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Title: Letters of John Calvin, Volume II (of 4) - Compiled from the Original Manuscripts and Edited with Historical Notes
Author: Bonnet, Jules
Language: English
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       *       *       *       *       *



  LETTERS
  OF
  JOHN CALVIN


  COMPILED FROM THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS AND
  EDITED WITH HISTORICAL NOTES


  BY

  DR. JULES BONNET.

  VOL. II.

  TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN AND FRENCH LANGUAGES.


  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.



CONTENTS.


  1545.

  LETTER                                                       PAGE

      CXLIV. TO VIRET.--Unpopularity of Calvin--various advices, 15

       CXLV. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Exhortation to glorify God
               amid poverty and persecution,                     16

      CXLVI. TO MADAME DE FALAIS.--Congratulations on the
               constancy manifested by her in the midst of
               trials--salutations from the suffering Idelette
               de Bure,                                          19

     CXLVII. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Vanity of trust reposed
               in the princes of this world--confidence in God,  20

    CXLVIII. TO FAREL.--Captivity of Farel's brother--ravages
               of the plague in Geneva,                          22

      CXLIX. TO VIRET.--Dispersion of the School at Geneva--
               contests at Neuchatel on the subject of church
               property--Calvin's opinion of Farel,              24

         CL. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Prayers for his restoration
               to health,                                        26


  1546.

        CLI. TO FAREL.--News from Germany--journey of the French
               Ambassador to Geneva--details concerning the
               condition of the town,                            26

       CLII. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Calvin dedicates to him
               one of his Commentaries,                          29

      CLIII. TO JOHN FRELLON.--Rupture of the relations between
               Calvin and Servetus,                              30

       CLIV. TO FAREL.--Reply to various questions--terrible
               threat against Servetus--imprisonment of one of
               the leaders of the Libertins,                     31

        CLV. TO FAREL.--Pacification of the Church at Neuchatel--
               report of the speedy arrival of the Emperor in
               Savoy--dangers at Geneva--withering mention of
               Francis I.,                                       34

       CLVI. TO VIRET.--Election of a minister at Neuchatel--
               sickness of Viret's wife,                         36

      CLVII. TO VIRET.--Calvin invites his friend to repair to
               Geneva after the death of his wife,               37

     CLVIII. TO VIRET.--Renewed and more pressing invitation to
               come to Geneva,                                   38

       CLIX. TO THEODORE VITUS.--Indication of the various
               documents wherein are set forth the opinions
               of Calvin regarding the Lord's Supper--earnest
               desires for union and peace among the Churches--
               condition of Geneva,                              39

        CLX. TO VIRET.--Instructions to Viret about a journey
               to Geneva,                                        42

       CLXI. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Calvin's labours--the diet
               at Ratisbon--the Church of Metz--the Reformation
               at Heidelberg--_Apology_ for M. de Falais--
               opinion regarding the sermons of Ochino,          43

      CLXII. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Advice regarding the
               editing of the _Apology_--details of a loan
               contracted for M. de Falais--news from Germany
               and Italy--Farel and Viret at Geneva--death of
               Juan Diaz,                                        47

     CLXIII. TO FAREL.--Troubles at Geneva--imprisonment of the
               several members of the family of Favre--account
               of the assassination of John Diaz at Neubourg,    52

      CLXIV. TO AMY PERRIN.--Complaints regarding the conduct
               of Perrin--firm and courageous declaration by
               the Reformer of his resolution to persevere in
               his duty unto death,                              56

       CLXV. TO FAREL AND VIRET.--Requests in favour of the
               faithful in France,                               58

      CLXVI. TO MADAME DE FALAIS.--Expression of Christian
               sympathy and condolence on occasion of the
               illness of M. de Falais,                          60

     CLXVII. TO FAREL.--Excitement caused at Geneva by the
               Representation of a Play,                         61

    CLXVIII. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Proposals of matrimony on
               behalf of Viret,                                  63

      CLXIX. TO VIRET.--Account of the steps taken relative to
               his marriage,                                     65

       CLXX. TO VIRET.--Fresh details regarding the projects for
               his marriage,                                     65

      CLXXI. TO VIRET.--Same subject as the preceding,           68

     CLXXII. TO VIRET.--Breaking off of the match treated of in
               the preceding letters,                            68

    CLXXIII. TO FAREL.--Violence of the family of Amy Perrin--
               declamations of the wife of Froment against the
               ministers of Geneva,                              70

     CLXXIV. TO FAREL.--Calvin's indisposition--literary
               labours--apparent reconciliation with Perrin
               and his family,                                   72

      CLXXV. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Recurrence to the
               matrimonial projects of Viret--explanations on
               various subjects,                                 74

     CLXXVI. TO MADAME DE FALAIS.--Sad communication to be made
               to M. de Falais--promise to send several
               discourses,                                       76

    CLXXVII. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Congratulations on his
               convalescence--uncertainty of prospects in
               Germany--confidence in the all-powerful
               protection of God,                                77

   CLXXVIII. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Excuses for Viret--uses
               of sickness--various rumours concerning the war
               in Germany--explanations on the subject of the
               Supper,                                           79

     CLXXIX. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Consolations on the death
               of his sister,                                    84

      CLXXX. TO MADAME DE FALAIS.--Assurances of affection for
               herself and her husband,                          85

     CLXXXI. TO VIRET.--Statement of the expense of a visit to
               Lausanne, on the occasion of Viret's marriage--
               ecclesiastical difficulties at Berne,             86

    CLXXXII. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Military movements in
               Switzerland--policy of the Cantons in reference
               to the Emperor,                                   88

   CLXXXIII. TO MADAME DE BUDÉ.--Calvin exhorts this lady to
               leave France, and retire with her family to
               Geneva,                                           90


  1547.

    CLXXXIV. TO THE AVOYER NŒGUELY.--Complaints of the
               misconduct of several ministers in the Pays de
               Vaud,                                             94

     CLXXXV. TO FAREL.--Mission of Calvin in Switzerland--
               dispositions of the various Cantons,              95

    CLXXXVI. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Search for a house for that
               gentleman in Geneva--various details--mention
               of Charles V. and Francis I.,                     97

   CLXXXVII. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Instructions regarding the
               _Apology_--alarming rumours current at Geneva--
               Calvin's confidence,                             100

  CLXXXVIII. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Disputes of M. de Falais
               with Valeran Poulain--reports of the expected
               arrival of the former in Geneva,                 102

    CLXXXIX. TO VALERAN POULAIN.--Severe reprobation of his
               behaviour towards M. de Falais--reply to a
               calumny directed against the Reformer,           104

        CXC. TO VIRET.--Weakness of the Genevese magistracy--
               expectation of Viret's arrival in Geneva,        106

       CXCI. TO WOLFGANG MUSCULUS.--Anxiety regarding the
               Churches of Germany--advice to Musculus,         108

      CXCII. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Steps taken at Basle to
               retract a promise of marriage made to Valeran
               Poulain,                                         110

     CXCIII. TO FRANCIS DRYANDER.--Confused state of the
               Church--hopes and fears for the future,          111

      CXCIV. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--The sending of a
               minister--perplexities regarding anticipated
               events in Germany,                               113

       CXCV. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Information in regard to
               a house--advice on the subject of a marriage
               proposed for a relative of Monsieur de Falais,   114

      CXCVI. TO VIRET.--Interview of Calvin with a senator of
               Berne--advantage secured over the party of the
               Libertins,                                       116

     CXCVII. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Recommendation of John de
               Budé--uncertainty of the news from Germany,      118

    CXCVIII. TO MONSIEUR DE BUDÉ.--He exhorts him to follow the
             example of the rest of his family, and retire to
             Geneva,                                            119

      CXCIX. TO VIRET.--Citation before the Consistory of the
               wife of Amy Perrin--case of Gruet--news from
               Germany,                                         122

         CC. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Solemn lessons afforded by
               the sad occurrences in Germany--troubles in
               Geneva--energetic attitude of Calvin,            125

        CCI. TO VIRET.--Indecision of the Seigneurs of
               Geneva--inflexibility of Calvin,                 128

       CCII. TO THE FAITHFUL OF FRANCE.--State of Germany--
               details regarding the struggles of the Reformer
               in the cause of the truth at Geneva,             129

      CCIII. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Thanksgivings for the
             happy deliverance of Madame de Falais--false
             reports concerning the state of Geneva--details
             regarding the publication of the _Apology_--
             indisposition of Calvin, and his regret at being
             separated from Monsieur de Falais,                 132

       CCIV. TO FAREL.--False report of Calvin's death--
               proposition (query) by the wife of Amy Perrin--
               calumnious accusation against Idelette de Bure--
               journey of Farel to Geneva,                      137

        CCV. TO VIRET.--Mention of a letter from M. de Falais--
               Emmanuel Tremelli--a book by Viret--journey of
               Budé and Nicolas des Gallars to Paris,           139

       CCVI. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Dedication of the
               _Apology_--mention of M. de Mommor--sickness
               of Maldonado,                                    141

      CCVII. TO HENRY BULLINGER.--Comments by Calvin on a work
               by Bullinger--state of Germany and Italy--policy
               of the Cantons,                                  143

     CCVIII. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Return of Nicolas des
               Gallars--stay of Farel and Viret at Geneva,      145

       CCIX. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Re-assuring intelligence
               on the state of Geneva--restoration of
               Maldonado,                                       146

        CCX. TO FAREL.--Sad state of the Republic--
               discouragement of the Reformer,                  147

       CCXI. TO VIRET.--Rising at the Hôtel de Ville--heroic
               bearing of Calvin--trust in God alone,           148

      CCXII. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Printing of _The
               Apology_--troubles at Geneva,                    150

     CCXIII. TO VIRET.--Invitation to come to Geneva,           151

      CCXIV. TO FAREL.--Publication of _The Antidote_--
               statement regarding the condition of Geneva,     152

       CCXV. TO THE FAMILY OF BUDÉ.--Consolations on occasion
               of the Death of one of its Members,              154


  1548.

