Page images

school, in which fifteen youths were trained up under an able master, and supplied with all necessaries.

It has been observed, that Erasmus may be justly censured, " for his weakness in flattering a party whose « sentiments and conduct he in many things disapproved ; cand in finding fault with those, whom upon the whole

he resembled much more than he did their adversaries. is But he died in a friendly and charitable disposition torwards Pellicanus and Bullinger, two Protestant divines.' He had been at variance with the former : But he makes honourable mention of the latter. We are told this by Rodolph Hospinian, one of the greatest authors of Switzerland, who, in 1576, formed the history of the errors of Popery, to shew the Romanists that they vainly boast of the conformity of their doctrines with antiquity..

Bullinger wrote some books every year, and particularly one against Luther in 1545. The Switz churches had kept a long silence, notwithstanding Luther wrote in a very passionate manner against their doctrine concerning the Sacrament: At last it was thought fit to answer him in his life-time, lest, if it was deferred till after his death, occasion might be given to some disadvantageous surmises. Besides, it was thought, that a very vigorous answer would make Luther more moderate for the future, and prevent his abusing that respect which was shewn him. Bullinger, who advised silence, was the man charged with the business of answering him, and he acquitted himself worthily: For the Switzers thought, that though Luther had deserved exceeding well of the church, he wanted moderation in his writings. But it is an idle tale that Luther, who died about this time, should break his heart with vexation, because he could not answer Bullinger's apology. The Landgrave of Hesse, who knew that people complained of the church of Zurick on account of these insults, informed Bullinger of it, who wrote an apologetic letter to him in the name of his colleagues. În 1549, Bullinger and Calvin drew up a formulary of the conformity of faith between the church of Zurick, and that of Geneva.

Bullinger's Decads were held in high estimation by the Reformed. Archbishop Whitgift, in full convocation, 1586, procured an order to be made, that every minister of a certain standing should procure a copy of them, read one of the sermons contained in them every week, and make notes of the principal matter contained in the course of reading. A greater testimony of the excellence and

utility utility of any man's work can scarcely be conceived. Zanchius, in a letter to Bullinger, mentions with high commendation Bullinger's book De origine erroris, and relates an anecdote of Montallinus a monk, who was burnt at Rome for the cause of truth, that the said good man, before Zanchius had seen the tract, persuaded him earnestly to peruse it; adding, that, if it could not be had upon other terms, he might esteem it a good bargain, to pluck out his right eye for the purchase, and to read it with his left. I soon bought the book, says Zanchius, without losing my eyes ; and found it the delight of my soul.

The same year Bullinger alledged so many reasons against renewing the alliance to which Henry II. of France courted the Switz, that the proposition was rejected. One of his reasons was, “ That it was not just for a man to let himself “ to hire, to kill those who have done him no injury.” "I shall not examine, (says Bayle) whether Bullinger was

in the wrong or no, as to the republic of Switzerland : - I shall only say, that I do not see what answer can be 1. made him, as io private persons who enlist themselves 'voluntarily to kill the allies of their country. The Switz cantons sacrifice the lives of their subjects in the quarrels of other nations, and hire their troops to both parties, one of which must have an unjust cause. It may agree with state policy; but it is contradictory to moral honesty. The government of this country, which in many cantons lodge the supreme power in the hands of men of little understanding and small experience, is calculated entirely for mutual defence and union, and unequal to any great undertaking. The difference of religion is another obstacle to the extending their dominions. Besides, every canton and ally are in some sort constitutionally an independent state; from whence it is obvious, that the councils of the republic must be weak, slow, and divided. And to this it may be imputed, that, although the Swiss are numerous and brave, they have made litile other use of their valour, than to let it out to foreign princes and states. The Switzers, as at this day, preserved their liberty without attempting the oppression of any. They sold their troops to their most opulent neighbours. They were themselves poor, ignorant of the scia ences, and of all the arts which luxury introduces ; but they were wise and happy. Zuinglius, and the other Reformers of that country, had the same scruples as Bullinger.


In 1551, Bullinger wrote a book to shew that the council of Trent had no other design than to oppress the truth; and that no regard should be had to the pope's invitation to the cantons, to send deputies there. In 1553, he wrote to Calvin about Servetus, and said, “ The Lord has given “ the magistrates of Geneva a fair opportunity of clear“ ing themselves and the church from heresy, by deli. 61 vering Servetus into their hands." And in 1555, he proved a very good friend to Bernard Ochinus, who subscribed the confession of faith of the church of Zurick, and was called to be minister of the Italian church that was formed there, where he officiated till 1563, when he was expelled for publishing some dialogues which favoured polygamy. Most of the arguments, which have been since used on this subject, have been taken from him. Ochinus was unsound in the faith respecting other things, and easily fell into a scheme, which favours the lust and licentiousness of fallen nature. Beza answered him; and the Elder Spanheim has concisely confuted Ochinus's opinion in his Dubia Evangelica.

This good man was a great friend to the English refu- . gees in the time of Q. Mary, for which we find many of them expressing their "most grateful acknowledgements. Bullinger afterwards diligently employed himself in defending the Reformation for several years; and, in 1561, his dispute began with Brentius, about the doctrine of ubiquity. Bullinger published a book, wherein he shewed, that Jesus Christ, as to his human nature, is no where but in heaven, at the right hand of GOD. Brentius answered it, like a zealous Ubiquitarian ; and the contest continued two years.

