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Title: Letters of John Calvin, Volume I (of 4) - Compiled from the Original Manuscripts and Edited with Historical Notes
Author: Bonnet, Jules
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Letters of John Calvin, Volume I (of 4) - Compiled from the Original Manuscripts and Edited with Historical Notes" ***

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Transcriber's note:

Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

Small capital text has been replaced with all capitals.

The carat character (^) indicates that the following letter is
superscripted (example: Eng^d).

       *       *       *       *       *



[Illustration: _Fac Simile_

CALVIN TO EDWARD VI., KING OF ENGLAND

July 4 1552--British Museum

_Eng^d. by_ *****

[Transcriber: handwritten letter follows]

_See Note, Page 10_

Presbyterian Board of Publication]



  LETTERS

  OF

  JOHN CALVIN

  COMPILED FROM THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS AND
  EDITED WITH HISTORICAL NOTES

  BY

  DR. JULES BONNET.

  VOL. I.

  TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL LATIN AND FRENCH.

  PHILADELPHIA:
  PRESBYTERIAN BOARD OF PUBLICATION,
  NO. 821 CHESTNUT STREET.



  Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1858, by
  JAMES DUNLAP, TREAS.,
  in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District
  of Pennsylvania.



ADVERTISEMENT.


John Calvin, the profound scholar, the exact theologian, the
enlightened statesman, and the eminent Reformer, exerted an
influence on the age in which he lived, which, instead of being
diminished by the lapse of three centuries, must continue and
increase while the great truths, involving the present and future
interests of mankind, which he so lucidly and energetically
enforced, shall be incorporated with human enlightenment and
progress. The results of his indefatigable labours, as published to
the world in his Institutes, Commentaries, and Sermons, are familiar
to the students of theology; but his correspondence, so illustrative
of his personal character, and the history of the times in which
he lived, has never, until now, been collected and made accessible
to the public. The Rev. Dr. Jules Bonnet, with the approbation of
the French government, has with untiring and enthusiastic ardour,
explored the hidden archives, and with such gratifying success, that
four volumes of Calvin's Letters are now ready for the press.

As these Letters were written in Latin and French, it was at once
seen to be important that English and American readers, who most
thoroughly appreciate the character of this distinguished man,
should have easy access to them in their own vernacular. They
have accordingly been rendered into English under the immediate
inspection of Mr. Bonnet. The first two volumes were published in
Edinburgh, when circumstances, unnecessary to detail, arrested the
further prosecution of the work.

A benevolent gentleman in New York proposed to purchase the
copy-right of the Letters and transfer it to the Presbyterian Board
of Publication. The arrangement has been completed, and to that
Board, if we should not say to this country, is to be due the credit
of first ushering to the world the rich and varied correspondence of
one of the greatest and best men of the old world. The enterprise
will be an expensive one, and it will require a liberal patronage.
To the students of ecclesiastical history, the work will, in a
certain sense, be indispensable; but every Presbyterian, who can
command the means, should lend his aid to give success to the noble
project. It should be mentioned, in this connection, that the
truly estimable collector of the Letters, although he can never
hope for any adequate pecuniary remuneration for his great labour,
is exceedingly anxious that an edition of the Letters in their
_original_ form should be published in Europe, and the gratification
of this hope will very much depend on the successful sale of these
volumes in this country. The Presbyterian Board of Publication have
been solely actuated by public considerations in their participation
in the publication, and it will afford them much pleasure, if it
can possibly be done, to aid Mr. Bonnet in executing his original
intention.

  EDITOR OF THE BOARD.



PREFACE.


It was but a few days before his death, and in the course of one of
the latest conversations handed down to us by Theodore Beza, that
Calvin, pointing with failing hand to his most precious furniture,
his manuscripts, and the archives of the correspondence that, during
a quarter of a century, he had kept up with the most illustrious
personages of Europe, requested that these memorials might be
carefully preserved, and that a selection from his letters, made by
some of his friends, should be presented to the Reformed Churches,
in token of the interest and affection of their founder.[1]

  [1] "migraturus ad deum johannes calvinus, quum de commodis ecclesiæ
  ne tunc quidem cogitare desincret, sua mihi κειμήλια, id est
  schedarum ingentem acervum commendavit ut si quid in iis invenissem
  quo juvari possent ecclesiæ, id quoque in lucem ederetur."--th. de
  bèze to the elector palatine, 1st february 1575. this letter is
  printed as a preface to calvin's latin correspondence.

This request of the dying Reformer, although treasured in the heart
and memory of him who had succeeded to his plans and carried on his
work, received but an imperfect fulfilment in the sixteenth century.
The times were adverse, and the accomplishment of the duty was
difficult. The plague, which had broken out for the third time at
Geneva, and carried off thousands of victims; the great disasters,
public and private; the shock of the painful events that had been
occurring in France from the breaking out of the Civil War to the
Massacre of St. Bartholomew; even the scruples of friendship,
heightened by the perils that threatened the city of the Reformation
itself, all seemed to conspire against the execution of Calvin's
wish. "Without speaking," says Beza, "of the assistance that was
indispensable for the examination of so extensive a correspondence,
or of the time required for so laborious an undertaking, the
calamities that befell our city, the plague that raged for many
years, the convulsions of a neighbouring country, have more than
once interrupted the progress of the work. The selection of the
letters also involved great difficulties, at a time when men were
predisposed to judge harshly and unfairly. There are many things
that may be said or written in the familiar intercourse of sincere
and ingenuous friendship, such as Calvin's, which can hardly be
given to the public without inconvenience. We were obliged in our
work to have respect to persons, times, and places."[2] These
scruples of an earnest and respectful disciple, anxious to avoid
all collision with his contemporaries and at the same time to
render justice to a great name, would be out of place now; but they
were legitimate in an age of revolutions, when words were swords,
and when the war of opinion, often sanguinary, outlasting its
originators, was perpetuated in their writings.

  [2] "Multa quippe familiaritor inter amicos dici scribique
  consueverunt, præsertim ab ingenui spiritus hominibus, qualis fuit
  Calvinus si quisquam nostris temporibus alius, quæ minime expediat
  emanare. Et habenda quoque nobis fuit non modo personarum, verum
  etiam temporum et locorum ratio."--Letter already cited.

Still it must be owned, that notwithstanding all these difficulties,
the friends of Calvin did not shrink from the performance of
their duty. Deeply impressed with the importance of the mission
intrusted to them, they applied themselves to their task with
religious fidelity. By their care, the originals or the copies of a
vast number of letters addressed to France, England, Germany, and
Switzerland, were collected at Geneva, and added to the precious
deposit already confided to them. The archives of the city of Calvin
received this treasure and preserved it faithfully through the storm
that fell upon the churches of France, destroying or dispersing
in foreign lands so many pages of their annals. By a remarkable
dispensation, Geneva, the holy city of French Protestantism, the
seminary of her ministers, of her doctors, and of her martyrs, after
having conferred upon her, by the hand of Calvin, her creed and her
form of worship, was also to preserve for her the titles of her
origin and of her history. These titles are gloriously inscribed in
the noble collection of autograph letters of the Reformer, for which
we are indebted to the pious care of some refugees of the sixteenth
century, whose names are almost lost in the lustre of those of
Calvin and Beza, but whose services cannot be forgotten without
ingratitude. Let us at least recall with a fitting tribute of
grateful respect, the names of Jean de Budé, Laurent de Normandie,
and especially of Charles de Jonvillers.

It is to the latter mainly that we must ascribe the honour of the
formation of the magnificent epistolary collection that now adorns
the Library of Geneva. Born of a noble family in the neighbourhood
of Chartres, and carried across the Alps by the irresistible
necessity of confessing the faith which he had embraced with all the
ardour of youth, Charles de Jonvillers found in the affection of
Calvin, a compensation for the voluntary sacrifice of fortune and
country. Admitted, with his young patrician countrymen--the élite
of the Reformed party--to the intimacy of the Reformer, he devoted
himself with filial reverence and unbounded attachment to the great
man whose faith and energy, moulding a rebellious people, had
transformed an obscure Alpine city into a metropolis of the human
mind. He became his secretary, after the celebrated lawyer, François
Baudouin, and the minister Nicholas des Gallars, and henceforward
assisted him in his laborious correspondence, followed him to the
Auditoire and the Academy, and took down during Calvin's Lectures
those luminous Commentaries, which were afterwards dedicated to the
most illustrious personages of the age, and which modern theology
has never surpassed.

Such was the man to whom the friendship of Calvin and the confidence
of Beza assigned the great and laborious task of preparing for
publication the Letters of the Reformer. He brought to it the zeal
of a disciple and the filial reverence of a son who forgets himself
in the execution of a sacred will; undertaking distant journeys
to ensure its fulfilment, seeking everywhere for those precious
documents in which were preserved the thoughts of the venerated
master he had lost; and transcribing a vast number of letters with
his own hand; supported in these costly and difficult researches by
the consciousness of a duty accepted in humility and performed with
faithfulness.[3] This labour, early commenced and pursued for twenty
years under the vigilant superintendence of Beza, was the origin of
the collection of Calvin's Latin Correspondence published in 1575; a
faithful but incomplete tribute to the memory of the Reformer by his
disciples--an unfinished monument, which might indeed suffice the
generation that was contemporary with the Reformation, but which is
insufficient to satisfy the curiosity of our own.[4]

  [3] "Ad eam rem unius præcipue Caroli Jonvillæi istarum rerum
  custodis fidem, diligentiam, operam denique nobis appositissimam
  fuisse profitemur."--Advertisement of Bèze to the reader.

  [4] It is the collection intitled:--_Calvini Epistolæ et Responsa
  quibus interjectæ sunt insignium in Ecclesia Dei virorun aliquot
  etiam Epistolæ_, first published at Geneva, in 1575, reprinted in
  the following year at Lausanne, and inserted with some additions in
  the collection of Calvin's Works, _Calvini Opera_, tom. ix., edit.
  d'Amsterdam, 1671. This latter edition, one of the sources of the
  work which we now present to the public, comprises about 420 letters
  or memoirs, of which 284 are letters of the Reformer.

Nearly three centuries had passed away without adding anything to
the work of Charles de Jonvillers and Beza. The Letters published
by their care have been the common source from which the apologists
and the adversaries of the Reformation have alike drawn; while the
numerous unpublished documents preserved in the Library of Geneva,
or collected in the Libraries of Zurich, Gotha, and Paris, have
been forgotten. It was reserved for the present age to rescue these
from unmerited oblivion, and thus to open up for history a mine of
information hitherto unexplored.

And here justice compels us to acknowledge, with gratitude, the
obligations of this unpublished correspondence to the recent labours
and investigations of several distinguished Protestant authors.
We refer especially to the "Life of Calvin," by Dr. Paul Henry
of Berlin,--a pious monument raised in honour of the Reformer
by a descendant of the refugees, and enriched with a number of
Letters from the libraries of France and Switzerland;[5] to the
learned researches of Professor Bretschneider, the editor of the
Gotha Letters;[6] the important work of Ruchat,[7] re-edited by
the talented continuator of the great historian Jean de Müller,
Professor Vulliemin of Lausanne, with an extensive Appendix,
containing precious fragments of Calvin's French Correspondence,
reproduced in the "Chronicle" of M. Crottet.[8] And now, having made
these acknowledgments, we may legitimately claim for ourselves the
privilege of offering to the public, for the first time, a general
and authentic collection of Calvin's Correspondence, the greater
part of which has, up to the present time, been buried in the dust
of libraries, and altogether unpublished.

  [5] _Das Leben Calvins_, 3 vols. in 8vo. Hambourg, 1835-1842.

  [6] _Johannis Calvini, Bezæ, aliorumque litteræ quædam nondum
  editæ_, 1 vol. in 8vo. Leipsic, 1835. Published on the occasion of
  the Reformation Jubilee at Geneva.

  [7] _Histoire de la Réformation en Suisse_, 7 vols. in 8vo.
  Lausanne, 1838.

  [8] _Petite Chronique Protestante de France_, XVI^e Siècle; 1 vol.
  in 8vo. Paris, 1846.

This collection is the result of five years of study and research
among the archives of Switzerland, France, Germany, and England.
Charged by the French Government, at the suggestion of M. Mignet,
under the liberal administration of two eminent ministers, MM. de
Salvandy and de Falloux, with a scientific mission that enabled
us to gather the first materials of a correspondence, the richest
depositories of which were in foreign countries, and sustained in
our labours by the cordial sympathy of those most distinguished
in the world of science and literature, we have spared nothing
that might ensure the completeness of a collection which throws so
much light on the history of the great religious revolution of the
sixteenth century.

The correspondence of Calvin begins in his youth and is only
closed on his deathbed, (May 1528 to May 1564.) It thus embraces,
with few intervals, all the phases of his life; from the obscure
scholar of Bourges and Paris escaping from the stake by flying
into exile, to the triumphant Reformer, who was able in dying,
to contemplate his work as accomplished. Nothing can exceed the
interest of this correspondence, in which an epoch and a life of
the most absorbing interest are reflected in a series of documents
equally varied and genuine; and in which the familiar effusions of
friendship are mingled with the more serious questions of theology,
and with the heroic breathings of faith. From his bed of suffering
and of continued labours, Calvin followed with an observant eye
the great drama of the Reformation, marking its triumphs and its
reverses in every State of Europe. Invested, in virtue of his
surpassing genius, with an almost universal apostolate, he wielded
an influence as varied and as plastic as his activity. He exhorts
with the same authority the humble ministers of the Gospel and the
powerful monarchs of England, Sweden, and Poland. He holds communion
with Luther and Melanchthon, animates Knox, encourages Coligny,
Condé, Jeanne d' Albret, and the Duchess of Ferrara; while in his
familiar letters to Farel, Viret, and Theodore Beza, he pours out
the overflowings of a heart filled with the deepest and most acute
sensibility. The same man, worn by watchings and sickness, but
rising by the energy of the soul above the weakness of the body,
overturns the party of the Libertines, lays the foundations of the
greatness of Geneva, establishes foreign churches, strengthens
the martyrs, dictates to the Protestant princes the wisest and
most perspicuous counsels; negotiates, argues, teaches, prays, and
with his latest breath, gives utterance to words of power, which
posterity receives as the political and religious testament of the
man.

These indications are sufficient to show the interest that attaches
to the correspondence of the Reformer. It is the common inheritance
of the countries emancipated by the Reformation and still animated
by its spirit; as well as of all the Churches, however diverse in
origin and varying in their confessions of faith, which manifest to
the world the spiritual unity of the Church of Christ. England's
portion in this precious legacy is neither the least, nor the least
interesting. Observant of the great work of religious Reformation
which, since the time of Wicliff, had been going on in that country,
and which was destined to have the singular privilege of placing
the civil and political liberties of the nation in the glorious
keeping of the Gospel, Calvin condemned with great severity the
spiritual tyranny of Henry the Eighth, and the endeavours of that
prince to substitute a sanguinary imperial popedom for that of
Rome. During the reign of his successor, he exercises a marked
influence in the councils of the crown, and traces with vigorous
hand, for the Duke of Somerset, a plan of religious reformation in
which the conservative spirit is happily blended with the liberal
and progressive tendency. He addresses the young King Edward VI.,
so prematurely withdrawn from the love of his subjects, in a strain
of exhortation dictated by paternal solicitude and respectful
affection:--"It is a great thing to be a king, and especially of
such a country; and yet I doubt not that you regard it as above all
comparison greater to be a Christian. It is, indeed, an inestimable
privilege that God has granted to you, Sire, that you should be a
Christian King, and that you should serve him as his lieutenant
to uphold the kingdom of Jesus Christ in England."[9]--The death
of this young King, so well fitted to carry out the designs of
Providence for his people, and the restoration of Popery under Mary,
heavily afflicted Calvin. He rejoices in the accession of Elizabeth,
freely exhorts her ministers, and his advice, dictated by a wisdom
and prescience to which time has set its seal, furnishes the most
remarkable proof of the faith and the genius of the Reformer.

  [9] We give here entire the striking passage, of which a fac-simile
  will be found at the commencement of this volume.--"Or au pseaulme
  présent il est parlé de la noblesse et dignité de l'Eglise, laquelle
  doit tellement ravir à soy et grans et petits que tous les biens
  et honueurs de la terre ne les retiennent, ny empeschent qu'ils ne
  prétendent à ce but d'estre enrolléz au peuple de Dieu. C'est grand
  chose d'estre Roy, mesme d'un tel païs; toutefois je ne doubte pas
  que vous n'estimiez sans comparaison mieux d'estre Chrestien. C'est
  doncq un privilège inestimable que Dieu vous a faict, Sire, que vous
  soiez Roy Chréstien, voire que vous luy serviez de lieutenant pour
  ordonner et maintenir le Royaulme de Jésus Christ en Angleterre."

Having pointed out the historical value of this correspondence, it
may not be out of place to refer to its literary merit. Trained in
the twofold school of profane and sacred Antiquity, of the Church
and of the world, Calvin's Latin is that of a contemporary of Cicero
or of Seneca, whose graceful and concise style he reproduces without
effort. He writes in French as one of the creators of that language,
which is indebted to him for some of its finest characteristics.
Writing before Montaigne, he may be regarded as the precursor and
the model of that great school of the seventeenth century which
could only fight him with weapons from his own armoury, and which
could not surpass him either in loftiness of thought or in stately
majesty of style. The French letters of Calvin, worthy of the author
of the immortal preface to the "Christian Institutes," contain many
admirable passages hitherto unknown, and are models of eloquence:
they will be found in this Collection interspersed with the Latin
Correspondence from which they were detached in the original Paris
edition, and will present, in chronological order, a series of moral
and religious studies--a genuine portrait of the Reformer drawn by
his own hand, in the original documents, which we now, for the first
time, present to the historian.

The seasonableness of such a publication cannot be denied. The
great debate ever pending between the Papacy and the Reformation is
renewed in our days with fresh vigour in almost all the countries
of Europe. Attack provokes defence; and in the strife of opinion,
the rights of justice and of truth are too frequently disregarded.
While some rare spirits, enlightened by the study of history, or
the attentive observation of the effect of the dogmas of either
religion on the moral conduct of its votaries, rise superior to the
mists of prejudice and form a judgment which is moulding that of
posterity,[10] the adepts of a school, unhappily celebrated as the
admirers of excesses which the sincere disciples of Christianity or
of philosophy have alike reproved, have nought but malediction and
insult for the glorious Revolution stamped by the names of Luther
and of Calvin. Never, perhaps, were detraction and outrage let loose
with such fury against these great deliverers of conscience; never
have their intentions been so audaciously misrepresented, their
actions so grossly caricatured.[11] To the falsehoods of a party
that shrinks not from slander, let us oppose the impartial evidence
of history; let us learn from these great men themselves what they
desired, what they did, what they suffered; and let us seek from
them alone the secret of the Revolution which they achieved.

  [10] It is only necessary to quote the names of the two illustrious
  French historians, M. Guizot and M. Miguet, who in their writings
  have rendered a respectful homage to the religious and moral
  influence of the Reformation. A distinguished writer, M. Charles de
  Rémusat, has lately published, under the title of "De la Réforme et
  du Protestantisme," an eloquent paper, which might well inaugurate a
  new era of justice and impartiality in historical writing.

  [11] We need only name "L'Histoire de Calvin," by M. Audin, in
  itself entirely devoid of truthfulness, and the fruitful source of
  calumnious and lying pamphlets against the memory of the Reformer.

The Correspondence of Calvin will, we believe, throw a fresh light
upon those grave questions which Modern Science, worthy of the
name, now proposes to herself with a desire for impartial justice
which does her honour. It is by this sentiment that we may venture
to say we have been animated, in the course of the long researches
which have enabled us to offer this collection to the public. Guided
solely by the love of truth, and shrinking from no revelation that
was guarantied by authentic documents, we have rejected no sources
of information, nor omitted any evidence. Our ambition has been to
make Calvin live again in his letters--to shew him as he was, with
his austere and inflexible convictions, which yet were far from
intolerant, in the intercourse of friendship and the freedom of the
domestic circle--with that stern self-sacrifice of his life to duty
which alone explains its power and excuses its errors--with the
failings which were the heritage of his times and those which were
peculiar to himself. History, interrogated in original documents,
is not a panegyric; it throws no veil over the shortcomings of its
heroes, but it remembers that they are men, and draws lessons alike
from their infirmities and from their greatness.

We cannot close this Preface without offering the tribute of our
sincere gratitude to those friends in England and on the Continent
whose kind encouragement has favoured the publication. And we
would address our first acknowledgments to the Librarians of the
Continental Libraries, who eagerly placed at our disposal the whole
MS. collections committed to their charge. We have pleasure in
paying the same tribute to one of the most distinguished citizens
of Geneva, Colonel Henri Tronchin, who so liberally opened to us
the precious documents that have been transmitted to him through
a series of illustrious ancestors; and we regard it as a peculiar
privilege to record our obligations, while at Geneva, to the
encouraging kindness of two men eminent in her sacred literature, M.
le Pasteur Gaussen, and to the learned historian of the Reformation,
M. le Docteur Merle d'Aubigné, whose patronage, which was given as a
matter of course to the publication of Calvin's Correspondence, has
been the means of attracting to us valuable sympathies in the United
States, in England, and in that noble country of Scotland, where the
name of Calvin, gloriously associated with that of Knox, receives
an honourable tribute in the labours of a Society devoted to the
translation of his writings. It is with heartfelt satisfaction that
we inscribe on the first page of the collection, and recall in one
grateful thought, the names of the three generous patrons of the
undertaking, Mr. Douglas of Cavers, Mr. Henderson of Park, and Mr.
James Lenox of New York.

Our personal thanks we may surely be permitted to offer to the
translator of the work. Nothing could exceed the difficulty of
rendering Calvin's letters in English, and of harmonizing the
antique style of the originals with the structure of a modern
language. We believe that this difficulty has been happily overcome
by the translator, who has devoted himself with persevering ardour,
and with a sort of filial piety, to a work requiring so great an
amount of patience and of learning. If, through the transparent
mirror of a scrupulously faithful translation, the reader is enabled
to follow the grave religious beauty of the originals,--if he is
brought, as it were, into communion with the soul of Calvin himself,
in the fine and varied effusions of his correspondence, he will be
indebted for this privilege to the labour of Mr. Constable, revised
by the Rev. Dr. Cunningham, Principal of the New College, Edinburgh,
with a degree of watchful care and enlightened solicitude that
cannot be too highly appreciated.[12]

  [12] Mr. Constable translated only the first two volumes, which were
  published in Edinburgh.--EDITOR OF THE BOARD.

And thus the wish expressed by Calvin on his deathbed, and forgotten
during three centuries, is now realized for Britain as well as for
France. His memory loses nothing from these tardy revelations,
and the only testimony worthy of him is that of truth. This is
the testimony that appears in every page of his correspondence.
In so far as we have been his faithful interpreters we are happy
if, according to the measure of our poor ability, we have been
permitted, not to glorify a man, but to glorify God himself, in the
life of one of his chosen instruments for the accomplishment of one
of the noblest acts in the providential drama of history.

       *       *       *       *       *

The English edition of Calvin's collected Correspondence will form
four volumes similar to the present, and will contain at least 600
letters, the greater part of which are now published for the first
time. An appendix at the end of the work will give, in chronological
order, and with a summary of their contents, a list of those letters
which it has been thought unnecessary to include in this edition,
but which those who may desire to do so, will have an opportunity of
consulting in the complete edition of the originals, in course of
publication in Paris.



CONTENTS.


  1528.

  LETTER      PAGE

          I. TO NICHOLAS DUCHEMIN.--Calvin at the University of
               Orleans--his early friendships--he is recalled to
               Noyon by the illness of his father,                 25


  1529.

         II. TO FRANCIS DANIEL.--Calvin in Paris--Nicholas
               Cop--the two friends visit a monastery,             27

        III. TO FRANCIS DANIEL.--Thanks to Francis Daniel--
               salutations to Melchior Wolmar--various messages,   29


  1530.

         IV. TO FRANCIS DANIEL.--Domestic intelligence--departure
               to Italy of the brother of Francis Daniel,          30


  1532.

          V. TO FRANCIS DANIEL.--Calvin's first work--Commentary
               on Seneca's Treatise, "De Clementia,"               31

         VI. TO FRANCIS DANIEL.--Calvin despatches copies of the
               Treatise, "De Clementia," to several persons--
               looks for lodgings in Paris,                        32

        VII. TO DR. MARTIN BUCER.--Recommendation of a French
               refugee in Strasbourg, who had been falsely
               accused of holding the doctrines of the
               Anabaptists,                                        33


  1533.

       VIII. TO FRANCIS DANIEL.--Various communications--a new
               work put forth,                                     35

         IX. TO FRANCIS DANIEL.--The Reformation in Paris--rage
               of the Sorbonne--satirical Comedy directed against
               the Queen of Navarre--intervention of Francis I.--
               deliberation of the Four Faculties--revocation of
               the censure pronounced against the book entitled
               "The Mirror of the Sinful Soul,"                    36


  1534.

          X. TO FRANCIS DANIEL.--Retirement of Calvin to
               Angoulême,                                          41

         XI. TO CHRISTOPHER LIBERTET.--Calvin in Basle--revision
               of the Bible of Robert Olivetan--treatise on the
               Immortality of the Soul,                            42


  1536.

        XII. TO FRANCIS DANIEL.--Calvin in Geneva--translation into
               French of the "Christian Institutes"--disputation of
               Lausanne--establishment of the doctrines of the
               Reformation in the Pays de Vaud,                    44


  1537.

       XIII. TO MEGANDER.--Calvin and Caroli encounter each other--
               prayers for the dead--the Genevese clergy accused
               of Arianism--need of a synod,                       47

        XIV. TO VIRET.--Preaching of the Gospel at Besançon--
               ecclesiastical intelligence--discouragement of
               Farel--necessity for the return of Viret to
               Geneva,                                             51

         XV. TO SIMON GRYNEE.--The nature of the controversy
               between Calvin and Caroli clearly laid open--
               Synod of Lausanne--Caroli is condemned, and the
               teaching of Calvin and Farel solemnly approved,     53

        XVI. TO THE MINISTERS OF THE CHURCH AT BASLE.--Persecution
               in France--request addressed to the Seigneury of
               Basle in favour of the faithful of the Church at
               Nismes,                                             58


  1538.

       XVII. TO LOUIS DU TILLET.--Departure of Louis du Tillet
               from Geneva--regret of Calvin--controversy between
               the two friends regarding the character of the
               Church of Jesus Christ,                             60

      XVIII. TO HENRY BULLINGER.--State of the Church at
               Geneva--wish for the union of the Reformed
               Churches--mention of Luther,                        65

        XIX. TO HENRY BULLINGER.--Synod of Zurich--attempt at
               reconciliation between the banished ministers
               and the town of Geneva,                             68

         XX. TO PETER VIRET.--Arrival of Farel and Calvin at
               Basle,                                              69

        XXI. TO LOUIS DU TILLET.--Journey of Calvin to
               Strasbourg--project of a new Assembly at
               Zurich--policy of the Bernese--in his retirement
               Calvin breathes freely--news from France,           71

       XXII. TO WILLIAM FAREL.--Farel called as minister to the
               Church of Neuchatel--sad condition of the Church
               at Geneva--uncertainty of Calvin--Bucer's urgency
               to draw him to Strasbourg,                          73

      XXIII. TO FAREL.--New efforts of the ministers of
               Strasbourg to attract Calvin thither--the
               plague at Basle--detail of the death of a
               nephew of Farel,                                    77

       XXIV. TO FAREL.--Calvin at Strasbourg--negotiations
               between Bucer and the Magistrates of Geneva--
               first preaching of Calvin in the French Church--
               Anabaptists of Metz,                                80

        XXV. TO THE CHURCH OF GENEVA.--Letter of consolation and
               advice addressed to the Church at Geneva, deprived
               of her faithful pastor--testimonies of his
               innocence--confidence in God--trust for the
               future,                                             82

       XXVI. TO FAREL.--Conferences of Basle--absence of the
               theologians of Zurich and of Berne--the minister
               Konzen--complaints against Bucer--a wish for the
               establishment of Ecclesiastical discipline--
               celebration of the Supper in the French Church
               of Strasbourg--the news of Germany and the
               Netherlands--question addressed to Melanchthon--
               domestic affairs,                                   89

      XXVII. TO LOUIS DU TILLET.--Reply to doubts as to the
               lawfulness of his call--inward assurance of his
               calling--declines the kind offer of Louis du
               Tillet--appeals to the tribunal of God from
               the accusation of schism charged on him by his
               friend,                                             94

     XXVIII. TO FAREL.--Death of Courault--Calvin's discouragement
               and trust in God--answers a question of Saunier
               regarding the Supper--the faithful at Geneva
               exhorted not to separate from the new preachers--
               affectionate advice given to Farel,                 99


  1539.

       XXIX. TO FAREL.--Second edition of the "Christian
               Institutes"--death of Robert Olivetan--state of
               religion in Germany--first lectures of Calvin at
               Strasbourg,                                        104

        XXX. TO FAREL.--Fruitless efforts for the union of the
               two Churches--synod of Zurich--Bullinger's
               distrust of Bucer--parallel between Luther and
               Zuingli--Calvin thinks of marrying--news of
               Germany--policy of the ecclesiastical Electors--
               French Church of Strasbourg--conversion of two
               Anabaptists,                                       107

       XXXI. TO BULLINGER.--Excuses his long silence--evidences
               of brotherly affection--justifies Bucer--his
               desire for the union of the Church of Zurich with
               that of Strasbourg,                                112

      XXXII. TO FAREL.--Departure of Calvin for the Assembly of
               Frankfort--the question of Ecclesiastical
               property--news of Geneva--opening of the
               religious conferences at Frankfort--disposition
               of the Roman Catholic princes and Protestants in
               Germany--policy of Charles V.--Reformation in
               England--remarkable judgment on Henry VIII.,       116

     XXXIII. TO FAREL.--Conclusion of the Assembly at
               Frankfort--attitude of the Protestant princes--
               conversations between Calvin and Melanchthon on
               ecclesiastical discipline--opinion of the
               latter--of Capito--various details,                128

      XXXIV. TO FAREL.--Numerous occupations of Calvin--news of
              Germany--firmness of the Senate of Strasbourg,      132

       XXXV. TO FAREL.--Union of the Swiss Churches--first steps
               for the recall of Calvin to Geneva--some details
               concerning his ministry and his straitened
               circumstances--Lutheran ceremonies--the Church
               property--renewal of the League of Smalkald--
               constancy of the German princes--example of
               fidelity to the cause of Christ on the part of
               the town of Strasbourg,                            133

      XXXVI. TO FAREL.--Ecclesiastical news of Switzerland--
               destitution of the minister Megander--complaints
               addressed to Bucer--further projects of marriage
               on the part of Calvin,                             139

     XXXVII. TO THE CHURCH OF GENEVA.--Recommends anew the
               counsel of peace and brotherly agreement to the
               Church of Geneva,                                  142

    XXXVIII. TO FAREL.--Journey of Farel to Strasbourg--scanty
               remunerationof Calvin--sale of his books,          149

      XXXIX. TO FAREL.--Reconciliation of Farel with Caroli--
               intercession of the Senate of Strasbourg in favour
               of the French Protestants--answer of Calvin to the
               letter of Cardinal Sadolet,                        150

         XL. TO FAREL.--Caroli at Strasbourg--proceedings of
               Sturm and Bucer for the reconciliation with
               Calvin,                                            151

        XLI. TO FAREL.--Farther details of the reconciliation
               of Calvin with Caroli--the minister Alexander--a
               lecture of Bucer--negotiations of the Protestant
               Princes of Germany--their answer to Henry VIII.--
               French translation of the epistle to Sadolet,      157

       XLII. TO FAREL.--Caroli--encounter between William du
               Bellay and the Constable de Montmorency--
               preparation for an approaching Assembly in
               Germany--negotiations with the King of England--
               salutations addressed by Luther to Calvin--hope
               of an accommodation between the Swiss and German
               Churches,                                          163

      XLIII. TO FAREL.--Persecutions in France--policy of
               Francis I. and Charles V.--ecclesiastical
               discipline--university regulations at
               Strasbourg--illness of Farel,                      168


  1540.

       XLIV. TO FAREL.--Farther mention of Caroli--discussion
               with Herman the Anabaptist--good understanding
               of Charles V. and Francis I.--alarm of the German
               Princes--some detail of the propositions
               addressed to Calvin,                               171

        XLV. TO FAREL.--Impressions of Calvin on his recall to
               Geneva--rigorous application of discipline in
               his church--news of Germany, of France, and of
               England,                                           175

       XLVI. TO FAREL.--Reconciliation of parties at Geneva--
               insufficiency of the ministers of that Church--
               policy of Charles V.--courageous attitude of the
               Protestant Princes--favourable news from
               England--cruel persecutions in France--
               ecclesiastical discipline in the French Church
               at Strasbourg,                                     178

      XLVII. TO PETER VIRET.--Excuses for his silence--sad news
               from France--repugnance of Calvin to return to
               Geneva--his comparative estimate of Capito,
               Zuingli, Luther, and Œcolampadius,              186

     XLVIII. TO FAREL.--Preparations for the Assembly of
               Haguenau--symptoms of misunderstanding between
               Charles V. and Francis I.--severe judgment of
               Henry VIII.--evils produced in the Church by the
               absence of discipline--various details,            189

       XLIX. TO MONSIEUR DU TAILLY.--Review of the Conferences
               of Haguenau--the state of parties in Germany,      193

          L. TO PETER CAROLI.--Answer to the complaints of
               Caroli--refuses to grant to him the professorial
               chair unless he repents of his past offences,      198

         LI. TO VIRET.--Deputations sent to France and into
               England--the Edict of Fontainbleau,                202

        LII. TO FAREL.--Sickness of Calvin--preparation for
               departure to the Diet at Worms--letter to the
               Queen of Navarre on behalf of the faithful
               persecuted in France,                              204

       LIII. TO THE SEIGNEURY OF GENEVA.--Excuses himself from
               returning to Geneva by the necessity of his
               attendance at the Diet of Worms,                   208

        LIV. TO FAREL.--Exposition of the motives which prevent
               him from returning to Geneva,                      210

         LV. TO THE SEIGNEURY OF GENEVA.--Calvin at Worms--he
               excuses himself to the magistrates of Geneva for
               his inability to comply with their request, on
               account of the mission with which he had been
               charged into Germany in the general interests
               of the Church,                                     214

        LVI. TO FAREL.--Details of the interview of Calvin with
               the Deputies from Geneva,                          218

       LVII. TO NICOLAS PARENT.--Testimony rendered to the
               French Church at Strasbourg, and to the pastor
               in charge of it during the absence of Calvin--
               matters of advice,                                 220

      LVIII. TO NICOLAS PARENT.--Instructions regarding the
               Supper, and on various points of Ecclesiastical
               Discipline,                                        222


  1541.

        LIX. TO THE SEIGNEURY OF GENEVA.--Calvin sent to the
               Diet of Ratisbon--he excuses himself on that
               account from returning at that moment to
               Geneva--advices addressed to the magistrates
               of that town,                                      225

         LX. TO FAREL.--Anxiety on account of the Swiss
               Churches--approaching departure for Ratisbon--
               disputes between Berne and Geneva--calumnies
               directed against the Vaudois of Provence,          227

        LXI. TO VIRET.--New expression of the repugnances and
               terrors which Calvin feels in prospect of his
               returning to Geneva,                               230

       LXII. TO JAMES BERNARD.--Protests his devotedness to the
               Church of Geneva--oblivion of past injury,         234

      LXIII. TO FAREL.--Calvin at Ratisbon--the plague at
               Strasbourg--grief of the Reformer--preliminaries
               of the Diet--the German princes--the Italian
               prelates--Hungary--the Turk--Poland--state of
               opinion--inclinations of Charles V.--stayedness
               upon God,                                          237

       LXIV. TO MONSIEUR DE RICHEBOURG.--Consolatory letter on
               the death of his son,                              246

        LXV. TO FAREL.--Affliction of Calvin--news of the Diet
               of Ratisbon--appointment of the theologians
               charged with the representation of the two
               parties--their reception by the Emperor--portrait
               of Julius Pflug, of Gropper, and of Eck,           253

       LXVI. TO FAREL.--Request addressed by the ministers of
               the Church of Zurich to those of Strasbourg--
               Calvin promises to return to Geneva--message to
               Viret,                                             258

      LXVII. TO FAREL.--Results of the Diet of Ratisbon--
               conferences of the theologians--original sin--
               free-will--justification--impossibility of
               agreement in the sacrament of the Supper,          260

     LXVIII. TO FAREL.--Efforts of Bucer and of Melanchthon to
               effect a connection between the two Churches--
               formula of concord--feeling of Calvin on the
               subject,                                           262

       LXIX. TO THE PASTORS OF THE CHURCH OF ZURICH.--The
               expression of his sentiments in reference to the
               Church of Geneva--ready to return to that town
               if the Magistrates of Strasbourg consent to it,
               and if the Seigneury of Berne promise their
               support--testimony of respect for the Church of
               Zurich,                                            265

        LXX. TO FAREL.--Return of Calvin to Strasbourg--news of
               the Diet of Ratisbon--contradictory formulæ
               presented to the Emperor--reply of Charles V.--
               letter to the King of France in favour of his
               persecuted Protestant subjects,                    271

       LXXI. TO FAREL AND VIRET.--Communication of a letter
               received from Bucer--news of Germany--Church of
               Metz--assurance given to Viret of his approaching
               departure for Geneva--recommendation of two young
               men,                                               274

      LXXII. TO VIRET.--Excuses for his delay in leaving
               Strasbourg--conclusion of the Diet at Ratisbon,    278

     LXXIII. TO FAREL.--Prepares to depart for Geneva--
               self-denial of Calvin--absolute submission to the
               will of God,                                       280

      LXXIV. TO THE SEIGNEURY OF GENEVA.--Arrival of Calvin at
               Neuchatel--purpose of his going to that town,      282

       LXXV. TO FAREL.--Calvin at Berne--his interview with one
               of the principal magistrates, and with the
               ministers of that town,                            283

      LXXVI. TO FAREL.--Arrival of Calvin at Geneva--his
               interview with the magistrates--draws up a form
               of Ecclesiastical discipline--advises Farel to
               moderation,                                        284

     LXXVII. TO THE SEIGNEURY OF NEUCHATEL.--Efforts to pacify
               the Church of Neuchatel--instructions given to
               Viret,                                             286

    LXXVIII. TO BUCER.--New details regarding the troubles in
               the Church of Neuchatel--proceedings of Viret--
               sentence pronounced by the Bernese--the
               ecclesiastical Statutes of Geneva--request for
               prolongation of leave for Viret--testimony of
               respect and affection for Bucer--approach of the
               pestilence,                                        288

      LXXIX. TO MADAME THE DUCHESS OF FERRARA.--Instructions
               on the subject of the Mass, and on the necessity
               of avoiding scandal,                               295

       LXXX. TO FAREL.--Brotherly exhortations--efforts of
               Calvin to draw Viret to Geneva--news of that
               Church,                                            306

      LXXXI. TO FAREL.--The Vaudois of Provence--appeal
               addressed to Mathurin Cordier--the Reformation
               at Paris and Lyons,                                308


  1542.

     LXXXII. TO FAREL.--Healing of the troubles of the Church at
               Neuchatel--wise counsel given to Farel,            311

    LXXXIII. TO OSWALD MYCONIUS.--Restoration of the Church of
               Geneva--wise and moderate behaviour of Calvin--
               obstacles to the establishment of ecclesiastical
               discipline--duty of the magistrates thereupon--
               information regarding an adventurer named
               Alberg,                                            312

     LXXXIV. TO OSWALD MYCONIUS.--The Reformation at Cologne--
               some details on the condition of Germany--efforts
               of Calvin to retain Viret at Geneva,               320

      LXXXV. TO THE BRETHREN OF LYONS.--Stay of a Carmelite monk
               at Geneva--declaration of motives for refusing to
               admit him to the ministry of the Gospel,           323

     LXXXVI. TO FAREL.--Detail of the edifying death of the
               first Syndic, Amy Porral,                          331

    LXXXVII. TO VIRET.--Sickness of Idelette de Bure--the
               beginnings of the new ministers of the Church
               of Geneva,                                         335

   LXXXVIII. TO BENEDICT TEXTOR.--Divers recommendations,         336

     LXXXIX. TO FAREL.--Excuses his silence--estimate of the
               new ministers--works and literary productions of
               Calvin,                                            337

         XC. TO VIRET.--Proceedings of Castalio--school of
               Geneva--criticism on the new ministers--tidings
               of France--domestic sorrow,                        340

        XCI. TO VIRET.--Instructions given to Viret for the
               Synod of Berne--need of maintaining the
               spiritual independence of the Church--various
               directions,                                        345

       XCII. TO VIRET.--Disquietude of Calvin on occasion of
               the acts of the Synod of Berne,                    347

      XCIII. TO FAREL.--Wishes for the success of the journey
               undertaken by Farel to Metz--calumnies of James
               de Morges,                                         349

       XCIV. TO VIRET.--Origin of the disputes between Calvin
               and Castalio,                                      350

        XCV. TO VIRET.--Invitation to Viret to come to
               Geneva--nomination of a principal of the
               College of that town,                              352

       XCVI. TO VIRET.--Approval of a letter of Viret to the
               Seigneuries of Berne--the ecclesiastical
               property--Italian emigrants at Geneva--troubles
               caused by the differences of that town
               with Berne,                                        353

      XCVII. TO VIRET.--The plague at Geneva--conduct of the
               ministers in these circumstances--Italian
               refugees--the question of the ecclesiastical
               property examined,                                 357

     XCVIII. TO BULLINGER.--Numerous occupations of Calvin--
               death of Leo Juda--ravages of the plague in
               Switzerland,                                       362

       XCIX. TO MICHAEL VAROD.--Recommendation of a sick
               person,                                            364


  1543.

          C. TO MONSIEUR LE CURE DE CERNEX.--Religious
               controversy occasioned by the plague at
               Geneva--apologizes for the Reformation,            364

         CI. TO PHILIP MELANCHTHON.--Testimony of respect and
               of fraternal affection--his homage in one of
               his books--details of his labours at Geneva--
               survey of the state of Germany and of Italy,       373

        CII. TO VIRET.--Ecclesiastical particularities--
               struggles to maintain the right of
               excommunication over the ministers,                377

       CIII. TO CONRAD PELLICAN.--Offer of his services--
               answers the accusations directed against
               Farel--justification of Ochino--introduces
               two young men,                                     378

        CIV. TO THE SEIGNEURY OF GENEVA.--Calvin at Strasbourg--
               exposé of his proceedings with the magistrates
               of that town for preaching the Evangel at Metz--
               the news,                                          381

         CV. TO THE PASTORS OF THE CHURCH OF GENEVA.--The
               preaching of the Gospel encounters difficulty
               at Metz--intrigues of Caroli--fraternal
               exhortations,                                      385

        CVI. TO VIRET.--Relation of his proceedings at
               Strasbourg, and the state of things at Metz,       387

       CVII. TO THE SEIGNEURY OF GENEVA.--Answer from the
               Assembly at Smalkald--prolongation of the stay
               of Calvin and of Farel at Strasbourg--preaching
               of the Evangel at Cologne--warlike preparations
               in the Netherlands,                                388

      CVIII. TO THE AMBASSADORS OF GENEVA.--Exposé of the
               motives which prevent immediate return to
               Geneva--Cologne news and of the Netherlands,       391

        CIX. TO THE SEIGNEURY OF GENEVA.--New delay in
               conclusion of the affair of Metz--Calvin makes
               arrangements for his return to Geneva,             393

         CX. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Exhorts him to quit his
               native country, and to retire where he can make
               free profession of the Gospel,                     395

        CXI. TO MADAME DE FALAIS.--Christian counsel and
               exhortations,                                      399

       CXII. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Further exhortation to
             decide him on quitting his country,                  401


  1544.

      CXIII. TO VIRET.--The ministerial office refused to
               Castalio--the marriage of Bonnivard, Abbot of
               St. Victor,                                        403

       CXIV. TO BULLINGER.--Conclusion of an arrangement
               between Berne and Geneva,                          405

        CXV. TO VIRET.--Farther details of the arrangements
               with the Bernese--recall of the refugees--
               preparation of several works--disagreements
               with Castalio,                                     406

       CXVI. TO THE MINISTERS OF NEUCHATEL.--Controversy with
               Chaponneau regarding the Divinity of Christ,       410

      CXVII. TO FAREL.--Struggles and difficulties of Calvin
               at Geneva--quarrels of the ministers--violent
               attacks of Castalio--dissatisfaction of the
               deputies from Berne--reappearance of the plague--
               dangers of the Church,                             416

     CXVIII. TO OSWALD MYCONIUS.--Political and military
               intelligence from France and Germany,              421

       CXIX. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Arrival of Monsieur de
               Falais at Cologne--the sending of a minister--
               pious counsels,                                    422

        CXX. TO MADAME DE FALAIS.--Christian congratulations--
               hope of a speedy meeting,                          427

       CXXI. TO FAREL.--Renewal of the controversy regarding
               the Sacraments between the German and Swiss
               Churches,                                          428

      CXXII. TO BULLINGER.--New appeal to the Seigneurs of
               Zurich, in favour of the Waldenses of Provence--
               Luther's invectives against the Swiss Reformer--
               remarkable judgment in regard to his character--
               his injustice pardoned in consideration of the
               eminent services rendered by him to the cause of
               Christ,                                            429


  1545.

     CXXIII. TO MELANCHTHON.--Explanations relative to the
               publication of the book "Against the
               Nicodemites"--appeal to the authority of
               Melanchthon and Luther--troubles arising from
               ecclesiastical discords--announcement of the
               Council of Trent--policy of Charles V. and of
               Francis I.--convocation of a Synod at Melun,       434

      CXXIV. TO LUTHER.--Calvin submits to Luther several of
               his writings, of which he desires to obtain his
               approbation,                                       440

       CXXV. TO AN UNKNOWN PERSONAGE.--Difficulties in the way
               of a reunion, and doubts of the efficacy of a
               General Council under present circumstances--
               deplorable state of the Church--motives which
               prevented him from going to confer in person with
               the German Reformers--his proposals to them,       442

      CXXVI. TO VIRET.--Intelligence of France and Germany--
               Synod of Melun,                                    447

     CXXVII. TO VIRET.--Election of new magistrates at Geneva--
               struggles of Calvin,                               449

    CXXVIII. TO VIRET.--Mention of Clement Marot's metrical
               versions of the Psalms--persecutions in France,    450

      CXXIX. TO OSWALD MYCONIUS.--Discovery of a conspiracy for
               the spreading of the plague at Geneva--punishment
               of the conspirators,                               452

       CXXX. TO THE QUEEN OF NAVARRE.--Calvin vindicates himself
               from the charges of having intended to attack her
               in his book against the Libertines,                453

      CXXXI. TO FAREL.--Massacre of the Waldenses of Provence--
               Calvin entreats the sympathy of the Swiss
               Churches in their behalf,                          458

     CXXXII. TO VIRET.--Journey of Calvin to Switzerland--
               resolutions of the Diet of Arau in favour of the
               persecuted brethren of France,                     460

    CXXXIII. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Directions for his conduct
               towards the Emperor Charles V.,                    461

     CXXXIV. TO JOHN CAVENT.--Consolations on the death of his
               wife and mother,                                   464

      CXXXV. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Information regarding a
               house to be sold at Geneva,                        465

     CXXXVI. TO MELANCHTHON.--He complains of Luther's tyranny,
               and affectionately exhorts Melanchthon to manifest
               greater decision and firmness,                     466

    CXXXVII. TO BULLINGER.--Defence of the Waldenses of
               Provence--artifices of their enemies--oppression
               of that unfortunate people,                        469

   CXXXVIII. TO THE PASTORS OF SCHAFFHAUSEN.--Calvin exhorts
               them to redoubled efforts for the deliverance of
               their persecuted brethren,                         472

     CXXXIX. TO OSWALD MYCONIUS.--Pressing entreaty in behalf
               of the Waldenses of Provence,                      473

        CXL. TO JOACHIM WADIAN.--Excuses for the long silence
               which he had observed towards Wadian--allusion
               to the controversy regarding the Sacraments--
               lively entreaties in behalf of the Provençal
               brethren,                                          475

       CXLI. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Report of the near arrival
               of M. de Falais at Geneva--details relative to
               the acquiring of a house in that town,             478

      CXLII. TO OSWALD MYCONIUS.--Letter of recommendation to
               Ochino,                                            481

     CXLIII. TO MADAME DE FALAIS.--Use of affliction--
               preparation for the arrival of M. de Falais at
               Geneva,                                            482



CALVIN'S LETTERS.



I.--TO NICOLAS DUCHEMIN.[13]

  [13] This letter is the earliest in the series of Calvin's
  correspondence. Born at Noyon the 10th of July 1509, educated in
  the _belles lettres_ at Paris,--in 1527 he went to study law at the
  University of Orleans, which he left soon afterwards, in order to
  avail himself of the lectures of the celebrated Alciat at Bourges.
  In the first mentioned of these towns, he had for fellow-students
  and friends, several young men who were distinguished not less by
  their piety than by information and accomplishment. Nicolas Duchemin
  was of this number, to whom, at a later period, (1536,) he dedicated
  a letter, entitled "De fugiendis impiorum illicitis sacris et
  puritate Christianæ Religionis." That letter was translated into
  English, (London, 1548, in 8vo.) The original is inserted in the
  Latin Edition of Calvin's Works, (Amsterdam, 1671,) in the eighth
  volume. Also in the "Recueil des Opuscules," Edition of 1566.

     Calvin at the University of Orleans--his early friendships--he
     is recalled to Noyon by the illness of his father.


  NOYON, _14th May 1528_.

As I do not think that you have hitherto been correctly informed
of the motives and peculiar circumstances which have brought my
punctuality in question, you must at least be willing to admit,
that until now you have known me to be a person rather overmuch
attentive, not to say troublesome, in the frequency of my
correspondence. Nor has my fidelity been so sorely endangered as
to leave me altogether inexcusable. For after calm consideration,
I came to this conclusion in my own mind, that all the esteem
you had conceived for me, during a long acquaintance and daily
intercourse, could not vanish in a single moment; and that a certain
kindly courtesy, as well as shrewdness, is so much your nature, that
nothing is wont unadvisedly to prejudge you. This consideration
makes me feel confident that I may be restored to favour, if any
has been lost. Receive now, I pray you, in few words, the cause of
this delay. The promise made at my departure, that I would return
in a short time, while it was my wish to fulfil it, kept me all the
longer in a state of suspense. For when I was seriously intending
to return to you, my father's illness[14] occasioned the delay. But
afterward, when the physicians gave some hope of his restoration
to good health, I then thought of nought else than the anxious
desire to rejoin you, to which I had previously been very strongly
inclined, but which was much increased after an interval of some
days. Meanwhile, my onwaiting in this duty has been prolonged, until
at length there remains no hope of recovery, and the approach of
death is certain.[15] Whatsoever happens, I shall see you again.

  [14] Gerard Chauvin, or Cauvin, father of the Reformer, a man of
  strict morals, of good understanding and judgment, which we have on
  the testimony of Théod. de Bèze, _Calvini Vita_. Originally of Pont
  l'Evêque, he had been promoted, by his ability, to the office of
  notary apostolic, secretary to the bishopric, and _promoteur_ of the
  Chapter at Noyon. Le Vasseur, "_Annales de l' Eglise Cathédrale de
  Noyon_," chap. x. p. 1151.

  [15] It seems uncertain whether Gerard Chauvin died this year. The
  letters of Calvin, so far as yet appears, contain no other allusion
  to that event, which must have exercised a desirable influence on
  his life, in drawing him away from the study of law to that of
  theology, in which direction all his own tendencies drew him. See
  Théod. de Bèze, _Vita Calvini_.

Remember me to Francis Daniel; to Philip,[16] and your entire
household. Have you given in your name yet among the professors of
literature? See that your modesty does not enforce indolence upon
you.--Adieu, dear Duchemin, my friend dearer to me than my life.

  [_Lat. copy_--_Library of Berne_. Vol. 450.]

  [16] Philippe Laurent, librarian of the library at Orleans.



II.--TO FRANCIS DANIEL.[17]

  [17] Francis Daniel, advocate of Orleans, the fellow-student and
  friend of Calvin at the university of that town. ("Quant à Orléans,
  dit Th. de Bèze, il y avoit bien desjà quelques personnages, aians
  connoissance de la vérité, comme entr' autres François Daniel,
  advocat, et Nicolas Duchemin, tenant escholiers en pension."--Hist.
  Eccl. i. 9.) From several letters of the Reformer it appears,
  (1559-1560,) that while fully acknowledging the necessity of a
  reformation of the Church, Francis Daniel remained inwardly attached
  to Rome. His two sons, Francis and Peter Daniel, distinguished
  themselves in the study of law and literature.

     Calvin in Paris--Nicolas Cop--the two friends visit a monastery.


  PARIS, _27th June 1529_.

Tired with the journey, the day after our drive hither we could not
stir a foot out of doors. For the next four days, while I still felt
unable to move about, the whole of that time wore away in friendly
salutations. On the Lord's day, I repaired to the monastery with
Cop,[18] who had consented to accompany me, that according to your
advice, I might fix a day with the nuns on which your sister should
take the vows. I was told, in reply to my inquiry, that, along with
some others of her own rank, she had obtained from the sisterhood,
in conformity with approved usage, (ex solemni more,) the power of
taking upon herself the vows. The daughter of a certain banker of
Orleans, who is master of arts to your brother, is of the number.
While Cop was in the meanwhile engaged in conversation with the
abbess, I sounded the inclination of your sister, whether she would
take that yoke patiently,--whether she was not rather wearied and
drilled into submission, than submitting her neck willingly to the
harness. I urged her again and again freely to entrust me with
whatever she might have upon her mind. Never have I seen any one
more prompt or readier in reply, so that it could not come soon
enough to satisfy her wishes. You would almost think she was playing
with her doll as oft as she heard speak of the vow. I did not wish
to withdraw her from her purpose, because I had not come with that
object. But, in few words, I admonished her not to rely too much on
her own resolutions, that she ought not to make rash promises as to
herself, but rather that she would rest upon the strength of God for
all needed help,--in whom we live and have our being.

  [18] Nicolas Cop, the physician, professor in the College of Sainte
  Barbe, and friend of Calvin. In 1533 he became rector of the
  University of Paris.

While we were thus engaged in conversation, the abbess gave me an
opportunity of speaking with her, and when I proposed that she would
fix a day, she left the choice to myself, but on condition that
Pylades[19] should be present, who will be at Orleans within eight
days. So, as the day could not be fixed more certainly, we left it
to Pylades to decide. Do you, therefore, settle with him as shall
seem convenient, since I can be of no further service to you here.

  [19] Pseudonyme, adopted by some unknown friend of Calvin.

Concerning my own affairs;--as yet I have not fixed upon a lodging,
although there were many to be had if I had wished to hire, and
also offered by friends, had I been willing to take advantage of
the use of them. The father of our friend Coiffart offered his own
house to me, with that kindness that you would have said there was
nothing he desired rather than that I should take up my abode with
his son. Coiffart himself, also, with many entreaties, and those
not any way cold or distant, insisted often that he might have me
for companion and comrade; nothing would I have rather embraced
with outstretched arms than this invitation on the part of my
friend, whose acquaintance how pleasing and profitable it is to me,
yourself can testify, and which I would immediately have accepted
had I not intended this year to attend Danès,[20] whose school is
situated at a great distance from Coiffart's house. All friends who
are here desire to be remembered to you, especially Coiffart and
Viermey, with whom I am about to ride out on horseback. Greet your
mother, your wife, and your sister Francisca. Adieu. I have begun
a letter to the canon, which I shall finish on my return. If any
inconvenience is occasioned by the delay I will make up for it.

  [_Lat. copy_--_Library of Berne._ Vol. 450.]

  [20] P. Danesius. P. Danès, the scholar of Lascaris and of Budé, the
  learned Professor of Greek at the University of Paris.



III.--TO FRANCIS DANIEL.

     Thanks to Francis Daniel--salutations to Melchior
     Wolmar--various messages.


MEAUX, _6th September 1529_.

I owe you thanks for having omitted no diligence in the care
of our affairs, which I will not allow to pass unrequited when
occasion shall offer. For I think it will so happen that at least
I may be able to return a favour of the like kind, nor even then
shall my name be expunged from your day-book; what is more, there
is scarcely a single page that does not state me as your debtor.
But if you think me worth the money, I make myself over to you in
payment, with the usual legal proviso, that whatever is mine may
also go along with the purchase. You must understand, moreover,
that was the loophole opened to our barefaced solicitation, while
you gave ready and seasonable aid, so that we can scarcely be in
future anything but shameless suitors, unmindful whether we are
solvent or no, for you do not confer benefits that you may make
gain of them, but bestow your favours freely. In the meantime,
however, I will take care that the inner chamber be well supplied
with wine, if I see that it will be to our advantage, that you
may not suppose anything to be rashly undertaken. Perhaps, in an
indirect way, I appear to ask money, but do not you interpret me
unkindly or twit me indirectly, unless, as you are wont, it is good
humouredly in jest. You have done manfully in behaving with so much
firmness towards that indolent Mæcenas; since he cannot now-a-days
suit his manners to us, let him be your claw-back, and, puffed up
and pompous, leave him to nurse his ambition. I envy Fusius the
astrologer. Your road-book I return, which, with Lampridius, we may
call the itinerary, and in the Greek ὁδοιπορικὴn. I do not add
thanks, because words cannot do justice to its merit. Will you
remember me to Melchior[21] if he is yet with you, to Sucquet and
Pigney, also to our friend Curterius? Will you say to Sucquet, that
I have occasion to use the Homer's Odyssey which I had lent him? and
when you have got it, keep possession, unless indeed Ronsart who
used to bring you my letters, to whom I had entrusted the business,
has been beforehand.--Adieu, dear friend, my none-such.

  [_Lat. copy_--_Library of Berne._ Vol. 450.]

  [21] Melchior Wolmar, who was Calvin's master at the University
  of Bourges, and the preceptor of Theodore Beza; called by the
  Duke of Wurtemberg to the Professorship of Law in the University
  of Tübingen; he died in retirement at Eisenach in 1561. Calvin
  dedicated to him, August 1, 1546, his Commentary on the Second
  Epistle to the Corinthians.



IV.--TO FRANCIS DANIEL.

     Domestic intelligence--departure to Italy of the brother of
     Francis Daniel.


  FROM THE ACROPOLIS,[22] _15th January 1530_.

  [22] That is to say, Paris.

It was not in my power to reply sooner to your brother Robert's
letter, because it was only delivered to me about the middle of
November, and shortly after I had to undertake a journey of a
fortnight. The illness of the messenger, who had been laid up for
about twelve days with a dangerous complaint at Lyons, hindered the
letter from reaching me sooner. Meanwhile the fair-time had gone
by; which season having past, I had no opportunity of despatching a
letter. With reference to your brother, the matter stands thus:--I
have endeavoured, in every manner of way, to induce him to remain
with us. When I ascertained that he had rashly and without any
sufficient reason given up this, or resolved against it, I thought
I ought to persuade him to betake himself homewards; and as he had
sometimes said that any attempt of this sort would be in vain, I
thought it better, for the time, to give way, until that warmth
had in some degree subsided. As seemed to me, he had come somewhat
to himself, when all of a sudden, while such a step never entered
my thoughts, he decamped into Italy. I was expecting him and his
companion at dinner, because that time had been appointed for
touching on the subject. They did not make their appearance. When
during the whole day they were not forthcoming, I began to suspect
I know not what. On sending to the inn, word was brought back that
he had already gone away. Peter,[23] whom you have known, who had
accompanied them a mile or rather more, returned home about four
o'clock. Wherefore, if anything has happened contrary to your wish
and that of your relatives, you must not blame me, who have done my
utmost that he might not withdraw to a greater distance from you,
contrary to your wishes. Adieu; remember me to all. May the Lord
preserve you all, especially your family.

  [23] In the Latin, Petrus ad Vincula.

Will you take charge of the delivery of the letter to my sister Mary
Du Marais?

  [_Lat. copy_--_Library of Berne._ Vol. 450.]



V.--TO FRANCIS DANIEL.

     Calvin's first work--Commentary on Seneca's Treatise, "De
     Clementia."


  PARIS, _23d May 1532_.

Well, at length the die is cast. My Commentaries on the Books
of Seneca, "De Clementia,"[24] have been printed, but at my own
expense, and have drawn from me more money than you can well
suppose. At present, I am using every endeavour to collect some of
it back. I have stirred up some of the professors of this city to
make use of them in lecturing. In the University of Bourges I have
induced a friend to do this from the pulpit by a public lecture.
You can also help me not a little, if you will not take it amiss;
you will do so on the score of our old friendship; especially as,
without any damage to your reputation, you may do me this service,
which will also tend perhaps to the public good. Should you
determine to oblige me by this benefit, I will send you a hundred
copies, or as many as you please. Meanwhile, accept this copy for
yourself, while you are not to suppose that by your acceptance of
it, I hold you engaged to do what I ask. It is my wish that all may
be free and unconstrained between us. Adieu, and let me soon hear
from you. I wrote lately to Pigney, but he has not answered. To
Brosse I wrote long ago, but to this time have no reply. He who will
give Le Roy his copy will dutifully salute him.

  [_Lat. copy_--_Library of Berne._ Vol. 450.]

  [24] This is the book entitled, L. Annæi Senecæ Libri ii., de
  Clementia, ad Neronem Cæsarem, Commentariis Illustrati. Paris, 1532,
  in 4to. Calvin had dedicated this work to his old fellow-student,
  Claude de Hangest, of the illustrious family of Mommor, now become
  Abbot of St. Eloy at Noyon. The Epistle Dedicatory is dated from
  Paris the 4th April 1532.



VI.--TO FRANCIS DANIEL.

     Calvin despatches copies of the Treatise "De Clementia" to
     several persons--looks for lodgings in Paris.


  PARIS, [1532.]

Both of your letters have reached me almost on the same subject,
and nearly in the same words. I have attended to your commission
about the Bibles, in procuring which there was more need of taking
some trouble than of money. When I pack up my things I will put them
along with my baggage. The affair is of that kind which I suppose
may be deferred until that time. As for the rest, you must help me
in your turn.

The Books of Seneca on Clemency are at last printed: they are at my
own cost and labour. The money which has been expended must now be
collected on all hands. Besides, I must look to it, that my credit
stands secure. Do write as soon as you can, and let me know with
what favour or coldness they have been received, and try also to
induce Landrin to lecture. I send one copy for yourself; will you
take charge of the other five, to be forwarded to Bourges for Le
Roy, Pigney, Sucquet, Brosse, Baratier? If Sucquet can accept of it
for the purpose of lecturing, his help will be of no small service
to me. Adieu.

I have nothing to write to Duchemin, seeing that often as I have
asked he returns no answer, nor shall I set out upon my journey
until he write. What will it matter, if for some days I shiver
in the cold while in search of a lodging for the body! Concerning
Coiffart what else can I say, except that he is a selfish
fellow?--Again, adieu.

Remember me to your mother and your aunt.

  [_Lat. copy_--_Library of Berne_. Vol. 450.]



VII.--TO DR. MARTIN BUCER.[25]

  [25] This letter is addressed to Dr. Bucer, Bishop of Strasbourg.
  Martin Bucer, a very distinguished minister and theologian, was born
  at Schelestadt in 1491, and was initiated by Luther himself in the
  doctrines of the Reformed, which he introduced at Strasbourg, in
  concert with Mathias Zell and Hedion. Of a moderate and conciliating
  turn, he interposed continually between the Reformers of Germany
  and of Switzerland, and made sundry efforts to induce them to
  adopt a common symbol. "His learned writings and commentaries, his
  disputations and conferences on unforeseen occasions, his goings out
  and comings in for the sake of the Church's peace, will always make
  known his remarkable erudition, great piety and zeal, joined to an
  excellent disposition."--Th. Bezæ Icones, Genève, 1580. Compelled
  with several friends to leave Strasbourg in 1549, on the advance
  of the imperial army, he sought an asylum in England, and obtained
  a chair in the University of Cambridge. He died there in 1551, and
  was interred with extraordinary pomp. His body was disinterred under
  the reign of Mary, and publicly burnt at the stake. In the reign of
  Elizabeth his memory was honourably restored.

     Recommendation of a French refugee in Strasbourg, who had been
     falsely accused of holding the doctrines of the Anabaptists.


  NOYON, _4th September 1532_.

The grace and peace of the Lord be with you by the mercy of God and
the victory of Christ.

Leisure to write would not have weighed as an argument to persuade
me, any more than good advice, unless it had seemed right to deplore
in a few words the unhappy lot of this excellent brother, which
some friends of undoubted faith and credit have represented to me
by letter. For whether you bear with me in my grief and sympathy,
or whether I further him in his suit, I could not refrain from
writing. The disposition and manners of the man I had known while he
lived with us in France. He so conducted himself as to be beloved
among the men of our profession, if any one was. Esteemed as such
among men who were endowed with some degree of authority, and so
as to be neither a shame nor a disgrace to them. At length, when
he could no longer bow the neck to that voluntary bondage which
even yet we bear, he departed to take up his residence with you,
having no prospect of return. But, as the matter stands, it fell
out, contrary to his expectation, like the shifting scene of a
play, and he could find no settled abode whither he might betake
himself. Thither, also, as I hear, he had hastened on account of
his straitened means and household matters, that he might have the
benefit of the assistance of friends whom himself had formerly
assisted, until better times should come. Now, observe how far more
powerful is calumny than truth. Some inconsiderate person, I know
not who, among your people, whom I certainly do not presume to
suspect of malevolence, had so prepossessed the ears of every one
with his invectives, that they were shut to all explanation. There
was, therefore, not a single person from whom he could extract a
penny. Probably it was not intended by the person, whoever he was,
who kindled the sparks of this tragedy, to destroy the character
of a harmless individual. Nevertheless, however that may be, I can
neither excuse him nor apologize to him, and do not hesitate to
assert that he has been in error, to the great hardship and calamity
of this individual. They cast upon him these reproaches, as is
said, because he had fallen under suspicion of Anabaptism. Strange,
indeed, unless the person was outrageously suspicious who spun out
this conjecture from so slender evidence. In conversation I drew
him intentionally to speak of this sacrament. He agreed in express
terms so entirely with myself, that never have I met with any one
who professed the truth upon this point more frankly. Meanwhile
he suffers notwithstanding, nor does there appear any probability
that these sinister rumours, which have already obtained a certain
degree of credit, will soon be suppressed. I intreat of you, Master
Bucer, if my prayers--if my tears, are of any avail, that you would
compassionate and help him in his wretchedness. The poor are left
in a special manner to your care--you are the helper of the orphan.
Suffer him not to be reduced to such necessity as to be driven to
extremity. You can help him, if you choose, in some one way or
other, but rather do so yourself, according to your own discretion.
I could not, however, hold my hand from going even beyond the bounds
of ordinary restraint in supporting the cause of this individual.
These for the present.--Most learned sir, farewell. Thine from my
heart,

  CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Protestant Seminary of Strasbourg._]



VIII.--TO FRANCIS DANIEL.[26]

  [26] Addressed--To Monsieur my brother and good friend, Monsieur
  Daniel, Advocate at Orleans.

     Various communications--a new work put forth.


  [PARIS, 1533.]

I send you these collectanea of late events, on this condition,
that, according to the best of your faith and duty, they may
circulate among the friends, whom also you will respectfully salute
for me, except Framberg, whom I have resolved to tame by my silence,
seeing that I have not been able to coax him by gentleness, nor to
get anything out of him by scolding. Besides, what is worse than
all, when his brother came hither, he did not even send me a single
greeting by him. I wish you would take charge of Michael's law suit,
if by any means it can be brought to bear; but there is need of
despatch. For whom, if you do all that is in your power, I shall
have to thank you the same as if you had done the favour to myself.
You will do the office of interpreter to the sisters, that you
may not enjoy your laugh alone. I send you another Epitome of our
Gymnasium, to which I had resolved to add as an appendix what had
been broken off from those former Commentaries, if time had allowed.

Adieu, my brother and most trusty friend, your brother,

  CALVIN.

I need not say that these are troublous times; they speak for
themselves. Beware of incautiously communicating the Epitome.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Berne._ Vol. 141, p. 43.]



IX.--TO FRANCIS DANIEL.[27]

  [27] Letter without date of the month. Written, doubtless, in
  _October_ 1533. On the testimony of Th. Beza, we know that Calvin
  dwelt at this period in the College of Forteret at Paris. _Histoire
  Ecclésiastique_, edit. de 1580, tom. i. p. 14; the same author, in
  _Vita Calvini_. Already he preached the Reformed doctrine with much
  skill and success. Implicated in the month of November following,
  along with his friend Nicolas Cop, the Rector of the University of
  Paris, he had to leave the capital in order to escape the pursuit of
  which he was the object, and secretly repaired to Angoulême.

     The Reformation in Paris--rage of the Sorbonne--satirical Comedy
     directed against the Queen of Navarre--intervention of Francis
     I.--deliberation of the Four Faculties--revocation of the
     censure pronounced against the book entitled "The Mirror of the
     Sinful Soul."


PARIS, [_October_] 1533.

Although I have beside me a forest of materials which furnish most
satisfactory evidence of what is written, yet I will restrain my
pen, that you may have rather the leading features than a long
narrative; to which were I to give way, it would grow almost into
a goodly volume. On the first of October, at which time of the
year the boys who pass out of the grammar class into that of the
dialectics, are wont, for the sake of practice, to act a play, they
performed one in the Navarre Gymnasium, which was unusually pungent
with the sprinkling of gall and vinegar. The persons brought upon
the stage are--a Queen,[28] who, in womanly fashion, was taken up
with spinning, and wholly occupied with the distaff and the needle;
then the fury Megæra[29] appeared, bringing lighted torches near
to her, that she might throw away the rock and the needle. For a
little while she opposed and struggled; but when she had yielded,
she received the gospel into her hand, and straightway forgets all
she had formerly grown into the habit of, and almost even herself.
Last of all, she becomes tyrannical, and persecutes the innocent
and unfortunate by every method of cruelty. Many other devices
were introduced in the same style, most unworthily indeed against
that excellent woman, whom, neither indirectly nor obscurely, they
tauntingly revile with their reproaches. For a few days the affair
was suppressed. Afterwards, however, as Truth is the daughter of
Time, the whole matter being reported to the Queen, it seemed to
her that it would set a very bad example and encouragement to their
wantonness, who are always gaping after something new, if this
impertinence were allowed to pass unpunished. The prefect of police,
with a hundred officers, proceeded to the Gymnasium, and by his
orders, surrounded the building, that no one might slip out. He then
entered with some few of his men, but did not succeed in finding the
author of the drama. They say, that he had little expected such a
proceeding, and had made no provision in the event of it; but that,
being by accident in a friend's room, he heard the noise before they
could get sight of him, and so hid himself away until an opportunity
of escape presented. The prefect in command of the police captured
the boyish performers; the master of the Gymnasium, meanwhile,
resisted this proceeding; in the midst of their wranglings, stones
were thrown by some of the boys. The prefect, nevertheless, keeps
hold of his prisoners, and forced them to explain what parts they
had acted in the scene. When the author of the mischief could not
be apprehended, the next thing was to inquire after those who,
when they could have hindered, had permitted the performance, and
had so long concealed the whole affair. One who is distinguished
above the rest in authority and name, (for he is the great master
Lauret,[30]) sought that he might be imprisoned more respectably in
the house of one of the Commissaries, (as they call them.) Another
of them, Morinus, the second after him, was ordered to keep at home.
Meanwhile, the inquiry goes forward. What has been discovered I know
not: he is now summoned to appear on a citation of three short days,
as they now phrase it. So much for the Comedies. Certain factious
theologues have perpetrated another exploit equally malignant, and
perhaps almost as audacious. When they searched the shops of the
booksellers, among the books which they brought away, they seized
the book which is called _Le Miroir de l'Ame Pécheresse_,[31]
the reading of which they wish to prohibit. When the Queen was
informed of it, she called on the King her brother, and told him
she had written the book. By letters addressed to the masters of
the Paris Academy he required them to certify to himself whether
they had examined the book, and whether they had classed it among
those of unsound religion; that if they considered it such that
they would give him the reason of their opinion. Referring to the
whole procedure, Nicolas Cop, the physician, at present the rector,
stated the affair to the four colleges of arts, of medicine, of
philosophy, of theology, and of the canon law. Among the masters
of arts whom he first addressed, he inveighed in a long and bitter
oration against the doctors, because of their rash and arrogant
behaviour towards her majesty the queen. He advised them not to
interfere in any way in a matter of so much danger, if they did not
wish to incur the displeasure of the king, nor to array themselves
against the queen, that mother of all the virtues and of all good
learning. Lastly, that they ought not to take the blame of this
offence upon themselves, lest they should encourage the presumption
of those who were always ready to enter upon anything under cover
of the pretext that it was the deed of the academy to which they
had committed them, without the academy being at all aware of it.
It was the opinion of them all that the act ought to be disavowed.
The theologians, canonists, and physicians, were of the same mind.
The rector reported the decree of his order; next, the dean of the
faculty of medicine; third, the doctor of canon law; fourth, the
faculty of theology. Le Clerc, the parish priest of St. Andrew,
had the last word, on whom the whole mischief was laid, others
retiring from him out of sight. First of all he praised, in lofty
expression, the uprightness of the king, the undaunted firmness
with which hitherto he has conducted himself as a protector of the
faith. That there were some busy-bodies who endeavoured to pervert
this excellent person, who also were in league together for the
destruction of the sacred faculty; that he, however, entertained
the confident expectation that they would not succeed in their
wishes, and that, in opposition to such firmness as he knew the
king to possess. That as regarded the matter in hand, he was indeed
appointed by the decree of the academy to that office; that nothing,
however, was less intended by him than to attempt anything against
the queen, a woman so adorned by godly conversation as well as by
pure religion, in proof of which he adduced the reverence with
which she had observed the funeral rites in memory of her deceased
mother;[32] that he held as forbidden books, both those obscene
productions,--_Pantagruel_ and the _Forest of Loves_, and others of
the same mint; that, in the meantime, he had put aside the book in
question as liable to suspicion, because it was published without
the approval of the faculty, in fraud and contravention of the
arrêt, whereby it was prohibited to put forth anything concerning
the faith without the advice and approbation of the faculty; that,
in a word, this was his defence, that what was called in question
had been done under warrant and commission of the faculty; that
all were partakers in the offence, if there was any, although they
might point blank deny it. And all this was spoken in French, that
all might understand whether he spake the truth; they all cried
out, however, that he pleaded this pretended ignorance by way of
excuse. There were present also the Bishop of Senlis, L'Etoile, and
one of the prefects of the palace. When Le Clerc had made an end
of speaking, Parvi[33] said, that he had read the book,--that he
had found nothing requiring expurgation unless he had forgot his
theology. Finally, he required that they would give out a decree by
which they might satisfy the king. Cop, the rector, announced that
the academy did not acknowledge that censure as it stood; that they
did not approve nor homologate the censure by which the book in
question was classed among the prohibited or suspected books; that
those who had done so must look to it, on what ground they were to
defend the proceeding; that letters would be prepared in due time,
whereby the academy might excuse itself to the king, and also return
thanks for that he had so kindly addressed them in a fatherly way.
The royal diploma was produced, by which permission is granted to
the Bishop of Paris to appoint what preachers he pleases to the
different parishes, where formerly they were chosen at the will of
the parishioners; the chief influence being enjoyed by those who
were most obstreperous and possessed by a senseless furor, which
they consider zeal, such as never fired Elias, with which, however,
he was zealous over the house of God.--Farewell.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Berne_. Vol. 141.]

  [28] Margaret of Valois, sister of Francis I., Queen of Navarre, one
  of the most distinguished women of her age, both by the generosity
  of her character and the graces of her understanding. Inclined by
  the bent of her mind towards reform, by the devout breathings of
  her soul, of which we find the expression in her poetry and in her
  letters, she made use of her influence with her brother, the French
  monarch, to abate the persecution directed against the disciples
  of the Evangel, and her generous conduct more than once aroused
  the fury of the Sorbonne against her. Calvin, exiled from France,
  had recourse on more than one occasion to the influence of this
  Princess, and addressed very free exhortations to her. See, in this
  collection, the letter of Calvin to the Queen of Navarre, of the
  28th April, 1545.

  [29] Megæra. This Megère was an allusion to Gerard Roussel, preacher
  to the Queen of Navarre, one of the most zealous missionaries of the
  Reformation at Paris. (_Megæra_--_Mag. Gerardus._) This information
  we have from the celebrated John Sturm, in a letter to Bucer, which
  shews that the introduction of Megæra was a play upon the name:
  "Nuper in Gymnasio Navarrico novus quidam ... ποιήτης Reginam
introduxit, quæ se in disciplinam diaboli traderet, una cum
sacrifico quem Megeram appellant, alludens ad nomen Magistri
Gerardi."--Letter of Nov. 1533, printed in Strobel, _Histoire du
Gymnase de Strasbourg_, p. 109.

  [30] This Lauret is designated, in the letter of Sturm above cited,
  as a man of great erudition and of much influence, "_homo potens et
  rex sapientum_."

  [31] _The Mirror of a Sinful Soul_: a mystical poem, wherein the
  Queen of Navarre acknowledges no other Mediator than Jesus Christ,
  and no other righteousness than his expiatory death. This book,
  which first appeared in print at Alençon in 1531, reprinted in 1533
  at Paris, forms part of the poetical collection published under the
  title, "Marguerites de la Marguerite des Princesses, très illustre
  Reyne de Navarre." Lyon. 1547. 2 vols. in 8vo.

  [32] Louise of Savoy, regent of France during the captivity of
  Francis I. at Madrid. She died in 1531. After having favoured for a
  time the doctrines of the Reformers, this cunning and cruel princess
  gave the signal for the most ruthless persecution of the preachers
  of the Gospel.

  [33] William Parvi, Bishop of Senlis and confessor of the king. He
  had translated into French the _Livre d' Heures_ of Margaret of
  Valois, suppressing at the same time from the book a great number of
  pieces addressed to the Virgin and to the saints.



X.--TO FRANCIS DANIEL.[34]

  [34] Without date. After an attentive examination of this letter
  we believe it to refer to the first months of the year 1534, while
  Calvin resided with his friend Louis du Tillet at Angoulême. It is
  known that the young Reformer, while he was obliged to retire from
  Paris, after the discourse of his friend Nicolas Cop, (November
  1533,) found an asylum in the house of Du Tillet, and spent several
  months at Angoulême in solitude and retirement. It is from that
  town, designated under the Greek name of _Doxopolis_, that he wrote
  to his friend Francis Daniel, in praise of the kindness of his host
  (Louis du Tillet) and of the peaceful retreat which Providence had
  prepared for him.

     Retirement of Calvin to Angoulême.


  DOXOPOLIS, [1534.]

Without having anything particular to write I can at any time play
the gossip with you, and so fill up a letter. Yet why should I
intrude upon you with my complainings? The chief matter which, in
my opinion, is of sufficient interest to be communicated to you at
present is that I am getting on well, and taking into account the
constitutional weakness and infirmity which you are well aware of,
am also making some progress in study. Certainly, also, the kindness
of my patron may well quicken the inactivity of the most indolent
individual, for it is such that I clearly understand that it is
given for the sake of letters. So that I must all the more endeavour
and earnestly strive that I be not utterly overwhelmed under the
pressure of so much generous kindness, which somehow constrains
me to exertion. Although, indeed, were I to strain every nerve to
the utmost I could never make any adequate, or even inadequate
return, so great is the amount of obligation which I would have to
encounter. This inducement, therefore, must keep me continually
mindful to cultivate those common pursuits of study for the sake
of which so great a value is put upon me. If permitted to enjoy in
repose such as this--the interval, whether I am to consider it of
my exile or of my retirement, I shall conclude that I have been
very favourably dealt by. But the Lord, _by whose Providence all is
foreseen, will look to these things_. I have learned from experience
that we cannot see very far before us. When I promised myself an
easy tranquil life, then what I least expected was at hand; and,
on the contrary, when it appeared to me that my situation might
not be an agreeable one, a quiet nest was built for me, beyond
my expectation, and this is the doing of the Lord, to whom, when
we commit ourselves, Himself will have a care for us. But I have
already almost filled my page, partly with writing, partly with
blotting.--Adieu, greet whom you will.

  [_Lat. copy_--_Library of Berne_. Vol. 450.]



XI.--TO CHRISTOPHER LIBERTET.[35]

  [35] Christopher Libertet or Fabri, of Vienne in Dauphiny, a worthy
  minister of the Church of Neuchatel. At an early period he entered
  into friendly relations with Calvin, was in 1536 pastor of the
  congregation at Thonon, took part the same year in the disputation
  at Lausanne, and was recalled in 1546 by the Church of Neuchatel,
  which he served until the time of his death, in 1563, with equal
  wisdom and faithfulness.

     Calvin in Basle--revision of the Bible of Robert
     Olivetan--treatise on the Immortality of the Soul.


  BASLE, _11th September_, [1534.[36]]

  [36] Without year. This letter, written before the publication
  of the Bible of Robert Olivetan, refers evidently to the year
  1534. Under the necessity of leaving France in order to escape
  persecution, Calvin had retired to Basle, where, in the year
  following, he composed his book, "De l'Institution Chrétienne."

When our friend Olivetan[37] had intimated, by the letters which
he wrote about the time of his departure, that he had put off
his intended publication of the New Testament to another time,
it appeared to me that I might make the revision which had been
promised at my leisure, and reserve it to another time. Meanwhile
other studies engaged my attention, and I thought no more of the
matter, or rather sank down into my wonted languor. As yet, I have
scarcely got my hand to work upon it, and besides, the volume which
I sent will be necessary in the collation, and yet, though it was
brought three months ago, it has not yet been put together. This
has not occurred through any indifference on my part, but partly
by the slowness of the binder, whom, nevertheless, we have not
ceased to call upon daily, partly also because when it was brought
to me at first we required a supply of paper to the extent of six
sheets, which could not be had immediately. Henceforward, however, I
shall set apart an hour every day to be bestowed on this work. And
should I throw together any remarks, I will not deposit them with
any other person than yourself, unless Olivetan on his return shall
anticipate you. Further, word has been brought me by some one, I
know not whom, at your request, that you did not entirely approve of
some things in my treatise on the Immortality of Souls.[38] So far
from being offended because of your opinion, I am greatly delighted
with this straightforward plainness. Nor does my perversity reach
to such a degree as to allow myself in a freedom of opinion, which
I would wish to take away from others. That I may not, however, vex
or annoy you unnecessarily, by fighting the same battle over and
over again, I wish you to understand that the book has been recast
by me. Some things have been added, others left out, but altogether
in a different form and method. Although some few things have been
omitted, I have inserted others, and some things I have altered. As
for that essay which I had given Olivetan to read, it contained my
first thoughts, rather thrown together in the shape of memoranda or
common places, than digested after any definite and certain method,
although there was some appearance of order. That new book (for so
it must be called) I would have sent you, had it been read over
again by me. But since it was written out by Gaspar, I have not
looked into it. Farewell; may the Lord have you in his keeping, and
enrich you always with his own gifts.--Yours,

  MARTIANUS LUCANIUS.[39]

  [37] Peter Robert Olivetan, related to Calvin, and translator of the
  Bible into the French language. Banished from Geneva in 1533, he had
  retired to Neuchatel, where he published successively (1534-1535)
  his translation of the New and of the Old Testament. This work,
  undertaken at the request of the Vaudois of Piedmont, had been
  revised by Calvin.

  [38] This is the treatise which is entitled, "_Psychopannychia,
  qua refellitur eorum error qui animas post mortem usque ad ultimum
  judicium dormire putant_."--Paris, 1534, 8vo. This treatise,
  translated into French by Calvin himself, has been inserted, with
  a preface of the author, "_à un sien amy_," in the "_Recueil des
  Opuscules_," p. 1.

  [39] A pseudonyme which Calvin sometimes made use of in his Latin
  correspondence.

Some how or other it has so happened that in the hurry of writing
I omitted what by no means I had intended. It was to exhort you
and the other brethren in a few words, but most heartily, to the
cultivation of peace, for the preservation of which you ought all of
you to strive the more earnestly as Satan watches intently for its
overthrow. You can scarce believe how much I was shocked at hearing
of that new uproar about the lepers, set agoing by him of whom I
would never have suspected such a thing. But at length he vomited
out the poison with which he was sweltering from long dissimulation,
and having fixed the sting, like a viper fled away. Be not wanting,
on your part, I entreat you, so far as lies in you, which, indeed,
I was confident would be the case of your own accord, but I was
willing at the same time to interpose my prayer for peace.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of the Company of Neuchatel._]



XII.--TO FRANCIS DANIEL.[40]

  [40] This is the first letter of the Reformer after his settlement
  at Geneva. Having left his retreat of Basle in the end of the year
  1535, he had made a rapid tour in the north of Italy, and revisited
  France, which he had left in the month of July on his return to
  Switzerland. Not being able, without danger, to traverse Champagne
  and Lorraine, he went back to Basle by the way of Geneva, (August
  1536,) when he was detained in that town by the entreaties of Farel.
  Afterwards he accepted the office of Professor of Theology, and
  attended the disputation of Lausanne on the 1st of October, which
  was followed by the establishment of the Reformation in the Pays de
  Vaud, conquered by the Seigneury of Berne from the Duke of Savoy.

     Calvin in Geneva--translation into French of the "Christian
     Institutes"--disputation of Lausanne--establishment of the
     doctrines of the Reformation in the Pays de Vaud.


  LAUSANNE, _13th October 1536_.

That you may not, according to old use and wont, lay a long and
clamorous accusation against my indolence, seeing that whole three
months have passed away during which you have received not a single
letter from me, accept now a brief statement as to the state of
matters upon the whole. For some days

I was detained at Geneva by the brethren, until they extracted
from me a promise to return; then after that, I brought back my
relative Artois[41] to Basle, and gave offence to several churches
in the course of my journey, by whom I was requested to stay with
them for a little while. In the meantime, the August fair was over,
which was the most favourable opportunity for the conveyance of
letters. Furthermore, as soon as I got back to Geneva, a violent
cold attacked me, which afterward settled upon the upper gum, so
that there was scarce any relief even after nine days, and after
having been twice bled, with a double dose of pills and several
fomentations. Nor is it yet completely shaken off. During that lost
opportunity, although there was abundant leisure for writing, and
the way or channel of correspondence was not entirely closed, yet I
was kept continually occupied upon the French version of my little
book;[42] and the almost certain expectation began then to arise,
that the letters might reach you enriched by that acquisition,
rather than that they should come empty handed. But before my
intention could be fulfilled, the day fixed for the disputation at
Lausanne had already arrived,[43] at which my presence was required;
and at the same time I saw the November fair approaching, which I
considered to be a more convenient time for writing, and therefore
it seemed to me better to wait for that opportunity. So much to stop
your expostulations.

  [41] Calvin had left Noyon accompanied by his brother Antony and his
  sister Mary, who went to settle at Basle. Bèze, _Calvini Vita_.

  [42] The book here referred to is no other than the _Institution
  Chrétienne_, first published in Latin, (Basle, 1536, in 8vo.) Calvin
  thought of giving a translation of that work. The first known
  edition of the _Institution Chrétienne_ in French bears date 1540.

  [43] The disputation of Lausanne, in which Farel, Viret, and
  Calvin took part began the 2d October, and lasted seven days. The
  narrative of what took place may be found in Ruchat, _Histoire de la
  Réformation en Suisse_, edit. 1836, vol. iv. pp. 161-163.

The talk of the disputation above mentioned has, I understand, been
spread so far and wide, that I do not doubt some whiff of it has
reached your city. The disputation was appointed by a decree of the
Council of Berne, accompanied by a solemn Edict,[44] whereby the
Senate declared, that it was free to every one, and _that_ without
the dread of being called in question, to state whatever might
concern the matter of disagreement upon the point of religion. They
considered that this was the most likely method, by which publicly
to expose the unskilfulness of those who try to oppose the Gospel,
and that thus they might render of no avail the triumph arising
out of this new authority which they have accepted at the hand of
the Duke of Savoy. Already, in many places, the idols and altars
of Popery have begun to disappear, and I hope it will not be long
before all remaining superstition shall be effectually cleared away.
The Lord grant that idolatry may be entirely uprooted out of the
hearts of all. I do not describe to you the precise form in which
the disputation presents itself, because it is not easy to do so
in a brief explanation, and also because I trust it will some time
or other be published. To-morrow, if the Lord will, I set out for
Berne, about which affair you shall hear from me by other letters;
and I am afraid it will be necessary for me to hasten forward as
far as Basle: which inconvenience, however, I shall endeavour if
it be possible to avoid; more especially taking into account the
state of my health, and the very unseasonable time of the year. If
those idle bellies with you, who chirp together so sweetly in the
shade, were only as well disposed as they are talkative, they would
instantly flock hither to take on themselves a share of the labour,
to which we must be inadequate, since there are so few of us. You
can hardly believe the small number of ministers compared with
the very many churches which need pastors. How I wish, seeing the
extreme necessity of the Church, that, however few they may be in
number, there were at least some right-hearted men among you who may
be induced to lend a helping hand! May the Lord preserve you.--Yours,

  MARTIANUS LUCANIUS.

  [44] Edict of July 16, 1536. Ruchat, _Histoire de la Réformation_,
  vol. iv.; Pièces Justificatives, No. II.

Remember me, I entreat you, particularly to your mother and sister,
your wife also, if you think proper, your kinsmen, and all the rest.

  [_Lat. copy_--_Library of Berne._ Vols. 141 and 142.]



XIII.--TO MEGANDER.[45]

  [45] Gaspar Grossmann, (Megander,) from Zurich, minister of the
  Church of Berne. In 1537 he presided in the Synod of Lausanne, where
  the errors of Caroli were condemned, and in the following year
  became pastor of the Church at Zurich.

     Calvin and Caroli encounter each other--prayers for the
     dead--the Genevese clergy accused of Arianism--need of a synod.


GENEVA, [_February 1537_.[46]]

  [46] Letter without date, written evidently a little before the
  meeting of the Synod of Lausanne, which took place about the middle
  of the month of May 1537.--Ruchat, _Histoire de la Réformation en
  Suisse_, tom. v. p. 24-40.

Grace to you and peace from the Lord.

It must be already well known to you how much mischief Caroli[47]
has of late stirred up; he has devised a method, forsooth, by which
it is possible to aid the dead by prayer, not that their sins
may be remitted, but that they may be raised up as expeditiously
as possible--certainly a piece of very necessary information,
especially at the present time, when we are pressed by so many
difficulties. The ambitious man wished to recommend himself to
the public, in whose esteem he does not rank very high, by some
novelty, as if that had been any thing new which has long ago been
propounded by different authors. Nevertheless he impudently claims
the praise of the discovery, from whence it is evident, with what
purpose he has been induced to put forth this dogma. But even were
we to yield to his eager desire of popularity, that false applause
which he demands, of what consequence would that be, when it
shall have been clearly proved that the device was not only over
curious and trifling, but also silly, as I pledge myself that I will
show? But setting aside all consideration of the truth as well as
falsehood of the dogma, it is not possible to excuse his extreme
malice and dishonesty in the spreading of it abroad. While he had
Viret present, there was not a word about that matter. He paid us
a visit,--immediately thereon a rumour follows. The matter speaks
for itself, that he had remarked upon the absence of his colleague
with the view of disturbing the peace of the Church. To this must be
added, that upon your own motion it was agreed, by the judgment of
all the brethren, that nothing should be brought before the people
in an unusual manner, or without having been previously considered,
unless many were advised with before hand. You are aware how just
and reasonable that is, and how well adapted for promoting the unity
of doctrine. By this decree we were well assured that our Churches
would be most seasonably guarded against being cut up by dissension.
But this troublesome fellow, as if he did not care to what extent
he might disturb the Church of Christ by his rashness, at the
same time thus sets at defiance the law and judgment of the whole
Church. Even if he had not hitherto led a dissolute and altogether
irrational life, he ought, by this time, to have considered that
a different kind of behaviour must now be adopted by him. But
even now, how does he proceed? Never have I heard anything more
outrageous; so that it was evident he was doing his best to carry
on the war against us. So great was his mental excitement, such the
fierceness of exclamation, so bitter were his expressions. Viret was
the first to come back; but when that had no effect, at the request
of the brethren, I myself also interposed. In the presence of your
deputation he positively refused, in the most supercilious manner,
to give any explanation of his proceeding; then he complained that
my anxious care in bringing the matter under your notice was nothing
less than a base conspiracy to ruin him, when most assuredly it is
quite certain, that I never entertained any enmity towards him,
and that Farel and Viret had never found fault with him except on
account of his immoral conduct. But Viret refuted all his quirks
and calumnies with so much cleverness, that being manifestly
detected, he might be considered as convicted upon this point.
That he might, therefore, appear to have got the better of us in
something or other, he accused the whole meeting of Arianism. I rose
up immediately and brought forward the confession in our Catechism,
which is repeated in our public letter to your college. Even this
did not quiet him, but he declared that we would be suspected in
that matter, until we subscribed the creed of Athanasius. I replied,
that it was not my practice to approve any thing as the words of
God, unless upon due consideration. Here observe the rabid fury of
the little ass. Thereupon he cried out, that it was an expression
unbecoming a Christian man. The deputies said that there was need
of a General Assembly where these matters might be discussed, which
they also undertook that themselves would see to. Neither can I in
any adequate degree express in words, nor can you conceive, the
imminent peril to the Church if that measure be any longer delayed;
therefore I do not think we ought to wait until the deputies make
good their promise, but rather that these measures must be referred
to you and to your colleagues. In that view of the question, the
public letter has been addressed to your college. But, in truth, my
very worthy brother, you can do most in this affair yourself, and
ought, in virtue of the power which belongs to your place, above
every other person, to strive for it to the uttermost. You appear
to me to be specially required, seriously to turn your attention to
this business. You can hardly believe how sorely the foundations
which have hitherto been laid have been affected by this one blow,
while, in the meantime, the unskilful are told, that we are not
agreed among ourselves upon the doctrine of religion, nor can there
be a doubt that more serious consequences will ensue presently,
unless we apply the suitable remedy. Already certain of our people
are called impostors, who not only concealed that they pray for the
dead, but have confidently affirmed that they do not. Further, the
peasants object, that we ought to be agreed among ourselves before
we endeavour to bring others to be of our mind. Think with yourself
what may be expected to arise from such preliminaries as these.
Moreover, this stigma with which that wicked calumniator has branded
us must not be allowed to stick, so as that the seamless robe of the
Gospel may utterly be rent asunder by the reproaches of the ungodly.
It ought, therefore, to be carefully looked to, that all the
ministers speaking the French language, who are under the government
of your republic, may be enforced to attend the council, where all
controversies of this sort are to be decided. We must lose no time,
however, and also strive, if by any means that can be obtained, that
it may meet before Easter. There are, besides, some other matters
which it may prove of no inconsiderable advantage to have settled
before that time, as, indeed, we hear some muttering about, I cannot
tell what, of an incrusted body of Christ, with which absurd folly
it is requisite that we grapple in due time. Do you, therefore,
according to your piety and prudence, see to it that you be not
wanting in a matter of so great moment, and arrange at once for
the meeting before Easter. We have compared your directory for the
ceremonies,--translated by Maurus[48] at our request, with ours,
and find no difference except that it is more concise. I brought it
with me lately to Lausanne, as there was some prospect that I might
also visit Berne. It seemed to me, however, to be better to wait for
the day of assembly, when we can go over it at our leisure. Pray do
not hesitate to write, both concerning that and the calling of the
synod, at which our ministers will willingly attend.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [47] Peter Caroli, of Rosay in Brie, doctor of the Sorbonne,
  known by his disputes with Farel and with Calvin. His unsettled
  disposition, as well as interested motives, led him towards the
  work of the Reformers; he sought the friendship of Le Fevre of
  Etaples, at Paris, and in 1534, went to Geneva, where the license
  of his manners drew upon him the censures of Farel and also of
  Viret, against both of whom he vowed thenceforward an irreconcilable
  hatred. Called afterwards as minister to Neuchatel and to Lausanne,
  he attacked the doctrines of the Reformers, maintained the necessity
  of prayers for the dead, and saw his doctrine condemned in the Synod
  of Lausanne. (May 1537.) Banished by the Senate of Berne, he retired
  to France, went back to the Church of Rome, and died miserably in
  that city, after an agitated and wandering career.

  [48] Is this Maurus Musæus, a French gentleman, who was converted to
  the Gospel, the friend of Bucer and of Œcolampadius? We are here
  left to loose conjecture in the absence of positive testimony.



XIV.--TO VIRET.[49]

  [49] Such is the address: To my very dear brother, Viret, Minister
  of the Church of Lausanne.--The minister, Peter Viret, one of the
  three great Reformers of French Switzerland. Born at Orbe in 1511,
  he completed his education at the University of Paris, and from
  the time of his return to his own country, devoted himself to the
  preaching of the reformed doctrine, which he spread at Orbe, at
  Payerne, and at Granson. Gifted naturally with persuasive genius and
  eloquence, he was sent by Farel to Geneva in 1534, and there held
  a public disputation against the Dominican Furbiti. He contributed
  powerfully to the establishment of the Reformation in that city.
  Named two years after (1537) Pastor of the Church of Lausanne, he
  served that charge until 1538, the period of his destitution by
  the Senate of Berne, and of his retirement to Geneva with the more
  illustrious members of the Vaudois clergy. Compelled by his weak
  state of health to leave Switzerland, he removed in 1561 to the
  South of France, wrought in the work of the ministry in the churches
  of Nîmes, of Lyons, of Orange, and died in 1571, either at Orthes or
  Pau. The numerous writings of Viret mentioned by Senebier, _Hist.
  Litt. de Genève_, tom. i. pp. 156-159, prove him to have been an
  original writer, though rather diffuse, and ingenious and eloquent
  as a moralist.

     Preaching of the Gospel at Besançon--ecclesiastical
     intelligence--discouragement of Farel--necessity for the return
     of Viret to Geneva.


  GENEVA, _23d April 1537_.

As I had no particular matter which occasioned my writing to you at
present, so I had not intended to write if Farel had not thought
otherwise. I have, therefore, taken up the pen rather in compliance
with his request, than because I considered it to be necessary. For
I have no doubt whatever of his having embraced everything in his
letter which was likely to suggest itself to my recollection. When
a certain person of our acquaintance had brought us word, that he
had lately been informed by letter that the brother who was detained
in prison at Besançon had been let out with the general consent of
the people, and set entirely at liberty, when not long ago he would
have been retained a prisoner in that dungeon, from whence no one
was ever brought forth, unless to undergo the sentence of death, and
besides, that the bishop, having packed up his furniture in a great
rage, had retired into the neighbouring castle, the opportunity
seemed to us to be most particularly well suited for our getting a
footing in that quarter. We have, therefore, requested a certain
native of Langres, who was then close at hand, a man richly endowed
in the best kind of learning and of mild deportment, that he would
undertake the management of that province. But as he could not
be induced to do so by any entreaties, we have thought of him of
Tournay, if anyhow he could be dragged away from Aigle, which we
suppose might not be altogether impracticable, if Froment[50] would
so far acquiesce as to take upon him that charge of his. He may very
well give them to understand, that he has been called by his friends
in France for a few days to Geneva, in which interval he will be
able to ascertain whether there is any chink or inlet by which to
gain an entrance; and should he have any success at all, then all is
well--the point is gained; but if he shall see that the corn is not
yet ripe, he will retire without delay.

  [50] Antony Froment, originally from Dauphiny, one of the earlier
  missionaries of the Reformation at Geneva. He was nominated pastor
  of the Parish of Saint Gervais in 1537; at a later period he
  resigned the ministry, was attached as secretary to Bonnivard in the
  work of drawing up the Chronicles of that town and city, and died,
  leaving behind some curious memoirs on the history of the religious
  revolution of which he had been one of the instruments at Geneva.
  Senebier, _Hist. Litt. de Genève_, tom. i. pp. 93 and 150. These
  memoirs were published in 1855 at Geneva. 1 vol. 4to., by M. Gustave
  Revilliod.

Do urge forward matters as much as possible, that we may be ready
beforehand on the day of assembly, and do so arrange in the meantime
that all our friends attend on the day of meeting thoroughly well
prepared. For we shall never be able to stand our ground against so
much wickedness, unless we hold closely together in the most perfect
agreement with each other. Wherefore, both in setting forth the
confession and in all our deliberation, it will be desirable to have
one voice for all--to be unanimous.

Michel, notwithstanding the remonstrance of the whole Presbytery,
being self-elected Bishop of Aubonne, has gone away from hence,
noways delayed or hindered by the very many solemn entreaties of the
brethren, by which they endeavoured to withdraw him from so bold an
undertaking. If such a precedent were once allowed, what will our
ministry be but plain robbery? I therefore say nothing about the
man, because at first sight you will easily scent out what he would
be at. I consider your being restored to us to be indispensable,
unless we are willing to lose Farel, who is more exhausted with the
great anxiety than I ever thought would be the case with one of such
an iron constitution. I wished you to be aware of this, that at your
leisure you might think of a successor. I am afraid, also, lest that
church may be entirely dispersed by schism rending it in pieces, if
we leave any gap or vacancy in it.