      CCXVI. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Cost of printing of _The
               Apology_--despatch of several copies,            157

     CCXVII. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Particulars regarding
               his departure, and the purchase of a property
               near Geneva,                                     159

    CCXVIII. TO HENRY BULLINGER.--Brotherly explanations
               regarding the difference on the subject of
               the Communion,                                   160

      CCXIX. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Obstacles to his
               departure--delay of some months,                 162

       CCXX. TO FAREL.--Distressing condition of the Swiss
               churches,                                        164

      CCXXI. TO FAREL AND VIRET.--Disputes among the ministers
               of Berne--and Calvin's journey thither,          165

     CCXXII. TO VIRET.--Communications regarding affairs at
               Berne,                                           166

    CCXXIII. TO VIRET.--Ecclesiastical tyranny of the
               Seigneurs of Berne--sojourn of Idelette de
               Bure at Lausanne,                                167

     CCXXIV. TO HENRY BULLINGER.--New explanations regarding
               the Supper--violence of some of the Bernese
               ministers--Calvinism and Buceranism,             168

      CCXXV. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Preparations for the
               marriage of Mademoiselle de Wilergy, his
               relation,                                        173

     CCXXVI. TO FAREL.--Uncertainty regarding the disposition
               of the Cantons--stay of Monsieur and Madame de
               Falais in Calvin's house,                        175

    CCXXVII. TO VIRET.--Embarrassment occasioned to Calvin
               by the treacherous publication of one of his
               letters to Viret,                                176

   CCXXVIII. TO A FRENCH SEIGNEUR.--Exhortation to come to
               Geneva, that he might there serve the Lord
               faithfully,                                      179

     CCXXIX. TO THE PROTECTOR SOMERSET.--Duties imposed on
               the Protector by the high office which he
               holds--plan of a complete reformation in
               England--preaching of the pure word of God--
               rooting out of abuses--correction of vices
               and scandalous offences,                         182

      CCXXX. TO FAREL.--Election of new magistrates at
               Geneva--troubles in France--letter from Bucer,   198

     CCXXXI. TO JOHN STURM.--Evidences of faith and Christian
               steadfastness, amid the dangers that threaten
               the Church,                                      200


  1549.

    CCXXXII. TO MADAME DE CANY.--Exhortation to a courageous
               and honest profession of the truth,              201

   CCXXXIII. TO MADEMOISELLE DE ....--Exhortations to
               steadfastness in the faith--acknowledgment of
               liberality,                                      205

    CCXXXIV. TO THE MINISTERS OF THE CHURCH OF MONTBELIARD.--
             Exhortations to discharge to the end their
             ministerial duties,                                208

     CCXXXV. TO HENRY BULLINGER.--Hope of Union with the
               theologians of Zurich--dedication of several
               writings,                                        210

    CCXXXVI. TO BUCER.--Consolations to be found in the study
               of divine and everlasting truth,                 212

   CCXXXVII. TO THE PASTORS OF THE CHURCH OF BERNE.--Desire of
               union between the Churches of Berne and Geneva,  214

  CCXXXVIII. TO VIRET.--Death of Idelette de Bure, the wife
               of Calvin,                                       216

    CCXXXIX. TO FAREL.--Further details regarding the death of
               Idelette de Bure,                                217

       CCXL. TO MADAME DE CANY.--Account of the instructive
               death of Madame Laurent de Normandie,            219

      CCXLI. TO VIRET.--Various particulars--recommendation of
               Francis Hotman, Jurisconsult,                    223

     CCXLII. TO HENRY BULLINGER.--Pleading in favour of the
               alliance of the Reformed Cantons with France,    225

    CCXLIII. TO MADAME DE LA ROCHE-POSAY.--He exhorts her and
               her companions to live in conformity with the
               law of God,                                      229

     CCXLIV. TO BUCER.--Encouragements and consolations--desire
               for the conclusion of peace between France and
               England--excesses of the ultra-Lutheran party
               in Switzerland and Germany--agreement between
               the Churches of Geneva and Zurich,               232

      CCXLV. TO LADY ANNE SEYMOUR.--Thanks to the Duchess of
               Somerset, the mother of Anne Seymour--
               exhortation to perseverance in the true faith,   236

     CCXLVI. TO FAREL.--Reply by the Protector of England to a
               letter from Calvin,                              238

    CCXLVII. TO FAREL.--Imprisonment of two brothers of M. de
               Falais--persecution in the Low Countries and in
               France,                                          239

   CCXLVIII. TO VIRET.--Negotiations in reference to the
               publication of the _Consensus_--George, Count
               of Montbeliard,                                  240

     CCXLIX. TO THE PASTORS OF THE CHURCH OF ZURICH.--Urgent
               recommendation of the adoption of a fixed
               formulary in the celebration of the Lord's
               Supper,                                          241

        CCL. TO BULLINGER.--Revisal of the Formulary--
               persecutions in France,                          243

       CCLI. TO FAREL AND VIRET.--Letter concerning Vergerio--
               history of Francis Spira,                        245

      CCLII. TO FAREL.--Criticism on a work by Farel,           246

     CCLIII. TO VIRET.--First mention of Theodore Beza--poverty
               of Calvin's colleagues,                          248

      CCLIV. TO JOHN HALLER.--A reformer's complaints on the
               malevolence of the Bernese ministers,            249

       CCLV. TO WOLFGANG MUSCULUS.--Prohibition of the Vaudois
               Conferences--remonstrances on the intolerance of
               the Bernese ministers towards those of France,   251

      CCLVI. TO MONSIEUR DE SAINT LAURENS.--Statement of
               leading articles of the Reformed Faith,          253


  1550.

     CCLVII. TO THE PROTECTOR SOMERSET.--Congratulations on
               the royal favour shown to the Duke of Somerset--
               use to be made of his influence for spreading
               the Gospel in England,                           257

    CCLVIII. TO FAREL.--Tidings from Germany and England--
               recommendation of a domestic,                    262

      CCLIX. TO FAREL.--Election of a new Pope,                 264

       CCLX. TO FRANCIS DRYANDER.--Counsels and encouragements--
               collection of Commentaries on Isaiah by Des
               Gallars,                                         265

      CCLXI. TO NICOLAS COLLADON.--Settlement of the Colladon
               family at Geneva,                                266

     CCLXII. TO THE SEIGNEURY OF GENEVA.--Notice of a
               publication attributed to Gruet,                 268

    CCLXIII. TO MELANCHTHON.--Controversies excited in Germany
               by the establishment of _the Interim_--brotherly
               reproofs,                                        270

     CCLXIV. TO VIRET.--Hope of an early visit from Viret--
               projected excursions in the neighbourhood of
               Geneva,                                          275

      CCLXV. TO FAREL.--Opinion regarding Vergerio--intelligence
               regarding Bucer--letter to Melanchthon--disputes
               with Berne--literary publications of Calvin,     276

     CCLXVI. TO WILLIAM RABOT.--Exhortation to the study of the
               Scriptures,                                      278

    CCLXVII. TO FAREL.--Publication of the book on _Scandals_--
               persecution by the King of France--Bucer's
               discouragement,                                  279

   CCLXVIII. TO FAREL.--State of religion in England--Calvin's
               literary labours--arrival of Robert Stephens at
               Geneva,                                          282

     CCLXIX. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Misconduct of a servant
               of M. de Falais,                                 285


  1551.

