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the celebrated edict of Nantes was passed, and registered by the parliament the following year, permitting the reformed “to exercise their own worship every where, where it had been established up to the end of the month of August, 1597; and to employ all the usual means of upholding their worship.” This edict which was to have been fundamental and irrevocable, was at length, after innumerable violations, annulled by the infamous Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, signed by Lewis XIV. at Fontainbleau, in 1685.18
The synod of the reformed churches held in 1559, commenced a plan of church-discipline which was completed by subsequent synods, in which provision was made for the due examination of persons admitted to the minis
terial office, and for the regular and constant preaching · of the doctrines of Scripture. By Chap. i. Can. v. it is ordered, “That the minister presented shall be examined, first by propositions from the Word of God, in French, and Latin; then a chapter of the Greek New Testament shall be read by him; and he shall be able, at least, to make use of books for the understanding of the Scripture, in the original Hebrew. To which shall be added 'an examination in the most useful parts of philosophy.” Can. xii. provides, “That ministers shall take heed that there be nothing in their sermons prejudicial to the authority of Holy Scripture; and that they shall never preach without having for the foundation of their discourse, a text of Holy Scripture, which they shall ordinarily follow; and that they shall handle and expound as much of that text as they please, forbearing all needless enlargements, all tedious and unseasonable digressions, all super(18) Quick's Synodicon, Introd. pp. IX.-cli.
See also an excellent Historical Memoir of the Ecclesiastical State of the French Protestants, from the time of Francis I to Lewis XVIII, by Martin Rollin, Pastor of the Reformed Church of Caen, translated from the French by W. Toase. Loud, 1818, 8vo.
fluous heapings-up of Scripture quotations, and vain recitals of various and different expositions.”
In 1562, the synod at Orleans decreed, “That printers, booksellers, painters, and in general all the faithful, especially such as held offices in the church, should be admonished, not to exercise their arts, office, or calling, in or about the superstitions of the Romish church;” And churches having printers and booksellers, were enjoined, "carefully to advise them, to print no books concerning religion, or the discipline of the church, before they had communicated them to their consistories;" and, “booksellers or hawkers were forbidden to sell scandalous books, or take immoderate gains.” The synod of Vertueil, in 1567, decreed, “that no other writings beside the Huly Scriptures should be read in public assemblies.” The synod of Nismes, in 1572, declared it to be “unlawful for the faithful to be present at stage-plays, comedies, tragedies, or farces, whether acted publicly or privately ; because they have always been condemned by God's ancient churches, for corrupting good manners, especially when the Holy Scripture is profaned by them ;” and the synod of Figeac, in 1579, ordained, “that neither the canonical, nor apocryphal books of the Holy Bible should be transformed into comedies, or tragedies.” The synod of Rochelle, in 1581, enjoined persons to bring their psalm books with them to church;" and advised “all Protestant printers, not to separate, in their impressions, the prayers and catechism from the psalm books." The same synod forbade “ministers, or any others, to print or publish any of their writings, or private works, without having first obtained the express leave and approbation of their respective colloquies.” The synod of Montauban, in 1594, advised “the churches to see that their deacons, or readers, did not read publicly the Apocrypha, but the canonical books of Holy Scripture.” The same synod also recommended the Genevan translation of the Bible
to the churches, in these terms: “reserving liberty unto the church for a more exact translation of the Holy BIBLE, our churches imitating the primitive church, are exhorted to receive and use in their public assemblies, the last translation revised by the pastors and professors of the church of Geneva. And thanks shall be now given to Monsieur Rotan, and by letters to our brethren of Geneva, who have at the desire of our churches, so happily undertook and accomplished this great and good work; and they are further intreated to amplify their Notes, for the clearer and better understanding of the remaining dark places in the Sacred Text : and ministers in the respective provinces, are ordered to collect those different passages, and to make report of them to the next national synod, who shall consider which most need explication.” At the