May the Lord continually enrich you with the daily increase of
his Spirit, my most friendly brother. Mr. de Hautmont[51] intends
returning to France. If, therefore, you can procure a trustworthy
and suitable conveyance, will you send back the cloak and such of
the books as had been brought thither? Saunier[52] himself and his
relative salute you.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [51] Louis du Tillet, senior curate of Claix in Poitou, and
  fellow-student of Calvin, then in retirement at Geneva, under the
  name of Mr. de Hautmont. In the year following he returned to
  France. See, in this Collection, three Letters of Calvin to Louis du
  Tillet, (1538.)

  [52] Antoine Saunier, regent of the College of Geneva.


XV.--TO SIMON GRYNEE.[53]

  [53] Simon Grynée, a learned theologian and professor of the _belles
  lettres_, the friend of Erasmus and of Melanchthon, rector of the
  Academy of Basle. His intercourse with Calvin dates from the epoch
  of the first visit of the Reformer to that town, (1535, 1536.) They
  became more intimate when Calvin, banished from Geneva, returned
  anew to seek an asylum at Basle, and was hospitably entertained
  in the house of Grynée, to whom he dedicated, in testimony of his
  remembrance, his Commentary on the Epistle of St. Paul to the
  Romans, (18th October 1539.) Two years afterwards, Simon Grynée died
  of the plague. His nephew, James Grynée, discharged the office of
  Dean of the Church of Basle, and was the correspondent and friend of
  Théodor de Bèze.

  The calumnious accusations directed by Caroli against the doctrine
  of Farel and of Calvin having spread at Basle, the latter considered
  it his duty, in a letter to Grynée, to expose the whole history of
  the controversy with Caroli, in order to oppose the entire calumny.
  See the two letters of Grynée to Calvin.--_Simonis Grynæi Epistolæ._
  Edit. de Streuber. Basle, 1847, pp. 50-53.

     The nature of the controversy between Calvin and Caroli clearly
     laid open--Synod of Lausanne--Caroli is condemned, and the
     teaching of Calvin and Farel solemnly approved.


  BERNE, [_May 1537_.]

Although the tricks and wiles of Satan are altogether marvellous
and not easy to believe, those, I mean, by which he closely assails
us in our work, of which we have had some bypast experience, the
malicious craftiness wherewith he has of late assaulted us by his
apt tool Caroli,[54] has never in the least beguiled us. For we
had not only foreseen all this sort of warfare long ago; we were
even prepared with our utmost energy to maintain the conflict.
When first we heard, therefore, that the Arian heresy was imputed
to us, and then a little afterwards the Sabellian, none of these
things very much disturbed us, seeing that our ears had long since
been well seasoned against such calumnies; and we entertained the
assured hope that they would eventually pass away in a wreath of
smoke. In the meantime we could only oppose all this by availing
ourselves of that defence, which lay ready to our hand, by which we
could give abundant satisfaction to all pious and right-minded men.
Indeed, some short time previous we had drawn up and set forth a
catechism,[55] also published in French, where we testify that we
embraced the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, under one essence of
the Godhead: making, nevertheless, such a distinction between each
from the other, that no room might be left for any crooked suspicion
of ambiguity. We taught, certainly, that Christ is the true and
natural Son of God, who had possessed the like essential deity with
the Father from all eternity, who in the fulness of time had assumed
our flesh, foreordained for our redemption.

  [54] See Note 3, p. 47.

  [55] In 1536. No copy of this first edition of the Catechism of
  Calvin is known, nor of the second, which was published two years
  later at Basle, (1538.) The earliest known edition is that of (1541)
  at Strasbourg.

When we saw that the wild beast was persevering in his rabid course,
we sought a hearing in the assembly of ministers from throughout
the whole canton of Berne, in whose presence we might publicly
defend our innocence. Those brethren speaking the French language
met first of all at Lausanne,[56] whither also two deputies from
the Senate of Berne,[57] as well as two ministers, were sent.[58]
Whatsoever falsehoods they were able to trump up, that worthy
personage gathered up into one bundle. Indeed he had come well
furnished in the way of accusation, prepared and ready with his
bag, after the fashion of a lawyer. We emptied his bag, however, to
such a degree, by our refutation, as not to leave even the shadow
of a suspicion upon the mind of any one present. At last we came to
the reading aloud of our Confession of Faith, in which he pointed
out some ten errors which he considered as such; almost every one
else was of opinion that there was nought expressed in it that
was not godly and devout. We were thereupon absolved forthwith
by the judgment of the Synod, while, on the other hand, he was
adjudged unworthy to discharge the functions of the ministry. His
persevering impudence shewed clearly that he was no way abashed or
downcast by such a result. Again he brought forth that silly bag
of emptiness crammed more full than ever; and when we had unbagged
the whole of its contents, by which he was doing his best to throw
some suspicion on the past, the formulary of our Confession was
at length produced, which, although it was not chargeable with
any other crime whatever, he held notwithstanding to be guilty of
one capital offence, because Christ was there affirmed to be that
Jehovah, who of himself alone was always self-existent, which charge
I was quite ready to meet. Certainly, if the distinction between the
Father and the Word be attentively considered, we shall say that
the one is from the other. If, however, the essential quality of
the Word be considered, in so far as he is one God with the Father,
whatever can be said concerning God may also be applied to him,
the second person in the glorious Trinity. Now, what is the meaning
of the name Jehovah? What did that answer imply which was spoken to
Moses? I AM THAT I AM. Paul makes Christ the author of this saying.
We do not take the trouble to persuade you and all the godly to
approve the truth of that judgment; but we have been unwilling that
the concealed malignity of this hopeless calumniator should pass
unnoticed, lest rumours of any kind might reach you so as to make
an impression at variance with the true state of the case. Nothing,
indeed, could have been set forth more plainly than the statement
in our Confession, that Christ is that eternal Word begotten of the
Father before all time. Therefore, of a truth, unless we please to
imagine a twofold Deity, it behoves that we speak concerning his
essence no otherwise than as concerning the essence of the one God.
There is no one to be found who is not satisfied with this form
of expression except himself. The brethren, as was worthy of the
faithful ministers of Christ, arrived at the formal conclusion, that
it appeared to them that we had been most unfairly and unreasonably
brought under any suspicion at all; and that they had not observed
anything to be disapproved in our Confession. While these
proceedings were going forward, a letter was brought from Myconius
addressed publicly to the meeting. On the back of that, another from
Capito to Farel, addressed in general terms, from both of which it
was evident that an appalling rumour had been spread far and wide
about our controversy. To sum up the whole, this affair has been
maliciously, as well as artfully, cooked up by certain individuals,
in order to stir up an evil report, and to encourage a bad opinion
of us throughout all countries. And although this man of straw
has not been able hitherto to succeed in his most vain attempt,
yet this, however, is certain, that he has greatly annoyed us; as
indeed we cannot esteem it to be a matter of no great consequence
that our adversaries should hear, that we are jangling in debate
with one another, and not even agreed upon that most important
doctrine of our religion, far more, that the churches should suspect
us of such a thing. We have been the more astounded by this
intelligence, because it never entered into our imagination that
we had any need to be alarmed on that account. We hope, however,
it will yet come to pass, through the goodness of the Lord, that
these noisome exhalations from the pit may soon be blown away and
fall back upon those who devise any mischief to the cause of Christ
and of his Church. Already, indeed, the arm of the Lord has begun
to reveal itself, and to put forth his power in extinguishing these
beginnings of evil, such as they are. The calumniator himself[59]
has been driven into banishment by a decree of the Senate; we have
been openly and at once acquitted, not merely from crime, but also
from even the suspicion of guilt. Though, indeed, for a season, the
fellow may try to set out his wares to the best advantage under the
sign of Athanasius, as if he were suffering in defence of the faith,
there does not, however, appear to be any great danger that the
world will esteem as an Athanasius a person who is sacrilegious, a
whoremonger, a homicide steeped in the blood of many saints. While
we proclaim him to be such an one, we avouch nothing but what we are
ready to establish by solid proof. These facts, I wished in brief
compass to signify to you, that we may not in absence (as sometimes
happens) be pressed beyond measure by the overweening ignorance and
the malicious accusations of the ungodly. I send you also a copy of
the Confession, which you may communicate to your colleagues.[60]
For I consider this to be a matter of great moment, that we may not
be frightened from our propriety by obscure reports which no one can
lay hold upon. I have at the same time to beseech of you that you
will take charge of sending, not only the Confession, but also this
letter, to each of the brethren, or rather that you do stretch a
point to allay their anxiety, by a letter from yourself. Adieu; may
the Lord Jesus fill you with his Spirit, so that with one mind and
heart you may be enabled to extend the glory of his name.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Latin Correspondence_--_Amsterdam Edit._, tom. ix. p. 226.]

  [56] That meeting had ended on the 13th May.--See Ruchat, _Hist. de
  la Réf._, tom. v. p. 24.

  [57] These two deputies were Rudolph de Graffenried, Banderet, and
  Nicolas Zerkinden, Secretary of State.

  [58] One of these ministers was Gaspar Grossmann, (Megander.) See
  Letter XIII. p. 47. He had been charged by the seigneury of Berne
  to draw up the oath which was to be taken by the ministers, and the
  order of procedure to be followed in the Synod.

  [59] On the authority of Ruchat, it appears that Caroli did not
  wait for the decision of the Lords of Berne, and that he withdrew
  himself into voluntary exile from the condemnation with which he
  was threatened. The act of his desertion was given to Farel and
  to Calvin, the 29th of June 1537. (MSS. de Grossmann. Archives de
  Berne.) We shall meet him again in the following letters of the
  Reformer.

  [60] See that Confession, (Calv. Epist. et Responsa,) p. 227.



XVI.--TO THE MINISTERS OF THE CHURCH OF BASLE.

     Persecution in France--request addressed to the Seigneury of
     Basle in favour of the faithful of the Church at Nismes.


  GENEVA, _13th November 1537_.

The urgent business on account of which we have thought it right
to send this person by express to you may be stated in few words.
A new outbreak of the cruel rage of the ungodly has burst forth
at Nismes, as the place is now called, no mean city, a town of
Languedoc, against the unhappy brethren who reside there, scattered
up and down, and that at a time when we might have suspected nothing
of the kind. Not very long ago we had obtained letters from the
town councils of Strasbourg and Basle, by which the safety and
personal security of all those, who were then imprisoned throughout
France on account of religion, was commended to the care of Count
William.[61] That eminent person, as was reported, had obtained of
the king that they should all be set at liberty. We rested secure
in this expectation, until word was brought to us, that the fire of
persecution was again raging in that quarter. Two persons have been
burnt, concerning the manner of whose death you will hear from the
eye-witness himself, for he can relate to you in Latin what he has
narrated in detail to us. Many have been thrown into prison, who
are in jeopardy of their lives, unless timely opposition is made to
the fury of those who, already drunk with the blood of these two
victims, are not otherwise at all likely to set any bounds to their
persecuting spirit. The two who suffered have shown a remarkable
spirit of constancy to the very last, although their patient
endurance of suffering was tried with the most exquisite cruelty. Of
a truth, we may question whether the same strength of mind will be
found in the others. Relief, therefore, ought to be brought to them
in their present exigency, if anyhow it can be supplied, lest those
may break down who are weaker in the faith. Besides, the utmost care
must be taken that the blood of the godly, which is so precious in
the sight of God, may not be lightly esteemed by us.

  [61] William du Bellay, Seigneur of Langey, one of the cleverest
  diplomatists under the reign of Francis the First. Born in 1491,
  he died the 9th January 1543. William du Bellay and his brother
  John, the Bishop of Paris, had shown themselves favourable to the
  first ideas of Reformation, and had consulted with the King for the
  purpose of calling Melanchthon into France, there to put in train
  the work of religious pacification.--Bèze, _Hist. Eccl._ tom. i. p.
  10; Florimond de Remond, _Histoire de la Naissance et du Progrès de
  l' Hérésie_, liv. vii. p. 817. The last mentioned author has given
  the letters which passed on this occasion between Melanchthon and
  Francis I. The French Protestants formed great expectations from Du
  Bellay. In these terms Bucer wrote to the physician Ulrich Chelius,
  17th Aug. 1534: "Dominus excitet multos isti heroi similes, et spes
  erit forte ut emergat aliquando regnum Christi."--Sturm, on his
  part, wrote to Bucer, 17th Nov. 1535; "Si Langæus isthuc veniat,
  obsecro, habe eum in numero eorum qui quidvis pati volunt pro
  Christo."--_MSS. de Strasbourg._

We hear that a treaty was lately agreed upon by your Rulers with our
King, in which some mention was made of religion, to the effect that
henceforth those who agree with yourselves in their sentiments of
religion, should not be punished with the wonted severity. If that
is true, we must not allow so favourable an opportunity of helping
the brethren to escape unimproved, unto whose assistance Christ is
not only calling us with a loud voice, but complains that he is
deserted and forsaken by us when they are deserted.

Wherefore, most excellent and pious brethren, devote yourselves
entirely to this cause, according to the Christian sincerity of your
heart; because we are confident you will do this of your own accord,
we do not press you more urgently upon the matter. Take measures,
therefore, with your council, that the subject may be brought under
their consideration effectually and in earnest, and with as much
brevity as possible, so that these furious men may not be able to
counterwork you. You know how watchful is their enmity. Most learned
and beloved brethren, may the Lord Jesus daily enrich you more and
more with the increase of his Spirit.--Yours,

JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. Copy_--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



XVII.--TO LOUIS DU TILLET.[62]

  [62] Louis du Tillet, curé of Claix in Poitou, canon and archdeacon
  of Angoulême. He was the brother of John du Tillet, the celebrated
  registrar of the Parliament of Paris, and of that other Du Tillet
  who became Bishop of Sainte-Brieuc and of Meaux. Having devoted
  himself to an ecclesiastical career, his first leanings inclined
  him towards the Reformed. With Calvin he became acquainted at
  the University of Paris, formed a friendship with him, shared
  his perils, and received him in 1534 at Angoulême in his own
  house. United thenceforth to the young Reformer by a like faith,
  he resigned his curacy of Claix to follow him, under the name of
  Hautmont, to Strasbourg, to Basle, and into Italy. In August 1536
  he was at Geneva, when Calvin was there retained by the earnest
  entreaties of Farel. But the struggles to which the Reformer
  was thenceforward condemned, were little suited to the mild and
  contemplative disposition of Louis du Tillet. A prey to indecision,
  he secretly left Geneva and went to Strasbourg, where his anxieties
  were only put an end to by his return to the Roman Catholic faith.
  He wrote to Calvin to inform him of this change, and to submit to
  him his scruples regarding the lawfulness of the ministry in the
  Reformed Churches. Calvin replied; and that controversy, free,
  sincere, but tempered by respect, marked the later relations between
  these two men, at first united and too soon separated by the
  religious revolution of the sixteenth century.

     Departure of Louis du Tillet from Geneva--regret of
     Calvin--controversy between the two friends regarding the
     character of the Church of Jesus Christ.


FROM VILLEFRANCHE,[63] _31st January_ [1538.]

  [63] Ville Affranchie (Genève.)

MONSIEUR,--Eight days before I received the letters which you left
at your departure to be forwarded to me, John had arrived,[64]
so that some weeks before I had any news of you the rumour of
your departure had taken wing hither. Although such a state
of uncertainty was very great occasion of annoyance to me,
nevertheless, I held my judgment in suspense as much as was
possible; what troubled and tormented me most was the fear I
entertained of having offended you by my imprudence, as I know
and acknowledge that I have not observed towards you the due
consideration which I ought. It is indeed true, that I derived such
advantage from your society and conversation, that absence could
not be joyous to me; but inasmuch as I saw you were in a somewhat
languid state, I bore my loss patiently, considering your comfort as
a sufficient recompense. Finally, since the arrival of your letters
from two different quarters, by them I have partly understood your
intention. While I consider, however, that my company could not be
very agreeable in such rudeness and incivility as I used towards
you, notwithstanding, I feel confident that that circumstance has
neither estranged nor alienated you from us, for which we may
certainly rather thank your prudence, which I have had to sustain me
in regard to that, than because I conducted myself as became me.

  [64] John du Tillet, brother of Louis, raised at a later period to
  the honours of the Episcopate. Accomplished in the knowledge of the
  ancient languages and in sacred archæology, he was charged with
  various scientific missions by Francis I., and in the course of his
  travels had visited Geneva.

I cannot conceal from you that I have been very much astonished on
hearing of your intention, and even the reasons which are put forth
along with the declaration of it in your letters. What occasions
me the greatest surprise is, that I considered you so settled
and resolved in that affair, that it would no way be possible to
dislodge you from your purpose; and although you could not have
had in the course you have been following very solid reasons, yet
this so sudden change has appeared very strange to me, seeing
the constancy and firmness which you manifested. May God grant,
nevertheless, that your change of opinion may be as benignly
construed by others as I endeavour to take it.

As for the reasons which have swayed you in arriving at that
determination, I cannot perceive them to be very peremptory. I know
well that my conscience before God is sufficiently assured of the
contrary, and I hope that it will be so until the day when we must
appear to give in our account. Besides, I am much misunderstood if
I have not manifestly proved the justice of my cause in such a way
that every one ought to be content, were it not that the one party
pardon themselves too easily, while the others would readily give
entrance to Jesus Christ, but only by ways wherein he will in nowise
walk. I have never doubted that the eminent persons[65] you mention
might in some degree have helped, without intending it, to land you
in such a conclusion, while in touching on this point in letters
written to me, they concealed it. Certainly their great learning
and piety may well lend authority to their consultations. But I am
well assured that in this matter, besides substantial grounds, I
shall have more colour of reason than they, if I assume a mask to
make myself look like them. Both the one and the other constrain me
by their conduct to desire in them greater firmness and constancy.
However high our reputation may be, it is never well to be so very
liberal in bestowing another's property; and if we must beware of
being bountiful at the expense of men, what caution ought to be
exercised in dispensing the truth of God, which he does not commit
to our trust that we may lessen it in anything? I pray the Lord
that himself would give us so much understanding as that we may
clearly comprehend that he will not be served by halves, and as our
foolishness would divide his portion, but entirely according to his
own will.

  [65] Bucer and Capito, the Reformers of Strasbourg.

If you do acknowledge for churches of God those who hold us in
execration, I cannot help it. But we should be in a sad plight if
it indeed were so. For certainly you cannot give them this title,
unless you hold us to be schismatics, in which case you will have
to consider how your opinion will agree with the deliverance of our
Master, "whatsoever ye shall bind on earth," &c. If you consider
that there always remains some remnant of the blessing of God, as
St. Paul affirms of the Israelites, you may well understand that I
agree with you, seeing that I have sometimes declared to you that
such was my opinion even as regards the Greek churches. But it does
not follow as a consequence from that, that in the assembly we are
bound to acknowledge the church; and if we do there acknowledge
her, she will be our church, not that of Jesus Christ, who marks
his own by other tokens, when he says, my sheep hear my voice; and
St. Paul, when he calls her the "pillar of truth." You will answer
me that she will be found nowhere, seeing that everywhere there is
ignorance. Yet the ignorance of the children of God is of such a
nature, that it does not hinder them from following his will.

Were it a question of comparison of such meetings with the
synagogues of the Jews, I should fear to injure the latter in
not preferring them to the other, or at least placing them in
the background, for their idolatry is not so great, nor their
abomination so horrible. What one can see of good, it is common to
both, except indeed that it appears to be a great advantage that
the name of Jesus Christ is avowed in the one and not in the other.
But its influence is not the less abolished. Or if we would find a
more suitable comparison, it is such a state as existed among the
people of Israel under Jeroboam, or rather under Ahab, at a time
when the spirit of the people had been corrupted by long usage. I do
not mention these things without good cause, for I perceive how many
begin to flatter themselves under the title of The Church, strongly
condemning whatsoever is not like their own, for which they will
have to render account. Let them consider by what right they do so,
for I know well that our assurance is too certain to yield merely to
frivolous objections. As regards yourself I do not think that you
can look upon us otherwise than as if you held intercommunion with
us, but it is a step towards separation from the Church of God when
any one joins that which is opposed to him.

Moreover, I think that I perceive such a fear of God to be in you
that I must see great arguments to move me from the persuasion which
I have entertained. Be assured, then, that the first slight reports
will not have such power over me as to overturn the experience I
have had of you for many long years. But although I may tolerate
that infirmity, offering you no more opposition than if you were
one of ourselves, I can by no means approve your conduct; and would
choose rather that I should be taken out of the world by a bitter
death, than approve your deed, which I know to be damnable in
itself, and besides that, fraught with ruin, or at least marvellous
offence towards many, as well as because I see the readiness with
which we justify ourselves, in order to encourage others to follow
our example. However, concerning those matters of which at present
you are resolved, I will make no long dispute. I would rather
entreat the Lord that it may be his pleasure to deliver you from
all scruples, so that his way may be quite plain and open in that
direction, waiting an opportunity when such shall offer itself.

As for the departure of Lois Dartois, I never had a suspicion that
it proceeded from you, inasmuch as I have been lately informed
to the contrary. But it has been a poor stratagem on his part to
conceal things from me in which he could not deceive God; for it is
no light thing to tempt God, which those do who voluntarily bring
themselves again under bondage. The miserable excuses with which
we are wont to cover even our moral nakedness before men,[66] will
never be able to endure the heat of God's judgment.

  [66] In the French original: _Les sacs mouillés_ dont nous avons
  coutume de nous couvrir devant les hommes.

You have long ago graciously permitted me to consider all things in
common between us. Would that it pleased God I could make you a due
acknowledgment. My companions charge me to commend them to you, who
are of the same mind with me, although I have striven to the utmost,
without shewing your letters, to prevent their taking offence. I
could give no other counsel to John than that which my conscience
warranted, unless I would turn traitor to the truth of God, and to
his personal salvation. You will not take it amiss. I entreat you to
have special remembrance of us in your prayers, to which although
the knowledge you have of our weakness ought sufficiently to stir
you up, nevertheless, the difficulties which press upon us ought
yet more to arouse you, as they are now greater than ever.[67]
After humbly commending myself to your kind remembrance, I pray the
Lord to keep you in his holy protection, and so to direct you that
you may not go astray in that slippery path whereon you are, until
himself shall have manifested to you his complete deliverance.

  [67] The opposition which the establishment of the ecclesiastical
  discipline drawn up by Farel and Calvin met with at Geneva, became
  every day more intense and lively. The newly-elected Syndics made
  common cause with the malcontents, and already gave signs of the
  forthcoming crisis which was to lead the way to the triumph of the
  party of the Libertins and the banishment of the Ministers.--Spon,
  _Histoire de Genève_, edit. 1730, tom. i. p. 276.

You will pardon me if this present is very confusedly written,
shortness of time is in part the cause, and partly our troubles,
besides that the argument was not very easy to handle.

  Your very humble servant and brother,

  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.[68]

  [_Fr. Copy_--_Imperial Library, Paris MSS. fr. Fonds Baluze_, 8069-5.]

  [68] Charles d'Espeville. Pseudonyme adopted by Calvin during his
  residence at Angoulême, and his journey in Italy, (1534-1536.)



XVIII.--TO HENRY BULLINGER.[69]

  [69] Henry Bullinger, born July 18, 1504, at Bremgarten, minister
  of that parish in 1529, was a friend of the Reformer Zuingli and
  his successor at Zurich, after the fatal battle of Cappel, 1531. He
  discharged the ministry of that church with wisdom and prudence for
  more than forty years, kept up a regular correspondence with the
  Reformers abroad, was on friendly terms with Melanchthon, Cranmer,
  Calvin, Théodor de Bèze. In 1566 he drew up the Swiss Confession
  of Faith, and in the way of advice, exercised a decisive influence
  over the progress of the Reformation in the different countries
  of Europe. He died at Zurich, September 17, 1575. His decease was
  deplored by the churches of Switzerland as that of a father, and
  Théodor de Bèze consecrated some verses to his memory.

      "Doctrina si interire, si pietas mori,
        Occidere si candor potest;
      Doctrina, pietas, candor, hoc tumulo jacent,
        Ilenrice, tecum condita."....

      (_Icones Virorum Illustrium._)

  Bullinger left some precious works; among others a Chronicle
  which he wrote in German, Commentaries and Theological Treatises,
  some of them on important and remarkable questions, and a vast
  Correspondence, preserved more especially at Zurich and at Geneva.

     State of the Church at Geneva--wish for the union of the
     Reformed Churches--mention of Luther.


GENEVA, _21st February 1538_.

Grace to you and peace, from God the Father and from Christ the
Lord, most respected and learned brother.

Were I to begin to describe to you at length the full narrative of
our most wretched condition, a long history must be unfolded by me.
For I call ours the trouble which for a long time has pressed, and
which now severely presses upon that Church over which the Lord has
been pleased to set us. But because there is not enough of leisure
at present for explaining everything, and these good men can relate
somewhat themselves, I will not trouble you with a larger epistle.
Although, indeed, they have not perhaps discerned the very source of
the evil, nor perceived whither the attempts of the wicked tended,
yet they have forecast pretty clearly the aspect of affairs, how it
was likely to turn out. How I wish that we could have a single day
for free communication together, for from such a meeting we could
not depart without much advantage! I have some things which can
neither be treated safely in a letter, nor determined, until they
have been weighed and thoroughly discussed on both sides. This,
however, I will venture to throw out in passing, that it does appear
to me, that we shall have no lasting Church unless that ancient
apostolic discipline be completely restored, which in many respects
is much needed among us. We have not yet been able to obtain, that
the faithful and holy exercise of ecclesiastical excommunication
be rescued from the oblivion into which it has fallen; and that
the city, which in proportion to its extent is very populous, may
be distributed into parishes, as is rendered necessary by the
complicated administration of the Church. The generality of men are
more ready to acknowledge us as preachers than as pastors. There are
many other things besides, which, although we desire intensely to
see amended, we can find out no means of doing so, unless that can
be accomplished by faith, by diligence, and by perseverance on the
part of all. Oh, if a pure and sincere accommodation could be agreed
upon at length among us! What, then, would hinder the assembling of
some public Synod, where individuals might propose whatever they
may conceive to be most for the benefit of the churches? A way
might be found out of going to work by common deliberation, and if
need be, that the cities and princes also should assist in this
undertaking by mutual exhortation and counsel, and also confirm by
their authority; but in so great perplexity, the Lord is rather to
be inquired of, that himself may open up a way.

Pellican has informed us that you have received a kind and friendly
reply from Luther, from which Grynée affirms that he entertains much
hope of seeing peace established.[70] But of what kind we have not
been able to divine, seeing that that church, which, from its near
neighbourhood, might most easily communicate with us in all things,
has not thought us worthy to receive any intelligence whatever.
When occasion offers, you must not grudge to let us at least
understand the sum of it. Farel greets you. Will you salute for me
with no common esteem my highly respected brethren in the Lord,
your colleagues, Pellican, Leo, Theodore, Bibliander, and besides,
Phyrisius? May the Lord keep you all in safety for the promoting of
his kingdom.--Yours wholly,

  CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Archives of Zurich._ Vol. i. Gest. vi. p. 287.]

  [70] Bucer and Capito were at this time engaged in very active
  negotiations to bring about a union between the Reformed Churches of
  Switzerland and those of Germany. Luther did not oppose himself to
  this accommodation, and had written, Dec. 1, 1537, to the Reformed
  districts of Switzerland, a letter full of the spirit of tolerance
  and conciliation, in which we remark the following passage:--"They
  can easily advise with Bucer also and Capito on all these matters,
  provided we can lay aside all that is offensive, and in like-minded
  agreement give room for the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit,
  that we may go forward in pious and brotherly concord. Assuredly,
  in so far as we are concerned, and especially as regards myself,
  casting aside whatever may be occasion of offence, I shall embrace
  you in faith, good will, and with love."--_Hospinian Historia
  Saeramentaria_, tom. ii. p. 276. In another letter to Capito of
  the same year, 6th Dec. 1537, he thus expresses himself:--"I write
  these things that you may know that our heart is upright and sincere
  in the hope of agreement; may the Lord himself complete the work.
  Amen."--D. M. Luther's _Briefe_, edit. De Wette, tom. v. p. 70.

  In a letter to Bullinger, written 4th March 1538, at length he
  renders an evidently deep-felt homage to the memory of Zuingli and
  Œcolampadius. "I can freely declare that, after having seen and
  heard Zuingli at Marbourg, I have considered and esteemed him as a
  most excellent man, as also Œcolampadius; so that their calamity
  has well-nigh disheartened me," &c. These sentiments of true
  generosity seemed almost to open up an era of reconciliation and of
  peace between the Churches.



XIX.--TO HENRY BULLINGER.[71]

  [71] Important events had fallen out at Geneva. Expelled from that
  town (23d April 1538) for having refused to administer the communion
  on Easter day, Calvin and Farel had gone to Berne.--(Spon, _Hist. de
  Genève_, tom. i. p. 276.) The deputies of the Reformed Swiss cantons
  were met at Zurich to treat about the union with the Lutheran
  Church. The two ministers appeared before that assembly and gave
  account of their conduct at Geneva. Without intimating any opinion
  on the matter at issue, "The Lords deputies resolved to write in
  friendly terms to the Genevese, to induce them to support their
  pastors in the work of re-establishing and putting their churches
  on a better footing. They also charged the Bernese to support that
  letter by a deputation."--(Ruchat, _Histoire de la Réformation
  en Suisse_, tom. v. p. 84.) But this double intervention proved
  ineffectual. The banishment of the ministers was confirmed, May
  26th, by the assembly.

     Synod of Zurich--attempt at reconciliation between the banished
     ministers and the town of Geneva.


BERNE, _20th May 1538_.

If I have hitherto deferred writing, it has been because everything
was so very much in suspense, that it was not possible to write
anything for certain. And now, as the narrative of all that has
happened [at Geneva] could not be given by us without complaining,
we only desire to acquaint you, that the treatment which we
have experienced, though in opposition to all our wishes, has
nevertheless been in accordance with our expectation. Besides the
very irksome delay of a fortnight, it was also a source of very much
annoyance, that none of those things which passed at Zurich, and
had been openly concluded there, were noticed by Konzen.[72] And in
order not to appear to uphold a bad cause, he declaimed with much
violence against us, as if it were evident that we wished to draw
back and not to keep the promise we had given to the brethren. It
only remained, therefore, that the Senate itself should take the
lead in regard to everything, who in passing the decree took no
very particular account of those things which had been conceded
to us at Zurich by the general consent of all. For we are content
rather to encounter any alternative than not to try every method by
which the requirements of religion may be satisfied, or by which
we may discharge the duty we owe to the Church. Now, therefore,
we start upon our journey,[73] which may it please the Lord to
prosper, for as we look to him in our proceedings, so we commit the
success to his wise disposal. I am compelled to interrupt my letter,
scarcely now begun, because the brethren hasten to depart. Adieu,
most kindly brother, and with very respectful regard.--Greet for me
most lovingly your colleagues. Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Archives of Zurich_. Gest. vi. 166, p. 1.]

  [72] Peter Konzen, minister of Berne, deputy to the Synod of Zurich.
  In that assembly he manifested the most hostile sentiments toward
  Farel and Calvin, whose conduct at Geneva he disapproved.

  [73] In order to testify the conciliatory spirit which animated
  them, Calvin and Farel accompanied, within a short distance
  from Geneva, the deputation which had been charged to entreat
  their return. But their solicitations having been rejected, they
  determined to proceed to Basle, where they arrived after a most
  fatiguing and even perilous journey. See following letter.



XX.--TO PETER VIRET.

     Arrival of Farel and Calvin at Basle.


  BASLE, [_towards the end of May 1538_.]

We have at length reached Basle, but well soaked with the rain
and completely spent and worn out. Nor was our journey free from
perils, for in truth one of us was almost carried away by the
swollen currents; but we have experienced more tender usage from
the impetuous river than from our fellow-men, for since, contrary
to all right and reason, they had decided that we should travel
on foot, that also has been complied with through the mercy of
the Lord in preserving us. There is nothing fixed or agreed on as
yet, because Grynée has committed the charge of the Academy to
Oporin.[74] We departed from Berne without taking leave of the
Senate, although it had been agreed in common among ourselves
to do so. We perceived some here were inclined that we should be
retained; and they confidently alleged that we would be unpardonable
if we should decline so just a call. That we might not do anything
rashly, the Lord at length has opened an outlet to us. For when we
asked a hearing of the Senate, we were put off to the next day,--on
the receiving of which answer to our request, it seemed to us that
we had done all that was required of us in duty, and that we were
discharged from further application in that quarter.

  [74] John Oporin, Director of the Academy of Basle, one of the most
  celebrated printers of that town.

Your affairs, dear Courault,[75] we have entrusted to good men,
according to our ability, but only in a general way, that you may
not be brought under obligation before we have tried to do our best
elsewhere. You know how much we wish to serve you. When we have got
some settled abode we will write to you more at large and by the
first opportunity. Farewell, most excellent and dear friends and
brethren.--Your brethren,

  FAREL AND CALVIN.

  [75] The conclusion of this letter is addressed to the minister
  Courault, the colleague of Calvin, expelled along with him from
  Geneva. He lived in retirement with Christopher Fabri at Thonon,
  whence he was called as minister by the Church of Orbe.

This brother to whom we have delivered the horses to be brought
back, has made up his mind to stay with you if he can procure any
suitable employment: therefore see what can be done to put him in
the way of being serviceable to the Church of Christ. We think well
of his sincerity and probity, and that he is not unskilled in useful
learning. If he shall appear worthy of your regard, for our sake
also we desire to commend him to your good offices.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva_. Vol. 106.]



XXI.--TO LOUIS DU TILLET.[76]

  [76] The first letter of Calvin to du Tillet (Letter xvii. p. 60)
  did not remain unanswered:--"If my retreat in this country has
  caused you great annoyance, as I have understood by your letter
  of the last of January, I myself have not thought the less of
  it, considering the interruption of our accustomed converse and
  familiarity ... could not produce in you so much disquietude. But
  what could I have done, if, having been there two years or thereby,
  my conscience could never be at peace on this account, that without
  a clear call I had retired from a charge which I ought not to have
  relinquished without the command of God, whereby I have been put
  into a state of languor, such as you have seen, and by reason of
  the great unceasing depression of mind which has taken possession
  of my spirit, I have for this some time past been useless for
  everything?"--_Paris MSS._ This letter, written from Paris, (10th
  March,) did not reach Calvin at all; it was during a sojourn to
  Strasbourg that the Reformer, driven from Geneva, (23d April 1538,)
  had retired to Basle, and imparted to his old friend the events
  which condemned him to a new exile.

     Journey of Calvin to Strasbourg--project of a new assembly at
     Zurich--policy of the Bernese--in his retirement Calvin breathes
     freely--news from France.


  STRASBOURG, _10th July 1538_.

I hope, sir, you will not take in ill part that John[77] is gone
away thitherward to you without my letter, for it grieved me to
write to you, having so many things to communicate, without having
time to make at least a partial communication. On the other hand,
it was not easy for me to impart such information to you by halves,
without at once entering fully into the details. The complete
declaration was by no means impossible, but I was afraid that it
would scarce be pleasing to you; wherefore I greatly preferred
entirely to forbear writing, casting the duty upon John, who, as
I think, will have faithfully acquitted himself of the charge,
except that he will not have been able clearly to discover to you
the source and origin of the evil, which is not known to many. I
have been so greatly importuned by the two of this town[78] that to
satisfy them I have made the journey hither.

  [77] See Note, p. 60.

  [78] Bucer and Capito, already mentioned.

Touching ourselves, it has been resolved that it is fit and proper
even now to call an assembly, where Zurich, Berne, Basle, this town
of Strasbourg, Bienne,[79] and one from the aforesaid place,[80]
shall be present, where, after diligent inquiry made by them, it may
be formally declared that we have duly and faithfully administered
our charge, to the end that such a testimony may stand as a lawful
judgment, to shut the spiteful mouths of the malignant, as well as
to the confusion of those who have taken upon them to engage in
such an enterprise. By the same method they hope that the schisms
which may take place, and have already begun, will disappear. When
I do well consider the case, the difficulty seems to me to overpass
all human help; wherefore, I have nought else to recommend than to
commit the issue to the great Physician, who alone can provide and
take order in applying the proper remedy.

  [79] That town, then independent, and already Reformed, was united
  by a treaty of alliance to the Protestant cantons of Switzerland.

  [80] Probably Geneva.

The Bernese endeavour, or, I should rather say, persist,[81] as
much as they are able, to make believe that all goes well, but
there is no one else who does not think quite the contrary. By his
just judgment God sends blessing after such a fashion upon the head
and family of those who thus wickedly mock at the disorder of his
Church; and it is sent for their correction, in order that they may
be differently minded in an affair of so great importance. I shall
retire to Basle, waiting to understand what the Lord would have me
to do. It is not the fault of those of this town that I am not their
guest; but they have charge enough without me, and I can live for a
while supporting myself on what you left with me, and a portion of
my books; yet the Lord himself will direct us. Above all, however,
on looking back and considering the perplexities which environed me
from the time when I first went thither, there is nothing I dread
more than returning to the charge from which I have been set free.
For while, when first I entered upon it I could discern the calling
of God which held me fast bound, with which I consoled myself, now,
on the contrary, I am in fear lest I tempt him if I resume so great
a burden, which has been already felt to be insupportable. There
are other reasons, which can only be explained in conversation,
with which, however, those with whom I have to do will never rest
contented. Nevertheless, I know assuredly that our Lord will guide
me in that so very doubtful a deliberation, the more so because I
shall look rather to what he will point out to me than to my own
judgment, which beyond measure drawing me contrariwise, I feel ought
to be suspected.

  [81] The Bernese were the declared opponents of the ecclesiastical
  discipline which Farel and Calvin had wished to establish at Geneva,
  and which appeared to them to trench upon the right of the civil
  power. The seigneury of Berne were not disposed to favour the two
  banished ministers.

There is a stir at present about an affair of vast consequence,
and _not without the knowledge of the king and the emperor_,[82]
which I can well suppose that Monsieur Firmin[83] will tell you
something about, and therefore I say no more about it. One may very
much doubt whether they are not merely trying the ford without
any thoroughgoing intention; but within two months we shall know
for certain whether there is any thing in it. After my humble
commendation to your good graces, I pray our Lord so to guide you
in his way, that you may be holy and unspotted at the day of his
appearing.

  Your humble servant and assured friend,

  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.

[_Fr. Copy_--_Imperial Library of Paris_. _Baluze_, 8069-5.]

  [82] Allusion to the truce concluded, 18th June 1538, between
  Francis I. and the Emperor Charles V., and to the approaching
  conclusion of a general peace, on which great expectation was
  founded for the settlement and reformation of the Church.

  [83] Antony Firmin, minister of the church of St. Thomas at
  Strasbourg.--See _Sculteti Annales_, I. 170, 172.



XXII.--TO WILLIAM FAREL.[84]

  [84] To my most excellent friend and brother, William Farel,
  faithful minister of the church at Neuchatel.

  William Farel, the most illustrious missionary of the Reformation in
  French Switzerland, was born at Gap, in Dauphiny, (1509?) He studied
  at the University of Paris, under the direction of the learned Le
  Fevre of Etaples, whose friendship he speedily obtained, and shared
  with him the same faith. Of an ardent spirit, and gifted with an
  impetuous eloquence, he preached the doctrines of the Reformation
  successively at Paris, at Meaux, in Dauphiny. In 1524 he left
  France, when he retired to Strasbourg, and brought over to the new
  doctrine (as the true doctrine of the Gospel was termed at that
  time) the Duchy of Montbeliard, Bienne, Morat, Neuchatel, Aigle,
  Geneva. Driven at first from the latter town in 1532, he reappeared
  there, and was thereupon banished. On the 27th August 1535, he
  obtained the famous declaration which restored the Reformation. In
  less than two years afterwards he was banished from Geneva along
  with his colleague Calvin, whom he followed to Basle, and became, in
  the month of July 1538, pastor of the church of Neuchatel, which he
  served until his death (13th Sept. 1565) with indefatigable activity.

  Having been called as minister by the Church of Neuchatel, Farel had
  left Basle precipitately, without taking leave of Calvin, then on
  his journey to Strasbourg. On returning to Basle, Calvin wrote the
  following letter to his old colleague, which is one of the earliest
  in the long correspondence which they kept up with each other.

     Farel called as minister to the Church of Neuchatel--sad
     condition of the Church at Geneva--uncertainty of
     Calvin--Bucer's urgency to draw him to Strasbourg.


  BASLE, _4th August 1538_.

The grace of the Lord be with you. The person who had brought back
the horse, promised that he would return after three days. When,
after the lapse of five days, I had ceased to expect him, I began to
look about for a messenger. For I knew that as soon as my silence
began to appear to you to be longer than it ought, you would impute
it to carelessness as well as indolence. But while these were my
thoughts, lo, the messenger presented himself upon the spot, who
informed me of your departure two days before he came away. With
regard to your letter, that elaborate lament over your own clownish
simplicity with which you furnished me for Grynée, I have carefully
complied with. When dinner-time arrived, I told Grynée that I
observed from your letter the rain somewhat had slackened your
wonted speed: whereupon, by your riding at so slow a pace, Simon
remembered that you were a rustic. Thereafter also I read to him
your letter, and added, of my own accord, what appeared to me to be
required in the way of serious apology. In regard to him, so little
need was there of clearing yourself, that he would have complied
good-humouredly with your infectious anxiety, if the business in
which he is now completely immersed had not stood in the way. How
our successors[85] are likely to get on, I can conjecture from
the first beginnings. While already they entirely break off every
appearance of peace by their want of temper, they suppose that the
best course for themselves to pursue was to tear in pieces our
estimation, publicly and privately, so as to render us as odious as
possible. But if we know that they cannot calumniate us, excepting
in so far as God permits, we know also the end God has in view in
granting such permission. Let us humble ourselves, therefore, unless
we wish to strive with God when he would humble us. Meanwhile, let
us wait upon God. For the crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim
will speedily wither. I could wish that you had not so much anxiety
on my account. Since your departure, I have begun to consider more
attentively what it may be right to be prepared for in case of
emergency. It cannot be told how this apprehension torments me,
lest those who measure us by their own standard, because conscience
accuses themselves, may think that we have fixed designedly upon
our present abode as convenient for the purpose of retaliating
injuries, and so may set themselves to contrive some new contests,
and take no rest until they have stirred up some fresh disturbances
against us. When I am out of the way, suspicion will not be so apt
to arise. For no one will be so utterly malignant as to suppose
that we intend anything farther. But if you do not at once come
hither, we must put off until the meeting become hopeless, which the
Strasburghers always insist on our requiring; or if we obtain it,
the result will teach us what we ought to do. This above all, in the
name of the Lord, I entreat of you, that you do determine nothing
about me without first of all giving me a previous warning. You will
perceive, from Bucer's letter, what are his present sentiments. He
has communicated certain other matters to Grynée in writing, which
I have not yet had an opportunity of reading. I strongly suspect,
however, that they tend to the point of my hastening thither, which
I shall not comply with, unless a greater necessity convinces me.
In so far as I can discover, the person you wot of has endeavoured
most ambitiously, by means of his relations, to pave the way for
himself to the office of the ministry. Expressions sometimes are
thrown out which afford greater room for conjecture than for any
meaning which they contain. But as he hoped that erelong I would
take my departure, he advised me to undertake what by and by I might
resign to him. He did not know what might be brought to pass with
you, and I took care closely to conceal that from him. "Are you not
ashamed," said he, "in so great an assemblage to remain silent?
Would there be no church here vacant for you?" I replied, that we
had an auditory also in our house at home which suited us very
well. He, forsooth, would have nought but what was public. Having
dined once with us, he wished to be received at table by Grynée
through my introduction. Excuse was of no avail, but he must urge
the proposal with unseasonable importunity, until Grynée restrained
his forwardness by checking him aloud. I have satisfied the owner of
the horse; the rest of your commissions are duly attended to. Grynée
salutes you in the most friendly manner, and entreats you to pardon
him, on account of his business engagements, that he does not write
at present. Oporin also, Stagnæus, Du Tailly, for the other two have
gone from this. May the Lord preserve and protect you, may your soul
prosper in the strength of his own Spirit.--You will not envy me the
reading of Capito's epistle, which I send you unsealed. Will you, if
you please, return both the letters of Bucer, or carefully preserve
them, as hereafter we shall have occasion for them? Salute not
merely with your complaisance, but from my heart, all our brethren,
especially such of them as you well know are here meant. If you
desire that I should write, arrange that I may have messengers from
yourself.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [85] The new ministers elected at Geneva to replace Calvin, Farel,
  and Courault, were Antony Marcourt, pastor of the Church of Nyon,
  and Doctor Morand. Their nomination, approved only by a part of the
  Church, gave occasion to serious disorder. See Gaberel, _Histoire de
  l' Eglise de Genève_, 1853, vol. i. _passim_.

       *       *       *       *       *

Read after this Bucer's letter, where he advises that we carefully
avoid colleaguing together, since it may be suspected that the one
urges on the other, to what both are too much inclined to. He even
wishes that I may yield to that extent, in order that this irritable
disposition may not be disturbed by frequent rumours.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



XXIII.--TO FAREL.

     New efforts of the ministers of Strasbourg to attract Calvin
     thither--the plague at Basle--detail of the death of a nephew of
     Farel.


  BASLE, _20th August_ [1538.]

The grace of the Lord be with you.

After frequent perusal of your letter at length I perceived my own
obtuseness, who could be so much bewildered about the rank of Count
John, as if, indeed, there could have been any one more competent
to deal with the matter than your neighbour. Now my wonder ceases;
for there has been a Helen in the strife? but well hath the Lord
cared for the interests of the Church in not permitting him to fall
a victim to her seductions. Explain to me, I entreat you, the other
things about which I am at a loss, particularly what was reported
in French separately concerning the two ministers, both the elder
and the younger. I know not what to think regarding Peter,[86] but
the whole weight and import of what was said, depends on the person
of the speaker. The Strasburghers are taking active measures just
now concerning me, that I may agree to go to them. They plead very
earnestly with Grynée; nor indeed do they conceal from me their
strong desire that I would acquiesce. Bucer's last letter I send
you herewith, by which, as usual, he persists in advising me to
do so. Firmin[87] urges, by many arguments, that it is desirable.
Some of the reasons I put aside as savouring of his peculiarities;
but others are specious, such as that it would prove of some
advantage when our adversaries should see that I had an opportunity
of lecturing in that church, which they are compelled, willingly
or unwillingly, to respect. Then, if a diet can be had, that my
opinion would have more weight, and would carry with it a sort of
prestige when it was known that such a Church had bestowed on me
the ministry. I have excused myself anew however, since they could
not include you. Grynée, although with more reserve, that he might
not appear to suggest any thing in this arrangement from a desire
to be rid of the charge of entertaining me, shewed that the bent of
his opinion inclined to the advice they had given. If they wished
to bind me for a longer period, the determination would not be so
difficult; but you perceive what they require. I shall wait for your
opinion. To prevent them having immediate recourse to you, I leave
them to suppose that I am detained here by weighty reasons. They
will allow you, indeed, quietly to go forward in the work of the
Lord, but will not suffer both of us to labour together.

  [86] Without doubt, Peter Caroli.--See Note 3, p. 57.

  [87] See Note 2, p. 73.

I wish that here I could have ended my letter, that you might be
spared the hearing of what will be unpleasing to you. But I shall
not hesitate to inform you of what the Lord has done, who are
yourself both learning and teaching others willingly to submit to
his providence. Last Sabbath-day your nephew was seized with the
plague.[88] His companion and the goldsmith who bore testimony to
the Gospel at Lyons brought me word immediately. As I had taken
some pills to relieve the complaint in my head, I could not go
to him myself. Every thing, however, which was required for the
preservation of his life was both faithfully and carefully attended
to. A woman, acquainted with both languages, was engaged to sit
up with him, and in some degree accustomed to the care of persons
suffering under such maladies. Not being able to undergo the fatigue
of constant attendance herself, she got her son-in-law to assist
her. Grynée visited him frequently; I did so too as soon as my
health allowed it. When our friend Du Tailly saw that I did not fear
the danger, he insisted on sharing it with me: we were with him
for a long while yesterday, and as the signs of approaching death
were now evident, I imparted spiritual rather than bodily comfort.
He wandered a little in his mind, yet had so much consciousness of
his state as to call me back to his chamber that he might entreat
me earnestly to pray for him; for he had heard me discoursing of
the benefit of prayer. This morning, at about five o'clock, he
departed to the Lord. Of his companion, who was afflicted with
the same malady, we cannot yet write anything certain. Yesterday,
there appeared to me to be some hope. I fear, however, that last
night may have injured him; for although he occupied a separate
bedchamber, and had his own attendant, he heard what had happened
to his companion. I shall see him, as I hope, again to-day. That
excellent man, the goldsmith, because he had intercourse with the
infected, has been dismissed by his master. I have sent him, with my
recommendation, to Strasbourg, that he may get a situation there.
Concerning the wearing apparel and other movables of your nephew
thus you have it: The son-in-law of the old woman affirms that
all his clothes, which, however, are not many, were left to him,
but with no appearance of truth, since he could not have done so
unless in the intervals of delirium under which he laboured during
the whole night. He has a sword and a shirt with Wolf. I know for
certain that he had no money when he fell ill. It was required,
therefore, to expend somewhat for his support while living and what
was necessary for his burial. I fear, however, lest any little sum
of money which I conjecture to remain may be made away with. This
I write to you somewhat minutely, since I consider it right to
inform you that you may know all. His landlord, Wolf, who has this
morning told me all these things, thinks that the story about the
legacy of clothes is a pure fable. He is a decent fellow, and one
who conducts himself uprightly. Adieu, excellent and most esteemed
brother.--Hastily yours,

  CALVIN.

  [88] The pestilence, seven times in the course of this century, made
  great havoc in the city of Basle. The plague of 1564 carried off a
  third part of the population of the town and suburbs.--See Jean de
  Muller, _Hist. de la Confédération Suisse_, tom. xi. _passim_, and
  the _Diary of the Physician Platerus_, MS. Library of Basle.

       *       *       *       *       *

Our friends salute you and Michael Mullot, who has stolen hither
for three days during the holidays of his school, to take counsel
along with us. On his return he will intimate that he does not
remain there beyond the time agreed on. After having heard your last
letter, Grynée requested to be informed as soon as I should have
obtained the first opportunity of a messenger, but I was unwilling
to interrupt him at this time of the day.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



XXIV.--TO FAREL.[89]

  [89] Letter without date, but written, as the first words indicate,
  shortly after the departure of Calvin from Basle, and his arrival
  at Strasbourg, (September 1538.) Earnestly solicited by Bucer and
  Capito to associate himself in their labours, he had accepted the
  charge of Professor of Theology and the ministry of the French
  Church in that town.

     Calvin at Strasbourg--negotiations between Bucer and the
     magistrates of Geneva--first preaching of Calvin in the French
     Church--Anabaptists of Metz.


  STRASBOURG, [_September 1538._]

My departure from Basle was so hurried and disorderly, that
I brought away with me, stuffed aside in the innumerable
travelling-pouches of the brain, the letter which I promised
would be left for you; nor indeed was there at the time, anything
that required my writing sooner. Three days after my arrival a
messenger presented himself, and there was already somewhat worth
communicating. But as I was afraid to run the risk of sending my
letter by that channel, I chose rather to put it off until now.
Bucer[90] does not deny that N. has sent an answer such as might be
expected from him. Indeed, the only reason he gives why he would not
read it to me, is because he was unwilling to raise my indignation
to no purpose. You may hence infer how much spiteful bitterness
there was in it, which, according to his wonted prudence, he plainly
intimated could not be passed over by me without committing a worse
scandal. S., in the meanwhile, applauds his complacent courtesy. For
he entertains the possible hope that both he (_i.e._, N.) and the
senators who have hitherto been opposed to us can be reconciled,
if only first of all we declare our good-will by letter. Which,
as it is vastly ridiculous, Bucer reckons out of the question.
But suppose that might be hoped for, at what point could we begin?
Shall we, as though, we were the authors of the scandal, study to
conciliate them? and that we may not blink that consideration, shall
we consider, also, what method should be observed for the reparation
of the offence? I am not of opinion that past negligences are so
far about to be amended, nor do I perceive any provision about to
be made for the future. We may indeed acknowledge before God and
his people, that it is in some measure owing to our unskilfulness,
indolence, negligence, and error, that the Church committed to
our care has fallen into such a sad state of collapse;[91] but it
is also our duty to assert our innocence and our purity against
those who, by their fraud, malignity, knavery, and wickedness, have
assuredly brought about this ruin. Willingly, therefore, do we
acknowledge before God and all the pious, that our unskilfulness,
as well as carelessness, deserved to be chastised by an example of
this kind. But I will never admit that that unhappy Church fell into
such utter disorder through our fault, seeing that we are conscious
in ourselves, that it is far otherwise in the sight of God. Nor is
there an individual among them who can fix upon us the smallest
particle of blame. Now, in reference to the future, who cannot
see that by the proposed method we shall be exposed to scorn and
mockery? For there is none of them who would not immediately cry out
that we would shrink from no disgrace, however great, provided only
that we might be restored to our position. But the Lord, as I hope,
will open up a better way. Nor indeed has Bucer himself given over
writing, whose authority they cannot despise; but he will appear to
be set at nought, unless at length they now yield somewhat to him.
This, moreover, is his best hope, that if he shall not obtain a
meeting or conference before next spring, even then at least he may
discover a remedy. And in the meanwhile, perhaps the Lord will so
order and dispose in providence that all may be more fully ripened.
I preached on the Lord's day, which, as it was commended among the
people by the acceptance of all the brethren, had many who were
either hearers or at least spectators. The brethren have a mind,
should there appear to exist among them any face of a Church, to
grant also the administration of the Lord's Supper. At Metz,[92]
when already everything was opposed to pure religion, when the
Senate was sworn to its destruction, and when the priesthood had
joined them with all their fury, there has arisen the plague of the
Anabaptists, as it were, to create fresh scandal: two were cast
headlong into the Moselle, a third was punished by banishment, with
the brand of ignominy. So far as I could ascertain by conjecture,
that barber who was the companion of Hermann was one of them. I
fear that this pestilential doctrine is widely spread among the
simple sort in that city. The Lord preserve you and the rest of the
brethren to himself, and make you the means of prospering his own
work. Salute all of them for me, especially Thomas and the others
who were guests with me along with yourself.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [90] Bucer had entered into correspondence with some of the
  magistrates of Geneva to bring about a reconciliation between them
  and the banished ministers.

  [91] The Church at Geneva was at this period given up to the most
  lamentable divisions and in a state of deplorable disorder.

  [92] The Reformation had extended to Metz in 1523. Two martyrs,
  Jean le Clerc and Jean Chatelain, had sealed with their blood the
  introduction of the Gospel into that country.--Bèze, _Hist. Eccl._,
  tom. iii. p. 431.



XXV.--TO THE CHURCH OF GENEVA.[93]

  [93] Although he had become the minister of a community of exiles,
  and had engaged in theological works of the greatest importance at
  Strasbourg, the activity of Calvin was by no means confined to these
  objects. But in the midst of the contending claims on his time and
  care, his attention was ever turned towards the Church of which he
  had been the pastor--towards "these relics of the dispersion," whom
  he exhorted from the depths of his exile, and whom he consoled by
  his letters.

     Letter of consolation and advice addressed to the Church at
     Geneva, deprived of her faithful pastor--testimonies of his
     innocence--confidence in God--trust for the future.


  FROM STRASBOURG, _this 1st of October 1538_.

To my dearly-beloved brethren in our Lord, who are the relics of the
dispersion of the Church of Geneva.

The mercy of God our Father, and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
be continually multiplied to you by the communication of the Holy
Spirit.

MY BRETHREN,--I have restrained myself from writing to you until
this present, in the hope that the letter of our brother Farel, who
had taken upon him that charge for both, would prove sufficient;
and also by that means I would take off all occasion, in so far
as was possible, for misrepresentation on the part of those who
are on the lookout for it. That is, in order that they may not
calumniate us by affirming that we purpose, in drawing you closer
to ourselves, to retain you in some degree of partiality toward
us. I have been unable, however, to refrain from writing to you
to assure you of the affection with which I do ever regard you,
and my remembrance of you in the Lord, as it is my bounden duty;
neither shall that fear prevent me which has somewhat withheld me
to the present time, forasmuch as I see right well that the colour
of pretext which the malicious, from the love of detraction, might
put upon it, would be found utterly frivolous and vain. God is our
witness, and your own consciences before his judgment-seat, that
while we had our conversation among you, our whole study has been
to keep you together in happy union and concord of agreement. Those
who, for the sake of making and maintaining a faction apart, had
separated from us, have introduced division as well into your Church
as into your town. Discerning the beginnings of that plague from
the commencement, we have faithfully occupied ourselves as before
God whom we serve, to apply the remedy; wherefore, an appeal to
the past exempts us from all their calumnies. And if now, in thus
communicating with you, we afford you some good reason to retain us
in your memory, this ought not to be made a reproach to us; for our
own conscience is well assured Godward, that it has been by him that
we have been called to the fellowship of this ministry among you.
For which reason it cannot be in the power of men to break asunder
such a tie; and as in time bygone we have been upheld, we hope still
by the guidance of our Lord so to conduct ourselves, that we shall
afford no occasion of trouble, nor present any cause of division,
unless it be to those who are so closely banded against Jesus Christ
and all his people, that they cannot suffer any agreement with his
servants. For to such manner of folk, if this blessed Saviour is
a scandal and an offence, what must we be, who ought to carry his
mark impressed upon our soul and on our body? But herein is our
consolation, that we give them no occasion; even as our kind Master
did not come to throw obstacles in men's path, but rather to be the
way wherein all may walk without stumbling.

To proceed, then, my beloved brethren, for that the hand of the
Lord, from all that I can understand, is continually stretched
forth to visit you, and that by his righteous permission the devil
strives incessantly to scatter the Church which has begun to be
formed among you, there is a manifest necessity to admonish you of
your duty. That is, that you consider and seriously meditate, that
whatsoever perversity of will urges forward to action the men who so
trouble and vex you, the assaults are not made upon you so directly
by them as they are the work of Satan, who uses their malice as his
instrument, for your annoyance. This is what the Apostle teaches in
the word of exhortation when he says, that we do not fight against
flesh and blood, that is to say, against men, but against the powers
of the air, and against the prince of darkness. You are well aware
how necessary it is to reconnoitre an enemy to know by what method
to counterwork his stratagems. If we set ourselves to do battle
with men, thinking only to wreak our vengeance upon them, and so
to have satisfaction for the wrongs which they have done to us, it
may well be doubted whether we could ever conquer so long as we
entertained such views. Nay, it is a certain fact, that by following
that method, we shall ourselves be vanquished by the devil. On the
other hand, if avoiding all conflict with men, except only insomuch
as we are constrained to have them opposed to us, inasmuch as _they_
are the adversaries of Jesus Christ, we _do_ resist the wiles of
our spiritual enemy, being furnished with the armour wherewith the
Lord would have his people to be girded and strengthened; there
need then be no fear about our getting the upper hand. Wherefore, my
brethren, if you seek true victory, do not oppose evil by evil of a
like kind, but laying aside all evil affections, be guided solely by
your zeal for the service of God, moderated by his Spirit according
to the rule of his word.

You have besides to consider, that these things have not thus fallen
out without the dispensation of the Lord, who carries forward
his purposes even by means of the wicked, according to the good
pleasure of his own will. Now, that thought will turn you away from
the pursuit of your enemies, to consider and look into yourselves,
and so to consider, that you may acknowledge that you have well
deserved on your part to receive such a visitation, to chastise your
negligence, your contempt, or even your careless slighting of the
word of God which you had among you; your slothfulness in following
and rendering to him a strict obedience. For you cannot excuse
yourselves from having committed many faults; and how easy soever
you may think it, to justify yourselves in some degree before men,
nevertheless before God, your conscience must yet feel burdened
and chargeable. The servants of God have so demeaned themselves
in their tribulations, that is to say, from whatever direction
their trials came they have ever turned their thoughts to the
hand of God and to their own sins, acknowledging the cause to be
discoverable in themselves, and to afford quite sufficient reason
why the Lord should so afflict them. Daniel understood well what
had been the perverseness of the King of Babylon in his destruction
and scattering of the people of God merely to satisfy his avarice,
arrogance, and cruelty; what also had been his iniquity in unjustly
oppressing them. Yet nevertheless, seeing that the first cause
lay wholly in themselves, inasmuch as the Babylonians could do
nought against them unless by the Lord's permission, that he might
follow and duly observe a right order, Daniel begins first with the
confession of his own faults, and then those of the kings and of the
people of Israel. If the prophet humbled himself in this manner,
bethink yourselves what far greater occasion you have; and if it
was necessary for him to do so in order to obtain the mercy of God,
what purblind folly would it be in you to stand still and engage in
the accusation of your enemies without any acknowledgment of your
own faults, which far surpass, by many degrees of ascent, those of
the holy Seer?

In so far as we ourselves are concerned, if there is any occasion to
argue our case against the ungodly and calumniators who would charge
offence upon us, I know that not only is our conscience clear to
answer before God, but we have also wherewithal to purge ourselves
before the whole world. And this assurance we have testified
sufficiently when we demanded to be heard in our defence; yea, even
in the face of our adversaries, in answer to every thing which they
would lay against us. A man had need to be well furnished with his
justifications when he presents himself at so great disadvantage,
being inferior in every way to his opponents, except in the goodness
of his cause. As oft as the question recurs of compearance before
God, I make no doubt that he has humbled us in this way to make us
acknowledge our ignorance, our imprudence, and those infirmities
which, for my own part, I feel in myself, and do make no difficulty
in confessing before the Church of the Lord. In doing so we must
not be afraid lest thereby we might give occasion to our enemies;
for Daniel did not justify Nabuchodonosor when he attributes to the
sins of the Israelites the oppression which they suffered under that
tyrant, but rather he has confounded him, shewing that he was the
rod of God's wrath as well as the devil and his underlings. Neither
is there any danger that we might subject our cause to reproach or
shame; for if we have presented ourselves before all the Churches,
shewing again and again that duly and faithfully we have discharged
our duty; and if still from day to day we are ready to do so, it
is no sign that we have thereby given the opportunity to bite, or
to detract from us; and if we cannot hinder them from miscalling
us--seeing that some of them are transported, not simply by an
unruly temper, but even by ungovernable rage, we know the promise
which is given, that the Lord will make our innocence appear like
the bright and morning star, and will cause our righteousness to
shine forth like the sun. We may boldly lay hold on this confidence
whenever there is occasion to contend against the wicked, albeit
that we ourselves may be answerable in a very high degree to the
justice of the Lord.

In the day of our humility and downcasting, the Lord, nevertheless,
will not forsake us until he has supplied very full consolation to
uphold and comfort; we have it even ever present and ready to our
hand, when himself hath said in his Scripture of truth, that the
chastisements which he sends on his friends are for their welfare
and salvation, provided they accept them with submission. Wherefore,
my beloved brethren, return always to this consolation, that
although the wicked strive with all their might to bring ruin upon
your Church, and although your faults and offences have deserved far
more than you could ever endure, yet, nevertheless, our Lord will
vouchsafe such an outgate to the corrections which he has sent, as
that they shall be made helpful to your salvation. His wrath towards
his Church, inasmuch as it is only intended to bring her back to
welldoing, is only for a little moment, and then it passes away, as
saith the prophet; his mercy, on the contrary, is eternal, extending
to future generations; for from the fathers it descends to their
children and to children's children. Look at the proceedings of
your enemies; you will clearly discover that all their doings tend
to confusion, and, notwithstanding, they are quite of the opinion
that they have attained to the uttermost point of their enterprise.
Do not, therefore, cast away your consolation, for that it hath
pleased the Lord to abase you for a season, seeing that this is no
more than what the Scripture forewarns you must come to pass, even
that he exalts the humble and the despised, and lifteth them out of
the dust, the needy he raises up from the dunghill; that to those
who are in weeping and in tears he gives a crown of joy; that he
gives light to those who sit in darkness, and raises up to newness
of life those who have dwelt in the valley of the shadow of death.
Hope, therefore, that this gracious God will open such a deliverance
that you shall have good cause to magnify and also to glorify his
clemency. Take comfort from this blessed hope, and strengthen
yourselves also to endure patiently the rod of his correction, until
he shall be pleased to declare himself gracious, which, without a
doubt, will be ere long, provided that we can willingly commit all
to the guidance of his providence who knows the fit opportunity,
and sees what is for our real advantage better than we can anyhow
conceive.

Above all, take heed that you watch unto prayer; for if your whole
expectation rests upon God, as it ought, there is good reason to
infer that your heart should be daily lifted up to heaven in calling
upon the Lord, and earnestly supplicating the mercy which you hope
to obtain from himself. Understand, moreover, that if he delays to
grant the desire of his children, and does not immediately manifest
himself in the time of need for their deliverance, it is generally
because he wishes to stir them up and urge them on to supplicate
his favour. However confident we may be in making a vain-glorious
boast of putting our trust in him, it will be of no avail while we
do not offer any proof of it, by flying to him as our refuge, in
prayer. Besides, it is a matter of tried experience, that there is
never such an earnest fervency of stayed affection and ardour in our
prayers as there ought to be, save when we persevere therein without
ceasing.

I pray the Lord of all consolation to strengthen you and sustain
you in patience, so long as it is his will to prove you in these
tribulations, and to confirm you in the hope of the promises which
he has made to his servants. He has said that he will not try them
beyond what they can endure, but that along with the affliction he
will increase strength and give a prosperous issue.

  Your brother and servant in the Lord,
  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. copy_--_Archives of Geneva._ No. 1203.]



XXVI.--TO FAREL.

     Conferences of Basle--absence of the theologians of Zurich and
     of Berne--the minister Konzen--complaints against Bucer--a wish
     for the establishment of Ecclesiastical discipline--celebration
     of the Supper in the French Church of Strasbourg--the news
     of Germany and the Netherlands--question addressed to
     Melanchthon--domestic affairs.


  [_October 1538._[94]]

  [94] From Farel's hand: Received in the month of October 1538.

Grace to you and peace in the Lord.

Yes, indeed, I do very much rejoice that the marriage of Grynée
happened at the time when so many and such weighty matters kept
you necessarily at home. For the expected conferential meeting
did not after all take place,[95] and after two days our friends
returned. Yea, forsooth, and the Zurichers had scented out what
Grynée would be at; therefore, having promised that they would
be present on the day appointed, they managed somehow to excuse
themselves. Afterwards, when they were pressed somewhat closer on
the affair of the conference, they cut off all hope of it. We have
reason to lament that good and otherwise right-hearted men are
not more earnestly affected by the desire of promoting the public
peace. For if they no longer need to care for the establishment
among themselves of a godly union, they ought at least to consider
it a duty to endeavour to come to a good mutual understanding with
the churches. Luther, with whom I do freely acknowledge that I am
not satisfied, may have been to blame. But what will it at length
come to, if thus of set purpose we contend with each other, which
can exceed the other in sin? Besides, they are in no trifling
degree injurious to Bucer, concerning whom they cannot brook the
thought of imagining any good. Lastly, while they desire to have
the upper hand in every thing, they are faulty in the very form
and substance of their procedure. For why do they stand in so much
dread of a Convocation? If they have seen anything in Bucer which
needs to be reproved, where could they find a more suitable occasion
for admonishing him? It is needless, however, for me to write of
these things to you, who deplore them as much as myself, and who
are not able to correct them. The Bernese, expecting that we should
soon have a conference, have thought that it would be expedient to
absent themselves from the marriage, that they might not appear to
take any measure separately or apart from others. Therefore they
also excused themselves. As for myself, unless I had wished to rush
upon death, it was impossible for me at that time to venture on a
journey. The day before I must have set out, so violent an attack
of dysentery had seized me, that in the course of a single day I
was exhausted to such a degree, that I could with difficulty remain
with comfort in one position; it was well, therefore, that you did
not fatigue yourself to no purpose. The conference which you relate
as having had with the mayor was by no means to be evaded, although
I confess that it afforded me very little pleasure. For I see much
that we have to fear in that quarter; what good we may expect, I do
not perceive. He manifests the same disposition in his expressions
which we have hitherto known by experience. For he either upbraids
and rails at us, or, where there is not any ground of more serious
accusation, in his own peculiar way he trifles with you, carping
and biting under cover of some figurative expression. Then you were
scarcely cautious enough when you came to speak of Konzen,[96] in
having poured out your indignation with such exceeding liberality.
How much do I fear lest this your complaint, although most just,
prove the cause of much annoyance to us! The other things which
nettled the spirit of the man, I venture to believe, may have been
so well excused, that even what you said about Konzen may have
passed over quietly. As for the rest, if you hearken to our friends,
you will endeavour for the future when you meet with him, and in so
far as he shall give you opportunity, to insinuate yourself into
his familiarity: he cannot manage so craftily but that you may hear
many things _which it may be of use for us to know_. Himself also
will be forced to hear, in his turn, many things from you, by which
his temper will either be in some small degree softened or subdued.
What ought to be said, what not spoken about at all, and what method
of treatment is to be applied in each emergency, it would be absurd
were I to admonish you. From long and close experience, you yourself
know the temper and disposition of the man. The best defence of
our cause is planted in the truth, from which, should I attempt
to draw you away, I could effect nothing. If we believe the Lord
the defender of the innocent, since we cannot be deprived of the
testimony of a good conscience as in his sight, let us be content
with this sole defence. For I will never advise that we should adopt
those underhand, those wily methods, which are the false refuges of
a bad cause. Nevertheless, we must not let slip the opportunities
which, in entering upon a course of sincere dealing with the
conscience, do not require us to set aside our own reason; and we
ought to reckon it a great gain to have restored such a man to many
of the servants of Christ, from whom, by the false representations
of the wicked, to the great loss and inconvenience of the Church, he
had become estranged. Lastly, whether you can thoroughly conciliate
him to yourself or them, this, however, in any event, will be
beneficial, if you shew yourself friendly.

  [95] The negotiations relative to the union of the Reformed Churches
  of Germany with those of Switzerland, were at all times eagerly
  promoted by Bucer. But the theologians of Zurich had but little hope
  of arriving at a satisfactory accord of agreement between the two
  parties, on account of the absolute opinion of Luther on the Supper.
  Having been invited to a conference held in the house of Simon
  Grynée, at Basle, they did not attend that meeting, where Bucer and
  Capito were both present, and which took place without attaining the
  object for which they had met.--Hospinian, _Hist. Sacrament._, vol.
  ii. pp. 290-300.

  [96] Pierre Konzen, a minister of Berne, the opponent of Farel and
  of Calvin, whose conduct at Geneva he disapproved.

It is singular how confidently Sulzer undertakes for Konzen even
yet. For he writes that there is not a doubt but that he will
consent willingly to the Diet, and refer the matter to arbitration,
that we may return to an entire agreement. What I disapprove of in
Bucer's method of dealing with this matter is, that he declares that
we have sinned through too much severity; he subjoins, it is true,
But where shall you find better? where more learned? I would rather
that he had been more sparing of praise, and at the same time have
abstained from any charge against us, that he might not have this
only vantage-ground, on which he may flatter himself that he has got
the victory.

In your next letter I look for a full detail of the matters which
have been discussed in your assembly, as well as of what has been
done. Most gladly would I hear that somewhat has been undertaken
which might tend to consolidate the Church. With great exertion they
hasten forward the setting up of our Discipline, but without seeming
to do so, that the evil-disposed may not understand what they are
about, and throw hindrances in their way at the very commencement.
If any degree of order is established here, I see some good prospect
of introducing it among you, if it is sought for on the common
application of the brethren in the first assembly. But this must
be well considered before the fall of the year. Indeed, I do not
see any hope of success in trying to bring it about sooner. For
if the assembly shall be obtained after winter, of which Sulzer's
letter holds out to us the expectation, it will be occupied with
other business, unless, perhaps, it passes from the consideration
of Ecclesiastical Agreement to that of Order. I almost think that
I have found out the cause which took Morand and Marcourt to
Berne,[97] since they are learning by experience what they did
not foresee, that in order to clear themselves of the imputation
of conceit or vanity, they must lay the blame on the exceeding
malignity of those who favour our views. If I am not mistaken in my
opinion, they will so strain the terms of their accusation, as to
embrace the entire community of Geneva. Thus, of necessity, they
will have to seek out a new settlement for themselves. May the Lord
so order it, that they might set themselves down anywhere else than
in your neighbourhood. If we had fit persons here who could drive
away such pests immediately on their approach, I would rather take
in hand to go thither myself, than leave you exposed to such danger
as I see to impend over you, if they make an inroad. For the first
time, we have administered the sacrament of the Supper in our little
church[98] according to the custom of the place, which we purpose
to repeat every month. Capito and Bucer, and all our brethren have
charged me in their name to return their friendly salutations to our
friends. Bucer has undertaken a long and at this season of the year
tiresome journey: he is gone to the Landgrave, and thence he will
go into Saxony. He has business to treat about with the Landgrave
and some of the free cities, with Luther and the Saxons, relating
to the Ecclesiastical property, which they desire to restore to its
legitimate purposes. I delivered to him a letter for Philip, in
which I requested that he would inform me of his opinion in this
matter. I appended twelve Articles, which if he can acquiesce in
them with me, nothing farther can be required, either from himself
or Luther, in this business. If I receive anything of a reply, I
will thereupon communicate with you. I wrote so hurriedly, that I
had not the opportunity of retaining a copy. Germany is alarmed by
the expectation of new disturbances: if the affair of the Dukedom
of Gueldres is to be decided by arms with the Duke of Cleves,
there is some danger lest our friends be drawn indirectly into the
contest. What the amount of our reckoning was with Oporin you will
understand from his letter. It was the opinion of Grynée that the
wine ought not to be taken into account, because he had bestowed
it himself. When, however, I saw that Oporin of his own accord
was not inclined thereto, I was unwilling to higgle about it. You
have boarded seven weeks and two days with him, myself two months
and about twelve days; which I think will amount to less than the
heavy expense which you anticipated. Thus I divide it: I pay five
gold crowns; you, four. Balthazar had given us eight crowns; there
was one remaining of the common fund. You had paid six out of your
own money; I, one. Thus there had been paid by you ten and a half.
You have received, through my brother, five crowns; four have been
expended on victuals; I yet owe you one gold crown and a half, which
I will pay as soon as possible. Here, unless I would be a burden to
the brethren, I must live at my own expense. I have paid that which
was owing for hire to the owner of the horse, and the half of what
was due to the matron with whom we had a bed. I have about twenty
shillings of Basle money, more or less; for the hire of the horse
cost sixteen shillings and a half. My outlay on account of your
nephew I have received except about ten shillings, which Claude was
about to send me; for there was wherewithal to make up that small
amount. I do not know what prevented him. I mention that, lest you
may think that I had received nothing. Adieu, my very dear brother,
with all our brethren, whom may the Lord preserve, along with
yourself, in safety.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [97] Ministers of the Church of Geneva. See note 1, p. 74.

  [98] The French Church of Strasbourg.

       *       *       *       *       *

What is that I hear about the ludicrous engagement of the
Bombardiers? Why, they say that it has become a matter of ridicule
to the whole neighbourhood! What brazen impudence! As if they
were not everywhere sufficiently odious already, unless they
take occasion from every folly: thus it is that God darkens the
understanding of his enemies, either with frivolities or things of
nought. I shall remove within two days to the dwelling of Bucer. I
have kept this letter ten days waiting for a messenger.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



XVII.--TO LOUIS DU TILLET.[99]

  [99] In a new letter to Calvin (7th September 1538) Louis du
  Tillet had thought it his duty to signalize the events which had
  recently occurred at Geneva as a providential chastening, destined
  to recall his old friend from the way of schism. "I am disposed to
  think, indeed," said he, "that the things which have happened to
  you have been brought about and pursued by the evil disposition
  of persons who have more care about the aims and ends of this
  world than consideration of what is due to God. But what I beseech
  you take in good part, I believe you have rather to consider on
  your part whether our Lord has not meant to warn you by that to
  bethink yourself if there has been nothing to reprove in your
  administration, and to humble you in his sight, and that by this
  means the great gifts and graces with which our Lord has furnished
  you may be employed to his glory, to the salvation of his elect, and
  on that account always more and more increased."--MSS. of Paris.
  Calvin replies to that objection, and appeals from "the sentence of
  the wise" to the tribunal of God.

     Reply to doubts as to the lawfulness of his call--inward
     assurance of his calling--declines the kind offer of Louis du
     Tillet--appeals to the tribunal of God from the accusation of
     schism charged on him by his friend.


  STRASBOURG, _20th October 1538_.

Prolonged and lengthened as the time has been during which our
Lord has made me feel the exhortations and remonstrances which
are contained in your letter, I cannot but take them in good part,
unless, indeed, I would give the lie to my own conscience. I learn
therefrom, that in the dealings which our Lord has taken with me, I
should find both material and occasion for the acknowledgment of my
faults. Neither am I content to examine myself only and call them
to mind, but, as was my duty, I have made no difficulty to confess
them in the presence of those who would have been better pleased to
justify me than to ween that there was any need to blame myself.
True it is that, so far as our adversaries are concerned, I have,
with good reason, always maintained mine innocence, suchlike as
I could testify it before God. And, in like manner, I have never
yielded to those who set themselves up rashly to sit in judgment, as
for the most part overforward to determine the nature of the malady
while ignorant of its root. But I have never failed to declare,
whether it was in public or in private, that we must accept that
calamity as a singularly remarkable chastisement of our ignorance
as well as of our other vices which called for it. Whatsoever are
my peculiar faults as an individual, while I can discern very many,
yet I hold, nevertheless, that I do not perceive the greatest of
them, even the grosser faults. Wherefore, I pray the Lord that he
would make them more clearly manifest to me from day to day. Those
which you point out are not to be laid to my charge. If there was
any ground to dispute my call, I believe that you have got no such
reasons to impugn my ministry, but the Lord has furnished me with
more firm and stable ones for my confirmation. If you entertain
some doubt about that, it is enough for me that it is quite clear
to my own satisfaction, and not only so, but that I can approve it
to those who are willing to submit their censures to the test of
truth. You do well to admonish me that it is wrong to confide too
much in one's own understanding, for I know my range to be such
that I cannot presume ever so little upon myself without exceeding.
I would, however, request of you to believe that the complaints
which, on other occasions, you have heard me make, were not the
utterances of hypocrisy, for they testified that I was well aware of
my insufficiency for the charge I hold.

You dwell very much upon the point, that it might be painful to us
to make retractions under the fear of the imputation of trifling,
when we have formed a rash and inconsiderate determination. For my
own part, as I know well enough that by good right I ought to fear
lest that foolish ambition should so far hoodwink me as to deflect
the straightforwardness of my judgment, so, on the other hand, I
hope that our Lord will not leave me so far to myself as to fall
into such a degree of pride, that for the sake of preserving mine
own honour scatheless I would wilfully oppose myself to his truth.
I have discussed this question with some eminent persons whom you
know. I cannot, even now, see the case in any other light than
that which I have declared. I know not whether the witness who was
present has brought you any random report of what took place, as he
has a shrewd turn at upsetting and embroiling whatsoever he puts his
hand to.

Concerning that objection of condemning others, I feel constrained
to make one observation, which possibly shall not be pleasing to
you. I would that you should take a part of these observations
to yourself. For in calling _the darkness light_ throughout
the whole of your letter, you do condemn those who walk far
more straightforwardly in regard to that matter than any of
yourselves.[100] I shall not enter upon a disputation, for neither
is that your intention; but I would like to know what equity there
is in a person who passes judgment in his closet, condemning all
those who maintain their doctrine daily openly before all the world,
and who thinks, notwithstanding, that it is presumption in those
others to dare to condemn the manifest enemies of God and of his
majesty. What you have said in reference to that question I take as
proceeding from a good intention, but must attribute it to a very
different spirit from that of God. Touching my retirement, I confess
to you that I have found somewhat strange the first word which you
have spoken to me regarding it, as to seeking the means of returning
to a place where I would be as it were in a sort of hell.[101] The
earth is the Lord's, you will say, but I beg you will allow me to
follow the rule of my conscience, which I know to be surer than
yours. As to my resuming the charge, I could indeed have wished to
be believed and taken at my word; and had I only had to do with
those whom you might consider too inconsiderately and obstinately
determined on setting men to work, I should have been in no hurry
to do so; but when the most moderate of them all threaten that the
Lord would find me out as he did Jonah; and when they come to such
words as these, "Suppose to yourself the Church to be lost through
your fault alone. What better course of repentance lies open to you
than to dedicate yourself wholly to the Lord? You who are endowed
with such gifts, with what conscience can you decline the ministry
which is offered to you? &c...."[102] What else to do I knew not,
except to state the reasons which deterred me, in order that I might
follow my own inclination with their consent. When that was to no
purpose, I concluded that I had no alternative, in such a state of
perplexity, but to follow that which I thought was pointed out to
me by the servants of God. I give you my hearty assurance that care
about the body would not have brought me to that conclusion, for I
had seriously pondered the question of setting about the gaining of
a livelihood for myself in some private station, which I think is
not altogether impossible; but I have decided that the will of God
has otherwise disposed. If I have erred, reprove me, I beseech you,
only let it not be by a simple explicit condemnation, to which I can
attribute no authority, against so many reasons and the testimony
of individuals who are nowise contemptible, nor ought they to be so
accounted in your esteem.

  [100] The passage in Du Tillet's letter, to which Calvin here
  alludes, is as follows:--"One thing to be most carefully avoided
  is an overweening confidence in our own judgment, and a too great
  readiness either to accept new opinions or to condemn old ones,
  especially where matters of religion or piety are concerned; for
  a mistake on such ground is more fatal than on any other; ... and
  God punishes the temerity of such as thus act, bringing them into a
  thousand perplexities."--MSS. of Paris.

  [101] That is to say, in France. Louis du Tillet had advised Calvin
  to return to that country, where the profession of the Evangel
  was interdicted. "I greatly desire that on your part it might
  be possible for you to retire hitherward, and that our Lord had
  furnished you the means ... but if that cannot be done as yet, I
  applaud and appreciate your determination to stop for the present at
  Basle, without mixing yourself up in anything else. In waiting upon
  our Lord you will shew plainly whitherward you tend."--MSS. of Paris.

  [102] These expressions are taken from a letter addressed by
  Simon Grynée to Calvin, to induce him to decide on accepting the
  ministerial charge at Strasbourg. Here is the original text, which
  Calvin quotes from memory:--"Fac esse quod tuâ unius gravissima
  culpa res Christi sic labefactæ sint Genevæ, non tamen pia erit
  ejusmodi pœnitentia, quâ in ista ministrorum qui istic idonei
  sunt copia, tu istis dotibus non tibi sed Ecclesiæ ornatus, oblatum
  ministerium repudies."--_Grynæi Epistolæ_, edition of Streuber, p.
  55.

You have made me an offer for which I cannot sufficiently thank you;
neither am I so rude and unmannerly as not to feel the unmerited
kindness so deeply, that even in declining to accept it, I can never
adequately express the obligation that I owe you.[103] I shall
abstain, however, as much as possible, from being burdensome to any
one, but principally to you, who have already in the past been put
to too much expense. My aliment at present costs me nothing. To meet
my necessary requirements over and above my daily bread, the money
for the books will furnish somewhat, for I hope that you will kindly
give me others in case of need. Had you addressed your proposition
to me in such terms as to have left no imputation, but only on
myself personally, I could easily have put up with it. But inasmuch
as you do injustice to the truth of God, and to his servants, it has
on my part been inevitable that I must reply briefly, in order that
you may not indulge the notion that I have acquiesced. I believe
that you have considered our affliction to be quite sufficient to
cast me into the utmost perplexity, even such as to throw all former
trials into the shade. I have been greatly afflicted, it is true,
but never to such a degree as to have to say, _Nescio ubi sint viæ
Domini_, (I know not where are the ways of the Lord,) wherefore
these temptations are tried upon me in vain.

  [103] Du Tillet had made an offer of money to Calvin in the letter
  above cited:--"It is possible that you may be ill provided with
  money, without which you cannot live there in a manner becoming you;
  but you need not mind about that, for should you receive nothing
  elsewhere but from me, if you wish it, God helping, I will supply
  enough to meet your necessity, as for the present I have no occasion
  for any money, living entirely in the house of my brother.... But
  that notwithstanding, I will find means to furnish you."

One of my companions[104] is now before God to render account of the
cause which has been common to him and me. When we come thither, it
will be known on which side the rashness and desertion has been. It
is thither that I appeal from the judgments of all the worldly-wise
sages, who think their simple word has weight enough for our
condemnation. There, the angels of God will bear witness who are the
schismatics.

  [104] The minister Courault. See following note.

After having humbly commended myself to your good-will I shall
entreat our Lord that he would uphold and keep you in his holy
protection, so directing you, that you decline not from his
way.--Your humble servant and sincere friend,

  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.

  [_Fr. Copy_--_Imperial Library of Paris. Fonds Baluze_, 8069-5.]



XXVIII.--TO FAREL.

     Death of Courault--Calvin's discouragement and trust in
     God--answers a question of Saunier regarding the Supper--the
     faithful at Geneva exhorted not to separate from the new
     preachers--affectionate advice given to Farel.


  STRASBOURG, _24th October 1538_.

The death of Courault has so overwhelmed me, that I can set no
bounds to my grief.[105] None of my daily occupations can so avail
to engage my mind as that they do not seem to turn upon that one
thought. Distress and wretchedness during the day seems only to
prepare a lodging for the more painful and excruciating thoughts of
the night. It is not merely the want of sleep, to which custom has
so inured me, by which I am harassed, but I am utterly exhausted by
these melancholy thoughts all night long, than which I find there
is nothing more destructive of my health. But that atrocious deed
chiefly rankles my mind, if indeed the suspicion is well founded,
to which, whether I will or nill, I am constrained to allow some
weight. To what a degree of wickedness must our posterity at length
arrive, when in the very commencement such monstrosities rise up
before our eyes? I much fear lest this great wickedness may speedily
be punished by some great affliction of the Church. Moreover, it
is no slight evidence of the anger of God, that, amid so great a
scarcity of good ministers, the Church should be deprived of one who
stood in the foremost rank of the good. What else, therefore, dear
brother, can we do than lament our calamity? although, nevertheless,
we are not lacking in solid consolation. This of itself is a great
comfort when all do thus testify, by affectionate sorrow as for
their own loss, the high esteem in which they held him for courage
and uprightness. So neither does the Lord suffer the wickedness of
our enemies to remain concealed upon earth. They have not gained
the worth of a single hair by his death. For there stands before
the judgment-seat of God a witness and avenger of their villany,
whose voice will proclaim their destruction more loudly than if it
shook the earth. We, the survivors whom the Lord has left behind
for a while, let us persevere in the same path wherein our deceased
brother walked, until we have finished our course. Whatsoever
difficulties may be thrown across our path, they will not prevent
our arriving at that rest into which he has been already admitted.
Unless this sure hope held us firm and steadfast, what ground of
despair encompasses us round about! But since the truth of the
Lord remains firm and unshaken, let us stand resolutely upon the
watch-tower even to the end, until the kingdom of Christ, which is
now hidden and obscured, may shine forth.

  [105] The aged monk, Augustin Courault, a zealous preacher of the
  Reformation at Paris and at Geneva. He took part with Calvin and
  Farel; after a short imprisonment was banished from Geneva, found a
  retreat with Christopher Fabri at Thonon, and was appointed pastor
  at Orbe, where he died, 4th October 1538. Courault was advanced
  in years, and had become blind. ("Illuminant les âmes, dit Bèze,
  combien qu'il fust devenu aveugle quant au corps."--_Hist. Eccl._
  tom. i. p. 15.) His death, which was at first attributed to poison,
  caused the deepest regret both to Farel and Calvin, who were his
  colleagues in the ministry.

Our opponents have already sounded the trumpet on account of the
sentence pronounced against the town of Minden.[106] As the interest
of religion is concerned in the matter, our friends are necessarily
implicated. It will be our surest and invincible defence if the
Lord of Hosts shall defend us by his own strength. Otherwise we are
scarcely strong enough to repel the assaults of our enemies. Let us
therefore take refuge in that one asylum, which, even although the
whole earth may be shaken, can never be moved.

  [106] As one of the cities in league with Smalkald for the defence
  of the Gospel, the town of Minden had just been placed under the ban
  of the empire. The Roman Catholic princes of Germany confederated
  at Nuremberg prepared to execute the sentence against which the
  Protestant princes had solemnly protested.--Sleidan, _Commentarii_,
  lib. xii. p. 338, édit. de 1612, in 4to.

We do not slacken our endeavour, and continue to cry incessantly
for a conference until it shall have been obtained. Saunier[107]
wished another question to be discussed by us,--Whether it is
lawful for himself, and others similarly situated, to receive the
sacrament of the Lord's Supper from the hands of the new ministers,
and to partake of it along with such a promiscuous assemblage of
unworthy communicants. In this matter I quite agree with Capito.
This, in brief, was the sum of our discussion: that among Christians
there ought to be so great a dislike of schism, as that they may
always avoid it so far as lies in their power. That there ought to
prevail among them such a reverence for the ministry of the word
and of the sacraments, that wherever they perceive these things
to be, there they may consider the Church to exist. Whenever
therefore it happens, by the Lord's permission, that the Church is
administered by pastors, whatever kind of persons they may be, if
we see there the marks of the Church, it will be better not to
break the unity. Nor need it be any hindrance that some points of
doctrine are not quite so pure, seeing that there is scarcely any
Church which does not retain some remnants of former ignorance. It
is sufficient for us if the doctrine on which the Church of God is
founded be recognized, and maintain its place. Nor should it prove
any obstacle, that he ought not to be reckoned a lawful pastor who
shall not only have fraudulently insinuated himself into the office
of a true minister, but shall have wickedly usurped it. For there
is no reason why every private person should mix himself up with
these scruples. The sacraments are the means of communion with the
Church; they must needs therefore be administered by the hands of
pastors. In regard to those, therefore, who already occupy that
position, legitimately or not, and although the right of judging
as to that is not denied, it will be well to suspend judgment in
the meantime, until the matter shall have been legally adjudicated.
Therefore, if men wait upon their ministry, they will run no risk,
that they should appear either to acknowledge or approve, or in any
way to ratify their commission. But by this means they will give
a proof of their patience in tolerating those who they know will
be condemned by a solemn judgment. The refusal at first of these
excellent brethren did not surprise nor even displease me. In truth,
at a time of so great excitement, which could not fail to produce an
ebullition in the minds of men, a schism in the body of Christ was
the infallible result. Besides, they were still uncertain whither
at length this tempest would drive them, which for the time put
everything in confusion and disorder.

  [107] Antony Saunier, countryman and disciple of Farel, was honoured
  to be his companion in announcing for the first time the simple
  Gospel in Geneva, (September 1532.)--(See Spon, _Hist. de Genève_,
  tom. i. p. 215, Note P.) Having been appointed Regent of the college
  of that town, he offered, in 1538, a determined opposition to the
  pastors who were elected in room of Farel and Calvin, and along
  with his colleague Mathurin Cordier was banished, on account of his
  refusal--notwithstanding the advice of Calvin himself, to receive
  the sacrament at the hands of the new ministers. He retired to the
  Pays de Vaud, and at a later period became pastor of the church at
  Morges.

Saunier then proceeded to speak of himself, but with so much
contention, that it seemed as if he would never have an end until
he had extorted what he sought. There was evident ground of reason
why we should deny. For prudence in making a due distinction is
required from the minister to whom the dispensation of this sacred
mystery belongs. Moreover, he who has not from the first repudiated
their fellowship plainly approves their ministry. Lastly, the
question having been reduced to these conditions,--whether it were
better to yield or to refuse, I forced him into this dilemma:--If
the minister does his duty, all will at once go well; if not, it
will beget a scandal which must not be endured, whatever supposed
advantages might arise therefrom. But when he perceived that I was
firmly determined to accomplish what I sought to effect, he readily
acquiesced therein, whatever it was. We know by our experience how
difficult it is to keep within due bounds those who are puffed
up with a silly opinion of their own wisdom. When we all thought
this particular time very unseasonable for discussing the points
in dispute among the brethren, the Lord has surpassed our utmost
expectation. Whatever we sought has been obtained. Saunier at first
seemed to dislike that any formula of confession should be required.
He supposed that our friends would be satisfied for this alone,
because they had been taught by himself. Afterwards, however, he
relaxed his opposition and approved without further controversy,
such as I have drawn it in their name. I fear that the person will
give you most trouble whose business it ought to be to help you;
however, by patient sufferance you will struggle through. I entreat
of you, my dear brother, in so great iniquity of the time in which
we live, that you will use your utmost endeavour to keep together
all who are any way bearable. As to the trifling ceremonies,
strive to induce the brethren not to dispute the point with those
of their neighbourhood with so much of stiffnecked obstinacy. It
will then come to pass that we may carry our point, ourselves
free from all, that we may only serve the interests of peace and
Christian agreement. If I omit any important points, it is because
your letter, which I had given to Capito to read, has not yet been
returned to me. May the Lord preserve and strengthen you by his
Spirit, confirm you in the enduring of all things, my most beloved
brother in the Lord. Your anxiety on my account admonishes me in my
turn to recommend your taking care of your health, for all accounts
report that you appear very much worn out. I beg and entreat of you,
my dear brother, have such regard to others as at the same time to
keep in mind that the Church of Christ cannot yet spare you. Greet
a thousand times for me all the brethren who are with you; Viret,
Francis also, and James, when you write to them. Capito, Sturm, and
Firmin, desire to salute you in the most friendly way.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



XXIX.--TO FAREL.

     Second edition of the "Institution of a Christian"--death of
     Robert Olivetan--state of religion in Germany--first lectures of
     Calvin at Strasbourg.


  _Month of January 1539._

The grace of the Lord be with you, most sound-hearted brother.

You would have received a longer letter from me, had not grief of
mind so distracted me that I had neither heart nor hand capable of
discharging duty. When I thought that the edition of my work was
quietly going forward,[108] lo and behold! a copy is forwarded to me
by my brother in the same state in which I had sent it; therefore it
must be put off to the next fair-time. This kindness has been repaid
to me by Robert. Although there is privately no reason why I should
vex myself on this account; yet since I supposed that it would be
of public advantage that it should go forth as soon as possible, I
could not be otherwise than greatly annoyed that the expectation and
desire of many good men should be frustrated by the cross humour of
a single individual; for I do not wish to say anything more severe.
The death of our friend Olivetan followed upon that other vexation,
of which the wife of Sinapi informed me by letter.[109] You will
therefore bear with me in my reasonable sorrow, if my letters are
not only confused, but also somewhat concise. What you mention
about the reply of Konzen cheered me as much as was possible in
such sadness. I entreat you, my dear brother, that we may follow up
such favourable and auspicious beginnings. Now, for the first time,
our spirit can be raised to entertain good hope of the result; but,
as you observe, we must have a conferential meeting, without which
the fallen and miserably scattered churches cannot be built up.
Scarcely could I have dared to hope for any good until I understood
that this opening had occurred. Now am I led to entertain the sure
hope of an excellent result, if we have once an opportunity of
meeting together. We must wait, however, for the return of Bucer,
who, when he was arrived at no great distance from home, was drawn
back again upon a new piece of business, a secret indeed, but which
I will whisper in your ear. Duke George of Saxony,[110] beyond all
expectation, intimated that he wished to have some consultation
with him and Melanchthon about religion and the reformation of the
Church, and appointed a day for them to come to Leipsic, on which
he promised that he would be present; therefore both secretly set
out thither. If he comes to any determination, he will draw many
others after his example. Some of the princes are impelled by a
fierce desire of stirring up war against us, and already they are
prepared with all requisite munition. They are, however, kept in
some restraint by the more prudent, who foresee that the Turk will
not remain quiet if he sees Germany engaged in civil war. Already he
has possession of Upper and Lower Wallachia, and has declared war
upon the King of Poland, unless he allow him free passage through
his territories. As soon as Bucer returns, I will tire you with a
long story, for I am very confident that he will bring along with
him a great store of news. He has loaded Saunier and the brethren
with superfluous expense, and has hence fatigued them with labour
to no purpose. I am too much intent on the success of this project
to have any need to be goaded on regarding it; but what could I do,
since the proposed Diet of the princes and free cities on whom the
charge was laid has not yet been held? There met lately a council of
the cities at Erlangen, but that concerned other matters; nor was it
composed only of those of our persuasion, although the cities sent
deputies, but of all promiscuously. The Diet of those of our side,
both of the princes and of the cities, is called for the eighth
of February, before which day ambassadors from the Duke of Saxony
and the Landgrave are to come hither. We are so cordial in the
undertaking that we shall omit no opportunity of promoting it so far
as lies in us.

  [108] He refers here to the second edition of the _Institution
  Chrétienne_, which appeared in 1539 at Strasbourg.

  [109] Robert Olivetan died in 1538, at Ferrara. That intelligence
  was announced to Calvin by Francisca Bueyronia, wife of the
  physician, John Sinapi, a German settled at the Court of the Duchess
  of Ferrara as the preceptor of her children.

  [110] George Duke of Saxony, cousin of the Elector of Saxony, John
  Frederick. Although the princes of his family had adopted the (so
  called) new doctrines, this prince had constantly opposed the
  Reformation, which he persecuted in his states. He died in 1539.

Having lately been induced by Capito, against my inclination, to
lecture publicly, I either lecture or preach daily. Michael writes
you. Others more fitted for the work will fall in afterwards, if
they have only a little time given them. All send you their most
friendly greetings, and especially Capito, who only does not write
because he thinks my letter sufficient. Sturm, also, and Firmin, and
Gaspar, and Henry, and the others. Adieu, most excellent brother;
may the Lord preserve you for himself and his people. Salute all the
brethren from me.

You may hence be able to conjecture my state of composure, from the
circumstance that I have altogether forgotten in writing to you what
I ought to have told you at the first: I mean, that I had written
to you and Zebedeus by Dr. Ulrich. He avers that he entrusted the
letters to a faithful hand. Do let me hear by the first opportunity
whether they have reached you, and how you were pleased with the
contents; for I would willingly hear that you were satisfied with
reference to the offence which my letters had given among the
brethren at Geneva.

  [_Orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



XXX.--FAREL.[111]

  [111] Under the inspiration of Farel the company of pastors of
  Neuchatel had put forth a desire for the union of the Churches
  of Germany and Switzerland; but that wish for union, actively
  followed out by Bucer, desired with so much ardour by Calvin, must
  necessarily be the fruit of reciprocal concessions; and certain
  of the Zurich ministers, too much inclined to exalt the memory of
  Zuingli at the expense of Luther, seemed not much disposed to favour
  the connection. They altogether distrusted Bucer, who, they said,
  maintained an artificial spirit throughout these negotiations,
  equally adapted to deceive both sides; and even Bullinger
  himself, who was of so conciliating and so elevated a character,
  was not entirely free from these tendencies.--Hospinian, _Hist.
  Sacramentaria_, tom. ii. p. 290.

     Fruitless efforts for the union of the two Churches--synod
     of Zurich--Bullinger's distrust of Bucer--parallel between
     Luther and Zuingli--Calvin thinks of marrying--news of
     Germany--policy of the ecclesiastical Electors--French Church of
     Strasbourg--conversion of two Anabaptists.


  STRASBOURG, _28th February_ [1539.]

I have carefully explained to the brethren the matters which you had
committed to me on the part of your presbytery. They both welcomed
and received your admonitions with a very cordial and attentive
hearing, for they clearly perceived and understood the motives from
whence they proceeded, and that the dangers which alarm you are not
imaginary. They will therefore endeavour, so far as lies in their
power, in troublous times like the present, that your warnings may
not seem to have been tendered to them in vain. That last point
which you urge, about coming to an agreement with those of Zurich,
affords a strong presumption, that you do not fully comprehend
how much in earnest and how faithfully, our friends have exerted
themselves to promote this object. Since the meeting of that last
synod[112] they have left no stone unturned whereby they might,
in some small degree at least, either lessen or appease their
resentment;[113] for they even ventured to hope to bring them back
so soon to a right understanding and entire good-will towards each
other. It would appear, however, that they had not forgotten either
the reception they had met with in that quarter, or the manner in
which they were dismissed, and the rumours which had afterwards
been spread abroad as to their procedure, as well as the letters
which had been written. Because, however, they could of themselves
make but little impression, they engaged on their side all the
men of worth who had any authority or influence among them, in
order that, at the long run, some terms of peace, or at least some
moderation of their differences, might be devised. In the meanwhile
Bullinger makes public that epistle of his in which he reckons
the Turncoats and Weathercocks as stumbling-blocks of offence and
hindrances to the progress of the Gospel. There is no one so blind
as not to perceive that under these designations he points, as with
the finger, distinctly at our friends.[114] They, however, were
forbearing enough to teach, by their example, not to return railing
for railing, and suppressed their sense of so great indignity until
Erasmus, one of the Zurich ministers, had arrived in Strasbourg.
In good humour, and with courtesy, we expostulated with him. They
did not even satisfy us by a single word of explanation; but some
while after, not without their knowledge, Bibliander[115] wrote to
Sturm that we were tormenting ourselves by a false application of
it; for that Bullinger's design had been not to attack Bucer, but
those persons in the territory of Wirtemberg who had acceded to
the concord of agreement, for that they had themselves professed
that they had not always had a clear understanding of the Supper,
but that, as for Bucer, those things which had been said at Zurich
were no more than might, with perfect propriety, be addressed to
him. There is, therefore, nothing for us to dispute about, as
if there was any hindrance on our part to their arriving at an
entire agreement, or at this present moment to prevent a perfect
reconciliation. And further, to say the truth, we have never been
otherwise than their friends, however ill disposed they have shewn
themselves to us. If you knew with what moderation our friends
conduct themselves, you would be ashamed to require anything more of
them.