      CCLXX. TO HALLER.--Explanations on the subject of the
               abolition of the great festivals at Geneva,      287

     CCLXXI. TO VIRET.--Criticism of a mandate published by
               the Seigneurs of Berne,                          289

    CCLXXII. TO RICHARD LE FEVRE.--Explanations regarding
               various points of doctrine in dispute between
               the Romish and the Reformed Churches,            291

   CCLXXIII. TO VIRET.--Various particulars--literary labours
               of Theodore Beza,                                298

    CCLXXIV. TO THE KING OF ENGLAND.--He exhorts him to
               persevere in the work of the Reformation in
               his kingdom--enumeration of abuses, ceremonies,
               ecclesiastical elections--universities,          299

     CCLXXV. TO BULLINGER.--He excuses the infrequency of his
               letters, and urges the publication of the
               _Consensus_,                                     304

    CCLXXVI. TO BULLINGER.--Thanks for a document--dedication
               of two commentaries to the King of England--
               captivity of Bishop Hooper--movements of the
               Emperor in Germany,                              306

   CCLXXVII. TO BULLINGER.--Mention of a letter to the Duke
               of Somerset--re-opening of the Council of
               Trent--symptoms of war in Europe,                308

  CCLXXVIII. TO VIRET.--Death of Bucer and Joachim Vadian,      310

    CCLXXIX. TO FAREL.--Renewed expressions of regret for the
               death of Vadian and Bucer--controversies excited
               by Osiander--numerous migrations to Geneva--
               commencement of hostilities in Italy,            311

     CCLXXX. TO A FRENCH GENTLEMAN.--Sickness of Theodore
               Beza--Calvin's grief,                            314

    CCLXXXI. TO THE DUKE OF SOMERSET.--Protestations of
               attachment--reforms required in the Church of
               England--squandering of the revenues of
               benefices and of the universities,               315

   CCLXXXII. TO VIRET.--Reply to the attacks of Pighius, and
               of George of Sicily,                             317

  CCLXXXIII. TO THE MINISTERS OF NEUCHATEL.--Arrest of a
               minister from Neuchatel in France--steps for
               obtaining his release,                           318

   CCLXXXIV. TO BULLINGER.--Edict of Chateaubriand, in
               France--attacks on Calvin in Geneva,             319

    CCLXXXV. TO THE MINISTERS OF SWITZERLAND.--Statement of
               the controversy with Bolsec regarding Election,  322

   CCLXXXVI. TO OSWALD MYCONIUS.--Recommendations regarding
               the dispute with Bolsec--request on behalf of
               the Protestants of France,                       326

  CCLXXXVII. TO CHRISTOPHER FABRI.--Calvin's dissatisfaction
               with the reply of the ministers of Bâle, and
               the conduct of Monsieur de Falais regarding the
               affair with Bolsec,                              327

  CCLXXXVIII. TO FAREL.--Recommendation of a schoolmaster--
               complaints against the ministers of Zurich,      328

    CCLXXXIX. TO LELIO SOCIN.--Refusal to reply to the curious
                questions proposed to him by Socin,             330


  1552.

       CCXC. TO BULLINGER.--Thanks for the zeal manifested on
               behalf of the faithful in France--complaints of
               the conduct of the ministers of Zurich in the
               affair of Bolsec,                                331

      CCXCI. TO FAREL.--Fresh complaints by Calvin against the
               ministers of Zurich and Berne--his unpopularity
               in the latter city--advices to Farel,            335

     CCXCII. TO MADAME DE CANY.--Rigorous and inflexible spirit
               of Calvin against heresy--praise of Theodore
               Beza,                                            338

    CCXCIII. TO BULLINGER.--Journey of Calvin and Farel in
               Switzerland--steps in favour of the Reformed
               in France--return to the affairs of Bolsec,      341

     CCXCIV. TO CRANMER.--Agreement to the proposal for
               assembling a General Synod for the more close
               union of the Reformed Churches,                  345

      CCXCV. TO BULLINGER.--Fresh details regarding the
               persecutions in France,                          349

     CCXCVI. TO THE FIVE PRISONERS OF LYONS,--MARTIAL ALBA,
               PETER ESCRIVAIN, CHARLES FAVRE, PETER
               NAVIHERES, BERNARD SEGUIN.--Information on
               various doctrinal points, and assurances of
               Christian sympathy,                              350

    CCXCVII. TO EDWARD VI.--Dedication of a new work, and
               Christian exhortations,                          354

   CCXCVIII. TO CRANMER.--Calvin exhorts him to prosecute with
               fresh zeal the reformation of the Church in
               England, by purging it of the relics of Popery,  356

     CCXCIX. TO JOHN LINER.--Thanks for the zeal manifested by
               him on behalf of the prisoners of Lyons,         358

        CCC. TO THE FRENCH CHURCH IN LONDON.--Exhortations to
               harmony--Is it lawful to call Mary the Mother
               of God, and to pray for the Pope?                360

       CCCI. TO THE SEIGNEURS OF GENEVA.--Reply of Calvin to
               the Syndics of Geneva in the case of Trolliet,   363

      CCCII. TO FAREL.--Conspiracy of the Libertins--energy of
               the Reformer--struggles of Viret at Lausanne,    370

     CCCIII. TO VIRET.--Literary labours of Theodore Beza,      372

      CCCIV. TO AMBROISE BLAURER.--Troubles at Geneva--sad
               intelligence from France and Germany--steady
               in the promises of God,                          373

       CCCV. TO MELANCHTHON.--Earnest desires for the
               continuance of their mutual affection--disputes
               with Trolliet--longing for agreement in doctrine
               regarding the Communion and Election,            375

      CCCVI. TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.--Rupture of Calvin with the
               Seigneur,                                        381


  1553.

     CCCVII. TO MATHIEU DIMONET.--Exhortation to patience and
               constancy under persecution,                     384

    CCCVIII. TO CHRISTOPHER FABRI.--Congratulations on the
               subject of his approaching marriage--Calvin's
               regret that he cannot be present at the
               ceremony,                                        387

      CCCIX. TO JOHN CHEKE.--Calvin apologizes for silence,
               and enjoins him to use his influence with the
               King for the advancement of the Gospel in
               England,                                         389

       CCCX. TO THE FIVE PRISONERS OF LYONS.--Exhortations to
               constancy--mention of Oritz the Inquisitor,      391

      CCCXI. TO EDWARD VI.--Recommendation of a French
               gentleman, a prisoner for the sake of the
               Gospel,                                          393

     CCCXII. TO FAREL.--Serious illness and unexpected
               recovery of Farel--Calvin's joy,                 395

    CCCXIII. TO CHRISTOPHER AND TO THOMAS ZOLLICOFFRE.--Last
               steps in favour of the prisoners of Lyons,       396

     CCCXIV. TO CRANMER.--He entreats his influence in favour
               of the person already recommended to the King,   398

      CCCXV. TO MONSIEUR DE MAROLLES.--Christian encouragement
               and consolation,                                 399

     CCCXVI. TO VIRET.--Extinction of all hope in regard to the
               prisoners of Lyons,                              401

    CCCXVII. TO BULLINGER.--Assurances of respect and fraternal
               affection,                                       402

   CCCXVIII. TO THE FIVE PRISONERS OF LYONS.--He exhorts them
               to  steadfastness unto the end, in the assurance
               of eternal joy reserved in heaven,               404

     CCCXIX. TO MADAME DE CANY.--Expression of Christian
               sympathy under trial,                            408

      CCCXX. TO THE PRISONERS OF LYONS.--He impresses on them
               the duty of maintaining their confession of the
               truth quietly and modestly,                      411

     CCCXXI. TO BULLINGER.--Expression of regret for the death
               of the King of England--sad condition of the
               German Churches,                                 414

    CCCXXII. TO FAREL.--Arrest of Servetus, and institution
               of the process against him,                      416

   CCCXXIII. TO DENIS PELOQUIN AND LOUIS DE MARSAC.--
               Information regarding various controverted
               points--exhortation to fidelity, even unto
               martyrdom,                                       418

    CCCXXIV. TO HIS DEARLY BELOVED THE PASTORS OF THE CHURCH
               OF FRANKFORT.--Request for the destruction of
               the copies at Frankfort of the book of Servetus, 422

     CCCXXV. TO VIRET.--Troubles at Geneva--Berthelier and the
               chiefs of the Libertins are refused admission to
               the Lord's Table,                                423

    CCCXXVI. TO BULLINGER.--Deep anxiety on account of the
               condition of the English Churches--Conference
               of the Swiss Churches in regard to Servetus,     425

   CCCXXVII. TO SULZER.--Statement of the errors of Servetus,
               and of the duty of the Christian magistrate to
               repress them,                                    427

  CCCXXVIII. TO A CAPTIVE LADY.--He consoles her under her
               trials, and exhorts her to use every means to
               secure her retreat to Geneva,                    430

    CCCXXIX. TO THE BELIEVERS IN THE ISLES.--Religious counsels,
               and announcement of the sending of a minister,   432

     CCCXXX. TO FAREL.--Acknowledgment of Farel's care for the
               Church of Geneva,                                434

