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the papacy. " Will it ever be credited, (says he,) that so there is such a free correspondence kept up by way of « letters between me and them, who are not' less at va- riance one with another than Christ is with Belial ? 6. Whereas, there is nothing more wanting to refute such « a foolish calumny, than the bare denial of it." He adds, that Servetus had spread this report among the Papists, four years before ; and that, if he had informed against him then, the Papists would not have spared him so long
When Servetus escaped from Vienne, he resolved to retire to Naples, and took Geneva in his way, where Calvin caused him to be imprisoned, and prosecuted. His accuser was Nicolas de la Fontaine, and Servetus was brought to the bar, for the first time, on the fourteenth of August, when thirty-eight interrogatories were exhibited against him. The trial was procrastinated, and the magistrates of Geneva ordered Calvin to extract several propositions out of Servetus's book, entitled Christianismi Restitutio ; and he reduced those propositions to thirty-eight articles, which, according to the title, “ the
ministers of the church of Geneva declared to be full of « impious blasphemies against GOD, and of other mad
and profane errors, altogether repugnant to the word s of GOD, and the orthodox agreement of that church.' Servetus answered the whole; and the state of the case was transmitted to the Helvetic churches for their opinions. : On the twenty-sixth of October, Calvin wrote to Farel, at Neufchatel, how the matters stood, as follows: “ The 6 messenger is returned from Switzerland. The cantons « unanimously declare, that Servetus has revived the im< pious errors with which Satan formerly disturbed the «s church, and that he is an intolerable monster. Those " of Basil are right. Those of Zurick are the most vehe“ ment; for they express the heinousness of his impiety “ in very emphatical words, and exhort our magistrates “ to use him severely. Those of Schaffhausen subscribe « to their judgment. The latter of the divines of Bern, < which is also to the purpose, is attended with that of " the senate, whereby our magistrates have been very “ much animated. Cæsar, a comical man, pretended to “ be sick three days, but came to court at last to acquit " that profligate fellow; for he was not ashamed to pro« pose, that the cause should be removed to the council « of two hundred. Nevertheless, he has been con« demned without any dispute. He will be executed
6 to-morrow. We have endeavoured to commute that « sort of death ; but it was in vain. I will tell you, “ when I see you, why the judges have not granted our “ request.”
The Syndics were the judges, who were incensed against Servetus for writing with asperity against Calvin, whom he considered as his accuser. Calvin had enemies, who encouraged Servetus to write against him, in a very calumniating manner, all the time he was in confinement. This proved fatal to Servetus, who, on the twentyseventh of October, was condemned to be burnt alive. The process drawn up before the Syndics contained the whole charge against him; and the sentence was pronounced by the Syndics as follows : « That by the process, and also • by his voluntary confessions, and by his books, it plainly rappeared to them, that Servetus had long ago put forth o a false and heretical doctrine which he obstinately con«tinued to spread and publish, so far as to print books
against GOD the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost;
in short, against the true foundation of the Christian r religion: That he had not been ashamed of rising up
against the divine Majesty, and the holy Trinity ; en« deavouring to affect the world with his heresies. There« fore, they condemned him to be carried to the Champel*, " and there to be burnt alive with his books.'
After this terrible sentence was passed, Servetus sent for Calvin, who, with two magistrates, gave him a visit in the prison. Servetus begged his pardon. Calvin said, he never thought of revenging himself for any private injuries which the prisoner had done him: But observed, that he had laboured, even to the hazard of his life, for the space of sixteen years, to reclaim him from his errors. Calvin also told Servetus, that he had conversed with him by private letters with great mildness, and continued to use him like a friend, till he found that Servetus bitterly inveighed against him, even to madness, because he had been so free in his friendly reproofs to him. He exhorted the prisoner to ask forgiveness of God, for having attempted to blot the three hypostases out of his essence. But when Calvin perceived his admonitions made no impression upon Servatus, he told him, he would not presume to be wiser than his Master; and, according to St « Paul's command, went away from that heretic, who « was condemned by his own conscience.' * A small eininence, about a musket-shot from the city.
Thus Servetus expired in the flames, without speaking, or shewing any signs of repentance. Servetus was the first who mentioned the circulation of the blood. The first " that I could ever find who had a distinct idea of this mat
ter, (says Dr Walton,) was Michael Servetus, a Spa"nish physician, who was burnt for Arianism at Geneva.
Well had it been for the church of Christ, if he wholly • confined himself to his own profession! His sagacity . in this particular, before so much in the dark, gives us 6. great reason to believe, that the world might then have " had just cause to have blessed his memory Doctor Douglas also observes, that Servetus, in the fifth book of his = Restitution of Christianity,' shews that he was apprized of the circulation of the blood. However, it must be owned, that his knowledge therein was very imperfect, and greatly short of the clear and full discovery made by the learned Harvey. Servetus might have great merit as a physician : But he was more extravagant than Arius in his opinion; and a great prelate thought him “ fitter to • have been chained up as a madman, than burnt as a • heretic. He condemned the doctrine of Geneva; but he was no Atheist, which was a name, that, in his turn, he gave to the Trinitarians.'