  [112] The Synod of Zurich, held from the 29th April to the 3d May of
  the preceding year, had remained without result. The ministers of
  Strasbourg and of Zurich had separated much dissatisfied with each
  other.

  [113] The theologians of Zurich had accused Bucer of having spread a
  snare to entrap their good faith by artificial expressions, better
  suited to veil the difficulties of union than to solve them.--See
  Hospinian, tom. ii. p. 290.

  [114] This letter of Bullinger is only known to us by Calvin's
  allusion to it. Bucer manifested great displeasure at the conduct of
  the theologians of Zurich, and bitterly complained of it in a letter
  to Comander, minister of Coire. But if we may believe the testimony
  of Sturm, quoted by Hospinian, it does not appear that the friendly
  relations between the churches of Zurich and Strasbourg were thereby
  long or seriously affected.

  [115] Bibliander (Theodore), professor of theology at Zurich. He
  died of the plague in 1564.

The good men flame up into a rage if any one dares to prefer Luther
to Zuingli, just as if the Gospel were to perish if any thing is
yielded by Zuingli. Nor, indeed, is there any injury thereby done
to Zuingli; for if the two men are compared with each other, you
yourself know how much Luther has the preference. I do not at
all approve, therefore, of those verses of Zebedeus, in which he
supposed that he could not praise Zuingli according to his real
worth, unless he said of him,

  Majorem sperare nefas;

that it was "profane to hope for a greater." Now, while we agree
that it is considered unkind to speak evil over the ashes and the
shades of the departed; so it would be impiety in a high degree,
in our thoughts of such a man, not to entertain sentiments of
honourable esteem. It holds true, however, that the moderation to
be observed in the award of praise, is that which Zebedeus has very
much lost sight of. Therefore, I am so far from assenting to him,
that now at this present, I can see many greater--I may hope for
some more--I may lawfully desire that _all_ were so. I ask you,
dear Farel, if any one extolled Luther in this manner, would not
the Zurichers have grumbled, and complained that Zuingli had been
overborne? Foolishly, you will say; as if, indeed, those were the
only men of any understanding who are favourable to Luther. But
these things are intended for your ear alone.

I myself, also, am heartily tired of discussing so often that
affair of Caroli, or rather, I am completely worn out; therefore
all the more willingly may suffer you to enjoy quiet in time to
come, unless some new escapade occurs. Would that only a single
opportunity were allowed me, in a familiar and confidential way,
to confide to you all my hopes and fears, and in turn to hear your
mind and have your help, whereby we might be the better prepared.
An excellent opportunity will occur for your repairing hither, if,
as we hope, the marriage shall come to pass.[116] We look for the
bride to be here a little after Easter. But if you will make me
certain that you will come, the marriage ceremony might be delayed
until your arrival. We have time enough beforehand to let you
know the day. First of all, then, I request of you, as an act of
friendship, that you would come. Secondly, that you assure me that
you will come. For it is altogether indispensable that some one from
thence be here to solemnize and ask a blessing upon the marriage.
I would rather have you than any one else. Therefore, resolve
whether you think it is worth while, on my account, to undertake
this journey. I am waiting to see whether any good will come out
of these disturbances by which Geneva is at present thrown into a
state of commotion. The affair must have taken a turn one way or
other before you can arrive here. Germany, as usual, is in a state
of suspense, in expectation of great events. The surmise is very
general, that the Emperor aims at more than he avows. Our friends
are now assembled at Smalkald, where they will advise upon measures
to meet either alternative; so that, whether they settle the matters
in dispute by reasonable arguments, or decide their differences by
war, they may not anyhow be taken unawares and unprepared. God has
already conferred this benefit upon us, that three of the Bishops
Electors rather prefer to league with us in defence of their
country's liberty, than to plot with the Emperor against it.

  [116] The friends of Calvin at Strasbourg were at this time very
  desirous of having the Reformer married. See the following Letters,
  (1539-1540,) _passim_.

Our little church here holds on as usual. Hermann has returned to
church-fellowship, and in perfect sincerity, unless I am much
deceived.[117] He has acknowledged to me, that out of the Church
there cannot exist the hope of salvation; he says, the true Church
is to be found among us; that therefore, on his part, there had been
a falling away, because he had lived as a sectary in separation from
it. This he took to himself as criminal, in following these divisive
courses, and sought forgiveness. About Free-will, the Divinity
and Humanity of Christ, Regeneration, Infant Baptism, and other
points, he was willing to be taught, and embraced our doctrine; he
only hesitated as to Predestination, on which head, however, he
subscribed upon the whole to my views, except that he could not
unravel or describe explicitly the difference between foreknowledge
and providence. He entreated, however, that this might not occasion
any hindrance in the way of himself and his children being received
to Church communion. Whereupon, with the courtesy which the occasion
called for, I received and welcomed him seeking forgiveness, and
reached forth to him the hand in name of the Church. Since then, I
have baptized his little daughter, who was more than two years of
age. Unless I am very much deceived, he is a pious, God-fearing man.
When I exhorted him as to the duty of leading back others into the
way of truth, he said, "The least I can do is, that I should now be
as earnest in building up as I have formerly been in pulling down."
Hans, who lives at Ulm, appears to me to be penitent. That we may
not boast, however, and glorify ourselves in this service, the Lord
humbles us in a thousand ways. For we are no whit better here than
with you, where you declare that matters are as bad as possible.
Yet, in these otherwise desperate circumstances, we have always this
consolation, that we do not serve God in vain, even when to all
appearance we seem to toil to no purpose. If you think proper, you
will communicate the letter addressed to the brethren; if otherwise,
you can return or keep it in your own possession.

  [117] Hermann of Liege, the celebrated Flemish Anabaptist. He had
  maintained a discussion at Geneva, publicly, against Farel and
  Calvin; and overcome on that occasion, he had been banished from the
  town the 19th March 1538.

Salute every one of them in person in our name in the most friendly
manner, although I desire, on my part, to do so on my own account,
apart from the rest.

Adieu, my very excellent and right-hearted brother. All here do
most lovingly salute you, especially Capito, Sturm, and Claude; for
Bucer is absent. But all of them, at the same time, had requested me
to undertake the province of replying to your letter, when I laid
before them your friendly warnings; on account of which, so far are
they from having taken any offence, that their respect, which could
scarcely be higher than it is, has rather been confirmed towards you.

My dear friend, again adieu. Although I feel much exhausted, yet I
would not suffer myself to be drawn away from writing to you.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



XXXI.--TO BULLINGER.[118]

  [118] Written to Bullinger after a long silence, this letter was
  to be the means of drawing closer the ties of friendship which had
  already united the French Reformer to the minister of Zurich, and
  to remove the unjust prejudice of the latter against Bucer and the
  Strasbourg ministers. See the preceding letter.

     Excuses his long silence--evidences of brotherly
     affection--justifies Bucer--his desire for the union of the
     Church of Zurich with that of Strasbourg.


  STRASBOURG, _12th March_ [1539.]

Grace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

RESPECTED BROTHER,--I scarce know how it has occurred, that for
nearly a whole year and a half since I withdrew hither I should
never have written to you, when it was so often my mind to do so;
when there was no want of somewhat to write about; and more than
once an occasion presented itself for doing so. But as for the first
few months I had scarcely thought of it, and thus already some time
had been allowed to slip away, as if the opportunity had passed,
I became from day to day more remiss. Lately, however, while your
Erasmus was here with us, he had offered, if I wished to write,
to take charge of any letters; whereupon I eagerly embraced an
opportunity, of which above all things I was desirous. I promised,
therefore, that I would write to you. As, however, I had returned
late from the inn where he was stopping, and he had resolved on his
departure for the morrow, I was unwilling to change the arrangement
for his journey, although out of kindness he was ready to wait
if only I had expressed the wish. The readier, however, that he
was to comply, so much more ashamed was I to request him, more
especially since I had an opportunity three days later of sending
letters to Basle, from whence they could easily be forwarded to you.
Notwithstanding that, however, when this last convenient occasion
had also escaped me, then at length I came to the conclusion that I
must do now what I had too long delayed. What ought we rather, dear
Bullinger, to correspond about at this time than the preserving and
confirming, by every possible means in our power, brotherly kindness
among ourselves? We see indeed of how much importance that is, not
only on our own account, but for the sake of the whole body of
professing Christians everywhere, that all those on whom the Lord
has laid any personal charge in the ordering of his Church, should
agree together in a sincere and cordial understanding. Indeed, Satan
himself perceives that very clearly, who while he plots, by every
method he can devise, the ruin of Christ's kingdom, plies none more
earnestly with all his might, than to sow division and discord
among us, or somehow at least to estrange the one from the other.
For that very reason, therefore, it is our duty to oppose these
sort of devices; and the more our adversary strives to rend asunder
our connection, so much the more ought we to strive against him
with more determined resolution and intense anxiety to cherish and
uphold it. Since, therefore, it is our duty carefully to cultivate
friendly fellowship with all the ministers of Christ, so we must
needs also endeavour by all the means we can, that the churches to
which we faithfully minister the word of the Lord may agree among
themselves. Our friendship, I trust, in virtue of the happy auspices
which presided at its commencement, and resting as it does on so
solid a foundation, will continue firm and entire to the last.
For myself, assuredly, so far as depends upon me, I undertake to
persevere in maintaining it firm and unimpaired, because, indeed,
I have always very much deferred to you. I have also, as was meet
and reasonable, embraced you with singular delight, nor will I ever
cease to entertain that affection. Between this church and yours,
although I do not see that there really exists any disagreement
or secret grudge, yet I might wish there was a closer connection
or rather relationship. How it comes to pass that we do not draw
more closely together, as I earnestly desire, it is not for me to
determine, only it is too evident not to be observed that the dregs
of that unhappy dispute still taint our memories. Hence arise many
askant suspicions, which when they have once fairly taken hold of
us, it is not possible that any solid friendship can either exist
or have any long continuance among us. On our friends' part, this
certainly I dare freely promise and undertake for them, that there
is nought they more desire than to cast aside all discordance, that
they may sincerely cultivate a brotherly friendship towards you; in
one word, to seek no other bond of concord than the pure will of
God. As for Capito's sincerity, because I suppose it is quite well
known to you, I shall say nothing. For Bucer I will answer, that
there is no cause why he ought in anything to be suspected by you.
Endowed, as indeed he is, with a singularly acute and remarkably
clear judgment, there is, at the same time, no one who is more
religiously desirous to keep within the simplicity of the word of
God, and is less given to hunt after niceties of interpretation
that are quite foreign to it, but who actually holds them in more
abhorrence, than himself. If, however, there is anything you still
find wanting in him, he is a man of such modesty and good nature, he
will not only suffer the word of admonition from you, but even to be
reproved, if there is a need-be for it. Only let him see plainly,
that you seek to have that sort of communication with us which ought
to exist among the servants of Christ. There is no occasion for my
dealing with you on the matter of the controversy itself. Indeed, it
is a subject which can scarcely be settled by letter. And perhaps,
I might be thought to act rashly, if not with arrogance, were I
to venture anything of the kind, yet often I can scarce refrain
myself from the desire that an opportunity were given me of handling
familiarly and discussing this question in your presence; for you
are aware that I have never conversed with you in such a way about
it as to understand what it is that hinders a full agreement between
us; but whatever that may be, I feel certain that it is unworthy to
be the cause of our disagreement. I require of you, dear Bullinger,
or rather, again and again I entreat you, that we may not only be
as far removed as possible from all hatred and contention, but even
from all appearance of offence. Forgive my anxiety; and, in truth, I
do not say this because I have any doubt of your prudence, of your
will, or of your deliberate and resolute courage. But charity hath
this peculiar quality, that while there is nothing which it may not
hope, it is, nevertheless, in the meanwhile anxious. Furthermore,
if, to sum up all, you consider how many perils, in this unhappy
age especially in which we live, beleaguer and surround us on all
hands, you will make allowance, I trust, for this my plainness, if
you do not pardon it. Adieu, most learned and upright man. Salute, I
beseech you, reverently, all the brethren, Pelican, Leo, Theodore,
Megander, and the others, whom I do esteem sincerely in the Lord.
Would that you may not scruple freely also to admonish me.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

These worthy men are French, sprung of good families, whom a
laudable curiosity has induced to undertake to visit you and to see
your country. Receive them, I pray you, with your wonted kindness.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



XXXII.--TO FAREL.

     Departure of Calvin for the Assembly of Frankfort--the question
     of Ecclesiastical property--news of Geneva--opening of the
     religious conferences at Frankfort--disposition of the Roman
     Catholic princes and Protestants in Germany--Policy of Charles
     V.--Reformation in England--remarkable judgment on Henry VIII.


  STRASBOURG, _15th March 1539_.

The day after your last letter save one reached me, I set out on
the road for Frankfort.[119] So hurried was my departure that
there was no time to write to you; what so frequently happens in
the event of sudden resolves. It never entered into my mind to
undertake that journey until the day before I undertook it. When,
however, I had received Bucer's letter, in which he informed me that
he could effect nothing in the affair of our brethren, the desire
instantly seized me to go thither, partly that the cause of the
brethren might not be treated negligently, as often happens in such
a crowd of business, partly that I might interchange thoughts with
Melanchthon about religion and the concerns of the Church. Unless
I am mistaken, both of these reasons will appear satisfactory to
you. I was encouraged also by the advice of Capito, and all of them
together, with besides, the opportunity of companions; for Sturm,
and other worthy men, accompanied me as fellow-travellers. As to the
Lord of N., less is to be believed concerning him than is reported.
You know how true is that common saying, that broad rumour acquires
strength as it rolls on. He was looking out only for one preacher
who, during this time of Lent, might imbue his common people with
a purer doctrine. The Lady R. at first invited me thither; but
because the way did not appear sufficiently open I excused myself,
on the ground of being detained here by another engagement, which
was indeed a small matter, but quite sufficient to lay me under the
obligation of attending to it. Dr. Ulrich has now been away at a
distance for about two months, so that I cannot expostulate with him
about the letters. He alleges, by way of excuse, that he deposited
them with N., who, if I mistake not, is one of the brethren who
some time ago raised disturbances against the people of Soleure.
It grieves me very much that they are lost, for assuredly they
contained many things which it was of very great consequence not
to have published abroad. As for the union which I advised, there
is no reason why you should be so averse to it; for I avowed that
there was nothing I wished for more than, as far as was possible,
that all the pious might withdraw themselves from that side. This
one thing I strove for, that they might not schismatically divide
any Church whatsoever, which, however it might be very corrupt in
morals, and infected with outlandish doctrine, had not cut itself
off entirely from that doctrine, upon which Paul teaches the Church
of Christ to be founded. Because, however, the question is of such
a nature that it is better let alone, unless discussed fully and in
a regular manner, I shall urge it no further, except that I wish
to testify, that no other union of the brethren was recommended by
me than what is pointed out to us by the example of Christ, who,
notwithstanding their deplorable impiety, did not scruple to unite
with Jews in participating in the mysteries of God. And that you
may understand with how much prudence they considered my advice,
it especially exasperated them that I made some difference between
the minister and the common people, and insisted that it was from
him, as the dispenser, that both prudence and faithfulness were
required. From private persons I said, that somewhat less strictness
and a more easy trial might be exacted, but that every one should
examine himself. Even that, if we shall have an opportunity of
conferring face to face together, can be settled with little
trouble. When I see the clear judgments of God appearing in those
noisome pestilences which have been afflicting the wretched Church,
I am partly comforted and refreshed, but also somewhat disturbed in
mind, because I perceive that they are sent, not altogether without
just cause of anger. It is, however, greatly to be desired, that in
whatever way it pleases himself, the Lord would purify his Church
from all filth of the kind. About Gast, my brother has written
very plainly. I must at once disapprove of that facility of Grynée
in giving recommendations; nor had I delayed so long to speak to
himself about it, if it had not been that at the time when your
letter reached me, I thought it was right to spare him, for his wife
was at the time in extreme danger of her life, for while pregnant
she was seized with the plague. Let me understand, I entreat you,
where that good and unbroken soldier of Christ--has betaken himself
unto. I see you will have no little trouble from N., so long as
he persists in strutting about after this manner; but because he
cannot be got rid of, we must just tolerate him. It is an occasion
presented to you of the Lord, whereby he will put your patience in
exercise. I owe you no little thanks for having greeted the mayor in
my name; for it is important that he should understand that both of
us are so united with Bucer and Capito that we communicate freely
all impending matters with one another. As to the question of the
ecclesiastical property, I wish that it were in my power to give
you a more favourable account, although the business is not in the
very worst state; for Bucer insisted with so much constancy, that
he seems to have in no small degree promoted it. Philip alarmed him
at first by the difficulty of carrying the business through, but he
persevered, and was not to be diverted from his purpose. There was
difficulty, however, in obtaining what he wanted, as the princes
thought that they had nothing to do with that matter,--they who take
upon themselves to administer ecclesiastical property according to
their own will. There are others who take it amiss, that the lucre
which they have been accustomed to extract from that source, has
been wrested out of their hands; others, although they will not
incur any loss, are not easily brought to concur, from the fear of
bringing upon themselves the enmity of that class, which you are
aware is numerous in Germany. Bucer proposed a measure, based on the
ancient custom and practice of the Church, by which he provided both
for Christian peace and agreement, and for the public tranquillity
of the empire. Seeing that the property which is at this day in the
hands of the canons of the principal church in this city, has been
bequeathed on this condition, that it should be administered by
counts, he consents that a college of the nobility be instituted, by
whom these revenues are to be held; those, however, who are admitted
to that office, he wishes may neither be from among the clergy nor
from the canons, but married persons, who are only attached by their
faith to the Church, and who give themselves and all they possess
to maintain its peace. As the bishop is a prince of the empire,
and as that position cannot be suppressed without producing great
disturbance in the empire, he conceives that it would be expedient
to do as of old, that in the place of the bishop some one of these
counts should succeed, who should have the entire possession of
those revenues which are at present assigned to the bishop, and
that he shall be called the vice-dominus, as being rather the
steward than the proprietor. That it shall be the duty of this
administrator to protect the Church when from any quarter it shall
be attacked, and for securing that object he must bind himself by a
solemn oath. The other ecclesiastical properties are to be applied
to more legitimate purposes, such as are the prebends, the chapels,
priories, and the rest. I call that a more legitimate use, that they
be applied to the support of the ministry, to schools, to the poor,
and other ecclesiastical burdens. If that shall be obtained, it will
form a tolerable provision in such an unsettled state of affairs.
There is some, and now indeed good, expectation, that the princes
have begun to take up the matter in earnest; the free cities enter
cordially into the arrangement, seeing that their ecclesiastical
property is everywhere so wretchedly dilapidated.

  [119] Calvin was about to set out for Frankfort, charged with an
  important mission by the Church of Strasbourg. Reconciled by a
  recent treaty with his rival Francis I., Charles V. had turned his
  whole attention in the direction of Germany, and solemnly announced
  his intention to accommodate religious differences in that country.
  The French king appeared to enter into his views, and the German
  princes shewed themselves disposed to favour the accomplishment
  of his wishes in meeting together at a solemn public conference
  between the Protestants and the Roman Catholic doctors. The day
  of meeting was fixed by the emperor himself for the 12th February
  1539, and Frankfort was pointed out for the theatre of these
  conferences.--Sleidan, _Commentarii_, lib. xii., pp. 338, 339.
  Anxious to be represented at that assembly at Frankfort by the most
  eminent ministers, the town of Strasbourg chose for its deputies
  Bucer, Sturm, and Calvin.

Du Tailly wrote to me concerning Basil,[120] that he had lately
proposed a public disputation to be held at Geneva, but had suffered
a repulse, which, indeed, I hear all the more willingly, that false
notions may not be spread abroad among a people who are otherwise
more than enough eagerly desirous of novelty, and seeing that nobody
takes the trouble to oppose these errors by refuting them.

  [120] This was no doubt, M. Du Tailly, a French gentleman, who had
  taken refuge at Geneva. He was a correspondent of Calvin.

Now I come to the second letter, in which you start with so many
riddles. For who these watchmen of the night, drunkards, thieves,
are, I can by no means ascertain, unless you explain yourself more
clearly. As for that deputation of LeComte[121] and Genan,[122] no
other result was to be expected, but that they should return as they
went. Whether there is enough of the spirit of counsel among the
brethren I know not; as to their courage I have no doubt. If they
have despatched Le Comte without any certain proposed _formula_,
I must entirely disapprove of the proceeding, for you know by
experience what that mere empty affectation of authority is apt
to produce. Let us show we are content that all right methods may
be tried, so that it cannot be said that we have thrown obstacles
in the way of improving the state of the Church. They cannot
lawfully require of you that you shall approve their ministry, who,
everybody sees, have subjected themselves to the censure of the
Church. What you say, however, is very true, that those who are
conscious of what is bad, desire nothing more than that everything
may lie hid, buried in obscurity, lest their own filthiness may be
discovered. In such dark involvements, we must consider what we can
do; the rest we must commit to the Lord. Without doubt, I could
have wished that the remembrance of all our ills should be buried,
which, without offence, cannot be brought up again. But of what
advantage are enmities, contentions, whether they are doctrinal
or spiritual, detractions, and other such evils, when bottled up
within the bowels of the Church, in order that they may break forth
at last into a pestilent ulcer? It is rather to be desired that
they may be removed, even at the risk of suffering, if it cannot
be done otherwise. There is nothing to hinder our following some
middle course, that the honour of the ministry may be restored;
that a remedy may be applied to the wretched, ruined state of the
Church; that the stumbling-blocks among brethren may be taken out
of the way, those evils being concealed and suppressed which there
is no necessity for reviving and discussing anew. There are some
wounds which, being handled, break out afresh: they are better
healed when left to quiet and oblivion. What, I ask themselves,
would those worthy men be at, who entertain the thought that I can
return without you, who was cast out along with you; that I should
lend a hand to those, and co-operate with men from whom I wish to
be entirely estranged until they have satisfied the Church? For
they so manage the affair, that out of four two may remain of our
side; that having been restored as it were by way of favour, I may
enjoy a livelihood without any authority, the Church having given
no deliverance on the subject. What, therefore, shall we do? where
shall we begin, if we attempt to rebuild the ruined edifice? If I
shall speak a word which is unpleasant for them to hear, forthwith
they will enjoin silence. But I am unwilling to discourse these
things and the like further in writing, which you yourself have more
ripely considered than any one can set them before you. Besides,
if that proposal were to be entertained, I could scarcely be able
to hold up my head amid the clashings of the brethren; they will
also think that the main point has been attained by my having alone
returned. I could therefore have wished, that those who have set
this proposal afloat, had rather set some other stone a-rolling; for
they call me to a charge of great annoyance and difficulty, and that
in vain.

  [121] Is this John Le Comte, minister of Grauson, or Beat Comte,
  a minister of Lausanne, who at a later period devoted himself to
  medicine, and distinguished himself by his devotedness to the care
  of those who were affected with the plague in that town? (See
  Ruchat, tom. v. p. 277.) We incline rather to this last conjecture.

  [122] Genan, an unknown personage.

As I promised to you, my letter shall be brief. The state of affairs
at Frankfort we found to be as follows: There were present of the
family of Saxony, the Elector,[123] his brother, and nephew by his
brother Henry, whom they call Maurice.[124] These three had along
with them four hundred horsemen; the Landgrave[125] had brought with
him as many lanzknechts; the Duke of Lunebourg[126] came with less
pomp. There were present, also, the younger brother of the Duke of
Brandenbourg, the younger Prince of Brunswick, and three others,
whose names I don't remember. All these were Leaguers:[127] the
remainder who are included in the League had sent deputies; as, for
instance, the King of Denmark,[128] the Duke of Prussia,[129] and
some others. As for these, it was not strange that they stayed at
home, because in such an uncertain and perilous state of affairs,
it would not have been safe for them to have remained so far from
home. There were few, however, who did not feel indignant that the
Duke of Wurtemberg[130] preferred rather to enjoy his field sports
in hunting, and I know not what other sportive recreations, than to
be present at the Conference, in which both his native country and
perhaps his life are concerned, when he was only two days' journey
distant. Those who wished to excuse him, said they had no doubt that
he had laid the care of attending to these matters on others, who
he knew had the matter at heart. Men of the first rank were sent by
the free cities. At the first deliberations, war was declared by the
unanimous vote of them all, until two of the Electors arrived--the
Count Palatine and Joachim of Brandenbourg[131]--with the Emperor's
letter, and a Spanish Bishop, his ambassador, whom they call the
Bishop of Lunden.[132] At first they set forth the commission of
the Emperor, authorizing them to treat with our friends either
for peace or for a truce, upon whatsoever grounds and conditions
might seem best to them. Then, in a lengthy oration, and by strong
arguments, they endeavoured to induce them to come to a treaty of
peace: they urged especially this point, that the Turk would not
remain quiet if he saw Germany involved in civil strife. And already
he has the way open to him, since he holds possession of Wallachia,
Upper and Lower, and is entitled, by treaty with the Pole, to the
free right of passage through his territory: thus, therefore, he
already hovers over Germany. They desired that our friends would
propound the conditions of peace. If peace could not be agreed
on, they asked that a truce might be granted. The good faith and
sincerity of both parties have been well sifted by our friends:
for Joachim is entirely favourable, and well disposed to the cause
of the Gospel; the Count Palatine is not hostile. But because the
Spanish Commissions are not to be relied on, they choose rather that
the business should be settled and agreed on by the whole of the
Electors, to whom the principal authority in the Empire of right
belongs. That was hindered, because the Bishop of Mentz[133] has on
many accounts been rejected by the Elector of Saxony. Joachim did
not venture to give his consent in the Diet from which his uncle
was excluded. Therefore our friends presented articles of peace,
in which they set forth, that they unwillingly resorted to the
thought of war, inasmuch as they laid bare the injuries on account
of which they were of necessity driven to that determination. They
proposed, as conditions of the peace, that they might be free to
administer their own churches, and under this administration they
wished the dispensation of ecclesiastical property to be regulated.
Then they reserved entirely to themselves the right of admission
into the League of those who might wish to become members of it.
When the articles had been presented, we then took our departure.
Bucer afterwards intimated that the two Electors granted somewhat
more than the ambassador of the Emperor. The reason is, that the
Emperor, since he stands in need of the assistance of our opponents
against the Turk, as well as of our own, desires to gratify both
parties without offending either. The sum of his demand is this,
that without any change of the present state, learned, tried,
and well approved peaceable men may assemble together, who shall
discuss with one another the controverted heads of religion; the
matter to be afterwards referred to the Diet of the Empire, that
by the declared judgment of all classes of the German Church, the
Reformation may be accomplished. A truce for a year to be agreed to
for the transaction of these affairs. Our friends are not satisfied
with so short a truce, and demand that something more certain may be
granted. Thus all as yet is in suspense, nor are we out of danger
of war, unless the Emperor makes further concessions. The Duke of
Juliers, lately bereaved of his father, sent an embassy empowered
to make a statement to the effect, that he had recovered, by the
blessing of God, the Dukedom of Gueldres, of which he was lawful
lord:[134] at present a controversy had been stirred with him about
it, at one time on the part of the Emperor, at another by the Duke
of Lorraine, without any sufficiently specious pretext. For Lorraine
could put forward no other claim, except that he is the heir of the
last Duke, but that he had possessed himself of the Duchy contrary
to all law and justice, which had been adjudged, by the sentence of
the Empire, to belong to the family of Juliers. That the Emperor
pretended some title by purchase, but which appeared to be either
collusive or altogether fraudulent: assuredly, since the alleged
price was only fifty thousand crowns, at which the town alone may be
valued, that amount is certainly below the annual rent of a single
year. He sought, therefore, that those of our side would intercede
with the Emperor, that he would not tear in pieces and oppress a
prince of the Empire without cause; but that if the Emperor would
not hearken to their entreaties, he implored their assistance in
the defence of the common liberty. He has got no answer as yet,
since they reckon it necessary to take counsel according to the
bent of their own affairs. There was nothing said, however, about
the League, although he is not hostile to our religious views. He
of England[135] petitioned that a new embassy might be sent to him,
to which Philip might be added, that he might have the benefit of
his advice in further reforming the Church.[136] The princes were
all agreed as to the sending of an embassy. They were not disposed
to send Melanchthon, because they suspect the softness of his
disposition. Nor indeed is it very clear what is or what is not his
opinion, or whether he conceals or dissembles it, although he has
sworn to me in the most solemn manner that this fear regarding him
is without foundation; and certainly, in so far as I seem to be able
to read his mind, I would as soon trust him as Bucer, when we have
to do with those who wish to be treated with special indulgence;
for so intense is the desire of Bucer to propagate the Gospel,
that, content to have obtained those things which are chiefly
important, he is sometimes more easy than is right in yielding
those things which he considers trifling, but which, nevertheless,
have their weight. The King himself is only half wise. He prohibits
under severe penalties, besides depriving them of the ministry,
the priests and bishops who enter upon matrimony; he retains the
daily masses; he wishes the seven sacraments to remain as they
are: in this way he has a mutilated and torn Gospel, and a Church
stuffed full as yet with many toys and trifles. Then, because all
do not appear to be of sound mind, he does not suffer the Scripture
to circulate in the language of the common people throughout the
kingdom; and he has lately put forth a new interdict, by which he
warns the people against the reading of the Bible. Moreover, that
you may understand that he is quite in earnest, and not by any means
jestingly insane, he lately burnt a worthy and learned man[137] for
denying the presence of Christ after a carnal manner in the bread,
whose death has been greatly lamented by all pious and educated
persons. Our friends, however, though sorely hurt by atrocities of
this kind, will not cease to have an eye to the condition of his
kingdom. I perceive that nothing has reached you concerning the
conspiracy except obscure and doubtful rumour. Cardinal Pole[138]
had a brother, a man of chief rank among the nobility, and of the
greatest authority among the gentry.[139] The family was indeed
related to the King by blood; he himself was considered a person
of uncommon prudence and gravity. He had conducted himself with
such moderation in his brother's matters, that his credit with
the King had suffered no diminution. Having publicly declared
himself at variance with his brother, in order to avoid the King's
suspicion, he deceived them all by his shrewdness. They agreed in
secret among themselves, that the Cardinal should lead an army
through France, and that as soon as they approached the bounds of
the kingdom his brother should raise a tumult, at a time when the
King, being occupied in quelling intestine disturbances, would not
be able to defend himself against a foreign enemy. It was easy for
the Cardinal to arm his soldiery at the Pope's expense. But before
the expedition could arrive, the whole conspiracy was discovered by
an informer; for in order that the plot might be properly planned
and executed, it was necessary for them to have many informed and
made parties to it. His nephew, a bold man, when he heard that
their schemes had been discovered, would have put himself to death.
But having been prevented, he was unable to endure the torture of
the rack; and the other conspirators, like him, having made a full
confession, the law was executed upon all. Since the King makes
such a poor return for so many and so great benefits from God, I
greatly fear that at length he may suffer severe punishment for
his ingratitude. In the meantime, while the conference was held at
Frankfort, the son of the Elector George,[140] who was kept bound in
confinement on account of insanity, died in a hopeless condition. If
he had survived his father, his guardianship would have given rise
to new disturbances. Now his undoubted successor is that Maurice,
the son of Henry, whom I have mentioned above as a member of the
League. There is therefore good hope that the territory which George
now possesses will immediately form an accession to the heritage
of Christ; for George is beyond the age when he may be expected to
have offspring.[141] In this way you see, that so far as regards the
main business, all hangs in suspense, and has no settled bent either
way: wherefore we ought all the more to supplicate the Almighty
that he would vouchsafe some happy issue out of such a perplexity
of affairs. What success I have had in the cause of the brethren,
also of what kind, and what were the matters I conversed about with
Philip, you shall be informed again by Michael, who has resolved to
depart hence before nine days: therefore I am compelled, on account
of the urgency of the postman, to send my letter by halves; you will
then receive the other portion. Adieu, my dear friendly brother.
Greet Thomas and all the brethren for me. Capito and Sturm send a
thousand salutations. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with
you.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._, Opera, tom. ix. p. 6.]

  [123] The Elector John Frederick, the friend of Luther, and truest
  protector of the Reformation in Germany.

  [124] Maurice of Saxony, who had so great a part in the religious
  wars of Germany with Charles V.

  [125] Philip of Hesse, who, from the year 1521, had been favourable
  to the tenets of Luther.

  [126] Ernest, Duke of Lunebourg, promoter of the Reformation in his
  states.

  [127] The Treaty of Alliance formed by the Protestant Princes at
  Smalkald, (1538,) had been agreed to by a great number of the Towns.

  [128] Christian III., King of Denmark, (1534-1559,) who introduced
  the Reformation into his States.

  [129] Eastern Prussia was reformed and secularized, in 1525, by
  the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, Albert of Brandenbourg. It
  formed since that epoch the Duchy of Prussia.

  [130] Ulrich, Count of Montbeliard, and Duke of Wurtemberg.

  [131] Louis, the Elector Palatine, and Joachim, the Elector of
  Brandenbourg, although favourable to the Reformation, remained
  attached to the cause of the Emperor, and tried to bring about a
  reconciliation between the two parties.

  [132] John Vesal, Archbishop of Lunden, was the Emperor's ambassador
  at the Diet. (Sleidan, lib. xii. p. 339.) He became afterwards
  Bishop of Constance, and was present at the Council of Trent.

  [133] Albert of Brandenbourg, the brother of Joachim, the Elector
  of Brandenbourg. This prelate sternly opposed all compromise in
  religious matters. He made continual complaints of the indulgence
  shewn by the Emperor towards Protestants.

  [134] On the death of Charles Van Egmont, Duke of Gueldres, his
  relation, William, Duke of Cleves and Juliers, took possession of
  that town, of which he was dispossessed by the Emperor in 1543.

  [135] The King of England, Henry VIII.

  [136] The details of these negotiations will be found in Burnet,
  and in Seckendorf, _Commentarii_, lib. iii. sect. 19, par. 73.
  The Protestant princes of Germany, desirous to bind so powerful a
  monarch as the King of England as closely as possible to the cause
  of the Reformation, had sent deputies to request his assent to
  the Augsburg Confession, and the revocation of the cruel statutes
  still in force against those of his subjects who professed the pure
  Gospel. Two of the King's counsellors, Cromwell and Archbishop
  Cranmer, seconded timidly the entreaties of the Protestant princes;
  but this imperious and violent monarch, satisfied with having
  transferred to himself the papal authority in matters of religion,
  shewed indisposedness to promote the interests of an actual
  reformation. He protracted the negotiations, and added daily by new
  laws to the rigour of the most hateful despotism--that which is
  exercised by a prince over the consciences of his subjects.

  [137] John Lambert, schoolmaster.--See Burnet, _Hist. Ref._ vol. i.
  pp. 252-254.

  [138] He was living in exile on the Continent from the time of the
  rupture of England with the See of Rome. He returned under the reign
  of Mary, became Archbishop of Canterbury, President of the Royal
  Council, and died in 1558, after having been the instrument of a
  short but bloody restoration of Popery in his native country.

  [139] See Hume, _History of England_, chap. xxxi.

  [140] See note 1, p. 105. George of Saxony himself died the same
  year.--Sleidan, lib. xii. p. 342.

  [141] It was not Maurice who succeeded Duke George, but his father,
  Henry the Pious, who recalled all the exiles on account of religion,
  and introduced the Reformation into the Duchy of Saxony.--Ibid. p.
  344.



XXXIII.--TO FAREL.

     Conclusion of the Assembly at Frankfort--attitude of the
     Protestant princes--conversations between Calvin and Melanchthon
     on ecclesiastical discipline--opinion of the latter--of
     Capito--various details.


  _Written in the month of March 1539._

Fearing lest the further delay of my writing to you might be
inconvenient, I chose rather to forward a part or portion of my
letter than to keep you waiting until Michael should arrive. Now,
therefore, I will take up the thread of my narrative; but before I
come to the conference with Philip, I shall briefly explain what
has been the progress of affairs since that time. The Emperor's
ambassador, notwithstanding all that has occurred, has ventured
to propose such unjust conditions of agreement that the contest
was very near being brought again to the decision of the sword.
He required that our friends should have nothing to do with the
Sacramentaries. Observe the artifice and wiles of Satan. He catches
at this, forsooth, that not only the older and former hatred which
he sowed might be kept up, but that new causes of offence may be
applied, like lighted torches, to set on fire and kindle greater
dissensions. Indeed, our friends do not acknowledge that there are
any Sacramentaries, and wish to unite with the Swiss churches;
therefore the Emperor has omitted that article, and efforts have
been made for the purpose of inclining us more readily to agree
to the truce, which I wish may be of advantage to the Church of
Christ. To my mind it bodes no good. The Elector of Saxony also
perceives this, who, although he is reckoned not over hasty in his
resolutions, has come to the conclusion that war is unavoidable. The
Landgrave, contrary to the general expectation, dissuades from war.
And although he did not refuse to follow the determination of the
allies if they thought otherwise, he, nevertheless, moderated the
eagerness of those who had very much relied on his alacrity. Now,
therefore, there is an inclination towards a truce, which will give
opportunity for deliberation on both sides in promoting a permanent
reconciliation. But the adversaries were thinking of nothing else
than gaining time to prosecute the war. The Elector of Saxony, after
this conference, will visit the Duke of Cleves, whose sister he
has married.[142] If the Elector can induce him to declare for the
reformed religion, it will greatly enlarge the kingdom of Christ,
as, indeed, there is nowhere in Lower Germany a more powerful
prince, or who rules over a greater extent of territory, nor is
there any one even in Upper Germany, excepting Ferdinand, who alone
surpasses him in extent of dominion. When Bucer last wrote, nothing
had been decided concerning the embassy to the King of France, for
procuring his favour and protection to the brethren, as well as
commending the cause of religion to his consideration.[143] As to
the embassies, they are to be treated of in the last place, because,
from the course of their proceedings, they would then deliberate to
more advantage, on what ground, or after what method, they ought
to state their requests. Let us, therefore, postpone this question
until then. I had much conversation with Philip about many things,
having written to him beforehand on the subject of agreement, that
I might with certainty declare their opinion to several worthy men.
Therefore, I had submitted a few articles, in which the whole matter
was summed up. To these, without any controversy, he himself at once
assented, but confessed that there were in that party some persons
who required something more gross and palpable, and that with so
great obstinacy, not to say despotism, that for long he seemed to
be in actual jeopardy, because they saw that he differed from them
in opinion. But although he does not think that a solid agreement
can be come to, he, nevertheless, wishes that the present concord,
such as it is, may be cherished, until at length the Lord shall
lead both sides into the unity of his own truth. As for himself,
you need not doubt about him, but consider that he is entirely of
the same opinion as ourselves. It would be tiresome to relate what
conversation we had about other matters; but this will form the
subject of pleasant discourse some time or other between ourselves.
As for discipline, like other people, he heartily deplores the want
of it. Indeed, one is more at liberty to lament the wretched state
of the Church in this respect than to correct the evil; do not,
therefore, suppose that you suffer alone in this matter. Instances
occur daily everywhere which ought to make every one bestir himself
in the endeavour to find out the desired remedy. Not very long
since, a learned and worthy man was driven away from Ulm with great
disgrace, because he would not consent to wink at the vices of the
inhabitants any more. He was sent away by all his colleagues with
honourable recommendation, especially that of Frecht.[144] The news
we have from Augsburg is no degree more cheering. Thus, for the
future we may expect that it will form a kind of sport to hunt away
pastors from the ministry and drive them into banishment; nor can
this evil be remedied, because neither the common people nor the
civil magistrate can rightly distinguish between the yoke of Christ
and Papal tyranny. Philip, therefore, is of opinion that the better
and wiser method in so great a tempest, with contrary winds, is that
we ought in some degree to lie off, and he entertains the hope, that
when we shall have more quiet, and be free from external hostility,
we shall be more at leisure, and have better opportunity to turn our
attention to the application of internal remedies. Capito, at one
time, protests, before God and men, that the Church is ruined unless
speedy aid is supplied in such a distressing condition of affairs;
at another time, because he sees no progress making, he prays for
death. If our calling is indeed of the Lord, as we firmly believe
that it is, the Lord himself will bestow his blessing, although the
whole universe may be opposed to us. Let us, therefore, try every
remedy, while, if such is not to be found, let us, notwithstanding,
persevere even to the last gasp. When I perceive you to be so much
cast down, at times I desire to be with you, that I might suggest
some comfort. On the other hand, when I see that I can bring you
nothing but subjects for greater annoyance, I submit, however
reluctantly, to remain at a distance, that I may not add to your
already too heavy burdens. Our brethren of the Pays de Vaud owed me
one crown, part of which they had received from me by way of loan,
part I had given to the messenger who came with the brother at the
request of Saunier. I had desired them to give it to you. If they
have given it do you keep it, by which means I shall be so far out
of your debt. Whatever shall remain due I will pay when able; for
such is my condition at present that I cannot reckon a single penny
my own. It is astonishing how much money slips away in extraordinary
expenses; and I am obliged to live at my own charges, unless I would
become a burden to the brethren. It is not so easy to take care of
my health, which you anxiously recommended me to have a care of; but
I am too tedious; moreover, am doing injustice to such messengers as
the present. Farewell, most cherished friend; may the Lord confirm
you by the strength of his Spirit, and bear you up under this heap
of troubles.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._, Opera, tom. ix. p. 5.]

  [142] The Elector of Saxony, John Frederic, had married Sibilla
  of Cleves, who evinced the most noble character on the misfortune
  of her husband, vanquished and dispossessed after the battle of
  Mühlberg.

  [143] It was not until the next year (1540) that a resolution was
  adopted on this subject. The princes desired to use their influence
  in favour of those who were suffering in France on account of
  their religious opinions; but not before they had obtained correct
  information regarding the state of affairs in that country, the
  private inclinations of the king, and the probability that their
  interference would prove successful.--Sleidan, xiii. p. 361.

  [144] Martin Frecht, a learned preacher and theologian of the Church
  at Ulm. He refused to submit to the _Interim_, and died the 14th
  September 1556, at Tübingen.



XXXIV.--TO FAREL.

     Numerous occupations of Calvin--news of Germany--firmness of the
     Senate of Strasbourg.


  STRASBOURG, _20th April 1539_.

I do not remember throughout this whole year a single day which
was more completely engaged with various occupations. For when the
present messenger wished to carry along with him the beginning of my
book,[145] there were about twenty leaves which it required me to
revise. In addition, there was the public lecture, and I had also
to preach; four letters were also to be written; some disputes to
settle, and to reply to more than ten interruptions in the meantime.
You will therefore excuse if my letter should be both brief and
inaccurate. We shall not clearly understand what was concluded in
the conference at Frankfort[146] until Bucer's return hither, which,
from what he writes, we may expect before seven days. He informed
us, however, by letter, that he had never seen our princes more
determined in their resolution to defend the Gospel. Certainly
the act which was transacted at Smalkald was produced by no very
important matter, in which, however, they displayed true greatness
of soul. For there were at that place certain impure images, which
they pulled down, together with their altars. They abolished also
the elevation of the host in the Supper, which they had until that
time retained. There are some just at this present time who dream
about I know not what kind of moderation, to which they would like
to call us back. I wished just to give you an inkling of this, that
you may comprehend that they are very far from trepidation. Our
Senate of Strasbourg proves itself hearty in the cause. An abbess
who had dilapidated, or had begun to make away with the property
of the monastery, was lately given into custody. The Imperial
Chamber, at the request of the bishop, ordered her to be set at
liberty. The mandate, however, was treated with contempt. The
members of the League approved of what was done, and declared that
they would maintain the cause. A messenger was therefore despatched
to the Chamber to give intimation that the Senate would not abide
by their judgment, whatever might be the result. We are waiting
therefore until they let fly their mimic thunderbolt. Will you see
that Balliot sends the money for the payment of Wendelin[147] the
printer? At present I can hold on no longer. Greet diligently all
the brethren.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._, Opera, tom. ix. p. 8.]

  [145] This was undoubtedly "_L'Institution Chrétienne_." See Note 2,
  p. 45.

  [146] Calvin had returned to Strasbourg without waiting the
  conclusion of the deliberations of the colloquy at Frankfort.

  [147] Wendelin, the printer at Strasbourg.



XXXV.--TO FAREL.

     Union of the Swiss Churches--first steps for the recall of
     Calvin to Geneva--some details concerning his ministry and
     his straitened circumstances--Lutheran ceremonies--the Church
     property--renewal of the League of Smalkald--constancy of the
     German Princes--example of fidelity to the cause of Christ on
     the part of the Town of Strasbourg.


  STRASBOURG, _April 1539_.

I begin now to entertain greater hope than formerly of that
accommodation in matters of religion, such as it may be.[148]
Whenever I took into account with what sort of men we would
have to treat, and how very slippery and unsteady we have found
their promises to be, I came then to the conclusion that such a
reconciliation would be of little or no avail to us. As to rules
or conditions fixed beforehand and agreed to on both sides, even
although they were not on other grounds more liable to objection,
I cannot at all approve of them. Now, however, if what you relate
to me is true, that those two individuals have been strongly urged
to fall away from their steadfastness, it was quite necessary to
prevent such, evils, by coming to an agreement among ourselves, even
on conditions not altogether satisfactory.

  [148] Farel laboured hard to bring about a union between the
  Churches of Geneva, of Neuchatel, and of the Pays de Vaud, which
  were at variance in regard to the Sacraments, and ecclesiastical
  discipline in general.

From constancy of a more settled kind, however, I do entertain some
hope, because, when they shall have given in their adherence to all
the churches hereabout, they must then be so strongly bound that
they cannot very easily draw back. We have already in some measure
succeeded in what we sought to attain as a principal object, the
quieting of those dissensions among brethren which are the worst of
all, and which rend asunder the churches. We can never, therefore,
be too thankful to the Lord, who of his own kindness has so far
exceeded our expectation. As to my return, I do not think that what
Du Tailly had proposed will go forward,[149] for since that time
I have heard not a word about it. Neither do I doubt but that the
brethren have let that matter pass as superfluous, when they saw the
remedy elsewhere. Thenceforward, because I imagine that they had
grown cold upon the whole affair, or that it had fallen through,
this matter gives me very little concern. Moreover, it was not
without reason that I so much dreaded that intelligence which was
brought me by Du Tailly's letter. I have not stated all the grounds
to you, and those few circumstances which I did mention, I touched
only briefly, without going into them at large. What I said about
yourself carries, certainly, great weight with it; for we ought
both of us to be restored at the same time, else it must appear as
if I were reponed by way of pardon. In this way, restitution will
be conceded to the person of the individual, and not as a matter
of principle to the cause itself. But the thought which chiefly
alarms me is that which presents itself, when I set before my eyes
the great gulf into which I must enter, where surely I felt that
it would swallow me up entirely, when notwithstanding it would be
less by a half. It must be acknowledged that I have my own share
of contentious wrestlings where I am, and those of the most arduous
kind; but they only keep me in training, they do not overwhelm me.
Though it would have been a serious matter this Easter-tide if
that pest, concerning whom you make inquiry, had been present; for
I must then have called upon him for an explanation, or he would
certainly not have been admitted to the table of the Lord. One of
his scholars, the same he wished to stir up against Claude Norman,
would have presented himself, unless I had forewarned him that he
must previously clear himself to me, or at least promise repentance.
He had been absent from sermon for a whole month, and held, as it
were, an open mart of gambling and dissipation. A whisper, also, of
his whoredom was muttered about; yet, nevertheless, he would have
leaped over every fence around that most holy sacrament, unless I
had blocked up the way. He made sport of it with the person who
forewarned him of what I wished him to be aware of, saying that
he left confession to the Papists. I replied, that there was also
a kind of Christian confession, notwithstanding. If the master
himself shall return, I will then have open war with him. It is
through no fault of mine, nor does it rest with me, that I have
not long ago come to close quarters. So plainly and openly have I
flouted him even in church because of his impiety, that it could be
no more doubtful either to himself or others, to whom I intended
my observations to apply, than if I had named him at once, or
pointed him out with the finger. Since he has now betaken himself
to Frankfort, I have entreated Bucer that he would be on his guard
with him as with a sworn enemy. When first he shall perceive himself
to be so handled, what an uproar will be in preparation for me!
Therefore, whether I remain where I am or remove, many cares, many
troubles and difficulties pursue me. It is very agreeable to me, I
own, that the brethren entertain such a regard for me, that they
are ready to supply my wants from their own means. It could not
be otherwise than that I must be greatly delighted with such a
testimony of their love. Nevertheless, I have determined to abstain
from putting both your kindness and theirs in requisition, unless a
greater necessity shall have compelled me. Wendelin the printer,
to whom I entrusted my book to be printed, will provide me with as
much as will be sufficient for any extraordinary expenses. From my
books which yet remain at Geneva, there will be enough to satisfy my
landlord till next winter: as to the future, the Lord will provide.
Although I had at one time a great many friends in France, there was
no one who offered me a farthing; and indeed if they had, they might
have boasted gratuitously of their kindness, for it would have cost
them nothing to have offered what I would not have accepted. Louis
had escaped my memory;[150] he was the only person who offered; but
even he sold his bounty at too great a price; for he almost advised
me to recant. He certainly proclaimed aloud that I was a deserter
from the Church. I replied, as became, to such addresses. The
letter, however, I fear has been lost. For the present, therefore,
I shall content myself with your kindness and that of the brethren;
I may put your resources in requisition when there is need. In
turn, I request that for this your considerate kindness towards me
you would be pleased to accept my grateful affection. I am sorry
that the crown-piece has been lost: there were reason for accusing
myself of carelessness, unless I had thought that the messenger
would have been ashamed to misappropriate it. I like much your plan
with regard to Claude,--that, before his awkwardness shall have been
confirmed, and, as it were, have become incurable, the sparks of
better breeding, which remain as yet in that state of boyhood, may
be carefully stirred up in him by his own endeavour. But what do
you call my promise to help forward the endeavours of the brethren
for the upholding of discipline? For to whom could I write, or in
what style? Wherefore, either do you yourself open up the way for
me, or you need not expect that I will rashly undertake the matter.
Of late, I have plainly told Philip to his face how much I disliked
that over-abounding of ceremonies; indeed, that it seemed to me
the form which they observe was not far removed from Judaism. When
I pressed him with argument, he was unwilling to dispute with me
about the matter, but admitted that there was an over-doing in
these either trifling or superfluous rites and ceremonies. He said,
however, that it had been found necessary to yield in that matter to
the Canonists, who are here the stumbling-block in the way; that,
however, there was no part of Saxony which is not more burdened
with them than Wittenberg, and even there much would be retrenched
by degrees from such a medley. But he made a small reservation, to
the effect that the ceremonies which they had been compelled to
retain were not more approved of by Luther than was our sparing
use of them. I wish that our excellent friend N. could behold how
much sincerity there is in Philip. All suspicion of double-dealing
would entirely vanish. Besides, as to Bucer's defence of Luther's
ceremonies, he does not do so because he eagerly seeks them, or
would endeavour to introduce them. By no means can he be brought to
approve of chanting in Latin. Images he abhors. Some other things he
despises, while others he cares nothing at all about. There is no
occasion to fear that he would be for restoring those things which
have been once abolished; only he cannot endure that, on account
of these trifling observances, we should be separated from Luther.
Neither, certainly, do I consider them to be just causes of dissent.

  [149] A party, growing every day more numerous at Geneva, deplored
  the exile of Calvin. As the organ of that sentiment, M. Du Tailly
  incessantly exhorted the Reformer to forget the injury which had
  been done him, and to restore peace to the congregation and church
  at Geneva by his return. Calvin would by no means separate his cause
  from that of Farel, so as to make his return a personal matter to
  himself, and not, as it was, a question of principle. Therefore,
  he felt little disposed to resume the function of the ministry at
  Geneva.

  [150] Louis du Tillet.

The German League[151] has nothing in it which ought to give offence
to any pious mind. Wherefore, I would ask, may they not combine
together in the strength which the Lord has given them for the
common defence of the Gospel? Moreover, they drag no one into their
alliance, either by force or by a kind of necessity, against their
will. There are rather to be found some cities professing the Gospel
who prefer a league with the Papists, and even with bishops, as
Nuremberg. I wish N. could be informed of the subtle practices which
have been attempted in the Diet, and of the constancy with which
they have been withstood. The ambassador of the Emperor strove to
the uttermost that he might detach them from the Swiss churches.
He did not indeed name them; but he demanded that they should not
undertake the cause of the Sacramentaries. They replied, that they
were on terms of brotherly communion with those whom he called
Sacramentaries. Such is the courage they have manifested in their
latest proceedings. The Emperor imposed a condition upon them,
that they should receive no one into the League while the truce
lasted, which he had agreed on with themselves. They consented;
but also on this condition, that if anywhere they received the
Gospel, such might be protected, although not hitherto included
in the League; that if such should be attacked, they wished it
to be understood that they would consider those as Leaguers who
maintained the cause of Christ. They in their turn required also
of the Emperor, that no treaties should be entered into, pending
the truce, against the Gospel. It was the wish of the Emperor that
the ecclesiastical revenues might be reserved to the priesthood
until the expiry of the _induciæ_. Our friends assented to this,
on condition that due provision be made for churches and schools;
and they kept their ground firmly to the last. What will you think
when I tell you of the noble example of this city[152] in determined
resolution? When the conditions were brought hither which were
proposed by the Emperor, that the covenants which had been entered
into after the Diet of Nuremberg should be annulled, that in future
no new engagements should be entered into among Protestants, and
that matters should remain as they were on both sides, until the
conference having met, the German Church should be reformed; the
Senate forthwith passed a decree, by which they declared, that they
would sooner see their wives and children put to death before their
eyes; that they would incur the loss of all their privileges; see
their city ploughed up and utterly destroyed, and themselves cut off
to the last man, rather than they would admit those laws by which
the progress of the Gospel of Christ should be interrupted.

  [151] The alliance of Smalkald, which the intrigues of the Catholic
  party endeavoured to break up, in the Assembly at Frankfort.

  [152] The town of Strasbourg.

Consider, my dear Farel, whether we do not inflict an injury on such
men, who ourselves at our ease find fault with them, while they do
not allow themselves, either by threats or the fear of danger, to
flinch one hair's-breadth from the straightforward path of duty.
There is therefore beyond doubt every appearance of approaching
conflict; and already an attack has been made on the territory of
Luneburg. It is our duty, you say, carefully to avoid all that may
give offence to the good and pious. I acknowledge it; but it is
equally the duty of the good to beware of being too ready to take
offence and without reasonable ground. At present while I write,
the scholar of whom I made mention above, wishes to be restored to
grace, and has, moreover, fixed on Claude as his umpire. The Lord
will, I trust, enable us to quell contumacy by a severe lenity. It
is well that we have yet fifteen days before the Supper of the Lord,
that we may have some trial of him beforehand. Salute for me in the
most friendly manner, Thomas and the rest of the brethren. May the
Lord himself long preserve you all safe and of one mind. Do you
endeavour that the churches may be fervent in prayer, while on all
hands such dangers press upon us.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._, Opera, tom. ix. p. 9.]



XXXVI.--TO FAREL.

     Ecclesiastical news of Switzerland--destitution of the minister
     Megander--complaints addressed to Bucer--further projects of
     marriage on the part of Calvin.


  STRASBOURG, _19th May 1539_.

Health to you, my excellent and most agreeable brother. What you
have intimated by letter was very welcome in the way of information,
even although it afforded little cause of gladness;[153] for not
to be in ignorance is a help, and to know what we are about is of
advantage. It is of no consequence, however, to reply to each single
point. I did not venture to conclude anything concerning Claude,
that my conjecture might not deceive me. I can now judge from the
beginnings what amount of success is to be expected in reforming
that Church, unless the Lord himself, contrary to our expectation,
shall give them light; because, if our successors discharge their
duty in a faithful manner, they will soon perceive that there is
more difficulty than they thought. It is not unlikely, also, that
they will be compelled to bear testimony that we have well and
faithfully discharged our office. Nor is it wonderful that they try
to moderate your zeal, for they have not yet attained such a fervour
as to keep up even with your indolence in the race. But do you
realize to yourself what are the absolute requirements of the time,
and regulate your zeal accordingly.

  [153] From Neuchatel Farel observed attentively the progress of
  events at Geneva, and sent intelligence thereof to Calvin.

As to the Church of Payerne,[154] I see no proof that there has
been any thought of offering it to Saunier; for it is of very evil
example that faithful pastors should be drawn away from their own
charge where a vacant place may be left open to others. If Richard
continues still the same man he was, and, nevertheless, does not
give satisfaction, I know not whom we ought to love. I myself
assuredly do not hesitate to prefer him to many Sauniers. On the
present occasion also, while I hear him informed against to you
falsely and undeservedly, it is impossible not to suspect somewhat
of malice and of preconceived mischief in the delation. In our day
we complain much, and not entirely without ground, of the contempt
of the ministry, and often it is we ourselves who, either by our
folly or by our covetousness, furnish weapons of offence to the
outrageous populace. These sort of manœuvres have never been
countenanced by me. I mean, that one person should have a hankering
to be substituted in the place and charge of another, which, with
these eyes, I have seen happen in another case. Such things, my dear
brother, I state to yourself, lest, in the candour which is so much
a part of you, you think all is sincerely gone about, while you may
seem by connivance to give countenance to evil and selfish artifice.
Nor do I wish to vex any one, or render him more odious, by the
imputation of criminality doubtful even to myself; but, according
to the duty of a friend, I do not hesitate freely to set forth what
I fear rather than what I believe. I am quite ready to agree that
he be settled in that locality which he can occupy without doing
mischief. It grieves me that Zebedee has been so harshly treated,
nor, take my word for it, do those get much thanks from Bucer, who
with such a tyrannical spirit, defend his book.[155] Himself bears
much more meekly the liberty I take as often as I dissent from his
opinion. Although about these matters I would far rather converse
with you face to face, an opportunity for which I look forward to,
unless you refuse to give yourself a little trouble. I have told
Bucer that they have dealt very unjustly by you, for that all those
who were friendly to him persisted in their hostility to you; those,
indeed, who formerly were your friends, on his account have become
estranged from you. He groaned more deeply than I had expected.
When he inquired about the remedy, my answer was, that the sore was
irritated by the very handling of it, that it were well, therefore,
to let it alone until a better method of treating it might occur to
us.

  [154] The Church of Payerne, founded by the preaching of Farel and
  Viret.

  [155] The minister Gaspar Grossman, (Megander,) had been discharged
  in 1537, by the Senate of Berne, for having composed a Catechism,
  which, on some points, did not agree with that of Bucer. Zebedee,
  minister of Orbe, had been censured for the same reason.

Concerning the marriage I shall now speak more plainly.[156]
Previous to the departure of Michael, I do not know whether any one
made mention of that person concerning whom I wrote. But always keep
in mind what I seek to find in her; for I am none of those insane
lovers who embrace also the vices of those they are in love with,
where they are smitten at first sight with a fine figure. This only
is the beauty which allures me, if she is chaste, if not too nice
or fastidious, if economical, if patient, if there is hope that she
will be interested about my health; therefore, if you think well
of it, set out immediately, in case some one else get beforehand
with you. But if you think otherwise, we may let that pass. After
this, I shall not write again until you come. Do, however, come.
You are of all persons the most desired. Come, then; you will shew
your well-disposedness in a remarkable way by making this journey.
And, notwithstanding, what should prevent your writing while you are
getting ready to set out? All salute you here even in a more than
friendly way, Capito, Bucer, Sturm, Bedrot, Gaspar, and Frenchmen
whom I do not mention by name, because you do not know them. Salute
all the brethren from me. May the Lord long preserve you all in
safety, to himself and for the good of his Church.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._, Opera, tom. ix. p. 10.]

  [156] The friends of Calvin at Strasbourg and in Switzerland were
  bent on bringing about the marriage of the Reformer. Farel and
  Bucer displayed the most active zeal in the prosecution of their
  matrimonial project; and it is known that Calvin's marriage, which
  took place the following year, may be attributed to the management
  of the latter.--Th. de Bèze, _Calvini Vita_.



XXXVII.--TO THE CHURCH OF GENEVA.[157]

  [157] A letter, written in French, like that of the 1st October
  1538,--"To the residue of the dispersion of the Church of Geneva."
  The French original is lost. It is preserved only in the Latin
  translation by Theodore Beza. We perceive in it the peculiar
  circumstances in which the Reformer retired to Strasbourg,--saw
  it to be his duty a second time to exhort the Church of Geneva.
  Discord among the members of that Church had never ceased from the
  time of their being deprived of their first pastors. The authority
  of the new ministers was constantly treated with contempt, and the
  town, scarcely reformed, had to struggle with the old disorders,
  aggravated by the excesses arising from the schism. Observant of
  these sad divisions, and superior to the resentment of injury
  personal to himself, Calvin exhorted the members of his old flock,
  reminded them of the holy sanction of the ministerial charge, and
  implored them to rally around their lawful pastors.

     Recommends anew the counsel of peace and brotherly agreement to
     the Church of Geneva.


  STRASBOURG, _25th June 1539_.

The mercy of our God and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, be
multiplied to you by the communication of his Holy Spirit.

Nothing, most beloved brethren, has caused me greater sorrow, since
those disturbances which had so sadly scattered and almost entirely
overthrown your Church, than when I understood your strivings and
contentions with those ministers who succeeded us. For although
the disorders which were inseparably connected with their first
arrival among you, might with good reason prove offensive to you;
whatever may have given the occasion, I cannot hear without great
and intense horror that any schism should settle down within
the Church. Wherefore, this was far more bitter to me than words
can express;--I allude to what I have heard about those your
contentions, so long as you were tossed about in uncertainty;
since owing to that circumstance not only was your Church rent by
division quite openly, but also the ecclesiastical ministry exposed
to obloquy and contempt. This of itself is of infinite importance.
And since, in consequence of that disorder which yet prevails in
the Church of God, by reason of the extent of the disease, I can
entertain the less hope of an immediate remedy, I understand with
the utmost delight that such a calamity has been changed into an
assured union and agreement; since I might conclude that matters
would so be brought round, that every one would return to order,
and that the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ would be promoted.
For where there are quarrels and discord, there is scarcely any
hope of improvement. Therefore, as I might promise myself some
certain advantage from that reconciliation, I am readily induced
to contribute to its confirmation; for if, even in the midst of
such violent storms, I have always contributed my endeavour,
according to the judgment and fixed purpose of my conscience,
towards keeping and preserving the communion of the Church, so much
the more did I need to testify the inclination of my mind towards
those pious individuals themselves, when so suitable an occasion
presented itself for that purpose. And truly I saw everything at
the time in such a state of dissolution, that it did not appear
to me to be so easy a matter to rebuild and to restore them to
their former state. However that may be, I considered the present
most desirable and opportune occasion as offered by the Lord for
the restoring of your Church. Now, therefore, when, contrary to
my expectation, I have heard that the reconciliation between your
pastors and the neighbouring churches, having been confirmed also
by Farel and by myself, was not found to be sufficient for binding
you together in sincere and friendly affection, and by the tie of
a lawful connection with your pastors, to whom the care of your
souls is committed, I felt myself compelled to write to you, that I
might endeavour, so far as lay in me, to find a medicine for this
disease, which, without great sin against God, it was not possible
for me to conceal. And although my former letters had not been
very lovingly received by you, I was nevertheless unwilling to be
wanting in my duty, so that, should I have no further success, I
would at least deliver my own soul. Neither do I so much question
your spirit of obedience (of which, indeed, I have proof) toward
God and his ministers, as that I can at all fear that this my
exhortation will have no weight with you, neither has my sincerity
towards you lain concealed. That my advice has not been taken by
you, I consider is rather to be imputed to the circumstances of
the time, when such was the state of disorder, that it was very
difficult indeed to determine what was best. Now at length, however,
when your affairs, by the favour of God, are in a more settled and
composed state, I trust that you will readily perceive that my only
object is to lead you into the right way; that being so persuaded
with regard to me, you may shew in reality by what motive you are
brought into subjection to the truth. Especially, I ask you to weigh
maturely, having put aside all respect of persons, of what honour
the Lord accounts them worthy, and what grace he has committed
to those whom he has appointed in his own Church as pastors and
ministers of the word.[158] For he not only commands us to render
a willing obedience, with fear and trembling, to the word while it
is proclaimed to us; but also commands that the ministers of the
word are to be treated with honour and reverence, as being clothed
with the authority of his ambassadors, whom he would have to be
acknowledged even as his own angels and messengers. Certainly, so
long as we have been among you, we have not tried very much to
impress upon you the dignity of our ministry, that we might avoid
all ground of suspicion; now, however, that we are placed beyond
the reach of danger, I speak more freely my mind. Had I to do with
ministers themselves, I would teach what I considered to be the
extent and measure of their office, and to what you also are bound
as sitting under their ministry. Since, of a truth, every one must
render an account of his own life, each individual for himself, as
well ministers as private persons, it is rather to be desired, that
every one for himself may consider, what is due to others, than that
he may require what may further be due to him from some one else.
Where such considerations have their due weight, then also this
established rule will operate effectually, namely, that those who
hold the office of ministers of the word, since the guidance and
rule over your souls is entrusted to their care, are to be owned
and acknowledged in the relation of parents, to be held in esteem,
and honoured on account of that office which, by the calling of
the Lord, they discharge among you. Nor does the extent of their
function reach so far as to deprive you of the right conferred on
you by God, (as upon all his own people,) that every pastor may be
subject to examination, that those who are thus approven may be
distinguished from the wicked, and all such may be held back who,
under the guise of shepherds, betray a wolfish rapacity. This,
however, is my earnest wish concerning those who in some measure
fulfil the duty of pastors, that they may be tolerant, that you
also may conduct yourselves towards them in a Christian spirit, and
with this view that you may make greater account of that which may
be due by you to others, than what others owe to yourselves. This
also I will set forth plainly and in a few words. Two things here
are to be considered. The one, that the calling of your ministers
does not happen without the will of God. For although that change
which took place upon our departure may have been brought to pass
by the subtlety of the Devil, so that whatever followed on that
change may justly be suspected by you: in it, nevertheless, the
remarkable grace of the Lord is to be acknowledged by you, who has
not allowed you to be left altogether destitute; nor let you fall
back again under the yoke of Antichrist, from which he hath once
rescued you already. But he rather wished that both the doctrine of
the Gospel should still exist, and that some appearance of a Church
should flourish among you, so that with a quiet conscience you
might continue there. We have always admonished you that you should
acknowledge that overturning of your Church as the visitation of the
Lord sent upon you, and necessary also for us. Neither ought you so
much to direct your thoughts against the wicked and the instruments
of Satan, as upon personal and individual sins, which have deserved
no lighter punishment, but indeed a far more severe chastisement. I
would now therefore once more repeat the same advice. For besides
that such is the particular and suitable remedy for obtaining mercy
and deliverance of the Lord from that just judgment which lies upon
you, there is also another very weighty reason that ought to bring
you to repentance; lest peradventure we may seem to bury in oblivion
that very great benefit of the Lord towards you, in not having
allowed the Gospel edifice to fall utterly to ruin in the midst of
you; seeing that it has held so together, that as an instance of
his direct interference it must be reckoned as a miracle of his
power, by which alone you were preserved from that greatest of all
calamity. However that may be, it is certainly the work of God's
providence, that you still have ministers who exercise the office
of shepherds of souls and of government in your Church. We must
also take into account, that those servants of God who exercise
the ministry of the word in the neighbouring churches, in order
to mediate between the parties in such dangerous contests, have
themselves approved of the calling of those men; whose opinions
we also have subscribed, since no better method occurred to us by
which we could consult your welfare and advantage. That you are well
assured of our conscientious integrity we have no doubt, so that
you ought at once to conclude, that we did nothing which was not
sincere and upright. But putting out of view even all idea of kindly
affection, the very discussion of that delicate point was a proof
quite as sincere as could be given on my part, that you would have
no obscure instruction from me. Therefore, you must seriously look
to it, that you are not too ready to disapprove of what the servants
of God judge to be essential to your advantage and the preservation
of the Church. The other point to be well considered by you is
this, that there may be due inspection of their regular discharge
of duty, that they may fulfil the ministry of the Church. And here,
I confess, discretion evidently (nor would I wish to be the author
of bringing any tyranny into the Church) requires, that pious
men should esteem as pastors those who do not stand only on their
calling. For it is an indignity not to be borne, if that reverence
and regard is to be given to certain personages, which the Lord
himself desires may be assigned only to the ministers of the word.
Consequently, I readily grant you concerning that minister who shall
_not_ have taught the word of our Lord Jesus Christ, whatever title
or prerogative he may put forth as a pretence, that he is unworthy
to be considered as a pastor, to whom due obedience can be shewn in
the ministry. Because, however, it is clear to me, in reference to
our brethren who at present hold the office of the ministry among
you, that the Gospel is taught you by them, I do not see what can
excuse you, as before the Lord, while you either neglect or reject
them. If some one may reply, that this or that in their doctrine
or morals is objectionable, I require you, in the first place, by
our Lord Jesus Christ, that so far as may be, you will first of
all weigh the matter in your mind, and without any hastiness of
judgment. For since we all of us owe this on the score of charity to
one another, that we may not rashly pass sentence against others,
but rather, so far as lies in us, that we hold fast by clemency and
justice, much more is that moderation to be practised towards those
whom the Lord is pleased to peculiarly distinguish above others. And
even although there may be somewhat wanting which might justly be
required of them, (as to which I am not able to speak definitely,
since I have no certain knowledge,) you must just consider, that you
will find no person so thoroughly perfect as that there shall not be
many things which are still to be desired. Wherefore, that rule of
charity is not duly honoured by us, unless we uphold our neighbours,
even with their very infirmities, provided we recognize in them the
true fear of God and the sincere desire of following the very truth
itself. Lastly, I cannot possibly doubt, in so far as concerns their
doctrine, but that they faithfully deliver to you the chief heads
of Christian religion, such as are necessary to salvation, and join
therewith the administration of the sacraments of the Lord. Wherever
this is established, there also the very substance of the ministry
ordained by the Lord Jesus Christ thrives and flourishes; and all
due reverence and respect is to be observed toward him who is the
minister.

  [158] Mal. ii. 7; 2 Cor. v. 20; 1 Thess. v. 13.

Now, therefore, most beloved brethren, I entreat and admonish you,
in the name and strength of our Lord Jesus Christ, that turning away
from man your heart and mind, you betake yourselves to that one and
only Redeemer, and that you reflect, how much we are bound to submit
entirely to his sacred commands. And if everything he has appointed
among you ought deservedly to be held inviolate, no consideration
whatever ought so to deflect you from the path of duty, that you
may not preserve whole and entire that ministration which he so
seriously commends to you. If already you dispute and quarrel with
your pastors to the extent of brawls and railing, as I hear has
occurred, it is quite evident from such a course of proceeding,
that the ministry of those very persons in which the brightness of
the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ ought to shine forth, must be
subject to contempt and reproach, and all but trampled under foot.
It is therefore incumbent on you carefully to beware, lest while
we seem to ourselves only to insult men, we in fact declare war
on God himself. Nor, besides, ought it to seem a light matter to
you, that sects and divisions are formed and cherished within the
Church, which no one who has a Christian heart beating in his breast
can without horror even drink in by the hearing of the ears. But
that the state of matters is indeed such where a separation of this
kind exists, and as it were a secession between pastor and people,
the thing speaks for itself. In conclusion, therefore, accept this
admonition, if you wish me to be held by you as a brother, that
there may be among you a solid agreement, which may correspond
with such a name, that you may not reject that ministry which,
for your advantage and the prosperity of the Church, I have been
forced to approve of without any fear or favour in respect of men.
But because, during the whole of that time my pious and faithful
colleague in the Lord was here, because my time, so far as ordinary
occupations permitted, was entirely taken up in conference, I could
not then write to you more fully, as I wished. Thereupon, we thus
agreed among ourselves, that I indeed should deliver to you in few
words the right way which you ought here to take, but that himself
as he should judge expedient should exhort you as to duty face to
face. Here, therefore, with the most fervent salutation written by
my own hand, do I supplicate the Lord Jesus, that he may protect you
in his holy fortress of defence; that he may heap on you his gifts
more and more; that he may restore your Church to due order, and
specially, that he may fill you with his own spirit of gentleness,
so that in the true conjunction of soul we may every one bestow
ourselves in the promoting of his kingdom.

  Your most devoted,

  J. C.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._, Opera, tom. ix. p. 10.]



XXXVIII.--To Farel.

     Journey of Farel to Strasbourg--scanty remuneration of
     Calvin--sale of his books.


  STRASBOURG, _27th July_ [1539.]

We have nothing new since you left us, except that, on the self-same
day, about three hours after your departure, the directors resolved
to augment my salary. They proposed to give me a stipend of a
hundred florins, on the condition that I should resign that which I
had formerly received; but when it came the length of the college
of the canons, they objected against it the royal caveat, by which
manœuvre they have excluded me. Thus am I made none the richer.
I send you a reckoning of what you paid for me of our expenses at
Hagenau, although you had no right to be repaid a single penny;
for it was your duty to have admonished me. I have a valid excuse,
which did not occur to me until it was too late to plead it. Let me
remind you as to what I formerly wrote, that if a cask should arrive
from Michael of Geneva, you would take charge of it on account of
Wendelin. Should any person be inclined to buy the books, do you
sell them, but mine for not less than nine or ten batzen at the
lowest, unless, perhaps, any one like Cressonnière will take a large
quantity, for then you may exercise your discretion. The carriage,
indeed, will cost no small sum, and must yet cost, before the books
reach you. Adieu my most excellent and kind brother. Salute most
earnestly and lovingly all our brethren. Long may the Lord preserve
you all.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



XXXIX.--TO FAREL.

     Reconciliation of Farel with Caroli--intercession of the Senate
     of Strasbourg in favour of the French Protestants--answer of
     Calvin to the letter of Cardinal Sadolet.


  _In the month of September 1539._[159]

  [159] The date of this letter is in the handwriting of Farel.

Yesterday, Henry came hither after supper time. As soon as I rose
from table I went to Bucer, read over to him your letter, which
made him very glad, especially because he could perceive from it
your great leniency towards Caroli. He at once acknowledged that he
could scarcely have felt himself able to treat that person with so
much clemency. Should he visit Basle there is considerable risk of
his being somewhat more severely handled by Grynée, as both Viret
and Zebedee, reproving his over-complaisance, have changed his
feelings towards that individual, as I have been told. But we have
been delighted to hear of your kindness in this case, which can
do no injury to the Church, and which may tend to break down the
opposition of the wicked.

To-day, these two young men came to me in the morning, which
occasions my writing somewhat sooner, but more briefly. In the case
of our brethren we have performed what was our duty, nor was the
Senate,[160] according to its usual devotedness, at all behindhand
in taking up the matter. As soon as the affair was settled I sent
you notice. I perceive, however, that the letter had not yet reached
you at the time you wrote. The messenger whom they sent to the Duke
of Saxony and the Landgrave has not, up to this time, returned; he
is hourly expected to arrive. Bucer is with the Chancellor almost
daily. Be not alarmed, my dear brother, we are not iron-hearted
in this quarter, nor will it be the fault of the Senate nor of
the ministers, if the pious do not get help, such as in these
times can be had. I perceive that, on many accounts, the Genevese
will be wretched. Sulzer[161] had brought hither the epistle of
Sadolet.[162] I was not very much concerned about an answer to it,
but our friends have at length compelled me. At the present moment
I am entirely occupied upon it. It will be a six days' work. I send
my book to you since I cannot repay your kindness by the return of a
gift in kind. Adieu, most amiable brother. Salute very lovingly for
me the whole of our brethren. Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [160] The magistrates of Strasbourg united themselves to Protestant
  princes of Germany to intercede in common with Francis I. in favour
  of his cruelly persecuted Protestant subjects.

  [161] Sulzer, minister of the Church of Berne. At a later period he
  was pastor of the Church of Basle.

  [162] Cardinal Sadolet, Bishop of Carpentras, informed of the
  troubles of Geneva, had written to the magistrates of that town
  exhorting them to return to the communion of the Roman Church.
  Calvin wrote a reply to Sadolet, and that letter, dated from
  Strasbourg, 1st September 1539, is one of the most remarkable
  monuments of the Reformer's genius. See _Calv. Opera_, edit.
  d'Amsterdam, tom. viii.; and the _Recueil des Opuscules_, p. 145.



XL.--TO FAREL.

     Caroli at Strasbourg--Proceedings of Sturm and Bucer for the
     reconciliation with Calvin.


  STRASBOURG, _8th October 1539_.

Whenever of late a new occasion of writing presented itself, I
wished to avoid writing until the affair of Caroli,[163] the
matter in hand which detained our friends, might be brought to
some conclusion. My concern about it kept me intensely anxious.
Bucer did not think it fitting that I should be present at any of
the proceedings until they had arrived at some hope of agreement,
or that at least some inclination thereto had become apparent on
either side. On my part, he found no difficulty in obtaining his
wish that I would say nothing harsh, because that would only stir up
new disturbances; and this he appeared greatly to desire, that there
might be all the freer opportunity of speaking against us. They had
commenced, so far as I have been able to learn, with doctrine; for
they have inquired, whether there was anything he thought defective
in that faith which we preached. He himself discoursed about certain
points of doctrine which are particularly enumerated in the minutes
which were afterwards written out and attested by our signatures.
Thence they proceeded to inquire into the matter of his falling
away from the truth, which was the crisis of the whole affair. He
endeavoured in every possible way to excuse himself. He boasted,
moreover, that at first he had a most just cause of complaint
against us, that he did not immediately rush forward to accuse us,
but required in a friendly way, that we should subscribe the three
creeds; that we not only declined doing so, but disparaged with
much scornful derision those three symbols, which by the perpetual
confession of good men have always been held as of established
authority in the Church. Thereupon they excepted, that he had not on
that account any sufficient ground why he should fall away to the
Papists. Then, having rebuked him very severely, they admonished
him to repentance. When called upon, I replied to his objections,
and in the first place, most assuredly did not spare to declare the
whole business as it stood from the very commencement. There was
some little difficulty in clearing ourselves as to the symbols;
for it was certainly somewhat discreditable that we should have
rejected those documents, which, since they have been received by
the approving judgment of the whole Church, ought to be considered
as beyond controversy. Although, therefore, it would have been easy
for us to palliate that also, by replying we did not reject these
symbols, far less disapprove them, but that we had only refused
our subscription, in order that Caroli might not thereby find
occasion of triumph in his attacks upon our ministry, there would
still have remained somewhat of suspicion in regard to us. That
circumstance especially procured him favour, because a little before
that, Claude, who it was clear had been often condemned by all the
Churches, had been received again into the office of the ministry.
Therefore, although I shewed that he had done that from malice, I
could not take away from him every pretext for attacking us. It was
my duty to give satisfaction on the score of battologies. But by no
means have I admitted that there was here any useless battology, or
mere contending about words. I confessed, however, that I would not
have spoken unless I had been forced by his wickedness to do so. But
it would be requisite that I should write you a volume were I to
relate everything. I have, however, disclosed to them the sum and
substance of our whole contention, and have so digested it point by
point, that it might appear easily enough the evil did not proceed
from us. Never have I felt more decidedly how much our Bernese
friends whom you know have injured us by their accusations. There
was not an individual of those of our own people who entertained
a doubt about our innocence. They annoyed me, however, about the
creeds, because we had been unwilling to subscribe them, when that
might have been done without danger, and might have relieved us
from much suspicion. Therefore they disapproved unanimously of our
conduct. These things took place in the absence of Caroli. Thereupon
Bucer requested that I would state all those matters in which he
had been faulty. That I would not do; for he always had something
to allege by which he could either slip away or might palliate his
offence. Since, therefore, I saw that there was no good to be done
in that way of proceeding, I thought it best to declare that I would
not bring any accusation against him; that it would satisfy me if
he acknowledged heartily and sincerely that he had sinned. But when
I foresaw that an outgate would not be very easy, there was nothing
I urged more strongly than that they should proceed without me;
that I had no wish to throw hindrances in their way, provided they
would not force my assent. This, because they considered that it
was the greatest hindrance of all, they have not granted. Articles,
therefore, have been drawn up, in which some things that he (Caroli)
himself had proposed have at his own request been expunged; these
articles were sent to me at a late hour in the night. When I had
read one passage in particular, I was so alarmed, that throughout
the whole of this year I do not remember to have been so much
grieved. The next morning I summoned Sturm to my aid. I explained to
him the cause of my distress. He represented the matter to Bucer.
They appointed a meeting with me together at the house of Mathias,
where I might explain fully what it was that distressed me. There I
sinned grievously in not having been able to keep within bounds; for
so had the bile taken entire possession of my mind, that I poured
out bitterness on all sides. There was of a certainty some cause for
indignation, if moderation had only been observed in the expression
of it. I complained, on the ground that they had presented these
articles to me for the purpose of discharging Caroli; that they had
given it as their opinion that they appeared to themselves to be
good, while I was unheard; that after judgment already pronounced,
they required me to subscribe, which if I should refuse, I must look
henceforth upon them as adversaries. But the point which chiefly
stirred my indignation, was because therein Caroli declared, that
he committed to the Lord the offences by which he had been driven
to defection, and therefore he committed matters which partially
concerned other parties. In the conclusion of my speech, I stated
my resolution rather to die than subscribe this. Thereupon there
was so much fervour on both sides, that I could not have been more
rude to Caroli himself if he had been present. At length I forced
myself out of the supper-room, Bucer following, who, after he had
soothed me by his fair speeches, brought me back to the rest.
I said, that I wished to consider the matter more fully before
making any more distinct reply. When I got home I was seized with
an extraordinary paroxysm, nor did I find any other solace than in
sighs and tears; and I was the more deeply afflicted because you
had occasioned me those evils. Ever and anon they were twitting me
with your lenity, who had mercifully embraced Caroli upon the spot;
that I was too headstrong, who could not be moved one whit from that
judgment which I had formed. Bucer, indeed, has tried every mode
of representation, that he might soothe my mind upon the subject,
but, in the meanwhile, sets up your example invidiously against me;
nor, indeed, can you thus excuse yourself of inconsiderateness, or
that you were too easily led away by him; and that I may freely
speak my mind, that one might justly have expected from you more
both of gravity and constancy and moderation. These good brethren
have insisted that you should receive Caroli into favour. On which
you have not merely given way, but you have fallen prostrate. This
you yourself have discovered shortly after you repented of it, and
you might have recovered yourself without repentance, unless you
had gone too far. Do you suppose that I take any comfort to myself
from the accusation of your negligence, which has caused me so much
annoyance? Had I been able to speak with you face to face, I would
have turned upon you the whole of the fury which I have poured forth
upon others. When I had somewhat come to myself I sent for James,
and inquired what had taken place with him. Some things he related
rekindled anew in me the angry passions, therefore I requested
that he would point out the particular occasion where or when he
imputed the blame of his falling away as forced upon him by others,
and expressly that the conditions might be confirmed, upon which
he had been received back by you into favour at Bonneville.[164] I
would have accomplished something better if you had not prevented
me. To you it is to be imputed if anything is faulty. First of
all, that you did not temper or qualify your reconciliation by
that moderation which ought to be observed; that you ought not to
have received him back into communion, unless upon his own solemn
attestation acknowledging his offence, and upon repentance; and,
lastly, that you did not inform me by writing of all these matters
at the time when they happened. I hope, however, that the document,
as it now stands, may be endurable; but it has cost me much grief
and trouble. All that remains for us, now that we have received him
back again into favour, is to persevere, and maintain constantly
the grace we have sanctioned, for if we ought not to cast him off,
he must, by every endeavour, be retained. That cannot otherwise
be brought about unless you restrain all your people, that they
do not insult him. The written document, as soon as it shall have
been written out formally, will be forwarded to you. Therein he is
bound by sufficiently powerful obligations not to attempt any fresh
mischief. However, do you yourselves observe that same mildness of
demeanour towards him which you have prematurely shewn. But these
things, as well as what remains to be said, I shall urge more fully
when the writing shall be sent. At present I wish to inform you,
in a few words, what was the conclusion of this affair. Caroli has
just set out to go to Rognac,[165] for what purpose I have not
discovered, unless that he may seek some retreat for himself until
there is an opportunity of doing something with you. Alexander
accompanied him, whom he excused himself for having taken along
with him, upon the advice of Barbarini. There was no occasion,
however, of apprehension, either on your part or on ours, on his
account; for here we are not quite so facile as readily to embrace
those whom other Churches have cast out. He also, indeed, requested
to be heard; but we had no leisure. Upon his return, so far as
depends upon me, I will not intercede that he may be heard, unless
he shall declare to me his whole history, to which proposal, in
respect of his dignity, he may except. Your letter I shall answer
soon; for a severe cough has seized me, which does not suffer me to
write more at present. This person who delivers my letter to you
was recommended to us by the Seigneur de Rognac, for whose sake we
have endeavoured to find employment for him, but were not able.
Among the manual arts his inclination and taste led him to try the
handicraft of bookbinding; hence he has gone thither that he may
try everywhere. I willingly recommend him to you, and hope you may
be able to serve him; for Rognac is worthy and deserving, for whose
sake I willingly would entreat this of you, and even much more. All
our friends greet you in the most friendly manner, chiefly Capito,
Bucer, Sturm, Bedrot,[166] Claude, Gaspar, James, with his companion
Enard, and all the Frenchmen. Because I am aware that you are quite
accustomed to my rudeness, I will make no excuse for treating you
so uncivilly. Salute all the brethren for me, chiefly Cordier and
Chaponneau and Thomas. Do as seems best to yourself in regard to the
epistle of Sadolet, only, however, let me know what you do. Cordier
will greatly oblige me if he will entrust to me the Psalms which he
has already written out.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [163] Condemned by the Synod of Lausanne, and banished by the
  Senate of Berne, Caroli had returned to the Church of Rome, and
  had in vain sought the favour of the Cardinal de Tournon. Deceived
  in his expectations, he reappeared in Switzerland, confessed his
  past offences, and obtained the forgiveness of Farel. Afterwards he
  proceeded to Strasbourg, where Bucer and Sturm tried every means
  to reconcile him with Calvin.--Ruchat, _Hist. de la Réformat. en
  Suisse_, tom. v. pp. 129-134.

  [164] Bonneville, on the Lake of Bienne. It was there where the
  interview between Caroli and Farel, accompanied by the two deputies
  from Neuchatel, had taken place.

  [165] Rognac--is it the burgh of that name in Provence, department
  of Bouches du Rhone?

  [166] James Bedrot, native of the Grisons, professor of Greek in the
  Academy at Strasbourg.



XLI.--TO FAREL.

     Farther details of the reconciliation of Calvin with Caroli--the
     minister Alexandre--a lecture of Bucer--negotiations of
     the Protestant Princes of Germany--their answer to Henry
     VIII.--French translation of the Epistle to Sadolet.


  STRASBOURG, _27th October 1539_.

Pardon me, my most amiable brother, for not having written to you
since that discontented letter[167] which lately had been forced out
of me by my ill-humour in its first fervour. I do not quite remember
what I may have written. I am aware, however, that I had not
sufficiently softened the expressions, because this single solace of
my grief remained, to expostulate with you for having created such
annoyance to me through your extreme facility. Now, you excuse your
fault in a lengthened apology, although, nevertheless, you try to
defend what you have done; the sum total, however, of the defence
consists of entreaty. After this, therefore, look to it that you
set bounds to your clemency, and take care that it does no harm
to others. I did not omit any of those things which you enumerate
in your epistle, when I came to speak upon the matter. For I have
diligently tracked all the exploits which he has perpetrated since
his going away, both at Geneva and at Lausanne, and also in France;
but afterwards he was brought in, and according to his pleasure, he
softened down some things, others he made light of, and in some he
threw back the charge upon ourselves. They did not venture to trust
me with him, that he might not exasperate me beyond all bearing.
They also qualified his answers, or suppressed them entirely. Thus
have I been deceived in the whole affair. When I foresaw this from
the first, my intention was expressly declared, to take no part
either in approving or in disapproving of what might be done. For
all the matter in discussion was, that the person might not be cast
off by us who had been received by you. You deny that you are the
Church. But who can suppose otherwise than that you have recommended
him on the certificate of the Church? Deny it if you can, that you
attested his reconciliation by your letter. Moreover, what you wrote
as applicable to you, was understood as referring to the whole
Church, from whose authority all were of opinion that you had not
departed. In this way, I have been left alone in my opposition.
That, also, deprived me of authority, that he had succeeded in
getting our friends to think he had some reason for discussing that
controversy about the Trinity, in which respect Capito helped him
not a little, who informed Bucer that he had formerly received a
letter from you, in which you acknowledged that you dissented on
that point from others, or I know not what to the same purpose,
for Bucer has not clearly explained it to me. All of them, also,
have strangely annoyed me about the creeds. These, and matters of
a like kind have effected, that they have come to judge him not
altogether unworthy of compassion. But upon what conditions he was
received, you will understand from the minutes. I will consistently
perform what I have there promised, if he faithfully observes his
engagement. If, however, he may happen to deceive, that instant I
am free, for I have bound myself in regard to him only conditionally.

  [167] That is to say, the preceding letter concerning Caroli.

With reference to Alexandre,[168] I am already thoroughly informed,
so that I can welcome him, as often as he calls, according to his
deserts; and I shall have more weight in that cause, because it will
not appear so much as if I were pleading my own case. Listen to a
signal instance of his impudence. Once he ventured to enter our
dwelling with the view of obtruding himself upon me in some way or
other. When I happened to go down to the lower part of the house,
there I caught him with the domestics. He bowed in a very courtly
style, and put himself in the gesture of preparation to speak.
I condescended to regard him neither by look nor by salutation.
Nevertheless, I summoned one of them, of whom I requested that he
would desire him to go away, for that we did not suffer those to
remain on our premises who had been cast out of the Church of God.
From that time he has not dared to present himself to me. Now let
him come, he shall not find me unprepared. You will be amused, also,
when you hear how Caroli was received at one of Bucer's lectures. He
was treating of the passage about stoning the false prophet: when
he had defined what was meant by the expression _Pseudo Propheta_,
he said, that he was not a person who might teach somewhat beyond
or independent of the word of God, but one who could welcome or
approve of dogmas opposed to the word of God. He added an example
concerning those who would imagine a certain place in which souls
are purified, and he pronounced that doctrine to be absurd; but on
account of that we ought not to condemn any one, provided he so
professed it that he left it undetermined; but that he who maintains
that the dead are aided by our prayers, was not only to be condemned
of vain worship, but also of impiety. When he spoke these words, at
one time he looked towards me, and at another he turned his eyes to
Caroli. Now, however, since we have agreed with him, we must take
care that he has no good ground of complaint against us, either
on the score of consistency or sincerity. I may, nevertheless,
somehow understand with what adroitness he has conducted himself
with Rognac. He affords me an opportunity of speaking of the church
at Metz, and what has happened there. He passes on thither, and
seizes an opportunity of preaching. Instantly an official appears,
who orders him to be cited. What passes with him thereupon I know
not, except that shortly afterwards he withdraws. About fifteen days
before, I had sent my brother thither. He lived with an excellent
and most upright man, and kept very quiet. As soon as they got
knowledge of it, they required of his master that he would send
him away. He refused to do so. Then they turned their fury against
my brother, and ordered him to depart the city within seven days.
He replied, that it was both an unjust and unusual proceeding
to pronounce against an unoffending man without hearing him. He
therefore went to the magistrate, sought a hearing, was refused;
appealed to the provost and his council, which consists of persons
of some rank. He presented, according to custom, a petition and
supplication, but he made nothing of it. Nor did they treat him
only in this way, but they decided that no stranger in future,
upon whom any suspicion might fall, should be suffered to remain.
Briefly, I wish you to understand, that the way in that direction,
for the present, is shut against the Gospel. Therefore, we must
wait for a better opportunity, which I shall be always looking for.
Those small vermin, _Malizi_ and _Crociati_, you cannot do better
than constantly to crush and bruise them, which you may do without
danger, for they can only spit spent venom.

  [168] Alexandre, late minister of Thonon. He had been excommunicated
  by the presbytery of Neuchatel for having deserted his charge.

That information which the French ambassador has received about the
Edict[169] has been the doing of Bucer, who has underhand instructed
Doctor Chelius[170] to write to him, that all our friends were
greatly estranged from the king on account of that cruelty.[171]
Not a word about the embassy. Bucer himself dictated the letter,
and certainly, already we had almost begun to despair about it. The
Landgrave had yielded, and the matter was already settled, unless
the Elector of Saxony had stood out, who supposes that he does
his duty well, provided he keeps himself at as great a distance
as possible from all his adversaries. In the meantime, the pious
who are endangered are deserted. The King of England had lately
despatched an embassy to him, to excuse himself for having sent away
his ambassadors and those of the Landgrave without having attained
their object.[172] He alleged as a reason, that they did not appear
to him to be furnished with a sufficiently ample commission. The
Elector replied, that the proverb spoke truth which said, that
loop-holes of escape are always to be found by those who wish to
play fast and loose; for that the ambassadors had full power of
entering into the treaty which he and his allies were willing to
make with him. That he deceived himself if he could suppose that our
friends could be induced to mix themselves up with all his peculiar
controversies; they would not engage in any other alliance than such
as would be for the sake of the Gospel. Besides, that the King had
sufficiently displayed the temper of his mind when he published that
impious Edict;[173] for that his conscience impelled him to this
harsh language, nor could even he prevent the learned in his own
dominions from denouncing so great impiety. The Landgrave, with no
less constancy, more mildly replied, that he would smooth the way
for him, if there was hope of mending the matter. The convention is
now appointed for the 19th November, in which both embassies will
be dealt with. Early yesterday a messenger arrived, although it is
not yet known what it is about; the consultation, however, appears
to be of importance. You can thence, also, conjecture what has so
suddenly called them together. It will be a journey of ten days for
our friends; for the others somewhat more, who have not yet had
notice of it.

  [169] This refers, doubtless, to the Edict which was published the
  following year in France. It contained most rigorous clauses against
  heretics.

  [170] Ulric Chelius, a distinguished physician, the friend of Bucer.

  [171] See notes 2, pp. 129, 150. The Protestant princes of Germany,
  irritated by the persecutions directed against their brethren of the
  Reformed Churches of France, threatened the rupture of all friendly
  relations with the reigning sovereign, Francis I.

  [172] Sec p. 125, note 2. These deputies had at first been most
  graciously received by the King of England. They held frequent
  conferences with his counsellors, at the house of Thomas Cromwell,
  regarding the object of their mission--the foundation of a defensive
  alliance between the German princes and the English monarch.
  Henry appeared favourable to the project. This was, however, but
  a political ruse; for, after having amused the deputies with fair
  words and pretended negotiations, he allowed them to depart.--See
  Seckendorf, lib. iii. sect. 19, parag. 73; and Burnet.

  [173] The Act of the Six Articles, called the _Bill of Blood_,
  promulgated the 28th April 1539. See Burnet, _Hist. Ref._ vol. i.
  pp. 256-260.

Do you know what has happened to Count William?[174] While he wished
to defend these valleys of the Alps against the assaults of the
Comte de Montmian, he incurred the enmity of the Constable,[175]
which has proceeded to that extent, that he forced himself away
from Court without even taking leave of the King, having, however,
previously resigned his offices. The story is tedious, therefore I
cannot relate the whole of it.

  [174] William du Bellay, Lord of Langey, and Viceroy of Piedmont,
  then occupied by Francis I.

  [175] Anne de Montmorency. He had been promoted to the office of
  Constable in 1538, for his able defence of Provence against the
  Imperialists.

The translation of my Epistle to Sadolet I was not able to compare
throughout, for that employment required one whole day. I have
looked over it, however, and having partially examined, I am able
to form an opinion of it. It is not amiss. I am unwilling, however,
that it should be published before it has been corrected. In some
respects it is faulty; I fear, however, that should Antony Pignorius
delay, some person may be beforehand with him, who has perhaps
already finished it. For I did not waste a third part of the time in
composing it which has passed away since he wrote that he had begun,
nor do I doubt that this has been by the advice of Michael. The
Secretary of Payerne has one of his brethren here. By way of return,
he is educating his brother's son. He has entrusted him to the care
of Gaspar, a good and worthy man. The mother is meanwhile very
anxious, because she hears not a word about her son. Do, therefore,
try and make him write briefly how he is getting on. All here salute
you in the most friendly way; Capito, Bucer, Brito, the scholars of
Claude, James with his comrade Enard, the whole of our household,
where at present my brother is stopping with us. It will be better
to keep this letter to yourself, than to let it go farther.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

Salute for me respectfully all the brethren, your colleague
Thomas and the others. I have not been able just at present to
write to Michael. Do you, however, urge him to write, by the first
opportunity, what has been done about the Psalms. I had commissioned
one hundred copies to be sent to Geneva. Now, for the first time, I
have been given to understand that this had not been attended to. It
has certainly been very neglectful so long to delay informing me.
I cannot at present get the Minutes. Within a few days you shall
receive them.

  (_Postscript, in French._)

You have sent me word by Alexander, that you have got for me _Pias
Orationes Lutheri_, of which you make no mention. I beg you will let
me know also about that.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



XLII.--TO FAREL.

     Caroli--encounter between William du Bellay and the Constable
     de Montmorency--preparation for an approaching Assembly in
     Germany--negotiations with the King of England--salutations
     addressed by Luther to Calvin--hope of an accommodation between
     the Swiss and German Churches.


  STRASBOURG, _20th November_ [1539.]

For a long time I have been eagerly on the lookout for your opinion
about the minutes of reconciliation with Caroli. That personage
has not returned, and there need be little doubt that he seeks to
nestle in that quarter; and assuredly it was no bad determination
for him to arrive at. The kitchen of a courtier smokes very freely,
and you are aware he has a quick scent in that direction. I am
afraid, however, that he may not long continue with those who do
not like to be out of favour with the King. Whatever shall happen,
if he keeps his promise, it will be our duty, by the observance of
all due civility, to have at least deserved well at his hand. The
state of the affair as to Count William stands thus:[176]--After
the Comte de Montmian had broken violently into the valleys of the
Alps, and had inflicted many wrongs upon the good brethren, the
Count complained in earnest about them to the Constable, and did
not hesitate to use threats. The latter wished at first to calm
the temper of the Count, and to soothe his kinsman by cajoleries.
The Count thereupon spoke more angrily, until at length the other
also began to wax fierce. Hence there has grown up an undissembled
hatred on both sides. The Count instantly thereupon, by a letter,
which he allowed me to peruse, threw up the alliance in which he had
previously been engaged with the Comte de Montmian. He said, that
it appeared to him wicked and villanous, if, as was reported, he
had invaded those valleys and had plundered a peaceful inoffensive
race of men. An answer was returned on the part of Montmian, in
which he said that the Count was a base liar. He added, also, that
those people suffered no more than they deserved, on account of
their rebellion against God and the King. The Count, with all speed,
despatches a person by whom he challenges his adversary to single
combat. In his progress, the messenger is told of the death of the
adversary. In the meantime the Constable defends the adversary of
the Count, ... who provoke him with all manner of affronts. Treated
after this fashion, the Count throws up the[177] ... service of the
King. And lately he received a letter from his Majesty, along with
the defamatory libel of his opponent. To the King he replied, that
he had a defence prepared in answer to all that was objected against
him, if only he was allowed to speak the truth without offence to
the court; for that he ... against the Constable, whom they had
discovered to be the source of all the mischief. Most assuredly he
poured forth all his bitterness against him; and that he might not
appear to do anything covertly or underhand, he despatched four or
five copies, which were to be presented to the Dauphin, to the King
of Navarre, and others. Among other things which he has been forced
to hear, that story was cast up to him about his brother, who they
say defiled the holy cup. He replied, that it was a falsehood; if it
had been true he himself would have punished such an outrage, nor
could he have escaped with impunity after such an act of sacrilege,
either at Basle or here, or at Geneva: that the enemies of the
Gospel, however, invent many stories, for the purpose of grieving
and annoying us, and that this was one of them. He loves both of
his brothers very much. When I lately supped with him, and one of
the superior clergy of the cathedral was present, who it is thought
will one day be bishop, he spoke in a friendly way of both. I stayed
nearly two days with him, that I might write his letters.

  [176] The Memoirs of Du Bellay furnish no information in regard to
  the discussions which are treated of in the close of this letter,
  and of which the Waldenses of Piedmont were the subject. William du
  Bellay was governor of Piedmont, which had recently been subjugated
  by Francis I., and did honour to himself by the generous protection
  which he extended to the Waldensian Churches.

  [177] This word, as also several others, is effaced in the original.

On the 19th of this month the Convention is appointed to meet, as I
have already written to you.[178] The chief point for deliberation
will be, what they ought to advise now that the Emperor has given
them the slip. There are very many and great surmises of war. The
Margrave-Elector of Brandenbourg[179] has summoned Philip, and
has written to the Landgrave that it is his intention to receive
the Gospel and to root up Popery. While the truce has lasted,
therefore, we have acquired no small accession. It is doubtful as
to Gueldres what may happen. He has betrothed his sister to the
King of England,[180] and within a few days will send her away. The
English King has courteously entertained the ambassadors of our
princes. What more can I say? Never was there a time of greater
preparedness for the reception of the Gospel. When the Emperor
heard of the marriage he tried to induce the King, by means of
Duke Frederic,[181] brother of the Elector-Palatine, to take the
Duchess of Milan, whereby, uniting their influence, they might
recover the kingdom of Denmark. The English King replied briefly,
that not only would he never attempt anything against the King of
Denmark, but that he would assist him and his allies as a duty to
which he was bound. He then advised Frederic that he should unite
with us and bring his brother also into the League. And the more
to encourage him, he promised that he would bring it about that
the Palatine's interest should be espoused by the King of Denmark.
Our friends will now undoubtedly press forward. Bucer has been
summoned by the Landgrave: it is doubtful whether for the purpose
of proceeding thither with the deputies or not. Our friend Sturm
has a commission from the Senate to look after the interest of
the brethren. Accordingly, when I was requested by him to do so,
I have briefly pointed out what appeared to me the best method of
proceeding. I send you a short copy of it, although it has somewhat
cooled the inclination of Bucer, as he understood afterwards that
the report was false, which having reached us by your letter,
we inconsiderately spread abroad. For you will remember you had
written, that some one had been burnt at Paris. Two persons have
been here, who steadily deny the fact. Be careful, therefore, for
the future, that you write nothing but what you have ascertained
as certain. Besides, Bucer was all the more displeased, because he
had already written to the same purport to the Landgrave. I have
already stated what I thought of the royal edict. If it really was
supposititious, as I very much fear it was, how greatly must it
weaken our credit! I have certainly regretted to have spoken of it
on such insufficient information. Let us, therefore, be more wary
for the future, by which means our authority will have more weight
and be more effectual for the help of the brethren. Believe me, I do
not fail, whenever an occasion presents itself, to render all the
aid in my power, which I merely mention, because many suppose me to
be asleep, because not always boasting.