    CCCXXXI. TO FAREL.--Deliverance by the Swiss Churches
               regarding Servetus--vain efforts of Calvin to
               obtain a mitigation of his punishment,           435

   CCCXXXII. TO MADAME DE PONS.--He encourages her to come out
               of the spiritual bondage in which she is held,   436

  CCCXXXIII. TO VIRET.--Recommendation of several English
               refugees in Switzerland,                         439

   CCCXXXIV. TO BULLINGER.--Appeal to the Magistrates of
               Zurich in reference to ecclesiastical
               discipline--thanks for the aid afforded by
               the ministers of that Church in the affair of
               Servetus,                                        440

    CCCXXXV. TO THE PASTORS AND DOCTORS OF THE CHURCH OF
               ZURICH.--Account of the struggles at Geneva for
               the maintenance of ecclesiastical discipline--
               appeal to the Pastors of Zurich for their
               influence with the magistrates of that town,     442

   CCCXXXVI. TO BULLINGER.--Fresh details regarding
               ecclesiastical discipline--hope of speedy
               realization--announcement of the publication
               of a book against the errors of Servetus,        447

  CCCXXXVII. TO FAREL.--Assistance afforded to the faithful
               refugees in Switzerland--reply of the Churches
               on the subject of ecclesiastical discipline,     448

  CCCXXXVIII. TO AN ITALIAN LADY.--He exhorts her to withdraw,
               by a voluntary exile, from the persecution and
               idolatry reigning in Italy,                      450

   CCCXXXIX. TO A SEIGNEUR OF JERSEY.--Christian exhortations--
               sending of a minister,                           453



CALVIN'S LETTERS.



CXLIV.--TO VIRET.[1]

  [1] The letters of the Cantons to the King, in favour of the Vaudois
  of Provence, only served to irritate that monarch. He passionately
  replied,--"The Vaudois have but received the just punishment
  of their crimes. Besides, the Swiss have no more right to busy
  themselves with what passes in my kingdom, than I have to make
  inquiry into what they do at home."--_Histoire de la Confédération
  Suisse_, vol. xi. p. 289. The failure of those proceedings
  redounded to the discredit of Calvin with the people, as he had
  been the instigator of them. His adversaries went about reiterating
  everywhere that he had compromised the most valued interests of the
  Cantons, by drawing upon them the enmity of the King of France.

     Unpopularity of Calvin--various advices.


  [GENEVA, _September 1545_.]

When a crowd of the godly had come hither, and I heard some things
which it was of great consequence you should know, I wished two of
them at once to set out for you. You will understand that Satan
seeks by every sort of artful contrivance to keep all men from
thinking of succouring these people, and to give a keener edge to
the ferocity of the King and courtiers, which is already more than
sufficiently whetted against them. The Swiss also are uncommonly
severe upon me, not only the pensionaries, but all those who have
no other wisdom than that of Epicurus, because, by my importunity,
I have drawn down upon their nation the hatred of the King. But may
there be nothing of such moment as shall retard us in the discharge
of our duty beyond what cannot be avoided.

Charles the schoolmaster, on whose account Sebastian abused me,
has deserted his post, induced by what prospect I know not. We
have appointed Francis his successor; but as he had received one
month's payment out of the salary of your school, it seemed the
more honourable course that he should previously request permission
and his discharge from the Bernese Council, a matter in which, as
I trust, there will be no difficulty. A maternal uncle also of our
colleague Peter sought a recommendation [for him,] which he brings
with him. If you think it called for, you will likewise lend the
aid of your suffrage. We have always found him an excellent and
ingenuous man, peaceable and modest. He is said, for instance, to
have laboured faithfully, and with success, in the vineyard of the
Lord in Provence.

Adieu; may the Lord be ever present with you.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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



CXLV.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.[2]

  [2] Letter without date, written at the same time as the following,
  (September 1545.) Summoned in the name of the Emperor to leave
  Strasbourg and return to Brabant, M. de Falais had not obeyed that
  command. This refusal, in stirring up the imperial displeasure
  against him, had exposed him, without defence, to the interested
  denunciations of his enemies. The butt of most calumnious
  accusations, he saw his character misunderstood, his name outraged,
  his property put under sequestration, while he pined away himself--a
  prey to sickness and discouragement.

     Exhortation to glorify God amid poverty and persecution.


  [_September 1545._]

MONSIEUR,--Although I do not know the state of mind or body in
which you are at present, nevertheless, I have good confidence in
God that, whether in health or sickness, he gives you strength to
overcome all the annoyance you may have to encounter. For you are
no novice in the fight, seeing that for a long time past the good
Lord has begun to prepare you for it; and nothing has happened to
you which you had not looked for beforehand. But it is time to
show in reality that when you have set yourself frankly to follow
Jesus Christ, you have not done so without being resolved to hold
fellowship with him at the cross, since he has done us that honour
to be crucified in us, to glorify us with himself. And there is
no doubt, even at the time when you were in your own mansion, and
in the peaceable enjoyment of your property, you would have had
the courage to quit everything had it so pleased him, and that you
were of the number of those who _use the things of this world as
not abusing them_, (1 Cor. vii. 31.) But, forasmuch as it is very
reasonable that one should be taught by experience to discern what
our affection is most set upon, you are to consider that it has been
our Lord's will to give you to many others for an example, and, by
this means, to glorify his name in you.

On the other hand, we know not what it is to part with everything
for the love of him, until he has brought us to the test. True it
is, that he who has taken off his affection from the goods of this
world has already sold all, and has made himself poor, so far as
depends upon himself; but the fruit and the proof of this spiritual
poverty are, patiently to endure the loss of worldly goods, and
without any regret, when it pleases our heavenly Father that we
should be despoiled of them. I do not set these things before you as
to one who is ignorant, or who has need of lengthy remonstrances,
but for the love that I bear you, of which God is my witness. I take
comfort along with you, as I also suffer in your person.

The time then is arrived when you must manifest that you reckon all
things no more than dung, that you may reach forward to Him who
not only has bestowed on you all his benefits, but also himself.
And since God has permitted that you should be disburdened of a
part of your worldly goods, you are to consider that he has clearly
perceived that, for the present, they would prove a useless fardel
for you. I say a part, albeit that, as it were, the whole has been
snatched away from you, yet, so that there remains, as I hope, an
abundance for your use. These whirlpools, however, which engulf the
whole world, have daily greater want than those whose substance they
have swallowed down.

In short, you have not been lessened one whit, seeing that our Lord,
while teaching you that your inheritance is in heaven, has made
provision for what might be useful for the life of the body, by
bestowing contentment upon you, and, as regards property, more than
was needful to make you contented. If the whole should be taken away
from you, there would yet remain the consolation to which we must
chiefly betake ourselves, namely, to yield ourselves up entirely.
It is certain, that having the Son of God, we suffer no injury in
being deprived of all else: for thus highly ought we indeed to prize
him. But further, since this kind Saviour has so benignly upheld
you, that while calling you to the fellowship of his cross, he has
provided for your worldly comfort, it is quite fitting that you
submit yourself to his good pleasure, and, besides, rejoice that in
being minished, so far as the world is concerned, you are thereby so
much the more exalted before him and his angels. For howsoever the
world strives, by all means, to bury Jesus Christ in ignominy, his
burial cannot be otherwise than glorious, not only in himself, but
also in his members. Let us therefore endure personal humiliation,
as shall seem good to him. But my letters would never come to an
end were I to follow out the drift of this discourse. Therefore,
Monseigneur, after having humbly commended me to your kind favour, I
pray our good Lord that he would so work in you now more powerfully
than ever, to make you despise all that is in the world, and to make
you breathe upwards direct to him with your whole heart, without
being turned aside by anything whatsoever, making you taste what is
the worth of the hope which he reserves for us in heaven; and that
it may please him to lighten your burden as regards the body, in
order that you may be all the better disposed, well to meditate upon
the favours he has bestowed upon you, and to take delight in them,
acknowledging the love which he has shewn you. My wife, who is sick
in bed, begs also to be humbly commended to your kind remembrance.
This bearer, who is of the better sort, and of the stamp such as
you require, will inform you more at large concerning our state.

  Your humble brother, servant, and assured friend,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CXLVI.--TO MADAME DE FALAIS.

     Congratulations on the constancy manifested by her in the midst
     of trials--salutations from the suffering Idelette de Bure.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 18th September_ [1545.]

MADAME,--I have not leisure to write at such length as I willingly
would, on account of the state in which we are. The present letter
shall be solely to praise our good Lord for the trust which he has
bestowed on you, enlarging your heart in the midst of anxieties, by
which it might have been tried, without your having his comfort from
on high. Whatsoever may happen, if we have the patience to hearken
to our Saviour, he will always give us wherewithal to rejoice our
spirits, and will make us taste and feel, in a lively way, that
it is not in vain that he has promised to make us unconquerable
in tribulations. Now, then, learn in reality what that beautiful
promise is worth, that we are indeed happy, when all the world shall
speak ill of us, and shall hate us, and shall persecute us for his
name's sake. Therefore it is, that he has prepared you, long before
exposing you to danger. To this truth it is that you must now recur,
that you may acquiesce in it; and, indeed, he is actually leading
you thither by the hand.

