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Serious and Candid Letters to Rer. of some of their inhabitants. Boston. Thomas Baldwin, D. D. on his book Lincoln & Edmands. 1807. entitled “ The Baptism of Believers only, and the particular Communion
WORKS IN THE PRESS. of the Baptist Churches explained The Tenth Volume of the Collec. and vindicated.” By S. Worcester, tions of the Massachusetts Historical A. M. Salem. Cushing & Appleton. Society, is in the press of Munroe &
Domestic Medicine ; or a treatise Francis of this town, and will be pubon the prevention and cure of Dis- lished in February. eases by Regimen and simple Medi Manning & Loring of this town have cines ; with an appendix, containing in the press an 8vo. volume of Select a dispensatory for the use of private Sermons, by the late Rev. Samuel practitioners, &c. By William Bu Stillman, D. D. late pastor of the 1st chan. First Charleston edition, en- Baptist church in Boston. larged, from the author's last revisal. E. & J. Larkin are publishing Law's 8vo. Charleston. South Carolina. Serious Call, from the fifteenth LonJohn Hoff. 1807.
don edition in one volume, price, one Worlds Displayed, for the benefit dollar and 25 cents, neatly bound and of young people, by a familiar history lettered.
WRITTEN IN 1753.
From the Religious Monitor.
The Editors feel under great obligations to Candidus, for the assistance his communication affords them in preparing a sketch of Calvin's life. His learning, diligence and fidelity are manifested in his communication, which will be used, we trust, in a manner corresponding with the wishes of Candidus. His letter, on the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, is received, and shall appear next month.
The Reviews of Dr. Tappan's volume of Sermons, of the first volume of Foster's Essays, and of Mr. Griffin's Sermon on the Death of Dr. Macwhop. ter, came too late for this month. These approved compositions, with several articles for the Obituary, prepared for the present number, shall be inserted in the next.
Errata.- Page 309, first colume, 11th line from bottom, for “beaten soil, &c.
read " beaten oil, &c.
SKETCH OF THE LIFE AND CHARACTER OF JOHN CALVIN,
Taken from the Religious Monitor, with the addition of several extracts of a
communication received from a learned and ingenious Correspondent.
BIOGRAPHY, or the delinea- of divine truth, must be interest. tion of human character, may be ing in no common degree to the termed the art of moral painting. friends of genuine godliness. It represents the features of the No apology, therefore, is necesmind, and the actions of the life, sary for introducing to the notice as the pencil does the lineaments of our readers, the following of the face, and the peculiar air sketch of the life and character of the person. When the moral of that illustrious reformer and portrait is skilfully executed, it defender of the faith, John Calvin, wants nothing to make it perfect, to whom the greater part of the but what it is impossible it ever Protestant world look back, as can receive, the animation of real under Providence, one of the life; and is as superior in im• most eminent supporters of that portance and utility to the most form of religious doctrine and striking picture, as the living discipline, which they believe character is to the inanimate to be consonant to the word of bust. It not only revives the God. When we consider his pimemory of friends long forgote ety, and his ardent zeal for the ten in the silence of the dead, but truth, his uncommon talents, and gives them a much more exten- indefatigable industry, his deep sive range of acquaintance than and solid learning, and his vari. when alive, by transmitting not ous other accomplishments; we their name only, but their attain- must view him as one of the ments and virtues, their imper- most eminent men of the sixfections and errors, for the imi- teenth century, and as one of the tation and warning of future first, the ablest, and most suc. generations..
cessful reformers. The lives of those, who have It must be accounted a very been raised up as instruments of interesting attainment for any reviving, reforming, strengthen- modern Christian to become ing, or extending the knowledge fully acquainted with this wonVol. III. No. 8. TT
derful man. A full drawn pic- papal yoke. It was something ture of him would be a valuable too, that the dominant clergy, the present to the literary and the regular canons above all, had, christian world. His virtues by their depraved manners, inwould afford a strong spur to curred the hatred of the best of imitation, while his imperfections their fellow citizens ; while the would remain a most instructive interdict of the archbishop of caution. But he, who shali un- Vienne, in the year 1527, exas. dertake this task, must have a perated them more and more, complete acquaintance with the and the detection of priestly impolitical state of Geneva at that posture opened the eyes of period; with the arts and in- many. trigues of the court of Rome and In 1532, Farell daringly stept her partizans at the dawn of the forward in Geneva, and preached Reformation, and with all the ob- the gospel doctrine, convincing stacles which the first Reformers many of its truth. This bold, had to surmount.
intrepid preacher was not awed The Reformation of Geneva, by danger. In Basil and Wirbeing inseparably connected with temberg he had before encounthe history of Calvin, cannot be tered harsh and violent treatpassed in silence. A concise ment; but there, as well as in account of it will spread light on Geneva, his labours were crownsome dark spots in the following ed with success. sketch.
