his friends : But he was not at a loss for arguments, to make them approve of it. He married, as it is said, for the sake of an help-mate in his old age : He married to
shew, that a state of celibacy is neither meritorious nor · satisfactory, as they of the Romish church assert: And