Wherefore are we not together, to provoke Satan, by meditating upon
the things which may well cause us spiritual rejoicing, and give
us matter for glorying more than ever, even when we are utterly
discomfited according to the world's estimation? But I am aware
that you have no need of my fellowship in that; and besides, I say
so, more to content myself than because of your necessity. Above
all, understand that now the hour is come when you must shew what a
helpmeet you are to Monseigneur your husband, in such a sort that
he may always have occasion to bless God, as he has had hitherto,
for having provided him with such a support. I say this, because
I consider that it is the principal one that God has left him as
regards the creature, without having deprived him of all. I see
clearly, though absent, by what zeal you are urged forward to acquit
yourself of duty, and what trouble you take to employ yourself
therein. For which reason, what I now speak is not so much by way
of exhortation as, while congratulating, to uphold you in that good
courage which God has given.

I address to your care some reply which I have made to the sister
of Monseigneur, who is at Mons, to a communication which she sent
lately to the wife of Saint-André. If it seem good to you, you can
cause forward it to her, with this which I send to the sister of
Monsieur David. I submit the whole to your good discretion.

To conclude, Madame and very honoured sister, after having
affectionately commended me to your kind favour, and having also
presented to you the humble commendations of my wife, who lies sick
in bed, I entreat our good Lord to fill you with all grace, daily
to increase his glory in you, and to triumph in your constancy, in
order that finally we may be also partakers of his glory which he
has promised us.

  Your servant and humble brother,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CXLVII.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.[3]

  [3] This letter, without date, seems to have been written at the
  same epoch, and under the same circumstances as the two preceding
  letters.

     Vanity of trust reposed in the princes of this world--confidence
     in God.


MONSEIGNEUR,--I hope that, when these present shall reach you,
they will find you, by the favour of our kind Lord, in such state
of mind and bodily health as we desire, and likewise Madame your
wife. The news, however, which we have had of the sickness of both
has grieved us, and will do so until we receive other which may
gladden us. Besides, there is reason indeed that we should live and
that we should die to Him who has purchased, in order to be every
way glorified in us, and that we shew practically that we are his,
submitting ourselves entirely to him in true obedience, which is
not in our power to do without resigning and giving up our persons
to him, so that he dispose of them as shall seem good to himself.
If it please him to prolong life, we must prepare to see much
poverty in the Christian Church. We see the dispersion and complete
disorder there is in it at present. Hope of amendment there appears
none on the side of the world; for to befool one's-self in relying
upon princes, that is labour lost. They have, besides, so many
hindrances, that they have not leisure to think about what ought
to be the chief consideration of all. In short, they are entirely
taken up with their civil state, for the sake of which they will
persecute Jesus Christ, thinking that there is no other method of
maintaining it. It will be nothing new, however, if, though only for
shame's sake, they should make a pretence of applying a remedy for
such horrible confusion, on account of which both heaven and earth
cry out. Wherefore, it only remains for us to pray God that it may
please him to strengthen us with true constancy in the midst of
these scandals, in such a way that nothing may seduce us, but that
we may persevere always. And also, that he would look in pity upon
his Church, and put forth the hand to lift her up again, fulfilling
that which the prophet has said, that _seeing that he had no helper
among men, he has put forth the strength of his arm_, (Isa. lix. 16.)

In conclusion, let us employ ourselves in his service, labouring
without growing weary or losing courage, until he call us away into
that blessed rest where we have contentment in himself, delighting
ourselves in the labours we shall have undergone, receiving then the
recompense of reward which shall be there revealed to us.

Now therefore, Monsieur, after humble commendation to your favour
and that of Madame, I beseech the good Lord to uphold you in
real prosperity, continuing his graces in you, so that to the
end you may be instruments of his glory, and that he may be your
sanctification.

  Your servant and humble brother ever,
  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CXLVIII.--To Farel.[4]

  [4] Letter without date, and without conclusion, written during the
  attack of the plague, under which the minister Geniston succumbed,
  that is to say, in September 1545.

     Captivity of Farel's brother--ravages of the plague in Geneva.


  [_September 1545._]

You will hear sad news; for this person will inform you that your
brother Gautier[5] is lying in fetters, and in imminent peril of his
life. The very thing that I always feared, and that I foretold would
occur, has happened; and in this I regret that I have not proved a
false prophet. But of what avail are such complaints? With regard to
helping him, I do not know how far it is in the power of the Bernese
to do so, nor what, at this time, they may be willing to undertake.
You will know these things better than I. There is no hope of
obtaining any seasonable assistance from Germany, unless by means of
John Sturm, who, however well disposed he may be towards the cause,
is not, so far as things have gone, friendly to your brother. Would
that you had thought better, while there was time, of what it is to
offend a friend who deserved well. Besides, you are not ignorant of
the fact, that there are servile persons who wish, at this time of
the day, to approve their obsequiousness to the princes. Yet, if
you shall be of opinion that it will be useful to attempt something
in that quarter, your influence with Sturm himself is great. You
have, however, your own Bucer, to whom he never ventured to refuse
anything; but it is a long circuit. Let him, therefore, accelerate
the movements of the Bernese, lest the remedy come too late.

  [5] Gautier Farel, brother to the Reformer. He was very soon
  afterwards restored to liberty, contrary to all expectation.

We are surprised that we have had no announcement regarding
yourself. Viret made me aware of the resolution that had been come
to by the brethren; but, as far as I can gather from his letter,
nothing has been done in the Council. How long, therefore, will the
matter remain in doubt? Here, as you know, we are in great straits:
you are away from us; Matthæus is occupied in the hospital for those
who are suffering from the plague. In the meantime, while we are
calling upon you to come, we have lost our very excellent brother
and most faithful colleague Geniston.[6] What if the others should
likewise be taken away? What if one only should survive, [I myself?]
What if the ministers be shut up by themselves, through the absurd
superstition of our townsmen?--just as lately a large number was
within a little of being so confined. Consider, therefore, these
our difficulties, lest you put us off longer than is right. But
what Viret mentions that your people have added, viz: that you are
conceded to us, on the condition of our being able to bring about
the succession of Toussain, is certainly ridiculous; for what can
we do in that matter, or in what way shall we attempt the business?
The short of it is, we by no means prescribe a definite time, but we
desire you to use your utmost diligence to disengage yourself from
the place where you are, in order that you may forthwith repair to
us unfettered;[7] for we are now sadly in want of your presence, as
you may judge from our condition. The wife of Geniston is, at the
same time, in the death-throes, his little girl is wearing away, and
his little boy is now given over....

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

  [6] The minister, Louis de Geniston, following the noble example
  of Pierre Blanchet, cut off by the plague in 1543, had, of his own
  accord, offered himself for the service of the hospital set apart
  for those afflicted with the plague. He fell under it, a victim of
  his devotedness, in September 1545. His wife and two of his children
  were carried off a few days afterwards by the scourge, which almost
  wholly depopulated several quarters of the city.

  [7] There exists (Imp. Lib. _Recueil Hist., de France_, vol. xix.)
  a piece entitled _Lepida Farelli Vocatio_. In that letter Calvin
  vigorously urges his friend to repair to Geneva, by calling to mind
  the religious violence with which he was himself detained there,
  by the voice of Farel, at the time of his first entrance into that
  city in 1536. "Do you expect that I should thunder as you were wont
  to do, when you wished forcibly to draw me hither?" The urgencies
  of Calvin were fruitless, and the Church of Neuchatel retained, for
  twenty years longer, the services and the indefatigable activity of
  Farel.



CXLIX.--TO VIRET.

     Dispersion of the School at Geneva--contests at Neuchatel on the
     subject of church property--Calvin's opinion of Farel.


  _24th October 1545._

We shall wait until you either restore Francis to us, or send
Erasmus. As, meanwhile, the school is dispersed,[8] you must make
haste. If both of these courses appear to you tedious, or attended
with difficulty, briefly signify so to us; for I will send for
a person from Strasbourg, who, in my opinion, will be suitable,
although I would rather have taken one from this quarter. With
regard to the _assistant-teacher_, I do not venture upon anything,
because it will be more satisfactory that the person who has the
superintendence of the school shall have the unfettered power of
selecting whom he chooses.

  [8] The plague had dispersed the regents and students of the
  College of Geneva, and Calvin was labouring at the re-organization
  of that establishment. He had already proposed to the Council, in
  March 1545, to call to Geneva the celebrated Maturin Cordier, _as
  president of the regents_; but this proposal ended in nothing, and
  Maturin Cordier remained at Lausanne.