Farell was followed, 1534, by The Reformation was begun one of his disciples, Ant. Froin Geneva long before Calvin's ment, who, under the cloak of a residence in that city. But the schoolmaster, spread the seeds obstacles, which prevented or de- of the Reformation far and wide. layed its progress, were many But after a while the violence of and powerful ; among which the soldiery, and the increasing must be mentioned the ignorance, tumult of the people, induced superstition, bigotry, and demi- him to leave the city. neering spirit of the higher and After his retreat, more rigid lower clergy; and the turbulent laws were enacted against the state of the city arising partly meetings of the Reformed. But from various factions watching all these proved too weak to one another with a furious.zeal, check the impetuous ardour of partly from the imminent danger the Reformers. They were yet, which menaced their liberty and however, compelled to hold their independence from the dukes of assemblies in secret, in which the Savoy, and partly from their alli- Lord's Supper was first adminisance with the Swiss Cantons, tered by Guerin. They all opposwho opposed the Reformation ed themselves vigorously to the with violence.
scandalous superstitions, which It was, indeed, something, that had, for ages, defaced the church the canton of Berne had seceded of Christ, though it must be acfrom the church of Rome, es- knowledged that, in the manner poused openly the Reformed of their opposition, they some. cause, and encouraged its neigh- times went beyond due bounds. bours and allies to throw off the From the year 1538, a more solo
id foundation was laid for the where the images. Farell thun Reformation in Geneva, and the dered from the pulpit, even in minds of the inhabitants at large the churches exclusively resery, became prepared to give it a cor- ed to the Catholics, till those who dial reception.
get remained were removed by a Viret soon joined Farell and decree of the Senate, and all the Froment. Their preaching was monasteries suppressed, and ap. unremitted, and the number of propriated to secular uses. A believers increased day by day, confession of faith, composed by This opportunity was too favour. Farell, was adopted, and sancable to be neglected by the Sen- tioned wiųh an oath, which, for ate of Berne, who had been slan- its native simplicity, as Ruchat dered for favouring the Reform- observes, has been highly and tion by Furbit, a Dominican deservedly recommended. monk and doctor of the Sarbon. But what use did the Reformne. The Senate demanded the ed make of this glorious victory? punishment of Furbit. He was Did they obey the command of actually imprisoned. The irri- their divine Master, to do to othtated clergy could not brook that ers, as they would that others one of their body should be sub- should do to them? No. They jected to the judicature of lay- showed no symptoms of his men. They were countenanced meekness. They treated the by the Senate of Fribourg ; but Catholics with uncommon harshthe more powerful menaces of ness, and proved too often, that Berne prevailed with the Senate they were more eager to imitate, of Geneva. After a public dis- than to abhor their example. putation, Furbit was again im- The mass was abolished, the prisoned, from which he was images in the church proscribafterwards enlarged at the inter- ed, and the refractory punished cession of the king of France. with imprisonment and exile.
At length the Reformation was With the same intemperate zeal sanctioned by the Senate in a they went on reforming the solemn decree of Aug. 27, 1535. churches in the country, till the Farell, Viret, and Froment had civil magistrate interposed, and continued, under the protection notwithstanding the cries of of the mission of Berne, the irre- Farell, “ that the work of God ligious instructions, and claimed ought not to be obstructed," an open toleration, till one of the obtained a month's time for churches in the suburbs was the dissenters to reflect maturely seized by the populace with the on a topic so serious. connivance of the Senate. Here But in this reprehensible point Farell preached the first sermon, Farell was not alone. Nor was 1 March, 1534.
he so guilty, as in more favour- But what wisdom can avail, able circumstances he might apwhere intemperate zeal dictates, pear to us. He was unquestionand when the populace is the ably a worthy man; a man of chosen instrument for the execu. eminent abilities, and genuine tion of its fury and its whims? piety. His blemish was the The multitude, inflamed by Far- blemish of all the Reformers. ell's ardent sermons, broke every Even Melanchton was not free.
He admonished the Senate of study of dialectics, the barbarous Venice of the errors of Servetus, logic of the schools. because he had heard that his His father originally intended book was then in circulation. him for the church, for which he Melanchton procured the death appeared to be peculiarly fitted, by of two Socinians, and approved his early seriousness of disposition, the condemnation of Servetus. gravity of manners, and abhor. Moreover it ought not to be rence of vice, which he sharply re. omitted, as it must influence our proved in his companions. With judgment respecting Farell's and this view, in 1521, a benefice was Calvin's transactions, that at procured for him in the catheGeneva religion and politics dral church of Noyon, and in were uncommonly blended to 1527, a parochial curacy in the gether; that the Roman Catho- neighbouring village of Pont l'Elics had become dangerous citi- vesque. But becoming acquainted zens, through their connexions about this time with Peter Olive with the bishop and dukes of tan, a Protestant, he imbibed Savoy, and that the safety of the from him the principles of the Republic was often endangered Reformed religion, which disby them.
gusted him with the superstiHaving given this brief histo- tious errors of Popery ; and bis ry of the state of Geneva previ- father beginning to think that ously to the time when Calvin the profession of law would be began to have influence there, both more honourable and more we shall now turn our atten- lucrative, in compliance with his tion to the character and useful- desire, he determined to relinness of that extraordinary man. quish theological pursuits.
John CALVIN, the son of Ger- . In consequence of this deterard Chauvin (latinised Calvinus) mination, he went to Orleans, and of Joanna Le Franc, was and there, under the tutorage of born 10th July, 1509, at Noyon, Peter de l'Etoille, undoubtedly in Picardy, a province of France. the most eminent civilian of his His father being a man of tal- time, entered with such ardour ents and probity was highly es- on his new studies, as soon enteemed by his fellow citizens, abled him occasionally to supply and particularly by a noble family, his master's chair. He was inunder whose roof John received deed more like a teacher than a the first rudiments of education. scholar : and when he left the From his native city he was sent University, as a testimony of apto Paris, where he made upcom- probation and high respect, he mon proficiency in the Latin lan- received an unanimous and graguage under Maturinus Corderi- tuitous offer of a doctor's deus, one of the most distinguish- gree. Mean while, he did not ed teachers of the age. He af- neglect sacred learning in priterwards removed to the college vate ; but even in this made of Montague, then under the di- such attainments as to excite the rection of a learned Spaniard ; admiration of all the friends of and there leaving his fellow stu- pure and undefiled religion in dents far behind him in classical that city. He seldom slept till attainments, he commenced the the night was far advanced, and