  [178] That meeting took place at Arnstadt, a town of the Thuringi.
  See Sleidan, lib. xii. p. 347.

  [179] Joachim II., Margrave-Elector of Brandenbourg, (1534-1571.)
  After having shewn himself all along faithful to the cause of the
  Emperor, this prince established the Reformation in his States.

  [180] Henry VIII. sought again at this time the alliance of the
  Protestant princes of Germany. He espoused (Jan. 6, 1540) Anne of
  Cleves, whom he repudiated some months afterwards.

  [181] This prince, who at this time still wavered between
  Catholicism and the Reformed doctrines, succeeded his brother as
  Elector-Palatine, in 1544, and completed the work of the Reformation
  in his State.

Crato, one of our engravers, lately returned from Wittemberg,
who brought a letter from Luther to Bucer, in which there
was written:[182] "Salute for me reverently Sturm and Calvin,
whose books I have read with special delight." Now, consider
seriously what I have said there about the Eucharist; think of the
ingenuousness of Luther: it will now be easy for you to see how
unreasonable are those who so obstinately dissent from him. Philip,
however, wrote thus:--"Luther and Pomeranus have desired Calvin to
be greeted; Calvin has acquired great favour in their eyes." Philip
has informed me at the same time by the messenger, that certain
persons, in order to irritate Luther, have shown him a passage in
which he and his friends have been criticised by me; that thereupon
he had examined the passage, and feeling that it was undoubtedly
intended for him, had said at length:--"I hope that Calvin will one
day think better of us; but in any event it is well that he should
even now have a proof of our good feeling towards him." If we are
not affected by such moderation, we are certainly of stone. For
myself, I am profoundly affected by it, and therefore have taken
occasion to say so in the preface which is inserted before the
Epistle to the Romans.[183] If you have not yet read Philip on the
Authority of the Church, I desire you may read it. You will perceive
he is much more considerate than he appeared in his other writings.
Capito, Bucer, Sturm, Hedio, Bedrot, and others, salute you most
lovingly. Do you also salute respectfully all the brethren.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [182] Here is the passage of the letter of Luther, containing a
  flattering allusion to the letter of Calvin to Sadolet: "Bene vale,
  et salutabis D. Joannem Sturmium et Joannem Calvinum quorum libellos
  cum singulari voluptate legi. Sadoletum optarem ut crederet, Deum
  esse creatorem hominum etiam extra Italiam. Sed hæc persuasio non
  penetrat corda Italorum, cum tam soli præ cæteris exuerint plane
  humanum sensum præ superbia."--Dr. Martin Luther's _Briefe_, edit.
  de Wette, tom. v. p. 411.

  [183] The preface of this Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans is
  dedicated to Simon Grynée, and contains an eulogium of Melanchthon,
  of Bucer, and of Bullinger, accompanied with the following
  reflections:--"God never designed in such a way to exercise
  liberality towards his servants, as that each should be endowed with
  a full and perfect understanding on every point; and doubtless, in
  this respect, he intended, in the first place, to keep us humble,
  and next of all to keep up and maintain the desire and the exercise
  of brotherly love and communion. On this account, since such is the
  case, we have no reason to expect, in this present life, to see what
  would otherwise be so desirable, that in the understanding and the
  exposition of certain passages of Scripture, there ever can be among
  us an out-and-out entire agreement, (in allusion to the sacraments,)
  yet we ought to be particularly careful, when we do depart from the
  opinion of those who have written before us, that we do so without
  being carried away by the silly appetite for saying something new,"
  &c.--_Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans_, Geneva, in 4to, 1562.



XLIII.--TO FAREL.

     Persecutions in France--policy of Francis I. and Charles
     V.--ecclesiastical discipline--University regulations at
     Strasbourg--illness of Farel.


  STRASBOURG, _31st December 1539_.

To-day, immediately after sermon, Fatin[184] intimated that he was
about to leave, when I had been invited to sup with a friend; whence
I returned long after eight o'clock, much refreshed. You must,
therefore, expect a letter from me, as from one who am scarcely
sufficiently free and disengaged for writing. I am sorry that that
holy brother is deceased, as becomes me. Since, however, it has so
happened, I rejoice that the messenger has confirmed your letter
about his death, whereby I can more certainly aver that it is so.
The sentence had not been executed upon Michael so lately as the end
of November, at which period the care of his safety was commended
to me by letter. Our friend Sturm has returned from the convention:
it is not known what has been done. We conjecture, however, that
this silence betokens somewhat of importance. He has brought word,
that the proposal had been made about the brethren: but it seemed
to many, that the present was a very unsuitable time to send an
embassy which could have no other effect than to sour the temper of
the King. Those two sovereigns appear to have agreed together to
attempt the doing of great things.[185] The Emperor is enrolling an
army not far off from this. The pretext is, the cities which have
revolted, but it seems that the great pressure of the war is to be
directed upon Gueldres.[186] But he will neither be abandoned by
the King of England nor by the Elector of Saxony. What alliance he
may have entered into with our friends, or whether there be any,
is uncertain. Two ambassadors have been sent to the Venetians,
the Marquis of Guasta and Marshal Annebault, to reclaim the towns
which they have seized upon belonging to the duchy of Milan.[187]
They rather seem to me to be heralds, than the messengers of peace.
Either all conjectures deceive, or in a short time we shall see the
whole of Europe in a state of war, for already the seven cantons are
said to murmur. There is no hope of peace for our friends except
that which shall have been obtained by war.

  [184] Minister of the Church of Neuchatel.

  [185] The truce of Nice had for the moment reconciled Charles V. and
  Francis I.

  [186] The Duke of Cleves had been put in possession of the town of
  Gueldres, notwithstanding the protestations of the Emperor, and with
  the tacit approbation of the French King.

  [187] The King of France and the Emperor equally put forth
  pretensions to the possession of the Milanese.

Concerning the discipline, you do well to press it; but when the
subject is well weighed, I do not know whether it can be established
unless with the consent of the churches. It is therefore much to
be wished, that some time or other the Churches may assemble to
deliberate about that matter. We see, indeed, how very necessary it
is. There was some slender form of discipline at Basle. What did
exist has been half swamped in the midst of these disputes. So far
have Myconius and Grynée advanced in that championship, which they
imagined, in the defence of Christian liberty. If we can deliberate
together, let us try whether somewhat may not be accomplished.
Capito will write to the Bernese as you have requested, and I will
address our brethren. I think I have already written to you with
considerable prolixity on the case of Caroli. Although I entertain
no hopeful expectation concerning that individual, nevertheless
I am prevented, by the consent of the Church, from despairing of
him altogether. Let us wait and see how he conducts himself where
he now is. Rognac has promised me by letter that he would come
hither within a few days; then, I shall ascertain all about him.
Should we be able to convict him of unfaithfulness, he can have
no ground to hope henceforward to be entertained by us. Gaspar
is more distractingly anxious than he ought to be on account of
having incurred some amount of debt, in order somewhat to prolong
his studies. At this present time he has no money wherewith to
maintain himself for only two months, the time which he had fixed
for himself. If somehow or other so much could be raised for him,
it would be doing him a service. Michael, the bookseller of Geneva,
has informed me that he has sent hither the remainder of my books,
with my brother's wearing-apparel. If they come to you, will you
open the package, and if you can sell any of the books, dispose of
them? Will you undertake the charge of forwarding those which remain
to Basle as soon as possible? Furthermore, since he complains that
my book does not sell, and that he is overburdened with more copies
than he can get rid of, I have written in reply that he might send a
hundred copies to you, which I take on my own account. If he shall
have done so, will you let me know immediately? I have rather chosen
to involve myself in this difficulty than that my credit should be
put in peril. But after this he may seek some one else who for his
sake alone may undertake so much trouble. I experience here the
same insolence as you yourself so much complain of. Some rules for
the Academy have lately been made, by which the discipline will be
tightened in the case of such as are here for the sake of study.
Among our French friends, even among those who live with me, some
are quite frantic. To-morrow it will be intimated to them that they
may depart unless they choose to obey; and I have no doubt that they
will avail themselves of the intimation. Whence you understand how
well disposed they can have come hither, that is, that they may have
more licence. Wherefore it is the rather to be watchfully looked to
by us, that the reverence and authority due to the Church may not
be wanting, in order to subdue those lewd and mischievous desires;
although, nevertheless, I see that some allowance must be made for
the folly of mankind; nor ought the rigour of discipline to be
stretched so far that they may not play the fool on some occasion.
Greet for me most kindly all the brethren. Excuse me also to
Cordier, because for the present I cannot reply to him.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

Although I have omitted what ought to have been done in the first
place, to congratulate you on your restored health, it was not
because I rejoice the less on that account; for while I reflect how
much of the greatest importance may depend on one little man, it is
not possible for me not to be in a more than ordinary degree anxious
about your life. Therefore, from the time that the report of your
illness was brought hither, I have not enjoyed one pleasant moment
until I heard you had recovered. On that account I experienced the
like joy from hearing by the messenger good news of your health, as
he enjoys who is delivered from a long continued sickness.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



XLIV.--TO FAREL.

     Further mention of Caroli--discussion with Hermann the
     Anabaptist--good understanding of Charles V. and Francis
     I.--alarm of the German Princes--some detail of the propositions
     addressed to Calvin.


  STRASBOURG, _6th February 1540_.

I entreat you, my dear brother, when I expostulate with you, chide
you, get warm with you, accuse you, that you may take it all the
same as if you were dealing thus with yourself. Concerning Caroli,
the Lord will give counsel, in whose case, if there has been
anything sinful on our part, the Lord can correct it. Our friends
also acknowledge, that they were more lenient than they ought to
have been. But because there is not among us that severity of
discipline which ought to exist, they have been compelled to deal
more indulgently with him than they could have wished. Especially
that error hath deceived us all, that we supposed he had been
reconciled to you. For we received him on the condition that all
the engagements should remain binding by which he had been received
to favour again by you at Bonneville. If he shall return, let us
take care that our gentle treatment of him may not prove hurtful
to you. Where he is at present, I do not know that he could do
any harm, even if he would. Should he speak reproachfully of us,
he will not, as I expect, be very likely to be hearkened to. For
I am already aware that he thinks better of you than rashly to
entertain any accusation. Myself, also, that I may acknowledge the
truth, have recommended him to Rognac, but simply on this ground,
because he had repented, because he had returned to us, because,
having acknowledged his offence, he had sought and obtained pardon,
because we hoped that he had cordially returned to us. Thereupon I
requested that, if he did not conduct himself otherwise than became
the servant of Christ, the estrangement which had taken place might
not be prejudicial to him. He has not come to Rognac; therefore,
he has not availed himself of that recommendation. There, however,
Alexandre has been received into favour by Robert Vallis, in whose
family you know that he was formerly. When he had afterwards been
sent hither, I wrote to Rognac that I could not conscientiously
receive him into my house, nor have anything to do with him. He
courteously excused himself, as having sinned through ignorance, not
having been aware that he [Alexandre] had been excommunicated. He
is coming here, however, with his wife this Lent. Then I will make
strict inquiry about Caroli. What you complain of, that the sacred
ministry has so miserably dwindled away in that quarter, is too
true. Wherever you turn your eyes, you may find innumerable causes
of lamentation. And while, of a certainty, I see no way of putting
an end to it, my courage would entirely fail me, if this single
thought did not sustain me, that whatever may happen, the work of
the Lord is never to be deserted. Notwithstanding, in the midst of
so many evils, the Lord from time to time bestows somewhat that
refreshes us. Hermann, who disputed against us at Geneva, besought
me to appoint a day for conferring with him. In regard to infant
baptism, the human nature of Christ, and some other points, he now
acknowledges that he had fallen grievously into error. There are
some other things in which he still hesitates. But this affords good
hope, when so many difficulties have been taken out of the way.
Count John has at length presented his boy, rather big for his age,
to be baptized. I have long borne with his weakness, since he told
me that he thought he had good reasons for delaying. At length he
said, that he no longer cared for those whose perverseness could by
no means be worn out or subdued.

That which has been reported with you about the passage of the
Emperor, is fabulous.[188] Our friends had a person there who might
keep an eye on all that was going forward. It is certain that there
was no discussion of serious matters. A day, however, was fixed,
in the beginning of March, when the Emperor and the King are to
meet at Amiens.[189] If they can agree together, we may well be
apprehensive of their conspiring for our destruction. Ferdinand
will be present, who is already well advanced on his journey. The
rumour goes that the Duke of Savoy,[190] also, is on his journey
through Italy, that he may come into Germany by the Tyrolese Alps,
and certainly there will be little hope of recovering his rights
if these two sovereigns settle the business in his absence. Our
friends have put the Emperor in mind of his promise. Meanwhile,
however, they are as boisterous and unmanageable as if war had
already been declared. The former month they appeared too indolent.
At this present it is marvellous how stirring they are, and how
greatly excited. Nevertheless, in the midst of such commotions as
these, I am so much at my ease, as to have the audacity to think
of taking a wife. A certain damsel of noble rank has been proposed
to me, and with a fortune above my condition. Two considerations
deterred me from that connection--because she did not understand
our language, and because I feared she might be too mindful of her
family and education. Her brother, a very devout person, urged the
connection, and on no other account than that, blinded by his
affection to me, he neglected his own interests. His wife also, with
a like partiality, contended, as he did, so that I would have been
prevailed upon to submit with a good grace, unless the Lord had
otherwise appointed. When, thereupon, I replied that I could not
engage myself unless the maiden would undertake that she would apply
her mind to the learning of our language, she requested time for
deliberation. Thereupon, without further parley, I sent my brother,
with a certain respectable man, to escort hither another, who, if
she answers her repute, will bring a dowry large enough, without any
money at all. Indeed, she is mightily commended by those who are
acquainted with her. If it come to pass, as we may certainly hope
will be the case, the marriage ceremony will not be delayed beyond
the tenth of March.[191] I wish you might then be present, that you
may bless our wedlock. As, however, I have troubled you so much more
than I ought during the past year, I dare not insist upon it. If,
however, any one of our brethren should have a mind to visit us, I
would prefer that it were at that time, when he could supply your
place; although, nevertheless, I make myself look very foolish if it
shall so happen that my hope again fall through. But as I trust the
Lord will be present to help me, I express myself as though I spoke
of a certainty.--To return to public affairs. Since the Emperor has
declared to our Princes, through the Archbishop of Lunden, that he
had not given up the idea of having a Diet, that they may not be
caught unawares, they have desired that some competently learned men
of skill and judgment should be present at Smalkald, to lay down the
method of procedure. Bucer proceeds thither before the 20th of the
present month.

  [188] The town of Ghent having revolted, Charles V. sought
  permission from the French King to pass through France, in order to
  suppress more promptly the revolt. Francis consented, and, on the
  faith of his word, Charles did not hesitate to traverse the states
  of his rival. His expedition was a triumph. The two sovereigns made
  their formal entry into Paris, January 1, 1540.

  [189] Amiens. The interview proposed in that town between the two
  monarchs did not take place.

  [190] Charles, Duke of Savoy, dispossessed of the greater part of
  his territory by Francis I.

  [191] The marriage of Calvin with Idelette de Bure did not take
  place till the following month of August.

Adieu, much longed-for brother. May the Lord preserve you and all
the others your colleagues, whom salute most lovingly in my name,
especially Cordier, my preceptor, Thomas, Onerus, and Nicolas.
Our friends have requested to be kindly remembered. This letter I
send you by Brito, (the Breton,) whom I could have wished to have
retained here a year longer, if I were not forced to approve his
reasons.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



XLV.--TO FAREL.

     Impressions of Calvin on his recall to Geneva--rigorous
     application of discipline in his church--news of Germany, of
     France, and of England.


  STRASBOURG, _29th March 1540_.

I have already waited so long for your letter that I may well doubt
whether I ought to wait any longer. My anxious wish to hear from you
kept alive my expectation, and shall even yet sustain my hope for
some few days; but if at length my hope shall give way, you will see
how indignantly I have borne this disappointment; and your neglect
is all the less to be tolerated, because Geneva at this present time
affords you such abundant material for correspondence. Du Tailly,
however, has written to me, and yet I do not clearly understand
from his expressions what has been the catastrophe of this drama.
Michael, also, the printer, has communicated to me at Blecheret,
that my return thitherward might be brought about; but rather would
I submit to death a hundred times than to that cross, on which one
had to perish daily a thousand times over. This piece of information
I have wished incidentally to communicate to you, that to the utmost
of your power you may set yourself to oppose the measures of those
who shall endeavour to draw me back thither. And that I may not
appear to be looking in one direction and rowing in another, I will
lay open my mind to you whenever at any time you ask me to do so.
We are as yet in a state of suspense as to the marriage,[192] and
this annoys me exceedingly, forasmuch as the relations of that young
lady of rank are so urgent that I may take her unto myself, which,
indeed, I would never think of doing, unless the Lord had altogether
demented me. But because it is unpleasant to refuse, especially in
the case of such persons, who overwhelm me altogether with their
kindness, most earnestly do I desire to be delivered out of this
difficulty. We hope, however, that this will very shortly be the
case; and during the next four or five days another engagement will
turn away my mind from the subject, and itself will engross all my
attention.

  [192] See the preceding Letter.

In this place hitherto many individuals were in the habit of making
a rash approach to the sacrament of the Supper. On Easter-day, when
I gave out the intimation that we were to celebrate the Supper on
next Lord's-day, I announced, at the same time, that no one would
be admitted to the table of the Lord by me, who had not beforehand
presented himself for examination. The greatest difficulty will
arise in correcting that silly eagerness to press forward which
has taken possession of some Frenchmen, so that it can scarcely be
driven out of them. You are aware of those regulations that have
been made for the Academy, that the young men confining themselves
to the distinction of the student's gown must lay aside the wearing
of a sword, that they must give up their names to the rector, and
such like. Now, in order to evade these rules they renounce entirely
the profession of the belles-lettres; but as this bears upon it the
face of manifest contumacy, I have resolved on no account to allow
it, for I would rather that the whole of them should go away than
that they should remain at the expense of discipline. Leo Juda[193]
lately requested of me to allow him to publish, in German, with
the addition of my name, the first of those two Epistles which I
wrote four years ago;[194] that one, indeed, (I mean the one in
which I am made to coax and flatter the Popish bishops,) he has
published at this fair-time without the name. The answer I gave was
very friendly, but at the same time, contained some rather cutting
admonition. A little before that I had written almost to the same
purpose to Bullinger. If it shall succeed I will let you know
the course I may take. Our friends are hitherto at a standstill
as to what they intend to do. The reason of their offputting is
because they have not as yet received any certain return by way
of answer from the Emperor, who, however, begins to be much more
tractable. The meeting of the King of England with our sovereign has
somewhat tamed his arrogance, which may have considerable influence
in changing the whole of his measures.[195] He made use of this
sophism, that he would not bind himself to the King by promise on
any account, but that he would inflate him with empty hopes for the
future. Already the King seemed to himself to have possession of
Milan. Lately, however, when the Emperor's inclination was put to
proof by the ambassador, he found that it was not easy to bring him
that length. It is said, indeed, that in everything he has given
the King his choice, provided only that he does not ask Milan. On
that account, therefore, it is that the Constable is gone to him,
and if he does not get what he seeks, we suspect that they will be
more ready to go to war than ever. Neither, indeed, will the King
of England, in such a crisis of affairs, yield in any point, much
less the admiral, who is now restored to his former post of honour
and favour. Before few months are over we shall see, if I am not
mistaken, a wonderful change of scene, but, in the meanwhile, the
Lord must be entreated that in this turn of affairs he would both
hasten forward the decision and also confirm the resolution of our
friends. May the Lord keep you all in safety, continually under his
protection. And foremost of them all, adieu, my very excellent and
right trusty brother. Capito, Sturm, Bedrot, Claude, and my brother,
salute you. Nicolas and the others do not know that I am writing.

  CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._, Opera, tom. ix. p. 259.]

  [193] Minister of the Church of Zurich.

  [194] They are the two letters entitled: Epistolæ duæ, prima
  de fugiendis impiorum illicitis sacris, et puritate Christianæ
  religionis; secunda de Christiani hominis officio in sacerdotiis
  papalis ecclesiæ vel administrandis vel abjiciendis. Genevæ, 1537,
  in 8vo.

  [195] This interview, which had been proposed to be held at Calais,
  in reference to fresh matrimonial projects of Henry VIII., did not
  take place, (see Hume, cap. xxxii.,) and after apparent hesitation
  on the part of the English monarch between an alliance with Francis
  I. and one with the Emperor, he turned to Charles V., sacrificing
  at once the friendship of the King of France and that of the German
  Princes.



XLVI.--TO FAREL.

     Reconciliation of parties at Geneva--insufficiency of the
     ministers of that Church--Policy of Charles V.--courageous
     attitude of the Protestant Princes--favourable news from
     England--cruel persecutions in France--Ecclesiastical discipline
     in the French Church at Strasbourg.


  STRASBOURG, _Month of May 1540_.

Because I promised to write you fully about every thing, in order
that my promise at least in some measure may be fulfilled, I have
set aside the whole of this day to you. You will receive, therefore,
full and weighty performance, unless perhaps unexpectedly I shall be
called away. Concerning the state of the Church at Geneva, we can
discourse more at large, when you shall come hither. That news was
indeed most delightfully welcome, when I heard that a stop had been
put, somehow or other, to these janglings and contentions.[196] For
I have always thought no good was to be expected of that unhappy
city so long as it laboured under that fatal malady. I could only
desire that their reconciliation may prove to be in the Lord. For,
as you say, unless Christ is the bond of our agreement it will be
cursed. Where is the advantage, then, of union out of Christ? since
we know that all such combinations shall be broken up by God. As
for me, I do not yet see that they have respect to the will of
the Lord as they ought. Indeed, they do not sufficiently reflect
upon their past conduct, and as they have no thought of correcting
the mischief, now that a reconciliation has been brought about
among themselves, nor show any anxiety to make their peace with
God, I fear that they will, in the long run, suffer the penalty of
that kind of security. They have, it is true, given some show of
penitence, in that, after so much discord, they have returned to a
good understanding; but they have not yet put on that disposition
which they ought to cherish. It is however something, that they have
begun to be curable, even although they be not yet quite restored to
health.

  [196] The citizens of Geneva, perceiving at length that their
  divisions were ruinous to their country, resolved in a General
  Council, assembled Feb. 1, 1540, to be at agreement with each
  other, and to live in unity together. The recall of the banished
  ministers put the seal to this reconciliation.--Ruchat, _Hist. de la
  Réformation_, vol. i. p. 137.

About the preachers, I cannot yet venture to decide, except that I
always find them to be much wanting. But in so far as you consider
that the publication of my reply to Sadolet, which has been printed
there, is a proof of their being nowise evil-disposed, in that you
are deceived, if others have written me the truth. For they have
declared that the preachers who opposed it made amends, as far
as lay in their power, but that the Senate yielded against their
will. And yet I do not attach much weight to that, provided they so
conduct themselves in the discharge of duty, that they prevent every
occasion of interference either by me or on the part of others.
For although, in as far as regards myself, it is of no consequence
whatever, for that very reason, I do not care by whom it is that the
work of the Lord is carried forward, provided that it is well done;
but they are deceived in thinking that they can get on very well
without help, seeing that they are scarcely got half-way on their
journey, even with the aid of many helpers. As for what I always
express, that I am horrified at the mere mention of a recall, for
that you know that I have good enough reason. Nor am I so entirely
frightened by the consideration that they so obstinately refuse you,
although I confess that to me that is the highest consideration of
all. But there are many others which it is unnecessary at present to
mention, and may better be delayed until your arrival. The farther I
advance the more distinctly do I behold out of what a whirlpool of
danger the Lord has delivered me.

The Diet of the Princes and free Cities[197] came to this
conclusion, to offer to agree to all just proposals, provided that
the Emperor would call a Synod of the whole empire. They received
an ambiguous reply. In the meantime, the Emperor is informed by
the opposite party, that they would not abate one jot of their
resolution, but would endeavour by every means to engage others on
their side. Therefore, he is trying to devise a method by which
he may satisfy both parties; and therefore it is, that among the
Papists, and among our friends, he craftily employs the Chancellor
Granvelle[198] and two Counts,[199] who are to interpose as
mediators, and to sound the views of our friends, that they may
be better able to explain to the Emperor, and to obtain what is
reasonable. If you do not yet understand the artifice, our friends
strove with the utmost earnestness for the Diet which had been
promised them. On the other hand, the Papists sounded the alarm
with a continued blast of the trumpet, crying out, that it was a
very unseemly thing that the Emperor should any longer tolerate the
shufflings of our friends. Because his plans have been hindered,
seeing that he neither dares to proceed with the war, nor is of
opinion that they can have a Synod without turning the whole of
Germany topsy-turvy, he tries to restrain the fury of the Papists,
while he says, that he wishes to keep a cautious lookout, lest by
doing anything rashly and untowardly, they may involve him along
with themselves in the war; and he yields nothing to our side.
Notwithstanding that they perceived they were merely put off by
this pretence, yet they came to the determination, that nothing
on that account should be rejected that might seem to favour the
peace and tranquillity of the Church. They therefore drew up a
joint reply to Granvelle, from which you will understand what may
be their courage.[200] Since the Emperor neither understands the
Latin language nor the German, it has been thought best to send it
written in French. I send it to you, however, on this condition,
that you do not openly divulge it. Only two copies besides this
which you will receive have been copied out; one, which will be
presented to the Emperor, the other, Doctor Ulrich took with him
to Soleure, that it may come to the King, through the ambassador.
I wish therefore that you may communicate it only to a few. But
I mainly beseech you, on no account to allow it to be copied.
Here, moreover, the resolution is unanimous, if they are attacked
instantly to advance forward, and not to wait, unless their
conscience keep them back; for there is not a single individual who
is not quite prepared to undergo all hazards rather than that the
free course of Christ's Evangel be stopt, so far is it from their
mind that they would suffer anything to be taken from it. Here, at
Strasbourg, the Senate having despatched a deputy, has refused the
judgment of the Imperial Chamber. If they continue this system of
attempted terrorism, they will stir up great commotions. Hitherto
the controversies have hung in suspense between the Emperor and the
King. That is the reason which delays the Emperor that he does not
immediately make an onslaught upon us. The Papists strive with all
their might to relieve him of all other business, so that he may
gird himself for attacking us. But chiefly the Duke of Brunswick,
who has brought over the Duke of Gueldres to the Emperor, that they
may treat together about that duchy. Our friends, however, are so
well satisfied with their own strength, that they are not at all
frightened by these manœuvres. Three of the Electors take a
middle course--the Elector-Palatine, of Cologne, and of Treves,
and will rather take part with us than suffer us to be oppressed.
Two we have professedly on our side. Frederick wished by our means
to obtain some advantage from the King of Denmark: he could not
succeed, which the Landgrave also considered to be right. Then he is
forced to cultivate the friendship of the Emperor. You see at how
much Christ is valued where the world has taken such a hold of the
soul of man. The English Parliament is now met.[201] We are informed
that the spirits of all the pious are raised to the highest
expectation. If the Lord shall now put it into the King's heart,
the Gospel will be established in that kingdom. Until we shall have
heard that there is some inclination that way, we shall toil in vain
with regard to Calais.[202]

  [197] The meeting at Smalkald took place the 1st of March, to
  draw up a form of agreement between the Roman Catholics and the
  Protestants.--Sleidan, book xii. p. 351. The meeting separated on
  the 13th April.

  [198] The Chancellor Granvelle, father of the celebrated Cardinal
  Granvelle, minister and ambassador of Charles V.

  [199] They were the Earls of Thierry of Mandersheit, and William
  Nuenar, _magni consilii et dignitatis viri_.--Sleidan, book xii. p.
  352.

  [200] See that answer related fully in Sleidan, book xiii. pp.
  353-61.

  [201] In the intense desire of concluding an agreement with the King
  of England, the German princes shewed their willingness to open a
  colloquy for that object, but these conferences did not take place,
  and the hope of a happy reconciliation between the churches of
  England and Germany was not realized.--Sleidan, book xiii. p. 361.

  [202] Without doubt on the subject of the free proclamation of the
  Gospel in that town, then subject to England. It was not restored to
  France till 1558, by Francis of Lorraine, Duke of Guise.

My affairs are in the same state in which they were before. Our
messenger will be here before the end of the week unless he has
deceived us. Therefore I have detained James with me, so if anything
happen he can let you know in time. Although (as he had already
determined) I shall not longer delay his setting out. I will,
therefore, despatch him after Whitsuntide. He had himself intended
to start off three days earlier.

As to what you ask me about the Letter of Viret, I can tell you
nothing but this, that it has always appeared to Capito, that Viret
and all of you prosecuted this cause in a more sour and peevish
spirit than was right, or at all events, with great scrupulosity and
excess of niceness. They have always promised that they would not
combine together to open up an entrance to him in that quarter, but
that they would rather throw every obstacle in his path in order to
shut up the way. But he was not in the least offended. If you will
take my advice, let us delay on both sides to decide about that
affair. Therefore, I have suppressed the letter of the Count which
you lately sent, that it may not give any offence. For it was so
worded, that it could not be at all acceptable; and also, that I may
cut off every handle for strife, I shall make no reply.

I am struck with horror when I hear with what cruelty the godly are
persecuted in France, at this time, more especially when we can
bring them no help, nor do I doubt that it is the best who will be
most endangered. For the more any one is right-hearted, and preaches
Christ with greater boldness and constancy of spirit, for that very
reason he can all the less be tolerated by Satan. Yet somehow it
now and then happens that the Lord does preserve in safety some of
the excellent ones, while others are hurried off to the stake. A
fellow-countryman to James, who was burnt at Sedan or Melun, was
here last year, and had requested of me a letter of exhortation
to the brethren of that district. I was given to understand for
certain, afterwards, that he had been infested with the errors of
the Anabaptists, and had been raving worst of all on that head.
It has, therefore, grieved me since, that I had opened for him a
pathway by my letter to many good people. I am afraid lest by his
death the Gospel shall have been rather set on fire than promoted.
That I now mention I have not from uncertain rumour, but from his
relations. The person whose sister he married makes no secret
of what sort of person he was. As for the death of Michael, the
statements of one who had been present at the scene of the execution
did not fully agree with your letter. In truth, I think that this
rule ought to be observed by us, that, even when we feel that we can
both speak and think the best concerning those who have suffered for
the Gospel, we ought to be on our guard against overdoing, where it
does not clearly appear how the persons conducted themselves during
life as well as in death.

I am glad that Gaspar[203] has been provided for. He is, indeed
worthy of it; and I hope he will have the charge of the school.
Toussain[204] has requested to have three or four ministers from
me, if I had here such as I could recommend who were qualified for
ruling in the churches. He expressly sought to have James, but he
rather preferred to reserve himself for you.

  [203] Gaspar, called Cormel, minister of Neuchatel.

  [204] Peter Toussain, late canon of Metz and almoner to the Queen of
  Navarre. He was at this time minister of the Church of Montbeliard,
  which he administered till an advanced old age.

What may be the nature of that jurisdiction of Count William[205] I
have not yet been able by frequent inquiry to ascertain. When you
come hither you will perhaps be better able to inform us. We can
also exchange thoughts together about all those matters to which
you think that some remedy ought to be applied. If I supposed that
Cordier was deliberating whether it may not be expedient to return
to Bordeaux, I would willingly declare what I feel, only I do not
think he is so great a blockhead as to set consultations agoing on
any such question. I will tell you, _viva voce_, why we ought not to
write to these French bishops. I return many thanks to the brethren
for having received my advice with so good a grace. As, however,
there is some risk that others may take it amiss that you had begun,
that affair can be delayed for a little while longer, and I am not
sorry for it.

  [205] William du Bellay, Viceroy of Piedmont.

I do not wonder that examination of ours about which I wrote to
you has made the worthy brother hesitate; nor is it anything
new that the well-disposed should dread lest we fall back into
some superstition or other, whenever they hear that we appoint
anything which has the slightest affinity or similarity with Popish
absurdities. Yet, while I have no wish to drive that zeal of
watchfulness out of them, (for in this respect we cannot be more
earnest than is right,) on the other hand, I could have wished that
they were a little more careful in distinguishing the wheat from
the chaff and rubbish. I have often declared to you that it did not
appear to me to be expedient that confession should be abolished in
the Churches, unless that which I have lately taught be substituted
in the place of it. In order that I may the better explain to you
my method, let me first of all state the real nature of the case.
When the day of the sacrament of the Supper draws nigh, I give
notice from the pulpit that those who are desirous to communicate
must first of all let me know; at the same time I add for what
purpose, that it is in order that those who are as yet uninstructed
and inexperienced in religion may be better trained; besides, that
those who need special admonition may hear it; and lastly, that
if there are any persons who may be suffering under trouble of
mind they may receive consolation. But what we have most to guard
against is this, lest the common people, who do not sufficiently
distinguish between the kingdom of Christ and the tyranny of
Antichrist, may think themselves to be brought back under a new
servitude. I endeavour, therefore, to dispel any such apprehension.
I not only bear witness that I disapprove of the Popish confession,
but openly and plainly set forth the reasons why I object to it;
then, in general, I declare that not only are those superstitions
in which the Church was involved to be abhorred, but that no law
of practice is to be brought in, which may bind the conscience in
its snares; for that Christ is the only legislator to whom we owe
obedience. After that, I teach, that this in no way derogates from
our Christian liberty, since I enjoin nothing whatever that Christ
himself has not appointed. What shameless effrontery would it be for
any one not even to condescend to avouch his faith in the face of
the Church with whom he sought communion! and how wretched would be
the state and condition of the Church if she could be compelled to
receive to the partaking in so great a mystery, those of whom she is
altogether ignorant, or, perhaps, regards with suspicion! And, to
say nothing about the Church, how shall the minister himself to whom
the dispensation of this grace is committed, on condition that he
may not cast it before dogs and swine, that he must not pour it out
to the worthy and the unworthy without any distinction, discharge
this onerous duty, unless he proceeds upon some fixed and certain
method for separating the worthy from the unworthy communicants? It
were mere trifling, however, to insist farther upon these matters
with you; time, moreover, would fail me, for what I was afraid of
has happened, that I would frequently be interrupted while writing.
Last of all, I maintain the necessity and advantage of this course
of proceeding, which you will, as thus explained by me, report as
my reply to the good man. The three young noblemen, whom you had
so hospitably entertained, commend your liberality all the more
that you excuse yourself so anxiously for having done less than you
wished to do. More than that, they think they see that in this way
you extenuate your kindness towards them. Capito, Bucer, Sturm,
Bedrot, Claude, all the Frenchmen, desire to be remembered in the
most friendly manner; there is not one of them who does not most
eagerly look for your arrival, not less on my account than that
they may get a sight of you, for as they love both, they think of
both. Nicolas and Henry are closely pursuing their studies; Nicolas,
especially, is quite absorbed. James is staying with me for these
few days before he leaves. Every one of these also reverently salute
you along with my brother. In return, will you greet the brethren
very respectfully for me, and tell them from myself that they do
truly hold a place in my remembrance? My preceptor Cordier, and
Michael, will excuse, or, at least, pardon, that they do not receive
any letters from me. Adieu, my most amiable brother. Do not forget
to remember me to your family.--Ever yours,

  CALVIN.

This messenger is a trustworthy person, and therefore I have
requested him to go straight to you.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



XLVII.--TO PETER VIRET.

     Excuses for his silence--sad news from France--repugnance of
     Calvin to return to Geneva--his comparative estimate of Capito,
     Zuingli, Luther, and Œcolampadius.


  STRASBOURG, _19th May 1540_.

At length somewhat has been gained by my expostulation, for I have
in some measure broken that unkind silence of so many months; but I
do not take it so well, that when you ought plainly to have sought
pardon, you chose rather to make a return in kind; for you make out
that we are equally to blame except in this one point, that when
both had come short in duty, I seized the opportunity and was the
first to write. You thought, forsooth, to get out of the scrape in
this way, as if in the meanwhile I had not written a hundred times
to Farel, on condition that he would communicate with you, during
which period I neither received a single letter from you, nor did
you send even a salutation, except that which you once wrote at the
end of a letter to Bucer. Therefore, true it is and of verity, that
I cannot acquit you until you shall have approved your diligence for
the future, on condition that if, as you are wont, you begin to grow
slack in your correspondence, I shall be entitled to lay a double
fine upon you. But that I may not appear to press too severely, I
do hereby freely remit whatever there is of failure on your part,
provided, for the future, you both perform your own share of duty,
and pardon me if, perhaps, I shall have become too negligent.

Your letter was a very sad one to me, and all the more so because I
can well imagine that cruel butchery to boil over without measure,
as always happens whenever it has once burst forth, and there is no
way of putting a stop to it. I wrote, however, to Farel, under the
apprehension that what so long kept us in suspense would at length
come to pass. Wherefore, unless the Lord open up some new outlet,
there is no other way of helping our unhappy brethren than by our
prayers and exhortations, which are, besides, so dangerous to their
lives, that it is more discreet to abstain. The only remedy which
almost alone remains, therefore, seems to be, that we commit their
safety to the Lord.[206]

  [206] While he sought the alliance of the Protestant princes
  of Germany, Francis I. persecuted the Protestants in his own
  dominions with an extreme rigour, under the odious designation of
  Sacramentaries. The year 1540 witnessed numerous burnings at the
  stake, in the provinces of Dauphiny, Vivarais, at Paris, and in
  the valleys of Provence. There dwelt for many centuries a pastoral
  population, which was only known to the world by simplicity of
  manners and the purity of its faith. De Thou, liv. v. c. 7;
  _Histoire des Martyrs_, liv. iii. pp. 133-146. The Vaudois of
  Cabrières and Merindol, hated by the Roman Catholic clergy on
  account of their being estranged from the superstitions of the
  time, were devoted to death by the fanatical fury of the parliament
  of Aix. The arrêt, which condemned in the mass an innocent and
  inoffensive people to extermination, was dated 18th November 1540.
  The intercession of the Senate of Strasbourg, of the Swiss Cantons,
  and of the German princes, suspended the execution of it until the
  year 1545.

I read that passage of your letter, certainly not without a smile,
where you shew so much concern about my health, and recommend Geneva
on that ground. Why could you not have said at the cross? for it
would have been far preferable to perish once for all than to be
tormented again in that place of torture. Therefore, my dear Viret,
if you wish well to me, make no mention of such a proposal. It was,
however, most agreeable to me to understand that the brothers La
Fontaines were so anxious concerning my safety, and that you also
had turned your mind to it; for, indeed, I can scarcely persuade
myself that I am worth so much trouble. It is impossible for me,
however, not to be rejoiced by that kindness of good men towards me.

Capito, in his lectures, has some things which may be of much use to
you in the illustration of Isaiah. But as he does not dictate any
part to his hearers, and has not yet reached beyond the fourteenth
chapter, his assistance cannot at present much help you. Zuingli,
although he is not wanting in a fit and ready exposition, yet,
because he takes too much liberty, often wanders far from the
meaning of the Prophet. Luther is not so particular as to propriety
of expression or the historical accuracy; he is satisfied when
he can draw from it some fruitful doctrine. No one, as I think,
has hitherto more diligently applied himself to this pursuit than
Œcolampadius, who has not always, however, reached the full scope
or meaning. It is true that you may now and then find the need of
having appliances at hand, nevertheless I feel confident that the
Lord has not deserted you.

About our affairs I do not write, in order that there may be more
material for writing to Farel. All here greet you in the most
friendly manner, Capito, Bucer, Matthias, Sturm, Bedrot. Hedio I
have not seen since your letter was delivered to me. In return, on
my part, salute Conrad, Corneille, James, Isnard, and the others;
your aunt also, and your wife, whom one and all, I wish to see.

The mention of Conrad, which had occurred to me, brings to mind
that Gaspar, who lived with him for some time, was lately here, and
has complained much to Sturm that I had defamed him in an offensive
manner among good people, at the instigation of Grynée. He said
nought about it to me, and merely saluted when he left my lecture.
I wished you to know this, that in future you may be more on your
guard. Adieu, most excellent and kind brother.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



XLVIII.--TO FAREL.

     Preparations for the Assembly of Haguenau--symptoms of
     misunderstanding between Charles V. and Francis I.--severe
     judgment of Henry VIII.--evils produced in the Church by the
     absence of discipline--various details.


  STRASBOURG, _21st June 1540_.

After Ferdinand waited about twelve days at Haguenau[207] for the
princes, a few of them came who either have the wish to reform
matters, or to prove their submission to the Emperor. From among the
Electors, he could not succeed in drawing forth a single one except
the Elector-Palatine. He of Mayence, as I hear, excused himself more
than once, that is, he stoutly refused. The Electors of Cologne
and Treves stood in doubt. The Elector of Saxony wished to have it
distinctly understood, that his coming should not prejudice the
protest which he had put in at the election of the King. He sent
letters, however, to the Emperor, in common with the Landgrave,
in which both together signified, that they saw no other way of
pacification that could be gone into than that which had been set
forth at Frankfort; therefore, if for that purpose the Emperor
summons a free diet of the empire, that they would willingly attend;
that at present they had scarcely time enough allowed them to
announce it to their allies; that they had no other alternative than
to send their ambassador with a few theologians, that they might not
appear in any way to disparage the attempt; that they, on behalf of
the theologians and the deputies, and the messengers, whoever they
might be, sought the public protection, that they might receive no
injury. To-day the deputies have set out; when Philip [Melanchthon]
arrives, the theologians will also follow. Blaurer[208] has already
arrived; others are daily expected. The Zurichers and those of Berne
were invited, but they sent back word that they would not come.
This I mention, that you may not suppose that we omitted any part
of our duty. It was written expressly to those of Basle not to send
Carlostad.[209] The opposite faction are at present consulting by
what kind of debate, or on what point to attack us. Our friends will
shew that they are prepared for a friendly compromise, provided
that no part of the truth be departed from. The Emperor will not
be left so completely at his ease by our King as to be able to
concentrate his forces against our side. As yet the state of war has
not commenced, but the seeds begin to spring up; and that friend of
ours is seeking those means of defence which, while he was in terms
of friendship with his brother, he despised, and would yet continue
to despise if things had remained the same. Baisius,[210] who
discharges the office of envoy at the conference, has come hither to
sound the depth of the ford, and to see what can be accomplished, as
many conjecture. It can scarce be otherwise but that great movements
may take place before many months are past. Our friends hope to
obtain some advantage, since they perceive our King to be so very
unlikely to give any assistance to the Emperor. The King of England
is not represented here. I have no doubt, however, that he may be
attempting somewhat elsewhere. In the cause of the Lord he does
not deal very favourably of late; three men of the commonalty have
been burnt, because they had ventured to express themselves on the
subject of the Eucharist in other terms than the royal proclamation
tolerated. But that which is worst of all is, that while he tries to
arrogate to himself the sole authority, and without being scrupulous
as to the means, he tolerates nothing which has not the sanction of
his own authority. Thus it will come to pass that Christ shall avail
them nothing except by the King's permission. The Lord will avenge
this arrogance by some remarkable punishment.

  [207] A meeting was convocated for the month of July 1540, in
  the town of Haguenau, in order to prepare matters for a general
  conference between the Roman Catholic and Reformed theologians. See
  following letter.

  [208] Ambroise Blaurer, minister and reformer of the town of
  Constance.

  [209] Carlostad, the friend, and, at a later period, the hot-headed
  adversary of Luther. At this time he had retired to Basle, where he
  was settled as minister of St. Peter's. He died in 1541.

  [210] Lazarus Baisius, a distinguished and learned man, ambassador
  of the French king at the Diet of Haguenau.

The address of the princes I desire, with good reason, may still
be kept secret by you. We may shortly have a more convenient season
when it can be brought to light, or at all events may be imparted
to those who have an interest. Lately, in the same way, you have
done me much mischief. For you cannot believe how much ill-will
Erasmus has kindled against me in that very shallow publication of
his, where he says, that a book was printed at Strasbourg, in which
both Luther and the Strasburghers were treated with distinction, and
that Luther, nevertheless, had sent him a kindly salutation, &c. ...
while he thus goes a-begging in all directions in order to procure
adherents to his cause, he implicates along with himself others
who do not deserve to be mixed up with the affair. And, really, I
have very good reason to find fault with you, who have suffered a
familiar and confidential letter to get abroad--which ought to have
been kept close in your own bosom--and to fly away as far as Berne.
Now I come to your letter. I could not take it ill that the bearer
of my letter should be despatched by you without a reply, when he
told me that you were engaged in a work of so great a necessity. It
is something, however, that you really do excuse yourself, provided
that you understand that I am satisfied on the condition, that in
future you may be more careful. Nor shall I be very easily appeased
if you omit or trifle with me at any time. I had not properly
understood that Francis had been dismissed, according to your former
letter, on account of misconduct. I was rather inclined to be of
opinion, that some fair pretence was sought for. At present, in so
far as can be surmised from your expressions, I perceive that he is
charged with that crime which I was certainly persuaded he abhors
with his whole soul. I sometimes wish, however, that we could have
you here, where Capito and Bucer might hear all these things from
your own mouth. For Bucer seemed not very patiently to hear what I
say; but I fear that if you intend to be with me on a certain event
taking place, you may have come too late. I have not yet found a
wife, and frequently hesitate as to whether I ought any more to seek
one. Claude and my brother had lately betrothed me to a demoiselle.
Three days after they had returned, some things were told me which
forced me to send away my brother, that he might discharge us from
that obligation. As yet, it is not very evident to me what the
matter is about which the Genevese are either making a disturbance
among themselves, or are disquieted by those of Berne. I foresee,
however, that it will have the very worst consequences, unless the
Lord comes to their help by some wonderful method of deliverance.
You know, I believe, what Marcourt wrote in that letter which
was delivered to me along with yours. He avers solemnly that it
never entered his mind to say that the epistle of Sadolet had been
tampered with, and, therefore, earnestly requests that I may not
allow this impression to settle upon my mind. I shall so reply as
that it may appear that I by no means seek for causes of complaint,
and that there is nothing in which I take less delight than in
strifes and variance.

I will take an opportunity of inquiring whether the Count is
possessed of those territories in Burgundy which you have mentioned.
In France, he certainly has nothing left. There you labour in vain
about Pont de Veyle[211] and other places. If war shall take place,
I know not whether it will be restored. I cannot enough express my
astonishment where or when Cressonnière could have dreamed what he
related to Guerin about my recantation, nor do I know what to say to
it, unless either that he must have been drunk or out of his wits
when he gave utterance to such an absurdity. To Guerin himself, who
I see is somewhat disturbed about it, I will write satisfactorily by
the first opportunity. Nicolas and Henry have excellent appetites;
therefore, unless you make haste to come yourself, you must think
of some way of sending them money. The case of our excellent friend
Zebedee,[212] or rather the state of our own Church, where at
present there is no discipline, grieves me beyond measure. Some
method must be fallen upon by which we may restrain these furies
from such an unwarrantable interference. Since, however, for the
present we have nothing better, I advise that what he spoke about
the very prevalent ignorance of Christ, he may confirm by the
testimony of such persons whose authority will have weight at
Berne. Among the ancients he has many supporters; but he cannot do
a greater despite unto his opponents, than when he puts forward
Luther, Bucer, Brentz, and others, as authority. Above all, it is
important that it be demonstrated how impertinent and unbecoming
it is that a handful of unlearned and inexperienced men, in a dark
corner of the land, should dare to accuse of heresy men who are
actually of the highest distinction and authority in the Church;
and it will be well to write to Konzen, and to assure him of the
odium which he will inevitably draw down upon himself if the eminent
persons above named shall come to know how and with what impunity
their writings are cut and carved on. Take my word for it, he will
kindle a fire about the ears of these rascals which shall not easily
be extinguished, if he only applies himself to it with the talent
which he possesses.

  [211] Pont de Veyle, a small town of the Bresse, handed over at that
  time by the King of France to the Duke of Savoy.

  [212] Andrew Zebedee, minister at Orbe, deposed by the Senate of
  Berne for having set himself in opposition, on some points, to the
  theology of Bucer.

Adieu, my sound-hearted brother; for indeed I am obliged here
to break off my discourse, since I have been too late in rising
up. Will you remember me in the most friendly way to all the
brethren--Chaponneau, Cordier, Thomas, Michael, Fatin, and the
others? Blessed be the Lord, who was present in his strength for
the subduing of that beast which had lifted up the horn against his
glory! Salute also, for me, your brother Walter, with his wife.
The Lord have you in his safe keeping. All our friends salute
you.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



XLIX.--TO MONSIEUR DU TAILLY.[213]

  [213] M. Du Tailly, a French gentleman, who had taken refuge at
  Geneva, a declared partisan of the Reformation and of Calvin, whose
  return he pressingly urged, as the following letter, taken from the
  MSS. of the Company of Neuchatel, sufficiently attests:--


  MONSIEUR DU TAILLY TO FAREL.

  VERY DEAR BROTHER,--At the suasion of the most of the good brethren
  hereaway, I have written to our good brother Calvin that there
  is a need of him to come to the help of his brethren of Geneva,
  without taking any heed to the injury which had been done to Jesus
  Christ in chasing him away, but that he will have to consider the
  desolation in which they are, and his own bounden duty; wherefore I
  have written to him to let me know his mind, before that they send
  away a deputation to him. I shall, besides, entreat of you on your
  part, that you do charge and persuade him what he ought to do. I
  say no more to you. Your letter has been very well taken by those
  hereabout, and I believe that it will greatly profit them, and they
  hold themselves specially bounden to you for having mind of them
  in their time of need, and by that shewing evidently that you are
  a true pastor, not of those who leave them exposed to danger. For
  the rest, the Lord has done his pleasure as concerning Sir Michel
  Balthazar. It is a great loss for the town so far as man can see.
  Nevertheless his will must be done, and none other. May the Lord
  enable you to persevere as you have begun. From Geneva, this 3d
  October 1540.--To the uttermost, your friend and brother,

    DU TAILLY.


     Review of the Conferences of Haguenau--the state of parties in
     Germany.


  STRASBOURG, _28th July 1540_.

MONSIEUR DU TAILLY,--Owing to my having put off writing to you my
last letters until we should have more certain news of the Assembly
of Haguenau to send you, I was unwilling to let this bearer depart
without a letter, albeit the matter has not yet been brought to
a conclusion. I shall, therefore, briefly report progress up to
this present time. You are aware that King Ferdinand had summoned
the princes of his party some time before those of our side, for
the purpose of taking counsel with them as to the quarter in which
it would be most advisable to attack us. After having held their
consultation, they have given it as their opinion to elect four
suitable arbiters, to hear the controverted points on the one
side and on the other, with the view of arriving at some settled
determination. The commissioners were the Count Palatine, the Bishop
of Treves, both electors; the Duke of Bavaria, and the Bishop of
Strasbourg. Not one of our princes has yet appeared, for that they
have been summoned on too short an intimation, and to that effect
have excused themselves to the Emperor; but they have despatched
with a safe conduct their ambassadors and councillors, along with
learned men, to make all the needful arrangements. These same
persons, although they might by rights have refused those whom
they had presented to them as arbiters, or at least a part, have
nevertheless agreed to accept them, so as to let them understand
that they did not wish on any account whatever to draw back. But it
has come to pass, as indeed we always thought it would. Whenever
there has been some stir about making a beginning, Messieurs the
arbiters, not knowing where to commence, have asked our folk what
they had to say. To which they have returned for answer, that they
required, in terms of the Confession presented at Augsbourg, the
Churches might be reformed, offering, on their part, to clear up
any difficulties which might lie in the way, and to explain more
fully whatever might be obscure. Thereupon, Nausea[214] advised
Ferdinand to yield to us at once the marriage of the clergy and the
communion in both kinds; as to other matters in dispute, that it was
not lawful to enter upon them without the leave of our holy father
the Pope. That also met with the entire approval of Faber,[215]
of Cochlæus,[216] and their companions. So, in conclusion, answer
is made by Ferdinand, and by those who were of a like mind with
himself, that it depends on our princes, and it is their fault if no
good method of agreement were fallen upon; that for his part, he was
there to deliberate in friendly conference for that end, but that
they had not deigned to give him a meeting. That notwithstanding all
that, the Emperor will not oppose the assembling of another diet,
in which the points in dispute may be discussed on both sides, but
under such conditions that, after each debate, the definite decision
must be referred to his Majesty [the Emperor] and his Holiness the
Pope. That, in the meanwhile, our folk must not be strengthening
themselves by new alliances, nor entice away any one to receive
their religion, while, at the same time, the confederate alliances
entered upon since the Assembly of Nuremberg[217] must be annulled.

  [214] Frederic Nausea, theologian, known by some writings of a
  controversial kind against the Lutherans.

  [215] John Faber, Vicar-General of the Church of Constance, a
  renowned theologian of the Roman Catholic Church. In recompense of
  his zeal in opposing the Protestants, he obtained the Bishopric of
  Vienna.

  [216] John Cochlæus of Nuremberg, one of the principal opponents
  and detractors of Luther, against whom he displayed more anger than
  skill in his warfare. He appeared at the Conferences of Worms and of
  Ratisbon, in 1541, and died in 1552. We have, of his writing, the
  "_Libri duo Hussitarum Historiæ_," Moguntiæ, 1549.

  [217] The princes of the Empire, met at Nuremberg in 1524, had
  drawn up a list of the abuses of the Court of Rome, proclaimed the
  necessity of a Reformation, and appealed to a general council,
  interdicting, at the same time, the publication of any opinion
  contrary to the dogmas of the Church, previous to the convocation of
  that assembly.

As to that objection, that our princes have hindered the progress
of the treaty, it has been easy enough to meet it with a sufficient
reply, for there was no need for their being present in person,
when they sent their doctors and their councillors with full power.
Moreover, they had promised to come if they saw that a settlement
was contemplated in good earnest. As for the conference, _that_
they received very willingly, but the whole of the conditions they
utterly rejected as unbearable, not to say ridiculous; for it is the
very reverse of what the Emperor had promised at Frankfort.

The intention of our opponents has been to extend their league and
to contract ours; but we hope that God will order and dispose our
lot far otherwise. However that may turn out, those of our side seek
to advance and to extend the kingdom of Christ as much as possible,
and hold on their course with inflexible resolution. We know not at
present what the Lord will be pleased in his providence to send.
There is one section of our adversaries who cry loudly for war. The
Emperor is so embarrassed, that he dare not undertake it. The Pope,
for his part, in good earnest is quite ready to set his hand to it,
for he has made offer, by his ambassador, of three hundred thousand
ducats to begin with. If all those who as yet have not received our
religion would only agree among themselves to attack us, the Emperor
would make no difficulty in lending his name, were it for no other
motive than to break the strength of Germany, so that he might
tame them all the more at his ease; but he has one great let and
hindrance in his way, and that is, that the whole of the electors
are of one mind as to this, that it is desirable to quench these
civil broils without having recourse to arms. The Duke of Saxony
and the Marquis of Brandenbourg are confederate with us. Thus they
have no choice but to follow out the cause they have taken up. The
Archbishop of Cologne is no less to be counted on, for he goes so
far as to admit that the Church needs to be reformed, and sees well
enough that we have truth on our side. The Count Palatine, also, is
very desirous to have some reformation, which he cannot expect to
see accomplished by any other than peaceful means. Mentz and Treves
love the peace and liberty of the country, which they fear might be
sacrificed should the Emperor have subdued us. These considerations
induced them to resist any other course of proceeding against us
but that of a peaceable conference, such as we have called for. The
King of France lends no assistance, except on the condition that
their proceedings are regulated by Christian feeling. His ambassador
is Baysius, who knows nothing at all about the matter in dispute.
Notwithstanding, he receives us kindly enough when we go to call
for him, and has thought right to call here before returning to his
lodging.

All the learned folks who have come hither on our behalf are well
agreed with one another. Seeing that our opponents do nought but
amuse themselves, they have thought good to consult apart how they
might set up some sort of discipline in the Church; but as they
could not come to any conclusion without communicating with the
absent, as with Luther, Philip, and others, and far less carry their
plan into execution without the consent of the princes, they have
only got so far as that each has promised for himself to use his
endeavour with the princes and towns to assemble a meeting of our
friends in order to attend to that. It will be the most important
affair which we shall have to deal with at present.

Melanchthon is not yet come hither, by reason of some sudden
illness, and also because, perhaps, he thought that there was no
need to be in any immediate hurry to come. For my part, my only
object was recreation, as also that of Capito.

  Your brother and good friend,
  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. Copy_--_Archives of Geneva._ No. 1250.]



L.--TO PETER CAROLI.[218]

  [218] Repulsed at the same time in the requests which he had
  addressed to the Church of Neuchatel and to that of Strasbourg,
  Caroli had retired to Metz, from whence he wrote a letter to Calvin
  full of bravado and reproach, offering to be reconciled with him and
  Farel if they would procure him a benefice. The reply of Calvin,
  equally remarkable for power as well as charity, is a testimony of
  the moderation and of the wisdom of the writer.

     Answer to the complaints of Caroli--refuses to grant to him the
     professorial chair unless he repents of his past offences.


  STRASBOURG, _10th August 1540_.

Grace to you and peace from the Lord, whose Spirit can give sound
advice to you and a right will, and also to us.

I would rather have preferred that you had come hither to confer
with us about reconciliation face to face, than that you should
have tried it by writing, and especially such a letter as yours.
You are very anxious to shew that you did not excite disturbance
in the Church without good reason: as if indeed any honest cause
could ever be advanced for disturbing the peace of the Church.
Suppose we grant that the brethren did not treat you with that
kindly consideration which they ought,--was it therefore right or
becoming on that account, immediately, in the way you have done, to
make so much noise about it? Will you assert that it was the Spirit
of God that impelled you to challenge every one to the contest? I
do not say these things for the sake of reproaching you: I wish
that you had suffered me to remain entirely silent. But when you
league in an alliance with Satan all those who, at least in your own
opinion, have not conducted themselves with such fairness towards
you as they ought, you would justly reckon us stupid indeed, if
you think that such an imputation can pass over in silence. You
say that you were struck with indignation to such a degree as to
reproach both myself and Farel, because we had been the occasion, by
our letters, why the brethren at Neuchatel would not receive you.
In the first place, that has either been concocted by yourself,
or falsely reported to you; for it never entered into my mind so
to write to the brethren at Neuchatel. In Farel's letters, so far
as I hear, (for I have nought but hearsay,) Michael was far more
severely dealt with than you were. As, therefore I had never done
you an injury, either by word or deed, when I had not pricked you
with even the slightest puncture of offence, what sort of kindness
was it to tear me to pieces in such a savage manner? If indeed I had
stood in your way in any matter of private interest or advancement,
even then how inconsistent would such conduct have been in the
case of any Christian man, to be so inflamed with the desire of
revenge, as that he should break forth into such a disorderly course
of proceeding? Since I had always formerly been a brother to you
without any distrust, how has it happened that all at once I should
have become a heretic in your estimation, with whom you abhorred to
have communion? Is not this knowingly to take the most sacred name
of God in vain? You say that you had no other alternative but to
proclaim us to be irreconcilable, (for this is your expression;) but
consider, I beseech you, with yourself for a little, how ridiculous
you make yourself, when it is clear you have sounded a blast of the
trumpet in the midst of peace. But grant that on our part we have
given you cause, what meaning do you attach to the expression you
make use of? Most certainly he is to be considered irreconcilable,
whom, when you have endeavoured, by every method in your power, to
appease, you cannot, however, succeed in any measure or degree to
content or satisfy. When have you ever found such fractious and
obstinate inflexibility in us? You have nothing against me that
you can complain of, while, on the other hand, I have most just
cause why I may expostulate with you, not to speak of anything
more severe. Neither have I ever entertained thoughts of revenge,
so far have I been from planning any mischief against you. As for
Farel, I would desire to know what injury he can have done you. He
wrote, requesting that no one might be admitted to the office and
work of the ministry who had deserted the churches committed to his
superintendence. Ought he not to have done so? Nor is the breach
of solemn obligation in any degree less, when a minister forsakes
the church which he had once bound himself by vow to take charge
of, than if a father were to cast off his sons. But you will say,
that he included you in that number, while you were entirely free
from any such imputation. If you will read over his letter, you
will discover that it is otherwise. For he required nothing more of
the brethren than that they should diligently inquire; if on that
inquiry having been made you were acquitted, was not that what you
ought to have desired? You went to Metz;--how very unsuitable was it
for you to boast among the adversaries of Christ that you had come
prepared and ready to convict us of heresy? And, notwithstanding,
in the meanwhile, you would maintain for yourself that boast, that
you are attempting nothing against the Gospel. But what kind of
proof do you give us of this? If any one professedly wages war with
the servant of Christ, and throws all sort of obstacles in his way,
how can such a one promote the kingdom of Christ? You can scarcely
say that such a man is on the side of the Gospel at all. Look to
it, brother, again and again, whither you are going. We have a
ministry in nowise separated from Christ: if you doubt it, we have
the sufficiently sure and faithful testimony of conscience. You
may flatter yourself as you will, you shall at length feel that by
attacking us you are kicking against the pricks. In the meanwhile,
what harm can you do to us? You will call us heretics. Wherefore?
Among those, forsooth, who reckon you yourself to be a heretic,
although for the present they apply your slander to a different
purpose from what was intended. Among truly pious and learned men,
I am not at all afraid of your being able to do me any harm by your
detraction. All these things have a tendency in that direction, and
so I wish them to be understood by you, that you may realize before
God the course upon which you have entered, and do not think of
defending yourself by the undeserved condemning of other persons,
which not only is without the slightest foundation, but wants
even a decent pretext. If I shall have so far succeeded, that is
enough, I am satisfied. But I would not have you to lay aside hope
and courage. For if you shall manifest to us the true and solid
evidences of an upright heart, we are ready prepared immediately to
return in perfectly good faith to terms of mutual benevolence and
good-will with you, to forget all the past, to forgive, and to blot
them entirely from the memory. I wish that you could look within my
breast; for there is nothing I am more desirous of than first of all
to reconcile you to God, that there may then be a firm and lasting
agreement between us. But take my word for it, you will never
usefully serve the Lord, unless you lay aside that superciliousness
and bitterness of reproach. Therefore, if you wish to be reconciled
to us, we are prepared to embrace you as a brother; nor shall you
find us wanting in any friendly offices, so far as lies in our
power. But with reference to that paction or agreement which you
require of us, how is it possible for us to assent to it? That we
may promise to settle you in a particular church,--how can we do so?
In the first place, the churches are not at our disposal, as you
are well aware; then, with what conscience could we promise that
to you, before we are distinctly agreed upon the head of doctrine?
You do not conceal that you still dissent from us; and yet you wish
that a particular locality should be set apart for you to teach in.
Weigh considerately with yourself how far that would be seemly.
You would be well entitled to esteem us worse than blockheads were
we to comply with you. That I may at length bring this matter to a
conclusion, I beg of you, that with a calm and composed mind you
may attentively consider this whole affair; that you would also
ponder and well weigh this letter in no other balance than that of
a judgment entirely devoid of anger. You will acknowledge, that
certainly nothing can be better than to turn away from a course
of conduct entered upon at first in the spirit of malice. If you
will make trial of us, I undertake that no duty of friendship shall
be wanting on my part towards you: this Farel also in earnest
promises for himself. But do you also be mindful of that charity
which you exact with so much severity, and give some evidence that
it regulates your own conduct towards others. If you consider me
more harsh than I ought to be, bethink yourself what your letters
deserve; although I have in nowise had regard to that, but only that
I might be of service to you, which I did not see how to accomplish
unless I could bring you to the acknowledgment of your sin. Adieu,
my very dear brother in the Lord, if you will only suffer me to
love you and to esteem you as a brother. May Christ the Lord guide
you by the Spirit of counsel and prudence, so that you may quickly
extricate yourself from among those dangerous rocks upon which you
have been driven, and steer you from among the breakers safely into
port. Farel desires to salute you, and wishes that you may seriously
turn to the Lord, and then you will be prepared to return to that
friendship and brotherly agreement with us with which he himself is
ready to embrace you.--Cordially your friend,

  CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._, Opera, tom. ix. p. 29.]



LI.--TO VIRET.

     Deputations sent to France and into England--the Edict of
     Fontainbleau.


  STRASBOURG, _8th October 1540_.

When your letter arrived, the second post had already been
despatched to our princes, by which our friends asked for that
embassy about which they had formerly treated. Next, that another
also be sent to the King of England, who keeps two of the
bishops[219] and many of the brethren detained in prison, because
they have refused to sign his insane decrees. You need not entertain
any doubt, my dear Viret, that our Senate lays the matter thoroughly
to heart. I speak not of my own anxiety and that of our friends,
whose care, however, of the worthy brethren affects them more than
you imagine. If you think we are only giving you good words as often
as you do not see the success that you wish for, you do not make
proper allowance for what we may have a right to expect, and that
you ought not by any means to impute the delay to our negligence.
Our Senate, also, is greatly surprised that no messenger has been
sent back to them with at least an answer of some sort, and does
not doubt that the present state of affairs prevents the princes
from arriving at any settled determination. I have translated the
Royal Edict,[220] and have taken care to keep a copy of it. We are
by no means negligent, but we cannot by all our diligence uniformly
accomplish what might be wished by all good men. A new hindrance has
also of late arisen out of the quarrel of Count William with the
Constable of France, which I wish in the long-run may come to good.
Whenever the answer is brought to us, whatever it may be, I will let
you know. Oh that the answer may meet our wishes! The letters which
arrive from the different provinces of France say nothing about
the Edict; and certainly, while occupied in translating it, the
composition gave rise to some suspicion, for it has nought of the
elegance of courtly diction about it. I keep it however beside me,
that it might not be made use of to the hurt of the brethren. Upon
what terms we have come to a settlement with Caroli you shall know
by and by, when lecture is over. At present, also, I am writing to
Farel, what he will be able to communicate also to you. As usual, I
am obliged to bear the whole brunt of their spite and malice. But
as the matter is at an end, you will also endeavour that all old
offences may be done away with. Adieu, my brother.

All the brethren salute you, Capito, Bucer, Sturm, and the
rest.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [219] Hugh Latimer and Nicolas Saxton.

  [220] The Edict of Fontainbleau, put forth the 1st of June 1540,
  called on the inquisitors, the bishops, and the parliaments to
  repress the crime of heresy, and by which it was assimilated to the
  crime of treason. The number of victims increased greatly on the
  promulgation of this edict, and the punishment was rendered more
  cruel by the atrocious tortures which preceded.



LII.--TO FAREL.

     Sickness of Calvin--preparation for departure to the Diet at
     Worms--letter to the Queen of Navarre on behalf of the faithful
     persecuted in France.


  STRASBOURG, _October 1540_.

When your letter was first brought to me I could scarcely lift a
finger, on account of bodily weakness, and therefore reply to yours
somewhat later than I ought. Since that time to the present such
has been my state of doubt and hesitation, that it was impossible
for me to write any thing for certain; it seemed, indeed, as if it
had been so ordered on purpose that our wedlock[221] might not be
over joyous, that we might not exceed all bounds, that the Lord thus
thwarted our joy by moderating it. On the 3d of September I was
seized with stuffing of the head, a malady so frequent with me that
it gave me no great concern. Next day, being the Lord's-day, when
I had got a little warm in the delivery of the forenoon sermon, I
felt those humours which had gathered in the head begin to loosen
and dissolve. Before I could leave the place the cough attacked me,
and I was very much troubled with the continual defluxion until
the Tuesday. On that day, when I was preaching, as usual, and
found great difficulty in speaking, owing to the nostrils being
blocked up with mucus and the fauces choked with hoarseness, all of
a sudden I underwent a strange sensation; the cough, to be sure,
ceased, but rather unseasonably, while the head continued to be
crammed with evil humours. On the Monday a circumstance occurred
which had provoked my anger; for when the housekeeper, as oft she
does, spoke more freely than became her, and had addressed some
rude expression to my brother, he could not brook her impertinence;
not, however, that he made any stir about it, but he silently left
the house, and vowed solemnly that he would not return so long as
she remained with me. Therefore, when she saw me so sad on account
of my brother's departure, she also went elsewhere. Her son, in
the meanwhile, continued to live with me. I am wont, however, when
heated by anger, or stirred up by some greater anxiety than usual,
to eat to excess, and to devour my meat more eagerly than I ought,
which so happened to me at that time. Whenever the stomach is
oppressed overnight with too much, or with unsuitable food, I am
tormented in the morning with severe indigestion. To correct that
by fasting was a ready cure, and that was my usual practice; but
in order that the son of our housekeeper might not interpret this
abstinence to be an indirect way of getting rid of him, I rather
chose, at the expense of health, not to incur that offence. On
Tuesday thereafter, when the cough, as I have already mentioned,
had ceased, about nine o'clock, after supper, I was seized with
a fainting fit. I went to bed; then followed severe paroxysm,
intense burning heat, a strange swimming of the head. When I got
up on Wednesday, I felt so feeble in every limb and member, that
I was at length forced to acknowledge that I was labouring under
severe illness. I dined sparely. After dinner I had two fits,
with frequent paroxysms afterwards, but at irregular intervals,
so that it could not be ascertained what particular form of fever
it was. There was such a degree of perspiration that nearly the
whole mattress was moistened by it. While I was under this sort of
treatment your letter arrived. So utterly unable was I to do what
you required, that it was with difficulty that I could make out
the length of three paces. At length, whatever may have been the
original nature of the disease, it turned into a tertian fever,
which at first came on with acute shooting pains, but intermittent
at every third paroxysm. There came on, to be sure, afterwards, an
access of fever, more or less, but that was not so severe. When I
began to recover, the time had already gone by, and my strength was
not equal to the journey. This, however, by no means prevented me
from deliberating with Capito and Bucer, as though I had been quite
stout and well; and when the fit time arrived, and in the midst of
my sickness, I never desisted from beseeching Bucer rather even to
set out by himself, that we might not disappoint the hope which we
had given you reason to entertain.[222] Although he was himself very
much inclined to accomplish the task he had undertaken, he rather
preferred that I should accompany him, nor had the letter of Grynée
at all prevailed with him, in which he dissuaded him, whatever might
happen, from joining himself to us, if we should continue to differ
in opinion. While I was still suffering under the weakness of which
I have spoken, my wife took a fever, from which she is now beginning
to get well, and that with a different kind of complaint; for since
the last eight days she has been so exhausted by frequent vomitings
and otherwise, that she can with difficulty sit up in bed. Albeit,
to confess the truth, none of these things had stood in the way of
my journey if there had not been a yet greater hindrance. About
a fortnight ago a report was spread, which even now continues to
prevail, that the Emperor was on the way to Worms, for the purpose
of holding the Diet of the Empire which they had appointed to meet
at Haguenau. He has not, indeed, hitherto put forth an edict to fix
the day, but our friends are somewhat apprehensive of his wishing
to make use of the same crafty devices which he put in practice in
calling the conference at Haguenau. For he reduced them to such
straits, that they had no opportunity of meeting together even for
a previous private conference. It is on this account therefore,
that at present they fear lest he come upon them before they are
prepared to deal with him. This state of matters detains Bucer here,
so that he cannot move a step. He therefore particularly requests
of you, that since you perceive it has happened by no fault on his
part, that he cannot fulfil his promise, you would consider him
excused. This I can freely affirm to you for his exculpation, that
never have I seen a man more ready to enter upon any enterprise
than he was to undertake this journey, if he had not been bound up
by this concurrence of circumstances. It will perhaps be evident,
in a short time, that this anxiety was superfluous; but what could
our friends do in the meantime, when they hear that lodgings had
already been bespoke at Worms, that the Emperor was approaching,
except that they should be very intensely on the lookout? During the
interval, you must also know, that the Emperor in person, with the
most unheard-of rapacity, has pillaged Flanders, Holland, Brabant,
Luxembourg; it may even rather be said, that he has completely
gutted these territories. But if nothing occurs to prevent, call us
whensoever it shall seem good. Bucer promises solemnly that without
shrinking, he will come immediately on receiving the summons. As
regards myself, there is no great occasion for a laboured excuse,
for it was not possible to contend with God, who confined me to my
bed at the very time when the journey was to be undertaken. For
the willingness, I do not think you can entertain a doubt. Most
certainly, those who were present at the time are aware that this
was my continual complaint, "Now Farel will be disappointed in his
expectation." But notwithstanding, we ought each of us patiently to
submit, because the Lord has either removed the hope we entertained,
or delayed the fulfilment until a more convenient season. We may
well believe that he foresaw more clearly what would be best than
we could possibly forecast, either by consultation or by our most
reasonable conclusions in regard to this business. We have nothing
new here, unless that the King and the Emperor, while contending in
cruel persecution of the godly, both endeavour to gain the favour of
the Roman idol. There was a certain personage here lately, a native
of Gascony, one of the magnates as appeared; he had an escort of
five horsemen along with him; by whom I have written to the Queen
of Navarre,[223] and have earnestly besought her that she would
not desert us in a time of so great affliction. Publicly we can do
nothing, matters continue in such a doubtful state. The Emperor,
as you have heard, hastens his journey to Worms, but not at great
speed. He has, however, shewn that he wishes to have a convention
of the princes. Afterward to hold a Diet of the whole Empire at
Ratisbon, where deliberation may be had, and those points finally
settled which had been discussed in the former Diet, both concerning
religion and the state of the Empire. That city, however, is very
inconveniently situated, in regard that all those princes who are
more desirous of peace, on account of the length and difficulty of
the journey do not come thither; and our friends have the impression
that the road is not very safe, because it is in the middle circle
of Bavaria, where the princes are hostile to them, and combined
with the Emperor in that wicked league. At Tübingen, sixty-seven
houses have been burnt down. They say that the fire has been kindled
by incendiaries, but no one knows who they are or by whom set
on....[224]

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [221] Calvin, in the month of August 1540, had married Idelette de
  Bure, the widow of an Anabaptist of Liege, John Störder, whom he had
  brought back to the Reformed faith. He lived nine years with her in
  the most entire union, and remained a widower in the month of April
  1549.

  [222] Bucer was on the eve of setting out for the Conference of
  Worms, which he was to have attended, accompanied by Calvin.

  [223] Marguerite, sister of Francis I. The letter to which Calvin
  here refers is unfortunately lost.

  [224] The end is wanting.



LIII.--TO THE SEIGNEURY OF GENEVA.[225]

  [225] Directed on the back,--To the Magnificent and Honourable Lords
  Messieurs the Syndics and Council of Geneva.

  Two years had scarcely passed away since the banishment of Calvin,
  and already the victorious party, left to itself, had exhausted
  itself with its own excess and disorders. Of the four Syndics who
  pronounced the expulsion of the ministers, two were exiled to Berne;
  the other two had perished by a violent death.--Spon, _Hist. de
  Genève_, liv. i. pp. 280-282. Anarchy produced its ordinary fruit,
  regret for the absence of authority. Taught by severe experience,
  the people of Geneva demanded to have Calvin brought back again, and
  the new Syndics,--organs of the popular sentiment, sought to recall
  him.--Arch. of Geneva, _Registres du Conseil_, ann. 1540, _passim_.

     Excuses himself from returning to Geneva by the necessity of his
     attendance at the Diet of Worms.


  STRASBOURG, _Oct. 23, 1540_.

MY VERY WORTHY, NOBLE, AND HONOURABLE LORDS,--Albeit that, besides
the letters which you have been pleased to send me, you had given
charge to the bearer to declare more fully by word of mouth your
wish, and that he has not found me in the place where he thought to
find me, so as to deliver his message,[226] I have, nevertheless,
sufficiently understood by them the scope of your intention. I
reply, I can testify before God that I hold your Church in such
consideration that I would never be wanting in her time of need to
do whatsoever I could for her help. Furthermore, I have no doubt
whatever but that she must be very desolate, and also in danger of
being broken up and scattered besides, if that has not happened
already. And on this account I am in singular perplexity, having the
desire to meet your wish, and to wrestle with all the grace that
God has given me, to get her brought back into a better condition,
while, on the other hand, I cannot slightingly quit the charge or
lay it down lightly, to which the Lord has called me, without being
relieved of it by regular and lawful means; for so I have always
believed and taught, and to the present moment cannot persuade
myself to the contrary, that when our Lord appoints a man as pastor
in a church to teach in his word, he ought to consider himself as
engaged to take upon himself the government of it, so that he may
not lightly withdraw from it without the settled assurance in his
own heart, and the testimony of the faithful, that the Lord has
discharged him. Moreover, it has been arranged by those of the
council of the town of Strasbourg, that I should go with some of my
brethren to the Assembly at Worms, not to serve one church solely,
but for the common interest, in which number yours is included.
I do not think myself to possess such knowledge, or prudence, or
experience, that I can be of much use there, but when the object
in view is a matter of so great importance, and that it has been
appointed not only by the council of that town, but also by others,
that I should proceed thither, to be present for whatsoever it shall
please God to employ me in, I am constrained to follow, and cannot,
with a sound conscience, neglect that call.

  [226] The bearer of this letter was Amy Perrin, who sought anxiously
  to bring about the recall of the Reformer, whose most determined
  adversary he became some years afterwards at Geneva.--Spon, tom. i.
  p. 283. Note P.

Seeing myself, therefore, involved in such trouble and uncertainty,
I have communicated your letter to the chief pastors of this church,
who have ever been singularly desirous of your wellbeing and
edification, and would earnestly, with all their heart, assist you
to the utmost of their power in this matter, as also in every other.
We have consulted together, since I must undertake this journey, if
it please you, in the meantime, to call our brother, Master Peter
Viret, that your church may not be left destitute; for he will
not be an entire stranger among you, and will have that sort of
affection toward you as of one who has been occupied in promoting
your edification, from the very commencement. In the interval, our
Lord will open up a way on the one hand and on the other, as we
do hope, such as your present need requires, and as you may find
expedient. I promise you that nothing shall be denied you on my part
in all that is allowable, but that I will do my utmost to serve you
so far as God permits, and those to whose counsels he has commanded
me to hearken.

And now, right honourable, noble, and eminent Lords, after my humble
commendation to your favourable entreaties, I pray the Lord God to
have you always in his holy protection, increasing in you from day
to day his gifts and graces, making them helpful for the advancement
of the glory of his name, that you may ever prosper and be in peace.

  Your humble servant,
  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Archives of Geneva._ No. 1250.]



LIV.--TO FAREL.

     Exposition of the motives which prevent him from returning to
     Geneva.


  STRASBOURG, _27th October 1540_.

I have no doubt whatever that you have taken good care to apologize
for me to those brethren who advised that I should return to Geneva,
that I have not replied to them. For you are well aware how on
that account I was thrown for two days into such perplexity and
trouble of mind that I was scarcely half myself. Some time after
that, however, that I might humour you, I made an attempt to write
somewhat to them in common; but when I took into account what
usually happens with these general letters addressed in common, I
changed my mind. For what is sent only to a select few, flickers
about hither and thither incessantly from hand to hand, until at
length it is thoroughly well published. This, therefore, was my
reason why I wrote only to you: it was that you may not take into
your confidence any other readers than those from whom you know that
you need be under no apprehension of any danger. Why, therefore, I
did not wish what I intrust to your confidence to be more widely
spread, you will understand when you have read to the end of this
letter. Although I trust that you completely take up my meaning,
and that you have also faithfully explained it to others, I shall
briefly repeat now how I stand affected. Whenever I call to mind the
state of wretchedness in which my life was spent when there, how can
it be otherwise but that my very soul must shudder when any proposal
is made for my return? I pass over entirely that disquietude by
which we were perpetually tossed up and down, and driven from one
side to another, from the time when I was appointed your colleague.
I know indeed from experience, that wheresoever I might turn, all
sorts of annoyances were strewn in my way; that if I would live to
Christ, this world must be to me a scene of trial and vexation: the
present life is appointed as the field of conflict. But, at the
same time, while I call to mind by what torture my conscience was
racked at that time, and with how much anxiety it was continually
boiling over, pardon me if I dread that place as having about it
somewhat of a fatality in my case. You yourself, along with God, are
my best witness, that no lesser tie would have been sufficient to
retain me there so long, had it not been that I dared not to throw
off the yoke of my calling, which I was well assured had been laid
upon me by the Lord. So long, therefore, as I was thus bound hand
and foot, I preferred to suffer even to the uttermost extremity,
than for one moment to entertain those thoughts that were apt to
arise in my mind of changing my place of abode,--thoughts which
often stole in upon me unawares. But now that by the favour of
God I am delivered, should I be unwilling to plunge myself once
more into the gulf and whirlpool which I have already found to
be so dangerous and destructive, who would not excuse me? Yea,
forsooth, where shall you find any one who will not plainly accuse
me of being over easily persuaded, when knowingly, and with free
consent of will, I rashly surrender at discretion? But then, even
supposing that I may be nowise alarmed at my danger, how can I have
any reasonable expectation that my ministry can be of any use to
them? For you know with what a quickness of apprehension the most
of them thereaway are gifted. They will neither be bearable by me,
nor shall I be endurable by them. Besides all this, take into your
consideration that the battle which I shall have to fight will be
fully stouter and more difficult with my colleagues than with those
who are without. Of what avail will be the exertions of a single
individual, hampered by so many lets and hindrances on every side?
And in addition to all, to say truth, even although everything was
laid ready very much to my hand, from disuse I have somehow become
oblivious of those arts which are required for the guiding and the
direction of the multitude. Here, at Strasbourg, I have only to
take the oversight of a few, and the greater number hear me, not
so much as a pastor, as with the attention and reverence due to an
instructor. You allege that I am too nice and delicate, and after
having been daubed with these flatteries, cannot now bear with
patience to hear any harsher sound.

You will find yourself mistaken, however, if you allow yourself
really to think so; but when I do find it an arduous work to
superintend and oversee as I ought those few who in some sort may
be called teachable, willing to be trained and disciplined, how
shall I ever be able to restrain and keep within due bounds so
great a multitude? Whatever may be their design in recalling me,
I scarcely dare venture to contemplate; for if they are led to do
so with a sincere and honest purpose, why do they recall me rather
than the man whose ministry was not less needed for the renewal
and upbuilding of their Church than even it was at the first for
founding it? What if they only recall me that they themselves
may not become a laughing-stock to the other party, because they
have been left destitute by those persons, trusting in whom for
assistance they have ventured to banish us? And yet all these
considerations are of no avail to prevent my acquiescence in the
call; for the more that I feel disposed to turn away with abhorrence
from that province of labour, on that very account I am the more
inclined to suspect myself. Therefore I do not allow myself to
deliberate on the matter at all; and I request of our friends that
they would not take me at all into consultation along with them.
That they may determine all the more freely and sincerely, I conceal
for the most part from others these heart-burnings. What else could
I do? For I much prefer to be entirely blind, that I may suffer
myself to be guided by others, than to go astray by trusting to
my own purblindness. If, in these circumstances, I shall ask your
advice as to whose judgment I ought chiefly to defer to, you will
reply, if I am not mistaken, that there are none more proper to be
consulted than Capito and Bucer. What they think upon the matter
you have heard from themselves. I wish that you would explain the
whole case fully to the brethren, and that divesting themselves of
prejudice on either side, they would seriously consider what ought
to be done.

This is the sum of the whole: That I am not in this affair actuated
by craft or cunning--the Lord is my witness; neither do I search
about for loopholes whereby to make my escape. Certainly, indeed, it
is my desire that the Church of Geneva may not be left destitute;
therefore, I would rather venture my life a hundred times over
than betray her by my desertion. But forasmuch as my mind does not
induce me spontaneously to return, I am ready to follow those who,
there is some good hope, will prove safe and trusty guides to me.
There need, however, be no trouble taken about receiving me until
the Diet of Worms is over, since they have sent no deputy. On next
Lord's-day there will be public prayer in every church. On Monday
we set out. Do you also pray for us in the Spirit, that we may be
strengthened to sustain the contest. It is quite evident what it is
that our adversaries are endeavouring to bring about. They would
have all the States of the empire leagued together and armed for our
destruction. But what the artifices are by which they are resolved
to attack us is less certain. By and by, however, they will unfold
more clearly whatever craftiness there may be in this latter. Adieu;
salute all in the most friendly manner,--Cordier, Thomas, Fatin, Le
Clerc, and the rest. All our friends here do kindly entreat you,
both you and them.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



LV.--TO THE SEIGNEURY OF GENEVA.[227]

  [227] In accordance with the desire expressed by the ministers of
  the Church at Strasbourg, Calvin had repaired to the Diet at Worms,
  to assist at the conferences which were about to take place between
  the theologians of the two modes of worship. It was in this town
  that he received the deputies of the Council of Geneva, bearers of
  the following letter:--

  TO DOCTOR CALVIN, MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL.

  MONSIEUR, OUR GOOD BROTHER AND SPECIAL FRIEND,--We commend ourselves
  very affectionately unto you, for that we are thoroughly informed
  that you have no other desire than the growth and advancement of the
  glory and honour of God, and of his sacred and holy word. On the
  part of our lesser, great, and general councils, (which hereupon
  have strongly admonished us,) we pray you very earnestly that you
  would transfer yourself hitherward to us, and return to your old
  place and former ministry; and we hope, with the help of God, that
  this shall be a great benefit, and fruitful for the increase of the
  holy Evangel, seeing that our people greatly desire you among us,
  and will conduct themselves toward you in such sort, that you shall
  have occasion to rest content.--Your good friends,

    THE SYNDICS AND COUNCIL OF GENEVA.

    _This 22d October 1540._

    With the seal: Post tenebras spero lucem.


     Calvin at Worms--he excuses himself to the magistrates of Geneva
     for his inability to comply with their request, on account of
     the mission with which he had been charged into Germany in the
     general interest of the Church.


  WORMS, _12th November 1540_.

MY VERY WORTHY, POTENT, AND HONOURABLE LORDS,--I have received the
letters which you have been pleased to write me; have heard, at the
same time, the statement of your ambassadors conformable thereto.
Were it only on account of the courtesy and the consideration of
every kind which you shew towards me, I could no otherwise discharge
myself of my duty, except in striving to the utmost of my power to
agree to your request. And besides, it is so reasonable, that it
ought well to persuade me to accede to the wish expressed in it.
Nevertheless, there is still a reason which constrains me to pay
attention to the method and the means whereby duly to comply with
your will. It is the special love which I bear to your Church,
having always in remembrance that she has been formerly recommended
to my care and intrusted to my oversight by God, and that on that
account I am for ever obliged to seek her welfare and prosperity.

Howbeit I think I have so just and adequate an excuse for not
immediately acquiescing in your wish and my own desire, that is to
say, declaring the affection of my heart by doing what you wish,
that you shall not be very much displeased with the answer which
I have made to your ambassadors. I pray you then, as I wrote you
not long ago, always to keep in mind that I am here at present
on-waiting in case of need, according to the small ability which God
has bestowed, in the service of all the Christian Churches, in which
number yours is also comprised; and for that reason I can neither
relinquish nor delegate such a vocation, but am constrained to await
the issue, and to see what success the Lord will give. For although
of myself I can do nothing, it ought to suffice me that I am set
here in this place by the will of the Lord, on purpose to employ
me in whatsoever he would have me to apply myself; and howsoever
that we do not see the matters in hand disposed to go forward very
expeditiously, so much the more must we take heed diligently and
keep upon our guard, inasmuch as our enemies would desire nothing
better than to surprise us unawares; and what is more, as they are
full of guile and craftiness, we do not know what they are planning.
Wherefore, we ought to be preparing to meet them in another new
diet, should they succeed in obtaining the end and aim of their
intrigues at present, which is, that nothing of real business may
be despatched in the diet which is here met. Thus it happens, that
for the present I cannot come to serve you in the preaching of the
Evangel, and in the ministry of your Church. For like reason, in so
much uncertainty, I dare not fix upon any appointed time, on this
account, as I have already said, that this assembly will probably
occasion a second, to which I may be sent, and I cannot refuse.[228]
While I entertain some doubt how far this reply will be agreeable to
you, yet, were I in your place, I would take the same advice from
you.

  [228] The Conferences of Worms, where Melanchthon and Eck appeared
  as the principal actors, were in fact broken off at the request of
  the Emperor, and resumed with greater _éclat_ the year following
  at the Diet of Ratisbon. Calvin went thither, and his wonderful
  intelligence procured for him, on the acknowledgment of Melanchthon
  himself, the surname of _Theologian_. He retraced the picture of
  that Assembly in several of his Latin letters, and above all, in
  the following writing:--"The Proceedings of the Imperial Diet held
  in the City of Regensbourg, otherwise called Ratisbon, the year one
  thousand five hundred forty and one, about the differences which are
  at present concerning Religion." Geneva, 1541.

Over and above all this, the instant that God shall have vouchsafed
me the leisure and opportunity, that is to say, when I shall be
freed from this extraordinary employment, I assure you, that in
every manner of way that it shall be possible to employ me to help
your Church in her time of need, I will therein do my duty, just
the same as if I had already accepted the charge to which you have
called me--exactly as though I was already in the midst of you doing
the office of pastor. This anxious wish that I entertain, that your
Church may be rightly governed and held together, will not suffer me
to rest without attempting, by every possible means, to assist in
the time of her necessity.

True it is, indeed, that I cannot quit the call in which I am at
present placed at Strasbourg without the advice and consent of
those to whom our Lord has given the authority in that matter; for,
that we may not confuse the order of the Church, as we ought not
to undertake the administration and government of a well-regulated
Church without some one presenting us, in the same manner we ought
never to desert the Churches which are committed to us according
to our mere fancy, but to wait until those who have the power have
freed us from the charge in a right and lawful way. Thus, as not
being free, I desire always to regulate myself by the advice of my
brethren who serve in the ministry of the word along with me, but
that shall not prevent me from a readiness to do you all the service
which the Lord would graciously bestow upon you; for themselves,
indeed, are no otherwise inclined than to induce me, rather than to
hinder me that I should come to the aid of your Church, inasmuch
as they do acknowledge that it is expedient for her safety and
preservation. Wherefore, I beseech you affectionately, that you
would repose that confidence in me to believe, that heart and mind,
my whole soul, is engaged to prove to you that I am thoroughly
prepared to assist your Church in so far as shall be allowable, and
to see that she be provided according to her consequence in regard
to worldly goods and provision. Furthermore, I thank you very humbly
for the good inclination which you have been pleased graciously to
declare in my behalf, as I have understood by your letter, and more
fully by the relation of your ambassadors.

And now, worthy, potent, and honourable Lords, after my humble
commendation to your kindly favour and consideration, I pray the
Lord that, from day to day, he would increase the grace already
begun in you, and so keep you by his Holy Spirit that you may hold
your dignity as subserving to the glory of his name, so that the
state and government of your town may be daily prospered by his
blessing. Above all things, I beseech you, in the name of the Lord
Jesus, to maintain peace and good agreement among yourselves, as far
as shall be possible, and not only among yourselves, but also with
those who are joined together with you in our Lord.

  Your humble servant in the Lord,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. copy_--_Archives of Geneva._ No. 1250.]



LVI.--TO FAREL.

     Details of the interview of Calvin with the Deputies from Geneva.


  AT WORMS, _13th November 1540_.

Were you, my dear Farel, situated as I am, somewhat, perchance,
of that hesitation which so intensely afflicts me would keep you
also not a little anxious. For my perturbation is not confined
to myself only; those also who labour with me, for many and good
reasons, are not free from anxiety, while, at the same time, they
are men who are not wont to be alarmed for nothing. You are the only
persons who determine without any controversy what I ought to do.
But since I waver somewhat myself, and I see every one else in a
state of fluctuation and indecision, I am utterly unable to arrive
at any settled determination, except that I am prepared to follow
fully the calling of the Lord, so soon as he shall have opened it
up before me. When the deputies from Geneva had presented their
letter to the Council of Strasbourg, they were told that I was gone
away, without whose consent they could promise nothing. To which
the deputation replied, that they would willingly come hither that
they might ascertain distinctly my inclination in regard to the
application. A horseman was sent forward, post-haste, to intimate
to us that they were on their way. The post preceded them by two
days. To their deputies here, however, the Council gave direction,
to do their endeavour so as to prevent my making any promise. Never
had I believed that our Council set so much value by me. Nor did
those who were present read their letter without astonishment at
their being so anxious about retaining me, to whom I appeared to be
so little known. But mayhap they did so because they were not well
enough acquainted with me. For what is there in me to recommend me?
Howsoever that may be, the deputies, having first of all explained
the purport of the letters, exhorted and advised that I would ponder
and consider what I thought would be most for the glory of Christ;
in the meanwhile nevertheless, they declared distinctly enough what
was their own opinion. Immediately, upon the spot, I requested the
brethren to favour me with their advice. There was somewhat of a
debate. We thought it better, upon the whole, that everything should
remain as it stood until the arrival of the deputation from Geneva;
so that having been informed correctly as to the state of that city,
we might judge and determine more satisfactorily upon the whole
matter. While all this was in progress, having laid before them your
letter, and also that of Viret, again I requested their advice.
There is no need of my repeating over again to you my address to
them. I besought them, however, in every way that I could think of,
not to make any account of me in their determination. Whether I was
in earnest in making that declaration they understood from what
happened, when tears flowed faster than words; so that even twice
they so interrupted my discourse, that I was compelled for a season
to withdraw. I may proceed no further. Only this you may be sure of,
I am quite conscious that my perfect sincerity is unquestionable.
The arrangement has at length proceeded so far, that for the present
I could not bind myself, but could only hold out a good hope to
the Genevese. I have, however, obtained of our friends thus much,
that they would throw no impediment in the way to prevent my going
thither when this Diet is concluded; provided only, that the Bernese
give us to understand that they had no dislike to the arrangement.
The Council, indeed, as I perceive, will let me away only with very
great difficulty. The deputies who are here do scarcely give their
assent. And Capito is of that opinion. But Bucer will do what he can
that I may not be retained, provided that no adverse gale shall have
arisen from the quarter of Strasbourg. Do you also confirm them in
the hope they have entertained; and, in the meantime, will you state
to me in detail whatsoever you shall think of importance for our
affairs? When we shall have returned, should it then be thought fit,
you may press my departure with greater urgency. You, however, will
obtain more by your letters than any one else. But more as to these
arrangements when the time arrives. What may be expected from the
assembling of this Diet, I have briefly stated in the paper which
the brethren will show you, and a short while since I explained
to yourself. I will write to you more at length when I have more
leisure. Will you greet Viret most lovingly, and make my special
excuse for not writing, requesting of him to be satisfied for the
present with this letter? Adieu, my excellent and very dear brother;
may the Lord preserve you all.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._, Opera, tom. ix. p. 259.]



LVII.--TO NICOLAS PARENT.[229]

  [229] From the Assembly at Worms, where he sustained with Bucer and
  Melanchthon the weighty interests of the Reformation, Calvin cast a
  look of attentive regard on the humble parish of which he was the
  pastor at Strasbourg, and addressed to the Deacon Nicolas Parent,
  who was charged with the duty of supplying his place while absent,
  several letters, animated with the most lively interest in the
  spiritual wellbeing of his parishioners.

     Testimony rendered to the French Church at Strasbourg and to the
     pastor in charge of it during the absence of Calvin--matters of
     advice.


  WORMS, _26th November_ [1540.]

I congratulate myself, and rejoice for the Church's sake rather
than on your account, that all attend so regularly and hear sermon
reverently; for it was my chief desire and prayer, when I was about
to leave, that none of our brethren whom Christ ruled by my ministry
might fall off from attendance on account of my absence, that
nothing of that order might be put in peril wherewith the entireness
of the flock of Christ is kept together in a body; besides, that
compact order is of more importance and benefit to them than to me.
As, however, a well-ordered church is the pastor's glory and crown,
even so he can neither exult nor rejoice in anything regarding it,
except in so far as the salvation of souls is concerned. Blessed,
therefore, be the Lord, who keeps the hearts and minds of all in the
fear and reverence of his own word, and also instructs and informs
your spirit with the gifts which may give satisfaction to the
hearers. I wish that some time or other he may thus also provide
the Genevese, that they may give over their solicitations;[230] for,
indeed, it sorely grieves me, that while I earnestly desire them to
be relieved, yet I see no method by which that can be brought about
until we shall have returned thither, and Farel shall have written
word how matters stand at present among them; for we have obtained
this present breathing time on that condition, that we may take
counsel and consider the state of the Church, such as it shall be at
the time. Now, therefore, while everything remains in this suspense,
I begin to rest a little from that anxiety which the difficulty of
this consultation has brought upon me, and to breathe more freely.

  [230] Calvin had received at Worms the letter of recall and of the
  ambassadors of the Senate of Geneva. See the preceding Letter.

To return, however, to our Church; I am well content that it can
endure my absence without any great longing for my return. You have
done well in giving intimation about the celebrating of the Lord's
Supper, that, indeed, had not occurred to me when I came away; but
you have made the announcement too late, for the day has elapsed on
which it ought to have been made, or will certainly have gone by
before any letter from me can have reached you. And I fear lest, in
laying aside the usual probation before receiving the sacrament,
that this speckled examination may give us some disturbance
hereafter. On the whole, I think it will be better if we defer for
the present, since it was not thought of at the proper time, unless,
perhaps, Claude[231] has returned, so that you can consult with
him; for if he agree with you to proceed, I would be unwilling to
interpose delay; only I am afraid that it may prove hurtful to us
hereafter, if we innovate upon what has been already settled; else
if it can be so arranged with a due regard to order, I shall not
delay it. Adieu, my dear Nicolas; greet most lovingly in my name
Sebastian, Enard, and your other fellow-workers. May the Lord have
you all in his keeping, and by his own Spirit direct you to every
good work.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [_Lat. copy_--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [231] Claude was the other deacon of the French Church at
  Strasbourg.



LVIII.--TO NICOLAS PARENT.[232]

  [232] See the note appended to the preceding French Letter. Nicolas
  Parent became, at a later period, minister of the Church of
  Neuchatel.

     Instructions regarding the Supper, and on various points of
     Ecclesiastical Discipline.


  WORMS, _14th December 1540_.

I am well pleased that you have delayed the holy Supper for
another month, for at the present time you could not administer it
without neglecting that order which, for very sufficient reasons,
I earnestly desire to be carefully attended to. I am greatly
delighted, according to what I hear, that our Church holds well
together, so that no inconvenience is felt from my absence; in the
midst of my annoyances, it is especially refreshing and consolatory.
Although I only spoke incidentally and very briefly, before my
departure, what appeared to me to be worth while, I nevertheless
gave faithful counsel. I rejoice that you take it in good part, not
because it was mine, but because I am confident that it will prove
not unuseful to you and wholesome to others. I am not a little
perplexed in the devising of a method by which to give assistance
to the poor. But you see the extreme destitution of our church, nor
have I ever been able so to arrange matters that some help might be
sent to us from France. Sturm left the other key at his own house.
If only so much shall be found in the poor-box from whence you can
supply the present need until my return, we shall then deliberate
together what better can be done. There is no reason why you should
give yourself much concern about those flying reports, which you
understand are spread with no evil intent, but from mere idle folly.

I am really grieved on account of Philip, that his complaint is
of so long continuance. He is a pious young man; modest, upright,
prudent, so far as appears to me. Therefore, if the Lord shall
preserve him to us, I have conceived the best hopes of his excellent
natural disposition and understanding. Will you greet him kindly in
my name? The other person you mention, the more he is destitute of
help or comfort, the more carefully we ought to relieve him. What
you tell me about the elderly woman, because there was something
which looked so much out of the ordinary course of nature in the
account, I could not at first be brought to the belief of it. Not
that I thought you had done rashly that you had advertised me of it,
since the story had been spread abroad by the discourses of many.
Nor ought we feigningly to pass by scandals which are thus blown
about upon the breath of rumour, even although they may be obscure,
and not very well ascertained on good authority. For while it may
be our duty to put down rashly-concocted slanders, we cannot duly
distinguish between truth and falsehood, if we negligently pass
over scandals which are in everybody's mouth. Now when Charles has
given me certain information, that there are not only appearances of
wantonness, which rather lead to a suspicion that there is something
wrong, than enable us to deal with it, but has also announced the
marriage, I have been utterly stupefied. It is certainly a scandal,
which all the saints ought to hold in abomination. For what appears
even more fabulous than when we read in the poets that women of
sixty years of age are still wantons? And, indeed, this silly old
woman has already arrived at her seventieth year, and has a son of
an age which generally puts an end to the love-passages of married
women. Had she only joined herself in marriage to some man of
already declining years, she might have pretended that she sought
something else than the delights of matrimony. She has now taken
away not only every defence, but also every appearance of excuse.
They thought that they laid their plans very cleverly, when they
took advantage of a clandestine benediction. But they find by
experience, both of them, how dangerous a thing it is to trifle with
God. If you now ask me what may be your duty in this matter, I can
scarcely help you forward in it. For although I consider that they
ought to be severely reprehended, (nor can we avoid that, unless we
are willing to forego our duty,) because, however, it is not free
of danger, there is need of great caution being had, lest, being
exasperated by us, they may overleap the fences, and burst away from
each other with the same rashness by which they came together,
and with greater scandal and more offensive profligacy. Therefore,
unless some special occasion shall have been presented to you, I do
not advise that you exchange a word with her upon the subject. But
if a suitable occasion shall have presented itself, you may then
shew her how greatly you were displeased that she had so little
considered, in the conduct she had pursued, either her own character
or the edification of the Church, and that there was not one serious
or decent man who did not highly disapprove it. That you also did
not entertain a doubt that this news will be both very bitter and
very sad to me. At the same time, however, that she may not be
utterly distracted or break out into insanity, you can soften the
harshness of these expressions by kindly expressions, and exhort her
to endeavour to make up for what has been so ill begun, by bringing
the matter to a better ending. Lastly, you must use such discretion
in the matter, that all shall be in order when I return.