I had excused myself to Farel, but he remains fixed in his
purpose.[9] It would not only be ridiculous, but bordering on
imprudence, to undertake to correct in the Neuchatelese a vice which
here we are not able to cure. I had given it as my advice, that it
would be better to draw up a memorial, in which the Princes should
promise that they would be always ready to make restitution, if an
agreement could be come to regarding legitimate administration. In
the next place, I advised them, under this pretext, to put a stop
to those profane alienations, in order that the matter might be
left undecided until a more favourable time. Farel replies, that
the authority of the Princes will not avail much. What confidence
then will our letter produce? He further urges me to enter into
communication with Bucer, in order to obtain from the Council of
Strasbourg a letter to the Council of Berne to this purport:--That
it had been pointed out to them that the Neuchatelese did very wrong
in squandering the goods of the Church; and that it was the duty of
the Bernese to check this license. He hopes that a letter of that
nature would also do good at Berne. I, on the contrary, hardly think
that the people of Strasbourg would write such a letter, as they
would be afraid of increasing the sore. In the next place, if they
should write, do we not know that their admonition would be laughed
at? And, although the Bernese were in the highest degree desirous to
remedy this fault of the Neuchatelese, with what face could they set
about it? I have to implore that they will not venture to reprehend
in others that which they pertinaciously defend as lawfully done by
themselves. I may therefore say of Farel what Cicero said of Cato,
"That he acts indeed with good judgment, but in counsel does not
always shew the best." The cause of this is chiefly, that being
carried away by the vehemence of his zeal, he does not always
discern what is expedient, and either does not foresee dangers, or
despises them; and there is to be added the evil, that he cannot
bear with patience those who do not comply with his wishes. But what
could I do? for I will not be induced to undertake anything which I
think will be of injurious tendency.

  [9] Farel was then at strife with the Seigneury of Neuchatel, on the
  subject of the administration of ecclesiastical property.

Christopher will tell you about Champereau,[10] and I will write
when the matter has come to an end. Adieu, most excellent brother,
and most sincere friend. I have not yet had an opportunity of
meeting Amédée. I will, however, fulfil your commission.--Adieu,
again, including your wife, aunt, and brothers. The co-presbyters,
my wife, and the neighbours respectfully salute you.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. copy_--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 111.]

  [10] Rebuked on the ground of his morals, this minister had been
  banished to a country parish, and having refused to submit to the
  entire Consistory, he had received his dismissal.



CL.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Prayers for his restoration to health.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 26th of October_ [1545.]

MONSEIGNEUR,--I hope that, according to what Antony Maillet has
latterly informed us, you are better in body and mind than usual,
for which I thank our good Lord, beseeching him fully to confirm
you; for I doubt not but the sickness has left a long trail of
feebleness. But He who has begun to raise you up, will perfect, as I
hope, what he has begun by his infinite goodness, as well to grant
the prayers of his servants as to shut the mouth of the wicked, so
that they take not occasion to say that you have been overcome by
their temptation; for you are aware that they want not great colour
for their blasphemy. Therefore, God will shew them that he has
fitted you to receive still greater assaults, if there is need; and
in the meanwhile, will grant us the favour to enjoy a longer time
of you to our singular consolation. When we shall have tidings from
yourselves, they will rejoice us still more.

In the meantime, Monsieur, after having humbly commended me to your
kind favour and that of Madame, and having presented to both of you
the kind remembrances of a woman brought back to life, I beseech our
gracious Lord to have you always in his holy keeping, multiplying
his graces in you daily, to the glory of his name.

  Your humble brother, servant, and entire friend,
  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CLI.--TO FAREL.

     News from Germany--journey of the French Ambassadors to
     Geneva--details concerning the condition of the town.


  GENEVA, _26th January 1546_.

There is nothing from your brothers since they passed through this
place. I briefly indicated my opinion to Viret about the choice of a
colleague for you. I am afraid that further delay may involve a long
train of inconveniences, which I should wish to be guarded against.
Feron, our brother,[11] so far as I see, will never have quiet of
mind until he is translated elsewhere. I had made mention of him to
Viret, but it will be for you to consider the matter.

  [11] Minister of the Church of Geneva; deposed, a few years
  afterwards, on account of the irregularities of his life.

My brother brought back no news from Germany, except that
the Ratisbon Assembly pretends that our party continue their
deliberations at Frankfort,[12] and the confident report of a
league, or at least a friendly alliance, between your party and
the King. The Emperor was also said to be laid up with gout in the
feet or hands. The King's ambassador in that quarter, when passing
through, supped with me. We talked together familiarly, for he
acknowledges being under some obligation to me. I again, however,
urge you to beware lest our friends prove too compliant. I point
to the license that prevails over the whole kingdom, of taking
cruel measures against the godly. We will await the issue. You are
aware that the Pope is now busying himself that, by means of false
pretences, a council may be held at Trent; we do not, however, hear
that there is to be a full convocation.

  [12] Alarmed at the first movements of the Council of Trent, and
  the perils to which the good understanding between the Pope and the
  Emperor might subject the Reformation, the Deputies of the League of
  Smalkald had reassembled at Frankfort. But their union was not so
  solid as the gravity of the occasion demanded. The Elector of Saxe
  and the Landgrave of Hesse were influenced by different political
  views; but they were both alike disposed to seek the alliance of the
  Kings of France and England, as well as of the Protestant Cantons
  of Switzerland, that they might withstand the storm that menaced
  them.--Sleidan, l. xvi., and Robertson, vol. iv. B. vii. p. 234.
  London, 1851.

I wish that even one day could be given to a conference on our
affairs. As this, however, is for the present impossible, do not
needlessly vex yourself, should many reports be spread abroad.
There was, indeed, a time when we were on our guard, when our party
appointed sentinels for the gates, and were usually more careful
in keeping watch.[13] But they inconsiderately gave a signal of
alarm, without my knowledge, however, and when I had not the
smallest suspicion that anything of the kind would take place.[14]
Seizing the opportunity, our neighbours [the Bernese] run to our
aid, and most unreservedly offer their assistance. No one had any
suspicion of kindness so obliging. Our friends make no communication
to me, and after speeches had been made backwards and forwards,
an agreement is come to between the parties. Shortly afterwards,
there arrives a new embassy with the most monstrous commissions.
The captain of the garrison, proffered by the Bernese, with his
proposals, having met with a refusal, has quitted the city.[15] I
am now aware how many various reports are everywhere circulated,
but I see no danger. Should you hear anything, deny confidently the
existence of any sort of alliance between us. For presently, when
they become ashamed of themselves, they will have recourse to the
old arts, saying that they are unjustly defamed, &c. I can hardly
persuade our friends that there is need of deeds on our side; nor is
this wonderful, for in other things they act foolishly in spite of
my remonstrances. Adieu, brother and most sincere friend. Salute for
me, in the kindest manner, all your co-presbyters and your family.
May the Lord direct all of you by his Spirit, and preserve you safe.

  [13] "Upon the intelligence that the Duke of Savoy has retaken two
  strongholds in Piedmont, and that he is collecting a body of troops,
  resolved to continue to work at the fortifications."--_Registers of
  Council_, 28th December 1545.

  [14] "Oath exacted of all private individuals, of fidelity
  to the Seigneury, and of their readiness to live and die for
  liberty."--_Registers of Council_, 7th January 1546.

  [15] The Seigneurs of Berne, eagerly seeking every opportunity of
  establishing their influence at Geneva, had offered to guard the
  city, and to protect it against all foreign attacks. This proposal
  was discarded, as tending to compromise the independence of the
  Republic.--_Registers of Council_, 11th January 1546.

The impostor who had undertaken to carry Bucer's letter to you,
stopped at Montbeliard, nor would he ever have conveyed it to you,
had not my brother purposely set out for that place, because he had
in his keeping another of far greater moment. He is a worker in gold
by trade, but a fellow who is deserving of the gallows.

I am so far convalescent as to be able for preaching and lecturing,
but am kept busy with arrears.[16]

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

  [16] We read, in the _Registers of Council_ of the 29th of January
  of this year:--"Calvin having been ill, the Seigneury present to him
  ten crowns. On his recovery, he returns the money to the Council,
  who cause it to be expended in the purchase of a tun of wine for
  him, thus leaving him no alternative but to accept it."



CLII.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.[17]

  [17] Calvin had just dedicated to M. de Falais his Commentary on the
  First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. The epistle dedicatory
  is of the 22d January 1546. The name of M. de Falais--sad example
  of the fragile nature of human affections!--was effaced ten years
  afterwards from the preface of this Commentary, and replaced by the
  name of the Marquis of Vico.

     Calvin dedicates to him one of his Commentaries.


  [_January 1546._[18]]

  [18] _On the back_, in the hand of M. de Falais--'Received the 6th
  February 1546.'