succeeding synod, held at Saumur, in 1596, Monsieur Adam D'Orival, minister of the church of Sancerre, was ordered “to write from the assembly, to the church of Geneva, to acquaint them with the frauds committed by their booksellers, who vended in these parts a number of Psalm Books, and New TESTAMENTS of the old translation, only prefixing a new title, as if it were a new impression and translation.” The same synod gave Monsieur Hautyn, of Rochelle, permission to print their French Bibles: “The province of Xaintonge craying leave," say they, “for Monsieur Hautyn, of Rochelle, to print our French BIBLES, he engaging his word, to do them on better paper, with a fairer character, and at a cheaper rate than those of Geneva, which are now become very rare and dear. This synod doth permit the said Hautyn to print the Bible, and adviseth him to have a singular care that they be done most accurately and cor. rectly." Le Long calls this printer Jerom Haultin, and notices several impressions of the New Testament, by - him, and two of the whole Bible, by his heirs. The same synod of Saumur, forbade any minister to expound the
Apocalypse without the counsel and consent of the colloquy or provincial synod.' This was done at the request of the province of Lower Languedoc. The following synod, held at Montpellier, in 1598, 'advised, “ cities and churches having printers in them to suffer no book to get into the press, till it had been first of all seen and approved by the church; divers provinces having complained of the licentiousness of printers, in publishing all sorts of books”. The synod also enjoined, that, whereas Monsieur De Beza did, at the request of divers of our last synods, translate into metre the SCRIPTURE-SONGS, they shall be received and sung in families, thereby to dispose and fit the people for the public usage of them, until the next national synod."19
The BIBLES and New TesTAMENTS read by the members of the reformed churches in France, were chiefly such translations and editions as had been made, and printed, at Geneva. The ground-work of the Genevan translation was the one made by OLIVETAN, uncle to Calvin, and afterwards revised by Calvin himself in 1545; a second revision of which by Calvin was completed in 1551. In this edition, a new translation of the Psalms was inserted, executed by LEWIS BUDE, professor of Hebrew at Geneva, the son of William Budé, or Budæus, librarian to the king of France, and the celebrated author of a treatise De Asse, intended to remove the difficulties relating to the coins and measures of the ancients. Lewis Budé died in 1552. A translation of the APOCRYPHAL BOOKS was added by THEODORE Beza. Another edition by the pastors of Geneya was published in 1560, with a revision of the New TESTAMENT, by Calvin and Beza, the latter of whom prefixed a preface, in the name of the ministers of Geneva. The last, and most accurate revision of this translation by the authority of the pastors of Geneva, was made by COR(19) Quick’s Synodicon, I. pp. 1–196.
NELIUS BONAVENTURE BERTRAM, with the assistance of THEODORE BEZA, ANTHONY Faye or Farus, John JAQUEMOTUS, SIMON GOULART, and John BAPTISTE Rotan; who compared it with the Hebrew and Greek texts, and carefully corrected it. 20
CORNELIUS BONAVENTURE Bertram, minister and professsor of Hebrew at Geneva, at Frankenthal, and at Lausanne, was born in 1531, at Thouars, in Poitou, of a reputable family, allied to the house of Trimouille. He pursued his studies at Paris, under Adrian Turnebus, and John Stratelius, and acquired a knowledge of the Hebrew, from the eminent Orientalist, Angelus Caninius. He afterwards reinoved to the university of Cahors, where he pursued the study of the civil law, and escaped the massacre of St. Bartholomew's day, by flying to Geneva. He died at Lausanne, in 1594. Beside directing and assisting in the revision of the Genevan French Translation of the Bible, he is supposed by Le Long to be the author of an anonymous Triglot Bible, published at Heidelberg, in 1586, in 2 vols. fol., containing the Hebrew and Greek texts, with the Vulgate and Pagninus's Latin versions, and the notes of Vatablus. He was also the author of several other important works; 1. "A Dissertation on the Republic of the Hebrews, written with precision and method, Geneva, 1580, and frequently reprinted. 2. A new edition of the Thesaurus lingud sanctæ of Pagninus, with additions by Mercer, Cevalerias, or Chevalier, and himself. 3. Comparatio Grammaticæ Hebraicæ et Arabicæ,” or “A Comparison of the Hebrew and Arabic Grammar,” Geneva, 1574, 4to. and Amstel. 1612. 4. Lucubrationes Frankentalenses ; or “A specimen of explanations on difficult passages of the Old and New Testaments;" so called from being written at Frankendal in Germany. Spires, 1588, 8vo. This work, with the “ Dissertation on the Republic of the He(20) Le Long, I. pp. 341, 345, 348.