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AS Farel was a son of thunder,' and stood distin guished for his vehemence in the cause of GOD and truth; so his very intimate friend Viret was as remarkable for the meekness and gentleness of his carriage, and for the moderation of his language and temper. Both were eminent for their success in converting souls, not merely from Popery to Protestantism, (which may be done, and the men be' as worldly and carnal as they were before) but from the dominion of Satan unto GOD. They were both instruments of grace to effect the same work; and they did it with all their might. When one considers the learning and the labours of such men as these, and of others treated of in these volumes; it gives a regret upon the comparison of them with many drones in the present day, who either study but little, or little to the purpose of their profession. Modern times have discovered politer studies than that of the holy scriptures; and modern confidence (as.is usual with shallowness in all sciences) has affected to despise the theological erudition of worthies, who had no time to spare for the idle amusements of the world, or for those attentions by which it is become the fashion to tise in it. With respect to divinity, we are run backwards instead of forwards ; and (omitting the generality of frothy publications at present in vogue upon religious subjects) there needs no other proof of it, than that melancholy one, the increased irreligion and infidelity of the times.
This excellent man was born at a little town in the district of Bern, near Burgundy, in France, and educated at Paris, where he first became acquainted with Farel. From Paris he went to Lausanne, and was chosen pastor there, where he spent many years of his time with great success in preaching and writing. But when Calvin was sent to the conference at Worms, in the year 1541, and from thence to Ratisbon, he obtained of the senate of Lausanne that Viret should supply his place at Geneva till his return. Calvin was so well satisfied with Viret's abilities and conduct during his absence, that he turned every stone to get him to continue with him at Geneva, declaring how much he thought the church there would be benefited by his labours ; but he could not prevail upon him; for Viret was resolved to return to Lausanne his former charge. Notwithstanding afterwards, the French churches earnestly entreated him, with better success than Calvin, to go to Lyons ; where, in the midst of civil wars, and the pestilence which followed, he, with his colleagues, presided over that church with great prudence. But at length the jesuits obtained a proclamation to be made in the year 1563, that none but such as were natives of France should be preachers in the Protestant churches. Viret, being obliged to leave Lyons in consequence of the above proclamation, took up his residence at a small town near the Pyrenæan mountains, which divide France and Spain, at the request of the pious queen of Navarre, where he continued to the time of his death, which was in 1571, and in the sixtieth year of his age.
His death was much regretted by all good men. He was of a weakly constitution, which received additional injury by the poison which a priest gave him at Geneva, with a design to destroy him; and likewise by the stabs with a knife that another priest gave him afterwards, leaving him for dead. He was of a most amiable disposition, very learned, and so engaging in his public speaking, that many became his hearers, who were no friends to the doctrines he taught. His auditory in general were so charmed with his eloquence, that they always wished he would preach longer. When he was at Lyons, a populous city, he used to preach abroad, in the open air, in so powerful and successful a manner, that some thousands were apparently converted to the faith of Christ. And many, who were occasionally passing by, have been so fixed by his preaching, that they could not leave the spot, till he had finished liis discourse. It seems to have been, in some places, the usage to 'preach sub dio, without cover, as it was in England, particularly at Paul's Cross and before the court. The place, however, is of less importance than the doce trine. In the one case, convenience may be considered ; but, in the other, nothing but faithfulness and truth.
It has been remarked by Beza and others, that the Protestant church in France was exceedingly happy in its three great ministers at one time, viz. Calvin, Farel, and Viret. The first was admired for his profound erudition, the second for his zeal and vehemence, and the last for his enchanting eloquence. And it is also admirable, that
they they were all three most cordial friends to each other, properly esteeming those talents and grace, which GOD had bestowed upon each of them.
He wrote many books of great use to the faithful of his time, in preserving them from popish superstitions, and in furnishing them with arguments against their adversaries. Melchior Adam has preserved a long list of his principal publications, to which we must refer the learned Reader, who wishes to know more of them.
W E can find but little more concerning the birth and
education of this good man, than that he was descended from a very ancient family in Kent, became a fellow of Christ's-College in Cambridge, and was a very famous preacher. His printed discourses are full of di. vine learning and consolation. Though, content with his fellowship, he sought not preferment, he was appointed a preacher at St Paul's in London ; and he filled up that appointment with a series of faithful labours in the work of the Gospel.
