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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 I wrote in Latin, and having made him universally known
by the name Calvinus; if afterwards, when he wrote in • French, he had used any other name than that of Calvin, " 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 (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 o spread from book to book, and that the most celebrateci
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, Melanchon, Capito, Myconius, and Zuichius; which he proved out of their writings.
He made much use of Farel and Viret; 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. Viset so much excelled in sweet eloquence, that he chained hịs 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, mecting in one, would make a complete pastor.'
The ordinary labours of Çalvin 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.
Maghius, whom ted to Philip Mistles. Pyghius vucliness an
In 1542, Calvin confuted the Sorbonnists in those ar. ticles 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 che doctrine of Calvin. The cardinals Sadolet and Cervinus were his patrons. The former assured him, that he would recommend him to the pope and cardinals. The latter wrote to him, on the twenty-seventh of October, 1542, 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 6 on 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 advised, that the works of Pyghius should be read with caution. And Possevinus said, that his doctrine, concernring 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 de'ceived by Satan and himself.
Dr George Carleton, bishop of Chichester, in 1619, published a book entitled, Consensus eccles. catholicæ 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 affirms, he had his doctrine only from the scriptures. O Calvin, happy
even by the testimony of thy adversaries, since thy vs 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 cláshed 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, 6 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, 6 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 “ some of them were. And therefore Pyghius in vain “ either attempts to disjoin himself from Pelagius, with « whom I have evidently proved he agrees, or to join
us to the Manichees, or other heretics, from whom “ we differ no less, than he does from the orthodox sense « 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 r 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 in• discretion and ignorance. This Jansenist concludes, that it is no wonder, if the whole faculty of Louvain, «in the famous censure of 1587, called Pyghius a favourer 6 and a colleague of the semi-pelagians, if the faculty
of Douay, in their censure, reckoned him among the disciples of Paustus Rejensis; if the learned Estius spoke of him much in the same manner; and if Dr John Molanus says, that the most learned divines blame him
• for having departed from the doctrine of St Augustin, .concerning original sin, predestination, and grace.
Pelagius, a Briton, was the author of that heresy which bore his name, and began in the fifth century. He maintained, That man may be well inclined without the assistance of the grace of GOD; and that grace is given in proportion to our merit : That man may arrive at such a state of perfection, as to be no longer subject to passions or sin. That there is no original sin ; and that children who die without baptism are not damned. Manichæus, ar Manes, was the author of that sect, which was called after him in the fourth century; the foundation of whose doctrine was, that there are two principles of all things, the one good, and the other evil ; both of them eternal, sovereign, immortal, and independant. Those who are desirous of knowing the nature and propagation of these heresies, may consult Dupin's History of the Church, vol. 2. p. 111 to 118. for the Manichees; and cent. 5. chap. 2. for the Pelagians, from p. 176 to 181. As also Fuller's Church History, cent. 5. And in Bayle's Dictionary, vol. 4. p. 90. under the article Manichees; and in vol. 5. p. 815. where he explains, ' how what he has said concerning the <objections of the Manichees ought to be considered." I shall only make this farther observation, that the treatises which Pyghius wrote concerning free-will against Calvin, and about original sin, have been placed among the books prohibited by the Spanish inquisition. Pyghius was so provoked at a book which Bucer wrote against him, that it hastened his death, in drawing up an answer, which he left unfinished.
In 1544, Calvin declared his opinion about the power of the church of Neufchatel in ecclesiastical censures. The same year he displeased Sebastian Castalio, because he disapproved of the translation which Castalio had made of the New Testament into French and Latin. Castalio was skilled in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. He published a Greek poem on the life of St John the baptist; and a Latin poem, which is a paraphrase on the prophet Jonas. He acquired the esteem and friendship of Calvin, during his abode at Strasburg, in 1540. Calvin procured for him the place of teacher in the college of Geneva, which Castalio exercised till he was compelled to leave the city, for having maintained some particular opinions. Castalio began his Latin translation at Geneva, in 1542, which he finished at Basil in 1550, and dedicated to Edward VI. king of England. The French translation was printed at