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« stance, that we may be united to him in one life. “ Min. But how can that be, since the body of Jesus “ Christ is in heaven, and we are in this earthly pilgri« mage ? Sch. It is by the incomprehensible power of his « Spirit, which unites things that are distant in place “ from one another.”
Ponet's diallecticon was afterwards joined to the treatise
De copore et sanguine Domini,' wrote by Bertram, who also endeavoured to reconcile the controversies about the eucharist, and whose notions are very particular concerning this important article.
Calvin was intimidated at nothing, and settled the peace of Geneva. It would be difficult to believe, that in the midst of violent agitations at home, he could shew so much care as he did, of the churches abroad, in France, England, Germany, and Poland; and write so many books and letters. But there are incontestible proofs of it; for he lived in continual action, and almost constantly with his pen in his hand, even when sickness confined him to his bed ; arising from his zeal for the general good of the churches. He was a man on whom God had conferred extraordinary talents, a great deal of wit, an exquisite judgment, a faithful memory, an able, indefatigable, and elegant pen; an extensive knowledge, and a great zeal for the truth. But he could not escape slander abroad, nor opposition at home.
He was full thirty years old when he married Idolette de Bure, the widow of John Stordeur, a native of Liege, and an Anabaptist, whom he had converted. He married her at Strasburg, in 1540, by the advice of his friend Martin Bucer. She had children by her former husband, and also brought Calvin a son, who died before his father. She died in the beginning of 1549, to the great grief of Calvin, who continued a widower all the rest of his life.
As the Reformers married to prove their conversion from the Papists, the latter reproached them, as if they warred against Rome for the same reasons the Grecians warred against Troy. “Our adversaries (says Calvin) pre“ tend we wage a sort of Trojan war for a woman. To « say nothing of others at present; they must allow my“ self at least to be free from this charge : Since I am « more particularly ablc, in my own case, to refute this « scurrilous reflection. For notwithstanding I was at “ liberty to have married under the tyranny of the pope, “ I voluntarily led a single life for many years."
The Romanists cast many reflections on Calvin for changing his name from Cauvin, which was the name of his family : But a Protestant divine, who was minister of the church of Paris, in 1620, has vindicated him against them all, not only by some examples, but also from solid reasons. In reality, says he, the change of a letter in the name of Calvin, is very inconsiderable, or none at all. In turning Cauvin into Latin, it cannot be translated otherwise than by Calvinus, to give it an air and termination suitable to the genius of that language : For as the Picard word Cauve, and the French Chauve, is by all good authors expressed in Latin by Calvus ; so Cauvin in Picard, and Chauvin in French, must in Latin be Calvinus. Now, - (says Drelincourt,) the works of this godly man being
wrote in Latin, and having made him universally known 5 by the name Calvinus; if afterwards, when he wrote in < French, he had used any other name than that of Calvin, 5 the work might have been ascribed to some different "author, to the great damage both of the public and ( printers.'
Florimond de Remond tells us, that Bucer presented Calvin to Erasmus at Basil, who having conversed with Calvin, told Bucer, that this young man would prove a pernicious creature to the church. Others have adopted this idle story from Florimond ; particularly Moreri, who is censured for it by Boyle. The whole is ' a romance; and
its author is a writer of no credit, veracity, and con• sistency. Florimond was a man who judged without
conscience, wrote without learning, and built houses without money. Of these three accomplishments the first and 6 second are far more common than the third. The authority of such a man is of no weight, as he confounds and misplaces circumstances; and cannot see in his work the blunders, absurdities, and impossibilities which stare full in his eyes. We should therefore be very weak to give any credit to Florimond de Remond, when he brings neither witnesses, nor any other sort of proof: We should be very imprudent to trust him, and highly deserve to be deceived, if we made such a bad use of our sincerity. • I should not, (says Boyle,) have been so busy in exposing
the falsities of Remond, if I had not observed they • spread from book to book, and that the most celebrated 6 authors procure them a sort of perpetuity by adopting "them. I have met with them in the last volume of • father Alexander's Ecclesiastical History. However, all things rightly considered, this judgment of the great
Erasmus must be very much to the glory of Calvin, according to the Protestant hypothesis : For it proves, that he acknowledged the eminent qualities of this young man, if he said, Video magnam pestem oriri in ecclesia contra ecclesiam ; which are the words of Florimond. One cannot help admiring the decent manner in which the illustrious
Thuanus hath spoken of Calvin, who says, “ he was called • the great divine.
Calvin established the Presbyterian government in the church of Geneva, and elders were accordingly appointed. The catechism, which he wrote in French and Latin, was an admirable piece, and found such approbation and entertainment in foreign places, that it was translated into High Dutch, Low Dutch, English, and Scotch: Immanuel Tremellius translated it into Hebrew, as Henry Stephens did into Greek. Calvin modestly shewed that his doctrine had the approbation of the most learned men of that age ; as Zuinglius, Oecolampadius, Bucer, Melancthon, Capito, Myconius, and Zuichius; which he proved out of their writings.