I am so perplexed, or rather confused in my mind, as to the call
from Geneva, that I can scarce venture to think what I ought to
do,--that whenever I enter upon the consideration of this subject,
I can perceive no outlet by which to escape. Wherefore, so long as
I am constrained by this anxiety, I am suspicious of myself, and
put myself into the hands of others, to be directed by them. In the
meantime, let us beseech the Lord that he would point out the way
to us. Adieu, dear brother. Greet for me, most lovingly, all our
friends.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

When I was about to send away this letter, your other letter reached
me, in which you describe the nuptials. You have certainly proved
yourself a man of courage in having dared to approach Mathias, who
does not easily suffer the word of admonition, much less that of
rebuke. I rejoice, however, that it has been so well taken. Let us,
therefore, be satisfied with this friendly expostulation, without
pursuing the interest of the Church any farther. This example
admonishes us, that in future nothing of a disorderly kind ought to
be passed by. In so far as regards the man and wife, I would have
you observe such moderation, that foolish as they are already, they
may not become insane altogether. I know the pride, bitterness,
and arrogance, of the woman. As for the monk, I believe that the
solitary winter nights seemed to him too long to be spent at home.
It is therefore to be feared lest for the sake of whiling away
the time, he may betake himself elsewhere; for you are aware that
this class of persons enjoy the privilege of gadding about. I have
advertised Sturm, although, of his own accord, he was about to do
what you ask. Therefore, that person whom you speak of, will receive
a letter by Crato.

My very dear brother, adieu. In haste, as the messenger is wishing
to get on horseback and away. Present my most friendly salutation to
Sebastian and Enard, and all the others.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [_Lat. copy_--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



LIX.--TO THE SEIGNEURY OF GENEVA.

     Calvin sent to the Diet of Ratisbon--he excuses himself on
     that account from returning at that moment to Geneva--advices
     addressed to the magistrates of that town.


  _From_ STRASBOURG, _this 19th February 1541_.

NOBLES, HONOURABLE AND POTENT LORDS,--In furtherance of the answer
made to your ambassadors by the members of the Council of this
town, immediately upon our return from Worms, I have procured of
them that they would take into their consideration the rendering
assistance to your Church, as I ought to keep in mind that she must
be duly provided. And if it had been thought good that I should
go there, I would have set about my duty; for although the charge
of administering the government of such a church would be very
difficult for me, yet, notwithstanding, seeing that I am at the
disposal of God, and not at my own, I am always ready to employ
myself thereto in whatsoever it shall seem good to him to call me.
And, also, since you are pleased to have so much confidence in me,
I feel myself bound to satisfy, in so far as shall depend upon me,
your desire, over and above the perpetual obligation which binds
me to the church whereto our Lord has at the first appointed me.
Howbeit, a hindrance has come in the way, which does not permit me
to follow out the purpose further;--it is, that I have been chosen
as a deputy to go to the Diet of Ratisbon, which call I could not
avoid, seeing that therein I am serving your Church, as well as that
of Strasbourg, inasmuch as it is a common cause. I have, however,
been greatly delighted to hear that our brother, Master Peter
Viret, had undertaken the charge of instructing you in the word
of God,[233] for he is of such faithfulness and prudence, that in
having him you are not unprovided. Wherefore, Messieurs, you will
please to have me excused, seeing that I cannot come, since our
Lord draws me elsewhere, but yet to such a place as does in nowise
withdraw me from you, seeing that I am always allied to you in
heart and affection, and hope, besides, never more to be separated
from you. I beseech you to well consider all the means of rightly
ordering your Church, so that she may be ruled according to the
scriptural method of our Lord. We hope on this side, from all we
have heard, that the disputes which you have with the Messieurs of
Berne will shortly be settled, for which we are thankful to God,
acknowledging that there is nothing in this world which can be more
to your advantage than to maintain the worthy friendship which God
has ordained among you.

  [233] Viret had gone for six months to Geneva; where he was further
  detained at the request of the Seigneury, and was not restored to
  the church at Lausanne until the 12th July 1542.--Ruehat, tom. v.
  pp. 161, 162.

Noble, potent, and honourable lords, after that I have humbly
commended me to your good favour, I beseech our God of his goodness
to uphold you specially in the obedience of his holy word, and to
confirm you more and more in his Spirit, to direct you in true
prudence and justice for the well governing of your town, and
causing you to prosper in every good thing.

Your humble servant and assured friend,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Portfolio 1.]



LX.--TO FAREL.

     Anxiety on account of the Swiss Churches--approaching departure
     for Ratisbon--disputes between Berne and Geneva--calumnies
     directed against the Vaudois of Provence.


  STRASBOURG, _19th February 1541_.

I was not a little delighted, my dear Farel, with your letter; nor
did Bucer derive less pleasure than myself, because both of us could
perceive that you did not omit a single point which could tend in
any way to the preservation of a good understanding and agreement,
and that you had laid bare to them that singular fervency of spirit
and of charity, as well as of your anxious care for the Church, by
which she ought to be stirred up to serious concern. If nothing
has been attained, as you observe, our condition is most wretched,
who place our reliance upon hearts of stony hardness; but I can
scarcely be induced to believe that they are not in some little
degree softened; for themselves also, in a letter of their own to
our friends, shew that they are possessed by the desire, somehow or
other, of helping that Church, and the cause itself does not admit
of their doing otherwise. Therefore, we may hope well of them,
even although the grounds of good hope may not distinctly appear
to us all at once. You are aware, angry passions when once aroused
must be allayed by degrees, and cannot be appeased in a single
day. One consideration, however, made me singularly glad, that I
see the Church of Geneva provided with a minister by the arrival
of Viret;[234] for I very much feared, that if that Church should
remain destitute for a longer period, something else might happen
than we would wish. Now, I trust, the matter is beyond the risk of
danger. As for me, nothing must be done at present. Would that I had
not that excuse which I am compelled to put forward to them; for
I am dragged most unwillingly to Ratisbon,[235] as well because
I foresee that the journey will prove very troublesome to me, as
because I much fear that there may be a prolonged delay, for they
are wont, ofttimes, to lengthen out the Diets even for ten months;
and, last of all, I am unwilling, because I see myself to be no way
adapted for that kind of business, whatever others may think. But
I shall follow wherever God leads, who knows best why he has laid
this necessity upon me. I am much surprised that Sulzer has written
to his correspondents, that I knew that it was approved of in the
judgment of Melanchthon. Whence he had that information I cannot
divine, since I had earnestly entreated that you would not say a
syllable about it. I foresaw, indeed, that it would not be without
envy; for, perchance, even that might be interpreted as if I had
thrown out ambitiously what you had heard out of his own mouth. But
this also I commit to the overruling direction of the Lord.

  [234] See the preceding letter.

  [235] The Conferences at Worms had been transferred to Ratisbon by a
  decree of the Emperor.

We rejoice that the lawsuit between the Bernese and the
Genevese[236] has been referred to the arbitration of Basle, and
may therefore entertain the hope, that in a short time it will be
settled without any uproar. Do insist, with all your influence,
that the Genevese may acquiesce in the judgment, whatever may be
pronounced, for their obstinacy cannot be approved of if they insist
any further. Do, therefore, take effectual measures that they may
not attempt anything in opposition to the decree-arbitral; if the
others reject it, there will not be one right-thinking person who
will not condemn such a proceeding.

  [236] The Bernese Bailiffs of Gex and of Thonon had entered into
  possession of certain lordships belonging to the town of Geneva. The
  judges who were appointed to settle the dispute could not come to
  agreement among themselves, and the whole matter had been submitted
  to the arbitration of Basle.--Roset, _Chronique Manuscrite_, cited
  by Ruchat, _Hist. de la Réf._, tom. v. p. 148.

Concerning the brethren, I was very much alarmed when a report was
spread, that they were not now to be accused of heresy, but of
riot and sedition.[237] What I had sometime heard from the mouth
of Jo..., came to mind; so I was surmising that they had not been
overwell advised in this respect. Lately, however, the Cardinal[238]
has written to Morler, who had been sent to our friends by the King
of France, that he was ready to grant pardon. We have heard from
other quarters that this was obtained after very much and earnest
discussion; but, however that may be, we have to thank the Lord,
that one way or other the cruel persecution is moderated, both there
and throughout the whole kingdom.

  [237] The enemies of the Waldenses did not spare any amount of
  calumny in order to compass their ruin. In a Confession of Faith,
  published 6th April 1541, the Waldenses eloquently declared their
  respect for constituted authority, strikingly confirmed by their
  life and conversation. "As regards the magistrates," said they,
  "such as princes, nobles, and judges, we look on them as ordained
  of God, and willingly obey their laws and ordinances, paying the
  tributes, taxes, and tithes which they impose, ... rendering them
  honour and obedience in all matters not contrary to the will of
  God."--Bèze, _Hist. Eccl._ vol. i. p. 41.

  [238] The Cardinal de Tournon, who uniformly displayed sentiments of
  the utmost hostility against the Waldenses.

We depart hence on Tuesday; if anything shall occur, you will find
Capito here, for I set out alone with Bucer. I beg and entreat
of you that you would alleviate the irksomeness of my present
situation with long and frequent letters; for unless my weariness
can be refreshed by the solace of friendship, I shall be utterly in
darkness. Adieu, my very excellent and most kindly brother.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

Salute particularly all the brethren for me. May the Lord Jesus
always confirm you with his own Spirit. All our friends greet you in
a very special manner, and especially Claude, with his companions,
who commend to you the care of your throat.

There is a certain theologian, named Becholoz of Caen, who has made
his escape almost, as it were, out of the flame of conflagration;
for he was burnt in effigy. As he had no means of livelihood, they
say that he has retired either to Strasbourg or to Geneva. Our
friend Claude, to whom he is well enough known, gives an excellent
character of him, that he is a pious man, learned and upright. The
more uncommon these endowments are, they ought all so much the more
to be valued among ourselves. If he shall come to you,--we desire
to recommend him to you in the highest terms; if, however, he has
gone to Geneva, you can let Viret have timely notice, in order that
he may not neglect him.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



LXI.--TO VIRET.[239]

  [239] With consent of the nobles of Berne, and by request of Calvin,
  Viret had left the church at Lausanne to afford to that of Geneva
  the support of his talents and his zeal; but the return of Calvin
  alone could avail to terminate the crisis which his banishment had
  occasioned, and Viret, therefore, joined the Seigneury in entreating
  that he would resume his charge as minister at Geneva.--Spon, tom.
  i. p. 283. Note P. Calvin, at that time on his way to Ratisbon,
  freely poured out to his friend his doubts and difficulties on the
  subject.

     New expression of the repugnances and terrors which Calvin feels
     in prospect of his returning to Geneva.


  ULM, _1st March 1541_.

When your letter was delivered to me, we were then ready for the
journey, and I do not remember ever in my life a more noisy and
troublesome outsetting; so, on that account, as I could not reply
myself, I therefore left it in charge with Claude Feray, whom you
have seen with me at Basle, and to my brother, to write to Farel and
let him understand what were my thoughts. Having at length got an
interval of leisure, though ever so small, I have felt desirous to
write you while upon the journey; you will, however, excuse that I
reply to you so confusedly and so briefly, because I have not your
letter beside me, so as to see at once the different heads of it in
their right order, and so to consider them with attention; neither
is there time enough allowed to the wayfarer at the inn to enable
him to commit to writing anything duly weighed, or, as it were, to
fasten his thoughts well together; but as well as I recollect there
were two principal heads. In the first, you point out that I ought
not to desert the Church of Geneva; in the other, you also strongly
enforce the desirableness of hastening my return, that Satan may
not throw some hindrance in the way should we make a more lengthened
sojourn. To the former I can make no other reply than what I have
been always in the habit of returning, that there is no place under
heaven of which I can have a greater dread, not because I have
hated it, but because I see so many difficulties presented in that
quarter which I do feel myself far from being equal to surmount.
Whenever the recollection of former times recurs to my mind, I
cannot but shudder throughout with heartfelt alarm at the thought,
that I may be forced to expose myself a second time to these sort
of contests. Had I merely to superintend that church, I would feel
more at ease upon the matter, certainly I would be much less alarmed
at the prospect, but you must understand well enough that there is
much more in this matter than I can describe. This much, however,
I may say in one word, while from many tokens I wot very well that
he whom you wot of, who can do the most mischief of all, entertains
an implacable hatred towards me: when I call to mind how all around
him there lie open to his hand so many inlets of approach on every
side, ready for mischief-making, how many bellows may be set agoing
for lighting up the fires of contention, how many opportunities
presented which I can never be well provided against, it quite
appals me. In the city itself there are many other difficulties
which cause me no little anxiety even now. The further I proceed,
the clearer do I perceive how arduous a charge it is to rule in the
superintendence of a church; albeit I would not flinch from doing my
utmost to help that Church in her wretchedness, but would be most
ready to do so whenever it shall be given me to understand that I
can be of any service; for howsoever certain considerations may
rather alarm me in this enterprise, though they do operate rather as
a drawback while they hold my mind's resolve somewhat in suspense,
they cannot, however, drive this out of me, that I must be adoing
to my very uttermost whatsoever I shall have concluded to be most
for her welfare and prosperity. Farel can vouch for me that I had
never, even by a single word, shrunk back from that call; but only
that I earnestly entreated, lest through unadvisedness the already
forlorn Church should suffer a second dispersion, and, in the
meanwhile, I have shewn clearly enough that I desired nothing more
wishfully than to spend even my very soul where there might be any
need for it. By very clear and convincing arguments I could, were
you present, make it quite plain to you, that I have here concealed
nothing from you; but this, indeed, appeared most evidently to
myself, for when the deputations from Geneva had arrived at Worms,
with many tears I besought our friends, by everything sacred, that
putting me entirely out of their thoughts, they would well and
carefully consider, as in the sight of God, what might be most
for the benefit of the Church, now imploring their present relief
and further help. When we came home, although no one took up the
matter, I never ceased to exhort that they would seriously advise
about that spiritual charge; nor indeed were they themselves, I do
assure you, at all wanting in their duty; but, as I in some measure
anticipated, it was almost immediately thereupon resolved that I
should be conjoined with Bucer. This did not appear to me to have
been done upon any previous understanding or arrangement; as I have
formerly written to Farel, so now do I also solemnly assure you; for
indeed it almost looked as if it had been determined on before we
returned from Worms, and that by the advisement of those who were
thinking very little about Geneva. Indeed, were you even to ask
me the reason why I was sent at all, I see no cause for it; but,
nevertheless, however unfit I may be, it was no part of my duty to
refuse. My going thither, therefore, was unavoidable, unless I would
everywhere hear the worst of it. And thereupon, until the arrival
of your letter, when there was no longer any room for deliberation,
I thought that you would hold me even more than excusable, on a
right understanding of the whole affair. You have now wherewithal to
satisfy both your requirements, that up to this date I have never
refused to come, nor could hitherto have done so. Further, this I
promise you, that in time to come I will not think of changing my
opinion upon the propriety of proceeding thither, except some far
more overruling power had foreclosed the way against me; for I am so
taken up about the care of that church, as it is only reasonable
to suppose I would be, that already somehow, I cannot tell how it
happens, I begin to feel more of an inclination to take the helm
in hand should circumstances so require. Thus, however, we agreed
among ourselves, that immediately after our return I proceed thither
along with Bucer, that we may take counsel in common, according
to present circumstances, as to what may be most advisable, and
not as to the settlement of a pastor merely, but that we may take
some thought about the complete restoration of the Church. In this
way a deliverance upon the whole matter will have greater weight
of authority, and will be more fixed and certain for the future,
since those also will have lent their sanction to it from whom
afterwards the most would have to be feared. The head of discipline
once settled, they will be bound by their own judgment to make no
further remonstrance: nor can they well set agoing any measure
for disturbing the order of our discipline. In the meantime, my
dear brother, I entreat of you, for Christ's sake, that you do not
despair or lose courage. The more uncertain it may be how long we
shall be here, the less on that account ought the thought of further
delay to vex or annoy you. I am well aware, that there are very many
annoyances which cannot but occasion you much trouble and anxiety;
but bethink yourself that the charge is at present laid upon you by
the Lord, of supporting and maintaining that Church, whose welfare
you have at heart, until our arrival. The day before I received your
letter, I had excused myself to your council, that for the present I
could not come thither. I trust that my excuse has been accepted.

Farewell, my very kind brother and right-minded friend. Salute
respectfully on my behalf all the godly. The Lord the Spirit, may he
confirm you in every good work.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 14.]



LXII.--TO JAMES BERNARD.[240]

  [240] James Bernard, formerly a monk, converted to the Reform by
  the preaching of Farel and Viret, and a minister of the Church of
  Geneva during the exile of Calvin. Feeling his insufficiency and
  that of his colleagues, he had written a touching letter to the
  Reformer, to urge upon him to resume the direction of his former
  charge:--"Indeed," said he, "one Sunday lately, when I was preaching
  in the chapel of Rive, seeing our church desolate, and the people
  all in tears, I was impelled to exhort them earnestly to turn to
  God, and to entreat of him humbly, in Christ's name, that he would
  send them a faithful pastor, such as is necessary for the interests
  of his Church. Two days thereafter the Council of Two Hundred was
  assembled, and unanimously called for Calvin; on the following day
  the General Council met, and all, without one dissenting voice,
  cried, 'We must have Calvin, that wise and holy man, that faithful
  minister of Jesus Christ.'... Come, then, most honoured father;
  come, for you are ours."--_Calvini Opera_, tom. ix. p. 12.

     Protests his devotedness to the Church of Geneva--oblivion of
     past injury.


  ULM, _1st March 1541_.

Your letter was delivered to me when we were just prepared and
making ready to start upon our journey.[241] You will therefore
excuse my having replied somewhat later than you may have expected.
For the same reason I would wish that you may excuse this epistle,
if it shall appear rather brief and confusedly put together, since
it has to be written by fits and starts upon the journey. That you
advise me to take upon myself the administration of the Church of
Geneva, in so far as you are concerned, I have no doubt that you
have done so in sincerity and from the best motives; because you are
of opinion that it cannot be restored to order unless those persons
shall come to their help by whose departure it has come to pass that
they are thus unhappily afflicted. Moreover, that argument by which
you endeavour to prevail has always had great weight with me; for
because I was afraid lest I might withstand God, I have never dared
utterly to reject that call. On the other hand, my conscience holds
me bound in that charge which I sustain at present; neither does it
suffer me easily, as if that were a matter of no concern, at once
to desert it. My own heart bears witness before God that it was a
sacred and a lawful call, as many godly persons can also testify
to the world. For, indeed, after that calamity, when my ministry
appeared to me to be disastrous and unprosperous, I had determined
in my own mind never again to enter upon any ecclesiastical charge
whatever, unless the Lord himself, by a clear and manifest call,
should summon me to it: I mean by this, that such a necessity had
occurred as that it was not possible for me to strive against it.
Standing upon this determination, the Strasburghers never ceased to
employ many devices, and to set many engines in motion, until they
overturned my resolution. At their first onset, however, they did
not succeed. And when they saw that all was to little purpose, they
threatened, by many arguments, that at the long run I could no more
escape the hand of God by flying from him, than Jonah had escaped
of old. It is nothing wonderful, therefore, if I do not lightly
relinquish that outpost in which God has stationed me. Albeit, I am
not so fixed or nailed to it, but that I am prepared at the same
time to remove as often as it may be the mind of the Church that I
should do so. I will not stir a step, however, except in the way of
lawful procedure. This was the reason why I referred the hearing and
entire disposal of this case to the judgment of our Church. Over and
above all, my dear brethren and colleagues, whom, as they deserve,
I esteem very highly in the Lord, and to whose authority I defer
not less than to the parental, although they were most unwilling
to let me away, yet themselves gave way so far as to agree that I
should set out thither with Bucer, and taking into consideration
the condition of the Church, might consult and advise together upon
what we might conclude as likely to prove most beneficial. In order,
however, that we might not accomplish this purpose forthwith on
the instant, we have been hindered by this journey. But as soon as
we shall have returned home, you may depend on our whole attention
being given to the disposal of this matter. In what relates to
yourself privately, you are well aware that the entrance of every
one of you upon that ministry was with very good reason disapproved
by me.[242] Nothing really good could be expected to come from so
inauspicious a commencement, saving that I always besought the Lord
that he would make you apt to teach in the ministry, and sufficient
for himself. In the meantime, many things were reported which one
could scarcely credit, neither was it possible utterly to disprove
them. Most assuredly, it was not without the most intense heaviness
of heart that I heard things which I foresaw must tend so greatly
to the dishonour and disgrace of the sacred ministry; for as to
what I heard of myself and the brethren having been treated in no
very friendly style, that was a consideration that either did not
at all affect my mind, or pricked me so slightly that it could
inflict no sore. Although I acknowledge that I had such esteem to
Farel and to Courault--as their piety, learning, and sanctity well
deserved, that I could not bear patiently to hear anything spoken
disparagingly of them. This, therefore, I neither conceal nor
dissemble, that you may understand I deal with you candidly and in
simplicity. And, therefore, as touching the present solicitation,
I cannot do otherwise than return you my best thanks, for that by
your letters you shew yourself so well disposed; and I trust that
the inward affection will respond to your words. You may in turn
securely depend on me; for of a truth I promise you, whatever may
be expected from an individual who is a lover of peace, and averse
from contention--who is, moreover, your friend, very desirous indeed
of your salvation, and lastly, neither difficult nor implacable in
forgiving offences. But at the same time, I beseech you, by the name
of God and by his awful judgment, that _you_ keep in mind with whom
you have to do,--one who will exact a strict account in that day
of eternity, by the most searching and fiery trial, who can no way
be satisfied by mere words, or put off by some vain excuse. Above
all, do you seriously consider that you are engaged in the discharge
of an office, which, as it excels every other, so it is the most
dangerous of all, if you do not apply yourself with the utmost
diligence and intensity to the duties which belong to it. If you
care for my approval, I would forewarn you of this one thing, that
I require no more of you than that you devote yourself sincerely
and faithfully to the Lord. Adieu, my very dear brother; may the
Lord Jesus, by his own Spirit, prepare and confirm you in every good
work. Salute, I pray you, all the godly on my behalf.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 260.]

  [241] Calvin was setting out for the Diet at Ratisbon.

  [242] James Bernard and his colleagues, appointed ministers of
  Geneva after the expulsion of Calvin, had, by their weakness and
  want of firmness, sanctioned the disorders against which Calvin,
  Farel, and Courault had opposed themselves in vain.



LXIII.--TO FAREL.[243]

  [243] While Calvin was present at the Diet of Ratisbon, the plague
  was raging in upper Germany and on the banks of the Rhine. It also
  visited Strasbourg, where the victims were numbered by thousands.
  Many of the friends of the Reformer fell under this scourge;
  Idelette de Bure, his wife, escaped by flight. Calvin, in writing
  to Farel, gives him some account of the ravages it had made at
  Strasbourg, and of the solemn conferences at which he assisted at
  Ratisbon.

     Calvin at Ratisbon--the plague at Strasbourg--grief of the
     Reformer--Preliminaries of the Diet--the German princes--the
     Italian prelates--Hungary--the Turk--Poland--state of
     opinion--inclinations of Charles V.--stayedness upon God.


  RATISBON, _28th March 1541_.

From the time of my arrival here I had not written to you, but
had commissioned my friend Claude, that whatever news he might
receive from me he should take care to forward to you; nor was
there, indeed, anything worth your reading; and I was myself in
expectation, first of all, of receiving a letter from you, which
I would then reward with a like communication. In the meantime,
while I wait for your letter, a distressing event is announced
to me, that our dear friend Claude,[244] whom I singularly
esteemed, had been carried off by the plague. Louis, the brother
of Charles,[245] followed three days afterwards. My house was
in a state of sad desolation; my brother had gone with Charles
to a neighbouring village, my wife had betaken herself to my
brother's, and the youngest of Claude's scholars was lying sick
in bed. To the bitterness of grief, therefore, there was added a
very anxious concern for those who survived. Day and night my wife
was constantly present in my thoughts, in need of advice, seeing
that she was deprived of her husband. The bereaved condition of
the very estimable Charles, who, within the space of four days,
has been deprived of his only brother, and of his instructor, whom
he reverenced as a father, grievously distressed me. I was aware,
besides, that he was most tender in his affection. I could not
think about Malherbe, but, at the same time, the excellent youths
who took care of him came into my mind. Although, however, these
events have produced in me so much sadness, that it seems as if they
could utterly upset the mind and depress the spirit, you cannot
believe the grief which consumes me on account of the death of my
dear friend Claude. Nor need this surprise you. For these two years
bygone, you can well conceive how much I stood in need of an assured
and faithful friend, who might help to uphold me in the midst of
so many and such varied troubles and causes of disquiet; he not
only proved himself most faithful, but in every way so dutiful, and
withal so kindly, that I could use almost the same familiarity in my
intercourse with him as if he were my brother. When of late I left
this place, as you know, in a state of suspense and irresolution,
he promised, in the most sacred manner, that he would come wherever
I wished, and that his friendship should never fail me. The more I
consider with myself how much I stood in need of a good counsellor
always at my side, and, on the other hand, how rare, in these times,
is such an instance of affectionate good-will and faithfulness, I
cannot arrive at any other conclusion, than that the Lord, in taking
him away, has meant to chastise me severely for my sins. But while
I only intended to touch upon the subject of my misery in a passing
way, I am already running to excess. That is to be accounted for,
however, as well by the recollection of a most excellent man, (which
I wish may some time be as sweet to me as it shall ever be sacred,)
as from a pious regard to those who are left.

  [244] Claude Ferey, French refugee at Strasbourg. See _Calvini
  Opera_, tom. ix. p. 15, a letter of Claude Ferey to Farel.

  [245] Louis and Charles de Richebourg, sons of M. de Richebourg, to
  whom the next letter is addressed.

The Emperor has been waiting hitherto for the arrival of the princes;
the two Bavarians have been here from the commencement,[246] and the
highwayman of Brunswick,[247] at once the dishonour and the very
pest of Germany; from time to time the deputies are arriving,
one after the other. At length some of the princes make their
appearance, Frederic the Palatine, brother of the Elector, Otho
his nephew, the young Duke of Wurtemberg,[248] the Landgrave, the
Archbishop of Mentz, Albert of Baden, the Prince of Anhalt, the
Saxon ambassador; the Elector of Brandenbourg is expected shortly.
The Emperor does not cease from urging attendance upon the others,
while, in the meantime, he spins out the time for their appearance.
The Elector of Saxony has excused his absence upon very satisfactory
grounds, by his ambassadors. There are two of the cities belonging
to the League, Goslar and Brunswick, which Henry, under cover
of the bann, has annoyed by his depredations and robberies. Our
friends have lately resolved, that they shall be defended by the
army of the League. The Emperor, in the meantime, that the meeting
of the Diet may not be hindered, has suspended all the judicial
proceedings which he had instituted against us, and has been pleased
also to annul all the sentences which have been passed against
us, until the whole matter shall be definitely ascertained. That
Edict having been promulgated, the Duke of Brunswick was ordered
to make restitution of what he had plundered, and to abstain in
future from all violence. Although he undertook that he would do
so, he proceeds, however, as he had begun. One may almost be of
opinion that he acts in collusion with the Emperor. However that
may be, assuredly the Elector of Saxony cannot desert his allies;
he continues, therefore, upon the lookout, that should there be
any commotion he may immediately oppose himself to the attack of
the enemy. Moreover, from the time that these suspensions were
intimated, he has been cited to hear the proclamation of the bann,
that is, the sentence of denunciation and proscription. A similar
intimation was made to us some few days afterwards. The Emperor,
how conscientiously I know not, but with strong asseveration
nevertheless, declares that these proceedings are very unpleasant to
him, and that he would endeavour that they may pass away in smoke.
These proceedings, however, are allowed to go forward, not without
our being put in very great jeopardy of our lives; for what if they
should pronounce sentence upon us to-morrow? We could not stir a
single foot without risking the loss of our heads. The Duke of Savoy
had escaped my recollection, who has come hither for the purpose
of taking the oath of fealty to the empire, in order that he may
recover, with our assistance, those possessions which, while he had
them, did not incline him to join the alliance of the empire. When
it was, therefore, somewhat too late, the advocate Raimond has been
sent ambassador by the King of France, to request that he might
be received, as the representative of the duchy of Savoy, to the
allegiance and protection of the empire. The embassies from foreign
nations are many and magnificent. The Cardinal Contarini[249] is
legate from the Pope, who has distributed so many crosses for us
at his first entrance, that for two days afterwards his arm, I
think, must have felt the fatigue of it. The Bishop of Modena, son
of Jerome Morone, has been sent separately, under the title and
designation of Nuncio. Contarini is desirous of bringing us under
the yoke of subjection without bloodshed; on that account he tries
all methods of settling the business on the ground of expediency,
without having recourse to arms. He of Modena[250] is altogether
sanguinary, and talks of nothing but war. Both of them are entirely
bent on cutting off all friendly treaty; but of this afterwards.
The Venetians have an ambassador here--a magnificent personage.
The King of England, besides the ordinary embassy to the Diet, has
sent the Bishop of Winchester, with a numerous suite, who is a man
over-sharp in malice. I pass by the Portugese and others. From the
French King, also, there is one, Du Veil, a busy blockhead. When I
mentioned the Princes I passed over the whole fry of the Pfaffery,
excepting one, the Elector of Mentz. There are present, however,
a good many bishops, the Bishop of Ratisbon, of Augsburg, Spire,
Bremen, Saltzburg, Brixen, Worms, Bamberg, Heidelsheim, and some
others.

  [246] The two brothers, William and Louis of Bavaria, reigned in
  common in that country.

  [247] Henry, Duke of Brunswick, unhappily distinguished throughout
  the whole of Germany by his turbulent spirit and disorderly conduct.
  He was deprived of his states in 1542 by the Elector of Saxony and
  the Landgrave of Hesse.

  [248] Christopher of Wurtemberg, who succeeded Duke Ulrich his
  father in 1550.

  [249] Gaspar Contarini, a prelate as remarkable for his moderation
  as for his enlightened mind and understanding. Legate of Pope Paul
  III. at the Diet of Ratisbon, he in vain attempted to bring the
  two parties to agreement, and died the year following, not without
  suspicion of poison.

  [250] The Cardinal Morone, Archbishop of Modena, one of the most
  merciless persecutors of the Reformed in Italy.

I must now inform you what we suppose will come to pass, if,
indeed, we can anyhow forecast what is likely to happen, for I can
scarcely perceive sufficient data on which to found even probable
conjecture. The temper of the whole of our friends has been very
much exasperated against Henry, [of Brunswick,] for he has attacked
them with the utmost ferocity in the most virulent and libellous
terms,[251] and, therefore, they have requested of the Emperor
that he may be branded as a calumniator, if it shall have been
established that he had aspersed their reputation by the most
barefaced falsehoods. Neither do I perceive how this affair can be
settled, unless it may be referred to the States of the empire to
decide upon it; for the Landgrave has refused the Emperor to agree
that the controversy may be ended by transaction or arbitration,
adding that he would not even accept the Emperor himself as umpire.
This obstacle, although it seems to have but little connection with
the main business about which they were assembled, formed an element
of disturbance at their very entrance upon it, and, it is to be
feared, will operate very much as a hindrance to their proceedings.
At present the great concern of religion stands thus: The Emperor,
because he perceives his own affairs to be very much entangled, is
not at all inclined to heap up new troubles for himself; he fears
an attack on the side of Turkey; on the part of the King of France,
either an uncertain peace or the risk of open war; although, as
regards the Turk, various rumours are spread about. Since that
Hungarian monk,[252] having, on the decease of King John, taken upon
himself the guardianship of the young King,[253] could not withstand
the power of Ferdinand, he has sought assistance from the Turk. The
latter has sent only a very small body of troops to help him, who
have laid siege to Pesth, a city belonging to Ferdinand. The city
is situated on the bank of the Danube, opposite to Buda; for the
raising of that siege, troops are to be collected. Already other
accounts relate that the Turk himself was on his way with a great
army and camp equipage, while others assert that his expedition had
been interrupted by some disturbance in his own country, I cannot
tell what. We shall see, however, in a short time, of what kind
it is, for there can be no doubt that he is very much hindered by
reasons near home, if he does not lay hold upon Wallachia. Upon
their revolt from the rule of their own tyrants, they delivered
themselves over, you are aware, in subjection to his authority.
He set over them a Palatine of their own race, but dependent upon
himself. I know not how it has happened that, having experienced
his cruelty, they have been driven to extreme measures rather
than remain under his dominion. This winter, therefore, having
assassinated the Palatine, they at the same time rid themselves
of all the Turks who were among them. They chose a new leader for
themselves, whom they bound by oath to promise eternal enmity
against Turkey: they have also taken possession of a very strong
fortress which the Turks had built with wonderful despatch upon
the Polish frontier. If he does not punish this affront, we shall
then know that he is otherwise engaged; and would that it may turn
out to be so, that, while he is healing his own wounds, we may
have some time allowed us for taking measures to oppose him, and
for collecting our resources. The King of Poland[254] could render
very effectual assistance to his Wallachian neighbours, if the
Tartars were not so troublesome to his kingdom. During the past
winter, they carried off great booty during a sudden incursion, and
seemed not without a will to proceed farther in the same direction.
Howsoever that may be, the Emperor is desirous to have Germany
in a state of quiet until he shall have extricated himself from
these difficulties; nor will he stir up any commotions at this
time, unless, by the incessant importunity of our enemies, he is
unwillingly dragged into it by some necessity. Our friends wish to
procure an audience for themselves; thereupon, as they do not expect
there will be any secure or lasting peace, unless there is a settled
agreement in religion, and the churches restored to order and right
discipline, they will strongly urge that the states of the Empire
may seriously set about this undertaking. In other respects, there
is nothing they more desire than to pacify all these dissensions
without riotous disorder, and they entertain a just horror of war,
as the certain destruction of their country. Therefore, as far as
they are able, they will make it appear, by their conduct, how much
they are opposed to violent and factious counsels. Of the opposite
party there are three classes: there are those, especially, who
sound the trumpet, and openly rave like madmen because we are not
attacked as soon as possible. The chiefs of this class are, the
Archbishop of Mentz, the Dukes of Bavaria, Henry of Brunswick,
and his brother, the Bishop of Bremen. The others, who wish to
consult the welfare of their country, (whose ruin, or very severe
calamity and devastation, they foresee would be the consequence of
a war,) contribute all their endeavours to this point, that without
troubling their heads about the establishment of an agreement in
religion, a peace of any kind may be agreed upon. The third class
would willingly admit some considerable correction of doctrine and
ecclesiastical discipline, but either because they are not yet
advanced to that degree of growth as to understand thoroughly the
matters in dispute to be entirely settled, or because they are of a
more lowly and gentle disposition than to dare to profess themselves
the active promoters of that opinion, they so conduct themselves as
that they may appear to seek nothing but the public tranquillity. To
that class belong the Archbishop of Cologne, the Bishop of Augsburg,
among the clergy; the two brothers Palatine among the princes, Otho
their nephew, and perchance the Duke of Cleves. Those who plot
disturbance, as they are fewer in number, and have all good men
opposed to them, are not very likely to see the fulfilment of their
devices. Finally, the mind of the Emperor, as I have mentioned, is
altogether turned to peace, if he can obtain it, so that, putting
off the consideration of religion to another time, he may direct
all his energies to this object; but our friends do not readily
acquiesce in this, and they will have their aiders and abettors in
stirring up to the reformation of the Church. Thus you see, although
scant, there is, however, the hope of doing somewhat. The Papal
legates, according to their usual method, are strongly opposed to
our proceeding to take any practical measures; for they consider
that it is all over with their kingdom, if any discussion in matter
of religion, if any consultation about the Reformation of the
Church, should be entertained or set on foot without the authority
of their idol. Openly, they pretend that they promote the conference
which we desire; but underhand, they oppose us not only by great
promises, but also by threats. They are ready to assist the Emperor
with a large sum of money, if he wishes at once to have recourse to
arms; or what Contarini rather wishes, if he can put us down without
bloodshed. Should the Emperor make any concession distasteful to
the tyranny of the See of Rome, they threaten to fulminate those
excommunications with which they are wont to set the whole world a
trembling with terror. The Emperor at present is not acting freely,
on account of the state of affairs in Italy. Therefore, should he
find it at all practicable, he will retire thither, that either by a
temporary peace, or truce of a few years, he may afterwards settle
the disputes of Germany, leaving that whole field of discussion
untouched for the present: which he will obtain with difficulty.
You see now, as I said at first, the conjectures are so obscure,
that there is scarcely any room for divination. What, therefore, are
we to do? Let us call upon the name of the Lord, and beseech him
that he will rule by his direction this greatest and most weighty of
all causes, in which both his own glory and the safety of the Church
are bound up together, and also that, in so critical a conjuncture
of affairs, in his own set time he would shew, that nothing is more
precious to him than that heavenly wisdom which he has revealed to
us in the Gospel, and those souls which he has redeemed with the
sacred blood of his own Son. On that account, therefore, we must
both seek and knock with frequent importunity, and with our whole
heart and mind, to ascertain his will, the more uncertain everything
on all hands appears to us. When we weigh and consider carefully the
whole course and progress of this work of Reformation, we shall find
that himself had overruled, by wonderful methods, all the events in
providence, without the advice or help of man, even contrary to all
expectation. Upon this strength, therefore, which he has so often
put forth in our behalf, let us, in the midst of so much perplexity,
place our whole and entire dependence. There is one thing which
alarms me, that I see so great security prevails in the midst of
us. And that, indeed, not only alarms me, but it is altogether
overwhelming, when we see new causes of offence daily arising, such
as that sad affair of the double marriage:[255] nevertheless, I am
not cast down on that account.

  [251] Henry of Brunswick maintained a very lively paper war against
  the Protestant princes of Germany before attacking them more
  openly. Luther replied to those attacks by one of his most virulent
  pamphlets, _Hans Wurst_, a name which the Germans use to designate
  their harlequin.--See Seckendorf, lib. iii. par. 93.

  [252] George Martinuzzi, tutor of the young King of Hungary, John
  Sigismund.

  [253] After the death of King Louis II. the crown of Hungary was
  long disputed between Ferdinand, the brother of Charles V., and John
  Zapoli. The treaty of Great Waradin (24th February 1538) guarantied
  the throne to the latter, but without reversion to his descendants.
  He died in 1541, leaving an infant in the cradle as his heir. His
  widow, yielding to the advice of George Martinuzzi, refused to cede
  the crown to Ferdinand, and called the Turks into Hungary.

  [254] Sigismund I., King of Poland, (1506-1548.) This prince was
  continually engaged in strife with the Tartars of the Crimea, the
  Moldavians, and the Russians.

  [255] An allusion to the state of bigamy in which the Landgrave
  of Hesse was then living, with the _authorization_ of Luther, of
  Melanchthon, and of Bucer. The explanations given by Seckendorf
  (lib. iii. par. 79, addit. 3) are altogether ineffectual to clear up
  this affair--one of the scandals of the Reformation in Germany.

I have lately received a letter from Viret, to which I replied
briefly, because there is no room now for our deliberating about
that matter. I would with my whole heart go thither, my dear Farel,
on the earliest fitting opportunity; but what would you have me do?
I am here held bound, and very much fear that I may consume away
with the irksomeness of my situation. Adieu, my excellent and most
kindly brother. Greet most lovingly, in my own expressions, all
the brethren; Thomas, Michael, to whom these lines will impart much
sadness; Cordier, my preceptor, and the rest.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 15.]



LXIV.--TO MONSIEUR DE RICHEBOURG.[256]

  [256] There is little known concerning M. de Richebourg. It appears
  from the letter of the Reformer that he had been for some years
  separated from his sons Charles and Louis, who had repaired to
  Strasbourg, probably to finish their education. The plague, which
  raged in Alsace, carried off Louis, the younger of the two brothers,
  and his preceptor, both tenderly beloved by Calvin, who, from
  Ratisbon, where the sad intelligence had reached him, wrote this
  letter of Christian consolation to M. de Richebourg.

     Consolatory letter on the death of his son.


  RATISBON, [_Month of April 1541_.]

When I first received the intelligence of the death of Claude and of
your son Louis, I was so utterly overpowered that for many days I
was fit for nothing but to grieve; and albeit I was somehow upheld
before the Lord by those aids wherewith he sustains our souls in
affliction, among men, however, I was almost a nonentity; so far
at least as regards my discharge of duty, I appeared to myself
quite as unfit for it as if I had been half dead. On the one hand,
I was sadly grieved that a most excellent and faithful friend had
been snatched away from me, a friend with whom I was so familiar,
that none could be more closely united than we were;[257] on the
other hand, there arose another cause of grief, when I saw the
young man, your son, taken away in the very flower of his age, a
youth of most excellent promise, whom I loved as a son, because,
on his part, he shewed such respectful affection toward me as he
would to another father. To this grievous sorrow was still added
the heavy and distressing anxiety we experienced about those whom
the Lord had spared to us. I heard that the whole household were
scattered here and there. The danger of Malherbe caused me very
great misery, as well as the cause of it, and warned me also as to
the rest. I considered that it could not be otherwise but that my
wife[258] must be very much dismayed. Your Charles, I assure you,
was continually recurring to my thoughts; for in proportion as he
was endowed with that goodness of disposition which had always
appeared in him toward his brother as well as his preceptor, it
never occurred to me to doubt but that he would be steeped in sorrow
and soaked in tears. One single consideration somewhat relieved me,
that he had my brother along with him, who, I hoped, would prove
no small comfort in this calamity; even that, however, I could not
reckon upon, when, at the same time, I recollected that both were in
jeopardy, and neither of them was yet beyond the reach of danger.
Thus, until the letter arrived which informed me that Malherbe was
out of danger, and that Charles, my brother, wife, and the others
were safe, I would have been all but utterly cast down, unless,
as I have already mentioned, my heart was refreshed in prayer
and private meditations, which are suggested by His word. These
circumstances I mention on this account lest those exhortations may
seem to you of less value, by which I now desire that you may take
comfort, because you will consider it to be an easy matter to shew
one's-self valiant in contending against another person's grief. I
do not, however, boast here of firmness or fortitude in dealing with
another's sorrow, but since it has been granted me, by the special
goodness of God, that I should be in some degree either delivered
or relieved by him, who, in the communication of his benefits, is
alike common to me as to you: in so far as that is possible in a
short letter, I desire to communicate to you the remedies I took
advantage of, and those which were of greatest benefit. In this
endeavour, however, the consideration of your sadness is so to
be kept in view by me, that, at the same time, I shall remember
that I have to do with a person of a very serious mind and of very
constant and determined character; nor do I conceal from myself
those refuges of defence by which you are regulated, and kept on
all occasions within the limits of patience and moderation. Neither
shall I take advantage of those common topics of consolation which
are customary among men, such as that you should not weep for your
dead whom you had begotten subject to mortality, that you should
shew forth in this sorrowful occurrence that firmness of mind which
your excellent nature and disposition, expanded by the most elegant
accomplishments, which your mature age, your varied experience, and
which, to sum up all, your reputation and esteem among men require,
that, after the fashion of the world, you may take consolation in
the remembrance of your past life. In your case I set aside all
exhortations of this kind, and others of the same description, and
leave them to your own consideration. There is, most assuredly,
one sure and certain, a never-failing source of consolation, in
which you, and men like you, ought to acquiesce, because it flows
from that inward feeling of piety which I know to abound in you;
therefore, take special care to call to mind those thoughts which
are taught us by the most excellent Master of all, and suggested to
our understanding in the school of piety. It is not necessary at
present that I should state these truths, which are all as familiar
to you as to myself. Yet, notwithstanding, because of your singular
piety, and that good-will which you express toward me, you will not,
perhaps, be unwilling to recognize in my letter thoughts which have
spontaneously occurred to your own mind at some other time. The son
whom the Lord had lent you for a season he has taken away. There
is no ground, therefore, for those silly and wicked complaints of
foolish men; O blind death! O horrid fate! O implacable daughters
of destiny! O cruel fortune! The Lord who had lodged him here for
a season, at this stage of his career has called him away. What
the Lord has done, we must, at the same time, consider has not
been done rashly, nor by chance, neither from having been impelled
from without; but by that determinate counsel, whereby he not only
foresees, decrees, and executes nothing but what is just and upright
in itself; but also nothing but what is good and wholesome for
us. Where justice and good judgment reign paramount, there it is
impious to remonstrate. When, however, our own advantage is bound
up with that goodness, how great would be the degree of ingratitude
not to acquiesce, with a calm and well-ordered temper of mind, in
whatever is the wish of our Father! Nevertheless, the faithful have
a sufficient alleviation of their sorrows in the special providence
of God, and the all-sufficiency of his provision, whatsoever may
happen. For there is nothing which is more dispiriting to us than
while we vex and annoy ourselves with this sort of questions--Why
is it not otherwise with us? Why has it so happened that we came to
this place? These questions would be well and suitably put, if there
was somewhat in ourselves that needed reproof. But where there is
no fault on our part, there is no room for this sort of complaints.
It is God, therefore, who has sought back from you your son, whom
he had committed to you to be educated, on the condition, that he
might always be his own. And, therefore, he took him away, because
it was both of advantage to him to leave this world, and by this
bereavement to humble you, or to make trial of your patience. If you
do not understand the advantage of this, without delay, first of
all, setting aside every other object of consideration, ask of God
that he may show you. Should it be his will to exercise you still
farther, by concealing it from you, submit to that will, that you
may become wiser than the weakness of your own understanding can
ever attain to. In what regards your son, if you bethink yourself
how difficult it is, in this most deplorable age, to maintain an
upright course through life, you will judge him to be blessed,
who, before encountering so many coming dangers which already were
hovering over him, and to be encountered in his day and generation,
was so early delivered from them all. He is like one who has set
sail upon a stormy and tempestuous sea, and before he has been
carried out into the deeps, gets in safety to the secure haven.
Nor, indeed, is long life to be reckoned so great a benefit of
God, that we can lose anything, when, separated only for the space
of a few years, we are introduced to a life which is far better.
Now, certainly, because the Lord himself, who is the Father of us
all, had willed that Louis should be put among the children as a
son of his adoption, he bestowed this benefit upon you, out of the
multitude of his mercies, that you might reap the excellent fruit
of your careful education before his death; whence also you might
know your interest in the blessing that belonged to you, "I will
be thy God, and the God of thy seed." From his earliest boyhood,
so far as his years allowed, he was grounded in the best studies,
and had already made such a competent proficiency and progress,
that we entertained great hope of him for the future. His manners
and behaviour had met with the approval of all good men. If at any
time he fell into error, he not only patiently suffered the word of
admonition, but also that of reproof, and proved himself teachable
and obedient, and willing to hearken to advice. At times, indeed,
he was rather unruly, but never so far as to be obstinate or sulky.
Those sallies, therefore, wherein he exceeded due bounds, were
repressed with little trouble. That, however, which we rate most
highly in him was, that he had drunk so largely into the principles
of piety, that he had not merely a correct and true understanding
of religion, but had also been faithfully imbued with the unfeigned
fear and reverence of God. This so exceeding kindness of God toward
your offspring, ought with good reason to prevail more effectually
with you in soothing the bitterness of death, than death itself has
power to inflict grief upon you. With reference to my own feelings,
if your sons had never come hither at all, I should never have
been grieved on account of the death of Claude and Louis. Never,
however, shall this most crushing sorrow, which I suffer on account
of both, so overcome me, as to reflect with grief upon that day
on which they were driven hither by the hand of God to us, rather
than led by any settled purpose of their own, when that friendship
commenced which has not only continued undiminished to the last,
but which, from day to day, was rather increased and confirmed.
Whatever, therefore, may have been the kind or model of education
they were in search of, I rejoice that they lived under the same
roof with me. And since it was appointed them to die, I rejoice also
that they died under my roof, where they rendered back their souls
to God more composedly, and in greater circumstances of quiet, than
if they had happened to die in those places where they would have
experienced greater annoyance from the importunity of those by
whom they ought to have been assisted, than from death itself. On
the contrary, it was in the midst of pious exhortations, and while
calling upon the name of the Lord, that these sainted spirits fled
from the communion of their brethren here to the bosom of Christ.
Nor would I desire now to be free from all sorrow at the cost of
never having known them. Their memory will ever be sacred to me to
the end of my days, and I am persuaded that it will also be sweet
and comforting. But what advantage, you will say, is it to me to
have had a son of so much promise, since he has been torn away from
me in the first flower of his youth? As if, forsooth, Christ had
not merited, by his death, the supreme dominion over the living and
the dead! And if we belong to him, (as we ought,) why may he not
exercise over us the power of life and of death? However brief,
therefore, either in your opinion or in mine, the life of your son
may have been, it ought to satisfy us that he has finished the
course which the Lord had marked out for him. Moreover, we may not
reckon him to have perished in the flower of his age, who had grown
ripe in the sight of the Lord. For I consider all to have arrived
at maturity who are summoned away by death; unless, perhaps, one
would contend with him, as if he can snatch away any one before
his time. This, indeed, holds true of every one; but in regard to
Louis, it is yet more certain on another and more peculiar ground.
For he had arrived at that age when, by true evidences, he could
prove himself a member of the body of Christ: having put forth
this fruit, he was taken from us and transplanted. Yes, instead of
this transient and vanishing shadow of life, he has regained the
real immortality of being. Nor can you consider yourself to have
lost him, whom you will recover in the blessed resurrection in
the kingdom of God. For they had both so lived and so died, that
I cannot doubt but they are now with the Lord; let us, therefore,
press forward toward this goal which they have reached. There can
be no doubt but that Christ will bind together both them and us in
the same inseparable society, in that incomparable participation of
his own glory. Beware, therefore, that you do not lament your son as
lost, whom you acknowledge to be preserved by the Lord, that he may
remain yours for ever, who, at the pleasure of his own will, lent
him to you only for a season. Nor will you derive small consolation
from this consideration, if you only weigh carefully what is left
to you. Charles survives to you, of whom we all entertain this
sentiment, that there is not one of us who does not desire that he
might have such a son. Do not suppose that these expressions are
only intended for your hearing, or that there is exaggeration here,
in order to bespeak your favour. This is no more my habit than it is
my disposition. I therefore express what are my real sentiments, and
what I would say among strangers, that the young man excels, in the
first place, in singular piety and in the true fear of God, which is
the beginning and the end of all wisdom; then in the kindliness of
his disposition, in gentleness of manner, and in rare modesty and
continence. Nor do I assign these virtues to him upon mere rumour
or hearsay; for I have always been anxious upon this head, and kept
close observation of his particular disposition. During the lifetime
of both the brothers, I have remarked this distinction between them:
Louis excelled in quickness of apprehension, but Charles, in solid
judgment and intelligence, was much in advance of his brother. The
deceased brother was more ready in bringing into play what he had
read or heard; the other is slower, but also surer. The one was
more ready and quick in mastering the various arts as well as in
the active business of life; the other more considerate and more
steady: his constitution of body, also, indicated as much. Louis,
however, as he was of a more sanguine temperament, was also more
lively and cheerful. Charles, who has somewhat of melancholy in his
disposition, is not so easily drawn out of himself. He was always
the more modest and courteous of the two, which distinguished him
to such a degree, that he could subdue his brother's impetuosity by
the forbearance which he exercised. In moderation, in gravity like
that of manhood, and in a certain equability of demeanour, in these
points he was far the superior. You will, therefore, yourself be
judge how far the possessing such a son ought to avail for taking
off the pain of the bereavement wherewith the Lord has now afflicted
you, and you will then conclude, that even on this account you
must not be ungrateful to God. It is difficult, notwithstanding,
you will say, so to shake off or suppress the love of a father, as
not to experience grief on occasion of the loss of a son. Neither
do I insist upon your laying aside all grief. Nor, in the school of
Christ, do we learn any such philosophy as requires us to put off
that common humanity with which God has endowed us, that, being men,
we should be turned into stones. These considerations reach only so
far as this, that you do set bounds, and, as it were, temper even
your most reasonable sadness; that, having shed those tears which
were due to nature and to fatherly affection, you by no means give
way to senseless wailing. Nor do I by any means interfere because
I am distrustful of your prudence, firmness, or high-mindedness;
but only lest I might here be wanting and come short in my duty to
you. Although, however, this letter shall be superfluous, (which I
can suppose,) you will nevertheless take in good part, because of
your distinguished and kindly courtesy, this my perhaps over-anxious
importunity,--pardonable, however, notwithstanding, because it
proceeds from my unbounded affection towards you. Moreover, I have
requested Melanchthon and Bucer that they would also add their
letters to mine, because I entertained the hope that it would not
be unacceptable that they too should afford some evidence of their
good will toward you. Adieu, most distinguished sir, and my much
respected in the Lord. May Christ the Lord keep you and your family,
and direct you all with his own Spirit, until you may arrive where
Louis and Claude have gone before.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 175.]

  [257] Claude Ferey, so much regretted by Calvin, was tutor to the
  sons of M. de Richebourg, and a very distinguished professor of
  Strasbourg.

  [258] Idelette de Bure, the wife of Calvin, Antony, his brother, and
  Marie, his sister, had quitted Strasbourg, to avoid the infection of
  the plague.



LX.--TO FAREL.

     Affliction of Calvin--news of the Diet of Ratisbon--appointment
     of the theologians charged with the representation of the two
     parties--their reception by the Emperor--portrait of Julius
     Pflug, of Gropper, and of Eck.


  RATISBON, _24th April 1541_.

My last letter will have given you to understand clearly enough the
state of affliction in which I then was. If on that account it has
appeared somewhat fretful, you will impute it to my grief, which had
made me more peevish than usual. Even yet, although I am recovering
my composure by degrees, I still feel nothing more than a slight
abatement of the pressure. Nay even, what one ought to feel shame
in confessing, there is some such sort of consolation in grief,
as that it may be somewhat pleasing in itself not to be entirely
delivered from sorrow. Meanwhile, I have received a letter from Du
Tailly, dated on the 30th, in which he informed me that there was
a messenger on the way from you, who would give more particular
information as to your present state. He has delayed so long,
however, in making his appearance, that I have given over expecting
his arrival. If you have anything which you can communicate in
writing, and sure I am that there are many things, they might be
forwarded to me within the compass of a letter, if Mirabeau[259]
will send it to the King's ambassador, addressed under cover to
Ulrich;[260] for his messengers go pretty frequently to and fro. I
earnestly desire that you may explain to us clearly and faithfully
how that dispute between the two cities[261] has been settled; how
our Genevese friends are disposed; in what manner that church holds
itself together; what Viret is doing; what are the hopes and what
the pursuits of all, provided that you do not begin to grow warm
on the subject. For myself, I am also already too much disordered
and put out; and by your vehemency you produce this effect, that
those persons place less reliance upon you whom it had been of
importance to have influenced. Neither ought you to be surprised at
this, when you cannot escape this imputation of over vehemency even
from myself. I would, however, specially recommend, that you would
a second time press upon them, and seriously entreat them not to
forget what they may have promised. It would be delightful to me to
be informed of that when I return, as I have intimated by former
letters; nor is it difficult to accomplish, if you will only assist.

  [259] One of the numerous French refugees, whom persecution had
  driven into Switzerland. He was a member of the Church at Neuchatel.

  [260] Ulrich Chelius. See note 2, p. 160.

  [261] The process between Geneva and Berne, submitted to the
  arbitration of the town of Basle.

In the meetings of this Diet nothing memorable has yet been begun.
The Emperor was allowed to choose a few pious and experienced men of
weight and authority, who, upon examining and well considering the
points in controversy, might deliberate upon the means of agreement,
and afterwards submit to the approval of the states the heads of
agreement which they had settled among themselves. On the 20th of
this month he appointed, on the part of our adversaries, Julius
Pflug,[262] John Gropper[263] of Cologne, and John Eck;[264] on our
side, Philip Melanchthon, Martin Bucer, and John Pistorius.[265]
He also mentioned publicly that he would fix upon one of the
princes, who might preside over their business. Our friends having
consulted together, at my request they desired that a greater
number of witnesses might be present. It is not yet known what may
be obtained, except that there is some hope entertained that the
Emperor takes an interest in the matter. In the meanwhile, these
six who were appointed were summoned; they were kindly received by
the Emperor, who gave them his hand on their first meeting, and
when they took their leave. By an interpreter the Emperor addressed
to them a very solemn exhortation; that as he had committed such
important interests to them, trusting in their piety, learning,
and integrity, he doubted not they would answer his expectation.
That, therefore, they should have the glory of God, the public
peace, the salvation of all nations as their aim; that they should
not be influenced by ambition; that they should yield nothing
to the obstinacy or to any regard to the favour of men. Each
answered separately for himself. Therefore,--and may the Lord grant
success,--something will forthwith be attempted. Further, if we
may forecast what is likely to be the issue, receive in few words
what are the sentiments of many. First of all, it is worth while to
ascertain the distinguishing characteristics of the men. That same
Julius (Pflug) is an eloquent man, and thoroughly accomplished in
human learning, but by no means well versed in theology; besides, he
is ambitious and fond of applause; in other respects by no means of
an impure life. Since, therefore, he has neither sound knowledge,
nor a sufficiently settled determination, while he is trammelled by
his ambition, you may consider how little is to be expected from
him. Gropper sometimes reaches farther; but he also is of that
large class of men who attempt to figure to themselves I know not
what--some sort of middle path between Christ and the world. He is,
however, such a man, that one may deliberate with him not without
benefit. You know Eck[266] well enough already. No one entertains a
doubt but that this Davus[267] will throw all into confusion by his
forward impertinence. I do not indeed altogether despair; but when I
begin to hope, then I remember what took place at Worms. Certainly,
if anything very desirable shall be attained, it will so fall out
beyond all my expectation. When they have made a beginning you shall
hear more satisfactorily from me. Farewell, my very excellent and
right-hearted brother; may the Lord preserve you to his Church, and
confirm you along with all our holy brethren, all of whom will you
greet kindly in my name? I cannot enumerate them; do you consider
them as mentioned specially by name. You must keep up the spirits
of Viret, by frequent encouragement, that he may not be too much
cast down. Nevertheless, I was very glad when lately I heard that he
had removed his wife and household furniture to Geneva. On receiving
this intelligence I became less anxious.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [262] Julius Pflug, Canon, and afterwards Bishop of Numburg in
  Saxony, a learned man, and of conciliatory and moderate temper.

  [263] John Gropper, Canon of Cologne. He was so far enlightened
  as to see and acknowledge the abuses of the Roman Church, but had
  not courage to go forward in the reform of them. He obtained the
  Cardinal's dignity, and was put to death in a strange and unusual
  manner, having been strangled with the strings of his Cardinal's
  hat. See Bezæ _Icones_.

  [264] John Mayer, better known under the name of Eck, Doctor in
  Theology, celebrated on account of his controversies with Carlostadt
  and Luther.

  [265] John Pistorius, superintendent of the province of Nidau. He
  was called to the Diet of Augsbourg in 1529, and died, in 1583, at a
  very advanced age.

  [266] See the portrait of Eck which Mosellanus has sketched, cited
  by Seckendorf: "Big-bodied, broad-shouldered, stout-hearted, even
  to impudence, and more like the town-crier than a theologian--one
  whom you might rather expect to find figuring in the theatre than a
  Council;"--such was the principal adversary of the Protestants at
  the Diet of Ratisbon.

  [267] Davus, the type of all insolent slaves in the ancient drama.
  Melanchthon writes, in speaking of Eck, "I do not think that any
  pious person could listen without horror to the sophisms and vain
  subtleties of that talking mountebank."--Seckendorf, iii. parag. 80,
  addit. 1.

It has been lately written hither that many Asiatic tribes have
revolted from the Turk, and that he is on that account to be
occupied for the present with the war in Persia, so that he will
be less likely to trouble Hungary. As this news has been written
out of Hungary, I scarcely venture to put faith in it. I rather
desire to think it to be true than believe it to be as reported.
To-day also we have learned that the monk who had undertaken the
government of the kingdom during the minority of his pupil, has been
made a prisoner by his own countrymen.[268] There is, therefore, no
doubt but that on occasion of such a favourable opportunity, Buda
may have fallen under the power of Ferdinand. Many soldiers are
said to collect in the territory of the Bishop of Bremen, although
themselves do not tell under whose command they are. Many, however,
have a suspicion that our friend Henry of Brunswick is the contriver
of the plot;[269] for they have the same generals whom formerly
he had armed against us. Should there be any disturbance there is
danger of the war spreading.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [268] The Bishop George Martinuzzi, Waywode of Transylvania. He was
  feebly supported by the Turks, whom he had called into Hungary from
  hatred to King Ferdinand.

  [269] Henry of Brunswick endeavoured to have himself appointed head
  of the Romanist League concluded at Nuremberg in 1538, in opposition
  to the Protestant League of Smalkald. Incited by a blind hatred of
  the Gospel, he is accused of having hired mercenary troops to lay
  waste the dominions of the Elector of Saxony.--Seckendorf, iii.
  parag. 86.



LXVI.--TO FAREL.

     Request addressed by the ministers of the Church of Zurich
     to those of Strasbourg--Calvin promises to return to
     Geneva--message to Viret.


  FROM RATISBON, _4th May 1541_.

Although I think that my former letters must have abundantly
satisfied you, yet because a convenient opportunity was presented
of writing to you by Frellon,[270] I was unwilling to forego it,
especially since a new subject had occurred; for the Zurichers
lately, as I hear, have earnestly requested the magistrates of
Strasbourg to throw no obstacles in the way of my setting out, and
have also solemnly conjured me in another letter, although I am
only a private individual, that I would not refuse the calling of
the Lord. That this has happened by your suggestion our friends
can easily perceive. When I see, however, that you busy yourself
so much, without intermission, about it, no other conclusion can
be arrived at in my mind than that you entertain less favourable
thoughts of me and others than you ought. It had been my wish to
free you from such surmises when I wrote that at the request of
Philip I had been sent hither for the second time. What if I,
according to your practice, were to indulge in conjectures,--my mind
would incline me otherwise. It would have made little difference
had I remained at home in presence of the Council. Who do you think
can have been the advisers of this journey? But I am unwilling
to torture myself to no purpose with cogitations such as these.
My choice would have been to excuse myself if my conscience had
suffered me, although I have sought to be excused when it was too
late; but at last it was not possible to decline. Certainly I have
not dared to do so lest I should seem to set myself in opposition
to God as well as men. Hither, therefore, have I been either driven
out or sent. At present I am bound fast, as it were, with fetters,
which even, if I wished ever so much, I cannot break asunder before
the time. I shall, however, attempt to unloosen them by degrees.
When I perceived, however, that my speed was all too tardy to meet
your desires, I formed the determination at which I have hinted in
former letters, that, having once finished what we had to do here,
we should straightway depart thither; but many reasons compel me
first of all to return home. I will endeavour, if it be possible, to
return to Strasbourg before the fair time, where during the time of
the fair I shall preach; afterwards I shall make my escape thither.
I do not see what more you can require of me, unless, perhaps,
you take a pleasure in wearying me out with your complaints, and
only not to kill me outright. I will bear it, indeed, if I cannot
successfully entreat that you would shew yourself more equitable
towards me; but I would prefer to obtain of you that you would not
scourge without deserving. As soon as I receive a message from the
Zurichers I shall return a very friendly answer. They could not have
written in more friendly or more respectful terms. But I assure
you, all that was superfluous on my account, for our friends gave
no evidence whatever that they had the slightest desire to retain
me. These letters, however, have produced this good, that--what
is every way desirable--they have a tendency to cherish agreement
between these two Churches. On that account Bucer was certainly
greatly rejoiced. Do you, in the meanwhile, confirm and strengthen
Viret by frequent exhortations, that he may not be worn down by the
weariness of delay; and communicate this letter. My anxiety is very
great to know whether all my letters have reached you; for by the
same messenger I wrote about my departure to you, to Viret, and to
the Senate of Geneva; after that I wrote another letter from Ulm,
three from hence--these make four. The first and second I sent to
Strasbourg, the third to Soleure. You will also oblige me if you
will let me understand how many copies you have yet remaining of the
_Institution_. It will also be a most acceptable kindness, if you
will undertake it, carefully and faithfully to explain the present
state of things at Geneva. Adieu, most excellent and worthy brother;
greet for me reverently all the brethren, Chaponneau, Thomas,
Cordier, Michael, and the rest. I am tired with writing. This is
the third messenger whom I charge with letters.--Yours,

  CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [270] John Frellon, a printer of Lyons.



LXVII.--TO FAREL.

     Results of the Diet of Ratisbon--conferences
     of the theologians--original
     sin--free-will--justification--impossibility of agreement in the
     sacrament of the Supper.


  RATISBON, _11th May 1541_.

Though I find my prolonged stay here to be irksome, yet never shall
I regret having come. Do you think me to be not in a sound state of
mind when I say so? I am quite conscious of what I am saying; and
that I do not speak unreasonably you shall understand when we meet.
For the present, you can pick up a few crumbs, as much as you can,
by way of narrative. Our friends in the commission have come to
agreement on the doctrine of original sin without any difficulty; a
discussion followed on that of free-will, which was drawn together
out of the writings of Augustine; they departed in neither of these
points from ourselves. The debate in controversy was more keen
upon the doctrine of justification. At length a formula was drawn
up, which, on receiving certain corrections, was accepted on both
sides. You will be astonished, I am sure, that our opponents have
yielded so much, when you read the extracted copy, as it stood when
the last correction was made upon it, which you will find enclosed
in the letter. Our friends have thus retained also the substance of
the true doctrine, so that nothing can be comprehended within it
which is not to be found in our writings; you will desire, I know,
a more distinct explication and statement of the doctrine, and, in
that respect, you shall find me in complete agreement with yourself.
However, if you consider with what kind of men we have to agree upon
this doctrine, you will acknowledge that much has been accomplished.
Next came the subject of the Church: as to the definition they
agreed in opinion; on the question of the power of the Church
they began to differ. When at length they could not anyhow be
reconciled, it seemed best to omit that article. With regard to the
sacraments, there was some jarring of opinion; but when those of
our side conceded to them their ceremonies as things indifferent,
they advanced then to the consideration of the sacrament of the
Supper. There stood the impassable rock which barred the way to
farther progress. Transubstantiation, reposition, circumgestation,
and other superstitious forms of worship, were utterly rejected.
This our opponents would by no means allow. My colleague,[271] who
is full of enthusiasm in the desire for agreement, began to murmur,
and to become indignant, because such unseasonable questions were
entertained. Melanchthon rather tended to the opposite opinion,
that so, the gangrene being brought to a height, he might cut off
all hope of pacification. Our friends having consulted, they called
us together. We were requested, each in succession, to state our
opinions; it was the unanimous voice of all, that transubstantiation
was a mere fiction or figment, the reposition of the consecrated
wafer a piece of superstition, that the adoration of the wafer was
idolatrous, or at the least dangerous, since it had no authority
from the word of God. I had also to explain in Latin what were my
sentiments. Although I had not understood any one of the others,
deliberately, without fear of offence, I condemned that peculiar
local presence; the act of adoration I declared to be altogether
insufferable. Believe me, in matters of this kind, boldness is
absolutely necessary for strengthening and confirming others. Do
you, therefore, earnestly supplicate the Lord that he may uphold
us with that spirit of fortitude. A document in writing was then
drawn up by Philip, which, when it was presented to Granvelle, was
rejected with harsh expressions, because those three commissioners
had made us aware of them. When such things happen, at the very
threshold, you may conceive how much difficulty remains in regard
to private masses, the sacrifice of the mass, and the cup in the
communion. What if it should come to a consideration of the open
confession of the spiritual presence? How much disturbance would
be ready to burst forth out of it! Your letters, by the quill
merchant, were delivered to me a month after they were written; I
shall be surprised if, in the course of a day or two, others do
not make their appearance. The safety of the brethren has been
recommended to me to attend to it as I ought, but we stick as yet
at that obstruction which you are aware of. Maurus,[272] who was
sent about that business, is actively engaged in untying that knot.
Greater hope than usual breaks forth: for the Landgrave begins to
perceive some failure in the quarter from which he expected most;
therefore he will incline to that which we propose. If that shall so
fall out, they will, I doubt not, have a particular consideration
of the brethren; and Maury will do his utmost, as he is a pious and
right-hearted man. Believe me, he has hitherto been faithful in
attending to that which he undertook. Nothing more, however, has
been obtained, than that they might have permission to return home
with impunity, provided they abjured in presence of the bishop. N.
is most troublesome to us; may the Lord either take him away or
amend him. Greet all the brethren in the most friendly manner. May
the Lord Jesus keep you. Philip and Bucer salute you. When we dined
with the Landgrave the day before yesterday, kindly mention was made
of you.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 17.]

  [271] Martin Bucer.

  [272] This was doubtless that gentleman of the chamber of King
  Francis I., to whom Œcolampadius wrote in 1524, to congratulate
  him on his sincere attachment to the Gospel. This gentleman is known
  only under the pseudonyme of Maurus Musæus, _a secretis et cubiculo
  Regis Galliarum_. See the letter of Œcolampadius in the Life of
  Gerard Roussel, by M. Schmidt. Strasbourg, 1845, in 8vo, App. No. 3,
  p. 179.



LXVIII.--TO FAREL.

     Efforts of Bucer and of Melanchthon to effect a connection
     between the two Churches--formula of concord--feeling of Calvin
     on the subject.


  _12th May 1541._

The messenger left a day later than I supposed. This day has brought
forth somewhat for us. Granvelle, when he had cut off all hope
on the part of our friends by his reply, after he heard of Eck's
apoplexy, since, perhaps, he saw that the forward importunity
of that personage put a stop to the progress toward agreement,
requested (Pistorius also being left out) the four remaining
theologians to consult together of themselves without any presiding
arbiters. So far as I could understand, if we could be content with
only a half Christ we might easily come to understand one another.
Philip and Bucer have drawn up ambiguous and insincere formulas
concerning transubstantiation, to try whether they could satisfy
the opposite party by yielding nothing. I could not agree to this
device, although they have, as they conceive, reasonable grounds for
doing so, for they hope that in a short time it would so happen that
they would begin to see more clearly if the matter of doctrine shall
be left an open question for the present; therefore they rather wish
to skip over it, and do not dread that equivocation in matters of
conscience, than which nothing can possibly be more hurtful. I can
promise, however, both to yourself and to all the pious, that both
are animated with the best intentions, and have no other object
in view than promoting the kingdom of Christ. Nor can you desire
anything on the part of either of them which they do not faithfully
and steadily perform, except that in their method of proceeding
they accommodate themselves too much to the time. But I cannot
well endure to see that Bucer so loads himself with the hatred of
many on account of it. He is conscious of his own good intentions,
and, on this account, is more careless than is desirable. But we
ought not to be so content with the integrity of our own conscience
as to have no consideration or regard of our brethren. But these
are things which I deplore in private to yourself, my dear Farel;
see, therefore, that you keep them to yourself. One thing alone,
as usually happens in the midst of evils, I am thankful for, that
there is no one who is fighting now more earnestly against the wafer
god than Brentz,[273] for so he calls it. I will not write more at
present, in order that you may the more eagerly desire my arrival
among you, that I may stuff your ears full of these stories. Adieu,
my very dear brother. Freithus, Musculus, Brentz, greet you;
indeed, almost all do so. Eck, as they say, is getting better. The
world does not deserve to be yet delivered from that _bête_.[274]
There has lately occurred a circumstance which I must not omit to
mention. Maurus has an attendant, who was for some time a servant
with Louis[275] and myself at Basle, a decent, honest young man,
trustworthy and modest. About five years ago, when he was but yet a
boy, without the knowledge of his father, he promised in his cups to
marry a young woman. His father having been informed of the affair
had remonstrated with the son upon the subject. The youth told him
that he had been imposed upon. The case not having been fully gone
into, not being well understood, and still less well weighed and
maturely considered, the judges of your Consistory have pronounced,
under the direction of Marcourt, that the marriage ought to be held
good. The young man, that he might avoid this connection, left his
country. He has now received the intelligence of the death of his
father; but his relations advise him, at the same time, to take the
young woman to wife; and Mirabeau has also advised him to the same
purpose. I have probed him to the uttermost, and almost worn him out
by my entreaties, yet he is so averse to it that I cannot prevail on
myself to urge him any farther; and all the while he acknowledges
that the girl is an honest woman, only he affirms positively that he
never had any inclination to marry her. Because I wish him well, I
would like if it can be brought about to have the affair settled by
friendly agreement, and a mutual understanding between the parties.
This will also be for the advantage of the girl herself. I have
written to Mirabeau about the business. On my account, however, I
do not wish you to do anything except what you shall judge just and
right in the circumstances. Nor would I do more myself if the case
were referred to my decision.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 17.]

  [273] John Brentz, a celebrated German theologian, much attached to
  the Lutheran dogma of the Supper. He assisted at the Conferences of
  Haguenau, of Worms, and of Ratisbon, and seemed, in the latter, to
  go over to the interpretation of Calvin, against which, at a later
  period, he maintained a very sharp controversy.

  [274] Eck died two years later, the 16th February 1543, in
  consequence of a second attack of apoplexy, brought on by his
  intemperance.--Seckendorf, iii. parag. 112.

  [275] Louis du Tillet; he had made a long stay at Basle with Calvin,
  before accompanying him into Italy.



LXIX.--TO THE PASTORS OF THE CHURCH OF ZURICH.[276]

  [276] At the request of Farel and the magistrates of Geneva, the
  pastors of the Church of Zurich had written to Calvin, then deputed
  to the Diet at Ratisbon, exhorting him to resume the office of
  the ministry in his earliest charge. Calvin, in his reply, freely
  unburdens himself of the sentiments of terror and repugnance which
  he felt at the thought of returning to Geneva.

     The expression of his sentiments in reference to the Church
     of Geneva--ready to return to that town if the magistrates of
     Strasbourg consent to it, and if the Seigneury of Berne promise
     their support--testimony of respect for the Church of Zurich.


  RATISBON, _31st May 1541_.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Men and brethren, most dear to me and very highly respected,--your
letter was most acceptable to me on a twofold account, chiefly
because, according to that close tie of spiritual relation which,
according to the will of God, subsists between us, you faithfully
and prudently admonish me as to my duty; as also, because I perceive
you are seriously anxious in behalf of the Church of Geneva,
whose administration, as a sacred charge, has been entrusted to
me. Not merely on my own behalf, therefore, but in name of the
Church herself, do I feel grateful, and now express my singular
thankfulness, not only for that you have resolved to countenance her
by your protection, but also to aid me by your counsel. Although,
at the same time, however, I must take the freedom to say, I stood
not so greatly in need of that very earnest exhortation, who am of
my own accord well enough disposed to carry out in practice what
you advise. It was also very delightful to be confirmed by your
judgment in a matter of such difficult and perplexing deliberation.
But because I perceive you are somewhat doubtful as to my mind upon
the matter, I will at once explain to you briefly what has stood in
the way to prevent my proceeding thither more speedily, and also
what, upon the advice of my brethren, I have at length agreed to
do. When the first letter arrived, by which the Council tried to
sound my wishes, I was not a little staggered on perceiving that
I might be drawn back again into those straits and difficulties
from whence I have always concluded that I have been delivered
by the singular kindness of God. While I sustained the charge
in that church along with my excellent and most faithful friend
and colleague Farel, I tried every method by which it could be
preserved. And although it was a very troublesome province to me,
yet the thought of deserting it never entered into my thoughts. For
I considered myself placed in that station by God, like a sentinel
at his post, from which it would be impiety on my part were I to
stir a single foot; yet I am aware that it will be scarcely credible
were I to relate to you even a very small part of those annoyances,
or rather miseries, which we had for a whole year to endure. This
I can truly testify, that not a day passed away in which I did
not ten times over long for death; but as for leaving the Church
to remove elsewhere, such a thought never once came into my mind.
When matters, therefore, had come to the worst, when we saw that
the safety of the Church stood very much in our not being cast out
of the government of it, we strove hard for the retaining of our
ministry, not less than if the contest had been a matter of life or
death. And, moreover, if they had attended to my advice, although
not a very acute individual, it would have been far easier, then,
rather to have relieved the Church in her pangs, or even, when
partially collapsed and downcast, to raise her up again, than it
can be to restore her now that she is almost utterly ruined. It
would have proved an excellent remedy, by which the danger might
have been got over, if we had been summoned to your Synod. That,
however, could not be obtained. There was indeed another, if the
churches had in earnest taken up our cause in common. To most people
I appeared to rave when I foretold what afterwards has occurred.
When at length, however, it was quite apparent to me that I had
discharged my duty to the uttermost, I withdrew along with Farel
into retirement with a quiet conscience. He was immediately called
away elsewhere. As for me, I had determined for the future to
keep away from all public employment; and I would have done so,
had not certain causes compelled me to undertake the calling with
which I am at present charged. Therefore, that I may acknowledge
the truth, that messenger was noways pleasant who brought to me
the intimation that I had been recalled to Geneva. Nor, indeed, do
I dwell on all the circumstances which, as you suppose, stood in
the way of my return,--the ignominy to which I was subjected, the
savage treatment, and the like. Whether I am wont to avenge my own
wrongs, I refer to the judgment of God, and to those individuals who
can speak from their experience. But had I besides, in any degree,
been very desirous of revenge, there is no reason why I should seek
for vengeance on the Genevese. Whatever has happened has been done
in name of the city, but so that the parties implicated in the
offence are not many, and the blame rests with a few. Hurried along
by sedition, these very persons were themselves the agitators who
have stirred up the whole of these disturbances. And the citizens
of Strasbourg themselves, although, in respect of that fatherly
kindness which they have for me, they desire to keep me among them,
yet will throw no hindrance in the way of my acquiescing in this
call, provided only that it shall be clearly seen to be for the
advantage and prosperity of the Genevese. How faithfully they have
always promoted the welfare of that Church, I myself am the best
witness. I see indeed, by experience, every day more and more how
eminently great is their anxiety on behalf of all the Churches.
What then, you will ask, is the reason of this delay? When that
letter arrived, it had already been resolved by your Council that I
was to set out for the Diet at Worms. This I offered as my excuse
why I could fix nothing certain as to Geneva. At the same time, I
wrote in the most friendly terms to intimate, that I by no means
undertook to come, pledging myself, however, to the performance of
every kind office they might require of one who was bound to them
by the closest of all ties. Without waiting for a reply, they had,
in the meanwhile, sent a deputation, who were to press my setting
out. We were already at Worms; the deputation followed all the way
thither. Having, on my part, advised with those friends by whose
opinion I had agreed to be guided, I relieved the deputation with
this promise,--That as soon as we returned home, we would set about
in earnest whatever was likely to prove most for their advantage. I
explained, also, our view of the whole affair, that it appeared to
us that no better method of setting matters right in their Church
could be devised, than for the neighbouring Churches to send some of
their number to look into the state of matters, and who might both
give and take counsel on the spot; that for such a purpose Bucer
would come along with me, should no unforeseen event occur to hinder
him; and that we likewise entertained a reasonable hope that the
rest of the Churches would consent to send some of their members.
But before we could take our departure from Worms, we had begun to
fear a new journey [to Ratisbon:] a few days, indeed, after our
return, it was announced to me that I must make ready to travel. The
expectation of going thither being, therefore, laid aside, the delay
had to be excused a second time. But it will appear, perhaps, that
these pretexts have been caught at, or, at all events, willingly
laid hold of, that I might relieve myself from that call, to which,
on other accounts, my mind was extremely averse. That I may here
free myself from this suspicion, I shall briefly open my mind to
you without any reserve. Because I feel myself quite unequal to
such contentions as those by which I was formerly all but worn out
and exhausted by every sort of annoyance, I confess that the dread
of this burden filled me with alarm. Whenever, indeed, I recall to
memory those contests by which we were sorely exercised on the part
of those whom it so little became to treat us in such a manner,
I seem to lose all spirit. Were I, therefore, to give way to my
own feeling, I would rather go beyond sea than return thither.
As, however, in this respect I stand somewhat in doubt of my own
judgment, I avail myself of the guidance and counsel of others, and
wish to be directed by those who are sound in judgment and sincerely
well-disposed. And that I may not seem to take this course out of
craft or cunning, in the name of Christ I protest against any one
harbouring such an opinion or thought of me, as though here I felt
no difficulty. You know, however, that in an affair of so great
moment, I can take no step whatever without the authority of the
Church of which I am a member; but it is their unanimous opinion,
that as soon as these meetings of the Diet are over, we should
proceed to Geneva. For they think it is desirable that Bucer should
accompany me thither, where we may consult together on the spot what
is best to be done. I wish that we could obtain, besides, some one
from your presbytery to be present with us. However that may turn
out, we need be under no apprehension that the Church at Strasbourg,
in taking care for its own provision, will neglect that other. Nor,
indeed, has it any cause to do so, even if it were inclined. During
my residence there, that I might have something to do, they set me
to lecture on theology. I am not greatly concerned, however, about
the value of my labours, as if that school would incur great loss
on my departure.[277] One consideration alone keeps Capito, and
Bucer, and the rest, in a state of anxiety, because they expect
but little edification from my ministry, unless the Bernese join
in good earnest along with me, and, as it were, hold out a helping
hand. Neither do I conceal that my especial hope is placed in their
coming to agreement with us, if they choose so far to help us.
That they might be brought to that determination, we have thought
it right to communicate with them beforehand, and previously to
our entering upon the matters in dispute. They shew themselves
well disposed, if only it shall be clear that that Church can be
restored and preserved under my ministry. You see now, therefore,
the state of this whole affair. Not only have I never refused the
administration of this province, however unpleasant that may have
been to me, but I have not even endeavoured to escape by flying
away from it. Somewhile ago, overcome, or rather drilled into it,
by the constant entreaties of many godly brethren, I consented at
least to go there, that, judging for myself of the present aspect
of affairs, I might consider what I ought to do. It has been to me
a source of great delight, as I have formerly stated in the outset,
that I have come to the same conclusion with yourselves; for, as
I have always deservedly entertained a very high respect for you,
there is nothing more desirable can happen to me, than, whatever I
do, to proceed in agreement with your authority, and that of men
like you. That expression, therefore, in the conclusion of your
epistle, was most agreeable to me, where you declare that you have
no doubt your exhortation will have weight with me. As, indeed, I
have always entertained a singular regard and reverence for that
Church, and have also, at all times, very highly esteemed you,
I rejoice that you have come to form the opinion of me, that in
respectful regard towards you there is scarcely any thing you may
not venture to promise yourselves. You may certainly do so, for I
will not disappoint your expectation.

  [277] The peculiar modesty of Calvin is the more remarkable, when
  we consider the éclat which attended his preaching and teaching
  at Strasbourg. During the two years which he passed in that city,
  the French Church continually increased, and the name of Calvin
  was alone sufficient to attract, from all parts of France, young
  persons desirous of learning, and even men already distinguished as
  learned.--See Sturm's _Antipappi_, iv. p. 21.

The state in which affairs are here I dare not write to you. All has
been hitherto partly so much in suspense, and partly in such a state
of entanglement, that we would need the spirit of divination if we
are to attain any certain knowledge; besides, whatever there is I
have no doubt that those of Constance give you a faithful report;
I therefore conclude. Adieu, my dear brethren in the Lord, most
beloved and longed for. All those who are here salute you, Philip,
[Melanchthon,] Bucer, and the rest. May the Lord Jesus confirm you
by his own Spirit for the edifying of his Church.--Your very loving
and affectionate,

  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

Our princes and the free cities have urgently recommended the safety
of the brethren[278] to the King of France. The letter having been
delivered to the ambassador, I have not ventured to add mine,
informing Farel of what had been done. I beseech you, however, for
Christ's sake, that you will take care your Senate writes also as
soon as possible. I bear, indeed, that the cruelty of the wicked
persecutors rages in many parts of the kingdom with great fury. I
expect, however, this time, that some abatement of severity may
possibly be obtained.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Archives of Zurich._ Vol. i. Gest. vi. 105,
      p. 334.]

  [278] The Waldenses of Provence.



LXX.--TO FAREL.[279]

  [279] The conferences at Ratisbon were prolonged without any result.
  Calvin solicited and obtained leave of departure. He took the route
  of Strasbourg, where he no doubt arrived toward the end of June 1541.

     Return of Calvin to Strasbourg--news of the Diet of
     Ratisbon--contradictory formulæ presented to the Emperor--reply
     of Charles V.--letter to the King of France in favour of his
     persecuted Protestant subjects.


  STRASBOURG, _July 1541_.

When I had ground to think that there was no further use for me
at the Diet, by a great amount of brazen importunity, I extorted
rather than obtained my discharge; for not only was Bucer very
sorrowful at the idea of my going away, but Philip also, who had
undertaken to assist me in that matter, when the time drew near,
requested that I would remain. I found means, however, one way
or other, to disentangle myself. It was not so much reasons of a
private kind, as those of a public nature, that urged me to hasten
my departure. From the time that Capito had been indisposed, I
saw our school in difficulties. I was apprehensive that, during
the fair-time, the Church might require my presence. Our friends
were so far induced by these considerations as at length to yield
to my wish. But I will explain briefly the state of matters when
I came away. From the time when we split upon that question of
the Eucharist, we could no more agree together upon any other.
You are aware that we were all agreed in the opinion, that
transubstantiation was a mere figment of the imagination, that
it was not only opposed to the word of the Lord, but also to the
nature of a sacrament; that the adoration of the host was either
idolatrous or extremely dangerous; that the exposition itself
savoured of superstition. When the three commissioners stood firm
to this reply without flinching, Granvelle bitterly upbraided
Philip, upon whose submission he hoped there might not be so much
difficulty in bringing round the other two. Whereupon, seeing that
he could extort nothing, he told them to proceed to the other heads.
Meanwhile, the Marquis of Brandenbourg,[280] clandestinely, not,
however, without the knowledge of the Emperor, despatches one of
the princes of Anhalt[281] on an embassy to Luther, expecting that,
on account of the old controversy regarding the Sacrament, he would
be more favourable than any of us to the Papists. What answer he
has brought away with him, I have not yet ascertained. I have no
doubt that Luther would return a not unsatisfactory reply. There
still remained over three questions, in reference to the Eucharist,
to be discussed, that concerning the sacrifice of the mass, that
about private masses, and the distribution of the wine as well as
the bread. Our opponents having abandoned the traffic in the buying
and selling of masses, as well as the great variety and multitude
of them, retained but one daily mass in each church, and that only
on condition that there was an assembly of worshippers to whom
the mystery might be expounded, and that they might thereafter
be exhorted to communion. They wished the giving of the cup to
be free, that those might partake who wished it. They disguised
the sacrifice by a sophistical interpretation, and where they got
that do you conjecture. All those views are rejected which Philip
proposed in writing, against the sense or meaning of the article.
They afterwards proceeded to take into consideration the subject of
confession, in which the opposite party shewed some moderation,
remitting the scrupulous enumeration of every sin; but they enforced
the necessity of confession and absolution. Our friends submitted
a contrary formula. In the same manner the invocation of the
saints, the primacy of the Pope, and the authority of the Church,
were separately discoursed and treated of; but we could come to no
agreement. All our articles are appended to the book. The Emperor
returned liberal acknowledgment and thanks to the commissioners
for having faithfully performed their duty. He then referred the
consideration of the whole to the States. And because nothing could
be determined satisfactorily, except upon a written document, the
book was offered along with the articles. The Emperor was afterwards
dissatisfied with what he had done: but the States ratified what
had already been decreed. While this was going forward, the Diet
gave audience to the ambassadors of Hungary and Austria, who were
suppliants for aid against the Turk.[282] Thereupon the Emperor
proposed an adjournment of the debate on the subject of religion,
and that the States should turn their attention to consult upon
that business. When I saw that this afforded some respite, I was
unwilling to forego the opportunity; and thus I have made my escape.
I have briefly glanced over the progress of the proceedings. What
belongs to councils of a more secret kind, you shall hear somewhat
on my arrival. I wish, however, that you would be persuaded to wait
for the arrival of Bucer, that we may consult together in common.
In what concerns the brethren who suffer in behalf of the Gospel,
I have not accomplished what I wished. For the occasion demanded
some more weighty embassage, which the times will scarcely admit of,
because of the vicious inclinations and corrupt nature of mankind. I
have therefore obtained a letter[283] in the name of the princes;
which, indeed, must have been procured before the Diet would hear
of it. But I have taken care that some things have been changed
and inserted which you requested. The paper will hold no more. You
will communicate, if you think proper, all these matters to Viret,
and excuse me to him for not having written; for I am harassed by
frequent calls and interruptions, that I have scarcely breathing
time. Adieu, my very dear brother. Salute all the brethren. May the
Lord preserve you all.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 18.]

  [280] Albert, Margrave of Brandenbourg, a bold and perfidious
  adventurer, entirely devoted to the cause of the Emperor. He is
  reported to have said: "If the Devil will but pay me well, I will
  serve him." He maintained in 1553 a long struggle with Maurice of
  Saxony, and was vanquished, the year following, at the battle of
  Sievershausen, where his adversary perished.

  [281] Without doubt, George of Anhalt, the scholar of Luther, and
  who, notwithstanding his high birth, wished to be ordained minister
  and ecclesiastical inspector of the diocese of Mersebourg. He died
  in 1553.--Melch. Adam. _Vitæ Theologorum Germanorum_, p. 245.

  [282] The Sultan Soliman had entered into Hungary, and had already
  taken possession of the town of Buda, under pretext that the young
  King John Sigismond was incapable of defending it against his
  enemies.

  [283] That letter was an urgent and pressing appeal to the justice
  and to the clemency of Francis I., by the whole Church of Christ:
  "We have been very much grieved, because, when it could not be
  denied that many abuses of long standing clung to the Churches,
  nevertheless, so greatly has the heat of anger been inflamed
  everywhere, that not only private individuals, but also whole
  nations may be brought into jeopardy: which, when they become
  suppliants to your royal highness, you may consider that it is not
  we only, but the very Church of Christ that lies mourning at the
  feet of the greatest kings, and implores and entreats their help,
  that the light of the dawning Gospel may not be extinguished, and
  that quiet, modest men and members of Christ may be let alone." This
  earnest prayer remained unanswered in the corrupt court of Valois.
  Policy alone brought about the adoption of measures which humanity
  demanded, and the ruin of the Vaudois, and the retribution upon the
  persecutors, were adjourned to another time.



LXXI.--TO FAREL AND VIRET.[284]

  [284] Such is the address: To the excellent and very faithful
  Servants of Christ, William Farel and Peter Viret, my very dear
  Brethren.

     Communication of a letter received from Bucer--news of
     Germany--Church of Metz--assurance given to Viret of his
     approaching departure for Geneva,--recommendation of two young
     men.


  STRASBOURG, _25th July 1541_.

We have lately received a letter in common from Bucer, in which he
informed us that no considerable progress had been made in the great
concern of religion, except that the princes of the adverse party
had presented a very violent reply, directed against ourselves,
to the Electors. He adds, however, notwithstanding, that there
were some who stoutly refused their consent to it, and shewed a
disposition in no way hostile to us, among whom he mentions Otho
Henri,[285] the Bishop of Augsbourg and Constance, the Abbot of
Kempten. It is the custom in the Diets of the Empire, that the
Counts and Abbots who are of the Council submit their resolutions
to the Princes, they also to the Electors, then their decisions
are propounded in common to the Cities, who are at liberty to
agree or dissent. They are waiting at present for the reply of the
Electors, which we expect will be somewhat gentler in its tone. For
the Elector-Palatine, Brandenbourg, and the Archbishop of Cologne,
give out that they are not ill-disposed toward us. The Archbishop
of Mentz alone is hostile. He of Treves will steer his course with
a view to his own convenience, and he will be favourable to us as
far as that goes. There is no doubt about the Cities, for there is
not one of them who does not wish well to our tranquillity, and most
of them long to hear the Gospel preached among them. Our friends
also, on their part, were about to present their final answer;
but what the import of it is to be, he does not say. He relates,
moreover, that assistance had been promised against the Turks, but
on what terms he does not explain. The Emperor, however, as he says,
was about to leave for Italy, as if the principal matters were
despatched. That preacher of Metz who brought the letter, of whom
you have beard, brought back word that it was constantly reported
there that the Emperor would depart before the end of this month.
Lest, however, he should seem to break off without bringing the
business to some conclusion, he will leave a deputy who can transact
the rest. In a short time, if I am not mistaken, we may receive more
ample details, or Bucer himself will be here; for after they have
given in their final reply, what is there further to delay him there?

  [285] Otho Henri, brother of Frederic, Count Palatine.

I hear nothing about the business of the brethren.[286] I have
written, however, to Raymond, earnestly requesting of him that
he would sincerely tell me what we may expect. The preacher of
Metz,[287] of whom I have spoken, a pious young man, learned and
modest, is at present living with me until the return of Doctor
Bruno, deputy of this city, who has promised to plead his cause
energetically before the Diet. So far as I could understand from
him, and also from all the citizens, who are here in great number
at the fair, not a year will pass away without some tumult or
disturbance, unless the nobility of their own accord shall apply
some remedy. As to Geneva, whatever shall happen, it is easy for me
to be informed betimes. For if the dispute shall be settled, our
friends here will let me away all the more willingly. If, however,
it shall turn out otherwise, we shall at least think about a remedy.
The danger which we formerly feared on account of Caroli will now
be at an end; for he has broken his promise in such a way, that he
can never be received by us, and already, as I hear, is treating
about a reconciliation with his Sorbonne friends.[288] Thereupon
my guest, as I think, will succeed me as pastor.[289] In providing
a successor in the office of professor, they are more at a loss,
nor do they find a suitable person; but they shall not succeed in
retaining me here, if the welfare of the Church of Geneva shall
require otherwise. Certainly the leave of any one will not prevent
me, if the Lord shall have granted it.

  [286] See note I, p. 270.

  [287] The young preacher who is spoken of here, seems to have been
  Peter Du Brenil, who succeeded Calvin in the direction of the French
  Church of Strasbourg, and was a martyr at Tournay in 1545.--See
  Sleidan, lib. xii. et xvi., and Crespin, _Histoire des Martyrs_.

  [288] Caroli effected his reconciliation with the Sorbonne, but it
  was in vain that he solicited a benefice in the Church of Rome.

  [289] See note 2, p. 275.

As for the rest, the two youths who deliver my letter to you have
lived here rather more than a month. I am credibly informed that
they come of respectable families, but as they came hither unknown
to their relations, they arrived ill supplied with money. Seeing
that the expense of living here is great, board and lodging not very
easy to be found, and situations difficult to be procured, they have
thought it better to repair to you, where they expect there will be
more convenience for them. They desire to engage in any literary
employment which may present itself in the meantime, until they can
try whether anything can be got from their relations. But if not,
their living there will be the less expensive while waiting for the
answer, whatever it shall be. I request of you, therefore, that you
may consider them as recommended to your good offices. They have
appeared to me not unworthy of the aid of well-disposed persons; nor
are they at all deficient either in ability or learning, and their
modesty speaks for itself. If there is, therefore, a situation or
employment among you suitable for them, I beg that you would help
them in obtaining it, wherewith they may support themselves either
at a moderate expense or at none at all, until they shall have
an answer from their relations; for then they will arrange their
matters better. However that shall be, take care that they may
experience your kindness.--Adieu, most excellent and much honoured
Brethren.



TO VIRET.


  STRASBOURG, _25th July 1541_.

To-day I have written hurriedly to you and Farel; but because this
youth thought that it would not be in his favour if I did not give
him a line in writing addressed to yourself, he made me promise
that I would do so. I write, therefore, but without having anything
to write about. You may pretend, however, that you have received
something serious, that you may humour the joke. You will see in the
other letter what delays me here. As soon as Bucer returns we shall
both hasten to Geneva with all speed, or without any further delay I
will start alone. Salute all good men. Yourself will patiently await
my arrival. Excuse my writing in such a hurried manner; for I am as
busily engaged in receiving those who constantly flock to me, as our
Canons of the cathedral when they are about to elect the Bishop.
Adieu, most excellent and kindly brother. Once more, salute all the
godly.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



LXXII.--TO VIRET.

     Excuses for his delay in leaving Strasbourg--conclusion of the
     Diet at Ratisbon.


  STRASBOURG, _3d August 1541_.

Bucer has returned five days ago. I have not ventured as yet,
however, to press our setting out upon our journey, as well because
I knew that I could not easily induce him to come until matters
there were settled,[290] lest his going thither might prove to no
purpose, as because hitherto he has been employed partly in writing
what was exceedingly necessary, partly by private business, which
has occupied him from the first until to-day. That writing on which
he has been engaged will be finished, as I suppose, in a short time,
and then we wait every hour in expectation until those of Basle send
back word concerning the state of the process. On my part, I have
repented more than a hundred times that I did not proceed to that
town immediately on my return from Ratisbon; for even although my
presence had not been of much avail in that quarter, it would, at
least, have delivered me from much anxiety, because I have never
ceased to be restless about the issue of the affair, and, at the
same time, feared lest I might seem wanting to our friends in these
difficulties; while, on the other hand, a different apprehension
seized me lest those ancient friends of ours, who are wont to take
every thing by the wrong handle, should suspect something else. As
soon, however, as some certain intelligence is brought to us, I will
not give him any rest until I bring off Bucer along with me; but if
he shall still put me off I will come away notwithstanding, that I
may advise with you and with others according to the present aspect
of affairs; for the interest and requirements of the Church would
bear no further delay, nor could I have any peace of mind while
kept in this state of uncertainty, nor will my own private reasons
and domestic arrangements admit of my remaining longer in this
suspense; therefore I have publicly announced in the Academy, that
I would not lecture any more until something was settled one way or
other.

  [290] He refers to the process pending between Berne and Geneva
  which had been submitted to the arbitration of Basle.

The Diet concluded very much as I had always foretold that it
would; for the whole plan of pacification passed off in smoke,
while all has been referred to an Universal Council, or, at least,
to a National one, if the former cannot be soon obtained. But what
else is this than to be frustrated?[291] for it is afterwards added
that a new Diet is to be held eighteen months hence, if no progress
is made in the Council. In the first place, that is too great an
interval; and, in the next, the fate of former attempts does not
afford much hope of success; lastly, it is very likely that the
Emperor will then be so entirely taken up with other matters that he
will have a just exemption from attending the meetings of the Diet.
However that may be, the adverse party will feel that they have
received no slight wound, and time will make this more evident. I am
unwilling, however, to follow this subject further, because I shall
be better able to do so when we meet, which I hope will be shortly,
if the Lord will.

  [291] See Sleidan, lib. xiv. p. 387.

This matron has been about fifteen months with us; but as it is
very troublesome to her to live in a country where she does not
understand the language, and as she fears that after my going
away she may be more at a loss than before, she has determined on
removing to Geneva. She possesses enough to live upon; you will
only help her to find a house: her venerable age entitles her to
assistance; and she has most respectable sons. Take care, therefore,
that she may find my recommendation of some use to her. These
civilities which I request of you,--the duties of benevolence, you
can shew her without much trouble. I do not advise, however, that
you take her to live in your house, but only that you provide a
home for her by means of your friends, at a reasonable rent, that
she may not be forced to loiter long in the public hostelry. Adieu,
my excellent brother; may the Lord preserve and direct you in his
work.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



LXXIII.--TO FAREL.[292]

  [292] Letter without date, but written most probably in the month of
  August 1541. It informs us as to the last inward struggles of the
  Reformer on the eve of quitting Strasbourg to return to Geneva.

     Prepares to depart for Geneva--self-denial of Calvin--absolute
     submission to the will of God.


  STRASBOURG, [_August 1541_.]