In his last sickness, perceiving his approaching dissolution, he said to some friends who were on a visit to him, - The good Lord pardon my great negligence, that while “ I had time, I used not the precious gift more for the « advancement of his glory, as I might have done : Yet, VI bless GOD, I have not abused the gift on ambition, “ and vain studies. When I am dead, my enemies will « be reconciled to me; except they be such, as either “ knew me not, or have no sense of the truth ; for I have « faithfully, and with a good conscience, served the Lord « my GOD.”
A minister, standing by, said unto him, It is a great blessing to you, that you shall depart in peace, and be taken from many troubles that your brethren shall behold and suffer. To whom he answered, “ If the Lord hath “ appointed that his saints shall sup together in heaven; r why do I not go to them? but if there be any doubt' or “ hesitation resting on my spirit, the Lord will reveal the 66 truth unto me.”
After After he had laid still a while, a friend of his who then attended him, having said, that he hoped his mind had been employed in holy meditation while he lay so silent, he replied in the following manner :-"Ą poor wretch, « and miserable man, as I am, the least of all saints, and “ the greatest of all sinners; yet I trust in, and, by the “ eye of faith, I look upon Christ my Saviour. Yet a « little while, and we shall see our hope.' The end of as the world is come upon us, and we shall quickly re.
ceive the end of our hope, which we have so much « looked for. Afflictions, diseases, sickness, and grief, « are but parts of that portion which GOD hath allotted « to us in this world. 'Tis not enough to continue for “ a little while: we must persevere in the fear of the « Lord all the days of our lives ; for in a moment we « shall be taken away. Take heed therefore, that you « do not make a pastime of, nor lightly esteem the word « of GOD. Blessed are they, who, while they have “ tongues, use them for GOD's glory.”
He was very near his death, when being set up in his bed, some of his friends requested him to speak something to them that might be for their edification and comfort ; whereupon he took occasion from the sun, which then shone in his face, to speak in the following manner :“ As there is but one sun in the world, so there is but “ one righteousness, and one communion of saints. If « I were the most excellent of all creatures in the world,
equal in righteousness to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, " yet would I confess myself to be a sinner, and that I « expected salvation only in the righteousness of Jesus o Christ; for we all stand in need of the grace of GOD. “ As for my death, I bless God, I find and feel so much o comfort and joy in my soul, that if I were put to my “ choice, whether to die or live, I would a thousand “ times, rather choose death than life, if it may stand “ with the holy will of GOD."-Accordingly soon af. terwards this excellent man sweetly fell asleep in the Lord, in the year 1576.
A prayer, which Mr Deering used before his lectures.
“ O Lord GOD, who hast left unto us thy holy word « to be a lantern unto our feet, and a light unto our « steps, give unto us all thy Holy Spirit; that, out of the «c same word, we may learn what is thy eternal will, * and frame our lives in all holy obedience to the same,
" to thy honour and glory, and increase of our faith, « through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.”
His WRITINGs have been collected and printed in one volume, small 4to, containing, “ 1. Certaine godly and comfortable Letters, full of Christian Consolation : Written by Mr Ed. Deering, unto sundry of his Friends : And now published, for the Profit of the Church of GOD. London, printed 1614. 2. Twenty-seven Lectures, or Readings, upon part of the Epistle written to the Hebrues, Made by Maister Ed. Deering, B. D, London, 1614. 3. A briefe and necessarie Catechisme or Instruction, very needfull to be known of all Householders : Whereby they may teach and instruct their family in such poynts of Christian Religion as is most meete : With certaine Prayers and Thanksgivings to the same adioyning. ibid. 4. A Sermon preached before the Queen's Majesty the 25th day of February, from Psalme Ixxviii. 70. with a preface to her Majesty : By Maister Ed. Deering, 1569. ibid. 5. A Sermon preached at the Tower of London. ibid.
THIS venerable bishop was born at Whaddon, in
Buckinghamshire, of mean parentage, in the year 1499. He had, probably, his first education in the small priory of Snelshall in the parish of whaddon : But being afterwards sent to Eton school, he was thence elected into a scholarship at King's-College in Cambridge, of which he became fellow in the year 1519. Having the same year taken his bachelor of arts degree, and being eminent for his piety and learning, he was one of those bright scholars who were invited to Oxford by Cardinal Wolsey, to fill up his new foundation. He was accordingly preferred to be one of the junior canons of Cardinal-College ; and on the seventh of December, 1525, incorporated bachelor of arts at Oxford, as he stood at Cambridge. Soon after, performing his exercises, he was, on the eighth of February following, licensed to proceed in arts, in which he took the degree of master, July 2, 1526. He was reputed one of the greatest scholars of his age ; and his poetical com