He made much use of Farel and Vtret; yet he contributed much more to them. It was pleasing to good men, to behold three such persons, so famous in the church, cooperating in the work of the Lord, and excelling in several gifts of the Spirit. Farel excelled in a certain greatness of mind, whose thundering sermons could not be heard without trembling; and whose ardent prayers would elevate the soul. Viret so much excelled in sweet eloquence, that he chained his hearers to his lips. Calvin fitted the mind with grave and sententious discourses. So that Beza says, ' I often thought, that the gifts of these three « men, meeting in que, would make a complete pastor.'
The ordinary labours of Calvin were these. Every other Sabbath he preached twice. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, he read his divinity lectures. Thursday he assisted in the consistory for the exercise of ecclesiastical discipline. On Friday he read a lecture in exposition of some difficult places in scripture : Besides his public writings, and private negociations. God so blessed his ministry, that he was applied and resorted to from all parts of the Christian world ; some to consult his advice in matters of religion, and others to hear him preach. This filled the city of Geneva with a great concourse of people ; and, besides the established church, there were also churches for the English, Spaniards, and Italians.
In 1542, Calvin confuted the Sorbonnists in those articles of religion which they would have imposed upon mankind. The next year he was attacked by Albert Pyghius, whom he refuted in his answer about free-will, whom he dedicated to Philip Melancthon, who testified his regard for that work in his epistles. Pyghius was a Dutch divine : He was remarkable for his extreme ugliness and dissonant voice : But he was reputed the greatest sophister of the time. The pope rewarded him with the provostship of St John at Utrecht, for defending his bull to the general council in 1538; and he expected to be promoted to the dignity of a cardinal, if he opposed and refuted the doctrine of Calvin. The cardinals Sadolet and Cervinus were his patrons. The former assureil him, that he would recommend him to the pope and cardinals. The Watter wrote to him, on the twenty-seventh of October, 1512, in these words : “As to your debts, were it in my power to pay them, you should be in no distress : And though his holiness, at present, is put to vast charges con many accounts, I will not fail to represent your services and wants, and to assist you as much as I can.'
Some say, that the reading of Calvin's works made Pyghius heterodox with respect to the merit of good works, and the justification of sinners. Others affirm, that Pyghius examined the works of Calvin with so great a desire of refuting them, that he run into another extreme, and followed the steps of the Pelagians. Cardinal Bona ad. vised, that the works of Pyghius should be read with caution. And Possevinus said, that his doctrine, concerning original sin and grace, was contrary to the writings of St Augustin. • Pyghius, (says Beza,) chose Calvin for • his antagonist, that, by gaining a notable victory over
him, he might get a cardinal's hat from the pope : But "he was disappointed in his expectation, and only ob"tained the reward which the enemies of truth deserve ; " that is, to be despised by learned and wise men, and deceived by Satan and himself.'
Dr George Carleton, bishop of Chichester, in 1619, published a book entitled, " Consensus eccles. catholica contra 'tridentinos de scripturis, ecclesia, fide et gratia, &c. in which he says, " The Papists assert that Pyghius, other
wise a catholic doctor, was led away by reading the " works of Calvin : But Pyghius himself aslirms, he had * his doctrine only from the scriptures. O Calvin, happy 'even by the testimony of thy adversaries, since thy writings are so conformable to the holy scriptures, that
; what what a very famous popish doctor confesses he took from the scriptures, other Papists imputed to the reading of • thy books ! Certainly had not the opinion of scholastic <divines evidently clashed with the scriptures, Pyghius would never have forsaken it.'
But a Romish writer, who imprudently reckons Calvin among the first class of heretics, and Luther among those of the second, says, that -- Luther required less learning « in his reader than Calvin, whose subtle way of writing (may impose even upon them who are tolerably learned,
as we find by Pyghius, who frequently split upon rocks, " by reading his works, though he was a learned man.' A French minister also says, that Pyghius maintained the doctrine of grace; and affirmed, that we are not justified by an inherent righteousness within us : But he was sharply censured by the dean of the university of Louvain, who reproached him with having been corrupted by reading Calvin's Institution.
Calvin never acknowledged that his works had made Pyghius orthodox in the least : On the contrary, he said, « All this not only savours of the school of Pelagius, « but is almost an open profession of the Pelagian im“ piety. He maintains many things as those Pelagians « did whom Augustin describes; and is much worse than 6 some of them were. And therefore Pyglius in vain « either attempts to disjoin himself from Pelagius, with “ whom I have evidently proved he agrees, or to join “ us to the Manichecs, or other lieretics, from whom “ we differ no less, than he does from the orthodox sense 6 of the church.”
Pyghius has also been stigmatized for a Pelagian by a Jansenist, who calls him, "A man that could not appre• hend the doctrine of St Augustin, nor that of the church; having but an imperfect knowledge of the corruption of nature, and original sin, which is the key of that doctrine. A man full of Pelagian errors about that ( matter, who spoke against divine predestination, and
the doctrine of efficacious and free grace, with great indiscretion and ignorance. This Jansenist concludes, that " it is no wonder, if the whole faculty of Louvain, « in the famous cer.sure of 1587, called Pygliius a favourer 6 and a colleague of the semi-pelagians; if the faculty • of Douay, in their censure, reckoned him among the
disciples of Faustus Rejensis ; if the learned Estius spoke o of him much in the same nanner; and if Dr John • Molanus says, that the most learned divines blame hinz