When your letter was brought to me, mine was already written; and
although you will find that it does not agree in all points to what
you require of me, I have thought it best to forward it to you, that
you may be aware what my feelings were at the time when it arrived.
Now, however, after that I have seen you press the matter further,
and that our former guests associate openly in the same cause, I
have again had recourse to our magistracy. Having read over your
letter and those of the Genevese, I asked what in their opinion was
now to be done. They answered, that there could be no doubt that,
without calling any previous meeting, I ought immediately to set
out thither; for that the question was not now open or doubtful,
although it had not been formally settled. Therefore we prepare to
start on the journey. In order, however, that the present supply of
that Church may be provided for, which we are not willing should
continue destitute, they are of opinion that Viret should by all
means be sent for thither, in the meantime, while I am for the
present distracted between two charges. When we come back, our
friends here will not refuse their consent to my return to Geneva.
Moreover, Bucer has pledged himself that he will accompany me.
I have written to them to that effect; and in order to make the
promise all the more certain, Bucer has accompanied my letter by
one from himself. As to my intended course of proceeding, this is
my present feeling: had I the choice at my own disposal, nothing
would be less agreeable to me than to follow your advice. But when
I remember that I am not my own, I offer up my heart, presented
as a sacrifice to the Lord. Therefore there is no ground for your
apprehension that you will only get fine words. Our friends are in
earnest, and promise sincerely. And for myself, I protest that I
have no other desire than that, setting aside all consideration of
me, they may look only to what is most for the glory of God and the
advantage of the Church. Although I am not very ingenious, I would
not want pretexts by which I might adroitly slip away, so that I
should easily excuse myself in the sight of men, and shew that it
was no fault of mine. I am well aware, however, that it is God with
whom I have to do, from whose sight such crafty imaginations cannot
be withheld. Therefore I submit my will and my affections, subdued
and held-fast, to the obedience of God; and whenever I am at a loss
for counsel of my own, I submit myself to those by whom I hope that
the Lord himself will speak to me. When Capito wrote, he supposed,
as I perceive, that I would, in a lengthy and tiresome narrative,
relate to you the whole course of our deliberation; but it is enough
that you have the sum of it; although I would have done that also
had there been time. But the whole day was taken up in various
avocations. At this present, after supper, I am not much inclined,
by longer sitting up, to trifle with my health, which is at best
in a doubtful state. This messenger has promised to return here at
Christmas with the carriage, in which he can bring along with him
to Wendelin, of the books which belong to him, ten copies of the
Institution, six of the Commentaries on Jeremiah: these you will
give to be brought away with him.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. pp. 17, 18.]



LXXIV.--TO THE SEIGNEURY OF GENEVA.[293]

  [293] After having overcome the last scruples, and taken leave
  of the members of his Church, "avec tristesse, larmes, grande
  sollicitude, et détresse," as he himself tells us in the preface
  to the Psalms, Calvin left Strasbourg towards the end of August
  1541. He stopped a little at Basle; and being called to Neuchatel
  by unforeseen circumstances, he wrote to the Seigneury of Geneva to
  excuse himself for this delay.

     Arrival of Calvin at Neuchatel--purpose of his going to that
     town.


  NEUCHATEL, _this 7th September, in the evening_, [1541.]

ILLUSTRIOUS AND HONOURABLE LORDS,--When I shall have come hither I
will explain to you the reasons wherefore I have been delayed, and
hope that I shall easily satisfy you. The present shall only be to
signify, that having heard at Soleure that there was some trouble
in this Church,[294] I have been constrained, in brotherly love, to
go out of my way to see whether, on my part, I could do anything to
remedy it. Having acquitted myself of this duty, I have determined,
please God, to leave this to-morrow morning by break of day to go to
Berne, to present to messieurs of the town the letters which those
of Strasbourg and Basle have sent them. When I shall have done that,
I will pursue my route without stopping anywhere; for the desire
which I have to present myself before you, according to my promise,
will not allow me to shroud myself anywhere soever. I have retained
the herald whom you have been pleased to send, to keep me company,
thinking that such would not be contrary to your intention; but I
leave that excuse, and all others, until my arrival.

  [294] See Calvin's letter to the Seigneury of Neuchatel, p. 286.

And now, illustrious and honourable Lords, after humbly commending
me to your good favour, I beseech our Lord to lead you always by his
Spirit, to guide well and holily your town, upholding the state and
rank thereof, and your seigneuries in full prosperity.--Your humble
servant,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Archives of Geneva._ 1250.]



LXXV.--TO FAREL.[295]

  [295] After a short visit at Berne, Calvin, being at Morat, wrote to
  Farel, to inform him as to some of the incidents of his journey.

     Calvin at Berne--his interview with one of the principal
     magistrates, and with the ministers of that town.


  MORAT, _September 1541_.

As soon as I arrived at Berne, I presented my letter to the
Vice-Consul. On reading it, he said, Those of Strasbourg and Basle
request that a safe-conduct be granted you. I replied, that such a
requirement was superfluous, because I was neither an evil-doer,
nor was I in an enemy's territory. Then I explained what they
might easily have understood. The Council, however, through gross
ignorance, so understood it, as if it had been written in reference
to a convoy. The state of my health prevented my waiting upon the
Senate personally; nor did it appear to me that that would be worth
the trouble. I afterwards excused myself to the Vice-Consul, when he
asked, why I had not come myself. The Senate returned for answer,
that I had no need of the public protection in a peaceful canton,
and that in other respects they were most ready to assist me. You
see what a mockery it is. I have met with many proofs of kindness
among the brethren. Konzen was absent. Erasmus, and Sulzer in his
own name and that of the other, have approved of my declaration,
and have freely enough promised their aid and countenance. Sulzer,
apart from the other, conversed with me familiarly upon many points.
It appears to me, that we ought to do all we can to secure his
co-operation; this will be of great use, and he shews himself well
disposed. I did not forget, as you may suppose, to plead the cause
in which you are interested. A deputation has been sent.[296] I
could obtain no more; and Giron has declared, that it would be to
no purpose to urge that business any further. The Lord, however,
stands in need of no such counsel or protection. Adieu, with all the
brethren.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [296] That deputation had gone to solicit the favour of the King,
  Francis I., for the Waldenses of Provence.



LXXVI.--TO FAREL.[297]

  [297] Calvin had arrived at Geneva the 13th September 1541.
  We find under that date, in the Extracts from the Council
  _Registers_:--"Calvin, having arrived at Geneva, presented himself
  to the Council, to whom he brought letters from the Magistrates
  and Ministers of Strasbourg. He excused himself on account of
  his journey having been delayed. He represented that it would be
  necessary to set about the work of ecclesiastical ordinances.
  Resolved, that they would apply themselves to it immediately, and
  for that purpose appointed, along with Calvin, Claude Pertemps,
  Amy Perrin, Claude Roset, Jean Lambert, Poralis, and Jean Balard.
  Resolved also to retain Calvin here always.--October 1541. The
  stipend of Calvin assigned at five hundred florins, twelve measures
  of corn, and two tuns of wine." For a dwelling they offered the
  mansion _Fregneville_, purchased at the price of two hundred and
  sixty crowns, with an ell of velvet for clothing.

     Arrival of Calvin at Geneva--his interview with
     the magistrates--draws up a form of Ecclesiastical
     Discipline--advises Farel to moderation.


GENEVA, _16th September 1541_.

As you wished, I am settled here; may the Lord overrule it for good.
For the present, I must retain Viret also, whom I shall not suffer
on any account to be dragged away from me. Do you, besides, and
all the brethren, exert yourselves to help me here to the utmost,
unless you would have me tortured to no purpose, and made utterly
wretched, without having any benefit to be gained by it. Immediately
after I had offered my services to the Senate, I declared that a
Church could not hold together unless a settled government should
be agreed on, such as is prescribed to us in the word of God, and
such as was in use in the ancient Church. Then I touched gently on
certain points from whence they might understand what my wish was.
But because the whole question of discipline was too large to be
discussed in that form, I requested that they would appoint certain
of their number, who might confer with us on the subject. Six were
thereupon appointed. Articles concerning the whole ecclesiastical
polity will be drawn up, which we shall thereafter present to the
Senate. The three colleagues make some show of agreement with us
two. Somewhat, at least, will be obtained. We earnestly desire to
know how matters are proceeding with your Church.[298] We hope,
however, that, influenced by the authority of those of Berne and
Bienne, these troubles have been entirely put to rest, or at least
somewhat calmed. When you have Satan to combat, and you fight under
Christ's banner, He who girds on your armour and has drawn you
into the battle, will give you the victory. But since a good cause
requires also a good instrument, have a care that you do not make so
much allowance for yourself, as to think that there has been nothing
wanting on your part which good men may reasonably expect of you. We
do not exhort you to keep a good and pure conscience, as to which,
we entertain no doubt whatever; we only desire earnestly that, in
so far as your duty will admit, you will accommodate yourself more
to the people. There are, as you know, two kinds of popularity: the
one, when we hunt after favour from motives of ambition and the
desire of pleasing; the other, when, by fairness and moderation,
we gain upon their esteem, so as to make them willing to be taught
by us. You must forgive us if we deal rather freely with you. With
reference to this particular point, we perceive that you do not give
satisfaction even to some good men. Even were there nothing else
to complain of, you sin to this extent, because you do not satisfy
those to whom the Lord has made you a debtor. You are aware how much
we love, how much we revere you. This very affection, yea truly,
this respect impels us to a more exact and strict censoriousness,
because we desire earnestly that in those remarkable endowments
which the Lord has conferred upon you, no spot or blemish may be
found for the malevolent to find fault with, or even to carp at.
This I have written by advice of Viret, and on that account have
used the plural number. Adieu, most excellent and friendly brother.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr.--Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [298] That Church was at this time in a state of great disorder,
  which Calvin had in vain tried to tranquillize, at Neuchatel. See
  the following Letter.



LXXVII.--TO THE SEIGNEURY OF NEUCHATEL.[299]

  [299] On the back, in the handwriting of Viret:--"Letters sent to
  those of Neuchatel, when they wished to drive away Farel, their
  minister, brought by Viret, sent on the part of the ministers of
  Geneva, with the following instructions to inform them of their
  opinion."

  Inflexible in the exercise of the duties of his ministry, Farel had
  publicly censured, in one of his discourses, a lady of rank, whose
  conduct had been a matter of scandal in the Church of Neuchatel.
  Irritated by that censure, the relatives of that lady roused a party
  of the towns-people against that courageous minister, and obtained
  a sentence of deposition against him, which was not annulled but
  upon the interference of the Seigneury of Berne and of the principal
  Swiss Churches.--Ruchat, _Hist. de la Réf._, tom. v. p. 164, and
  following pages.

     Efforts to pacify the Church of Neuchatel--instructions given to
     Viret.


FROM GENEVA, _this 29th of September 1541_.

ILLUSTRIOUS AND HONOURABLE LORDS,--Having understood that your
Church is not yet freed from the troubles and annoyances which have
of late occurred, we have considered that it would only be our duty
to send some of our company to you, to offer themselves, should
the occasion present itself wherein we might be of service to you
in that matter, in so far as our calling and office engage, to
extinguish this scandal which the Devil has stirred up among you.
Wherefore, we have been advised to send unto you our good brother
and faithful minister of Jesus Christ, and former pastor of your
Church, to let you understand the desire we have to serve you in
the Lord, and the earnest desire we entertain for the welfare of
your Church, beseeching you, Right Honourable Lords, of your good
pleasure, that you will hearken to what he shall say to you in the
name of our Assembly, to satisfy our conscience, according to the
duty of our ministry, which constrains and obliges us to intermeddle
in that case, seeing that it is ecclesiastical, and so it concerns
us, inasmuch as we are members of the same body. And now,
Illustrious and Honourable Lords, after our humble commendations to
your kind favour, we beseech the Lord Jesus, the alone good Shepherd
and Governor of his Church, well to counsel and advise you in this
cause, as it is of the utmost importance; and after having quite
calmed these troubles which the Devil sets himself continually to
sow in your Church to ruin the work and upbuilding of the heavenly
Father, we pray him also that he would ever uphold you in sound
prosperity.--Your humble servants in our Lord,

  JOHN CALVIN.
  AYME CHAMPEREAU.
  JAMES BERNARD.

       *       *       *       *       *

Summary of those things as to which we desire that our brother,
Master Peter Viret, would warn and admonish the Seigneury of
Neuchatel in our name, requesting of him that he would follow what
is here plainly set forth as his instruction.

In the first place, he will have to make our excuse for that we
intermeddle in that affair, explaining to them, and declaring that
it is according to the duty of our office, for unto the communion of
saints it is highly important, that neighbouring Churches may have a
mutual care to confirm one another, and that, whenever an emergency
calls for it, the one come to the help of the other; besides,
that over and above all that, we hold their Church in peculiar
estimation, and that it touches us, moreover, very nearly, for many
other causes which he can state.

After that, he shall have clearly set before them, what order we
consider should be observed in the Church upon the deposition of
a minister, that is to say, that the formal procedure must be
according to the command of Scripture, by form of trial, and that
spiritual, and not by way of tumult nor sedition. And, so far as
happens otherwise, what is it but to dishonour God and to disturb
the polity of the holy city?

That if we deprive a man of his station without cause and good
reason, constrain him to abandon the Church which he has served
faithfully, and by this means, withdraw him unjustly from the
calling whereto he has been appointed of God, not only the
individual has been outraged by this means, but God also, seeing
that his lawful call is violated and made of none effect.

Also, such is the opinion which we have of Farel, and of the esteem
in which he is held by all faithful men, as that we hold him to have
been always well and loyally engaged in the work of our Lord, and
that, therefore, they could not deprive him of the ministry until
somewhat appeared proved to the contrary, except against all right
and reason.

To warn them against the inconveniences which may happen as well in
the town as without, especially of the scandals which must follow.
What will it be but to defame the Evangel of our Lord among the
wicked, offend all the good, trouble the weak-minded, so that in
proportion as their Church has been greatly renowned, it will now be
as much cried down?

That within their town the embers may be blown up, besides, into
mutinous assault and battery; that even among the ministers it may
engender schism. If it seem good and advisable to you, cite some of
the ancient examples, without touching upon present circumstances.

Finally, admonish them that it is what the wrath of God usually
brings along with it, when we provoke it, as we should do in
committing such a scandal.

Then, in his own name, he can add whatsoever shall seem good, after
having explained and set before them these things for us.

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 145.]



LXXVIII.--TO BUCER.[300]

  [300] The mission of Viret, and his endeavours to pacify the Church
  of Neuchatel, had been without the desired result. A violent party,
  opposed to the Reformation, and impatient of all order as of all
  authority in the Church, demanded the expulsion of Farel. In these
  circumstances, Calvin had recourse to the credit and trust reposed
  in Bucer, and the intervention of the Church of Strasbourg to
  appease these unhappy differences.

     New details regarding the troubles in the Church of
     Neuchatel--proceedings of Viret--sentence pronounced by the
     Bernese--the Ecclesiastical Statutes of Geneva--request for
     prolongation of leave for Viret--testimony of respect and
     affection for Bucer--approach of the pestilence.


  GENEVA, _15th October 1541_.

Calvin to Bucer greeting.

When my wife arrived, Viret had not yet returned from Neuchatel,
where a short time previously we had sent him, that, if he could
do no more, he might at least make known to them[301] on our
behalf, how contrary it was to pious and Christian conduct, that
the commonalty on the slightest grounds, and also, sometimes,
without having any cause at all, should wax insolent against
their minister.[302] Word was brought back to us, that a day had
been fixed for friendly conference and agreement; that on the day
appointed, those of Berne would be present. De Watteville and
Auspurger were present. Immediately on his arrival, Viret advised
with them as to the course he ought to pursue. He produced a copy
of our letter; explained the nature of his commission; he even read
aloud what was contained in the written instructions, that he might
do nothing without their authority. For this he plainly gave them to
understand, that he would not take a single step if they should so
require.

  [301] Calvin had left at Strasbourg his wife, Idelette de
  Bure, who rejoined him some time afterwards at Geneva. In the
  Council _Registers_ we have the following entry, 13th September
  1541:--"Resolved, ... to bring hither the wife of Calvin and his
  household furniture."

  [302] See the preceding Letter and Memorial.

De Watteville, in his usual style, answered our friend in a jesting
and equivocal manner, saying, that it was not his business to
prescribe to him his duty; that he himself was a subject under the
government of Berne, but lent for the present, though only for a
short time, as a loan to the Genevese; that he would therefore
do what seemed best. There were present some of the brethren
belonging to the classes. These he addressed indirectly in a
figurative discourse to the effect, that they had not acted very
prudently in taking so much upon them. "You are subjects," said
he; they continued, however, at last to signify that they would
interpose their assent. Before any business could be entered on,
Viret was heard, who, in the course of his speech, encountered
the evil-disposed and broke them up, successfully animated the
good and well-disposed with fresh courage, stirred up the weak and
wavering, so that the business seemed almost in a manner brought
to a conclusion. Certainly, had they come to an arrangement among
themselves, it was easy to be seen that the adverse party must have
yielded of their own accord. At this stage of the proceedings,
however, the Bernese requested that the matter might be referred to
their decision. Out of a written formula, which they had brought
from home with them, they pronounced as their deliverance and award,
that if the dissensions among them were not quieted in the course
of two months, Farel should depart. Upon hearing this decree read,
Farel was so indignant as to threaten De Watteville, that the Lord
would take severe methods of judgment upon him who had inflicted
such a heavy blow upon the Church, and on the sacred office of the
ministry. So he who was before nowise friendly to Farel, has now
become more than ever his enemy. And truly it had then been better
for Farel to have so far controlled himself, and that, without
dissembling what he felt, he had treated the man with greater
mildness and with more gentle address in the expression of his mind.
It becomes us, however, in the case of so eminent an instrument
of Christ, in some degree to pass by his over-ardent spirit and
vehemency of manner. Two days afterwards, Viret endeavoured to
soothe or palliate the offence, but was less successful than he
wished, the wound being as yet too tender to be handled. Farel had
indeed a sufficient cause to kindle his anger against the man.
But yet he ought to have weighed more carefully what was the most
expedient course, lest, while he gave free scope to his wrath, he
should only irritate to no purpose a man who is strong for good as
well as for mischief. Inasmuch, however, as he cannot be corrected,
if he has sinned in any way, God is to be entreated that he may blot
it out of his remembrance, although I fear that this denunciation
of Farel's will turn out in the end to be a prophecy. For that
personage is indeed wonderfully altered. You would say, almost, that
his understanding had been taken away from the time when, on secular
and worldly grounds, he laid hands upon the ecclesiastical property.
He is a very great scoffer; so much so, that he can scarce speak
a word without some cavil, or taunt, or sarcasm. In the affair in
question, when Farel remarked to him how the calling of the Lord
ought to be honoured and cherished, he turned the whole discourse
into ridicule. "As if," said he, "any one could compel me to keep
a servant in my house who did not please me." And he made use of
this comparison more than once. If my servant does not please me,
am I not at liberty to pay him his wages and order him to go about
his business? Why am I not at liberty to do so with a minister?
This indignity constrained Farel to deal more severely with him,
and I am afraid, as already said, he will prove too true a prophet;
because thus, after so great light, after such distinguishing grace
received, that individual has become estranged from God who ought
to have been an example to all the rest. These things, however,
ought to be entirely confined to ourselves. The affair stands thus
at present; because the better portion, that is, every God-fearing
person in the city, earnestly desires to have Farel, he has himself
determined not to yield, unless compelled by the law and civil
government. Nor does any other motive detain him there, than because
he dare not venture to desert the situation appointed him by God.
Now, some method must be tried, if that can be accomplished so as to
give no offence, or at least as little as possible, to the Bernese.
In so perplexing an affair, nothing seems to me more suitable than
for your Church, and the others who have most authority, before
these two months shall have elapsed, firmly to establish Farel in
his ministry by a decision of their own. In this way, there need
be no occasion for Farel giving any opposition to the sentence
of the arbiters. You will also easily excuse the matter to the
Bernese,--that your advice was asked for the purpose of avoiding the
danger of his being forced to oppose in a matter rei _judicatæ_.
There will be no need to make any mention of the judgment in your
reply. A letter will have to be written to the magistracy, the
ministers, and the people.[303] We have no doubt whatever, but that
you will at once succeed in restoring peace to the Church, however
she has hitherto been overwhelmed with factions. There are very many
among the bad who, upon the faith of that judgment, had resumed
courage, who, on the hearing of your name being mentioned, will lose
heart and fall off entirely. I will not urge more strongly upon you
the duty of aiding the wretched Church, lest I may seem to distrust
you. I only admonish you; I know that you do not require to be
exhorted, and this brother, who is your scholar and disciple, will
supplement by his speech whatever shall be wanting in my letter.

  [303] The Church of Strasbourg acted in conjunction with the
  Churches of Constance, of Zurich, and of Basle, to decide the
  inhabitants of Neuchatel to retain Farel.

To the other heads of your letter I cannot at present reply so fully
as I could wish, and as the subject itself might seem to require.
That which is the most important, the formula of the ecclesiastical
order and government, cannot now be sent. We presented that document
to the Senate in about a fortnight from the time when it was
committed to us,[304] and have not yet received an answer. Nor am
I much concerned that they are somewhat dilatory; we expect more
certainly on that account that they will yield to us. That they
might entertain no suspicion on the occasion, we advised that,
should it appear desirable, they might communicate previously with
the German churches, and determine nothing without having their
opinion. We earnestly desire that they may do so. We shall send it
therefore in a short time.

  [304] The ecclesiastical ordinances, drawn up by Calvin and approved
  by the magistrates, were solemnly accepted by the citizens of
  Geneva, met in general assembly in St. Peter's Church, the 20th
  November 1541.--See Gaberel, _Histoire de l'Eglise de Genève_, vol.
  i. p. 269.

Concerning Viret, as you look forward to obtain a letter from
the Senate, I beg that you will get that accomplished without
delay.[305] For we know by experience how little disposed those of
Berne are to help us, were it on no other account but only that they
might not seem to be too kind to us. Perhaps, however, they will
suffer themselves to be entreated by your Senate. I will leave no
stone unturned to prevent Viret being taken from me. I will press
it with Sulzer--as a suppliant I will entreat it as a favour from
Konzen. In short, I will omit nothing; but at the same time we must
take care to make due provision for Lausanne. This will be done, if
you will request of Konzen and Sulzer, that they would set no one
over that charge except with the concurrence of Viret and Le Comte,
who is the other minister. The same Le Comte, even though in other
respects he may not be the best, has, however, this good quality,
that he wishes to have a good colleague, and when he has obtained
such a one, not only bears with, but warmly seconds and supports
him. But if Viret be not heard in the matter, there is danger
lest some pest may be introduced there which may infect the whole
neighbourhood.

  [305] He endeavoured to procure from the Seigneury of Berne a
  prolongation of leave for the minister Viret, which they had already
  granted for the period of six months to the Church of Geneva. On the
  representation of Calvin, the magistrates of Strasbourg wrote on
  two occasions to those of Berne to ask that favour. In the second
  of these letters they render most honourable testimony to Calvin.
  "M. Calvin," they say, "has comported himself among us with so much
  uprightness and constancy, and has become so acceptable by his skill
  and ability, that not only we would have retained him among us with
  pleasure, but more especially, for the sake of our Church, we would
  not easily have yielded him up, if we had not believed that he would
  be more useful at Geneva.... On that account we perceive with grief
  that he cannot complete the work which he has commenced, and with
  which he had burdened himself beyond his strength, &c...."--_MS. of
  the Archives of Berne_, cited by Ruchat, _Hist. de la Réf._, tom. v.
  p. 162.

The whole of that part of your letter wherein you excuse my not
having been entertained at Strasbourg, according to my desert,
is quite superfluous; for I am not unmindful, and shall always
acknowledge, that you have conferred more honour upon me than I had
any right to expect.[306] That safe-conduct, and other things which
happened on my coming away, have, I confess, somewhat wounded my
feelings. But I am the more disposed to make the acknowledgment to
you, that there may be nothing of suppressed anger concealed within.
Be assured, therefore, that it has all evaporated. I will endeavour
to cultivate agreement and good understanding with my neighbours,
and also brotherly good-will, if they will allow me, with as much
faithfulness and diligence as I am able.

  [306] The magistrates of Strasbourg, desirous of testifying to
  Calvin their satisfaction on account of his services, and at the
  same time their esteem for his character, before his departure for
  Geneva bestowed on him the honorary distinction of citizenship by
  making him a burgess. They offered also a year's pension; but the
  latter present he refused.

In so far as depends on me, I shall give ground of offence to no
one. I must ask, however, that you will not form any estimate from
my letters to you either of my sayings or doings here. Until I shall
have declared that I could bear no more, you need not question my
faithful performance of what I have promised you. And if in any
way I do not answer your expectation, you know that I am under
your power, and subject to your authority. Admonish, chastise, and
exercise all the powers of a father over his son. Pardon my haste,
for you cannot believe in what a hurry of confusion I am writing;
for our brother here urges me, in accordance with the instructions
of his colleagues; and I am entangled in so many employments, that I
am almost beside myself.

When I hear that the plague is raging to such an extent,[307] I know
not what to think, except that God contends against our perversity
with the strong arm of his power, seeing that we are worse than
stupid and insensible in the midst of so many chastenings under the
rod of correction. While the hand of God lies so heavy upon you,
it already hovers over us. The plague creeps toward us; if it has
spared us for this winter, we shall scarcely escape in the spring.

  [307] The plague continued its ravages at Strasbourg, where it
  carried away this year the children of the first two Reformers of
  Switzerland, William, the son of Zuingli, and Euzèbe, the son of
  Œcolampadius. It soon spread to Basle and to Zurich, where it
  found many victims. It broke out towards the end of the following
  year at Geneva.

What, therefore, can we do but betake ourselves to prayer, and to
seek for the spirit of godly sorrow and confession of sin in the
sight of God, which certainly we go about very remissly? So much
the more have we reason to fear, lest by so great indisposedness
we shall provoke the displeasure of our Judge. We are anxious, as
we ought to be, about you; for we may form some indistinct notion,
from the calamity which has befallen the Church of Basle,[308] what
will be our lot should the Lord take you away from us. Certainly,
I do not wish to be the survivor; nor could I sustain the loss,
unless the Lord should wonderfully support me under it. Adieu, my
much honoured father in the Lord. Salute most fervently--Capito,
Hedio, Matthias, Bedrot, and the others; also Conrad;[309] and you
will excuse my not writing. From time to time while writing, many
noisy interruptions have so hindered me, that I am forced abruptly
to conclude. Salute also your wife, who is very dear to me. May the
Lord preserve you all, rule, and protect you. Amen.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

My wife salutes yours most lovingly, and all the family.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Protestant Seminary of Strasbourg._]

  [308] The Church of Basle had lost Simon Grynéc, and the pious
  burgomaster, Jacob Meyer, who had so powerfully contributed to the
  reformation of the town.

  [309] Conrad Hubert, secretary of Bucer.



LXXIX.--TO MADAME THE DUCHESS OF FERRARA.[310]

  [310] Renée of France, daughter of Louis XII. and of Anne of
  Brittany, born at the Castle of Blois the 29th of October 1510, and
  died at the chateau of Montargis the 12th of June 1575. United,
  from views of political expediency, to one of the smaller princes
  of Italy, a vassal of the Bishop of Rome, this princess, endowed
  with a strong mind and an excellent spirit, quitted France, in
  1528, to follow her husband, Hercules of Esté, to Ferrara; and she
  brought along with her to that court a taste for literature, with
  free and generous sentiments of belief, which she had inhaled from
  her intimate association with Marguerite of Navarre. She received
  at Ferrara Clement Marot, who dedicated some of his verses to her,
  and also Calvin, who initiated her in the faith of the Reformed,
  for which she was honoured to suffer, and which she professed
  courageously till her death. This was the origin of the long
  correspondence which she maintained with the Reformer, whose letters
  recurred from time to time to encourage and confirm her. The letter
  which we insert here is, doubtless, one of the earliest in that
  series. On the last leaf we have the following words written in
  another hand:--

  "Against a certain almoner, Master Francis, who made (Madame) go
  to mass, and set her against those who would not go, as against
  scandalous persons. It treats very fully about things lawful and not
  lawful, and how scandals must be avoided."

     Instructions on the subject of the Mass, and on the necessity of
     avoiding scandal.


  GENEVA, [_October_] 1541.

MADAME,--I humbly beseech you that you would take in good part
my boldness in writing these present, deeming that, should you
find therein a too great plainness, it proceeds not so much from
rashness, or from overweening self-conceit, as from pure and true
affection for your service in our Lord. For albeit that I do
acknowledge myself a very unprofitable servant of the Church, it
hath, notwithstanding, been found expedient to employ me in that
station, according to the grace which the Lord has imparted to me;
and it has even occurred to me that there was a need-be for my doing
so, if I wished to acquit myself of my duty, not merely because I
feel myself obliged, in regard to you, to seek, in so far as is
possible for me, and in the way of duty, your welfare and advantage,
howbeit that such motive is alone sufficient to stir me up to
action, but rather that, considering the state and pre-eminence in
which the Lord has set you, it seems to us all, we whom the Lord
by his goodness has called to be ministers of his holy word, ought
to keep in special remembrance, to apply ourselves to the bestowal
of some pains for you, and the more so because, more than most
princely persons, you are able to promote and advance the kingdom
of Christ. I have, besides, observed in you such fear of God and
such disposed faithfulness of obedience, that independently of the
high rank which he has vouchsafed you among men, I do so value the
graces which he hath put upon you, even to such a degree, that I
would think myself accursed should I have omitted the occasions of
any profitable service, in so far as they might be presented to me.
This is certainly what I can say without any feigning or flattery,
but in sincerity of heart, and speaking as in His presence who knows
all our secret thoughts.

Madame, by other worthy persons who have passed through here
at different times, I have been given to understand how Master
François, whom you have appointed preacher to your household, after
having acquitted himself well in preaching, as well at least as
could be expected of him, had persuaded you that it would not be a
bad thing, after having heard mass, to hold some sort of communion,
which must be somehow the Supper of our Lord; this proceeding,
which was not approved of by one of your ladies, who, according to
the knowledge which she had received of God, did not wish against
her conscience to meddle with what she considered to be wrong in
itself, and has been the occasion, on the representation of the
said Master François, to have some way or other turned away from
her the good-will which you have been wont to bear her; so that
matters have reached such a height, that you have intimated that
all those who do as she does, ought not to be supported, inasmuch
as, by their importunity, they give birth to scandals to no purpose
among the faithful. Wherefore, concluding that a thing of so much
importance must not be concealed, seeing that you had been given
to understand that matters were otherwise than they are, according
as it has pleased the Lord to reveal himself to me in Scripture,
I have thought it right to communicate to you what the Lord has
given me of understanding in that matter. But while I have been
in some doubt and hesitation about doing so, I have been given to
understand, on the part of Madame de Pons,[311] that you wished very
much to be more fully instructed, the more so that, besides the many
difficulties which you see, on the other hand, it is very difficult
to come to a satisfactory solution of them. This message has all
the more confirmed me in my purpose to venture to essay the giving
you a faithful exposition so far as I know, in order that afterward
you may judge for yourself, and in so far as you shall have fully
understood God's truth, that you may follow in all obedience, seeing
that your zeal is not of the kind that rebels against it, but
receives the truth in love and with all benign affection. Yet all
this notwithstanding, Madame, before that I begin, I beseech you
not to take up any suspicion of me, as though I did this, having
been put up to it by some persons of your household, or to favour
any one in particular; for I can assure you, before God, that I
do so without having been requested by any one, and only on the
advertisement, as I have already assured you, of persons passing
through this way, who never thought that I could have the means of
any direct communication. On the other hand, I would rather desire
to be cast down into the lowest depths of the abyss, than to twist
about or wrest the truth of God, to make it suit the hatred or to
procure the favour of any creature whatsoever. But what makes me
speak out is, that I cannot bear that the word of God should be
thus to you concealed, perverted, depraved, and corrupted in such
essential things, by those in whom you have some confidence, to whom
you have given authority.

  [311] Anne de Parthenay, daughter of John de Parthenay, Lord of
  Soubise, and of Michelle de Sanbonne, governess of Renée of France.
  She married Antony de Pons, Comte de Marennes, was instructed by
  Calvin himself in the Reformed doctrine, and remained a long time
  attached, as dame d'honneur, to the Duchess of Ferrara, to whose
  court she was an ornament, both by her virtues and her ability.
  Clement Marot addresses her in several of his poems, and the learned
  author, Lilio Gregorio Gyraldi, dedicates to her the second book of
  his _History of the Gods_.

Touching Master François, to speak soberly, I would to a certainty
put you upon your guard not to confide too unreservedly in his
doctrine. Should I do so, I need have no reason to fear, that mayhap
you may entertain some bad opinion of me, as though I might speak
from hatred or envy of this personage. For I have neither matter
nor occasion of envy in any way toward him; and the hatred which,
up to the present hour, I have felt toward him, is such, that I
have at all times, to the utmost of my power, made it my business
to edify him in well doing. But when I perceive that any one, owing
to an ill-informed conscience, sets himself to overthrow the word
of the Lord, and to extinguish the light of Truth, I could by no
means pardon him, even were he my own father a hundred times over.
As for this same individual, I have been aware, from having long
known him, that whatsoever small understanding of the Scripture
God has vouchsafed him, he has always made subserve his own profit
and ambition, preaching wherever he saw that it would be a help to
gratify his avarice, forbearing to preach wherever he found that
it began to be troublesome to him; and then for all that, as often
as he could procure hearers, persons of credit to countenance him,
and the wealthy to fill his wallet or his purse, who required him
to give glory to God, he has taken the trouble to satisfy them by
almost always selling them his word. On the other hand, again,
wherever he met with any trouble or persecution, he had always his
denial ready to escape from it, to such a degree, that one could not
know in regard to him whether the holy and sacred word of God was
but a sport and mockery; insomuch that he turned it into a farce,
playing at one time one character, and at another the part of
another, according to the pastime he finds in it. As to his life, I
do not touch upon that, except that one could desire that it were
better in a minister of the word. I know, Madame, that the duty of a
Christian man is not to detract from his neighbour; and that is what
I have not wished to do, for had I been desirous to speak ill of
him, I have plenty of other material concerning him which I conceal.
But our Lord does not mean, when we see a wolf, under the colour and
appearance of a pastor, scattering his flock, that we should quail
in silence through fear of speaking evil of him. He rather commands
us to discover the perversity of those who, like the pestilence,
corrupt by their infection, and mar the face of the Church. And as
for myself, neither would I have taken that method here if I saw
any better remedy, taking into account the mortal fury of that sort
of people which I do thereby provoke against myself. For I have not
at this day so fierce warfare with any as with those who, under the
shadow of the Gospel, wear a rough garment outwardly toward princes,
amazing and entertaining them by their finesse and subtilty,
enshrouded in some cloud, as it were, without ever leading them to
the right object. But how could I do otherwise? If I do not address
myself to them, it is because I see their heart to be so divested
of all fear of God, that speaking of his judgment to them, is but
a mere fable or a pleasant tale. But when I describe them such as
they are, to make them aware that they could carry their abuse no
farther, I find that by this method they are more restrained from
further seduction and abuse. This very person I have oftentimes
set about trying to bring back into the good way, so far even as
to make him confess his iniquity; albeit, that impudently he would
excuse himself before men, being convicted in his own conscience
before God. Notwithstanding, with a horrible obstinacy and hardness
of heart, he would persist in saying, that he could not desist from
doing that which he knew to be bad, except that on one occasion,
after having seen some treatise of mine, with grievous imprecations
on himself he protested that he would never assist at the mass,
because it was such a gross abomination. But I know my man so well,
that I scarcely count more on his oath than upon the chattering of
a magpie. Howsoever, Madame, as I would not that he did persevere in
ill-doing, to the great detriment of yourself and of the people of
God, I feel constrained to warn you by my intimation, seeing that
as regarded him, he would not profit by taking advantage of it.
What I have told you about him is so certain, that I do not wish
you to give credit to it until you have first of all found out by
experience that it is true; for if you pay attention, you will see
at a glance that he preaches the word of God only in so far as he
wishes to gratify you, in order to catch benefices or other prey,
and in the meantime not to displease any one who can do him hurt.

Now, Madame, having done with this personage, I come to the present
matter. He gives you to understand that the mass is neither so
wicked nor abominable, but that it is allowable to say it, and to
the faithful to hear it, so that those who make this a matter of
conscience are the disturbers of the Church, stirring up scandals
among the weak, whom we are commanded to strengthen. As regards the
first point, I doubt whether I ought to stop to argue it, inasmuch
as I reckon that you are so fully resolved, already, that the mass
is a sacrilege, the most execrable that one can imagine, that I
fear to make myself appear ridiculous to you in taking the pains to
prove to you a thing about which you can be nowise in doubt. And,
besides, the small compass of a letter cannot comprise that which
is enough to fill a large book. Yet, notwithstanding, I will touch
briefly upon it, and, as it were, in a cursory way, in order that
you may not have any doubt. In so far as the mass is a sacrifice,
appointed by men for the redemption and salvation of the living and
the dead, as their canon bears, it is an unbearable blasphemy by
which the passion of Jesus Christ is quite overthrown and set aside,
as if it were of no effect whatever. For that we say, the faithful
have been purchased by the blood of Jesus, have obtained thereby
the remission of their sins, righteousness, and the hope of eternal
life, that belief must imply so far that the blessed Saviour, in
offering up himself to the Father, and presenting himself to be
sacrificed, has offered himself an eternal sacrifice by which our
iniquities have been purged and cleansed, ourselves received
into the grace of the Father, and made partakers of the heavenly
inheritance, as the Apostle declares very fully in the Epistle to
the Hebrews. If, then, the death of Jesus be not acknowledged as
the only sacrifice which has been once made for all, in order that
it might have an eternal efficacy, what more remains except that it
be effaced entirely, as being altogether ineffectual? I know well,
that these liars, to cover their abomination, say, that they make
the same sacrifice which Jesus has made; but from that statement
there arise several blasphemies. For that sacrifice could be made by
no one except by himself. And the Apostle says,[312] that if he is
now sacrificed, it follows, that he must suffer still. Therefore,
you can see, that one of two things must here take place: either
to acknowledge the horrible blasphemy of the mass, and to detest
it; or, in approving it, to trample under foot the cross of Jesus.
How much it is contrary to the Supper of Christ, I leave you to
consider with yourself, after that you have read in Scripture the
words of institution.[313] But the crowning desecration which
they commit, is the idolatry which they perpetrate by adoring a
creature instead of God, a thing which is altogether inexcusable.
Taking these considerations into view, let us look well to it,
since we can neither speak nor hear such things without grievously
offending God by communicating in such abominations. For how can
we pretend that we are not justly reproved for having consented
to such iniquities, since we do receive them with greater honour
and reverence than we do the word of God? If you wish to know how
far that is pleasing to the Lord God, he declares by his prophet
Ezekiel, in the 20th chapter, where he tells the people of Israel,
that they love to practise open idolatry like the Gentiles, that
they made mention of his name along with the name of their idols, as
wishing to compass their own ends contrary to his statutes, by which
he was to be served in worship, and by setting up their own foolish
inventions, by which they were made to fall away from his word; on
the other hand, the Prophet telling them that he will scatter all
those who swear by his name, avouching him as their God, while,
at the same time, they witness against themselves in adoring some
other than him alone. Should some one object, that externals in
religion are quite indifferent, that what is required is only that
the heart within should be upright, to that our Lord answers, that
he will be glorified in our body, which he has purchased with his
blood, that he requires the confession of the mouth, and that all
our prayers should be consecrated to his honour, without being any
way contaminated or defiled by anything displeasing to him. But,
because this would be too long to treat of here, as it ought to
be, you can have recourse, for your more full information, to the
treatise, where I hope that you will find reasons enough to satisfy
you. The scandal still remains, which your almoner says troubles the
consciences of the weak, when any one esteemed a believer holds the
mass in such horror that he would not in any way come in contact
with it, that he neither wished to find it here nor to meet with it
elsewhere.[314] But he does not consider that, in reference to those
things which are either commanded or forbidden of God, although it
might offend the whole world, we must not go beyond his ordinances.
That which is commanded us, to support and strengthen our weak
brethren, by doing nothing which may wound or offend them, refers
to lesser things of no great consequence, which are of themselves
indifferent and permitted of our Christian liberty, as the whole of
Scripture bears. Besides, all those commands about not scandalizing
our neighbour, tend to his edification in welldoing, as St. Paul
points out in the 15th of the Romans. It follows, therefore, that
we must not seek to please him in those things which do not tend to
edification, but to destruction. And thence we have the doctrine
of St. Paul in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, chapters
viii. and x., where he says, that if by any external action of
ours our neighbour is built up in wrong-doing, albeit on our part
there may have been no violation of conscience, yet that we sin
against God and destroy our brother. As is here the case: we know
the mass to be cursed and execrable; we assist thereat to content
the ignorant; those who see us assisting at it conclude that we
approve by so doing, and they then follow our example. St. Paul
counts that a great crime, although we make no difficulty about it.
Wherefore, Madame, I do beseech you not to permit that under the
name of scandal any one should beguile you; for there is not a more
pernicious scandal in this world than when our Christian brother, by
our example, is entrapped in ruin and driven forward into error. If
we would avoid all scandal we must cast Jesus Christ behind us, who
is the stone of offence at which the most part of the world trips
and stumbles. And even thus has he been a scandal to the Jews and
Israelites to whom he was sent, as always a large portion of that
nation has been offended and stumbled in the worship of their God.
We must, therefore, hold fast by this rule, that, in reference to
things which are either commanded or forbidden of God, it is mainly
requisite in the doing or forbearing that he may not be baulked of
his due obedience, though we should offend the whole world. But
since it is so, that Christ and his Evangel are a scandal to the
evil-disposed and malignant, we must expect, if we would follow
him, that they must always be a scandal to us. As for things which
are free and indifferent, that is to say, which, according to our
opportunity, we can either do or omit the doing of, we ought to suit
ourselves to the convenience of our Christian brethren, in order
that our liberty may be subject to choice; and even in doing so,
regard must be had so to support their infirmity as that they may be
built up in God; for if, by our example, we lead them on and draw
them in to do what they consider to be wrong, we are the means of
their destruction. There are few, indeed, who have had experience
of the truth of God, who do not know in some measure the iniquity
of the mass. When they well know what sort of a thing it is, it
is impossible that they should not desire to flee from it. While
they scruple and are in doubt about it, whenever they perceive that
we communicate, they follow our example, without caring for being
further resolved in the matter. Here is the worst scandal that can
happen them, seeing that their consciences are wrung unto death. If
what I hear is true, that he would have you to believe that affair
to be of so small importance that German Churches make no question
at all about it, that is, that those of one persuasion let alone
and permit the other to have the mass, in this he inflicts a great
damage and injury upon the Churches of God, in charging them with a
practice which you will acknowledge to be false whenever you shall
be pleased to make inquiry for yourself. For not only among all
the Churches which have received the Evangel, but in the judgment
of private individuals, this article is quite agreed on, that the
abomination of the mass must not continue. And to that effect
Capito, who is one of those who set themselves to moderate the zeal
of others in these matters, has written a book of late, which he
has dedicated[315] to the King of England, wherein he teaches that
it is the duty of Christian princes to abolish in their country
such execrable idolatry, if they wish to do their duty as might be
expected of them. There is, in short, in our day, no man of any
renown who is not quite agreed on that point.

  [312] Heb. ix. 25, 26.

  [313] 1 Cor. xi. 23-26.

  [314] _In the margin_, handwriting of Calvin,--"After having
  understood the will of God, give advice."

  [315] This is the title of that work, "De Missa Matrimonio et Jure
  Magistratus in Religione. D. Wolfgango Capitone, auctore." The
  Dedication to Henry VIII., "Summum in terris Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ
  Caput," is of 15th March 1537.

Well, then, Madame, seeing that it has pleased the Lord God, of his
goodness and infinite compassion, to visit you with the knowledge
of his name, and to enlighten you in the truth of his holy Evangel,
acknowledge your calling to which he has called you. For he has
drawn us forth out of the depths of darkness, where we were detained
captives, in order that we may follow uprightly the light of his
word, without declining either to the one side or to the other, and
that we seek more and more to be instructed by him, so that we may
profit more abundantly in that holy wisdom wherein he has made some
beginning among us; and, above all, to look to it carefully that we
do not restrain his Spirit, as do those who shut their eyes and ears
to the evident plain truth, being content to remain ignorant of that
which the Lord would have them know and understand. It is not thus
that he would have us to do, out of mere dread that the Lord will
punish such contempt and ingratitude; but rather we ought to study
to profit continually in the school of this good Master, until we
shall have attained perfection in his doctrine, which will be when
we are free from this downweighing and earthly coil of the flesh,
praying, with good David, that he would instruct us in the doing of
his will. Surely, if we go forward advancing therein with zealous
affection, he will so guide us that he will not let us go astray
out of the right path. And although there are still some remains
of ignorance in us, he will vouchsafe a more full revelation, when
there is need for it, seeing that he knows the right season better
than do we. The main point is to understand how his holy doctrine
ought to become fruitful, and so bring forth fruit in us, and that
is when it so transforms us by the renewal of our heart and mind,
that his radiant glory, which consists in innocence, integrity, and
holiness, relumes the soul within us. If it be not thus with us, we
take the name of God in vain when we glorify ourselves by making our
boast that we know the Evangel. I do not say this to admonish you to
do what you do not do at present, but on purpose that the work of
God, which is already begun in you, may be confirmed from day to day.

But only, as I have already at the commencement, I beseech you to
pardon my simplicity. Should it be your pleasure to have more full
instruction in this argument, and especially how a Christian person
ought to govern himself in regard to scandals, I will attempt, so
far as the Lord shall enable me, to satisfy you. In the meantime,
I send you an epistle[316] upon the subject, as you will see, if
you think it worth your while to devote some hours to it at your
leisure; and besides that, a little tract,[317] which I have put
together lately, which, as I hope, by reason of its brevity, may
serve as a help to consolation, inasmuch as it contains full enough
doctrine.[318] [That the Lord may have a care over you in this
your infirmity, and that he would manifest in you the efficacy of
his Spirit in such a way that you may be as much honoured in his
household as he has elevated you in station and dignity among men.]

  [_Fr. autogr. minute._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 196.]

  [316] This was the letter of Calvin to Louis Duchemin, intituled,
  "De fugiendis impiorum illicitis sacris, et puritate Christianæ
  Religionis. Genevæ, 1537. 8vo." That letter, translated into French,
  has been inserted in the _Recueil des Opuscules_, edit. 1566, in
  fol., p. 57.

  [317] De la Cène de nostre Seigneur.

  [318] The conclusion of this letter is wanting in the original
  French, and we restore it here from the Latin translation inserted,
  (_Calv. Epistolæ et Responsa_, edit. d'Amsterdam, p. 93.) A near
  approximation to the date of that piece is supplied by the passage
  relative to Capito:--"Et de cela Capito qui est l'ung de ceux qui
  taschent fort à modérer les choses, a naguères inscript un livre."
  The dedication of this book to Henry VIII. is of the 15th March
  1537; the death of Capito happened in December 1541; and the letter
  of Calvin to the Duchess of Ferrara, _written from Geneva_, between
  the two events, places the date, without doubt, in October 1541,
  after the return of the Reformer to that town.



LXXX.--TO FAREL.

     Brotherly exhortations--efforts of Calvin to draw Viret to
     Geneva--news of that Church.


  GENEVA, [_11th November 1541_.]

There is no need for your being over anxious about my expostulation.
My object was rather to scold you than seriously to complain;
besides, I am well aware that you could not have discarded me from
your remembrance even though you had taken no notice of me in your
letters for a hundred times in succession. Therefore I bid you be
at ease on this score. Would that you could make up matters as
easily with those who harass you and disturb the Church! However,
as you remark, we ought not to dread the warfare with the world and
the flesh if we would serve Christ. We ought, indeed, earnestly to
desire it, but we ought chiefly to desire that all those who are
now at enmity with him may be brought to a willing obedience to
Christ, rather than conquered and subdued by force of arms, but
not corrected. Since, however, the Lord is pleased to exercise and
drill us in his warfare, and allows us to take no rest, let us fight
on with deliberate and constant valour, only let it be with those
weapons wherewith himself hath furnished us. Under this banner
victory will be always within our reach. When the celebration of the
Supper takes place, and particularly with that intimation which you
mention, it will, as I hope, prove an excellent means of recovering
the Church and reconciling differences. And I hear, that owing to
the moderate course which you now adopt, the minds of many are much
quieted, and the spirit of contention in others very much broken.
Until it prove entirely successful, you must omit nought which may
avail in any degree to promote the healing of the wound. Here you
will gain the fairest, the most noble triumph, if Satan, abandoned
by his host, be left alone with but a handful of his leaders. As
for our own proceedings, what I wrote you about being unequally
yoked, I find to be more completely verified than was expected;
but must endure what cannot be remedied. Therefore, should Viret
be taken away from me I shall be utterly ruined, and this Church
will be past recovery. On this account it is only reasonable that
you and others pardon me if I leave no stone unturned to prevent
his being carried off from me. In the meantime we must look for
supply to the Church of Lausanne, according as shall be appointed by
the godly brethren, and by your own advice. Only let Viret remain
with me. This is what I strive for at Berne with all my might. The
brethren must not take it ill that, passing by them, I went lately
to Vevay.[319] My representation of the state of matters succeeded
better there than could have been expected, so much so that they
not only gave me to understand that they would make no objection if
Berne agreed to let us have him, but even affirmed that, in their
judgment, it would be for the common benefit of the Churches if he
should for a while assist me. In this arrangement you will not, I
hope, be more scrupulous than many men who are none of the most
easy. For we have here more work before us than you suppose. The
common people on both sides are willing to comply. The preachings at
least, are well attended; the hearers are decent and well behaved
enough; but there is much yet that requires setting to rights, both
in the understanding and the affections, and except that be cured
by degrees, there is some danger that it may yet break out into the
most virulent sore. You are well aware with how great difficulty
one strives with inward and hidden maladies of this sort, and you
know by experience what kind of yoke-fellows I have, should Viret be
removed. We have most willingly given your brother the best advice
we could. As for the rest, whenever he pleases he shall find me
ready on all occasions; for the present, however, I have stopped,
because I thought it would be of no use to go on. If you think
otherwise, I will rather follow your opinion; nor shall I swerve in
the least degree from those injunctions which you have laid upon me.
So long as we two have any authority, there is no occasion for your
complaining that you can do nothing, for you know that it is not
you alone who have cause to complain. Adieu, my most excellent and
upright brother. Salute kindly all the brethren, especially Cordier,
to whom we shall reply by the first opportunity. We hope that all
your family are in good health.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [319] A Synod of the churches of the Pays de Vaud was then assembled
  at the town of Vevay.



LXXXI.--TO FAREL.

     The Vaudois of Provence--appeal addressed to Mathurin
     Cordier--the Reformation at Paris and Lyons.


  [GENEVA, _December 1541_.]

We detained this messenger here with us to-day, unwilling to let
him away until we had communicated the letter to Viret. I would
not have hesitated to have done so this morning. In the meantime a
letter is brought to us which ought long ago to have been delivered.
This was the reason why the messenger went from hence after dinner,
for Viret was not then at home, and did not return until a little
before sermon. In what regards the business of the brethren,[320]
the king's party and the Episcopals are contending with one another
about the division of the spoil, as if the beast were already slain.
When this booty shall have been adjudged to one or other of them,
he will immediately seize the possession of it unless opposed. The
procurators of the brethren may indeed interfere, and thus suspend
procedure in the cause until the Bernese have time to write a
memorial to the King. The letter would perhaps have more weight if
there should be some likelihood of war breaking out. But if there
is no reason to expect such an occurrence, or if there is risk of
danger from delay, we must see to it, that the Bernese themselves
defend the concessions they have been the means of obtaining for
your brethren. For it is of the greatest consequence to themselves
not to allow the privilege, which the King has granted to them,
thus to be extinguished. The prayer of their petition will easily
be obtained for them, and if the letter be written urgently, which
Giron will willingly do, the King will be ashamed not to perform
what he has always promised them. It will, however, be safer to
despatch a messenger, or to recommend the letter in such a way to
the care of the ambassador, that they may get an answer. And if
you think it expedient that I add my letter to his sister,[321]
you have only to mention it. As to the old man who at present
lives with Cordier, we can venture to undertake for nothing, until
Cordier himself has informed us what we ought to expect from him.
For the better establishment of our school is put off until his
arrival. If he is of a mind to aid us, and is of opinion that the
old man will be a suitable assistant, let him be sent at once; I
shall willingly lodge and board him with myself, until he shall have
got a situation; indeed I do not grudge the expense of a month, or
even two. But if Cordier has changed his mind, frightened by my
last letter, I dare scarce promise anything certain to the good old
man, until we shall have arranged with our leading men. Although,
as I have already said, I shall willingly sustain the charge for
one month or two. But I entreat of you, my dear Farel, do not
suffer Cordier to refuse this appointment which is offered him.
For, indeed, there is otherwise no hope of establishing the school,
unless, regardless of his own interest, he will serve the Lord
here.[322]

  [320] Persecuted with equal animosity by the fanatical bigotry of
  the courtiers and of the priesthood, the Waldenses had appointed
  two procurators, Francis Chaix and William Armand, charged with
  the duty of justifying their innocence at the Court of France; but
  these agents could not even obtain from their judges a copy of
  the process which had been instituted against the inhabitants of
  Cabrières and Merindol, condemned by an iniquitous tribunal without
  ever having been heard in defence; and it required no less than
  royal intervention to compel the Parliament of Aix to give a copy of
  the acts and procedure of the whole process. The two prelates, the
  Bishop of Cavaillon and the Archbishop of Arles, were among the most
  violent opponents of the Waldenses.--Bèze, _Hist. Eccl._ tom. i. p.
  39.

  [321] Marguerite de Valois, Queen of Navarre.

  [322] Mathurin Cordier left Neuchatel a few years afterwards, to
  become Regent of the College of Lausanne. It was in 1557 that, at
  the request of Calvin, his old pupil, he took upon him the office of
  Principal of the College of Geneva. See the interesting notice of
  Mathurin Cordier, by M. Professor Betant. Geneva, 1848.

We have no news from those of Metz. They say that there are some
good preachers at Paris. I am unwilling that you should exult too
much for joy, or rather for gladness, on that account. I wish what
is said may be true, but scarcely believe the half of what I hear;
nor do the letters of friends there commend to such an extent the
present state of matters. There is at least one piece of good news,
that Dolet[323] of Lyons is now printing the Psalter; presently he
will begin the Bible, and is to follow with the version of Olivetan.
Let them tell us after that, that Satan is not God's minister! I was
so overpowered by the sad intelligence of the death of Capito,[324]
that since that time I have neither been well in body nor in mind.
When this letter reaches you, if I am not mistaken, yours will
be upon the road, in which you will give us hope of your arrival.
Adieu; salute all the brethren.

  JOHN CALVIN, in name of Viret and my own.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [323] Stephen Dolet, the celebrated printer of Lyons. He published
  learned writings concerning antiquity; drew upon himself much
  enmity by the boldness of his opinions, and perished at the stake
  in 1544, equally suspected on both sides. He had published a work
  on the reading of the Bible in the vernacular dialect, which has
  given occasion to consider him as one of the martyrs of the Reformed
  Church.--See Bayle, _Dict. Hist._, Art. Dolet.

  [324] Capito had died of the plague at Strasbourg, in the month
  of November, as we learn from a letter of Calvin to Farel:--"When
  this worthy brother had brought word that our excellent father,
  and of holy memory, Capito, had been taken away from us, and that
  Bucer, besides, was suffering from the plague, I was so affected
  both in mind and spirit, that I could do nought but lament and
  bewail."--Letter of 29th November 1541; _Calv. Opera_, tom. ix. p.
  19. Endowed with the wisest and most conciliatory spirit, Capito
  left a great void in the Church at Strasbourg; "happy at least,"
  says Beza, "to have been called away from this life before having
  witnessed the ruin of that Church. He did not share the exile of his
  beloved colleagues, Bucer and Fagius, but went before to the abode
  and dwelling-place of the heavenlies."--Theodori Bezæ, _Icones_. The
  decease of Capito excited a general mourning; his loss was equally
  deplored by the Reformers of Germany and of Switzerland.--Melchior
  Adam, _Vitæ Theologorum Germanorum_.



LXXXII.--TO FAREL.[325]

  [325] The troubles which had arisen in the Church of Neuchatel (see
  letter, p. 286) not having been quieted by the arbitration of the
  Seigneury of Berne, the latter referred that grave matter to the
  decision of the burgesses solemnly assembled. The majority of votes
  pronounced in favour of Farel. He was thereupon settled in the
  ministry, and peace was thus established in that Church, so long a
  prey to intestine disorder.--Ruchat, _Hist. de la Réf._, tom. v. p.
  167. At the news of that happy event, Calvin wrote in his own name,
  as well as in that of Viret, to congratulate Farel, and to recommend
  moderation after the victory.

     Healing of the troubles of the Church at Neuchatel--wise counsel
     given to Farel.


  GENEVA, _5th February_ [1542.]

Your letter greatly astounded us at first, as it not only informed
us of your tragical encounter, but also of the success of the enemy
at the same time. We were somewhat refreshed afterwards when we
understood that the issue of the affair was more favourable, or
at least not so disastrous as we had feared. You are right, most
excellent Farel, the Lord has wonderfully overruled this whole
affair; but we have been taught by the contest what a Lerna Satan
must be, who can produce so many Hydras in one little town. If,
however, from one monstrous head a hundred were to spring, and if
for every one head even a thousand were to threaten us, we know for
certain, that while we wage war under the banners of our Christ, and
fight with the weapons of his warfare, we shall be unconquerable. At
the same time, however, we must keep in mind, that we ought to omit
nothing by which we may oppose and frustrate the crafty devices of
our enemy. For this purpose our Lord has furnished us with spiritual
prudence, which, as it neither slackens nor weakens our zeal, so,
on the other hand, it stills and regulates it by a wise moderation.
Nor do we speak of these qualities because we perceive at present
any want of this temper in you, but in order that you may be more
and more on your guard, that the spiteful and malicious may have not
even a pretext for trumping up their calumnies against you. We trust
you are satisfied as to Courault. If our friends have not performed
what they promised to you, you must impute that to the untowardness
of the times; and you will forgive the Church her inability in that
respect, to whom you could pardon so much more serious offences.
What you request about a new commission, unless we are greatly
mistaken, it will be procured without difficulty. Meanwhile, be of
good courage, and at the same time possess your soul in patience;
for when you come, we shall give you enough to do.

Adieu, most excellent and friendly brother. Salute our brethren in
the ministry, and all our intimate acquaintance. May the Lord keep
you.

  JOHN CALVIN, for myself and Viret.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



LXXXIII.--TO OSWALD MYCONIUS.[326]

  [326] Oswald Myconius of Lucerne, the distinguished philologist and
  theologian, disciple of Glarean and of Erasmus. He taught literature
  at Zurich in the lifetime of Zuingli, who honoured him with his
  friendship; was then called to Basle, where he discharged the office
  of theological pastor, and was elected first pastor on the decease
  of Œcolampadius, (1531.) Zealous partisan of the Lutheran dogma
  of the Sacraments, in his relations with the Swiss churches, he
  was ever animated by a spirit of moderation and gentleness, which
  procured him the constant affection of Calvin. He died October 15,
  1552, at the age of sixty-three years, and was succeeded by the
  minister Sulzer in the direction of the Church of Basle.--Melch.
  Adam, _Vitæ Theologorum Germanorum_, pp. 223-226.

     Restoration of the Church of Geneva--wise and moderate behaviour
     of Calvin--obstacles to the establishment of ecclesiastical
     discipline--duty of the magistrates--information regarding an
     adventurer named Alberg.


  GENEVA, _14th March 1542_.

On my first arrival here I could not, as you have requested, write
you with certainty as to the state of this Church, because I had
not then myself sufficiently ascertained what was the condition
of it. Since that time also I have not ventured to say anything
for certain, while matters were not very settled, that I might not
shortly have occasion to repent of having praised it too soon. And
this was also the reason why I abstained from writing when the
deputies of our republic set out for Basle. Now, however, since,
notwithstanding my delay, your kindness has anticipated me, I feel
that I can no longer put off my reply to your request. The present
state of our affairs I can give you in few words. For the first
month after resuming the ministry, I had so much to attend to, and
so many annoyances, that I was almost worn out: such a work of
labour and difficulty has it been to upbuild once more the fallen
edifice. Although certainly Viret had already begun successfully to
restore, yet, nevertheless, because he had deferred the complete
form of order and discipline until my arrival, it had, as it
were, to be commenced anew. When, having overcome this labour, I
believed that there would be breathing-time allowed me, lo! new
cares presented themselves, and those of a kind not much lighter
than the former. This, however, somewhat consoles and refreshes
me, that we do not labour altogether in vain, without some fruit
appearing; which although it is not so plentiful as we could wish,
yet neither is it so scanty but that there does appear some change
for the better. There appears a brighter prospect for the future
if Viret can be left here with me; on which account I am all the
more desirous to express to you my most thankful acknowledgment,
because you share with me in my anxiety that the Bernese may not
call him away; and I earnestly beseech, for the sake of Christ, that
you would do your utmost to bring that about;[327] for whenever
the thought of his going away presents itself, I faint and lose
courage entirely. I do hope that the brethren will aid you in this
arrangement, (I mean the ministers of Berne,) for we entertain that
love towards each other, that I can venture to engage they will do
their utmost for me, as I would do for them. I am afraid, however,
that the Senate will not very readily agree to the proposal.
Whatever shall be the result, let us strain every nerve to bring it
to bear. Do you also strive to the utmost with the brethren, as you
have undertaken to do; for while there is no doubt that they would
be willing of their own accord, it will be of advantage at the same
time, nevertheless, to have your exhortation. Our other colleagues
are rather a hindrance than a help to us: they are rude and
self-conceited, have no zeal, and less learning. But what is worst
of all, I cannot trust them, even although I very much wish that
I could; for by many evidences they shew their estrangement from
us, and give scarcely any indication of a sincere and trustworthy
disposition. I bear with them, however, or rather I humour them,
with the utmost lenity: a course from which I shall not be induced
to depart, even by their bad conduct. But if, in the long-run, the
sore need a severer remedy, I shall do my utmost and shall see to it
by every method I can think of, to avoid disturbing the peace of the
Church with our quarrels; for I dread the factions which must always
necessarily arise from the dissensions of ministers. On my first
arrival I might have driven them away had I wished to do so, and
that is also even now in my power. I shall never, however, repent
the degree of moderation which I have observed; since no one can
justly complain that I have been too severe. These things I mention
to you in a cursory way, that you may the more clearly perceive
how wretched I shall be if Viret is taken away from me. What you
observe, from the example of your Church, of the great injury which
is inflicted by the noisome plague of discord among the ministry,
I can confirm, from my own experience, to the fullest extent, in
the calamity which has befallen this Church. No persons could be on
closer terms of intimacy than we were here with one another. But
when Satan had stirred up that deplorable misunderstanding between
these brethren and ourselves, you know yourself what followed
thereupon. My determination was therefore made at once, that unless
with the evidence of an entire reconciliation, I would never
undertake this charge, because I despaired of any benefit from my
ministry here, unless they held out a helping hand to me. Meanwhile,
many in their assembly are not over friendly, others are openly
hostile to me. But this I carefully provide against, that the spirit
of contention may not arise among us. We have an intestine seed
of discord in the city, as I have already mentioned; but we take
special care, by our patient and mild deportment, that the Church
may not suffer any inconvenience from that circumstance, and that
nothing of that kind may reach the common people. They all know very
well, by experience, the pleasant and humane disposition of Viret: I
am in no way more harsh, at least in this matter. Perhaps you will
scarcely believe this; it is not the less true, however. Indeed,
I value the public peace and cordial agreement among ourselves so
highly, that I lay restraint upon myself: those who are opposed to
us are themselves compelled to award this praise to me. This feeling
prevails to such an extent, that from day to day those who were once
open enemies have become friends; others I conciliate by courtesy,
and I feel that I have been in some measure successful, although not
everywhere and on all occasions.

  [327] "I will write concerning Viret to Berne as soon as I am able,
  but in the name of the brethren, that it may come with greater
  authority, if the object can be accomplished at all. For we also
  desire that the Church of Geneva may be as well supplied as possible
  for the good of other churches."--_Oswald Myconius to Calvin, 10th
  February 1542._

On my arrival, it was in my power to have disconcerted our enemies
most triumphantly, entering with full sail among the whole of that
tribe who had done the mischief. I have abstained: if I had liked,
I could daily, not merely with impunity, but with the approval
of very many, have used sharp reproof. I forbear; even with the
most scrupulous care do I avoid everything of the kind, lest even
by some slight word I should appear to persecute any individual,
much less all of them at once. May the Lord confirm me in this
disposition of mind. It happens, however, sometimes, that it is
necessary to withstand our colleagues; but we never do so unless
they either compel us by their unseasonable importunity, or some
weightier consideration demands our interference. I will relate an
instance to you, which the complaint you make in your letter, owing
to the similarity of the case in point, brought very forcibly to
my recollection. When we were considering about the introduction
of ecclesiastical censure,[328] and the Senate had given us a
commission to that effect, these worthy persons appeared in public
to assent; doubtless because they were ashamed to offer direct
opposition in a matter that was so plain and evident. Afterwards,
however, they were to be seen going about secretly, dealing
separately with each of the senators, exhorting them not to lay at
our feet the power which was in their own hands, (as they said,)
not to abdicate the authority which God had intrusted to them,
and not to give occasion to sedition, with many other arguments
of a like nature. We dared not close our eyes to such perfidious
conduct. We endeavoured, however, to arrange the matter in such
a way as not to stir up strife among us. We at length possess a
Presbyterial Court, such as it is, and a form of discipline, such
as these disjointed times permit. Do not, however, allow yourself
to suppose that we obtained so much without the most vigorous
exertion. And besides, those troops of unclean spirits break forth
in all directions, who, in order that they may escape from healthy
discipline, which they can in no way submit to, seek every sort of
pretext for slipping away from the authority of the Church. The
world, moreover, holds this laxity to be an established custom,
which, for the sake of its lust, must reign paramount, because it
cannot endure to resign the dominion of the sensual appetites to
Christ. But however impostors of this kind may plead the plausible
case of the world and the flesh, the Lord will consume them with
the breath of his mouth, provided we go forward to the assault with
united courage and resolution, and fight manfully, with a stout
heart and unwearied zeal, for that sacred authority and power of
spiritual jurisdiction over the members of the Church which ought
ever to be held inviolable. For, indeed, the truth of God shines
more brightly of itself in this evangelic order of discipline, than
to allow of its being easily overlaid with such lying devices. They
adduce Moses and David as examples: as if, forsooth, these two
rulers had exercised no other charge over the people than to rule
them in the ordinance of civil government. Let those insane pleaders
for the authority of the magistrate give us such men for magistrates
as were Moses and David, that is, excelling in the singular spirit
of prophecy, and sustaining both characters, not at their own
mere will and pleasure but by the calling and commission of God,
we shall then willingly concede to such persons that authority
which they demand. I have no doubt that Moses himself discharged
the functions of priesthood before the consecration of Aaron to
the office: afterwards he prescribes, by the command of God, what
was to be done. David, also, did not proceed to take order in the
settling the administration of the Church, before he was invested
with that power by the permission of God. Other pious godly kings
defended and protected the established order by their authority, as
became them; they let the Church alone, however, in the exercise of
her peculiar jurisdiction in spirituals, and left to the priests
the charge assigned to them by the Lord. But am I not foolish to
enter upon so complicated a question, when the letter-carrier is
just upon the eve of setting out? whence it happens that we have
not at present sufficient leisure for going fully and particularly
into the long story of Alberg. I shall make a beginning, however,
and follow it forth until the messenger shall arrive to snatch away
the half-completed letter out of my hands. You must understand,
in the first place, that this individual has now, for many years,
been engaged in nothing else than constantly running about hither
and thither, to shuffle money out of some, clothes from others,
and thus to live from hand to mouth, maintaining a livelihood by
imposture, as is the practice of those vagabonds who wander to
and fro. He had come hither more than once before our expulsion:
and had asked for a situation, but did not find one to suit him,
because he wished a school of some standing, which is nowhere to be
found in this quarter, and with a large salary. In a little while
after he returns, deploring as usual that he had been plundered by
highwaymen. He repairs to a neighbouring small town, goes round
canvassing for the mastership of the school, which he does not
obtain. This repulse he charges upon us, who were so destitute of
influence there, that had it been known that his appointment would
not have been pleasing to us, on that account alone he would have
obtained it; and yet, God is our witness, that at that time we
had endeavoured nothing else than that he might find somewhere or
other a situation fit and suitable for him. He came afterwards to
Strasbourg, where he extorted twenty batzen from me, which I myself
was obliged to borrow in another quarter; for I had sold my books,
and was then entirely without funds. He had promised that he would
return them within a few days. A box, of no value, he deposited
with me as a pledge. Having returned after an interval of some
months, laughing in his sleeve, or rather making game of it, he
asked whether I would not let him have some crowns by way of loan,
and my reply was, that I needed the small sum which he had already
got. The rascal, in the meantime, having stealthily conveyed the box
away out of my library, consigns it to the care of Bucer's wife. She
would have nothing to do with it, and gave me intimation. Thereupon
I reprimanded his impudence, in the presence of several witnesses.
In half a year after, or perhaps a whole year, he coolly wrote me
that he was shut up at Baden, that all the gentry of the district
had combined against him, that he could not otherwise escape, unless
I sent him a travelling merchant, who might bring him away in his
basket of goods. Bedrot received one, couched in similar or nearly
the same terms. We had a laugh. I wrote a few words also in reply;
for we had reason, from many circumstances, to conjecture that he
was all the while in that city. From that time he has never made his
appearance. A year and a half has elapsed in the meantime. As I was
aware that the little box contained many trifling articles of no
value, I opened it, in the presence of many witnesses. It contained
mouldy apples, and all sorts of trash, some books, tattered and
torn, and these quite commonplace, such as Despautier, and the like.
I found also a letter, which he had surreptitiously carried off
from me. This Sturm is well aware of, whom I called to be present.
We replaced every thing, not without much laughter. When Grynée,
of worthy and revered memory, came to Worms, he brought word that
Alberg was then at Basle. On coming away from Strasbourg I requested
my friends to send him back the box. The rascal, having received it,
went about proclaiming that I was a thief, that I had taken out of
it many incomparable books. He came to Lausanne,--related the same
story to Viret. When lately he had betaken himself hither again,
he was for ten days in the city before I was aware of it. A while
after, at the suggestion of Viret, I went to him, asked whether it
was his intention to raise an action of theft against me, when he
said that he had lost some remarkably rare books. I told him he was
a most impudent scoundrel. The day after, he attacked me in my own
house, not only with the most abusive language, but also making a
furious assault; hereupon he was given into custody. When I was
afterwards interceding earnestly for him with the magistrate, and he
was about to be called and sent away without any further trouble,
the jailer brought word that he had spoken still more outrageously
against me there. In this manner he would not suffer himself to be
benefitted; and yet he is punished less than he deserves. It is his
old song, that something has been taken away from him. He could not
formerly go three miles' distance but he must fall among robbers.
Everywhere he boasts that he has a great store of invaluable books;
even as he offered books in pledge to me, which he had at Basle,
when he sought my aid in getting out of durance at Baden. In like
manner, at Berne, when he sought ten crowns from me and Farel, he
said that he had at your house a large package of books, and fifty
Bohemian ducats. Lately, also, in the taverns, he talked of nothing
else than the noble library which he had left at Basle. But, in
truth, it is somewhat offensive that I should have to speak a word
to clear myself, for I reckon that I have so lived as to be beyond
the suspicion of theft. The letter has now been twice called for.
Adieu, most excellent and very much esteemed brother. May the Lord
Jesus direct you continually by his Spirit in his own work, and
govern your household. Viret particularly and reverently salutes
you.--Wholly yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._, Opera, tom. ix. p. 26.]

  [328] The right of censure and excommunication belonging to the
  Consistory. It was not without much difficulty that the right of
  ecclesiastical censure was granted to the Consistorial Court,--a
  body which included at once the ministers and some members of the
  magistracy, chosen from the various municipal councils. This right
  of the Consistory was often contested, and was only definitely
  recognized after long resistance, of which traces are to be found in
  the Registers of Council, from 1542 to 1553.



LXXXIV. TO OSWALD MYCONIUS.[329]

  [329] To the very faithful minister of Christ, D. Oswald Myconius,
  pastor of the Church at Basle, my much respected friend.

     The Reformation at Cologne--some details on the condition of
     Germany--efforts of Calvin to retain Viret at Geneva.


  GENEVA, _17th April 1542_.

I am glad that Bucer had got back to you in safety.[330] His hope
of some good, which he expects on the part of the Bishop, I am
afraid is not worth much, unless he ventures at last to undertake
somewhat on his own responsibility, even in opposition to the
whole of his clergy, for if he waits until the canons come to help
him in the work of restoring the Church, he will sit still long
enough. If, however, he sets his mind in earnest to it, and does
not allow himself to be daunted by opposition, he has the whole
affair in his own hand, for the city of Cologne will either assent,
or will offer no very strenuous opposition, rather, perhaps, will
lend him a helping hand. But even supposing that he can effect
no remarkable change for the better, it is pleasing to observe,
that he is not disposed to check the progress of improvement, and
that he may qualify in some measure the fury of our adversaries,
until the Lord is pleased to enlighten himself more fully. In so
far as I gather from your letter, the German empire is in no whit
better condition than it was about the time of the conclusion of
the Diet at Ratisbon, although, indeed, at the commencement of
that assembly, the proceedings were somewhat cheering.[331] At
present, however, as it appears to me, the men who are carried away
by furious and blind rage, who have no better object in view than
to keep alive disturbances, have got everything their own way.
When such is the common news of the day, I can well enough guess
what may have befallen the Marquis of Brandenbourg.[332] As he is
more eagerly desirous of vainglory than is at all seemly, they
must have made him drunk with the offer of the administration of
the war. This one thing comforts me, that whatever may happen in
desperate circumstances, the so utterly unbridled rule and dominion
of the wicked cannot exist any longer unchecked; and the Lord, as
you truly observe, will at length vindicate his own cause. There
are many influences at work, both at home and abroad, more than
enough, and many more spring up daily, which would not merely
weaken, but entirely crush us if we were not well aware that we
are fellow-workers with himself in the reformation of the Church.
In our deepest misery, therefore, this consideration has sufficed
to support us, that Christ has once for all obtained the victory
over the world, the fruit of which deliverance we may at all times
partake of.

  [330] Bucer had gone to Cologne, called thither by the Archbishop,
  Elector Hermann de Wied, the pious and distinguished prelate who had
  courageously undertaken the reformation of his diocese.

  [331] Discord prevailed among the members of the League of Smalkald,
  one part refusing the subsidy to the Emperor for the war against the
  Turks, the other shewing a disposition to grant it. "It is spread
  abroad that there exists dissension between the Princes and the
  Cities concerning the money and men to be given against the Turk. _I
  rejoice that Christ is Lord, otherwise I had altogether despaired.
  Himself will preserve his Church._"--_Oswald Myconius to Calvin_,
  10th February 1542.

  [332] The Margrave Albert of Brandenbourg, a bold adventurer, who
  lent his sword in turn to all parties during the troubles of Germany.

In what concerns the private condition of this Church, I somehow,
along with Viret, sustain the burden of it. If he is taken away
from me, my situation will be more deplorable than I can describe
to you, and even should he remain there is some hazard that very
much may not be obtained in the midst of so much secret animosity.
But that I may not torment myself beforehand, the Lord will see to
it, and provide some one on whom I am compelled to cast this care.
Meanwhile, I do not cease to try every method which seems to promise
success in obtaining what we ask. The arrival of Munster[333] was
most refreshing to us, although we were not able to entertain him
as he deserved, and in such a way as we would very cordially have
seized the opportunity of doing, since he was in so great a hurry as
not to admit of that. So far as lay in our power, however, we shewed
him the tokens of our good-will. We are very unwilling that the
Bernese and our Seigneury should be so long in explaining what they
mean to do after the pronouncing of the award; but whenever we press
our friends here upon the point, they always object that it is but
just that they should take precedence of the other, and now desire
to know whether your Senate has received anything in the shape of an
answer from them.[334] If you can ascertain anything privately in a
quiet way, I would earnestly entreat you to let me have notice to
that effect. I undertake to endeavour, by all the means in my power,
that our friends may not be too difficult to deal with, although I
have not hitherto been able to extort so much as even to get them
to take the first step in making a reply; when the decisive moment
arrives, however, I will urge that to the very uttermost. I greatly
wish that, in the meantime, you would do us this favour. Adieu, my
excellent and greatly esteemed brother. Viret reverently salutes you
and all your colleagues, whom I beg you will also salute in my name.
May the Lord Jesus long preserve you and direct you continually by
his Spirit. Again, farewell.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. minute._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [333] Sebastian Munster, Professor of Theology at the University of
  Basle, and author of the _Cosmographia Universalis_.

  [334] Allusion to the disputes between Berne and Geneva, submitted
  to the arbitration of the Seigneury of Basle.



LXXXV.--TO THE BRETHREN OF LYONS.[335]

  [335] On the back: Letters against the Carmelite. Without date. A
  Latin letter of Calvin to Farel, of the 10th May 1542, relative to
  the same subject, furnishes us with the date, and informs us that
  this white friar, who had gone over to the ranks of the Reformed,
  belonged to Lyons: "_Venit Carmelita Lugdunensis a quo non frustra
  timuimus_." Calvin forewarned the faithful of that town to be upon
  their guard against that false friar.

  The Church of Lyons, one of the most glorious of the French
  Reformation, owed its origin to the preaching of an old Jacobin
  monk, Alexander Camus, surnamed Laurence de la Croix, who suffered
  martyrdom at Paris in 1535. The first members of that Church
  were merchants, "some goldsmiths and others of the town," who
  met together in secret. The work begun by Alexander Camus was
  manfully followed up by John Fabri, (or Le Fevre,) who found pious
  continuators in the ministers, Peter Fournelet and Claude Monnier,
  before the epoch of the great persecutions.--_Hist. Eccl._, tom. i.
  pp. 55, 56.

     Stay of a Carmelite monk at Geneva--declaration of motives for
     refusing to admit him to the ministry of the Gospel.


VILLEFRANCHE,[336] [_May 1542_.]

  [336] That is to say, Geneva.

The grace and peace of God our Father, by our Lord Jesus Christ,
dwell and be with you and upon you always, by the power of his Holy
Spirit.

VERY DEAR BRETHREN,--We would desire to have wherewithal to write
you, which might prove matter of greater comfort and consolation to
you; for whereas there are some others who would make you sad, we
would be the first to take some pains to make you rejoice and be
glad. But at this present time, necessity constrains us to use other
argument than our own inclination would suggest to us if we were
free to choose. But yet we hope, you will not think that we have
any other intention than to edify you, to comfort and confirm you
in our Lord, and therefore, we shall not make any more lengthened
excuses on that account. Touching the subject-matter of these
presents, we trust that you shall not take it in evil part should
this communication cause you more trouble than cause of rejoicing.
We also do very well know, that it is an odious thing to find fault
with a man who is not only in good repute, but has acquired some
credit and renown. But when you have heard the reasons which move
us to do so, we have no doubt that you will not be dissatisfied
with us, but hold yourselves well content to agree. In short, we
would wish you to understand, that we have some news to write you
touching the white friar who preached there during last Lent, which
will not turn out to his praise. The course we take in this matter
is not from any desire on our part to detract from him; for although
we have some occasion that might lead us to that, our courage is
not equal to it, and neither is it our use and wont. But when we
shall have explained our motive, you can fully satisfy yourselves;
forasmuch as he has returned from among you not very well pleased
with the reception which we had given him, so he has said to some
persons. We can well conceive, therefore, that being thereaway, he
would make many complaints, were it for no other reason than to
clear himself on account of his return once more into that lower
abyss from whence the Lord had delivered him. Well we see, on the
other hand, what offence you might conceive against us, if you were
not duly informed of the whole affair. Inasmuch, then, as we are
bound to you by reason of that tie whereby the Lord has joined us
together, and that we should be blamable in the sight of God towards
you, did we not take the trouble to remove the scandals which the
Devil sets afloat to separate and estrange us from the unity which
the Lord has put in the midst of us, it has seemed to us a sound
discretion, simply to relate to you the history of the treatment
and reception which we have vouchsafed him, and, on the other hand,
how he has conducted himself, that you may judge for yourselves how
little he had to make him discontented with us. What we shall relate
to you shall be told as in the presence of God, to whom we do appeal
as witness, beseeching him to make manifest the truth such as it
really is, and to confound those who would speak falsehood, or make
use of calumny of what kind soever.

Some days after his arrival, having already spoken to him in
private, and having shewn him tokens of courtesy and friendship,
we called upon him, being met together, to know what might be his
determination. After he had told us that he had come to serve the
Church of God, we besought him not to take it ill, that we had not
on the first day of his arrival offered him the pulpit. In like
manner, we requested that he would excuse us should we still delay
for some time; and we shewed him the causes which hindered our being
hasty in so doing. First of all, because the Lord has delivered
our rule in writing, which it is not lawful for us to overpass. It
is, that he has forbidden us to receive any man to the ministry
before he has been well and duly approved, and that rule ought to
be inviolably kept by us, if we would have good order and policy
maintained in the Church. We admonished him to consider how the rule
of the ministry, as a matter of Church polity, was recommended to
us of God, which would be lightly esteemed were we to receive any
individual at random, without observing the lawful form and order.
Secondly, we demonstrated to him what might be the consequence if we
should thus hastily and unadvisedly introduce him; that is to say,
that another would be received after his example, and in such sort,
that it would come to pass that we would fall into greater confusion
than even we have had in time bygone, making dispensation in favour
of one, and denying it to another, which inequality is mortal ruin
in the Church of God. Thirdly, we told him, that even were we so
far to trifle with our consciences as to be willing, in his favour,
to transgress the commandment of God, nevertheless we were not at
liberty to do so, for that we have our laws ecclesiastic, which are
reduced to writing, and which give us a quite different lesson. We
must therefore observe them, in regard that all the people of our
manner of worship are obliged so to do. Fourthly, we clearly pointed
out to him, that it was even for his advantage that the proceeding
should be maturely gone about and ripely advised beforehand; that in
the interval, he might have leisure to consider how difficult and
irksome a charge it is, and in order to be well resolved as to what
he would have to do; and also to become acquainted with our form
and manner, with a view to suit and accommodate himself to it, from
fear of giving offence to the people who are tender and delicate,
for even the untaught and ruder sort are sometimes rather difficult
to please. Notwithstanding, we gave him clearly to understand that
it was no intention of ours to keep him a long while in suspense
and weary him out, but rather to shorten his probation, and as soon
as shall be possible to admit him to the service of God. Thereupon
we requested of him to have yet a little patience, waiting until
everything might be done according to the prescribed order of God;
and that in the meantime he could deal with us privately as with
brethren, we offering to do him all the service and shew him all
good-will in everything which the Lord might put into our hand.

It certainly did appear to us that our proposals were so reasonable,
that he ought to take them into consideration. Moreover, we spoke
as kindly and gently as he could think of requiring, and you may
rest assured that every God-fearing man, having a clear conscience,
would have been well satisfied. More than that, even a man of a bad
heart, if so be that he might have had some measure of honesty, and
was not become altogether shameless, would have felt a sort of shame
in refusing to acquiesce. Our Carmelite, as an answer to everything,
required us to give assurance on the spot, notwithstanding all the
reasons which we have alleged. And that for two causes: the first
was, that he had at this time companions who could lead him surely
out of danger, and furnish him with money and equipage, and that he
would not always have that opportunity at hand. The second, that if
he was to return to France, the sooner he went the better, before
the noise of his coming hither was made public.

We saw clearly by this answer that he knew nothing about the
Church nor the ministry either, and that if he had but little
understanding, he had even less heart and zeal in her service.
Nevertheless, having made him withdraw, and having spoken with each
other, once more we made him a very gentle and gracious reply,
praying that he would pardon us if we could not acquiesce in his
request, seeing that our consciences were fast bound up from so
doing by the word of God; and what had formerly been said to him
was explained and confirmed besides, as well by the testimonies of
Scripture, as by the example of the ancient Church. We also plied
him with exhortations, which might well have subdued him and
brought him back to better reason, had he not gone too far astray;
and, in order that it might not appear as if we had not treated him
with all due honour, we shewed him that the same course had been
followed in the case of others not less worthy than himself, and who
of their own accord willingly submitted to it.

But in place of yielding to reason, he replied, flatly, and somewhat
at a non-plus, that if we thought we had the Spirit of God, _he_
was not altogether void of it, and shewed clearly, that all our
forementioned dealing with him he took in no other way than as a
mockery. We answered him, in the first place, that in this matter we
had the word of God so clear, that our consciences were well enough
assured. And that, even if the thing were doubtful, or we might have
some scruple about it, it was our duty to attempt nothing against
what we considered to be the will of God. Moreover, that what we
alleged in proof of that was so clear, that there was no need to
make any further dispute about it. That he ought, besides, rather to
suspect himself than us, seeing that he had only his own interests
to consider, while we, on the other hand, had no other object in
view but that of keeping close to the order of God. He replied also
to that, that if he had come before the time of Lent, he would
willingly have submitted to examination, but since he had preached
in a church so near at hand,[337] that we ought to hold _that_ for
approbation. On that point, we told him, that it had happened in
France, as Solomon has said, that to the hungry soul bitter things
appear to be sweet, for the poor people are so famished and starved
with regard to the true doctrine, that when one touches on a single
word, were it only by halves, they are so ravished and transported,
that they do not take leisure to judge aright. Besides, referring
to his boast of having preached there, we told him, that he need
not exalt his horn on that account, and that we knew well in what
weakness it had been. And yet, nevertheless, we protested that it
was not by way of reproach, and that we were not so wanting in
humanity that we would not support those who are somewhat weak when
in such danger, but that it was to lead him to the knowledge of
himself, in order that he might not pride himself upon that without
cause, having more occasion rather to humble himself. In conclusion,
we set ourselves again to soothe and to encourage him, while, on his
part, he did not exhibit any farther appearance of being irritated.

  [337] The Church of Lyons.

On the morrow, being in a tavern with a large company, among whom
there were about half a score of preachers about him, after they
had discoursed of some matter, without any provocation, or any
occasion given, as if he had been the controller of the whole world,
he declared that they had not a learned man among them hereabouts,
and spoke even more outrageously than I can repeat; and as truth
always comes to light in time, we have been told since, that from
the first day of his arrival in this town, he has never ceased to
malign sometimes one person and sometimes another, and at other
times the whole of us, even so far as to pronounce, that he found
no savour nor edification in all our preachings and lectures. And,
notwithstanding, while all this was going on, he did not hesitate in
venturing to dine with us. We see his object perfectly; it is, that
the poor man has such a hungering after notoriety, that he burns
everything to attain it, and all the while we see nothing about
which he need glorify himself. For when one has thoroughly sifted
all that is in him, even all the inward parts of the belly, there is
nothing one finds, after all, but the ignorance of an ass. He knows
somewhat less of Latin than a child of eight years ought to have.
In Scripture he is as blind and ignorant as a beetle, and all the
while he is so drunken with ambition, that he can scarcely keep upon
his feet. We do not trouble you by the recital of all the shifts and
subtleties which he has devised and attempted. He had all the will
to trouble the Church, had the time been seasonably disposed for it.
This, however, is no new instance of the kind, for these sort of
people have had their predecessors since the time of St. Paul, who,
by a like sort of artifice, that is to say, bragging and vaunting
about their own doings, and disparaging the holy apostle behind his
back, in order to advance themselves, threw all in disorder, as we
may see in the Epistles to the Corinthians and the Galatians.

Towards the conclusion of the whole affair, this discreet and
worthy man having made up his mind to [have nothing more to do
with us,] and to be gone, came to one of us to clear himself, and
principally with the view of justifying everything that he had said
in his answers; he was told, that it would be for his own advantage
seriously to consider all that had taken place, as in the sight of
God, that he might accuse and condemn himself, and without being
so resolutely bent upon maintaining his honour by loud talk, after
having, both by act and deed, so greatly wounded it; for that,
should he persist in thus contending both against reason and truth,
he would come to a bad end, inasmuch as that judgment must ever
prove true, that whosoever exalteth himself shall be humbled. As
touching the silly expressions he had made use of in the tavern, he
wished to be credited in denying them, and that we must consider
all those to be liars who had heard him. He was answered, that
then he must plead against our Lord, who had willed, that in the
mouth of two or three witnesses every word should be established.
And although there was not any special need whatever to discuss
that point, inasmuch as it need not give us very much concern how
much they prize or despise our knowledge, and that our chief glory
consists in our being the servants of God; so much so, that we held
it to be a laughable matter and of no consequence whatever, and
that to such a degree, that we could not so far defer to him as to
admit that he is a competent judge; we could, nevertheless, very
well perceive by such expressions, that his heart was so swelled
with venom, that he was compelled to disgorge it by vomiting forth
his spite in such language upon us; and this sign and token of his
malice gave offence, seeing that we had never given occasion for it.
Touching the third point, he could not deny that he had in some sort
misrepresented our preachings. Yet it was difficult for him to state
any certain ground of objection, even although he had possessed the
knowledge required to enable him to do so. For even though he came
once for the sake of countenance, as if from the fear of being seen
listening for the purpose of learning, he read in a book apart by
himself, in which one could see his foolish ambition, to be so much
afraid of lessening his own reputation should he condescend to do so
much honour to the word of God as to give him a hearing.

The final result of this proposal was, that he to whom it was
addressed said, that he would call together his companions to
speak with him; and as he gave him clearly to understand, that he
need not be under any fear that we would recoil upon him in the
way of revenge, no more than as if he had conducted himself very
wisely, upon that he supped with one of our companions, and made
him believe that he intended to take lodgings and stop in the town.
The next morning he mounted on horseback, and in mounting gave
full rein to his abuse, more than ever he had yet done. Whether
or not he has had just cause for so doing, we leave yourselves
to judge, after having read the statement which we have now made
you, which we protest before God to be the simple truth, without
having added anything, and praying the Lord to give you the spirit
of direction to take knowledge of it, and rightly to judge, in
order that you may not take offence, whatever report he may make
to you; for in writing this letter to you, we intended, besides
the discharge of duty in giving you satisfactory information, to
convince you that we had not treated him with inhumanity. For in
truth, because it had pleased the Lord to make use of his services
in that quarter by his preachings, and that some edification had
followed thereupon, our wish and desire was entirely bent on not
rejecting him. Our conscience, however, would not admit of our
receiving him immediately, until his pride had been a little abased,
that he had learned to trust somewhat more in God, and that he
had profited yet farther a little so as to teach faithfully and
purely; for he had three things about him which by good right were
displeasing to us. First of all, that good persuasion of himself.
Secondly, that he was so devoted to the kitchen, that methinks the
earth itself would scarce have supplied him, as if God in heaven
were not all-sufficient for the nourishment of his own. Thirdly,
he was so ignorant, that we were very much astonished; for in our
congregation, where we read a text of St. Paul, which contained
beautiful matter of doctrine and copious, and ought to be well known
by all who preach in that quarter, because it is the Epistle for
the first Sunday in Advent, when it came to his turn, not only did
he speak meagerly and sparingly upon it, but he reversed the whole
of what Paul said, not intentionally or in malice, as we thought,
but in pure stupidity. Other vices we let pass, as worldly vanity
and the like, that we may not appear as if we persecuted him in
hatred and enmity. What we have now told you is to forearm you, that
you may not be imposed on to your hurt. As regards the individual,
we pray the Lord that he would give him the spirit of humiliation
and of meekness, correcting that lofty and foolish presumption
which he has; and above all, that he might know himself such as he
really is, so as to get a true sight of himself, for then he will
have occasion indeed for self-abasement. In conclusion, very dear
brethren, we shall commend you to the holy safeguard of our Lord
Jesus, who is the true pastor of all the faithful.

  [_Fr. orig. minute._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 145.]



LXXXVI.--TO FAREL.[338]

  [338] The Republic of Geneva incurred the loss of an excellent
  magistrate and friend in Porral, who had been named first Syndic
  of this year. He had concurred with Calvin in drawing up the
  Ecclesiastical Ordonnances adopted the preceding year, and he died,
  as this letter of the Reformer to Farel testifies, with sentiments
  of the deepest and most lively piety.

     Detail of the edifying death of the first Syndic, Amy Porral.


  GENEVA, _16th June 1542_.

Would that I might attain to that discipline in contempt of this
present life, and in the meditation of a holy death, as the
experience of the past year, in the deaths of many pious persons,
may well have brought me. Porral, the chief magistrate of the city,
has departed to the Lord; his death, which could not be other than
occasion of sadness to us, has been bitterly lamented. The manner
of his decease, as it was in some respects consolatory to me, so,
on the other hand, it increased my sorrow when I considered how
great has been our loss in the bereavement of that one man. The
day after he became unwell, when we were calling upon him, that
is, Viret and myself, he told us that he considered himself in
danger, for that the disease with which he was afflicted had been
fatal in his family. Thereupon we had a long conversation on a
variety of matters: he talked about them just as though he had been
in sound and perfect health. During the two following days his
sufferings were more acute, but, notwithstanding, his intellect
was stronger, and he exhibited more fluency of speech than he had
ever manifested in his life hitherto. Whoever called to see him,
heard some suitable exhortation; and that you may not suppose it to
have been mere talkative vanity, as far as was possible he applied
to each individual what was best adapted to his circumstances,
and most likely to be of use to him. Afterward he began to feel
somewhat better, so that very much hope was entertained that he
would be forthwith restored to health. In this state he continued
for three days; at length, however, the disease began to grow more
severe, so that it was evident that he was in the greatest danger.
The more he was afflicted in body, the more animated and vivid was
the spirit. I say nought about the intermediate period; but upon
the day of his death, about nine in the morning, we went thither,
I and Viret. When I had spoken a few words, to set before him the
cross, the grace of Christ, and the hope of eternal life,--for we
were unwilling to weary him with tedious addresses,--he replied,
that he received God's message as became him; that he knew the
efficacy of the power of Christ for confirming the consciences of
true believers. Thereupon he spoke in such a luminous manner on the
work of the ministry, and all the benefits which accompany or flow
from it as the means of grace, that we were both of us in a sort of
stupor of astonishment; and whenever it recurs to my memory, even
yet I grow bewildered. For he spoke in such a way, that it seemed to
reflect some discourse by one of ourselves after long and careful
meditation. He concluded this part of his address by declaring,
that the remission of sins which we promised on the authority of
Christ, he received just the same as if an angel had appeared to him
from heaven. After that he spoke of the unity of the Church, which
he commended with marvellous praise; he bore testimony that, in his
own experience, he had found no better or more certain source of
consolation, in the struggle of death, than from having already been
confirmed in the assurance of this unity. He had summoned, a little
before, our two colleagues, and had been reconciled with them,[339]
lest, having persisted in that dispute, others might make a bad
use of it in following his example. And he had, moreover, said to
ourselves, Since the public edification of the Church compels you
to bear with them as brethren, why might not I acknowledge them as
pastors? He had previously, however, seriously admonished them, and
reminded them of their sins. But I return to that last address.
Turning himself to those who stood around, he exhorted every one
to prize very highly the communion of the Church; such of them as
are superstitious in the observance of days and ceremonies, he
advised to lay aside their perverse opposition, and to agree with
us, for that we better understood, and saw more clearly what was the
prudent course than they did; that he had himself, also, been rather
obstinate in these things, but that his eyes were at length opened
to perceive how injurious contention might become. After that he
made a short, serious, as well as sincere and luculent confession.
Thence he proceeded to exhort us both, as well regarding the other
departments of our charge as ministers, as also to constancy and
firmness; and when he discoursed at some length on the future
difficulties of the ministers of the Gospel, he seemed inspired with
the foresight of a prophet. It was wonderful how wisely he spoke to
purpose on what concerned the public weal. He recommended, as a
most important step, that we ought to lose no time in devoting our
utmost attention to bring about a reconciliation among the cities
in alliance with us.[340] "However some noisy people may clamour
loudly," he said, "don't trouble yourselves about it, and do not
be discouraged." My time will not admit of my relating everything.
After we had submitted a few observations we engaged in prayer, and
then took our leave and departed.

  [339] Two years before, he had a keen religious dispute with the
  minister Henri de la Mare, and James Bernard had supported his
  colleague. De la Mare upheld that the magistrate should not punish
  sins; that no one can have assurance of his election; that no one
  could go more gladly to his wedding than Jesus went to death. Amy
  Porral pronounced these opinions to be false and dangerous.--_Arch.
  de Genève_, Savion, c. 45. This dispute degenerating into a quarrel,
  had embroiled the two ministers with the magistrate.

  [340] The disputes which had fallen out between Geneva and Berne had
  not yet been finally settled.

On the second afternoon, when my wife arrived, he told her to be of
good courage whatever might happen, that she ought to consider that
she had not been rashly led hither, but brought by the wonderful
counsel of God, that she also might serve in the Gospel. A little
while after he signified that his voice was gone; but even when
his speech entirely failed he intimated that he retained a perfect
consciousness of the confession which he had previously made, and
in that same he would die. At the same time, having repeated the
song of Simeon, with application of it to himself, "I have seen,"
he said, "and have touched with my hand, that saving merciful
Redeemer." He then composed himself to rest. From that time he
was speechless, but indicated at times, by a nod, that he had
lost nothing of his strength of mind. About four o'clock I went
thither with the Syndics; when, as often as he attempted to speak,
and was hindered by obstruction in the throat, I requested that
he would not further disturb himself, for that his confession was
abundantly satisfactory. At length I began to speak as well as I
could: he hearkened with a very composed and tranquil countenance.
Scarcely had we left when he gave up his pious soul to Christ. This
narrative, when you weigh the character of the man, will hardly
appear credible to you; but I would have you understand that he had
been thoroughly renewed in the spirit of his mind.

We are at present very much occupied in the choice of new
colleagues, and the more so because, when we thought that we had
fallen upon a very suitable one, we afterwards discovered that he
did not answer our expectation. When we fix anything definitely you
shall receive information. There is no reason, although you may be
absent, why you may not aid us with your counsel.--Adieu.

  [_Lat. copy_--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 111.]



LXXXVII.--TO VIRET.[341]

  [341] Letter without date, but written to Viret shortly after his
  return to Lausanne from Geneva, at which former place he had resumed
  the functions of pastor, July 12, 1542.

     Sickness of Idelette de Bure--the beginnings of the new
     ministers of the Church of Geneva.


  GENEVA, [_July 1542_.]

This brother, the bearer, will tell you in how great anxiety I am
at present writing to you. My wife has been delivered prematurely,
not without extreme danger; but may the Lord have a care over
us. All our colleagues have now made trial of their gifts.[342]
The first gave a specimen of his ability to the people such as
I always expected of him. Peter is much more apt to teach. The
first sermon was successfully delivered by Geniston; the fourth
surpassed all my expectation. As to stipend, we have not obtained
what we wished; for the Senate, without much discussion, decreed
to the other two the same sum that the two former had, that is,
Henri and Champereau.[343] They have referred the election of the
deacons to the Syndic Corne, to John Parvi, and to myself. But
after having given in our report, they have not taken our advice.
Geniston, therefore, has not more than two hundred _écus_; the
other only one hundred and fifty. They hold out the expectation,
however, of a better provision by and by. When I saw they were so
close-fisted in this question as to stipend, I rated them rather
sharply on the administration of the Church property. They ought
in time to think of it how they must render an account both to
God and man. I said that the Pope was a thief and a sacrilegious
robber; that we ourselves must take care that we did not become
his successors. I prefaced, however, what was spoken with a few
words to draw attention:--"that the wounds of a friend are better
than the kisses of an enemy;" that they ought not to seek out for a
Balaam, who might bless them with a curse. The farther consideration
of the business was delayed until a more convenient season. I did
not forget, however, to warn them, that it behoved them seriously
to consider that question and the settlement of it without delay.
They wished to have your house left empty, but from this, for very
good reasons, I dissuaded them. It was thereupon granted to the
ecclesiastic. Adieu.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [342] The ministers elected to exercise along with Calvin the office
  of pastors at Geneva were the following:--Philippe, surnamed De
  Ecclesia, Peter Blanchet, Louis Geniston, and Treppereau.--See the
  Consistory's _Registers_, 1542.

  [343] Henri de la Mare and Champereau, ministers before the last
  election.



LXXXVIII.--TO BENEDICT TEXTOR.[344]

  [344] To B. Textor, my brother and esteemed friend. Benoit Textor,
  the distinguished physician and friend of Calvin, who dedicated to
  him, in 1550, his Commentary on the Second Epistle of St. Paul to
  the Thessalonians, in remembrance of the care which he had bestowed
  during the sickness of Idelette de Bure.

     Divers recommendations.


  [_July 1542._]

First of all, I most earnestly entreat of you, that as soon as you
get home you will make the best of your way hither. Then after that,
would you turn a little off the road about Nyon, or a little beyond,
to visit a certain nobleman, the father of the young man who lives
with me? His village is called Bursin, and may be pointed out to you
at Rolle. Your arrival there will be most welcome to him, and, as I
hope, he will well reward your services. I hope that at my request
he may receive this favour at your hands.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



LXXXIX.--TO FAREL.

     Excuses his silence--estimate of the new ministers--works and
     literary productions of Calvin.


  GENEVA, [_28th July 1542_.]

I do indeed, of my own accord, accuse myself of negligence, plead
guilty and self-condemned, and I can scarce ask pardon, having
nothing to offer by way of palliation. The reason, however, why we
did not write by Cordier was, partly because we thought that he
would himself serve as a living epistle, and partly, because there
were some at that time here who spoke of proceeding to Neuchatel in
a short time. All, however, were liable to this drawback, that only
when they were prepared for the journey, and just ready to start,
they came to inquire whether I wished to send any letter to you. In
this way Sebastian, when he lately intended a journey thither, which
he never achieved, came to me overnight and said, that he was to set
out on the morrow by break of day. I could not attempt, however, to
write on that day, on account of the state of my health, and I am
not in the habit of rising so early in the morning as to be able to
outrun his speed by my activity. Besides, I had to preach a sermon;
but I refrain from vain excuses, lest I should seem to allege a
justification, whereas I have freely acknowledged there is none to
offer. If Viret is not already on the way, he will set out ere long
for Berne; for it had been agreed among ourselves, that he should
rather visit you on his return, for fear that the evil-disposed
might accuse him unjustly of having received his instructions from
you previously, if he should propose anything unpleasant to them,
as he could not fail to do. Our wish was to shield you from this
spiteful envy, while you are down-weighed in so many other ways.
I mention this because, in the event of your disapproving of our
advice, you may understand that we nevertheless felt that there was
a good reason for it. What occurred here before he went away, or
what has happened since, he will explain better in conversation
than can be set down in writing: this is the reason why I do not
enter upon these matters.