He also opposed, in the same year, the blasphemies of Blandrata against the divinity of Christ. « If Christ (says « he, in a letter to prince Radzivil) be not co-equal and « co-eternal with the Father, he is not Jehovah; and, « in that case, cannot be the head, nor saviour, nor « high-priest of the church for eternity. Thus our faith “ would be vain, and we should have a worse hope than

either Turks or Jews.”

In 1564, Bullinger lost his wife, by whom he had six sons, and five daughters. She died of the plague ; as also did three of their daughters, who were all married to ministers of Zurick; to Hulric Zuinglius, son of the Reformer Zuinglius ; to Lewis Lavator; and to Josias Simler : The second died the same year as her mother, and the other two in 1565. As for the sons, three of them died

“young ;

young ; two were ministers ; and another died in France, in the troops of the prince of Orange, in 1569. Their father would never marry a second wife, for which he was blamed. He was sixty years of age when his wife died ; Was not that a sufficient excuse for not marrying again? He made no doubt that GOD permitted the ministers of the gospel to marry a second time; but he always said the first was still living in his heart.

In 1571, Bullinger wrote against the last will and testament of Brentius, which was published at Wittenberg, for the purpose of forewarning all states not to allow the Zuinglians a toleration. The same year, the national synod of Rochel condemned those, who rejected the word substance, and substantially, in speaking of the Eucharist. The ministers of Zurick were of opinion, that they were condemned by that canon; and they wrote to Beza concerning it, who answered, by order of the synod, that it did not point at them. However, Bullinger represented to Beza, that the expressions of the decree ought to be so al. tered, that no one might think there was any difference of opinion between the churches. That letter of Bullinger was effectual; for, in !572, the synod of Nismes gave all the explications that the church of Zurick could require. The ministers of Zurick took upon them what concerned the fundamentals of doctrine, and left Builinger only the trouble of answering what related to himself. His last work was an answer, which he made in 1575, to the apology for the will of Brentius, composed by James Andrews. He exceeded his usual bounds in this piece, and severely ridiculed his adversary. As that was the last piece

In 1575, he relapsed into a severe disease, which had attacked him for three months in the year before ; but, though his pains were excruciating, he never appeared impatient or unresigned, either by word or gesture, but prayed the more fervently. In the intervals of ease, he discoursed very pleasantly with his friends. He said, at one time, “ If the Lord will make any farther use of me « and of my ministry in the church, I shall willingly “ obey him ; but if he shall please (as I much desire to “ take me out of this miserable life, I shall exceedingly " rejoice; as I shall be delivered from a wretched age, “ to go to my Saviour Christ. Socrates was glad when “ his death approached ; because, as he thought, he “ should go to Homer, Hesiod, and other learned men, 66 whom he supposed he should meet with in the other

o world.

« world. How much more do I rejoice, who am sure that « I shall see my Saviour Christ, the saints, patriarchs, “ prophets, apostles, and all the holy men, who have « lived from the beginning of the world? Since, I say, " I am sure to see them, and to partake of their joys; « why should not I willingly die, to be a sharer in their « eternal society and glory?" He took his leave of the ministers and other friends with tears, which, he said, proceeded not from fear of death, but as Pauls, from his great love to them; having made before them a declaration of his faith. He desired the magistrates, whom he thanked for all their kindness to him, to appoint Ralph Gualter to be his successor. On the day he died he was much in prayer, repeating the fifty-first, the sixteenth, and forty-second Psalms. He departed on the seventeenth of September, 1575. He was seventy-one years of age at his death, and had exercised his ministry during fortythree years. His funeral oration was made by John Stuccius : His life was wrote by Josias Simler : And his memory was celebrated, in different kinds of verse, by several hands. He was beloved by all good men, and particularly by doctor Hooper, bishop of Gloucester, who was martyred in 1555.

Bullinger was Author of a great many books : His printed WORKS make ten volumes : And he wrote several cthers that are preserved in manuscript.

"1. A Catechism for the Tigurine Schoolmasters. 2. An Epitome of Christian Religion, in ten Books. 3. Sermons on the Heads of Christian Religion. 4. A Confession and Exposition of the Orthodox Faith. 5. A Declaration proving the Protestant Churches to be neither Heretical or Schismatical. 6. A Compendium of the Popish and Protestant Tenets. 7. The old Faith and Religion. 8. Of GOD's eternal Covenant. 9. An Assertion of the two Natures in Christ. 10. Institution of Christian Matrimony. 11 Instructions for the Sick. 12. Declarations of GOD's Benefits unto the Switzers. 13. Exhortations to Repentance. 14. A Treatise of the Sabbath, and of Christian Feasts. 15. Of the Office of Magistrates, and of an Oath. 16. Of Repentance. 17. Of Conversion unto GOD. 18. An Explanation of Daniel's Prophecies. 19. Of the Office Prophetical. 20. An Exhora tation unto Ministers to leave off Controversies. 21. Of the Original of Mahometanism. 22. Of the Persecutions of the Church. 23. A Preface to the Latin Bible. 24. Sixty-six Homilies on Daniel. 25. Epitome of the

« PreviousContinue »