MONSEIGNEUR,--Since my written letter, I have changed my mind,
touching the epistle dedicatory of my Commentary, because it is
a great trouble and difficulty to be forced to fill up so many
pages and no more; I therefore send it altogether, nevertheless,
with this condition, that it shall not be printed but by your
command. Wherefore, I enclose it in the present letter, in order
that Vendelin[19] may not have it but from your hands. Should it
not appear fitting that I address it to you, I shall make a new
one, on being advertised to that effect. As for the rest, do not
be astonished if I speak with brevity of you, for I would fear to
touch some thorns in entering further on the subject. But according
as circumstances will bear it, we can, should it so please God, on
a second impression, discourse fully and say all that there shall
be need for. Howbeit, I would greatly desire, if it might so please
God, to be with you for three or four days, to confer by word of
mouth rather than by writing. Possibly it is folly on my part to
think that my presence can be of any service to you. But why so?
while the power may be wanting, affection makes me speak thus. These
wishes, however, are more easy to form than to fulfil. So let us be
content with what God gives us.

  [19] Printer in Strasbourg.

Yesterday we had news here of the defeat of four thousand English by
five hundred light horse. But it is from France.[20]

  [20] The French were then besieging the town of Boulogne, occupied
  by the English. The peace between the two rival monarchs of France
  and England, was signed the year following.--De Thou, lib. i. ii.

Monseigneur, after having humbly commended me anew to your kind
favour, and that of Madame, I pray always our Lord that he would
uphold you in his glory.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CLIII.--TO JOHN FRELLON.[21]

  [21] The following is the address of this letter, taken from the
  original in the archives of the old Archbishopric of Vienne, and
  first published by the Abbé d'Artigny,--_A Sire Jéhan Frellon,
  marchand libraire demeurant à Lyon, en la rue Mercière, enseigne
  de l'Escu de Coulongne_. The mysterious personage who is pointed
  at in this letter, is no other than Michael Servetus--seven years
  before the trial which was to attach so fatal a celebrity to his
  name. Settled as a physician at Vienne, in Dauphiny, he kept up
  a correspondence with Calvin, under the cover of John Frellon,
  and he had just sent the Reformer an extract of the work which
  was in preparation under the title of _Christianismi restitutio_,
  expressing at the same time the desire of coming to Geneva. Then it
  was, that Calvin wrote to Farel the letter which has been so often
  cited, where this passage occurs, "Servet has lately written to me,
  and has added to his letter a large volume of his own delirious
  fancies.... _If it may be agreeable to me, he undertakes that he
  would come hither. But I will not interpose my assurance of his
  safety, for if he shall come, provided that my authority is of any
  avail, I shall not suffer him to depart alive._"*--Letter of the
  13th February 1546. We know how that terrible threat was realized
  seven years afterwards.

    *Servetus nuper ad me scripsit, ac literis adjunxit longum volumen
    suorum deliriorum... _Si mihi placeat, huc se venturum recipit.
    Sed nolo fidem meam interponere, nam si venerit, modo valeat mea
    authoritas, vivum exire non patiar._

     Rupture of the Relations between Calvin and Servetus.


  _This 13th of February 1546._

SEIGNEUR JEHAN,--By cause that your last letter was brought to me
at my going away, I had not leisure to reply to what was inclosed
therein. Since my return, at the first leisure that I have had, I
have been quite willing to satisfy your desire; not that I have had
great hope of late of being profitable to a certain person, judging
from the disposition in which I see him to be; but in order to try
once more if there shall be any means of bringing him back, which
will be, when God shall have wrought in him so effectually, that he
has become entirely another man. Since he has written to me in so
proud a spirit, I would fain have beaten down his pride a little,
speaking more harshly to him than is my wont; but I could scarcely
do otherwise. For I do assure you that there is no lesson which is
more necessary for him than to learn humility, which must come to
him from the Spirit of God, not otherwise. But we must observe a
measure here also. If God grants that favour to him and to us, that
the present answer turns to his profit, I shall have whereof to
rejoice. If he persists in the same style as he has now done, you
will lose time in asking me to bestow labour upon him, for I have
other affairs which press upon me more closely; and I would make a
matter of conscience of it, not to busy myself further, having no
doubt that it was a temptation of Satan to distract and withdraw me
from other more useful reading. And therefore I beg you to content
yourself with what I have done in the matter, unless you see some
better order to be taken therein.

Wherefore, after my commendation to you, I beseech our good Lord to
have you in his keeping.

  Your servant and hearty friend,
  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.

  [Printed--_Nouveaux Mémoires de l' Abbé d' Artigny_, tom. ii. p. 70.]



CLIV.--TO FAREL.

     Reply to various questions--terrible threat against
     Servetus--imprisonment of one of the leaders of the Libertins.


  GENEVA, _13th February 1546_.

You will be at ease regarding your brothers since you received the
letter of Claude. The messenger who brought it asked whether mine
would be ready when I returned from sermon, after three o'clock.
I replied in the negative; but I bid him dine at my house with my
wife, as I myself had been invited to dine with Macrin. I promised
to be with him immediately after dinner, to make a brief reply.
He did not come [to my house,] but hurried away without waiting
a moment, so that I was confounded by so sudden a departure. And
yet the youth had not appeared to me to behave badly in general.
I trust the reflection may occur to your brothers, that they have
been thus extricated from all their difficulties by the hand of
God, in order that they make the greater haste [in the work.] It
did not become the Israelites, when a way was opened up to them, to
show remissness in immediately girding themselves for flight.[22]
Such would have been the burden of my epistle had not the messenger
deceived me; but I am confident that they are burning with ardour
of their own accord. I now come to your own contests.[23] If the
ungodly still occasion you some trouble, when that letter shall
arrive, I have briefly expressed in it what I think should be
your mode of proceeding. I should wish, however, the matter to be
discussed _viva voce_; and that, thereupon, the result, or something
like it, be committed to writing. You will perhaps smile because
I suggest nothing out of the common, as you looked for something
recondite and elevated at my hands; but I do not wish, nor, besides,
is it right to be fettered by your estimate of me. I had rather,
however, be foolish by so writing, than by my silence lead you to
suppose that your entreaties were neglected by me. If nothing can
be effected by reasoning, and in this lawful way, the Bernese must
be privately prevailed upon not to allow that wild beast to go out
of its den. I do not sufficiently comprehend your meaning regarding
a treaty, unless it be, as I conjecture, that you are turning your
thoughts to some sort of alliance, with a view to your receiving the
assistance of the Bernese; and that just as they guard the liberty
of the people by the law of the state, so they may protect ministers
in their office by some title which commands respect. If that be
provided for, I do not disapprove of [the alliance.] Bear in mind,
that recourse should be had to those extraordinary remedies only
when there is the exculpatory plea of an ultimate necessity. In the
next place, be very cautious lest anything you do be such as may
injure your interests in time to come. You may have greater cause of
regret in that you once received aid, and were parties to a compact,
than if you were to remain in your original servitude. Marcourt has,
without doubt, already promised a place for himself; for he publicly
proclaims that he does not regard the consent of the brethren,
since he is desired, both by magistrates and people, and he has no
doubt but that they are indignant against you. Finally, since he
prematurely discloses the wickedness of his character, he must be
repulsed by all artifices, lest he rise to a position in which he
is able to perform what he threatens. With regard to those who gave
out that we were establishing here a permanent seat of despotism,
under colour of defence, let us suffer this rumour to spread on both
sides. Their impudence has been met with civility and mildness,
so that they ought to be ashamed of themselves.[24] I trust that
they will keep quiet. I seek, as far as I am able, to persuade our
friends to remain unconcerned. Servetus lately wrote to me, and
coupled with his letter a long volume of his delirious fancies, with
the Thrasonic boast, that I should see something astonishing and
unheard of. He takes it upon him to come hither, if it be agreeable
to me. But I am unwilling to pledge my word for his safety, for if
he shall come, I shall never permit him to depart alive, provided my
authority be of any avail.[25]

  [22] Decimated by the most cruel persecution, the faithful of
  Dauphiné, the native country of Farel, had inquired of the
  ministers of French Switzerland, whether it was lawful for them
  to have recourse to flight, in order to escape the fury of their
  adversaries. Numerous refugees had already settled at Geneva.--See
  vol. i. p. 473.

  [23] Ecclesiastical embroilments with the Seigneury of Berne.

  [24] See letter of the 26th January, p. 28, note 2.

  [25] See the preceding letter. It appears that relations between
  Calvin and Servetus continued in a state of interruption, as is
  proved by the following passage of a letter of Calvin to Viret,
  dated 1st September 1548:--"I think I once read to you my answer
  to Servetus. I was at length disinclined from striving longer with
  the incurable obstinacy of a heretic; and, indeed, I ought to have
  followed the advice of Paul. He now attacks you. You will see how
  long you ought to persist in rebutting his follies. He will twist
  nothing out of me henceforward."--_Library of Geneva_, Vol. 106.