The brethren we have lately elected[345] will not be found
unsuitable when they have had some practice; although he who is the
most learned of them, to whom we assign the precedency, is by no
means popular.[346] He has certainly a confused manner of delivery,
and were he even to pay more attention to correct and distinct
utterance, his meaning would not be less obscure. All goes on well
with the other three, although they are nothing to compare with
Viret. Therefore, those who wish to make progress wish, at the same
time, that I would preach oftener than usual, which I have already
commenced, and shall continue to do until the others have acquired
more acceptance with the people. Next Lord's day I go to Cartigny
to James's[347] ordination. I feel some hesitation as to the extent
of my commendation, as you may easily gather, but I follow it up
because I am certain it will prove for the edification of the people.

  [345] See Letter LXXXVII., p. 335, note 2.

  [346] Is he the minister Philippe de Ecclesia, who was afterwards
  deposed?

  [347] The minister James Bernard. See Letter LXII. He became pastor
  of a country parish.

I am not very well pleased with my little book,[348] because it has
not been got up in the manner I wished, and had arranged three years
ago; for I expected that you would have added a preface to it. Nor
can I give any other explanation, than that Satan himself threw
obstacles in the way of my obtaining this favour from you. For I was
afraid to request you lest some one should misinterpret my motive,
but that fear on my part did not proceed from spiritual prudence,
as I now perceive, although somewhat besides has indirectly come in
the way. For I had made a promise to Michael, that as soon as we had
returned from the Diet at Worms I would send him a copy, with this
proviso, that you should say in the preface that you had revised
the publication. He went away, and thus my whole plan was upset. I
should be surprised, however, were it not that perhaps our Encomiast
supposes that that which most afflicts me is, that we do not on the
first page read those so very ample, or rather lavish commendations,
which he has bestowed on me; and yet I opine, that you have such a
notion of his prudence that you could never think him capable of
such a thought. It is better to say nothing about those persons
whom he assails, that we may not humour his inclinations. We see
clearly what he would be at. Let that therefore be held _pro non
dicto_. When you send the summary I shall willingly run over it,
not as censor, but as one of the readers, unless, indeed, I am able
to supply some hints, that the book may not become liable to the
calumnies of the unprincipled; in this respect I may be of some use
to you.

  [348] Is this Calvin's _Catechisme_, reprinted at Strasbourg in
  1541, or perhaps the treatise _De la Cêne_, of which a second
  edition was published in the same year at Geneva? The journeys which
  Calvin had made in Germany, to promote the interests of the Church
  at Strasbourg, had laid him open to suspicion of Lutheran tendencies
  by the Swiss theologians; it was to remove this suspicion that he
  published that little work, which is distinguished by the spirit of
  moderation which pervades it, and which was approved of by Luther
  himself. See _Hospinian_, ii. p. 312.

As to my observations on Genesis, if the Lord shall grant me longer
life and leisure, perhaps I will set myself about that work,
although I do not expect to have many hearers.[349] This is my
especial end and aim, to serve my generation; and for the rest, if,
in my present calling, an occasional opportunity offers itself, I
shall endeavour to improve it for those who come after us. I have a
mind to set about writing several things, but as my wife is now in
ill health, not without danger, my attention is otherwise engaged.
This, however, I may observe at present, that I have always set a
very high value on the temper you have shewn in bearing with your
colleague, and have, besides, always advised you to persevere. But
when I hear the way he behaves himself, no other conclusion can be
arrived at, except that the case must be dealt with more openly and
straightforwardly. For I can by no means approve as a remedy, that
you should be more upon your guard with him, and so live in a course
of constant dissimulation. When he perceives he is suspected, he
will thereupon become worse. You ought rather, therefore, simply to
admonish him. Adieu, my dearest Farel; may the Lord long preserve
you. Salute the whole of the brethren, with their wives also, very
kindly.

Read the letter yourself alone, or only to a few, and take care that
nothing gets abroad.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [349] This Commentary was not published for some time afterwards,
  when it appeared under the care of Robert Etienne.--_Commentarius in
  Genesim_, in fol., Geneva, 1554.



XC.--TO VIRET.

     Proceedings of Castalio--school of Geneva--criticism on the new
     ministers--tidings of France--domestic sorrow.


  GENEVA, _19th August 1542_.

I would have written to you long ago, had I not been aware that
my letter could not reach you one moment sooner than if I delayed
writing until your return. Now, because I conceive, from the
reckoning of the time, that you must have at length returned, you
have herewith what I have to say in the meantime. As soon as you
were gone, strange bickerings broke out between Sebastian[350]
and his brothers-in-law, which have sorely exercised me in trying
to settle them by a little friendly interference. My motive for
taking part in these disputes was, that the quarrel might not go so
far as that the scandalous report of it should get abroad to the
disgrace of the school. With all my care and diligence, however, I
could not even so far succeed as to get the one party to cease from
abusing the other, and thus they are everywhere become the town-talk
of most people. When the common controversy about the payment of
the dowery-money was somewhat allayed, lo, new disputes break out
between Sebastian and Peter,[351] partly about the management of
the household expenses, and partly also about the dwelling. I have
never seen a more complicated affair. After much wrangling with each
other they came at length to a sort of compromise, which, however,
brought forth by and by another and a fresh dispute. Tempers on both
sides were so much fretted that one can scarcely hope for any solid
friendship between them, such as ought to exist among brethren.
These disturbances have calmed down for the present, indeed, but
there is much reason to fear that some trifling circumstance may,
all of a sudden, stir them up again. Behold, you see the state of
our school, that you may not envy us. On the other hand, Nicolas
de Jussy has been the occasion of new vexation to us within the
last few days, on account of his pride. He had been commending
some one--I know not who it was--who, he supposed, had suffered
wrong in being imprisoned on very sufficient grounds, and because
the assessors did not yield to his demand, he proceeded to launch
against them a very bitter invective. The affair was reported to the
Senate, who were glad to avail themselves of the opportunity for
his expulsion. We interceded for him, not so much for the sake of
the individual, who complained, not many days since, that there was
far too much deference shewn to me, but that so hurtful a precedent
of the easy, or even rash and precipitate ejection of a minister,
might not be set up in the Church. They are making fuller inquiry at
present, and afterwards, taking us along with them in the decision,
they will pronounce judgment. If I am satisfied that there is just
ground for laying him aside, I will make no further opposition.
You would be surprised to see how stoutly our Henry philosophizes
about asserting the honour of the Gospel ministry;[352] having
presented, forsooth, such a distinguished example of firmness and
constancy of principle in his own person. Upon which score I was
by no means silent, but have certainly discharged my duty, having
declared openly, in the presence of all, that in the making up of
my mind, I did not so much consider what was done to myself, but
rather what ought to be done. Our colleagues make considerable
progress in preaching; but in two of them there is, I fear, somewhat
of vain-glory. You understand who the other person, the third,
is; in my opinion he evinces a better regulated judgment. Peter
has, besides, shewn already some tendencies which are not very
satisfactory, if what Geniston has reported to me be indeed true.
As, however, we have not yet ascertained the point with sufficient
certainty, I have resolved to observe him more closely. If we have
been deceived by him, where is faith to be found? Louis, as I
always feared, has more of levity and less of self-control in his
conversation and behaviour than becomes a minister of the Gospel;
but this defect, as I hope, will, in course of time, be corrected,
if only the other more essential qualifications are not found
wanting. As you passed through Neuchatel on your way to Berne, I
have no doubt the brethren there must have fully explained to you
all about the departure of Farel,[353] which I may now tell you from
the letter in which he mentions it; therefore I forbear to enter
more at large upon the subject. The letter itself I send you, that
you may be fully instructed. Froment returned lately from Lyons.
He reports that the Queen of Navarre is at present even better
disposed than ever she was;[354] and he even gives the assurance
in her own language, for he was admitted to familiar converse in
an interview with her. Howsoever you are aware that we must not
rashly hold every word that the messenger utters to be strictly
true; for he is so carried away by the honour which has been put
upon him in having been admitted to an interview with the Queen,
that he seems to me to have lost the small remnant of common sense
which he still possessed.[355] To say nought of other absurdities,
when he mentioned that the Queen wished me to write to her, he
thought proper to dictate at the same time the subject-matter; and,
having but little confidence in my judgment, he forbade my writing
and sending away my letter unless previously read and revised by
himself. He has spread a report through the whole city that he was
very near preaching before the King himself. There are a thousand
silly statements of this sort. That you may not think, however,
that all he says is false, part of what he says he heard from the
Queen or her ministers. But these artful courtiers, when they get
hold of a simple-minded individual, abuse his credulity for their
own advantage or amusement. They wish that such a report may reach
Germany, and reconcile the minds of the godly to the King, whom
they know at present to be entirely estranged from him. Among other
things they persuaded him that the Chancellor was imprisoned on no
heavier charge[356] than because, without the orders of the King,
he had directed the promulgation of that edict about books,[357]
and had caused the godly to be burnt. What more need I say? He not
only believed everything he heard, but besides, he has invented many
other things which he never heard at all. The King of France has
passed an army into Spain,[358] which is threatened on the other
side by the Turk. The Duke of Orleans has done nothing memorable
hitherto, except that he has burnt down two towns.[359] That,
however, is old news. Many events have probably occurred since
that time. Our friends here have at present a rather hard knot to
untie;[360] and all the more so, because even although, for the
future, all they ask were conceded to them, the opposite party has
hitherto made the hope to be very uncertain. I have carried my
point, however, with the lesser council.[361] Entreat the Lord, that
the question may be brought at length to a successful conclusion.
There is some risk lest, when it comes to be debated in the larger
public assembly, that little coterie, which you know consists of
veteran and disciplined demagogues, may throw all into confusion.
But the Lord, I hope, will overrule everything for good, if we only
carefully entreat him.

  [350] The person here mentioned is no other than Sebastian Castalio,
  who was afterwards so unhappily celebrated by his debates with the
  Reformer. Born at Fresne near Nantua en Bresse, he sought an asylum
  at Strasbourg, where he was acquainted with Calvin, and became a
  member of the French Church; esteemed by Calvin on account of his
  character and talents, he followed him after his recall to Geneva,
  and was nominated regent in the new college of that town.

  [351] The minister Peter Blanchet.

  [352] The minister Henri de la Mare. He had discharged the functions
  of the ministry, during the exile of Calvin, under conditions which
  were scarcely compatible with the dignity of the ministry.

  [353] He had set out for Metz.

  [354] After the affair of the Placards this Princess shewed herself
  less avowedly and openly favourable to the Protestants of France;
  she, however, took an unceasing interest in their cause. She wrote,
  in 1541, to Calvin, on occasion of the projected marriage of her
  daughter, Jeanne d'Albret, with the Duke of Cleves:--"We think
  that God has given us a son to our own heart and mind, by whom we
  hope that we shall contribute somewhat to his honour and glory. We
  entreat you, that in whatsoever you shall perceive that I can do you
  any good service, you will not spare me; and I assure you that I
  will do my endeavour very heartily, according to the power which God
  shall bestow upon me."--_Paris MSS._, an unpublished letter of the
  25th July 1541.

  [355] Of a vain and flighty turn, Froment could not remain content
  with that better part which had been assigned to him as the
  missionary of the Reform at Geneva. He abandoned the ministry of the
  Gospel to become a notary, and incurred more than once the censures
  of the Seigneury.

  [356] The Chancellor of France, William Poyet, accused of
  malversation. He was condemned to pay a heavy fine, and deprived of
  all his offices.

  [357] See Sleidan, lib. xiv. p. 408. The _Institution Chrétienne_ of
  Calvin was particularly forbidden by this edict.

  [358] Brought to a stand for six months before Perpignan, by the
  heroic resistance of the Duke of Alva, the French army could not
  cross the Pyrenees.--Robertson, _Hist. of Charles V._, book vii.

  [359] More fortunate than the Dauphin, the Duke of Orleans began
  the campaign with success in Luxembourg, but he compromised all his
  advantages by a precipitate departure for the Rousillon, and the
  towns of which he had taken possession in the Netherlands fell back
  under the power of the Imperialists.--Robertson, _Hist. of Charles
  V._, book viii.

  [360] In allusion to the struggle which the ministers had to sustain
  in the Councils of the Republic for the appliance of discipline.

  [361] The lesser council, as distinguished from that of the two
  hundred. They have at Geneva four councils. 1st, The common council,
  or lesser council, formed of the four syndics going out of office,
  of the four new, and seventeen members nominated by the two hundred.
  This is the _Senatus minor_. 2d, The council of the two hundred. 3d,
  The council of the sixty. Lastly, The council general, a popular
  assembly, convoked only upon extraordinary occasions.

Adieu, my excellent and highly esteemed brother. Greet all the
brethren; your maternal aunt also, and your wife, to whom mine
returns her thanks for so much friendly and pious consolation. She
is unable to reply, except by an amanuensis, and it would be very
difficult for her even to dictate a letter. The Lord has certainly
inflicted a severe and bitter wound in the death of our infant
son.[362] But he is himself a Father, and knows best what is good
for his children. Again adieu; may the Lord be with you. Would that
you could make a run as far as this, I would willingly have half a
day's free conversation with you.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 234.]

  [362] It is to this sad loss that Calvin alludes in so remarkable
  a manner in his answer to the Jurisconsult Baudouin:--"Wishing to
  clear himself from the charge of a want of natural affection brought
  against him, Balduin twits me with my want of offspring. God had
  given me a son. God hath taken my little boy. This he reckons up
  among my misdeeds, that I have no children. I have myriads of sons
  throughout the Christian world."--_Responsio ad Balduini Convitia._
  Geneva, 1561.



XCI.--TO VIRET.[363]

  [363] Notwithstanding the constant endeavour of the Seigneury
  of Berne to maintain peace and union in their churches, serious
  differences on the subject of the Supper had made their appearance
  on several occasions among the members of the Bernese clergy. A new
  formulary, reproducing the terms adopted in the disputation of Berne
  in 1528, was then drawn up by order of the Seigneury, and submitted
  for the acceptance of the ministers. The Deans of the different
  Classes of the Pays Romand, Payerne, Yverdon, Lausanne, Morges,
  Gex, and Thonon, were assembled together at Berne, with the view of
  sanctioning, by their approbation, the uniformity of doctrine in
  the districts subject to the Government of Berne. Alive to every
  proceeding which might compromise the independence and dignity of
  the Church in a neighbouring country, Calvin does not spare giving
  his advice to Viret, and puts him on his guard.

     Instructions given to Viret for the Synod of Berne--need of
     maintaining the spiritual independence of the Church--various
     directions.


  GENEVA, _23d August 1542_.

I wish that your letter, which no doubt is already on the way, had
reached me. For although I do not expect it to contain very cheering
intelligence, it will yet be a help to me to know somewhat certain
as to the state of the Church of Berne. At present I am under
the necessity of writing on a subject without being sufficiently
informed about it, yet, nevertheless, I cannot refrain from writing.
I hear that the Deans of the Classes had been summoned to attend,
for the purpose of hearing what the Senate has determined about
the Supper of God. I can say nothing to you but what you have
thoroughly considered and meditated on. The importance of the
cause, however, does not admit of my silence. You perceive there
are two considerations here to be kept in mind, the state of the
question itself, and the mode of procedure, which partly depends
on circumstances. Concerning the cause itself, it is unnecessary
to recommend that you diligently compare notes with your own dean.
This I earnestly wish, however, that you would see to secure
that whatever persons he addresses, he may not scruple to bear
testimony, that there is not only figured in the Supper, but
actually exhibited, that communion which we have with Christ, and
that not words merely are bestowed upon us by the Lord, but that
the truth and the reality agree with the words. Moreover, that
this communion is no imaginary thing, but that we are united, each
individually, in one body and one substance, with Christ. Let him
fearlessly set aside all unreasonable views, in replying to them and
warning them, taking care that he does not weaken the truth in so
doing. Nor is it allowable to complicate, by ambiguous or obscure
language, what requires the utmost clearness or perspicuity. As to
the mode of procedure, this point ought to be well weighed, what a
fatal precedent they are about to set, if the brethren acknowledge
the Senate as judge in the case of doctrine, so that, whatever
the Senate sanctions must be accepted and embraced by us as if
proceeding from an oracle. What kind of a precedent, and how great a
prejudgment must this be for posterity! Assuredly, if we suffer the
yoke in this manner to be imposed upon us, we treacherously betray
the sacred ministry by our dissimulation. Nor shall we be able to
excuse this perfidy either in the sight of God or before men. It
will be noway needful for us, however, to descend to the discussion
of this question; because the brethren, by a modest and courteous
reply, may avoid this reef, if they merely say, that the matter in
dispute is of far too great importance for them to take any step
in it whatever without the advice of their colleagues. They have
besides both honourable and favourable pretexts with which to give
reasonable satisfaction to the Senate. And we cannot but press the
observation, that when they shall perceive the goodness of the cause
itself, they will apply themselves seriously to the consideration
of it, lest while they wish to follow a middle course, they desert
entirely the cause of truth. It is not at all my meaning, that they
ought to join themselves as adherents to what is either vicious or
unsound; or if both sides are to blame, that they should entangle
themselves in the fellowship of either party. All that I wish is,
that they may adhere to true and sound doctrine openly and without
any dissimulation. Lastly explain to your dean what you think of the
individuals themselves, and what fault you have to find with them,
that he may know where to have or give confidence; but I feel that
this is troublesome in so anxiously taking upon me to forearm you,
to whom it is quite sufficient to give the signal by one word. I
shall therefore conclude.

The bearer who takes charge of my letter to you seems to me to be
pious and upright. He engaged here with an apothecary of Vienne,
who has his business there, with the intention to learn the art. I
was present at the agreement, because there was a person here who
affirmed that the apothecary was an honest and worthy man. Should he
turn out not to be such, the agreement can be cancelled, so that the
youth may be released from the contract. Will you therefore direct
him with your advice, and consider him as recommended? He will not
cause you any expense, or be any way troublesome by importunity.

Adieu, my excellent and very agreeable brother. May the Lord Jesus
always direct and confirm you more and more. Salute for me all the
brethren, your wife, and your aunt.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



XCII.--TO VIRET.[364]

  [364] See the note of the preceding Letter. The different Deans
  of the Classes of the Pays de Vaud having met at Berne, received
  communication of the new formulary, and declared their adherence to
  the acts of the Deputy from Lausanne, regarding the question of the
  Sacraments.

     Disquietude of Calvin on occasion of the acts of the Synod of
     Berne.


  GENEVA, [_August 1542_.]

I am still waiting to hear what has been done at Berne, what has
been said to the Deans, what sort of a reply they made, and what
they found they could not obtain. Whenever a trustworthy messenger
arrives among us, I will explain my meaning more fully. For the
present, I send you a formula, from which you can extract what you
please, or strike out what you do not like; and yet, peradventure
the Lord will vouchsafe something better, so that it may be
unnecessary either to correct or to approve what I now propose to
you.

Our friends both shame and grieve me, Viret, when the truth of God
is overborne by either the hatred or the favour of men.[365] I
express myself in this way, because Gering[366] speaks in such terms
as if the hypothesis of Erasmus[367] were, after all, the best;
the others speak nought but falsehood. I can clearly perceive how
greatly rumours of this kind endanger sound doctrine, and therefore,
that I may keep a clean conscience, I have determined openly,
without dissimulation or concealment, to declare my sentiments.

  [365] The Seigneury of Berne, jealous of the authority which they
  claimed the right to exercise in ecclesiastical as well as in civil
  affairs, and looking on every attempt of the ministers to maintain
  the dignity of their office as a direct infringement on their power,
  began to introduce the system of despotism in Church matters, which
  had met at first but slight resistance in the Pays de Vaud, recently
  brought under government, but which was destined gradually to
  excite there an energetic opposition, and to occasion the voluntary
  retirement of the most distinguished ministers.--Ruchat, _Hist. de
  la Réf._ tom. vi. p. 256, _et seq._

  [366] The minister Beat Gerung or Gering, a declared partisan of the
  Lutheran dogma of the Supper, and one of the most servile of the
  Bernese clergy.

  [367] Another minister of Zurich.

Besides, what occasion is there for any apology? I have not found
a single individual in this Church who has even a competent
understanding of this sacrament. What annoys me at present is this,
that while they are not only nourished and brought up in error, and
at the same time confirmed in it, they at length fall into such a
condition as to become wholly incurable. I now repeat what I said
before, that if you put any confidence in my judgment, you must not
humour our friends overmuch in this fundamental doctrine. We think
alike; let us, therefore, all with one voice speak the same thing.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



XCIII.--TO FAREL.[368]

  [368] At the request of the Protestants of Metz, Farel had left
  Neuchatel to go to preach the Reformed doctrine in that town. He
  received Calvin's letter at Strasbourg, where the Reformer joined
  him the year following.--See _Hist. des Martyrs_, liv. iii. p. 153;
  Bèze, _Hist. Eccl._ tom. iii. p. 432.

     Wishes for the success of the journey undertaken by Farel to
     Metz--calumnies of James de Morges.


  GENEVA, _30th August 1542_.

Wherever, my very dear brother, you are, may the Lord keep you in
health and safety all the day long, and that for the good of his
Church. If, as we suppose, you have got an entrance within the walls
of Metz, may be even there also open up a way for the Gospel; may
he fill you with the spirit of wisdom, of prudence, of moderation,
of zeal, of fortitude, that you may be armed at all points for an
undertaking so difficult and arduous. I clearly perceive how many
imminent and dangerous conflicts surround you, which require the
special help of God. But you are neither so raw nor inexperienced
in this warfare, as that even great danger has any power to alarm
you. Neither is the strength of Christ, which has ever been present
with you in such a wonderful manner, at all diminished. We, who are
here at Geneva, await somewhat anxiously the issue, to see what
success shall be vouchsafed you. You are aware how very generally,
in our day, the judgment of folly rules everywhere, so that men form
their estimate of every plan or undertaking from the event. In the
meanwhile, you would scarce believe what complaints James de Morges
spreads everywhere hereabout, saying that you hastened to accept
a call which had been offered to him, whereby serious injury had
been done to him, and that, against the mind of all the godly in
that quarter (Metz) you hastened thither. You know the ostentatious
vanity of the man, which I wish you had checked in time. It has now
with age increased in growth to such a degree, as to have become an
incurable malady, for certainly he has never raved so openly as he
does at present.

The Metz brethren are, however, in some measure themselves in fault,
who have fled to him as to a sacred anchor, when they might have
got others who were more distinguished, and also more apt to teach;
but these trifles can no way hinder you in this bold undertaking,
neither would I have troubled you with these at present, were I not
afraid that some reports of that kind might reach you from some
other quarter. I preferred, therefore, to be beforehand. By the
first safe opportunity I will write you more at large about our
present state. Adieu, most excellent, most genuine brother. Salute
all our friends, for whom it is my prayer that counsel and courage
may be imparted to them, and that, upheld by the strength of the
Spirit, they may fear nothing. Again, farewell.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



XCIV.--TO VIRET.[369]

  [369] This letter throws light on the first disagreements or
  differences between Calvin and Sebastian Castalio, or Castellio,
  occupied on the translation into French of the sacred Scriptures.
  Castalio evinced very little anxiety about elegance and purity
  of language in the work on which he was engaged. Thus he could
  not fail to encounter the severe criticism of the Reformer, who
  doubtless was charged in the name of the Seigneury with the revisal
  of the translation of the New Testament, and refused to give his
  approbation. It was not until some years afterwards, at Basle, that
  Sebastian Castalio published his work, under this title,--"The
  Bible, with Annotations on the Difficult Passages. 2 vols. in
  folio, Basle, 1555." This work has become so rare, that it is at
  present impossible to procure it, and to ascertain the justice of
  the criticism which it has occasioned. The celebrated Henry Etienne
  accused the author of speaking the language of the Gueux. Bayle has
  been less severe.--See _Dict. Hist._, Art. Castalion; and MM. Haag,
  _La France Protestante_, 6me part, p. 365.

     Origin of the disputes between Calvin and Castalio.


  GENEVA, _11th September 1542_.

The letters of Farel and his brother were brought to me four days
ago; and I thought that you also had seen them, seeing that Peter
Cossonay had brought them back with him. Now listen to the freaks
of our friend Sebastian, which may both raise your bile and your
laughter at the same time. The day before yesterday he came to me,
asked whether I could agree that his edition of the New Testament
should be published. I replied, that there would be need of many
corrections. He inquired the reason why. I pointed them out to
him from those few chapters which he had already given me as a
specimen. Thereupon he answered, that he had been more careful in
what remained. Then he asked me over again, what I thought as to
the publication. I answered, that it was not my wish to hinder the
publication; but that I was ready, nevertheless, to perform the
promise which I had made to John Girard,[370] that I would look it
over and would correct, should there appear to be anything that
required to be corrected. This arrangement he refused. He offered,
however, to come and read it to me if I would fix a time. This I
refused to do, even were he to offer me a hundred crowns, to bind
myself to certain hours; moreover, that I would be obliged sometimes
to dispute for a couple of hours, perhaps, over some little
insignificant word. And so he left me, dissatisfied as appeared.
That you may understand how faithful an interpreter he is; while
in many ways he wishes to change and innovate, in most things he
corrupts the meaning. One passage I may mention as an instance:
where there occurs, _The Spirit of God which dwells in us_, he has
changed to _haunts in us_, when to _haunt_, in French, does not
mean to _dwell_, but is used to signify to _frequent_.[371] One
such boyish mistake may stamp a bad character upon the book. Such
unseasonable trifling as this I swallow, nevertheless, in silence.

  [370] Printer of Geneva.

  [371] This word is taken in a bad sense: to _haunt_ the wine-cellars
  and the _cabaret_, or beer-shop.--See the _Dictionnaire de
  l'Académie_.

Adieu, dear brother. May the Lord preserve and always guide you.
Salute all the brethren; but unto all, you will please not impart
the whole of what I write.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Gotha._ Vol. 404.]



XCV.--TO VIRET.

     Invitation to Viret to come to Geneva--nomination of a principal
     of the College of that town.


  [_September 1542._]

You ask that I would pardon your somewhat lengthy letter. That I
may not be compelled to request a like forbearance on your part,
I shall not only be brief but even very precise. It is not very
easy to advise as to Zebedee,[372] for it is of very little use to
deliberate about what cannot at once be carried into effect. He has
increased the blame which attaches to him twofold by his foolish
journey, and has not corrected the sin of profane swearing. Would
that he were advised by these warning intimations, and that he may
at length learn from experience not to take so much his own way!
Had it been convenient for you to have come thus far at present, we
might perhaps have effected more by conversation than we can do by
letter. I mention this, partly because Claude Franc wishes you to
be present at his marriage, which will be celebrated the Lord's day
after next. But, further, I look forward to your being able, at the
same time, to refresh yourself a little while with us after those
troubles which have annoyed you, and that we may talk over matters
together. I am also rather in doubt about a successor. No one will
be able to undertake it unless he has been well trained beforehand,
and accustomed to the duty. We have no such person here at present.
If Celio[373] would rather turn his attention in that quarter than
to the rectorship of the school, it might be arranged. But whether
Turtier would be a sufficient substitute for the other, I have
some doubt. This one charge both plagues and vexes me; for if we
put off the consideration of the settlement any longer, the spirit
of restlessness will break forth, to enter, as it were, and take
possession of the vacant office. Suppose that Ribitti or some one
else should come hither until Christmas, that in the meanwhile we
may look about and make some more permanent arrangement? I propose
this, because nothing better occurs to me. At the same time, I must
own, that frequently, when I think of you and about you all, I feel
almost pressed to death. Earnestly would I entreat of you that you
do not allow any one to come hither without a letter, or some hint
or intimation of your present state and condition.

  [372] See note 2, p. 292. Dismissed by the Seigneury of Berne from
  the Church of Orbe, Zebedee was on the point to become pastor of the
  Church of Nyon.

  [373] Celio Secondo-Curione, among the most illustrious of the
  preachers of the Reformation in Italy. Born at Turin in 1503, he
  devoted himself successfully to the teaching of Luther's doctrine,
  and preached the Gospel in Piedmont, at Ferrara, and at Lucca, stole
  away by flight from the pursuit of the Inquisition, and took refuge
  in Switzerland with his celebrated countrymen, Ochino and Peter
  Martyr. The same year he was appointed Director of the College of
  Lausanne.--See M'Crie's _History of the Reformation in Italy_; and
  Jules Bonnet, _Vie d'Olympia Morata_, third edition Paris, 1856.

What I wrote about Imbert was reported to me, but I do not remember
my authority. Nay, it was even said that he had fled the city and
gone away into Germany, or elsewhere at a distance. Let him perish,
however, himself and all of us, rather than that we should present
such an instance of cruelty to our own age, and leave such an
example to posterity. Adieu, my excellent and very dear brother in
the Lord. Salute all lovingly, Celio, Imbert, Ribitti, and your own
family. Once more adieu.

  Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

I have written with a troubled mind and confusedly, as well as in
haste.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



XCVI.--TO VIRET.

     Approval of a letter of Viret to the Seigneuries of Berne--the
     ecclesiastical property--Italian emigrants at Geneva--troubles
     caused by the differences of that town with Berne.


  [_September 1542._]

  (For yourself only.)

That day on which I thought of writing to you by Nicolas, some other
business came in the way; this is the reason why I did not perform
what I had undertaken. At length, when I was looking about for an
opportunity whereby to write, this brother conveniently offered his
services, but saying that he wished me to reply immediately. But
when I would have excused myself, owing to my not being able to
write so soon, because the Consistory was about to meet, without any
hesitation he granted me the whole day. As even then, however, there
is not very much time left, I shall briefly run over the particular
points which I intended to discuss with you.

The letter to the Senate,[374] seeing that we cannot have the other
remedy, which I thought better, pleases me remarkably well. There
is somewhat manly and spirited about it. Moreover, it closes the
door for the future against mischievous and tyrannical precedents.
In my opinion, Erasmus has been very leniently dealt with,
especially since others may be brought under more severe discipline,
who, unless I am mistaken, had both a better case and were less
reprovable in their conduct. Nor do I express myself in this way,
because I would have you to flatter others; but caution is required,
lest while you are reproving the many, you take care, at the same
time, that, on a like occasion, you do not spare the individual
offender. However that may be, the whole affair has turned out
better than I had even ventured to hope. May the Lord cause your
letter to be well received and hearkened to by men.

  [374] Concerning ecclesiastical affairs. See pp. 345-347.

As to the ecclesiastical property, I have almost no information
beyond hearsay.[375] First of all, therefore, I shall mention what I
have heard; then, what is my own opinion. They have determined, that
whatever the Church possessed of property or annual rents should
be put up to sale, on condition that part of the purchase-money
should be paid down: that the balance of the price should be met
by an annual payment. They add, by way of exception, that they
cannot guaranty or defend possession to the purchasers beyond the
period of their own administration. Subject to this condition,
Peter Wendel purchases the priory for the sum of one thousand five
hundred crowns, others bought vineyards, others fields, others
dwelling-houses. Now, you may at once conjecture what I must think
of all this. You perceive an alienation of the property has been
made, that the Church is to be left unprovided, that the magistrate
may grant just what he pleases, as if the property were his own,
and if the incumbent does not discharge the duty entirely to his
satisfaction, he can even curtail the provision which he allots to
the ministers, and may even threaten to withhold it altogether.
It is not an easy matter to unravel this business or to say what
ought to be done, especially when there are so few who, without
self-seeking, dare venture disinterestedly to expose themselves
to the shafts of envy; and there are many who rather prefer by
connivance to forget their duty, and so to obtain the favour of men,
than to incur their displeasure by a firm and honest opposition.
In this affair of the Church property, however, nothing can be
accomplished without an entire agreement amongst ourselves. In vain,
therefore, you may attempt to set any train of operations in motion,
unless you have them all ready at the same time to pull along with
you. We have this much, however, in our own power, that we withhold
our approval, either by words or by any other token, of whatever may
be even questionable.

  [375] The Seigneury of Berne put to sale this year the property
  of the churches, of the priories, and of the cloisters, and drew
  from them considerable sums, of which a portion ought to have been
  applied to the foundation of new cures, and in augmentation of the
  ministers' stipends.--See Ruchat, _Hist. de la Réf. en Suisse_, tom.
  v. pp. 201-203.

I am glad that lately I did not put myself to trouble to no purpose,
by writing into Italy, since my letter after all could not have
arrived in time. We have here now another Italian,[376] an old man
of a reverend aspect, even in his outward appearance.[377] He was
of great authority among his countrymen, lives here at his own
charges; and if he can acquire the language, I expect will become
some time or other exceedingly useful.

  [376] The year 1542 was signalized by the establishment of the
  Inquisition in Italy, and by the dispersion of the Reformed
  communities established at Naples, at Lucca, and at Venice.--See
  M'Crie, _Hist. of the Ref. in Italy_, c. v. pp. 212-231.

  [377] Bernardino Ochino of Sienna, [ancien supérieur-général,] of
  the order of the Capuchins. Renowned for his eloquence throughout
  all Italy, he preached the Reformation successfully at Naples and
  at Venice, was cited before the tribunal of the Inquisition, and
  escaped by a voluntary exile the condemnation which threatened him.
  In the month of September, 1542, he arrived at Geneva, and was
  the first pastor of the Italian Church founded in that town.--See
  M'Crie, _History_, and _Council's Registers_, 1542, _passim_.

John the bookseller, who has lately returned hither, spoke to me
about Zebedee,[378] and says that he is ready to come hither if
there was any opening for him. I made no other reply except that I
would write to you about it. But what to write, verily I know not;
for, as you are aware, we have not the means to engage him; and you
are better able yourself to form an opinion as to the many obstacles
which may lie in the way of such an arrangement than I am to express
them in writing to you.

  [378] See Note 1, p. 352.

There is another affair which sadly vexes me. When I was supposing
that everything was conclusively settled by arbitration with the
Bernese,[379] lo! all of a sudden the whole affair is broken off. It
was thereupon resolved, on the part of the Council of Two Hundred,
that the claims of the Bernese ought to be yielded up to them.
There remained an appeal to the General Council or Assembly of the
people, which, when the Senate was considering deliberately about
convoking them, our friend Amy Perrin[380] said that he retracted
his former opinion. Then in magniloquent terms he discoursed about
the meanness of making such a base concession. There were some who
followed him on the same side. The upshot of the whole was, that the
Council of Sixty, and next the Council of Two Hundred, were to be
assembled. When the two hundred met, and the matter was propounded
to them, lo and behold! Paguet, as if he were the sole Atlas of
the commonweal, broke out in a bitter invective, reproaching the
men who were so ready, of their own accord, to despoil the city
of such a distinguished privilege. To such a degree did he allow
himself to be carried away by the spirit of contention in debate,
that he even went so far as to threaten the members of Council
with the Wood-market, where traitors to the republic are wont to
be beheaded. A serious disturbance and riot was the consequence.
At length, however, it passed away, on a resolution being come to,
that he must humbly, on his bended knees, ask pardon of the Senate
for having made use of such language. The whole affair, as you may
perceive, is hatched in the workshop of Macrin, who seems to me to
be determined, of set purpose, to keep the two towns in a state of
perpetual dissension with each other. Now, if you could make it
suit your convenience to come hither at present, you would do me a
very great favour. For even although there may be no possibility
of falling on any remedy, it will afford some comfort both to me
and to yourself to have the opportunity of deploring this calamity
together. There cannot be a doubt, however, that your arrival will
be of great importance to us, provided you are here by Monday. Take
care, however, to keep to yourself the reason of your coming, for
all those who were present bound themselves by oath to keep silence,
so that it will not be without danger. The advantage to be derived
from your journey you shall hear of when we meet; and, as I hope
also, you will yourself acknowledge it.

  [379] See Note 2, p. 228. Notwithstanding multiplied conferences,
  and the conciliatory efforts of the arbiters of Basle, the disputes
  between Berne and Geneva had not yet been settled. The two republics
  were brought to agreement only in the month of January 1544.

  [380] He was then devoted to the Reformation and to Calvin, of whom
  he soon became the most determined adversary.

Adieu, my dear brother; may the Lord preserve you, and bring you
speedily hither in safety. Salute all the brethren and your family
in my own name and in that of my wife.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 111.]



XCVII.--TO VIRET.

     The plague at Geneva--conduct of the ministers in these
     circumstances--Italian refugees--the question of the
     ecclesiastical property examined.


  [GENEVA, _October 1542_.]

Your letter, in which you requested that I would write somewhat
about the ecclesiastical property, was delivered to me on Monday,
while I was engaged upon the relics of the wedding. Although that by
no means had prevented me from writing, yet since that time I have
not had a single moment of leisure.

The pestilence also begins to rage here with greater violence,
and few who are at all affected by it escape its ravages.[381]
One of our colleagues was to be set apart for attendance upon the
sick. Because Peter offered himself, all readily acquiesced.[382]
If anything happens to him, I fear that I must take the risk upon
myself, for as you observe, because we are debtors to one another,
we must not be wanting to those who, more than any others, stand in
need of our ministry.[383] And yet it is not my opinion, that while
we wish to provide for one portion we are at liberty to neglect the
body of the Church itself. But so long as we are in this ministry,
I do not see that any pretext will avail us, if, through fear of
infection, we are found wanting in the discharge of our duty when
there is most need of our assistance. In what concerns yourselves
I have already told you what occurred to me.[384] Now, since that
colleague has been removed, you must seek for some one else to be
put in his place. If no such person can be found, you must devise
some plan, but with the common advice of the brethren.

  [381] "The plague having made its appearance in several
  houses of the town, the Plague Hospital was supplied with
  officers."--_Registers of Council_, 25th September 1542.

  [382] "Peter Blanchet, minister, having offered to attend and offer
  consolation to the poor affected with the plague, who are at present
  in the Plague Hospital, his offer is accepted."--_Ibid._, 23d
  October 1542.

  [383] According to the testimony of Michael Roset and of Savion,
  contemporaries of Calvin, the Reformer offered himself at the same
  time with Blanchet to visit the sick. But the Seigneury of Geneva
  refused his offer, "on account of the great need which the Church
  had of his services."--_Registers of Council_, 1st June 1545.
  _Chronique_ de Roset, iv. fol., and Savion, 60.

  [384] The plague prevailed equally at Lausanne.

Our friend Bernardino[385] has been assailed by strange manœuvres
to induce him to leave us. He remains constant, however; and in a
great measure, he has so broken with Antichrist, that they need not
think of troubling him for the future. He has written a volume of
sermons, at the end of which he professes that he entirely, and,
without any exception whatever, goes along with us--thinks as we
do. Many of the Italians visit him; and we have already two other
preachers. Those who have known him, consider that the kingdom of
Christ has got no small addition in that single individual. In the
meantime, as you may conceive, I need to have all my wits about me.
The more attentively I observe him, the more highly do I esteem
him. He acknowledges, however, that he has been greatly helped and
relieved by me, so as to be less easily shaken. The Senate has
already granted allowance for his preaching as often as he thinks
proper.[386] We have here at present Julio Camillo,[387] whose
manifold tergiversations are somewhat suspicious; for although he
talks boastingly of the Gospel, yet, because he has something of a
secret purpose, which, even although unknown to us, we do not like,
we have reason to be upon our guard with him. It is well, however,
that Bernardino is on his guard, and dreads him as an enemy.

  [385] Ochino.--See Note 2, p. 355.

  [386] "Bernardin de Sesnaz, of Sienna, an Italian minister, having
  asked permission to preach in that language, resolved to grant
  it to him, and that he shall preach in the chapel of Cardinal
  d'Ostie."--_Registers of Council_, 29th October 1542.

  [387] Julio Camillo, better known under the name of Renato, which he
  had adopted on embracing Protestantism. Originally from Sicily, he
  left his native country in early youth, for Paris, where he was long
  devoted to the study of the Cabala. Having left Paris for Geneva,
  he preached the Reformation in the Valteline, and joined the sect
  of the Anti-trinitarians.--Bock, _Hist. Anti-trinit._, tom. ii. p.
  482. His solemn and taciturn manner appeared to conceal heterodox
  opinions; Calvin's clear sight did not deceive him.

Now, however, I return to that request of yours about the
ecclesiastical property; for you remind me of it again in your last
letter. I beg, however, that you may pardon me; for you are aware
that the nature of this question is of a kind that requires both
time and leisure, a composed mind, and no little diligence. When
we were at Ratisbon I lent a hand to Bucer in collecting those
materials which he published among the acts of the conferences;
but as the question was there only incidentally brought under
discussion, what was written there at that time will not suffice for
the present exigency. Some little insight, however, may be derived
from it. To me it seems twofold. The case seems to me to divide
into two heads. In the first place, that you may declare that this
alienation will occasion stumbling and causes of offence, and, in
the next place, you may demonstrate that it is not lawful.

The occasions of stumbling are readily stated. Because that on that
account the Papists defame the Gospel, and they have begun to do so
even at a time when they had not such a specious pretext for doing
so. Formerly, therefore, they took advantage of these calumnies;
they will now have a just ground of accusation when they talk about
the plunder of Church property. In the next place, because the
common people throughout the whole canton dare not speak out openly,
they complain about it everywhere in corners, and the ministers have
not a word to answer. For after having cried out without ceasing
against the sacrilege of the Pope and the whole of the Popish
priesthood, with what face can they defend the sale of property
which entirely strips the Church bare, and may leave her naked,
while they could not even submit to any abuse or misapplication
of the revenues? In the third place, because they afford the very
worst precedent to other states and rulers. They are more eager
than enough to seize upon church property without having further
inducement from any other quarter presented to them, but now, if
they shall transgress in this respect, one half of the blame will
lie upon those who set them the example. Fourthly, that they are
not aware, and have no means of knowing, what posterity will do
in this matter; for it may so happen, that when the Church has
been plundered of everything of her own, she may be left entirely
helpless and destitute.

With reference to that second head which is above stated, keep in
mind that argument on which the chief hinge of the whole question
turns, that what has once been devoted to Christ and the Church, is
not the property of the magistrate. And here it will be necessary to
put them in mind of that law and ancient method, by which rule of
appropriation property of this kind was to be dispensed. You must,
therefore, insist upon it that those ungodly paunches have taken
possession of what had been solemnly set apart to the service of
the Church, that it is clear enough what is a lawful application of
Church property, and that appropriation ought now to be adopted;
that the alienation is liable to anathema and to the curse, because
it profanes that which is sacred. In the meantime all suspicion will
need to be taken off, that they may not think you have a hankering
desire after the property. It will need to be demonstrated to them,
however, that the rule of reformation which King Josiah prescribed
is the best, that the magistrates may have a power of inspection,
and that the deacons be the administrators. You can testify,
however, that you are content that the magistrate may have the full
power of administration, provided he faithfully dispenses the annual
income, and neither diminishes nor dilapidates the property.

You perceive how confusedly and hurriedly I have run over these
few heads. I make no apology, however; with you especially, who
are so well aware that I do not, on so grave a matter, babble with
carelessness and rashness whatever comes uppermost, but am forced,
by the urgency of the case, to launch forth at once what I would
willingly elaborate had I more leisure. Adieu, my excellent and very
dear brother. We shall see to the relative of Cordier. The brethren
salute you,--my wife and the whole household. Again, farewell. May
the Lord preserve you and other good men. I am very glad that you
have at length removed to another house, which, if you had not done,
I would have turned you out of the old one by my abuse. Farewell;
may the Lord always guide you by the counsel of his own Spirit, and
protect you by his strength from on high.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

I scarce know what I have written, my eyes are so much affected.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



XCVIII.--TO BULLINGER.

     Numerous occupations of Calvin--death of Leo Juda--ravages of
     the plague in Switzerland.


  GENEVA, _8th November 1542_.

When this bearer, who brought you my letter, sought a recommendation
from me, I entertained no doubt whatever that he was worthy of it,
since he possessed a testimonial from godly and trustworthy persons
of his own country who are resident among us. But that which caused
me most concern was, that in the midst of these hindrances which
beset me at this time, I am compelled to write more briefly than
I could have wished after so long an interval. Such, however, I
am aware, is your considerate forbearance towards me, that I do
hope you will not be very implacable, that you will admit this my
excuse, more especially since you may rest assured that I seek no
frivolous pretext, nor does it arise from any wilful negligence
that I do not now write more exactly and fully. Indeed, I take you
to be well aware of my respect for you, how much I honour you, how
much, to sum up the whole in a word, from the heart I love you. My
long silence has arisen from the circumstance, that when I returned
hither, so entirely was my whole attention directed to the renewal
and reparation of our affairs, which were almost utterly broken up
and fallen to pieces, that it was not possible for me to turn my
attention to anything else.[388] Afterward, when the opportunity for
writing seemed to me to have been allowed to pass, I wished rather
to wait until some fresh opportunity might occur. On this present
occasion, while there is a call upon me to write, I could wish that
time as well as leisure were at my disposal. On another occasion,
I hope both will be allowed me, and then I shall willingly avail
myself of the advantage. The death of our brother Leo,[389] as there
was good reason why it should be lamented by all good men, so also
it has sorely afflicted me. For he had always evinced towards myself
personally a singular affection, and when I dwell upon the loss the
Church has sustained in the death of this man, it is impossible for
me not to be deeply grieved. With us, also, the past year has been
more than usually fatal; for it carried off both Grynée and Capito,
and many other distinguished men, together with Leo. Wherefore, we
ought all the more assiduously to endeavour to sow the good seed,
that the Church may not remain utterly destitute; in reference to
which most desirable object, as your Senate of Zurich has never
ceased from the very commencement to employ their utmost exertions,
so I understand that it has lately augmented its ecclesiastical
establishment. In this belief, we have thought it advisable to send
this brother, the bearer, to you. For besides that our schools are
but thinly attended, the stipend also is very small. Nor dare I
venture to press our Council very closely on this point, since I see
clearly that they are quite willing to do so, but their hands are
tied. I do not, however, recommend the bearer of this letter rashly
to your notice; for Bernardino of Sienna, a man of eminence, and two
others, who have observed his conduct, have seriously assured me
that he is an excellent young man, and that he is not unworthy the
patronage of your Senate. I therefore do request of you, that, on
my account, you would take some charge of him, and aid him by your
influence with the Council. Neither do I entreat this favour from
you only, but also from others of my respected brethren, to whom you
will remember me. May the Lord Jesus ever direct you by his Spirit,
and preserve as well as increase his gracious gifts in you.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Gotha._ Vol. 404.]

  [388] The Seigneury of Geneva shewed their sense of the zeal
  and indefatigable activity exercised in their behalf by the
  Reformer. "Ordered, to make present to Calvin of a tun of old wine
  of _l'Hôpital_, for the pains which he takes on account of the
  town."--Extracts, _Registers of Council_, 17th Nov. 1542.

  [389] Leo Juda, one of the pastors of the Church of Zurich,
  translator of the Old Testament into Latin. He died of the plague
  the 19th June 1542, in the sixtieth year of his age. "Our Church,"
  wrote Bullinger, "has lost in that man an inestimable treasure. As
  regards myself, I have lost a good part of my life by the death
  of that much-loved brother; and if I did not find consolation
  by the hope of a better life in that which is to come, and of
  the resurrection of the dead, I must have given way under my
  sorrow."--Letter, cited by Ruchat, _Hist. de la Réf._ tom. v. p.
  188.



XCIX.--TO MICHAEL VAROD.[390]

  [390] Michael Varod was _procureur_ of the hospital at Geneva in
  1542.

     Recommendation of a sick person.


  [1542.]

SEIGNEUR MICHEL,--This poor man is so very disfigured in body, that
it is pitiful, and even shockingly horrible, to see. He says that it
has not happened through profligacy. Seeing that it is a pitiable
case, will you consider whether you can manage to help him, so that
he may not putrefy in rank corruption? I recommend him all the more
earnestly to you, as thinking that he must belong to the town, for
had he been a stranger, I would myself have provided for him in some
way, so that no occasion might be given to cry out as they do. But
since he is here, I make less difficulty about it.--Your brother and
good friend,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Archives of Geneva._ Vol. 1250.]



C.--TO MONSIEUR LE CURÉ DE CERNEX.[391]

  [391] _On the back_: "Answer to a certain _Curé_, which he had
  written while the plague was at Geneva, wherein there are several
  remarkable instructions--without date."--From the Council Registers
  we see that the plague made its appearance at Geneva in 1542,
  and that during several years it made great ravages in the town
  and throughout the whole territory of Savoy. The number of sick
  was immense. It was almost certain death to visit them. Three
  ministers offered spontaneously to discharge that duty: Calvin,
  Sebastian Castalio, and Blanchet. Castalio, who was the first person
  designated by lot, appears to have declined that perilous honour.
  Blanchet generously made the sacrifice of his life; and the urgent
  solicitations of the Seigneury of Geneva, who were afraid to expose
  the valuable life of the Reformer, could alone determine Calvin to
  desist from undertaking the charge which he had himself solicited.
  See Roset, _Chronique_, iv. 60, and Savion, 60.

     Religious controversy occasioned by the plague at
     Geneva--apologizes for the Reformation.


  [1543.]

MONSIEUR LE CURÉ,--We acknowledge that point of your letter to be
very true, that the plague which we have in our town is a scourge
of God, and we confess that we are justly punished on account of
our faults and demerits. We do not doubt also, that by this mean
he admonishes us to examine ourselves, to lead and draw us to
repentance. Wherefore, we take in good part what you have said,
that it is time for us to return to God, to ask and to obtain
pardoning mercy from him. We likewise see that throughout the whole
of Christendom there is great trouble, that there is scarce a single
corner which is not in some way afflicted in that respect, from
whence we must conclude that the wrath of God is greatly kindled
against this poor world. And it is no wonder, for the causes are
evident, and they are not far to seek, while one sees that such
corruption everywhere prevails, and how vice of every kind is
carried to the utmost pitch and reigns paramount. We do not say
this to excuse ourselves, by hiding, as it were, in a crowd, but
inasmuch as the wrath of God ought to be all the more dreadful in
our apprehension when it is thus spread abroad over the whole earth,
like a kind of deluge. Besides, when we have well considered the
matter in every way, we can come to no other conclusion, except that
over and above the vice which reigns generally everywhere, there
are among Christians two things which specially provoke the wrath
of God; namely, that the one party of them dishonour him by their
idolatry and superstitions, and instead of receiving his holy word
to bring them back into the straight road, not only despise and
mock and flout, but have a hatred and horror of, and even persecute
the truth. On the other hand, we who know by his Evangel how we
ought to serve and honour him, do not make strict account in our
discharge of duty, so that the word of life is as if it were idle
and unproductive among us. We have no wish to justify ourselves by
condemning others. For in so far as it has pleased God to withdraw
us out of the horrible darkness wherein we were, and to enlighten
us in the knowledge of the right way of salvation, we are so much
the more blamable if we are negligent in doing our duty, as it is
written, "The servant knowing the will of his master, and not doing
it, shall be severely punished." (Luke xii.) So that we ought not to
be astonished if our Lord should visit us twofold, on account of our
ingratitude which is in us, when we do not walk as children of the
light, and produce no fruit of that holy calling to which he hath
called us. Moreover, he threatens that judgment shall begin at his
own house; that is to say, that he will correct his servants first
of all. (1 Pet. iv.) But, nevertheless, we would rather consider, on
the other hand, that seeing above all else he holds his own glory
in highest commendation, he hates and chiefly holds in detestation
the idolatries and superstitions by which he is dishonoured, and
which more grievously offend than every other thing. Think for a
little on what takes place among you. They adore stone and wood;
they invoke the dead; they trust in lying vanities; they would serve
God by ceremonies foolishly invented without the authority of his
word. The true doctrine is buried, and if any one wishes to have it
brought forth, he is cruelly persecuted. Do you think that God can
bear with such pollutions and blasphemies against his own honour?
St. Paul bears witness that God had sent the plague on Corinth,
because the holy Supper had not been so reverently treated there
as it ought. (1 Cor. xi.) Then what must we expect, seeing that
it has already, for so long a period, been converted into such an
execrable sacrifice as is your mass? There is no need for a long
proof of what we say. Consider attentively the institution of our
Lord, and make the comparison between it and your mass. You will
find a greater distance between them than between the heaven and the
earth. Thus, in truth, our duty would be, to give glory to God all
together with one accord, by confessing our offences, every one for
his own sin, according to his state and circumstances. (Dan. ix.)
This it is, that on our part we should feel how grievous a sin it
is for us not to receive his grace as it befits us to do, when he
presents it to us, and that we do not live in higher perfection,
considering the knowledge which he hath given us of his Evangel, and
the exhortations which are daily made to us by his commandment. Let
those who, instead of the word, follow their own fancies or human
traditions, consider that it is an abomination very displeasing to
God, that of corrupting his service, as they have done, of adhering
to false doctrine, of attributing the grace of his salvation to
creatures, of reversing the right use of the sacraments, turning
them quite upside down, of abusing and taking his name in vain, and
along with all that, of persecuting the witnesses of Jesus Christ,
who dare venture to open their mouth against such abuses. And if
some of them are at present in prosperity, let them by no means put
their trust in that. For it is ever the fashion of hypocrites, and
especially of idolaters, to glorify themselves when the hand of
God does not press upon them, as if this were because they have so
well deserved of God, while dishonouring him by their idolatrous
mummeries, and by that they harden themselves in their impiety,
flattering themselves and condemning others. But what says our Lord?
"I have done them," he says, "all the good which was possible, and
they have thought that this was the wages of whoredom with their
idols. Wherefore, I will take away all that I have given them, to
discover their vileness, and constrain them to return unto me."

Now, even at this very time, when we are seeking and searching to
find out the misdeeds on account of which God punishes us, and
in what we have offended, you allege against us, that we have
changed the divine service, and the order of the Church, which
had been so well established and observed in this town. This is
not any new reproach, for it was made against Jeremiah in his
time, as he relates in the forty-fourth chapter. It is, that the
hypocrites complain, that since they had left off the adoration of
the Queen of Heaven, they had had nothing but famine, war, and all
poverty. Lactantius also, an ancient doctor of the Church, and St.
Augustine, demonstrate that in their time all the afflictions which
had happened in the world were imputed to the Evangel, because it
had brought about the abolition of the Pagan superstitions, which
were thought to be service to God. You will reply, that it was not
all alike; we hold that it was. What then is to be done? We must
ascertain what is the truth upon the point, in order to pronounce a
sound and correct opinion. Well, then, besides that our consciences
speak peace to us before God as touching that, the thing itself can
clearly answer for us before men. For no one has hitherto shewn us
that we had changed anything which was commanded of God, nor that
we had introduced any novelty against his person, nor that we had
declined from the truth to lay hold on some evil doctrine. On the
contrary, it is notorious that we have reformed our Church according
to the pure doctrine of God, which is the rule to apply and to keep
up a healthy state. It is true, that it is rather an odious thing
to alter what has been hitherto received. But the order which our
Lord has once delivered to us ought to be for ever inviolable. Thus,
when it has been forsaken for a season, it ought to be renewed and
set up again, even should heaven and earth commingle. There is no
antiquity, no custom which can be set up or pleaded in prejudice
of this doctrine, that the government of the Church established by
the authority of God should be perpetual even to the end of the
world, since he has willed and determined that it should be so.
The reasons which have made us change are more than sufficiently
urgent. The first point in Christianity is the true adoration of
God. Now, we have come to know, that the form of adoration which
we have been in the habit of observing was false and perverted,
and, moreover, that it was not in the spirit of truth, (John iv.,)
but in external ceremonies, and even in superstitious practices.
It is certain that then we did not adore God alone, but wood and
stones instead of him, the pictures, the reliquaries of the dead,
and things of a like kind. To the adoration of God is conjoined the
rule of worshipping him aright. And in what manner is it that he
is invoked throughout the Papacy, except with doubt and distrust,
inasmuch as they know nothing about the office of Jesus Christ as
our Advocate and Intercessor, by whom we obtain our requests? (Rom.
viii.; 1 Tim. ii.; 1 John ii.; Heb. iv.) Besides, what are the
public prayers but murmurs and ululations, vain repetitions without
understanding? Thirdly, how many blasphemies are there in it, in so
far as the power of the sole Mediator is attributed to saints and
saintesses, to obtain grace in their name and by their merits? After
the invocation follows the service, as if we were instructed to
serve God by the vain traditions of men. On the contrary, he wills
and requires that we take for our rule his will alone throughout.
(Deut. xii.; 1 Kings xv.) As concerning the confidence and firm
persuasion of our salvation, which is like, as it were, the
foundation of all, instead of relying on his pure mercy, in order
to have our consciences at rest, and give to him the glory which
appertains to him, we were taught, like the rest of the world, to
put our trust partly in ourselves, and partly in other creatures.
There is no need, however, to rehearse all the rest, for there
would be no end of that. For, in short, it has come to this, that
the grace of Jesus Christ was, as it were, buried out of sight to
us. When we have understood so much, and that it has been clearly
proven to us, that all that was abomination in the sight of God,
what could we have done? Were we to withstand God, and to resist
his truth? Had it merely been a matter of Church order, if it had
been at all bearable, we might have been content to remain, but it
was such a Babel of confusion and disorder, that there remained
no other remedy but that of an entire renovation. What shall we
say of the Sacraments, the observance and use of which had been
altogether perverted from the ordinance of Jesus Christ our Lord?
How many silly baptismal ceremonies had been sought out and invented
by men, without the authority of God! And what is worse, the true
and pure institution of our Lord was, as it were, abolished by such
frivolous patchwork. In short, they set a greater value upon the
anointing chrism than the water, and at present it seems to be a
settled point with you, that our baptism is null, because we have
only retained what the Lord has commanded, and what the Apostles
have observed and held fast in practice. As for the holy Supper, it
has been much more profaned. Our Lord has left us that as a pledge,
on purpose that (we might be) certain that our souls are nourished
from his body and from his blood, to make us partakers of all his
benefits, and peculiarly so of his death and passion. In order that
we may do this, we ought to distribute it according to the terms of
his commandment, namely, in declaring the worth and efficacy of the
mystery. On the contrary, they have converted it into a sacrifice,
to make reconciliation anew with God by man's work, and not for the
living only, but also for the dead. The priest, to make what he
considers a due use of the sacrament, separates himself from the
Church. The whole is done and spoken in an unknown language, after
the manner of enchanters with their charms. When Easter comes, again
they only give to the people the half of the sacrament, depriving
them of the cup, against the express command of the Master. To
consent to such sacrilege as that, is not even to be thought of. And
yet, nevertheless, they reproach us with having let down and abased
this holy sacrament. But the thing speaks for itself, that we have
restored it in complete integrity, where it had been corrupted and
polluted in so many ways. St. Paul, wishing to correct an abuse
which had grown up among the Corinthians in reference to this
sacrament, sends them back to the first institution of the ordinance
by the Lord himself, as to an inviolable statute. (1 Cor. xi.) What
could we do, then, to correct the infinite abuses with which it had
been contaminated, except to follow that same rule? Let them shew
us, if they can, if there be anything in the manner of our worship
which is not conformable to the institution of our Lord, to the
usage of the Apostles, and we are ready to amend our fault. But when
they accuse us without either rhyme or reason, that will not in the
least disturb or excite us, so as to make us renounce the true and
settled institution. Wherefore, that which you impute to us as a
fault, we hold and take to be a work of God, the best which we had
been able to attain to. Yet nevertheless, we do not deny that we
have come very far short in many respects, for which our Lord has
good right to punish us, but it is in regard that our life does not
correspond with his holy doctrine of which we make a profession.

In like manner, where you exhort us to return back to God in order
to appease his wrath, you drive us back to the means which rather
serve to provoke and inflame it the more. First of all, you would
have us to present the oblation of the precious body and blood of
our Lord Jesus. We are well aware that it is a customary practice
among you; but in order to ascertain whether it is a work pleasing
to God, inquiry ought to be made if it is according to his will.
Besides, he does not say that we should offer his body, but that
we should receive it. (Matt. xxvi., Mark, Luke, Paul.) _Take_,
says he, _eat_. Instead of receiving the body of Jesus Christ, if
we wish to make God believe that it is a sacrifice which we offer
to him, where shall we find any approval of our phantasy? We would
pray you seriously to ponder this reason. You advise us to make
an offering of the body of Christ by a priest, for the purpose of
obtaining grace. We reply, that he never gave us his sacrament for
that end, but that it is in order to receive _him_, in the intention
of being partakers of that once-for-all and eternal sacrifice which
he alone has offered, according to his office. (Heb. vii.-x.) We
say, moreover, that it is to derogate from his dignity, inasmuch as
he has been consecrated sacrificial priest, without successor or
companion, to make offering of himself, because none other could
be worthy to perform an act of such excellency. For the office of
sacrificing is to be Mediator, to make reconciliation between God
and men. In whom shall we put our trust,--in Jesus Christ, or in
you? seeing that there is such contrariety. Then after that, you
hold forth to us the beautiful general processions. But what use is
there for that, except that with great pomp and ceremony one would
think of appeasing God? You will tell us that you would intend that
they should devoutly engage in them. And what devotion is there to
place reliance in candles and torches, in beautiful and sumptuous
equipage, in images, in reliquaries of the dead? Such, indeed, has
always been the use and wont of Pagans, as appears from history. How
such things comport with Christianity it is impossible to explain.
We make no question about assembling together to make solemn
prayer to God. But we ask what there is in these public general
processions, beyond the pompous accoutrements, lamps and luminaries,
relics, and other things of a like kind? All that sort of thing
smells of rank Judaism, and befits Pagan rather than Christian
worship. They shout well, indeed, and make an outcry, and they sing
prettily. But to what end? It is in an unknown tongue, and therefore
against the express command of the Holy Spirit, (1 Cor. xiv.,) who
wills, that the common prayers be made in the common language, on
purpose that the rude and uninstructed may take part in them, and
say Amen at the end. You further exhort us to invocate the Virgin
Mary and the saints, among whom you make special mention of Saint
Peter, as our patron. But God calls us to himself alone, forbidding
us to have recourse elsewhere, (Ps. xlix.,) and with good right,
for his chief glory lies in that we should call upon him alone in
the name of Jesus Christ. But even had there been no such reason
for it there, we have many exhortations in Scripture pressing our
return to God with prayer and supplication in time of pestilence,
of war, and famine. (Is. xliv., xlv.; Jer. iii.; Hos. ii.) Never
does there occur a single word about the invocation of the saints.
It would therefore be very inconsiderate on our part were we to
follow what you have told us, in turning away from the doctrine of
God. Touching that of your calling Saint Peter our patron, it is
the same thing with what the prophet speaks: _Israel, thy gods are
according to the number of thy towns_, (Jer. ii.,) and at that time
the intention of the people of Israel was not to invent many gods
in order to abolish the worship of the true God, the Creator of the
world. Forasmuch, however, as each town chose a patron in whom to
trust, they are reproved by the prophet, for that every town had its
own god. You would have us to do the like at present. But it does
not please God that we should take up with any other patron than
Jesus Christ, who has taken us into his keeping, to recommend us to
God his Father. If we have formerly been in this state of blindness
of mind, the darkness has passed away. (John x.) There is now an
end of transgression, now that we have the shining light before our
eyes. But you have known by experience, you say, how much that has
profited you. It is no new thing, as we have said, to attribute
God's benefits to our own foolish and perverted doings, as if by
our idolatry we had merited the good things which he has sent us.
The sorcerers, enchanters, soothsayers, and other like, could say
as much. But we have our certain rule, which is, that reason goes
before, and experience follows after. If we do thus, we shall not
wander away from the right path, and shall neither decline on this
side nor on that from what God commands us. And we shall find in
truth and without deceit, that his help is never wanting to those
who put their whole trust and confidence in him. On the contrary, in
seeking for other help, we shall sometimes think to profit by it,
but we shall be disappointed in the end.

Well, then, our Lord Jesus wishes to open your eyes to understand
and to see what it is that he would say, when he calls himself the
only Saviour, the only life, the only sanctification, the only
wisdom, the only confidence of men; that it is in order that we may
altogether acknowledge him to be such, that with good accord we
glorify him, as well in heart as with the mouth, and equally in all
our works, so that, as we have all received one baptism in his name,
we might have the same confession of our Christianity.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107.]



CI.--TO PHILIP MELANCHTHON.[392]

  [392] This letter is doubtless one of the first addressed by
  Calvin to Melanchthon. United, since the Conferences of Ratisbon,
  to the German Reformer by the bonds of affection and friendship,
  he thenceforth lavished upon him the testimonies of his esteem
  and respect, and kept up relations with him which were never
  interrupted, notwithstanding the difference of their doctrine and
  genius. Calvin dedicated, in 1543, to Melanchthon, the publication
  which he set forth against Doctor Albert Pighius, the opponent
  of the doctrine of grace, and he edited, some years afterwards,
  the _Loci Communes_ of Melanchthon, translated into French; thus
  presenting a remarkable example of the spirit of union and concord
  which he applied in its development to the Lutheran and Reformed
  Churches, according to that beautiful passage of one of his Letters:
  "Would that the union between all Christ's Churches upon earth were
  such, that the angels in heaven might join their song of praise!"

     Testimony of respect and of fraternal affection--his homage in
     one of his books--details of his labours at Geneva--survey of
     the state of Germany and of Italy.


  GENEVA, _16th February 1543_.

You see to what a lazy fellow you have intrusted your letter. It
was full four months before he delivered it to me, and then crushed
and rumpled with much rough usage. But although it has reached me
somewhat late, I set a great value upon the acquisition. Howsoever,
therefore, I have been, through the negligence of this person,
deprived for a season of so much enjoyment, he, nevertheless,
at once obtained my forgiveness, when I got possession of the
communication. Would, indeed, as you observe, that we could oftener
converse together, were it only by a letter. To you, indeed, that
would be no advantage; to me, however, nothing in this world could
be more desirable than to take solace in the mild and gentle spirit
of your correspondence. You can scarce believe with what a load of
business I am here burdened and incessantly hurried along; but in
the midst of these distractions there are two things which most of
all annoy me. My chief regret is, that there does not appear to be
the amount of fruit that one may reasonably expect from the labour
bestowed; the other is, because I am so far removed from yourself
and a few others, and therefore am deprived of that sort of comfort
and consolation which would prove a special help to me. Since,
however, we cannot have even so much at our own choice, that each at
his own discretion might pick out the corner of the vineyard where
he might serve Christ, we must remain at that post which himself
hath allotted to each. This comfort we have at least, of which no
far distant separation can deprive us,--I mean, that resting content
with this fellowship which Christ hath consecrated with his own
blood, and hath also confirmed and sealed by his blessed Spirit in
our hearts, while we live on the earth, we may cheer each other with
that blessed hope to which your letter calls us, that in heaven
above we shall dwell for ever, where we shall rejoice in love and
in continuance of our friendship. But that you may not suppose that
I have made an improper use of your name in the Essay[393] which I
have lately published, I ask you to recognize or approve of it on
the score of my affection for you, or to yield so far to your own
kindly disposition as to acquiesce in what I have done. Among many
reasons by which I was induced to take this course this was not the
least important, that Pighius had selected Sadolet, under whose name
he might impose upon the world his own frothy conceits. That there
might, however, be no occasion for drawing odious comparisons, I
have held my peace; nor, indeed, shall I here make any lengthened
apology, since I could have avowed at once that I had taken the
course which I felt assured, from the kindness and good-will which
you entertain towards me, was no unwarrantable liberty.[394]

  [393] This treatise, first of all written in Latin, and afterwards
  translated into French, is inserted in the _Recueil des Opuscules_,
  p. 257, under this title, _Réponse aux Calomnies d'Albert Pighius,
  Contenant la Défense de la Saincte Doctrine contre le Franc
  Arbitre_, with a Preface to Melanchthon, of February 1543.

  [394] In his answer, dated the 4th of May following, Melanchthon
  thanks Calvin for the Dedication of his book, mingling the
  expression of his acknowledgments with high praise of the author.
  "I am much affected by your kindness, and I thank you that you have
  been pleased to give evidence of your love for me to all the world,
  by placing my name at the beginning of your remarkable book, where
  all the world will see it."--_Calvini Opera_, tom. ix. p. 175.

As to our own affairs there is nought that I will write. The sole
cause which imposes this silence upon me is, that I have so much
to tell you that my tale would never have an end. I labour here
and do my utmost, but succeed indifferently. And, nevertheless,
all are astonished that my progress is so great in the midst of so
many drawbacks, the greater part of which arises from the ministers
themselves. This, however, is a great alleviation of my troubles,
that not only this Church, but also the whole neighbourhood, derive
some benefit from my presence. Besides that, somewhat overflows
from hence upon France, and even spreads as far as Italy. It is
not without the bitterest grief that I hear of the sad condition
of your Germany. Nor are the evils which I dread of a less serious
kind than those which I bewail. For if what is reported be correct,
that the Turk again prepares to wage war with a larger force, who
will stand up to oppose his marching throughout the length and
breadth of the land at his mere will and pleasure?[395] And as
though it were a small matter, after having disbanded the army
under base circumstances, after so much expenditure lavished in
vain, after so much dishonour incurred; and finally, after having,
by the three years' pestilence, and that which more lately visited
us, lost the very flower of their strength, they are at this
present time suffering even more severely from civil discord.
Notwithstanding all this, however, our rulers, though so sharply
chastised, are not awakened from their sleep, nor have they learned
to give glory to God. This, however, somewhat revives me, they say
that the Archbishop of Cologne and some others have turned their
minds in earnest to set about the work of thoroughly reforming the
churches.[396] Nor, indeed, do I consider it an affair of small
importance, that the bishops, from among whom hitherto not a single
individual has given glory to Christ, now raise their hands, and
publicly declare their defection from the Romish idol. Only, we
must now be very careful and strive diligently to promote their
progress, lest from a divided Christ some still more monstrous form
of evil may arise. Meanwhile, the Pope of Rome already parades the
empty show of a Council at Trent,[397] that may amuse the world, and
keep it hanging a little while longer in suspense. But God will not
suffer himself to be mocked any longer. I am deceived if this year
does not produce a very great change of affairs, which may soon take
place; but already I have said too much.

  [395] Faithful to the engagements which he had contracted with the
  King of France, Soliman in fact invaded Hungary with a numerous
  army, and took possession of almost the whole country, while the
  crescent of Mahomet and the Lilies united, to the great scandal of
  Christendom, before the walls of Nice, then besieged by the combined
  fleets of France and Turkey.--Robertson, _Hist. of Charles V._, c.
  vii.

  [396] The Archbishop, Elector of Cologne, had requested the advice
  of Bucer and of Melanchthon in endeavouring to reform the churches
  within his diocese. See Melch. Adam, _Vita Melanchthonis_, p. 34.

  [397] The Council of Trent, so often announced and as often
  adjourned, only commenced on the 13th December 1545.

Adieu, therefore, O man of most eminent accomplishments, and ever
to be remembered by me and honoured in the Lord! May the Lord long
preserve you in safety to the glory of his name and the edification
of the Church. I wonder what can be the reason why you keep your
_Daniel_ a sealed book at home. Neither can I suffer myself quietly,
without remonstrance, to be deprived of the benefit of its perusal.
Will you salute Doctor Martin respectfully in my name? We have here
with us at present Bernardino of Sienna, an eminent and excellent
man, who has occasioned no little stir in Italy by his departure.
He has requested that I would greet you in his name. Once more
adieu, along with your family, whom may the Lord continually
preserve.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. copy_--_Library of Zurich._ Coll. Simler, tom. lii.]



CII.--TO VIRET.

     Ecclesiastical particularities--struggles to maintain the right
     of excommunication over the ministers.


  _The day before Easter_, [1543.]

I send you the letter of Pellican,[398] that you also may consider
it and take counsel along with me whitherward that may tend about
which he writes. As for the books he inquires about, I have no
certain information. I shall wait until William returns, after the
fair-time. Antony, as you are aware, has been admitted and received
without any difficulty. Thus the brethren wisely, so they think,
could give no better decision than to pass over in silence so much
wickedness. It cannot otherwise be, than that the Lord, for the
punishment of our remissness, will soon take the case into his own
hand, and from his own judgment-seat pronounce a just deliverance.
The aforesaid Antony has given me to understand, through Matthew,
that Sulzer has advised him to make his peace with me; but on what
ground could I condescend to this reconciliation? However, should
he once seek to have an interview, the Lord will open up a way.
We have lately had a discussion with the Council, which, however,
was soon disposed of. While we were met in consistory, the Syndic
brought us word that the Senate retained in its own hand the right
of excommunication.[399] I immediately replied, that such a decree
could only be ratified by my death or banishment. Yesterday I called
the brethren together, by whose advice I have demanded of the
Syndics, that the Senate should appoint an extraordinary meeting.
They assented, but not willingly. There, in a large discourse upon
the weighty argument, I laid the whole question fully before them.
Without any difficulty I have got what I asked for, and, from what I
understand, those who have been the means of raising this question
have been sharply taken to task about it. Who they may be, if you
do not know by this time, you are well enough able to conjecture.
Adieu; may the Lord have you in his keeping, and ever direct you by
his Spirit, dearly beloved brother. Salute Ribitti, Imbert, and the
rest.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._, Opera, tom. ix. p. 235.]

  [398] See the next letter.

  [399] See note 1, p. 316. The ecclesiastical ordonnances had
  separated distinctly the domain of religious authority from that
  of the civil jurisdiction. To the Consistory belonged the right of
  private remonstrance, of public censure, and of excommunication.
  When the delict was punishable by corporal chastisement or by
  fine, the Consistory then referred the matter to the Council, who
  pronounced sentence, and enforced the penalty.



CIII.--TO CONRAD PELLICAN.[400]

  [400] Conrad Pellican, a pious and learned professor of the
  Academy of Zurich. Born in 1479, he evinced from his infancy an
  extraordinary taste for the study of the Hebrew language, in which
  he made rapid progress, and which, at a later period, he taught at
  Basle and at Zurich. Called to that latter town in 1526, he acquired
  the friendship both of Zuingli and of Bullinger, was a correspondent
  of Calvin, and died in 1556. The celebrated Peter Martyr succeeded
  him.--Melch. Adam, _Vitæ Theologorum Germanorum_, p. 162. _et seq._

     Offer of his services--answers the accusations directed against
     Farel--justification of Ochino--introduces two young men.


  GENEVA, _18th April 1543_.

I reply somewhat late to your letter, because I wished previously
to ascertain somewhat about the books which I sought for, that I
might let you know something certain about them. I am now given to
understand that they have not yet been printed. Whenever they do
appear in print, I will carefully see to it, that you may receive
them by the first opportunity. I do not proffer my good offices
to you in whatsoever they may be of service with many expressions
of forwardness, because I think that you are quite persuaded that
nothing would be more agreeable to me than in any way to be able to
satisfy you by actual experience of the good-will and respect which
I entertain for you. But because you mentioned in your letter that
Bullinger had communicated to me by letter what might concern the
public business of the Church, I wonder how it has happened that
his letter was not brought to me at the same time. Now, however,
as many days have elapsed, and none has come to hand, I am led to
suppose that either what was written had been lost, or that he had
altered his mind. Would, however, that he had done as he proposed at
first, that I might not be deprived of the singular pleasure which
I could not but have thence derived. Will you, however, request
him earnestly in my name, whenever his convenience will admit of
it, to do me this kindness? For he may have somewhat perhaps to
communicate, upon which it may be both useful and necessary that I
should be admonished.

That which has been reported to you about Farel is to me so utterly
incredible, that I would venture, even at the peril of my life,
to be answerable for it, that no such expression had ever fallen
from him; for I know that he both loves and reveres you. And,
most assuredly, the very atrocity of the words used is a good
enough argument of itself to prove how little ground there is for
that accusation. If it had been said that he had made you wince a
little, and without any more serious outrage, I would admit that
the report might have been believed, or at least suspected to be
true, until he had cleared himself. But only consider how monstrous
it is to suppose, that he who has always been so closely allied and
intimately connected with you, who at this very time reveres and
loves you, had given utterance to such reproachful expressions as
would be reckoned extreme even among the most deadly foes. It will
be your duty, therefore, most reverend sir, entirely to root out of
the hearts of our brethren that unkind suspicion. Besides, indeed,
that it is altogether inhuman, and utterly unreasonable, that any
man should be condemned unheard; such persons do wrong Farel when
they do not acknowledge him to be such a man as they have ever truly
found him by experience to be. Therefore, do you apply your utmost
endeavour to uproot this noxious weed of malevolence, (for it has
sprung from nothing,) before it breed further mischief, and lest
that advantage be given to Satan which he is always so eager to
catch at. Had Farel been now at Neuchatel,[401] I would not have
allowed him to delay so long to justify himself carefully, even to
your full satisfaction. For the present, however, until we shall
know for certain that he has escaped in safety out of the jaws of
death,[402] we will supplicate the Lord that he would restore him to
us as soon as possible, so that some time or other he may do what he
would himself have done at the very first, had he been present.

  [401] Farel was then at Metz. See the Letter XCIII.

  [402] The life of Farel was threatened more than once, by the Roman
  Catholics of Metz, as it had been formerly, when he was preaching
  the gospel in the valleys of the Jura and the Alps; but, like the
  Apostle Paul, nothing could quench his zeal for the promulgation of
  the truth.--_Hist. des Martyrs_, lib. iii.

There is also another subject on which I am requested by Bernardino
to write you. We have been informed as a fact, that through the
folly of a certain brother who was of his acquaintance, he had
become suspected in your eyes, as though he were not altogether
quite sound in opinion either on the article of the Trinity or of
Christ. I shall say nothing further in his excuse, than simply to
state the truth. As I do not place much reliance on the most of the
Italian wits, after that he mentioned to me his intention to make a
more lengthened sojourn among us, I discoursed with him carefully on
the separate heads of the doctrine of faith, and in such a way that
he could scarcely conceal it, should he differ materially in any
point from us. It did appear to me, and if I possess any judgment
at all, I can bear testimony, that as well in every other point
as upon this important one, he was entirely of the same mind with
us. This, however, I have remarked, that he did repudiate those
over-nice distinctions and discussions which we meet with in the
scholastic writers; and certainly, if we weigh attentively how much
these subtle speculations of the sophists differ from the sober and
moderate doctrine of the ancients, we shall be of the same mind.
It seemed, therefore, only what was due, to bear this testimony to
a pious and sincere man, that he may not be undeservedly aspersed
among you, by having even the shadow of a suspicion thrown over
him. He is indeed an excellent person, and a man of genius,
learning, and sanctity.[403]

  [403] Ochino allowed himself to be entangled at a later
  period in those opinions which at this time he repudiated. He
  afterwards became one of the principal chiefs of the sect of the
  Anti-trinitarians.

But now to make an end of my letter. These two youths come to
you for the purpose of following out their studies. As they have
sojourned some considerable time among us, and have so conducted
themselves that we can venture to engage for their probity, and do
consider them worthy of our recommendation, I request of you, my
dear Pellican, that you would shew them the same kindness you are
wont to express toward all good men. They have wherewithal to live
at a moderate rate, but they would ask the favour of you to put them
in the way of finding a convenient lodging.

Farewell, respected sir, and greatly esteemed by me in the Lord.
Salute reverently Bullinger, Theodore, Megander; may the Lord
continually direct you all for the upbuilding of his Church.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



CIV.--TO THE SEIGNEURY OF GENEVA.[404]

  [404] This letter, written from Strasbourg, has reference, as well
  as the following, to the journey which Calvin undertook, in 1543,
  for the evangelization of Metz.

A town of the Empire, and the seat of one of the three bishoprics
which the treaty of Cateau-Cambresis incorporated with France, Metz
received betimes the seed of the Reformation. The first missionaries
were John Leclerc and John Chatelain, who suffered martyrdom,
(1523-1524.) The Church, which they had helped to found by their
testimony, enlarged under the cross of persecution. She demanded,
in 1544, the free exercise of religion at the Diet of Ratisbon, but
without obtaining it. The year following, she called Farel. The
intrepid missionary answered the perilous appeal. Driven from the
town by a sedition, he retired to the village of Montigny, where
the Protestants flocked together to wait upon his preachings. The
gates of the town were shut upon them by order of the Roman Catholic
magistrates, and thus they perceived they were driven from their
country. Received with kindness by the magistrates of Strasbourg,
they had recourse to the intervention of the Protestant princes
of Germany to obtain free access to their houses and property,
as well as the free exercise of their worship. It was during
these negotiations that Calvin left Geneva, and rejoined Farel at
Strasbourg.--Bèze, _Hist. Eccl._ tom. iii. p. 431, and following.

     Calvin at Strasbourg--exposé of his proceedings with the
     magistrates of that town for preaching the Evangel at Metz--the
     news.


STRASBOURG, _1st July_ [1543.]

RIGHT WORSHIPFUL AND VERY HONOURED LORDS,--I hope that Master Peter
Viret shall have made my excuses for not having written you from
Berne, forasmuch as at the time I was indisposed. Having arrived at
Basle, I presented my letters to Messieurs of the Council, who gave
me letters of recommendation to Messieurs of this town, requesting
that they would assist me with advice, as well as furtherance on my
journey.

In this town, as well by means of your letters and those of
Messieurs of Basle, as from the good affection which they bear
towards me, and singularly in favour of the cause, I have met with
good furtherance, as much as I could desire. Messieurs have very
liberally offered to do whatsoever lay in their power. Only that we
must be careful, Master William (Farel) and myself, as to the means
which it would be fitting to adopt. We have therefore set before
them three ways: either to bring us on direct to Metz, although
that was not without danger; or once more to call on the Council of
Metz to let us have a hearing; or otherwise, to send to the town of
Smalkald, where the Protestant League are at present assembled, and
there to request pressingly the princes and ambassadors of the towns
to take the thing in hand.

As to the first method, they have replied, that willingly they would
send an embassy along with us, to insure our safety and to solicit a
hearing, and that they would spare no pains in regard to that, were
it not that they saw that they could not do so without endangering
our persons, and with but little hope of advantage. To send letters
in their private capacity, would be labour lost. The reason is,
that the Papists wax more insolent upon the coming of the Emperor,
inasmuch as he has promised, on the occasion of this journey, to
settle all the religious differences, as if he had nothing else
to do at present.[405] So, whenever they have written from this
town, for answer and solution of everything, they always refer them
thither.

  [405] Charles presided in the following year at the Diet of Spires
  with extraordinary éclat, but strove in vain to bring the two
  parties to agreement. All that he obtained from the majority of that
  assembly was a declaration by which the points in dispute were to be
  submitted to a Council.

The third method, therefore, has been found the best, to send to
Smalkald, which they would have done already, were it not that they
have wished to get articles from us to set forth whatever might
seem best to us. But to-morrow, please God, the messenger will set
out. They have allowed us to proceed in the affair with so much
diligence, and so thoroughly in earnest, that we would acknowledge
their zeal and courage; and as I know them, I have no doubt that
they will do yet more than they promise. It is six days' journey
thither, at the rate of speed their herald will go, for usually they
take fully eight days.

Now, while this journey is gone about, seeing that I must wait here,
it seemed to me to be best, my Right worshipful and very honoured
Lords, to send back your herald, the present bearer, in order to let
you understand how matters were going on, for I would have hesitated
to make so lengthened a stay only in expectation, without in the
meanwhile letting you hear my news; and that could be done without
being at much more expense than if I had retained the messenger
here along with me. You will consider, however, about sending him
back as shall seem good. To meet whatsoever may happen, I have
delivered over to him six crowns, that he may have wherewith to
meet his expenses in going and returning, with three testons which
I have given besides. Howbeit you can do according to your own good
pleasure. I tell it, that you may know, in case you should send
him back, that, in order to be in time, he must be here within a
fortnight; for we shall then arrange to set out for Metz, should it
please God to open up the way for us.

As concerning myself, I am well aware that I cannot be so long
time absent from you, without some shortcoming in the care of your
Church. But seeing that one has come so far, to return without
effecting anything whatever would have been too absurd, and when
there is a reasonable expectation in waiting yet a little while
longer, I am well inclined, before my return, to essay whether
or not the Lord would have somewhat accomplished. Wherefore, I
beseech you to have patience until that interval, which is short,
be overpast. Thereafter, with all possible speed I will hasten to
return thitherward.

Meanwhile, Right worshipful Lords, I beseech you to have in mind
and to aim at the honour of God, as you do, and to keep the Church
together in good order and condition. On purpose that you may see
what need there is for going to Metz to silence Caroli, I send you
a copy of his last correspondence by way of answer, wherein he
displays more fierceness and arrogance than ever, and inasmuch as
he relies wholly upon the presence of the Emperor, we shall never
get him to hearken to reason, for before that arrival he would have
betaken himself to flight.

There has been a great uproar here, burst forth in different parts
of the Netherlands, now that the Duke of Cleves has recovered a
strong town which he had lost, since he was ruined and dispossessed;
but seeing that all as yet is uncertain, I forbear writing you
further about it.[406] Howbeit, such is the disturbed state of
affairs, that no further off than a distance of two leagues they
have made a raid for two nights running, and have stolen and carried
off fifty horses belonging to the merchants.

  [406] The Duke of Cleves, the ally of France, was threatened at the
  time by the whole force of Charles V.

And now, Right worshipful and very dread and sovereign Lords, after
our humble commendations of Master William and myself, I pray the
Lord Jesus to preserve and uphold you by the bestowal of his grace,
enabling you well to guide and rule your people happily, and always
in peace, to the honour of his name.--Your humble servant in our
Lord,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Archives of Geneva._ No. 1250.]



CV.--TO THE PASTORS OF THE CHURCH OF GENEVA.[407]

  [407] To the godly and faithful servants of our Lord Jesus Christ,
  the pastors of the Church of Geneva, my very dear brethren.

     The preaching of the Gospel encounters difficulty at
     Metz--intrigues of Caroli--fraternal exhortations.


  AT STRASBOURG, _1st July 1543_.

Grace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is at present, my dearest brethren, nothing about which I
have to write, except that up to this time we are kept waiting
in a state of suspense; for my coming hither has happened very
untowardly, and at a most inconvenient season, seeing that the
Papists of Metz wax insolent because of the near neighbourhood of
the Emperor, and pretend his authority as a cover for their making
no concession to us whatever. They maintain, indeed, that it is not
becoming to decree an alteration in their condition in the presence
of the Emperor, and without consulting him. Therefore, because it
is perilous to proceed to Metz, and would now be of no use,--for
that even the letters of the Senate here would be set at nought and
despised, the Senate resolved that a deputation be sent to Smalkald,
where the Protestant Confederates are at present met, requesting
them to appoint an embassy in the name of all, who may accompany
us to Metz, and extort from the inhabitants of that city what they
are not willing freely to grant. Moreover, the journey from hence
to Smalkald requires eight days' travel, which a speedier messenger
will, however, accomplish in six. And that there may be no delay,
the horses have been kept in readiness. We have resolved to await
the result here, that we may not incur to no purpose the fatigue of
so long a journey; and it appears to us that we shall have obtained
no mean advantage if the deputies come thither along with us, who,
whether he will or no, may draw that impious dog to a disputation,
which he not only tries to shirk, but plainly refuses.[408] For the
present, indeed, under shadow of the Emperor's presence,--because he
has got that convenient hole to crawl into, he raves more saucily
than ever. But the Lord, as we hope, shall ere long repress the
insolence of this sacrilegious agitator. See to it, I beseech you,
while I am absent, that you are all the more attentive to duty, and
even more earnestly diligent. There are, indeed, many considerations
which ought to arouse you to take care, that the Church may not
feel any change or inconvenience from my absence. If you only
set about this with hearty agreement, and with a serious desire
and sincerely affectionate zeal, the Lord will vouchsafe a very
prosperous issue. In the meantime, do you commit unto the Lord in
your prayers both ourselves and this his own cause, in which at this
time we are engaged, which is not free from danger or difficulty,
notwithstanding all the help which human foresight can supply. Farel
very kindly salutes you. I not only keep my health much as usual,
but feel as if restored, so that at present it is somewhat better
than ordinary. Adieu, my very dearly beloved brethren, and do labour
diligently in the upbuilding of the Church. Master Bernardino may
also be invited to be present at the reading of this letter, whom
salute most kindly in my own name and on behalf of Pyrrhus.[409]
Salute all the godly. May the Lord, indeed, so govern and direct
you by his Spirit that you may serve him profitably and with
advantage.--Your brother,

  CALVIN.

  [_Lat. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [408] The apostate Peter Caroli. Reconciled with the Sorbonne, he
  went to Metz to give proof of his zeal to support the doctrines of
  the Roman Catholic Church, and had boasted publicly to confound
  Farel and Calvin by a public discussion, at which he dared not even
  appear.--_Bèze, Hist. Eccl._, tom. iii. p. 431, _et seq._

  [409] It is probable that Farel is here indicated, in allusion to
  the impetuosity of his disposition.



CVI.--TO VIRET.

     Relation of his proceedings at Strasbourg, and the state of
     things at Metz.


  STRASBOURG, _July 1_, [1543,] _about mid-day_.

As usual it has so happened, that I have found matters far more
forward and advanced than I had expected. But, indeed, as you are
fully aware, I am not very effectively supported. The Senate neither
advises nor permits our at once proceeding to Metz. It is thought
to be quite useless to write thither, since the letter which has
already been sent is either held in contempt, or at least is not so
much considered as it ought to be. For the coming of the Emperor
elates the courage of the Papists, who have obtained the entire
direction of affairs at Metz. Therefore it is that our magistrates
are about to send a deputation to Smalkald, where the Protestant
princes are at present assembled for the purpose of demanding a
common embassy, whereby to quicken the motions of those who will do
nothing unless they are driven on and goaded forward. You cannot
imagine how important our magistrates conceive this to be. They
have received us indeed with the utmost courtesy. Whensoever we
shall have an answer, we must then gird up our loins for action,
and we shall call you to our assistance. But after all, in this so
doubtful and unsettled state of affairs, what could you obtain? In
the meantime, while the deputation is gone to Smalkald, our Senate
have thought it was desirable to let them know where I was, and what
expectation detained me here. Should the messenger return hither,
as I expect he will, take advantage of him to inform us certainly
about everything. As to the challenge of Caroli, you need have no
doubt whatever about that. We have his own hand for it. Of late he
was meditating flight, but now when the Emperor is nearer at hand he
waxes more audacious and insolent, because he takes it certainly for
granted, that a public discussion cannot possibly be obtained by us.
Request from this bearer a sight of his reply, which having read,
you can return. You will clearly perceive from thence the lofty,
puffed-up humour of the man. Adieu; salute all the brethren, and pay
a visit sometimes to Geneva. Again, adieu. May the Lord preserve
you.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



CVII.--TO THE SEIGNEURY OF GENEVA.

     Answer from the Assembly at Smalkald--prolongation of the stay
     of Calvin and of Farel at Strasbourg--preaching of the Evangel
     at Cologne--warlike preparations in the Netherlands.


_From_ STRASBOURG, _this 24th July 1543_.

RIGHT WORSHIPFUL AND VERY HONOURED LORDS,--Only two days after the
return of your herald we have got an answer from the meeting at
Smalkald, that for the present the princes and ambassadors from the
towns could not openly undertake anything in the affair of Metz; but
before separating they would come to a settled determination; that
is, to hold another meeting to finish what has been begun, seeing
that those of Metz will not go forward, unless they are compelled.
Now, for the present, their mind is to demand a safe conduct for
themselves and those whom they wish to bring thither, and that
done, proceed to the place in order to press the business further.
On hearing these tidings, we have gone, Master William and myself,
before Messieurs the Councillors of this town, to request of them
that they would inform us what might seem to them good to be done,
representing to them that we were afraid it would be too tedious to
await the coming of their ambassadors, and also that I had received
letters from you, in which you required me, in the event of there
being no hope of doing anything for the present, that I would speed
forward my return without loss of time. Albeit, that should it seem
good to them, Master William would be able to wait on still, in
case perhaps the good brethren of Metz might be disheartened if we
should both of us go away together. So thereupon we gave them to
understand, that our wish would have been that Master William had
remained, and that I had withdrawn homeward, until that some fixed
resolution had been come to. Their answer was, that, had there been
any very pressing occasion which constrained me to return forthwith
to you, they would not have ventured to hinder me, but, if it were
possible, the preferable course seemed to them, that I ought not to
stir until the return of their ambassadors, whom they expected to
see here again in this town within eight days.

As touching the commendations, thankful acknowledgments, and offers
which, on your part, I have made to them, they have answered, that
as up to this hour they have engaged in that cause, so they are
thoroughly determined to follow it up and persevere for the future;
only they are sorry that matters are not in a better order, and have
charged me to make their commendations to you, promising without
fail to write by me, for that they were not aware of having so safe
a messenger. Having received this answer, Master William and I have
altered our purpose; and we have no doubt you will approve of my
having followed the advice of the Council of this town, seeing that
the course to be followed was somewhat doubtful. It is quite certain
that they would never have wished to detain me without having some
good hope. Would that our Lord might so order and dispose his work
that the issue may be yet better!

The Metz brethren on their part, also, earnestly desire that it may
be so, for the late eschevin,[410] with four of the burgesses, was
at the meeting, and there is still a representative there. As soon
as I am able, you need not doubt that I shall hasten my return; and
were it not that the interval is so short, I would not have failed
to make the journey to offer my excuses in person by word of mouth.
But seeing how the matter rests, it would be to no purpose to leave
a work so well begun. Wherefore, Right worshipful Seigneurs, I
beseech you yet further, that you would be pleased to have patience
for a little while, as indeed also I hope you will, which is the
reason why I do not make you more lengthened excuses.

  [410] Gaspar de Heu, Seigneur de Buy. It was under the
  administration of this magistrate, favourable to the Reformation,
  that Farel had been called to Metz.

For news, the Archbishop of Cologne is wonderfully steadfast in
planting the Evangel in his country;[411] and truly his is a miracle
of zeal, for notwithstanding the resistance he meets with from the
clergy, the university, and the town of Cologne, even, forsooth,
to the extent of openly threatening him with deposition, he does
not on that account relax, but perseveres more stoutly than ever,
entreating the preachers who are with him to make no account of his
person nor rank, but that the Reformation may go forward vigorously,
and as it ought, inasmuch as his conscience urges him to discharge
this duty before his death. He has at present called together the
states of the country, to settle a right form of order and policy
over the churches, and to correct the idolatry; for as touching the
preaching, he had already been determined formerly, seeing that
the whole country, the clergy and the town excepted, have accepted
everywhere the preaching of the Evangel.

  [411] See note 2, p. 320. This prelate, remarkable for his zeal and
  for his piety, had boldly introduced the Reformed doctrines into his
  states, without allowing himself to be intimidated by the opposition
  of his clergy, or the menaces of the Pope. He protested, however,
  against the title of _Lutheran_, declaring, that he wished to order
  his diocese in manner conformable to the apostolic doctrine. In
  1546 he was excommunicated by Pope Paul III., and deposed after the
  battle of Mühlberg.

In the meantime the Emperor makes his preparations for the defence
of the Netherlands against the King,[412] or rather to wreak
vengeance upon the Duke of Cleves, one cannot tell which; howsoever,
he is not yet very far advanced, and it would be rather dangerous
were he to be in too great a hurry. For the Turk approaches with a
great power, and is about to enter Germany on three sides. If that
does not compel him to withdraw altogether, it will at least retard
his movements. If he had leisure to apply himself against the Duke
of Cleves, every one considers that he would get the upper hand.[413]

  [412] That war, which was the last act of the struggle between
  Charles the Fifth and Francis I., was fought simultaneously in the
  Netherlands, in France, and in Italy. The Emperor was in alliance
  with the King of England, Henry VIII.; Francis I. with the Duke
  of Cleves and the Sultan Soliman. Peace was re-established by the
  treaty of Carpy, (18th September 1544.)

  [413] Ill supported by the King of France, the Duke of Cleves was
  overborne by the Emperor, reduced to implore pardon on his knees,
  and dispossessed of a part of his states.

As for the King, he has been hampered for about a month bypast on
account of the continual rain. It has been the news of the last
four days that he was about to march to attack the Duke of Cleves.
But yesterday the news came that he would withdraw. It is not known
whether it is on that account that the English press forward.
Neither is it known for certain that it is so. The Emperor seeks to
borrow the artillery and ammunition belonging to the towns; but he
has not so much credit with them as he would like to have.

To the right honourable and redoubtable Seigneurs: after having
humbly commended me to your kind favour, I pray that our Lord
Jesus would govern you always by his holy Spirit, vouchsafing you
prudence and uprightness in the discharge of your office which he
has committed to you for his own honour and glory, and the safety
of your people, upholding by his holy protection your town and
Seigneury in happy prosperity. Your very humble servant in our Lord,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Archives of Geneva._ No. 1250.]



CVIII.--TO THE AMBASSADORS OF GENEVA.[414]

  [414] To the ambassadors of Geneva at Berne.

     Exposé of the motives which prevent immediate return to
     Geneva--Cologne news and of the Netherlands.


  FROM STRASBOURG, _24th July 1543_.

VERY HONOURED LORDS,--Having received an answer from Smalkald, I
would, with devoted good-will, have desired to come to you at Berne
on my return to Geneva, had I not been prevented by Messieurs of the
Council of this town. The answer was, that they must settle some
other points in the meeting of the convention before they could
take the affair of Metz into consideration. There should, however,
be no remissness on their part, and they would determine before
their departure to hold another meeting, and in the same place, in
order to follow up their proceedings more vigorously, and that
before going to Metz, they would ask safe-conduct as well for the
arbiters deputed as for such as they might bring in company along
with them, without mention of any person to conduct us thither in
greater safety. Having heard this answer, I was of opinion to return
immediately to Geneva, until it were necessary to proceed to Metz,
and that in the meantime Master William could remain here to keep up
the spirits of the Metz brethren and encourage them to persevere.
But Messieurs, the councillors of this town, are of opinion that
we should both of us wait until the arrival of their ambassadors,
who, as they expect, will be here in eight days. I am well inclined
to give good heed to their advice, seeing how faithfully they have
engaged in this affair. Meanwhile, I beseech you to pray the Lord,
that he would not allow me to return without bringing forth some
fruit, since I have waited so long already. I shall also pray to
him on my part, to guide the affair in which you are engaged, in
suchwise that it may be brought to a good issue, and shall return
him hearty thanks, when I shall have heard some tidings, such as I
desire.

I have not leisure to write you the news at length, and besides
I have scarcely any that I know of to tell you but bad, except
that the Archbishop of Cologne shews a marvellous affection on all
occasions to promote the Evangel.[415] It is true that the town and
University of Cologne, with the clergy, made all the resistance
thereto which they could; but so much the more has he shewn
steadfast constancy in going forward. This is the first day of his
meeting with the states of the country, to consult about setting up
an order and policy in the Church: I mean, for their resolving and
carrying into execution that which shall have been agreed, for the
formula is already drawn up. If the Lord vouchsafe him that grace to
get the consent of the States, this will serve to dash the rage of
the adversaries.

  [415] See the preceding Letter, p. 390.

The Emperor continues always his preparations for a descent towards
Brabant, whether it may be to drive back the King or to make an
onset upon the Duke of Cleves. But he does not make his approach
in any great hurry, and besides, he has not made out a case. On the
other hand, there is some danger that the Turk will stop him, who is
coming down with a great force to attack Germany upon three sides.
Were the Emperor able to march forward, the Duke of Cleves could
not sustain the attack unless he had the King's aid, who has been
prevented by the continued rains from approaching. Now of late he
has begun to do so, and was already well advanced, but the rumour is
that he draws back. We do not know whether the English are forced
to withdraw. Howsoever it may turn, it is a sad thing to see such
desolation everywhere throughout Christendom. Would that our Lord,
of his infinite mercy, might consider the miserable condition in
which we are, and albeit that we might very deservedly have been
more sorely visited, that it would please him to withdraw his hand,
vouchsafing to us the spiritual acknowledgment of our sins, in order
to bring us back to himself.

Wherefore, very honoured Lords, after my hearty commendations to
your good graces, I pray the Lord to assist you in the business
which you are gone about, upholding you in real prosperity.--Your
servant and good friend,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr.--Archives of Geneva._ No. 1250.]


CIX.--TO THE SEIGNEURY OF GENEVA.[416]

  [416] The negotiations pending between the Protestant Princes and
  the Magistrates of Metz were prolonged to a wearisome length.
  Tired of a proceeding that seemed to be endless, baulked in his
  expectation of seeing a free access open to the preaching of the
  Reformed doctrine in that town, Calvin sought permission to depart,
  from the Magistrates of Strasbourg, and prepared to return to
  Geneva. The refugees of Metz obtained leave that same year to return
  to their country, with the promise of a Church, and a precarious
  toleration of their worship, which, with much ado, scarcely lasted a
  few months.

     New delay in conclusion of the affair of Metz--Calvin makes
     arrangements for his return to Geneva.


  _13th August 1543._

RIGHT WORSHIPFUL AND VERY HONOURED LORDS,--The eight days which
Messieurs of this town had required me to wait have turned out
to be three weeks, and hitherto we have not gotten any final
resolution, for their chief ambassador has not yet returned from the
court of the Emperor; and it was he who could explain matters, so
that upon his report they might advise further.

But, nevertheless, my conscience goads me to delay no longer, for I
ought not to be carried away to such a degree by the longing desire
to serve the town of Metz, as to overlook the duty which I must
fulfil toward you.