Many people were not displeased at the rooting out of a man, who had sowed his wicked doctrine about thirty years among Christians. Others thought he was punished too severely; his fact being only a matter of opinion, which, at the bottom, was a mixture of Judaism and Anabaptism ; anci that it had been better to have expected his repentance. But the magistrates of Geneva and Switzerland considered him as an apostate, a seducer, and an atheistical person.
Calvin published a book, wherein he confuted the heresies of Servetus, and exposed all the proceedings against him. That book was entitled, “ Fidelis expositio erroru17 « Michaelis Serveti :” or, « à faithful Exposition of the “ Errors of Michael Servetus, and a short Refutation of - the same ; in which is shewn, that heretics are to be « punished with fire and sword.” Another book was published, called, " De non puniendis hæreticis gladio ;' which was thought to be wrote by Castalio, under the name of Martin Bellius. This was answered by Theodore Beza, in a piece with this title, “De hereticis a civili Ma• gistratu puniendis.'
Calvin, in his Fidelis Expositio, acknowledges, that the form of the indictment against Servetus was drawn up by his advice, and says, “ He was not so mortally enraged « against him, but that, if he had not been lost to all “ sense, it was in his power to have saved his life, by his « modesty alone. Nor do I know, continues Calvin, « what to say, unless it be this, that he precipitated him“ self to his end by his own fatal madness.”
When Calvin drew up the confession of faith, he took care to insert the following article : “ We detest all the “ heresies which have anciently disturbed the churches, “ and especially the diabolical imaginations of Servetus, “ who attributes to the Lord Jesus a fantastical divinity; “ forasmuch as he calls him the idea and pattern of all “ things, and names him personal, or figurative Son of “ God; and finally forges for him a body of three ele“ ments uncreated, and thus mixes and destroys the two « natures.” It is said, that all the candidates for the ministry in Switzerland, and also in the French reformed churches abroad, are bound, before their ordination, to subscribe that article of the confession. Besides, in the form of confession of faith, which all the students of the public school of Geneva are to make before the rector, there is this article: ' Although GOD is one simple essence, « yet there are in him three distinct persons ; wherefore I. i detest all the heresies condemned by the first council of « Nice, as likewise those condemned in the councils of « Ephesus and Chalcedon : Together with all those errors ( that have been revived by Servetus and his followers.'
The next year, Matthew Grybale, lord of Farges, spread the same errors as Scrvetus had done : But he would not enter into a public conference with Calvin, and retired to Bern, where he made his recantation. Those errors also spread in Poland, Hungary, and Transylvania, where a great controversy arose aboưt the punishing of heretics.
Farel, about this time, was indicted as a criminal at Geneva, and was obliged to appear before the judges. He had sharply reproved the enemies of Calvin in a sermon, and they complained he had done them a great injury. The senate of Geneva wrote to the Magistrates of Neufchatel, to desire that Farel might come and answer the charge that was brought against him. Relying upon his innocence, his age, and that ancient authority which he had over them, Farel readily came to Geneva. As soon as the senate had notice that he was arrived, they let Calvin know that Farel should not be suffered to ascend the pulpit. “ I shall proceed no farther, (says Calvin); let it “ suffice to give you a taste of their ingratitude, which
** will raise a just aversion in all men of honour and pro. “ bity. But because I have many reasons which hinder “ me from publicly deploring our calamity, take it < briefly thus : Unless Satan be chained up by you, he « must be let loose.” Farel was heard, and his adversaries defeated.
Calvin wrote his Commentaries upon the gospel of St John, when all the Reformed churches received a great wound by the death of king Edward VI. Great numbers of English exiles fled for protection to Germany, Switzerland, and Geneva, who found unexpected encouragement and assistance from Calvin. The English fugitives had settled a church at Frankfort, where they were greatly influenced by John Knox, the Scotch preacher, who objected to the then English liturgy, and formed a scheme of parity in church government. This was resented by the English who settled at Zurick; and some thoughts were entertained of settling the Geneva form at Strasburg. Calvin was consulted on that head; and they sent him the English common-prayer-book in Latin, accompanied with many misrepresentations and criticisms upon the English worship : So that Calvin, in his answer, shewed a dislike to the English service. A liturgy was then made use of at Frankfort, partly extracted from that of England, and that of Geneva: But Dr Cox obliged Knox to quit Frankfort, and retire to Geneva. Cox then applied to give Calvin a favourable opinion of the English liturgy; for he perceived he was under invincible prejudices against it. Cox went to Strasburg, and left Horn at Frankfort, where new differences arose, and the new modelled discipline of Geneva was introduced. Most of the English ecclesiastical historians date the rise of the dissenting principles in England from this schism : But Calvin appears only to be an occasional auxiliary ; for it is easy to perceive, that Knox, and his friends, carried those principles with them from Britain.
The number of strangers visibly increased in Genera; and the English were allowed to found a church of their own nation in the city, as the Italians had done before them in 1551, and the Spaniards some time afterwards : But when Q. Elizabeth came to the throne, and revived the Protestant religion, the English thanked the magistrates for their protection, and returned to their own country, ,
In 1555, a conspiracy was formed against the ministers of Geneva: But it was seasonably discovered, and the conspirators punished; some being beheaded, and others ba• VOL. II.