I am more content to have made the journey to no purpose than that I
should weary you out by my tiresome delay. However, I purpose, once
for all, to go for the last time within three days before Messieurs
of the Council, and to state to them that I could stay no longer,
and having done so, to return to Geneva, unless an entrance has been
already obtained into Metz, which is not to be looked for; for the
Council of Metz, instead of replying to the Protestants, has sent
some one to the Emperor in order to protract matters, and will take
care to create delay as much as it can. Our Lord, it is true, can
easily break up and frustrate all their devices, and the chief thing
is to pray to him that he would assist us in the doing of his work,
else we shall be utterly unprofitable, whether it be in counsel or
in action, so far as we are concerned. But I shall make up my mind
to follow as nearly as possible the path which he shall point out to
me, that is to say, to do my utmost for those of Metz; in suchwise,
however, that I may not set aside or neglect your service, seeing
that he has specially bound me to you.

After my humble commendation to your Right worshipful and
redoubtable Seigneury, commending me to your good graces, I
beseech our merciful God to govern you by his Holy Spirit, for
his own glory and the welfare of your town, upholding you in real
prosperity.--Your humble servant,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Archives of Geneva._ No. 1250.]



CX.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.[417]

  [417] _On the back:_ "To my good lord and friend Sire Jacques Le
  Franc."--James de Bourgogne, Seigneur de Falais and of Breda in
  Brabant, great-grandson natural of Philip le Bel, Duke of Burgundy.
  Brought up at the Court of Charles the Fifth, this seigneur adopted,
  in his youth, the Reformed faith, and under the Spanish rule not
  being able to avow his profession, by the advice of Calvin he
  quitted his country, abandoning the whole of his property, which was
  confiscated by a decree of the Court of Malines. Thenceforth devoted
  to perpetual exile, he dwelt successively at Cologne, Strasbourg,
  Basle, Geneva, and maintained an active correspondence with the
  Reformer, who heaped upon him the tokens of his friendship, and
  dedicated to him in 1546 his Commentary on the First Epistle of
  Paul to the Corinthians. These kind relations were unfortunately
  disturbed at a later period on account of the trial of Jerome
  Bolsec, in which M. de Falais openly took part against Calvin.
  The latter keenly resented that act of hostility on the part of a
  friend, which broke up the friendship, without any after healing, in
  1552. The letters of Calvin to M. de Falais have been published in
  the last century at Amsterdam from the originals long preserved in
  that town.--_Lettres de Calvin à Jacques de Bourgogne, Seigneur de
  Falais_, 1 vol. 8vo. Amsterdam, 1744. We republish them here in more
  chronological order, revised and corrected from the originals now
  deposited in the library of Geneva, with some other pieces appended
  which have not hitherto appeared in print.

     Exhorts him to quit his native country and to retire where he
     can make free profession of the Gospel.


  [_14th October 1543._]

MONSIEUR,--How much soever it may be contrary to the usual fashion
of men that I use so much freedom as to address you familiarly by
letter before being better acquainted, nevertheless, since I feel
well assured that my letters shall be agreeable to you, it would be
hypocrisy in me to make lengthy excuses as if there were any doubt
about that. So, therefore, my bearing and behaviour in this respect
shall be as that of one of your friends, without any further preface.

The matter in hand which I have to discourse with you would, indeed,
almost require that we should meet together to talk the matter
over for at least half a day. And in good earnest, for four or
five months past, I have often desired that it might be the good
pleasure of God to afford us that opportunity. And, indeed, up till
this time I have been in doubt, whether for better advice I ought
to entreat you to undertake a journey, in order that, after having
seen and considered more closely, we might be able to determine what
ought to be done. For had the question been, to deal with the matter
in deliberation as at all doubtful, there would have been many
_pros_ and _cons_ to settle before being able to solve it; it would
have been somewhat silly and inconsiderate on my part to attempt to
do so by letter. But at length, I have thought, on the other hand,
that if our Lord hath already bestowed the courage upon you to
visit us in good earnest, to put your confidence in our Lord along
with us, it would be trouble thrown away, and show much besides of
shyness and drawing back, to recommend you to come merely to see
what was done there, to advise you at all upon that head. Wherefore,
I would not recommend you to take that unnecessary trouble, only
to have to begin again afterwards afresh, and that perhaps in less
favourable circumstances than the present.

I understand very well the difficulty in which you are placed if
you look to the world, and those considerations which may keep you
back. But you will need to come to a settled conclusion, to cast
aside everything which shall come in the way to cross you in your
purpose. One ought not, it is true, to take such a step at random,
that is to say, without foundation, and without knowing why or
wherefore. But when you have your conscience assured by a testimony
which is better and stronger than all the world could give you,
you ought to acquiesce therein out and out, and deem besides, that
all the obstacles which interpose to divert or turn you aside, are
scandals which Satan lays before you to block up the way. Howbeit,
to my thinking, there is no great need to allege many reasons to
shew you what to do according to the word of God. I take it for
granted, that you are already clear upon that point. You have only
the regret of what you leave on the one hand, and on the other, the
fear of not meeting with all that you could desire. All worldly
regrets, however, may be overcome by this consideration, that there
is no condition more unhappy than to live in trouble of mind, and
to have a continual warfare raging within one's self, or rather
without ceasing to be tormented by a hell within. Consider, then,
whether you can have peace with God and your own conscience, while
persevering in the state wherein you now are. In the first place,
if the hope of being better off still holds you back, you perceive
plainly enough that the opening abyss grows ever wider, and that
in the end you sink the deeper. Secondly, should it please God to
repair the disorder which prevails at present, what delight would
it afford you if you could say,--While my Master was banished from
this country, I was quite willing to be excluded, and of my own
accord to go and serve him; and now that he is come again, I return
to give him praise? while as yet there is no appearance of his being
about to do so. Wherefore, the course which it most befits you to
take, is to withdraw before you are plunged so deep into the mire
that you are not able to extricate yourself; and, indeed, the sooner
the better. For in such a case you must seize the opportunity when
it presents itself, concluding, that when the Lord vouchsafes the
means, it is as though he opened the door for us; thus it behoves
you thereupon to enter without further trifling or delay, for fear
that it may be shut, while in the meantime we wrangle and debate
about it.

Now, the most seasonable occasion, I conclude, is when he has
broken those heart-ties, as well your own as those of your good
wife, making that easy to you, by the disposedness wherewith he
has inclined you, to what must otherwise have been so full of
difficulty. In such a case, we ought, according to the exhortation
of the holy apostle, to avail ourselves of the gifts of the Spirit,
putting them to profitable use and into practice, and never allow
them to lie dead and useless, fearing lest they may be altogether
quenched through our own negligence. Therefore, since you have
every appliance you could wish for at hand, you ought not to tarry,
for should it so happen, what experience of your faith could
you ever have in that? There cannot be a doubt, that our father
Abraham must have felt great reluctance when he was obliged to
leave his country, and that he had not all things to his liking;
yet nevertheless, without hesitation he hastened forth. If we are
his children, it is only seemly that we do follow him. We have no
express revelation commanding us to leave the country; but seeing
that we have the commandment to honour God, both in body and soul,
wherever we are, what more would we have? It is to us, then, equally
that these words are addressed, _Get thee out of thy country and
from thy kindred_, whenever we are there constrained to act against
our conscience, and cannot live to the glory of God. For the rest,
our Lord will vouchsafe you wisdom to order your steps aright, and
you are yourself in the most favourable position to judge whither
your affairs are tending. I desire, however, that you should be
endeavouring to shake yourself loose, in order that you may feel
yourself more alert and free to act, when you shall have got rid of
these entanglements, with the aid of the good friends whom you have
with you thereabouts, who may be helpful to you both in the way of
advice and painstaking on your behalf.

The worthy seigneur whom you have so much desired to lend some
help,[418] is about to leave, offering to do, for his part, all
that lies in his power in the way of duty; and certes, the zealous
interest he evinces toward you, ought indeed to quicken your motion,
and be like a new spur to increase and stir up the good inclination
which you already possess.

  [418] David de Busanton, Seigneur du Hainaut, in retirement at
  Geneva.

Then as for what remains, we cannot so well manage to settle that
by writing. I shall, however, beseech our heavenly Father, that he
would open your eyes yet more and more, that you may be able to
contemplate what he has already in some measure bestowed upon you,
giving you, besides, strength of endurance to follow the course
which he points out to you; finally, that he would direct you in
everything and throughout all by his Holy Spirit, keeping you in
his protection. Whereupon, I would commend me humbly to your kindly
acceptance, without forgetting the good fellowship of the worthy
Seigneurs who are along with you.

  Your servant, humble brother, and entire friend,
  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CXI.--TO MADAME DE FALAIS.[419]

  [419] _On the back_: "To my lady and good sister Madame Katerine Le
  Franc."

  Iolande de Brederode, of the ancient and illustrious house of
  the Counts of Holland, aunt of Henri de Brederode, who, in 1566,
  presented the request of the four hundred Reformed nobles of the
  Netherlands to Margaret of Austria, and thus laid the foundation
  of the liberty of the United Provinces. Of a stoical and generous
  spirit, Madame de Falais partook the sentiments of her husband, and
  she shared the noble fellowship of the sacrifices which he made for
  the sake of liberty of conscience.

     Christian counsel and exhortations.


  _This 14th October_ [1543.]

MADAME, AND WELL-BELOVED SISTER,--I have no great matter to write
you about at present, unless it be to let you know that I have
received your letter, which affords me a suitable occasion to
thank our Lord for the many graces he has bestowed upon you, and
peculiarly on account of his having thus disposed you to relinquish
and renounce all, to devote yourself wholly to his service. It
is, indeed, only what we ought all of us to do without murmur
or gainsaying, and is even, as it were, the first lesson in the
school of Christ. The greater number of scholars, however, acquit
themselves very badly. On that account, therefore, I praise our
Lord, for that he has made you feel how highly he prizes the glory
of his name, to give it the preference above every other worldly
consideration, and even so to experience what a happiness it is to
serve him with a quiet peaceful conscience, so that you may reckon
_that_ the greatest treasure you could happen upon. As it is,
therefore, quite superfluous to exhort you very much, when I see
that you have already made up your mind as it appears to me, all
that remains for me is to take pains to confirm you in that holy
resolution. Besides, I do earnestly hope, that our Lord has not
kindled such a zealous desire in you, as not also to give you the
grace to reach forward to the mark whereto he urges you forward.
And over and above all, he has already shewn by such considerable
beginnings, that we ought to have confidence in him, that he will
perfect what he hath begun.

It is true also, that on your part you have great bars which lie in
the way to obstruct your progress, and also the gentleman on his
side yet many more. But in putting on the strength of our Lord,
you will not care a straw for them, and skip over them without
difficulty, not, however, so far as the flesh is concerned, but in
suchwise that you shall acknowledge the truth to be fulfilled in
you, according to what the prophet says, "The Lord maketh my feet
like hinds' feet." Only, take care not to let the zeal which the
Lord has bestowed upon you grow cool; but rather to look upon it as
though it were himself who solicits and importunes you to come away.
And should there be some weakness of infirmity about you, first of
all, entreat him specially in prayer that he would correct it, while
on your part you strive against that weakness to get the better of
it. Secondly, beseech him when he shall perceive that you come on
too slowly, that he would take you by the hand, and, as it were,
deliver you in spite of yourself. There cannot be any doubt but that
Sarah was a great solace to our father Abraham, when he had to set
forth upon his journey. Follow you her footsteps like one of her
daughters, for we see from the example of Lot's wife what is the
consequence of looking back. Howsoever that may be, I do entertain
the assurance that you have not put a hand to the plough, meaning to
look behind and turn back upon it.

If this letter had been presented to you by a messenger who was
altogether a stranger, I would have been possibly somewhat more
lengthened in my address; but when the messenger can himself supply
what is deficient in the letters, we must not cast such discredit
upon him as to write all that we would have you to know, as if
he had not a mouth to speak for himself. For this reason I shall
conclude this letter, after having commended me affectionately to
your kind favour, and having prayed our Lord that he would carry
forward his work in you, leading you even by his Holy Spirit, both
to the knowledge and the obedience of his good will, giving also
strength and prudence to him who ought to be your guide, to go
before, to urge you by his example, and also that he would be so
gracious to you as to make you a helpmate as he has ordained. I
shall await the return of the kind gentleman, the present bearer,
not without having a great desire to see you.

  Your servant, humble brother, and entire friend,
  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CXII.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.[420]

  [420] This letter is without date; but Calvin might have written it
  shortly after the two which precede it, in order to overcome the
  last scruples of M. de Falais, then on the point of abandoning his
  fortune and his country.

     Further exhortation to decide him on quitting his country.


  GENEVA, [1543.]

MONSIEUR,--Although I rely with confidence in our gracious God,
that as he has guided you hitherto, bestowing grace to overcome
many difficulties, which might have turned you aside out of the
straight road, he will also in time coming vouchsafe you strength
to resist all the assaults which Satan can muster up against you,
nevertheless, when I consider the danger wherein you now are,
already harassed by so many temptations, as I see them arrayed and
set in order, I could not refrain from reminding you, that the
benefits which God hath bestowed upon us, indeed require that we
should prefer his honour to all the world besides, and that the
hope of salvation which we have by his Evangel is so precious,
that we ought readily to forego all meaner considerations, in so
far as they hinder us from reaching forward to that hope, and that
we ought to have such contentment in conforming ourselves to his
will, that whensoever the question arises of our displeasing the
whole world, that we may obey his pleasure, it is good for us. Not
that he does not put you in mind of this without my warnings; for
I am well assured, that foreseeing the occurrence of temptations,
you have taken good care to arm and furnish yourself beforehand by
meditation upon these things. And can you not say as much, moreover,
that you have that imprinted on the heart? But well do I know how
profitable it will be for you to hear a word or two of exhortation
from your friends, for that will serve very much to confirm you. I
have sometimes experienced this myself. On the other hand, had this
only been the point in consideration, that in this manner I might
express the anxiety which we entertain about you in this quarter,
that of itself were quite a sufficient reason for me. That, besides,
such as it is, ought to be an argument to persuade you of our desire
to have good accounts of you, that we may have occasion to return
thanks to God, having understood that you are spared, or rather
that he shall so have tried you, that he will, notwithstanding,
have given you courage to overcome all the wiles of the devil. If
you have to fight, and that should be the will of God, reckon that
it is but a passing tempest, and that you can betake yourself to
a covering shelter from the storm--for we have no other retreat
than that of our God--let us then hide ourselves there, and we
shall be in security. The hope of our being able to reform by the
instrumentality of human means is very small. Wherefore, we must not
repent of having come forward, nor of our on-waiting in following
of God, even should the whole world pass on before us. And even now
we must not draw back on that account; for whosoever shall do so
will find himself deceived. Let us firmly hope that at length the
Lord will take pity upon his Church. But let every one proceed just
according as he is called, and let him who has more grace shew the
way to others. This is what ought to make you bethink yourself, that
is to say, that you are so much the more obliged to run quicker than
many others, on account of our Lord having given you the power, and
having also brought you to the spot, from whence it is not allowable
for you to withdraw to the rear. And in fact, when a man has once
withdrawn himself from that abyss of the spiritual captivity, or
rather, has been delivered by the hand of God, should it so happen
him to be engulfed anew, and to depart from the liberty which the
Lord had vouchsafed him, he is quite overwhelmed when he finds
himself in a state of confusion, from whence it is not possible to
come forth.

I say this, not because I think it shall happen, or that I distrust
you, for, as I have protested from the beginning, I feel well
assured that nothing will shake your resolution; but we must not be
wanting in stirring up one another, however well disposed we may
be; and all the more that we have been deliberating with ourselves,
we are the more glad when our friends hold out a helping hand to
strengthen us. In short, I just do what I would desire you to do to
me were I in your situation, and I never doubt but that you will
take it with the same heart as that from which it proceeds.

Wherefore, Monsieur, after my humble commendation to your kind
favour and to that of Madame, I beseech the God of grace always to
manifest himself for your protection, and to defeat the wiles of
Satan; so that, having full hope in him, you may not have any other
motive but to glorify his name, and that he would so strengthen
you in constancy that you may never be disturbed by the fear of
man, nor stunned by the uproar which they shall make, but he would
so sanctify you that himself may be the place and palace of your
sanctification.

  Your humble brother and servant always,
  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CXIII.--TO VIRET.[421]

  [421] Regent in the College of Geneva, Sebastian Castalio sought
  also to have the title of minister, as we see from the Council
  Register, January 1544, "Sebastian Chatillon, regent. Calvin
  represents to the Council, that it is very right to employ the
  Regent, but not in that office of the ministry, _on account of
  certain peculiar opinions which he entertains_." These opinions
  which were called in question, were his doubts on the doctrine
  of election, on the descent of Jesus Christ to hell, and on the
  authenticity of the Song of Solomon. Offended at not being able to
  obtain the office and functions of a minister, Castalio denuded
  himself of those of regent, and prepared to leave Geneva, provided
  with the most honourable attestations of the pastors of that town.

     The ministerial office refused to Castalio--The marriage of
     Bonnivard, Abbot of St. Victor.


  _11th February 1544._

SEBASTIAN has set out with our letters to you. Would that either he
might consider more advisedly what was best for himself, or that we
might have fallen upon some method by which we could have contented
him without disadvantage to the Church. When his old situation with
us had been kept open for him, he refused to stay unless we should
add somewhat to his stipend. This could not be obtained from the
Senate. To me it seemed better to say nothing whatever about the
reason why he could not be admitted to the office of the ministry,
or to hint merely, that somewhat of a hindrance lay in the way,
and thus to prevent all unpleasant suspicions, so that the public
estimation in which he is held should suffer no diminution. My
intention was, that I might spare him, which I would willingly have
managed, (although, perhaps, not without incurring displeasure,)
if he would only have suffered me. The case, therefore, at his own
request, was discussed in Council, but without any difference of
opinion. I am truly sorry on his own account, and all the more so,
because I fear that he may not find in your quarter that which he
desires. Do you look after him, and help him to the utmost of your
power. What his opinion of me may happen to be, gives me no concern
whatever. Raymond, assuredly, so far as he could, has lately torn
me in pieces during my absence, by venting the most outrageous
invectives. There is no need, however, of my annoying you by
repeating them over. Depend upon it, however, there is nobody here
so perversely saucy who would venture upon the half of what he said.
I bear with it all, notwithstanding, and conceal my knowledge of it,
except that among the brethren, I have complained that there were
some who did not speak and feel kindly concerning me. But let us not
stop to consider such trifles. Do you know that the Abbot of Saint
Victor, and the mother of Corne, by their unsuitable marriage, have
afforded us plenty of sport in the way of joking?[422] Adieu, my
dear brother; salute Celio, Ribitti, your family, and the rest of
our friends. May the Lord preserve both you and them.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [422] Francis de Bonnivard, prior of St. Victor, celebrated for
  his wise and prudent spirit, his talents, and above all, by his
  long captivity in the Castle of Chillon. Restored to liberty on the
  conquest of the Pays de Vaud by the Bernese, he returned to his
  own country, and was charged with the editing of the Chronicles of
  Geneva. Having been married previously to Catherine Baumgartner of
  Berne, he married, in 1544, Jeanne d'Armeis, herself at that time
  widow of two husbands, and mother of the Syndic Amblard Corne. This
  marriage was not a happy one, and the quarrels of the two spouses
  drew upon them more than once the censures of the Consistory. See
  _Notice of Francis Bonnivard, Prieur of St. Victor_, by Doctor
  Chaponnière. Genève, 1546.



CXIV.--TO BULLINGER.

     Conclusion of an arrangement between Berne and Geneva.


  GENEVA, [_17th February 1544_.]

I have never yet replied to your letter in which you admonished me
of the need there was that those disputes between the Bernese and
our people which were then astir[423] might be settled by friendly
arbitration, and wherein you also requested that so far as was
allowable for me, I would constantly interpose to prevent that
useless quarrel on both sides from creeping on any further at so
unseasonable a time. Albeit, however, that you only spurred me on
when running in that direction of my own accord, it has helped me
forward not a little when I was almost exhausted in rolling this
stone already, to be goaded forward by this new impulse, that I
might not give in before the matter was finished. And besides, that
you may be all the better aware of how much service your exhortation
and those of others have been to me, I was very nearly ten times
over beginning to lose courage and to despond. It was not without
great difficulty brought about, that the former judgment which had
been passed at Basle was received here, and the second proved yet
more troublesome to me, for more than ever had been yielded by it
to the Bernese; and our people, because they now considered that
they had fully discharged their duty, became all the more difficult
to manage. Thereupon, it behoved me all the more to set my whole
energies to work, and although my labour was not far from being
thrown away to no purpose, when I was beginning almost to despair of
a happy settlement, the Lord, altogether unexpectedly, shone forth
marvellously upon us. At present, therefore, by the blessing of
God, we enjoy not only peace, but also the most perfect agreement
which I trust shall be firm. Adieu, most learned sir, and my very
dear brother in the Lord. Salute reverently D. Pellican, Theodore,
Megander, Gualther, and the rest of the brethren. May the Lord ever
direct you all by his own Spirit.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

My colleagues salute you all.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [423] After five years of embroilments and continued struggles
  between Berne and Geneva on account of the disputed territories then
  in litigation, peace was at length re-established between the two
  towns by the definitive sentence of the deputies of Basle, chosen
  as arbiters, (January 1544.) This decision, accepted equally by
  both parties, divided between them the jurisdiction of the lands
  belonging to Saint Victor, and the Charter granted to the Genevese
  fourteen cures or benefices out of the dependencies of the ancient
  bishopric, with power to place ministers; discharged the Bernese
  from the oath which those of Geneva pretended to be due to them on
  account of the occupation of the bailliages of Gex and of Ternier;
  and last of all stipulated for the free return of the banished
  exiles of Geneva, after the troubles of 1540.--See the _Chronique_
  de Roset, l. iv. c. 65; and Ruchat, _Hist. de la Réf._ tom. v. pp.
  240, 241.



CXV.--TO VIRET.

     Farther details of the arrangements with the Bernese--recall of
     the refugees--preparation of several works--disagreements with
     Castalio.


  GENEVA, _March 1544_.

When scarce a day passes in which some messenger does not set out
hence direct for you to whom I could commit my letter, I shall not
throw away time in excusing myself, that you may not believe it has
happened through my neglect, that for so long I have never written
you, when you would not only be desirous to know somewhat of our
affairs, but had also requested that I would do so. Howbeit, you
must not impute it to neglect, that I have for a while delayed.
For while the deputies were here, because nought had been settled,
I was unwilling to write to no purpose. Lately, when Nicolas and
William went away I had scarcely time to write a short letter to
Germany. With the exception of these two, no one else presented an
opportunity. I could have found one if I had made inquiry. In so far
I confess that I was negligent. When, however, I was about to give
the letter to Godfrey's son, in came Ribitti in the meantime, to
whom I have briefly narrated the story of the agreement.

It would be tiresome to enumerate all the details. Let it suffice
that you have the sum and substance.[424] The winding-up of the
whole business leads me to hope well for the future. For the Bernese
deputies, having got the business brought to a settlement according
to their own heart's desire, went away homeward rejoicing. And
our own friends, although they have not obtained all they wished,
are nevertheless very well satisfied. So far as I can forecast in
my own judgment, it will be not only a sure and firm peace, but a
lasting friendship. Lambert, the provost of the city, has married
his step-daughter to the son of Amy Chapeaurouge.[425] Thus you have
some prospect of an amnesty.[426] Ever since our exiles first heard
that the magistrates are so ready to set open the gates, they also
pant wishfully to return. There is now a stir made about Vanzy,
and, so far as one may conjecture, he will obtain what he asks,
for the prospect of money is pleasant and inviting: and the more
headstrong spirits have already been tamed. One is restored already,
the son-in-law of Francis Favre, at the request of Amy Perrin, who
wishes to entrust him with the management of Melchior's tavern,
which he holds at present as tutor or trustee.

  [424] See the preceding Letter.

  [425] One of the Genevese refugees at Berne, belonging to one of the
  most distinguished families of the republic.

  [426] In the original: ἀμνήστιας. During the period of Calvin's
  banishment to Strasbourg, several parties had arisen at Geneva. The
  most important was that of the _Articulans_, or of the _Artichaud_,
  whose chiefs, after having possessed supreme power for some time,
  were either put to death or banished, in consequence of a popular
  reaction. Several of the exiles retired to Berne, whence, after
  matters in dispute had been arranged between the two cities, they
  were permitted to return to Geneva--Spon, _Hist. de Genève_, tom. i.
  pp. 281, 282, Note O.


I have spoken to the deputies about you; for I wished to sound them
whether we could draw you thence to ourselves. They refused however,
but in such a way that it did not look as if they would be stubborn,
if our people were some time to push the matter. I have offered my
service to Girard, if there should be occasion for it. That the
work should be dedicated to the Bernese, would not be according to
my mind,[427] unless you shall have ascertained beforehand from the
secretary, that such a mark of respect would neither be displeasing
to them nor hurtful to you. I had heard that you were meditating
somewhat against the Sorbonne articles,[428] which I earnestly would
desire may be true; but Ribitti replied, that he had heard nothing
of it. I wish therefore you would do so, and that you would write
me back word that it is done. There are very many indeed in France
who desire to see it. I have been requested by some of them. You
can, if you will, relieve me of this undertaking. Those of Neuchatel
tease me incessantly for another book against a certain work of the
Anabaptists.[429]

  [427] Without doubt the Dialogues of Viret, _Dialogi de Confusione
  Mundi_, published in Latin and French. Geneva, 1545.

  [428] "It was," says Th. de Bèze, "in this year (1543) that those
  of Sorbonne, with the connivance of the bishops, usurped the
  authority of making articles of faith on the controverted questions
  of our time in the matter of religion."--_Hist. Eccl._ tom. i. p.
  33. It was not Viret who replied to that strange pretension of the
  Sorbonne, but Calvin. The answer of the Reformer, a model of pith
  and irony, appeared in 1544, under the title, _Les Articles de la
  Sacrée Faculté de Théologie de Paris, avec le Remède contre le
  Poison_.--_Recueil des Opuscules_, p. 71.

  [429] _Brieve Instruction pour armer tout bon Fidèle contre les
  Erreurs de la Secte Commune des Anobaptistes_: Geneva, 1544.
  Inserted in the Recueil des Opuscules, with a preface by Calvin to
  the Ministers of the Churches of the county of Neuchatel, 1st June
  1544.

Ribitti also in an off hand way dealt somewhat with me about
Sebastian,[430] and seemed to press home, that he ought not to be
passed over by us. When he often repeated the expression, What would
I wish him to do? I replied, somewhat roused, that I would willingly
give way, but that I ought not to be so hard pressed to admit him
against the voice of conscience. He objected to that, that he had
been in the office of the ministry. I denied that; and added, that
he had been sent to preach without any previous examination while I
was absent, and without my knowledge; it was not fair, therefore, to
charge that upon me. I could not rightly understand whether he was
in jest or in earnest when we came upon the mention of Canticles;
but his opinion seemed to me not to differ greatly from that of
Sebastian. Concerning the descent of Christ to hell, we exchanged
not more than three words; for our conversation was broken off by
the entrance of some visitors.

  [430] Sebastian Castalio.

What Sebastian would be at I know not, in boasting that my
friends are surprised and laugh at the thought of my adducing the
forty-fifth psalm for the defence of the Song of Solomon, and
since the descent of Christ to hell in the Creed is subjoined
to the burial, bringing forward for the confirmation of my own
interpretation, that expression which he uttered while hanging on
the cross--My God, &c. But I can bear his mockery, as well as that
of others, patiently and willingly. I am not at all alarmed at the
conceit of their being able to overcome me by reasonable argument.
This only I would beseech of you, that you do not interfere with
me about Sebastian. So far as I have been able to collect from his
discourse in conversation, he entertains such an opinion of _me_,
that it is almost impossible we can ever agree together. I express
myself to you in a way that I would not write to others. Nor indeed
have I any reason to complain of your having hitherto given me any
trouble on that score.

A little while after his return, I wished to know what those
particular acts were in regard to which he deemed that it would
be of advantage to myself and to the Church that I should be
admonished. I have only been able to extort two. That there was a
certain native of Berne who had been informed by myself what it was
about the Canticle that I so much disapproved in him. I refuted this
calumny. The other offence was, that my colleagues flattered me. I
answered him with a suitable response. He had nothing more to say.
I was sorry for him. I could wish, that without offence provision
were made for him somewhere; and willingly to the best of my ability
would I exert myself for that purpose. His learning and genius I
highly esteem. Only I could wish that it were allied to a better
judgment--the judgment regulated by prudence, and that overweening
confidence which he has conceived from a false persuasion that he
has discovered a more excellent [_i.e._, _moderate_] way, were
entirely uprooted out of his mind.

Adieu, my very dear brother and sound friend; kind salutation to the
brethren, your wife, and your aunt. The Lord preserve you all. My
wife dutifully salutes you and your family.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



CXVI.--TO THE MINISTERS OF NEUCHATEL.[431]

  [431] The Doctor John Chaponneau, _aneien moine_ of the Abbaye
  of Saint Amboise, at Bourges, become minister of the Church of
  Neuchatel, had attacked in some points the doctrine of the book of
  the "_Institution Chrétienne_." Calvin answered his observations
  in a few words. Chaponneau did not feel satisfied, and repeated
  his attacks with extreme violence. The subject of debate was the
  Divinity of Christ, seriously altered by the rash interpretations
  of Chaponneau. The reply of the Reformer, written at the request of
  Farel, was addressed to the pastors of the Church of Neuchatel.

     Controversy with Chaponneau regarding the Divinity of Christ.


  GENEVA, _28th May_ [1544.]

It has much grieved me, my very dear brethren in the Lord, that
your letter was not sooner delivered, for had I received it in time
your wish would have been complied with, if not to the full extent,
yet, at all events, partially. That I did not, therefore, come to
Neuchatel on the day appointed, nor send an answer, arose from no
neglect, but only because John Roger, the chirurgeon, upon the sixth
day after his arrival here, at length presented your said letter,
along with those pretty articles of Courtois.[432] Because, however,
the time had gone by, I did not think that there was any need to be
in greater haste, until an occasion for writing should offer itself.
Our brother Michael now presents himself, who will faithfully bring
you my reply.

  [432] Son-in-law of the minister Chaponneau, whose opinions he no
  doubt shared.

As for Chaponneau, one may well wonder what would induce him to
disturb the Church, if I had not known, long ago, the nature and
disposition of the man. There is, however, this peculiarity about
it, which I cannot but wonder at. I mean, what can be the cause
or pretext why he wishes to dispute with me? If he had done so on
provocation, even then the excuse would not have been sufficient to
justify him. Neither are we called to the office of the ministry in
order that we may contend among ourselves, but that with cordial
unanimity, and by common consent, we may wage war under the banner
of Christ. But at this present time, when there is nothing whatever,
so far as I am aware, either of rancour or of controversy astir
among us, the man must be utterly without brains who sounds the
war-trumpet so rashly in the midst of peace. Moreover, how very
senseless is it, on his part, who has never been well taught the
elements of grammar, to put himself forward and boast of all sorts
of learning, although this is not the first time he has begun to wax
insolent with his empty vapouring! I remember that when Alciat[433]
had upon some occasion reproved the theologasters of Louvaine,
because they had endeavoured to prevent the institution of a college
of the three languages in that city, Chaponneau, in a noisy and
intemperate oration, declaimed against the study of languages and
the civil law. Alciat, offended at such distempered folly, but, at
the same time, conceiving it to be inconsistent with the dignity
of his station to enter into a dispute with such a person, merely
gave intimation to the magistrate, and requested that he would
restrain his disorderly impertinence, which was done accordingly,
and not without disgrace to the offender. Now-a-days, the place of
his abode, and the office which he fills, ought to make him more
moderate; but because he is so injudicious, so borne along by a
blind and unbridled impulse, I shall consider not so much what his
effrontery deserves as what is becoming and proper on my part.
Certainly I shall not so far yield to him the advantage as to enable
him to boast that I was drawn into strife upon his provocation.
Would that he might only be quiet in time, and allow others also to
be quiet; but, if otherwise, it clearly belongs to you, of your own
authority, by lawful process of the Church and of the magistrate,
to repress his violence. It is not without reason that Paul has
written, that he who would be considered as belonging to the kingdom
of Christ must be a new creature; and yet I think there did not then
exist men of this sort among them--disturbers of the peace, and
without any due regard either of place or person, who would be ever
prompt and ready, for no cause whatever, not merely to enter upon
a brawl or quarrel, but even to come to blows. O the wretchedness
of these our times! Is it possible that even in the remotest corner
of the Church, there can be found a place for one who dares openly
to boast, as if it were a noble deed, that he had almost laid
violent hands upon his own colleague,--who unless compelled by the
authority of the civil magistrate, refuses a willing obedience to
the Presbytery,--who makes his house a very hot-bed and nursery
of sedition,--who takes counsel apart from all the rest?--to say
nothing about other matters, which it is of no use, and can answer
no good purpose at present to commemorate.

  [433] The celebrated jurisconsult, Andrew Alciat, from Milan, whose
  instruction Calvin had received at the University of Bourges.
  He lectured upon Law alternately in the schools of France and
  Italy, and died in 1546, leaving numerous disciples in the various
  countries of Europe.

As for those conclusions, which, as you suspect, he has suggested
to Courtois, his son-in-law, I know not why you suppose that the
greater part refer to me. There is one passage, indeed, in which he
plainly approaches near enough to touch me. I see nought besides
which suits me in the application. In so far as relates to that
passage, wherein, as if from the tripod, he pronounces, oracularly,
those persons to be heretics who say that Christ, inasmuch as he
is God, is self-existent, the reply is easy. First of all let
him answer me, whether Christ is true and perfect God. Except he
would have the essence of God to be divided, he will be forced to
acknowledge that that exists entire in Christ. And the words of Paul
are express, "that in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead."
Again, I ask, has he that fulness of Deity in or of himself, or has
he derived it from elsewhere? But he objects, that the Son is of or
from the Father. Now, I have not only always willingly acknowledged
that, but, indeed, have also preached the same doctrine. The point
is this, however, wherein these asses are mistaken; they do not
consider that the name of Son is spoken concerning the Person,
and therefore is contained in the terms employed in defining the
relation, which relation is not brought in question where the
Divinity of Christ is simply treated of; on which subject, Augustine
treats elegantly upon the 68th Psalm, which writer these same
persons make a boast of, when, notwithstanding, they have never
read anything of his except some rhapsodies or other. The words
are--_If any one asks whether the Father may be said to be the same
as the Son? Reply, As regards the substance, he is the same; not
relatively, in so far as it is spoken of anything else. Of himself,
he is called God. In relation to the Father, he is called the Son;
and again, on the other hand, the Father, in reference to himself,
is called God; in reference to the Son, he is called Father. When
what is spoken relates to the Son, the Father is not the Son. When
he is spoken of as the Son in his relation to the Father, he is not
the Father. When what is spoken relates to the Father and the Son
as self-existent, this is the Father and the Son, the same God._ So
far Augustine. Now, that distinction being employed, what further
ambiguity, I beseech you, remains about the matter in question?
Wherefore, the same holy man, in the 39th homily on John, after
he moved this question, In what manner the Father and the Son are
the Beginning? [Principium,] he makes use of this solution, that
mention is here made of number, in so far as they have relation to
each other, not, however, as regards the essence. Also, on the 109th
Psalm; _If the Father is the Beginning, he says, are there not two
Beginnings? By no means; for as the Father is God, and the Son God,
so each is the Beginning. Neither are there two, but one Beginning._
Now, let your little masterling go his way, and, with a bold front,
flout at us. The 38th homily also, concerning time, which has for
title, "Concerning the Trinity and the Dove," treats copiously of
how much importance it is to make a distinction according as we
consider the relations or the essence of the Godhead. Should,
however, his obstinacy not yet be tamed or broken in, I do not
refuse to be called a heretic by such a wild beast, provided only
that I may have Cyril for my companion, who makes use of the same
expressions more than once. But how monstrous it is to declare that
to be heresy which has so many illustrious testimonies, both in the
Sacred Oracles and in the writings of the ancient Fathers!

This small particular excepted, I observe nought else that he could
apply to me, although this does not touch me alone but applies to
every one of you who have made a profession along with us, which
contains that same doctrine. It is, therefore, your duty, and common
to you all, to follow up this reproach which is cast upon _you_ and
on the truth itself. Which unless you do, I have determined for
my own part never to yield; I mean, if there is any one there who
confesses himself to be the author of these fine conclusions. Why
should I weary you, and myself at the same time, all to no purpose
in discussing the others?

He preaches a great deal about charity, and frets and fumes
grievously that it has not been well observed among us. I would
like, however, to know what sort of charity that is, to cut off from
the Church those who, agreeing entirely in the doctrinal sense with
all the godly, merely reject certain forms of expression: "For what
can be more contentious," says Augustine, writing to Pascentius,
Epistle cxxiv., "than where one is agreed upon the doctrine in
dispute, to contend about the person?" If even yet he must hold us
suspect, I might allow him to do so, but in such an excessive rigour
I cannot discover the meekness of charity.

As regards the essence of the Godhead, how puerile to say that the
Fathers did not see it before the coming of Christ! I ask, indeed,
with what kind of eyes the essence of God can now be seen by the
souls of the dead? Does he suppose that the glory of God, infinite
as it is, can be seen or comprehended by _them_? He will say, that
he is to be seen, not as he is, but in suchwise as the weakness of
our perception admits of. I then reply, that it was visible, in some
degree, even before the advent of Christ, that now at length he is
revealed in greater fulness, and that we shall see him perfectly,
when we shall have been made like unto him. He objects, however,
that the whole choir of the saints cry out against this. But where
has _he_ heard that heavenly choir intoning this complaint? He
opposes my arguments, but on what ground? Boastingly he vaunts, that
it can very easily be proven: let him, however, make this easiness
of proof quite evident by demonstration.

So far have I deigned to trifle, and to answer him according to his
folly. I may now address you seriously. Consider well, I beseech
you, whitherward these speculations tend. Are they not of that sort
which Paul so highly disapproves? That the Spirit was not united to
the Dove, so as to be constituted one person as there is one person
in Christ, I consider to be beyond all dispute. That he takes away
the perfection of faith from Joseph and Nicodemus, I am not inclined
to question, provided he does not bestow it on any other. That the
spirit of prophecy has not always continued steadfast even in the
prophets, Saul presents a striking example, I do acknowledge. But
perhaps _he_ takes another view of it, which I could not admit.
Concerning Ananias and Sapphira, he must shew that some other crime
beyond lying and falsehood was punished in their case, if he wishes
any reliance to be placed on his comment. It is no way surprising
that in such an animated style he defends the Allegories; for those
who have not an atom of understanding, unless to trifle with frigid
and insipid allegories, very naturally contend for them as if they
were contending for their family altars and their own firesides. But
I am growing more tedious than I had resolved to be; I therefore
make an end. Adieu, my very dear brethren in the Lord. May the Lord
increase you more and more both in wisdom and strength, that you
may go forward in the upbuilding of his Church as you had begun.
Amen.--Your own,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. copy._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 111.]



CXVII.--TO FAREL.[434]

  [434] The Church of Geneva, set up as a butt for the attacks and
  blackening defamation of her maligners who were unwilling to
  submit to the authority of her discipline, had also to lament the
  _scandales_ occasioned by the conduct of many of her pastors. Two
  of Calvin's colleagues, Henry de la Mare and Champereau, were not
  ashamed to frequent the taverns and _cabarets_, and so to expose the
  office of the ministry to the mockeries of insolent raillery, and
  those who took a pleasure in repeating that the ministers wished
  to make Canons of them.--_Chronique_ de Roset, lib. v. c. 2 et
  3.--Grieved on account of these scandals, but without the power of
  repressing them, Calvin found vent to his sorrow in the intimacy of
  his correspondence with Farel and Viret.

     Struggles and difficulties of Calvin at Geneva--quarrels of the
     ministers--violent attacks of Castalio--dissatisfaction of the
     deputies from Berne--reappearance of the plague--dangers of the
     Church.


  GENEVA, _30th May 1544_.

For the second time, I now begin to learn what it is to dwell at
Geneva. I am, indeed, beset with thousand briers. These two months
bypast we have had serious wranglings among my colleagues, and
they have even gone so far, that out of four it is quite evident
that two have perjured themselves. Of which crime, if they who
were accused had been given up to justice, a crying scandal would
have arisen. The cases, indeed, were diverse, also happened at
different times, so that the one party threw back the accusation
upon the other. When the truth could not be got at, either by oral
testimony or by home arguments, I was obliged to commend the cases
to the special judgment of God, and having done so, have settled
the dispute on both sides. For what else could I have done? Had
both of them been cast out, the innocent party must have suffered
wrongfully, and the example instead of doing good would be of evil
consequence. I was besides afraid lest, should the affair come to
be generally talked about, it might be said they were cast out upon
an uncertainty. The infamy in the meantime, however, would settle
down upon our order. Somehow or other it fell out crosswise, that
one who had also been a monk, a boon companion and crony of some
of them, and has scarcely ever been here among the brotherhood,
has so traduced their manner of life, and of certain others, both
in writing and in conversation, that none could be more vile than
we if the discreditable impeachment should spread any wider. I
called together my colleagues; complained bitterly of them all,
for that the whole of this affair was to be imputed entirely to
them. I said, that indeed I was quite well aware that that frantic
blockhead had been furnished with the weapons of his annoyance by
themselves; but that however that might be, they must now combine
their wits together for the purpose of extinguishing, as it were,
a common conflagration. I told them besides, that the hand of
the Lord pressed heavily upon us, and that he would avenge the
perjuries which attached to us. It would not be at all wonderful,
if, on account of so much wickedness and cursing, the wrath of the
Lord should begin to wax hot against us, which of old, because of
the sinful conduct of only one individual, had raged so fiercely
against the whole Israelitish people. I took care also to let them
know, that this would never cease nor come to an end until our
presbytery should be cleansed from those crimes by which it had
been defiled. And in conclusion I exhorted them, each to examine
himself and to look within, in suchwise as to confess that he was
punished deservedly. Yet, forsooth, so far were they from giving
heed to what I said, that forthwith they thought of nothing else
than how they might have their revenge, at least some of them. That
same monk I have mentioned was employed by these two brethren, of
whom there was a strong suspicion that they had been cognizant,
yea, even aiders and abettors of the accusation. Certain persons
reported underhand of one of them, that he had said many insolent
things against the magistracy, and that a large proportion of the
senators had been sorely wounded by slanderous insinuations. Now,
you know well enough by experience how sensitive and irritable our
senate is whenever it is touched. As soon as I was informed of
this, I called all my colleagues together, told them beforehand what
would happen, and also threatened, that in the event of anything
more serious occurring, I was not going to wait patiently to be
involved in such troubles along with them; and that when I was gone
away, they would feel whether their own shoulders were broad enough
to bear up under such a burden. Meanwhile, the nobleman I referred
to, has been cast into prison; to clear himself, he flings back an
accusation upon our colleague Louis,[435] which can scarcely have
other issue than in a sentence of death or banishment. The former
has several witnesses who can prove that this latter person had
said, that the Syndics of the former year had been elected, with
the clear understanding, that in the event of their committing
misdemeanours, they should be punished capitally, and many things to
the same purpose. On the other hand, our friend Sebastian has been
raging against us with the utmost violence. There were about sixty
persons present yesterday when the Scripture was being expounded.
The passage under consideration was:--"Approving themselves as
the ministers of God in all long-suffering," &c. He shrouded his
attack under cover of a perpetual antithesis, in such a way as to
shew that we were in all respects the very opposite of what the
ministers of Christ ought to be. It was much after this fashion
that he played with the subject:--That Paul had been the servant of
God, we served ourselves; that he had been one of the most patient
of men, we the most impatient; that he had been a night-watcher
in order to lay himself out for the edification of the Church,
but that we kept watch by playing ourselves; that Paul was sober,
we were drunken; that he and the Christians of his time had been
harassed and vexed on account of seditions, while we made it our
business to set them astir; that he was chaste, while we had been
whoremongers; that the apostle had himself been shut up in prison,
but we got people cooped up even for an offensive word; that he
used only the power of God, while we had recourse to that of the
magistrate; that he had suffered from the attack of others, we made
it our study to persecute the innocent. What more need I say? It
was certainly altogether a bloody oration. At the time, I was quite
mute, lest some greater strife might be kindled in the presence
of so many strangers, but I laid a complaint before the Syndics.
These were the ominous intimation of the commencement of all sorts
of schism. It was not so much the perverse manner of his setting
about the attack, and the wrong-headed obstinacy of his ill-minded
malediction, that has moved me to undertake the repression of the
man's restless and froward temper, as because he had slandered us
by the falsest calumnies. You must now perceive the kind of straits
and difficulties which so down-weigh me. And that nought might be
wanting to my misery, or rather to fill the cup of my miseries,
the deputies of Berne, Negueli and d'Erlach the elder, have lately
departed hence in high dudgeon, because they could not arrive at
any reasonable settlement with our authorities here about the
boundaries, which is all the more ungracious, inasmuch as they
were contending about just nothing at all. And indeed, as I hear,
there are certain busybodies, in the places of public resort, who
appeal to me as if I were in my own person the sponsor and arbiter
of peace, when, themselves, by reason of their obstinacy and insane
pride, as much as in them lies, do break away from all peaceable
agreement.

  [435] The Minister Louis de Geniston.

I now come to your letter: Marcourt[436] I had so far excused,
that you might not suppose that he had come here upon any previous
arrangement. Indeed, I was aware that his journey was quite upon
another design. There is, however, no denying that he was delighted
on account of the disturbances, and had done his utmost to increase
them. I am no way surprised that your colleague is somewhat stirred
against me; for I have discharged freely enough my own bile both on
Marcourt and the others. The arrangement had been gone into as to
Viret, without my being made aware of it, notwithstanding that I had
taken care long ago to point out that what has been done was what
should be done. When our deputies, however, had returned from Berne,
all of a sudden and beyond my expectation, I have heard that Viret
is coming hither to be our colleague for six months. I returned
thanks to the Bernese deputies because they openly announced that it
had been so arranged at my request. It now remains for the brethren
to give their assent, which, as I expect, will not be very difficult
to be had. The book[437] would have been thrown off ere now had not
the press been occupied with the Dialogues of Viret. I was unwilling
that the printers should be called away from that job, that I
might not appear to set a higher value on my own work than was
befitting. In a short time, however, it will make its appearance.
Bernard, Geniston, and the rest salute you most kindly--indeed, and
in truth, our own family over and over again, Textor, also, who
was called up hither by Baudry, who has fallen into a speechless
state. The disease, so far as I can understand, will prove
incurable. Textor apprehends danger from suffocation; but should
he escape that evil he is still liable to be consumed and wasted
by atrophy. The pestilence again alarms us, and seems to be on the
increase. My little daughter labours under a continual fever.[438]
A rumour has lately been brought hither of the dissolution of the
Imperial diet.[439] They said that the Emperor thought of going to
Strasbourg; now it is reported that he is bound to Metz, but we have
no certain intelligence. In Italy the French have hitherto carried
all before them.[440] But whichever shall gain the upper hand,
either way it must prove calamitous and very disastrous for the
Christian world. May the Lord look in mercy upon us. Again, my very
dear brother, adieu. Salute all the brethren and your own household.
The Lord preserve you all.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [436] Marcourt, senior minister of the Church of Geneva.

  [437] This was the Reply to the Sorbonne Articles. See the note, p.
  408.

  [438] Calvin had already lost a son in the month of August 1542. See
  note 3, p. 344. He had afterwards another child by Idelette de Bure,
  which does not appear to have long survived.

  [439] The imperial assembly of Spire dissolved in the month of May
  1544. Charles the Fifth had then obtained considerable subsidies
  from the Protestant princes in return for the important concessions
  which he had made to them in the great concern of religion.--_Hist.
  Charles V._, lib. vii.

  [440] The French had gained a brilliant victory at Cérisoles, 14th
  April 1544, over the Marquis of Guasta, the Imperial General.



CXVIII.--TO OSWALD MYCONIUS.[441]

  [441] Gifted with a remarkable genius for politics, which had been
  formed in the school of Zuingle, and called more than once, on this
  account, to enlighten by his experience the councils of the republic
  of Basle, Oswald Myconius maintained a correspondence with Calvin,
  which had not merely the interests of the Church in view, but those
  of the whole of Europe, kept at that time in suspense by the last
  act of the struggle between Francis I. and Charles V.

     Political and military intelligence from France and Germany.


  GENEVA, _24th June 1544_.

Already by this time, you must be caring much less about the
request you made me, that I would inform you more certainly as to
the preparations of the French King. For even the Swiss, you see,
are astir; nor do I entertain any doubt that even there where you
are, the intelligence about his plans has been spread far and wide.
There is a town in Champagne, which they call Châtillon; thither
he concentrates all his forces, there to await the approach of the
Emperor; in the meantime, he has strong enough garrisons in the
towns which are in any degree fortified. If we take into account
the relative strength of the parties on both sides, the kingdom
of France seems at present to be in great jeopardy. The upshot,
however, is in the hand of God. As the world goes at present,
every one in his senses ought to be desirous that the overbearing
arrogance of the Emperor may receive an effectual check; for if
France should suffer too severely, that must react upon us. If
France shall be discomfited and subdued, it is quite certain that
his victorious arms will then be turned against ourselves. Were they
even to come to some sort of agreement, I fear lest the King, in
order to avenge the injury done to himself, may abandon Germany as
a prey to the fury of the Emperor. And should it so happen, who can
deny it would only be according to our deserts?[442] And truly, at
that time, God blinded the understanding of our friends so as to let
them rush upon their own destruction, in allying themselves to the
Emperor for the purpose of ruining France, which has been hitherto
both the fortress and defence of our liberty and safety. Therefore,
as though we were in the lowest depths of despair, let us learn to
look upward to the Lord. As you would not willingly be without my
book, I send you one copy. Adieu, excellent sir, and right trusty
brother; may the Lord preserve you with the Church and our brethren
of the ministry, whom you will please salute in my own and in the
name of all our friends.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. minute_--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [442] The Protestant princes of Germany, the steady allies of France
  against the House of Austria, abandoned their usual policy on this
  occasion, and joined the Emperor against Francis I. They alleged as
  their motive for this change, the impious alliance of that monarch
  with the Turks, whose arms threatened equally France and Italy, and
  they wrote to the Protestant Cantons of Switzerland, inviting them
  to follow their example, by refusing their assistance to Francis
  I.--See Sleidan, lib. xv. pp. 441-446.



CXIX.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.[443]

  [443] M. de Falais afterwards left Brabant and went to Cologne with
  his family, as we see by his request addressed to Charles the Fifth:
  "I went indeed first of all to reside in your city of Cologne, where
  I abode so inoffensively and beyond the reach of blame from any
  one, that no person could justly complain of me."... Immediately
  on his arrival at Cologne, he had requested Calvin to send him a
  minister. The war which then wasted the Netherlands, and rendered
  communication difficult, had not allowed the Reformer at once to
  meet his wishes.

     Arrival of Monsieur de Falais at Cologne--the sending of a
     minister--pious counsels.


  _This 24th June 1544._

MONSIEUR,--I shall begin by making our excuses for having so long
delayed to let you hear from us the news. I do assure you, that
if the time has seemed long to you, it has not been otherwise than
wearisome to us, by reason that we could not discharge ourselves of
duty towards you according to your desire. Had the communications
been open, we would not have found any difficulty, but we need not
tell you what has been the time elapsed since the return of good
Seigneur David. To send a countryman of your own to you, while
matters were in such turmoil, we did not think was very suitable.
On that account we thought best to send to inquire about a person
who resides at Strasbourg, who was your neighbour, considering also
that he would be a more fit person than another by reason of his
country. But having gone upon a journey, we could not have a prompt
reply from him. In writing to us since, he refers us to the return
of Bucer, who was still at that time at Spire.[444]

  [444] Bucer had gone to the Diet which was held in that town in
  1544. The Emperor, pressed by two enemies at the same time, Soliman
  and Francis I., made important concessions on that occasion to the
  Protestant side.

In this way the time has glided away to our great regret, forasmuch
as it was not in our power to meet your wish. How, moreover, it
has happened that our expectation hath been hitherto frustrated as
concerning that matter, you can perceive by the letters, and by an
extract from Bucer's letter which I send you.

The present bearer has been sent instead of the other person,
against our mind. Not that we are offended on that account; for we
hope verily, Sire David and myself, that there will be no loss by
the exchange. He is sound and steadfast in the doctrine which is
profitable for edifying; for besides that he is pure and sound, he
is well exercised in ready reply to objections. Upon the whole,
he is modest, so as not to stir beyond his depth. Moreover, he
is not addicted to vain glory, nor to the desire of shewing off,
which is the besetting sin in many. He manifests zeal for advancing
the reign of our Lord Jesus, such as ought to be set forth in his
ministers. He has altogether a life which approves his doctrine;
as regards his manner of life, you will find him tractable. Then,
that besides I may let you know what may be defective in him, it
is true that he is not deeply versed in the knowledge of human
affairs, and is not furnished with skill in languages; even in the
Latin language he is not the most eloquent, although he is so far
instructed as he needs in the circumstances, which is sufficient.
His mother-tongue possibly shall not be very pleasant to you at
first, but I feel assured that this circumstance will not prevent
you taking pleasure in his preaching, the more so as the substance
will quite make up for that defect. He feared that he might not be
sufficiently polished in manner and behaviour, but we have told him
that you would not consider that to be a mortal crime. He has this
good quality that you can admonish him privately as to whatever
shall occur to you, without any dread of his taking offence, and
I hope that he will be compliant and guidable. In short, he will
much deceive us or he will so carry himself, that we shall have no
occasion to repent ourselves of having sent him, and that we shall
have no complaint from you.

As for his entertainment, we have said nothing about it to him,
being well aware that it is not a matter for which he has much care;
and besides, even should he provide himself, he would not better
himself much by doing so. There is no fear of discontentment on his
part; and on yours, I feel more than certain, that you will give him
no occasion. Only, I pray you, sir, to receive him as the servant of
God, to serve you in whatever the Lord has bestowed upon him for the
good of your household, so that his ministry may not be unprofitable.

Concerning the form and order of procedure in preaching and in the
administration of the sacraments, we have consulted thereupon, but
it will be for yourselves to determine together upon the spot.
He will however declare to you, what has been thought good and
desirable by us, in order that you may take counsel on that matter
together. In regard to this we have our infallible rule, that
everything ought to tend to edification. Moreover, to discern what
is suitable for edification, the Lord it is who must give us wisdom,
to whom you will have recourse.

And now, sir, in reply to your letter, I give thanks to our Lord,
that he has strengthened you in constancy, enabling you to overcome
all the temptations which might prove a hindrance to you, and hinder
you from coming to the place where you could be able to worship
purely, and has not permitted, that with the most part of those whom
he hath enlightened in the knowledge of his name, you have preferred
the world instead of honouring him, lying asleep in the mire, which
must entirely have choked you at last. Besides, if that quality of
self-forgetfulness, and of turning away your thoughts from things
around you, and serving those ties which have held you bound, has
been a special grace of our heavenly Father, since he has begun the
work of his mercy towards you, in so far, he will follow it out and
perfect it, putting it into your heart to understand, that it was
not enough for you to be drawn forth out of the defilements in which
you were, but that you should daily have his word to strengthen you
in perseverance, and to urge you always to advance farther forward.

We feel by experience our weakness to be such, that if we were not
urged forward from time to time, our zeal would forthwith cool down.
And that is the reason why there are so many, who, like the crabs,
walk backward, because being deceived by that false idea, that it is
quite enough merely to have once understood the truth, they slight
and neglect it, despising the daily exercise which is so needful
for us all. So that, being thus instructed and prepared, as well
by their example as by our own experience, how much need have we
of holy exhortation from the word of our God, as a spur to goad us
onward! Let us take good heed that we draw not back.

We see how David, when he was among the Philistines, albeit he
did not contaminate himself with idolatry, laments that he could
not have access to the temple in Jerusalem, that he might receive
instructions as well from the preaching of the law and the holy
ordinances of God, as these are confirmations to help and serve as
props to sustain our weakness. I pray then the Lord to uphold you
always in this resolution, so that you may be fully conformed to
our father Abraham, who not only forsook the country of his birth
to follow God, but on his arrival in the land of Canaan, forthwith
raised an altar, that he might exercise himself in the service and
worship of God.

As for your being afraid that I would think it strange, your change
of purpose,[445] I would be too unkind, did I not grant you the
free use of such and so good a means of grace, seeing that our Lord
has offered it you there, beyond your expectation. Not that I would
not have wished to see you, to enjoy the comfort and delight which
I might look for from your presence, or that I am not sorry to be
deprived of such a benefit. But, on the other hand, I consider,
that you would be ungrateful to God in not availing yourself of the
advantage which the Lord presents to you rather than men.

  [445] M. de Falais had intended at first to retire to Geneva. He
  had afterwards decided to fix his residence at Strasbourg, where he
  indeed established himself the following year.

For the rest, I do give you my assurance, that were I at liberty,
and the Lord had not settled me here, or he had given me leave of
absence for a season, I would not fail to come and visit you, to
satisfy both your own wish and mine. As for seeing you, I have not,
even now, lost the hope of that, not that I perceive any great
convenience of opportunity on my part, but because I trust that
our Lord will open up some way. Howsoever that may be, the chief
point is, that we may be always conjoined together in him who is
the Father of all unity, as I feel myself assured, and not merely
for the two or three days which we have to live in the world, but
eternally in his kingdom.

To conclude, Monsieur, after having humbly commended me to your
kind favour, I pray the God of goodness to have you always in his
protection, together with your family, increasing the gifts which he
has put upon you, until he has brought you to the utmost perfection
of his children.

Your servant, humble brother, and ever assured friend,

  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CXX.--TO MADAME DE FALAIS.

     Christian congratulations--hope of a speedy meeting.


  _24th June_ [1544.]

MADAME AND WELL-BELOVED SISTER,--Although I have had a singular
desire to see you, and that I am sorry to be disappointed in the
expectation of seeing you, which I had entertained, notwithstanding
I am thankful to our Lord for the opening which he has made for
you, that without going to a greater distance he has allowed you
to worship with a pure conscience, and free from the idolatrous
pollutions in which you had been led captive. It is another
blessing that you can set up the form of a Church, to worship in
the Christian assembly, to be comforted by his word, and to receive
the Holy Supper in pledge of his goodness, making thereby the
protestation of your faith. The less expectation you had of being
admitted to the enjoyment of such a privilege, the more you have
occasion to rejoice when it is presented to you.

I hope that the individual whom we have sent you, the Seigneur
David and myself, shall be according to your mind, for, as well
in doctrine as in morals, he has a true Christian simplicity.
Notwithstanding, however, my desire some time to enjoy your presence
will still continue to linger about me, and I shall not lose hope.
But this, at least, is well, that although absent the one from the
other, we shall not leave off to converse in spirit, being united in
Him who brings together things that are far asunder. Inasmuch as the
messenger will, to some extent, supply the place of a letter, I will
not trouble you with any further details; and therefore, Madame, and
dearly beloved sister, after my humble commendation to your kind
remembrance in prayer, I beseech the Father of mercies to open his
hand more and more, and to impart his grace to you, continuing to
uphold you as a chosen instrument of his glory, even unto the end.

I do not know what company you have at present with you, but if
those whom the Seigneur David left there, with him whom they
expected, should be there, I desire to be kindly remembered, as
affectionately as possible. Not that I would wish to give you that
trouble, but themselves can well receive and take in good part the
recommendations which I wish to be presented to them. Again, I pray
our Lord to guide you always, as he has done hitherto.

  Your servant and humble brother ever,

  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CXXI.--TO FAREL.[446]

  [446] The sacramentary truce which was brought about in 1538, with
  so much labour, between Lutheranism and the Reformed, was afterwards
  broken, notwithstanding the efforts of Bucer, of Melanchthon, and
  Calvin. Full of ill-humour against the memory of Zuingli, Luther
  allowed no opportunity of invective to pass, in his writings,
  against the doctrines of the Swiss Reformer and the Church of
  Zurich, which he likened to the _heresies of Munzer and the
  Anabaptists_. Desirous of maintaining peace among the Churches, the
  ministers of Zurich at first abstained from all reply, in the hope
  of soothing him by their silence, and avoiding direct collision with
  the vehement spirit of Luther. But Luther having on many occasions
  renewed his attacks, they considered it their duty to answer him in
  an indirect way by publishing the works of Zuingli, with an apology
  for his doctrine prefixed.--See _Hospinian, Historiæ Sacramentariæ_,
  Genève, 1681, tom. ii. pp. 318, 322. Ann. 1544.

     Renewal of the controversy regarding the Sacraments between the
     German and Swiss Churches.


  [_10th October 1544._]

What you have been advising of late, I mean, for me to go to
Zurich to admonish the brethren, I do not see what good that
would do. In the first place, I am not aware wherein they have
sinned, seeing that I have never read any either of their letters
or books which have so much enkindled the rage of Luther. Already
I fear the sort of answer they may return. They will not fail to
dwell upon the marvellous patience wherewith they have hitherto
endeavoured to smooth him down. For even Bullinger himself, when he
was complaining to me some months ago, in a letter, about Luther's
unkindness, highly commended his own forbearance and that of his
friends. Besides, if even I should come thither thoroughly well
informed as to all the particulars of the case, and that I should
be able to keep them within bounds, so as not to give rise to any
future controversy, I should still come but little speed in this
business. For at present the danger arises not so much from them
as from Luther. He must be pacified. Will this be screwed out of
the Zurichers, that they be brought meekly to entreat Luther? It
ought to have been looked to long ago that they should not stir
that filthy puddle. But who among ourselves had foresight enough
for that? Let us, therefore, make known our request unto the Lord,
who alone can apply the healing remedy to this disease. It will
certainly occasion a serious and ruinous conflagration, but let us
await the issue.

You will read what I have written to Scriffius; and you will write
to Toussain, unless you judge it advisable rather to send my
letter. Adieu, my brother; may the Lord preserve you. Salute all
friends.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



CXXII.--TO BULLINGER.

     New appeal to the Seigneurs of Zurich, in favour of the
     Waldenses of Provence--Luther's invectives against the Swiss
     Reformer--remarkable judgment in regard to his character--his
     injustice pardoned in consideration of the eminent services
     rendered by him to the cause of Christ.



  GENEVA, _25th November 1544_.

You will receive from this brother who has delivered to you my
letter, a crown-piece and two silver testons; for this, if I
remember correctly, was the amount that remained. Excuse me, I
pray you, for not having sent it sooner. As for the reason why this
brother has been sent to you, by those of Neuchatel, he will himself
tell you. There is, in my opinion, no difficulty, or very little,
indeed, if any, in the case. But the perverseness and importunity
of one individual compel them to be troublesome both to you and to
ourselves. They have in their meeting a man belonging to that class
of doctors, from which, hitherto, not a single good man has ever yet
come forth, one who has never ceased from time to time to pester
them with some troublesome affair or another. There are two causes
which urge him on in this course. For he seems born to contradict,
and because he is not so very highly esteemed by others as he rates
himself, it is after this fashion that he takes his revenge. Had he
been in our Church, he would easily have been restrained. For we had
a means of breaking him in quite ready at hand. But where he is, he
has the Prince's deputy by whom he is countenanced. For it is thus,
that men of this sort of pretension secure and fortify themselves
with defences, so as to work mischief with impunity. That you would,
all of you, do of your own accord what I am now about to ask, I am
well aware. Nevertheless, I would entreat of you, that in so sacred
a cause you may reach forth a helping hand to the brethren; that is,
that you would support them by your authority, and train them by a
right method that they may bridle up that Ishmael. This much have I
written, not because it might be supposed to be needful, but rather
to please our brother.

There is another affair, besides, in which I wish very specially
to implore your aid. There are brethren in Provence, for whom you
are aware that we have always taken much pains.[447] Nor were they
any way undeserving that we should do so; for they are a people
so harmless, and withal so piously disposed, that their peace and
safety ought to be the peculiar care of all good men. It is now
three years bypast, since they were so far advanced as to have
presented to the Parliament of Aix a confession of faith, pure and
simple as we could have set it forth ourselves. And besides, that
you may not suppose that such a step was taken from some sudden
impulse, which might immediately have evaporated, whenever they have
been called to account concerning it they have constantly stood firm
to their profession. In the meantime, however, they were cruelly
harassed. After they had been exposed for some time to the savage
tyranny of their enemies, they obtained at length of the King that
he would appoint a commission, who might hear evidence and report
truly upon the whole case. The King commissioned two persons, whose
duty was to make inquiry; he wished to take the entire cognizance
of the cause to himself, and so to pronounce an award. The tenor
of the commission was, that the persons who were to be sent were
to inquire particularly, and take special knowledge concerning
their doctrine and morals, both in public and private. This the
brethren have no dread or anxiety about. For they have so conducted
themselves toward all around them as to have an unexceptionable
testimony to their sterling worth, even from their adversaries.[448]
As for their doctrine, they are about to present their confession
of faith, clear and sincere, to the King as he has required, which
document comprises, and that distinctly, far more points than can
be alleged against them. At this present time, both the bishops,
the royal officers, and even the parliament itself, are striving
with all their might to set aside the royal commission; if it be
quashed, they will then be exposed to the fury of lions and wolves,
that they may spend their rage upon them. Indeed, their adversaries
are mainly desirous that they may have full license to discharge
all their fury upon these wretched people. If the commission be
received and acted upon, even in that event they will not have
escaped the danger. For in three small towns,[449] and in very many
of the villages, they profess the pure doctrine of the Evangel. In
one little town they have thoroughly cleansed the parish church
from all its defilements, and there they celebrate the Supper and
Baptism in the same manner as we do. The more immediately the
danger is impending over them on either side, they are all the more
on that account to be succoured by us; in this their wonderful
steadfastness, especially, to which should we be found wanting,
we would be chargeable with the basest cowardice. You must also
take into account that it is not their cause alone which is here
concerned; but either a way will be opened by their destruction to
the cruel persecution of the godly throughout the whole kingdom, or,
according to this method, he will assault and break up the Evangel.
What can we do, therefore, but strain every nerve that these godly
brethren may not, through our short-coming in duty, become the
victims of such cruelty, and that the door may not for a long time
be shut against Christ? I have desired beforehand to warn you of
the likelihood of this coming to pass, that if sooner or later they
fly to you, you may have inclined the hearts of all your friends to
render them all the help they can. One or other of these two things
will have to be done, either the King must be sought unto, that he
may allow them to enjoy the benefit which has been already granted,
or his anger must be appeased, if it shall have begun to wax hot
against them.

  [447] See pp. 187, 228, 270, 273, 283, 308. Suspended by
  Letters-patent of the King, and by the humanity of the President
  Chassanée, the execution of the sentence of the Parliament of Aix
  was furiously demanded by the new President of that Court, Jean
  Menier, Baron d'Oppède, supported at Court by the Cardinal de
  Tournon.

  [448] William du Bellay, in his quality of lieutenant of the King
  at Turin, charged with the duty of making a report to Francis
  I., renders a very striking homage to the piety and purity of
  the Vaudois.--De Thou, _Hist._, lib. vi. They obtained the same
  testimony from the pious Bishop Sadolet, who took them under
  his protection, and pleaded in vain their cause at the Court of
  Rome.--De Thou, _ibidem._--_Hist. des Martyrs_, lib. iii. p. 140.
  A doctor of the Sorbonne, having put some questions to some of the
  children in one of their villages, upon the Catechisin, was so
  struck by their answers, that he acknowledged, says Beza, "never to
  have derived so much benefit in all the disputations he had been
  engaged in, as he had learned from these little children."--_Hist.
  Eccl._, tom. i. p. 42.

  [449] Cabrières, Merindol, et Lourmarin, in the present Department
  of Vaucluse.

I hear that Luther has at length broken forth in fierce invective,
not so much against you as against the whole of us.[450] On the
present occasion, I dare scarce venture to ask you to keep silence,
because it is neither just that innocent persons should thus be
harassed, nor that they should be denied the opportunity of clearing
themselves; neither, on the other hand, is it easy to determine
whether it would be prudent for them to do so. But of this I do
earnestly desire to put you in mind, in the first place, that you
would consider how eminent a man Luther is, and the excellent
endowments wherewith he is gifted, with what strength of mind and
resolute constancy, with how great skill, with what efficiency and
power of doctrinal statement, he hath hitherto devoted his whole
energy to overthrow the reign of Antichrist, and at the same time to
diffuse far and near the doctrine of salvation. Often have I been
wont to declare, that even although he were to call me a devil,
I should still not the less hold him in such honour that I must
acknowledge him to be an illustrious servant of God. But while he
is endued with rare and excellent virtues, he labours at the same
time under serious faults. Would that he had rather studied to curb
this restless, uneasy temperament which is so apt to boil over in
every direction. I wish, moreover, that he had always bestowed the
fruits of that vehemence of natural temperament upon the enemies of
the truth, and that he had not flashed his lightning sometimes also
upon the servants of the Lord. Would that he had been more observant
and careful in the acknowledgment of his own vices. Flatterers
have done him much mischief, since he is naturally too prone to be
over-indulgent to himself. It is our part, however, so to reprove
whatsoever evil qualities may beset him, as that we may make some
allowance for him at the same time on the score of these remarkable
endowments with which he has been gifted. This, therefore, I would
beseech you to consider first of all, along with your colleagues,
that you have to do with a most distinguished servant of Christ, to
whom we are all of us largely indebted; that, besides, you will do
yourselves no good by quarrelling, except that you may afford some
sport to the wicked, so that they may triumph not so much over us as
over the Evangel. If they see us rending each other asunder, they
then give full credit to what we say, but when with one consent and
with one voice we preach Christ, they avail themselves unwarrantably
of our inherent weakness to cast reproach upon our faith. I wish,
therefore, that you would consider and reflect on these things
rather than on what Luther has deserved by his violence; lest
that may happen to you which Paul threatens, that by biting and
devouring one another, ye be consumed one of another. Even should
he have provoked us, we ought rather to decline the contest than to
increase the wound by the general shipwreck of the Church. Adieu, my
much honoured brother in the Lord, and my very dear friend. Salute
reverently in my name all the brethren in the ministry. May the Lord
preserve you, and more and more increase his own gifts in you. My
colleagues very kindly salute you.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._--Opera, tom. ix. pp. 239, 240.]

  [450] In a recent publication, entitled, "Short Confession
  concerning the Supper," (Kurzes Bekenntniss vom Abendmahl,) Luther,
  renewing his invectives against the _adversaries of the Sacrament_,
  had insulted the memory of Zuingli, and had not even respected
  that of the learned and pious Œcolampadius.--Hospinian, _Hist.
  Sacrament._, tom. ii. pp. 326-331. Grievously annoyed by these
  violences, Melanchthon would have fled into retirement to get rid
  of the sad spectacle of the disorders which rent in pieces the
  Reformed Churches. He wrote to Bucer, the 28th August 1544, "I have
  written to you about our Pericles, who has again begun to thunder
  most vehemently on the subject of the Lord's Supper, and has written
  a fierce attack, in which you and I are beaten black and blue. I am
  a quiet peaceable bird, nor would be unwilling if I may depart out
  of this prison-house, if our disturber shall constrain me."--Ph.
  Melanchthonis _Opera_, edit. of Breitschneider, tom. v. p. 464.



CXXIII.--TO MELANCHTHON.[451]

  [451] See the two preceding letters. Roused by the Lutheran
  intolerance, kept up by a hot controversy, the quarrel about the
  sacraments disturbed the Reformed Churches, and furnished weapons to
  their adversaries. While Calvin deplored these excesses, addressing
  himself by turns to Bullinger, to Melanchthon, to Luther himself,
  he made vain efforts to bring about an accommodation between the
  parties.

     Explanations relative to the publication of the book
     "Against the Nicodemites"--appeal to the authority of
     Melanchthon and Luther--troubles arising from ecclesiastical
     discords--announcement of the Council of Trent--policy of
     Charles V. and of Francis I.--convocation of a Synod at Melun.


  _21st January 1545._

In few words I will explain the reason why this young and pious
nobleman[452] has, at my request, undertaken this journey to you. I
had published a little treatise in the French language, wherein the
dissimulation of those persons was reproved, who, notwithstanding
they have been privileged in having the light of the Evangel, yet
nevertheless do not abstain from any of the Popish rites which
they know to be accursed and full of sacrilege.[453] You would
perhaps rather prefer that I remitted somewhat of that too precise
severity. But you will recognize the justice of my treatment of the
point when you shall have well weighed and considered the question.
When I heard that many persons complained about my strictness,
and especially persons of that class, who consider it a proof of
superior wisdom to care for their personal safety, I wrote an
Apology,[454] which has made their ears tingle even more severely
than did the former book. Many other persons, with whom religion
serves instead of philosophy, look down with serene contempt upon
the whole of this. Such others, however, who are earnest God-fearing
persons, are at least so far advanced, that they begin to feel
dissatisfied with themselves. But since the question seems to them
to be perplexed, they remain somewhat in doubt as to this point,
until they shall be confirmed by your authority and that of Dr.
Luther. And indeed I am rather afraid that they consult you on this
account, because they expect that you will be more indulgent to them
than I.[455] Whatsoever may be their motive for doing so, because
I feel thoroughly persuaded that you will give them faithful and
wholesome counsel according to your sincerity, and in conformity
with your singular prudence, I willingly undertook to do what they
asked me, which was, that I would take the trouble to send a fit
person to you. Because, moreover. I concluded, that it would be of
great importance that you should know accurately what my views are,
but also, that the reasons which have induced me to come to these
conclusions might not be unknown to you, I have taken care to have
the treatise turned into Latin.[456] And although it may have been
somewhat forward in me to set about this, yet, notwithstanding, I
would request you as a friend, that you do not refuse to submit to
the trouble of perusing them. So highly do I esteem your judgment,
as indeed is proper, that to me it would be very disagreeable to set
about anything which you would not be likely to approve. I know,
indeed, that with your benign courtesy, you allow of many things in
the practice of others which you do not permit to yourself, but we
must look well to it, that what we do is lawful, and that we do not
set loose where the Lord has bound. Neither, truly, do I ask you to
agree with me in all things, which would certainly be impertinent;
or that on my account you should turn aside from the free and simple
statement of your own opinion, but merely that you would not refuse
the trouble of a perusal. Certainly I do desire that we were so
entirely agreed, that not even in the most trifling expressions
there may seem to be any disagreement. But to you it rather belongs
to lead the way, than to have respect to what may be pleasing to me.
You see how unceremoniously I treat you; nor indeed am I under any
apprehension that I may exceed the bounds of due respect; for by the
experience I have had of your special kindness and good-will toward
me, I know how far I may go.

  [452] Claude de Senarelens, of a noble Savoyard family, which had
  settled in the Pays de Vaud, after having embraced the Reformation.

  [453] This is the _Traité de fuir les Superstitions_. Geneva, 1544.
  Inserted in the _Recueil des Opuscules_, p. 758.

  [454] _Excuse aux Faux Nicodemites._ Genève, 1544. _Recueil des
  Opuscules_, p. 789.

  [455] The German theologians were indeed less strict. However,
  says Beza, they admitted, with Calvin, that it is impossible to
  serve two masters, and therein condemned those who were called
  Nicodemites.--_Hist. Eccl._, tom. i. p. 49.

  [456] This is the title:--De vitandis superstitionibus quæ cum
  sincera fidei confessione pugnant, una cum J. Calvini excusatione
  ad Pseudo-Nicodemos, cum duabus epistolis ad ministros Ecclesiæ
  Tigurinæ. Geneva, 1545. The second edition of this work appeared in
  1549, enhanced by the approbation of Melanchthon, of Bucer, and of
  Peter Martyr. Calv. _Opera Omnia_, tom. viii.

With regard to Dr. Martin there will be somewhat more of
difficulty.[457] For so far as I could understand by report, and
by letters from different persons, the scarcely pacified temper of
the man might, on very slight occasion, break out into a sore.[458]
On that account, therefore the messenger will shew you the letter
which I have written to him, that on examination of the contents,
you may proceed as you think advisable, that nothing may be
attempted therein either rashly or unadvisedly, which may hereafter
produce unpleasant consequences. I am aware that you will do all
that you can worthily accomplish to the utmost of your power,
in every thing seemly and befitting. But what may have been the
contentions which have exercised you there, and what may have been
the result of them, I have never been able to learn with certainty,
except that I hear an atrocious libel hath gone forth, which would
prove like a lighted torch to kindle a new conflagration, unless, on
the other hand, the Lord restrain within bounds the resentment of
certain parties, who would otherwise be more fierce and peevish than
they ought to be, as you well know. But what else can we expect,
when they are provoked to such a degree? When I reflect how much, at
so unseasonable a time, these intestine quarrels divide and tear us
asunder, I almost entirely lose courage. A merchant of Nuremberg,
who was travelling this way, shewed me lately a certain apology of
Osiander,[459] of which, on his own account, I felt greatly ashamed.
For what good purpose could it serve to assault the Zuinglians every
third line, and to attack Zuingli himself in such an unmannerly
style; and not even to spare Œcolampadius, that holy servant of
God, whom I wish that he resembled, even in being half as good, in
which case he would certainly stand far higher in my esteem than he
does? I do not demand that he should allow his name to be defamed
with impunity in silence; but I would like that he might abstain
from contemptuous reproaches of those men whose memory ought to
be held in honourable esteem by all the godly. Therefore, for the
same reason for which I blame the impudence of that fellow by whose
verses he complains that he has been slandered,--therefore, also,
I desire to see in himself some moderation and prudence, or rather
a more sound and correct judgment. O God of grace, what pleasant
sport and pastime do we afford to the Papists, as if we had hired
ourselves to do their work! But I make myself disagreeable by
recounting these evils to you, and increase your sorrow when you
are not able to get them healed. Let us, notwithstanding, mourn
together, since it well becomes us to take earnestly to heart
the misfortunes of the Church. In the meantime, let us cheer up
our spirits with this hope, that to whatsoever extent we may be
oppressed and harassed, we cannot be utterly overwhelmed among the
great sea billows.

  [457] See note 2, p. 432.

  [458] In a letter written at this period, Bucer made a humble
  remonstrance to Luther, representing to him, that if the theologians
  of Zurich had somehow incurred his indignation, he ought, however,
  to have had some consideration for the imperial towns of Upper
  Germany, and the cantons of Berne and Basle, who had given him no
  ground of complaint, and who had always remained faithful to the
  thought of a Christian alliance.--Hospinian, _Hist. Sacramentar._,
  tom. ii. p. 331.

  [459] Andrew Osiander, professor of theology at the University of
  Königsberg, was of a presumptuous and violent spirit; he put forth
  rash doctrines on the nature of Christ, on justification, and
  exaggerated, in the Roman Catholic sense, the Lutheran dogma of the
  Supper. He died in 1552. Melchior Adam, _Vitæ Theolog. Germ._, pp.
  226-240.

Everywhere throughout France the minds of men are raised to
great expectation from the talk of a Council,[460] nor is there
any doubt that the King himself entertained at first some hope,
and some intention of assembling a Council. For the Cardinal de
Tournon,[461] on his return from the Emperor, had persuaded the
King that the Emperor had so intended. Meanwhile he recommended,
in the name of the Emperor, that the King should call to him two
or three theologians of your number, and that separately, so as
thereby to draw somewhat out of each of them by his cajoleries, or
that he might somehow or other squeeze out of each what he could
never be able to obtain from the whole of them in a body. The
Emperor promised that he, on his side, would do the same. The aim
of all this was, that fettered, as it were, by these flattering
preliminaries, you should have less power whenever you should get
the length of a serious discussion of the question. For because
they cannot succeed in discouraging or defeating us by a direct,
straightforward, and simple dealing with the case, they see no
more summary method of going about it, than to have the princes
at their mercy, and that _they_ may hold their liberty captive
and dependent upon _them_. As this advice was well liked by the
King, Chatelain[462] declared that it would not do to send French
theologians to attend the disputation, unless they were well
disciplined and trained beforehand; that you were men thoroughly
acquainted with the subject and used to this warfare, nor could you
be made, so easily as they supposed, to waste your strength to no
purpose; that by betraying the ignorance of his theologians, the
King ought to be upon his guard lest he should expose the whole
kingdom to derision. The vain-glory of the King gave the preference
to this opinion. Twelve French theologues have been commissioned
to dispute at Melun on the controverted points, and to report
at length to the King what they shall have concluded upon. They
have bound themselves by oath to secrecy. But all their silence
notwithstanding, I am thoroughly well assured, that every thought
will be directed to the oppression of the truth.[463] Though they
may pretend to seek some sort of reformation, nothing is more
certain than that they have only this one object in view, how to
bury the light of sound doctrine, that they may establish their
own tyranny. It is my belief, that God defeated the counsel of the
Cardinal de Tournon, that they might not ensnare a single man of us,
even when we had not the slightest suspicion of such a thing. You
can remember having yourself been tempted by the same artful policy
on the part of Langey. If, however, we look to the Lord, they shall
in vain assault us with all their contrivances.

  [460] Transferred successively from Vicenza to Mantua, and from
  Mantua to Trent, the Council opened in that latter town the 13th
  December 1545.

  [461] Francis de Tournon, Archbishop of Lyons, and a cardinal, one
  of the fiercest persecutors of the Reformed under the reigns of
  Francis I., of Henry II., and of Francis II. He introduced the order
  of the Jesuits into France, set himself steadily in opposition to
  the establishment of religious liberty, and died in 1562.

  [462] Chatelain, Bishop of Mâeon, Reader to the King, Francis
  I., who partook of his taste and disposition. Favourable to the
  Reformation, which, however, he dared not to profess openly, this
  prelate, at a later period, betrayed the hopes of the Reformed by
  taking up his position among the persecutors of the Gospel.--See
  Beza, _Hist. Eccl._, tom. i. pp. 79, 80.

  [463] These theologians actually did assemble at Melun: "but there
  was," says Beza, "such division among them, that they only exchanged
  words and abuse, and were on the point of coming sometimes even to
  blows; the more ignorant who had been mixed up with the others not
  being willing to suffer those who were more learned to touch upon
  the abuses, however gently."--_Hist. Eccl._, tom. i. p. 48.

Adieu, most excellent sir, and my ever to be respected friend may
the Lord be ever present to you and long preserve you safe and sound
for the good of his own Church.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. Copy_--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]



CXXIV.--TO LUTHER.[464]

  [464] A peculiar interest attaches to this letter, the only one
  which the French Reformer had written to the German Reformer.
  Inspired by the deep conviction of the unity of the Reformed
  churches, written with as much moderation as respect, the message of
  conciliation was not even listened to. Soured by the quarrel about
  the sacraments, in which he took too great a share during the latter
  years of his life, Luther evinced daily more and more irritation
  against the theologians of Switzerland, and Melanchthon did not
  even venture to present the letter of Calvin, to whom he wrote in
  sadness: "I have not shewn your letter to Dr. Martin, for he takes
  up many things suspiciously, and does not like his replies to
  questions of the kind you have proposed to him, to be carried round
  and handed from one to another.... At present I am looking forward
  to exile and other sorrows. Farewell. On the day upon which, 3846
  years ago, Noah entered into the ark, by which God gave testimony of
  his purpose never to forsake his Church even when she quivers under
  the shock of the great sea billows."--Melanchthon to Calvin, _MSS.
  of Geneva_, vol. 106.

     Calvin submits to Luther several of his writings, of which he
     desires to obtain his approbation.


  _January 21, 1545._

To the very excellent pastor of the Christian Church, Dr. M. Luther,
my much respected father,

When I saw that my French fellow-countrymen, as many of them as
had been brought out from the darkness of the Papacy to soundness
of the faith, had altered nothing as to their public profession,
and that they continued to defile themselves with the sacrilegious
worship of the Papists, as if they had never tasted the savour of
true doctrine, I was altogether unable to restrain myself from
reproving so great sloth and negligence, in the way that I thought
it deserved. How, indeed, can this faith, which lies buried in the
heart within, do otherwise than break forth in the confession of
the faith? What kind of religion can that be, which lies submerged
under seeming idolatry? I do not undertake, however, to handle the
argument here, because I have done so at large already in two little
tractates, wherein, if it shall not be troublesome to you to glance
over them, you will more clearly perceive both what I think, and the
reasons which have compelled me to form that opinion. By the reading
of them, indeed, some of our people, while hitherto they were fast
asleep in a false security, having been awakened, have begun to
consider what they ought to do. But because it is difficult either
casting aside all consideration of self, to expose their lives to
danger, or having roused the displeasure of mankind, to encounter
the hatred of the world, or having abandoned their prospects at home
in their native land, to enter upon a life of voluntary exile, they
are withheld or kept back by these difficulties from coming to a
settled determination. They put forth other reasons, however, and
those somewhat specious, whereby, one may perceive that they only
seek to find some sort of pretext or other. In these circumstances,
because they hang somehow in suspense, they are desirous to hear
your opinion, which as they do deservedly hold in reverence,
so it shall serve greatly to confirm them. They have therefore
requested me, that I would undertake to send a trusty messenger to
you, who might report your answer to us upon this question. And
because I thought it was of very great consequence for them to
have the benefit of your authority, that they might not fluctuate
thus continually, and I myself stood besides in need of it, I
was unwilling to refuse what they required. Now, therefore, much
respected father in the Lord, I beseech you by Christ, that you will
not grudge to take the trouble for their sake and mine, first, that
you would peruse the epistle written in their name, and my little
books, cursorily and at leisure hours, or that you would request
some one to take the trouble of reading, and report the substance of
them to you. Lastly, that you would write back your opinion in a few
words. Indeed, I am unwilling to give you this trouble in the midst
of so many weighty and various employments; but such is your sense
of justice, that you cannot suppose me to have done this unless
compelled by the necessity of the case; I therefore trust that you
will pardon me. Would that I could fly to you, that I might even
for a few hours enjoy the happiness of your society; for I would
prefer, and it would be far better, not only upon this question, but
also about others, to converse personally with yourself; but seeing
that it is not granted to us on earth, I hope that shortly it will
come to pass in the kingdom of God. Adieu, most renowned sir, most
distinguished minister of Christ, and my ever-honoured father. The
Lord himself rule and direct you by his own Spirit, that you may
persevere even unto the end, for the common benefit and good of his
own Church.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 196.]



CXXV.--TO AN UNKNOWN PERSONAGE.[465]

  [465] A letter without address and without date, probably written
  to one of the friends of the Reformer in France,--perhaps Louis du
  Chemin, or Francis Daniel,--who, while sincerely adhering to the
  doctrine of the Reformed, kept up in appearance their connection
  with the Roman Catholic Church. It is to this enlightened but
  timid class of men that two writings, submitted by Calvin to
  the approbation of Luther, were specially addressed. See two
  preceding Letters. "These writings," says Beza, "were the cause
  of a great blessing, several persons having resolved to devote
  themselves to God's service, who had formerly been asleep in their
  uncleanness."--_Hist. Eccl._, tom. i. p. 49. But we know not who
  is the individual to whom Calvin addresses warnings against the
  seductions of the Court of Rome, and in the absence of certain
  knowledge, we are only left to conjecture.

     Difficulties in the way of a reunion, and doubts of the efficacy
     of a General Council under present circumstances--deplorable
     state of the Church--motives which prevented him from going to
     confer in person with the German Reformers--his proposals to
     them.


  _January 1545._

And so, just as if the day for holding the Council had been
appointed for the next month, you make already arrangements for your
departure.[466] This, however, is of itself a proof how rashly and
at haphazard everything is done among you, and nothing set about
prudently or after deliberation, that when the most able persons in
the whole kingdom should be selected, the matter has been entrusted
to such incapables; except, perchance, that while on other occasions
they are the most sluggish of all, they are not the less on all
occasions but too well prepared for mischief. Besides, I have an
opinion that the expectation of a Council, which is said to be at
its height among you, will prove to have been unfounded. The Diet of
the Empire will meet in February. No serious deliberation, however,
will begin before March. I know by experience the German method of
doing business. Of this I can as certainly assure you, as if I had
been actually present. Our friends will insist from the first that,
excluding Antichrist, they may at length establish somewhat of order
among themselves. On the other hand, those who are enchained in
willing bondage to their Romish idol, will deny that this is lawful
or allowable for them to do. The Emperor, that he may in part give
some sort of satisfaction to our side, will promise fair, that he
is ready to do everything, and may, perhaps, make a show of doing
somewhat; but as soon as possible after having made a beginning,
upon some pretence or other, which is never wanting to men of that
sort, he will break away altogether. This will certainly be the
final decision, that it is not lawful to determine anything in the
matter of religion except by authority of the Pope. As for the
calling of a Synod, when that shall have begun to be mooted, by and
by our side will begin to remonstrate, that it is disgraceful that
the settlement of religion should be entrusted to the professed
enemies of God. They will cite Antichrist as a criminal and
defendant: certainly, they will never permit him to be the judge.
But by what means do you think they can be induced to come to Trent?
If even there were to be no let or hindrance on our side, since
there is nothing that would be more agreeable to the Emperor, than,
having turned the attention of every one to the Turkish war, to
leave the state of the Church for a while in suspense,--will he not
then, in this matter which accords so perfectly with his own views,
be only too well inclined to make concessions which will gratify
the Pope? Even were we to suppose, for instance, that a Council
has been summoned, that already every thing is in readiness and all
prepared, do we reckon that the idol[467] will be any way at a loss
for some artifice or other, whereby he may interrupt and throw all
into disorder? What will then become of religion, torn and rent
asunder and laid waste? what will become of the wretched Church
rushing forward apparently to destruction? what will become of the
Christian name? what will become of the glory of God? Assuredly, we
must ask of him, that himself alone would take the entire charge of
all things, and uphold the Church. Our friends are drowsy, nor is
there any hope of their more vigorous and cordial action, unless the
Lord awaken them from some quarter or another. Howbeit, the ungodly
give them occasion enough of beginning to think of taking some heed
to themselves. The canons of Cologne, with the whole rabble of the
clergy, have done their utmost to get their Archbishop degraded[468]
from his station. They have called meetings of the States, that they
might have their allowance to substitute another in his place. This
has been refused. They made the same application to the Emperor; his
answer was that he would not be found wanting on occasion, provided
they themselves did their duty. He was unwilling to grant their
request openly. However, one may easily prognosticate from these
roundabout proceedings, that he would not be at all unwilling that
they should make some disturbance about it, and should they proceed
to any greater length, war is certain, in which the whole of Germany
throughout will be much weakened and shaken to the foundations; for
this, also, the Lord will provide and see to. This to my mind is
the only consolation, that death can never be a misfortune to a
Christian man. In the meanwhile, I will lament as I ought for the
calamities of the Church, and make myself wretched when I think of
the condition of the godly; only, however, in so far as not to be
in despair. Were we only well agreed among ourselves, I would be
much less anxious; but in the midst of those hostile preparations
on the other side, that certain persons should find leisure enough
for senseless quarrelling with one another, looks rather portentous.
Upon the other hand, too, some one or other, in an elegy, has
attacked Osiander,[469] a person who is himself rather wanting in
good sense. In desiring to clear himself, he has so besprinkled his
book with rancour, that for myself I was mightily ashamed of him;
but nothing has given me more vexation, than that he insults the
Zuinglians in every third line. It is even after such a sort as this
that we seem to have hired ourselves, both hand and tongue, to the
ungodly, that we may afford them sport and pastime by tearing one
another to pieces. Who is there that would not lose heart entirely
where so many stumblingblocks are thrown in the way? I do most
readily acknowledge, that there is no one so iron-hearted who would
not be utterly cast down, unless he look continually unto the Lord.
And, therefore, I so read the meaning of all this, that it appears
to be the Lord's will, by every possible means, to try us whether
our dependence is placed on men; and, for my own part, it is so far
from overwhelming me, that, on the contrary, no slender confirmation
thence arises of my faith. For while I see the Church marvellously
steered by the Lord in the midst of those mighty waves, so that
it cannot be overwhelmed; while these very tempests are at their
height, until everything would seem as if about to mingle in wild
disorder, yet I see that the noise of the waves is stilled, and in
a moment they are calm; wherefore, then, may I not thence conceive
good hope of the future? Let us therefore haste forward in the race
of our calling, leaning upon this confidence, that the Church,
which has God for the perpetual Guardian of her safety, will at
length surmount these perils; but because every one has not the same
strength of mind, the more familiarly I repose these matters in
your confidence, all the more on that account you will be careful as
to the few to whom you may communicate them.

  [466] See note 1, p. 438.

  [467] It is the same thought confirmed by the events which the
  Reformer expressed six years later, in the preface of the Commentary
  on the Canonical Epistles, dedicated to the King of England.--"But
  although the venerable fathers had begun to dazzle the eyes of
  the simple with some Will-o'-the-Wisp stories about the sitting
  of a Council, all this shining deceptious appearance having been
  dissipated by a secret whisper suddenly mooted by the See of Rome,
  vanished in smoke, except, that in order to keep up the excitement,
  a little cloud hovered for a season over Bologna."--_Dedication to
  King Edward VI._, _26th January 1551_, édit. de Genève, 1562.

  [468] See Sleidan, lib. xvi., pp. 455, 456.

  [469] See the note 1, p. 437.

With regard to what you asked in your last letter, I felt some sort
of hesitation whether I ought to undertake the matter; for the
journey is long, rugged, and toilsome. The post on horseback does
not reach Wittemberg in less than twenty days. To send any one, as
it might happen, without choosing a fit person, would be dangerous.
On light-headed fellows and vagabonds one can place no dependence,
and few others are to be found. To a person unacquainted with the
language the road will prove very toilsome, and there is scarcity
everywhere on account of the late dearth. I myself am altogether
unfurnished as to money; besides, although the season is not
inconvenient, I am unable to sustain the burdens which already press
upon me without being entirely exhausted. For in this time of the
dearth, with which for the last two years we have had to struggle, I
found the incurring of debt was unavoidable; however, I do not speak
of this for the sake of complaining. God hath dealt very kindly
with me, so much so, that I am quite content with what I have. But
I mention it that you may understand that it is not easy for me to
find persons here from whom I can take up money upon loan: they are
indeed all of them merchants, and themselves almost starving. Add
to this what I have already said, that the time is unseasonable for
consulting Luther, because his anger has scarce settled down from
the heat of contention. Since, however, you insist so earnestly, and
press me with so many protestations that I would do so, my first
and chief desire was to comply with your wishes. I have accordingly
requested and obtained of an honourable, and a not unlearned young
man,[470] that he would take this trouble on my account. My two
treatises I have translated word for word into Latin, which have
been sent along with my letters, that so they might be able to form
an opinion. Nor have I asked any other favour, except that they
would express freely and without reserve whatever they may think
upon the question: only adding, that it would be noway agreeable to
me, should they feel any delicacy in so far as concerned myself. The
messenger will scarcely have returned before two months; for he
must be forty days upon the road: I assign four days for rest, the
remainder of the time for consultation.--Adieu.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._, Opera, tom. ix. p. 235.]

  [470] See the note 2, p. 434.



CXXVI.--TO VIRET.

     Intelligence of France and Germany--Synod of Melun.


  GENEVA, _February 2, 1545_.

I have sent the pamphlet of Chaponneau,[471] together with the
answer, lately to Neuchatel, to Farel and the rest of the brethren.
You can ask to have it from them if you wish to read it. I have sent
besides to Farel the letter of Robert,[472] in which he mentioned
what was the advice which Cardinal Tournon had brought along with
him from the Emperor's court, to wit, that he might call forth four
or five from our side, one after the other, and so deal with them
separately, that they might either be wheedled by fair speeches,
or might be moved by threats, liberally to abate somewhat in their
demands, so as that might be turned to our prejudice. You are aware
that this was in time past the artful policy of Langey.[473] There
happened to be a messenger very opportunely upon the spot, by whom
I have warned Bucer, as being the person I was most alarmed about,
because he lies more in their neighbourhood, and would be among the
first to be chosen by our adversaries. After that, also, I have
written particularly to Melanchthon by Claude de Senarclens, whom
I was sending to Germany on another account. For at the request
of some friends I have asked of Luther, of Melanchthon, and of
Bucer, that they would write us their opinion upon that treatise
of mine which treats of a similar question to that upon which you
have written,[474] not so much because I was very much set upon
consulting them, or that there was any hope of its being successful.
But when the Frenchmen had once got that into their heads, I knew
that they would never rest till they had got it done. I therefore
preferred that they should form a judgment with the evidence before
them rather than without a hearing of the cause.

  [471] See the Letter to the Ministers of Neuchatel, p. 410.

  [472] This was, doubtless, the celebrated printer of Paris, Robert
  Etienne, who retired in 1551 to Geneva.

  [473] William du Bellay had died in 1543, without realizing the
  hope which the Reformers of Germany and Switzerland had rested on
  his character and talents, for the spread of the Gospel in France.
  (See note 1, p. 58.) Th. de Bèze accuses him of double-dealing,
  and stigmatizes him as "rather the servant of the king than of
  God."--_Hist. Eccl._, tom. i. p. 22. Sleidan is less severe; witness
  the fine _éloge_ he has written of the Lord of Langey, lib. xv. pp.
  424-426.

  [474] The work of Viret which is here alluded to, is without doubt,
  the following:--_Deux Discours addressés aux Fidèles qui sont parmi
  les Papistes_, in 8vo, Genève, 1544.

If, however, the King has not immediately complied with the advice
of the Emperor and Tournon, that has so fallen out, rather through
the ambition than from any prudent forethought of Chatelaine,[475]
although I have no doubt whatever, but that the Lord hath driven him
on thus far, that so he might thwart this very artful policy, so
full of danger, and that our friends might not be utterly outdone
before they were aware of it. He shewed the king that it was to
be feared that if he should commit his doctors unprepared to cope
with men well trained and exercised in that kind of warfare, he
would expose not themselves merely to disgrace, but also the whole
kingdom. That, therefore, it would be better that some learned men
should be named by the king, who, uniting their efforts, might arm
themselves for the onset against us. There are twelve at Melun, out
of which number two are thought to be passing good;[476] I know not
whether I ought to admit that there is a single one of them who
answers even this description. Surety, they are meditating no good;
but He who sits in heaven shall have them in derision, and also make
them a laughing-stock in the earth. Adieu, may the Lord preserve
you and your family whom pray salute for me and mine.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [475] See note 1, p. 439, and _Hist. Eccl._, tom. i. p. 80.

  [476] Of this number was doubtless the learned Danes, Professor of
  Greek in Paris, who at that time manifested favourable dispositions
  towards the Reformation. At a later period he became the preceptor
  of Francis II., a bishop, and a persecutor.--_Hist. Eccl._, tom. i.
  p. 48.



CXXVII.--TO VIRET.[477]

  [477] Written to Viret in the outpouring of an unconstrained
  friendship, and pilfered from his master by an unfaithful valet,
  this letter became the subject, in 1548, of a formal accusation
  brought against Calvin before the Seigneury of Geneva, by Eremite
  Defrique Trolliet, one of the chiefs of the party of the Libertines.
  See on this affair the Correspondence of the Reformer with Farel and
  Viret, September 1548.

     Election of new magistrates at Geneva--struggles of Calvin.


  GENEVA, _12th February 1545_.

See how I am not even yet ashamed of my remissness! I have found out
a method by which I can relieve myself from the trouble of writing.
I send you a copy of the letters which I have written to Luther and
to Philip, that you may thence understand why I have sent Claude
to them. I have added a third, addressed to him who had made the
request to me concerning that question. The day before your letter
arrived, Textor had brought from Christopher the book of Farel to
Girard: it can be printed in a short time. I have not yet spoken to
Louis Bernard. He has twice already slipped away from me from the
sermon, but to-morrow or next day I shall make your excuse to him. I
can hear about Le Comte when you shall come; for as I perceive, my
ears are spared for the present, that they may not be compelled to
hear evil of others; and certainly I am abundantly tormented when I
am thinking and meditating on our concerns; for, as usual, I have
to wrestle in darkness with hypocrisy. Amblard Corne hath moved the
Senate that he might lay down his office;[478] for he has discovered
to the commonalty matters which had hitherto lain concealed in the
secret counsels of the Senate. They suspect, moreover, that this had
taken place not without my being aware of it, though, nevertheless,
they do not venture openly to make a noise about it, and do not
even shew any token whatever of indignation. I perceive, however,
how evil-disposed they are, and already I have broken ground upon
the subject of the internal state of the city, in ten sermons.
Wherefore, however, should I enter into this labyrinth? Come, then,
and see with your eyes those things which you cannot know by the
hearing of the ear. The Syndics have been appointed--Amy Curtet, Amy
Perrin, Domeine Arlot, Jacques de Tortonne. Louis Bernard, Peter
Verne, and two others, have been induced to enter the Senate. They
give us good hope concerning themselves. I know not, however, what
we may hope, for, under the pretext that Christ reigns, they wish to
rule without Christ. Adieu, my brother and very dear friend in the
Lord. All our friends salute you and your household. Greet Ribitti
and Imbert, from whose wife I wish you would ascertain whether she
has anything she wishes to send to Perrot, for the good man waits,
not without the greatest anxiety.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 106.]

  [478] He had resigned the office of Syndic and of Lieutenant of the
  Police of Geneva.



CXXVIII.--TO VIRET.

     Mention of Clement Marot's metrical versions of the
     Psalms--persecutions in France.


  GENEVA, _15th March 1545_.

What alone Hector asked, he obtained of me without any difficulty
whatever, that in reference to his smaller pieces we would be guided
by your decision. Certainly you will pardon me for having laid this
charge upon you, for indeed I could not otherwise satisfy both of
you; because you wished him to understand that you had written to
me expressly and anxiously. This, however, was the only method by
which I could make that evident to him, unless I would refuse the
one thing which he pressed. For who can seriously believe, that you
had requested anything on my part which I would not grant? In so
f