More than fifteen days have now elapsed since Cartelier[26] was
imprisoned, for having, at supper in his own house, raged against
me with such insolence as to make it clear that he was not then in
his right senses. I concealed what I felt, but I testified to the
judge that it would be agreeable to me were he proceeded against
with the utmost rigour of the law. I wished to go to see him. Access
was prohibited by decree of the Senate; and yet some good men accuse
me of cruelty, forsooth, because I so pertinaciously revenge my
injuries.[27] I have been requested by his friends to undertake
the part of intercessor. I refused to do so, except on these two
conditions, viz: that no suspicion should attach to me, and that the
honour of Christ should remain intact. I have now done. I abide the
judgment of the Council.--Adieu, brother, and most sincere friend.
We all salute you and your sisters. You will convey to the brethren
the best salutations in my name, and that of my brethren in the
ministry. May God ever bless you and prosper your labours.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Imp. Library, Coll. Dupuy._ Vol. 102.]

  [26] One of the most violent members of the party that combated the
  influence and institutions of the Reformer at Geneva.

  [27] Calvin shewed himself, on more than one occasion, disposed to
  forgive personal injuries, as the Registers of Council testify:--"A
  woman having abused M. Calvin, it is directed that she be consigned
  to prison. Liberated at the request of the said M. Calvin, and
  discharged with a reproof."--12th December 1545.



CLV.--To Farel.

     Pacification of the Church at Neuchatel--report of the speedy
     arrival of the Emperor in Savoy--dangers at Geneva--withering
     mention of Francis I.


  GENEVA, _20th February 1546_.

I specially congratulate you and all your friends, yea, ourselves
also, and the whole Church of Christ, that the Lord has unexpectedly
stilled all tumults, by restraining the ungodly. Viret had already
requested me to be prepared at all points in case there should be
need of my presence, and assuredly I should not have been behind;
but God is twice to be praised, who by his own counsel has adjusted
matters that were in so great confusion. We acknowledge that he was
present with you when he opened up to you that plan of admonishing
the heads of the citizens. We again acknowledge a memorable work
of his, in having given to you those who of their own accord were
disposed to act well towards you. I feel confident that the matter
has been brought to a conclusion in harmony with the desire of all
good men. If our service be desired, you know that we are all yours.
I now hourly expect your brothers. May the Lord restore them to us
safe and with good fortune.[28] A confident report is spread abroad
here of the arrival of the Emperor. I hold it for certain that a
passage across will by no means be opened up to him without a bloody
conflict. It cannot be doubted, that even though our neighbours were
willing that we should be left exposed to the danger of becoming the
prey of the conqueror, they would nevertheless find it necessary
to guard their own territories; although I do not know why our
party have so soon become careless, unless they wished to subject
themselves to their sway, and thus save themselves from other
masters. It is a hard condition that you must give up your liberty
in order to secure allies as defenders.[29] Our party erred in one
particular, that they made too violent a reply. But what could I
do? On me, nevertheless, the odium redounds, though I strove with
great vehemence to prevent the ground of it; but I have bid adieu
to the perverted judgments of men. I pass on to another subject.
Matters will go more severely with Cartelier, because he mixed
up with myself part of the Senate. After that I have respectably
enough discharged the duty of clemency, I have resolved to halt. The
malevolent will heap obloquy upon me, but if there be an opportunity
of replying, I have the means of stopping their mouths. No one
certainly will allege that any word less than fair fell from me, for
among good and bad I have endeavoured to extenuate his offence. The
Parliament of Paris, as I hear, now wages war with fire and faggot
against Christ.[30] It is indeed certain that a great multitude of
the godly are everywhere held in bonds. Sardanapalus,[31] meanwhile,
in the midst of his courtezans, feeds his fancy with victories. May
the Lord have respect to his Church!

  [28] See p. 22, note 2.

  [29] Allusion to the Bernese and to their pretensions of ruling
  Geneva under cover of the Alliance.--See p. 28, note 2.

  [30] The year 1546 was especially remarkable for the great
  persecutions that arose within the bounds of the jurisdiction of
  the Parliament of Paris. Meaux, Seulis, Orleans, reckoned numerous
  martyrs. One named Jean Chapot of Dauphiné, colporteur of Geneva,
  arrested at Paris, was condemned to death, after having undergone
  the most cruel tortures. He had his tongue cut out before he was
  cast into the flames. "The dispersion," says Beza, "was widespread,
  but it led to the great advancement of many churches which were
  built up of the stones of that ruin."--_Hist. Eccl._ tom. i. p. 82.
  _Histoire des Martyrs_, pp. 170, 177.

  [31] Francis I., King of France.

Adieu, most upright brother in the Lord, together with all your
fellow-ministers, whom you will respectfully salute in my name, and
in that of the brethren. May Christ ever direct you all by right
counsel, and bless your auspicious endeavours.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

To the four Presidents of the citizens, special compliments in my
name. May the Lord bless them exceedingly.

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



CLVI.--TO VIRET.

     Election of a minister at Neuchatel--sickness of Viret's wife.


  GENEVA, _22d February 1546_.

I learned from Farel's last letter, that the commotions at Neuchatel
were allayed. And I now feel assured that the matter of the choice
of a pastor is concluded; for it had at length been agreed that
the ministers should promise on oath to nominate in good faith the
person whom they deemed most suitable. It was already considered
as almost certain, that Christopher would be the man, provided the
Bernese would part with him;[32] and there is hope that they will
offer no objection. Farel wrote that the good cause had been not a
little aided by the Consul Wateville.

  [32] On the death of the minister Chaponneau, the people of
  Neuchatel wished to have in his room Christopher Fabri, minister of
  Thonon: they accordingly asked him from the Seigneury of Berne, who
  with a good grace conceded him to them.--Ruchat, vol. v. p. 299.

Had they invited us as brethren, I should have been ready at any
hour. But I rejoice especially, that you were of more service than
you thought you would be; for all loudly assert that your arrival
was highly advantageous.

I see that Textor does not hold out much further hope of your wife.
You need no more words to admonish you to hold yourself ready to
bear with moderation the issue, whatever that may be. Would that I
also could fly thither, that I might alleviate your sorrow, or at
least bear a part of it![33] But so long a ride would cause me pain.
I rather advise, should matters happen otherwise than as we wish,
that you come hither for a few days.--Adieu, most sound-hearted
brother, along with your wife and family. The Lord comfort and
strengthen you all. Amen.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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

  [33] We again find marks of the same solicitude in a letter of
  Calvin to Viret of the preceding month. "Adieu, with your wife,
  whose health we will commend to the Lord. Be assured that we are not
  less solicitous about her than if she were the wife or daughter of
  each of us. The Lord keep you and sustain you with the consolation
  of his Spirit."--(January 1546,) Vol. 106, from Geneva.



CLVII.--TO VIRET.[34]

  [34] Viret was at that time plunged into the deepest affliction. He
  had just lost, after a long illness, his wife, Elizabeth Turtaz,
  of Orbe, with whom he had lived for many years in a godly union.
  The grief which he felt on that occasion is expressed, in a very
  touching manner, in a letter written many years afterwards to
  Calvin:--"I was so completely dispirited and prostrated by that
  arrow of affliction, that the whole world appeared to me nothing but
  a burden. There was nothing pleasant, nothing that could mitigate
  my grief of mind."--_Calv. Epist. et Resp._, p. 53. The friends of
  Viret, and especially Farel and Calvin, lavished upon him, during
  that trial, marks of the tenderest and most brotherly affection.
  The familiar correspondence of Calvin furnishes us with precious
  revelations in this respect.

     Calvin invites his friend to repair to Geneva after the death of
     his wife.


  GENEVA, _8th March 1546_.

Come, on this condition, that you disengage your mind not only
from grief, but also from every annoyance. Do not fear that I
will impose any burden upon you, for through my means you will be
allowed to take whatever rest is agreeable to you. If any one prove
troublesome to you, I will interpose. The brethren, also, make the
same promise to you as I do. I will also be surety that the citizens
do not interfere with your wishes.

I know not what I ought to imprecate on the wretches who had spread
a report of your death. Never did a letter from you arrive more
opportunely. Although your death was announced, yet as mention was
made of poison, Textor was already in the midst of preparations
for the journey, that he might speed to Orbe on fleet horses. A
great part of the brethren were present, all overwhelmed with deep
affliction. Shortly afterward your letter made its appearance, and
such exultation instantly broke forth, that we were hardly masters
of our senses. It was fortunate that we did not pass a night of
sorrow, else I should not have borne it without danger. But why do
I detain you, and not rather incite you to hasten hither as quickly
as possible? Adieu, brother and most agreeable friend. Salute
respectfully the brethren James, Ribitti, Hubert, Cordier, Celio,
Francis, Merlin. The Lord protect you and the remainder of your
family.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. copy_--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 111.]



CLVIII.--TO VIRET.

     Renewed and more pressing invitation to come to Geneva.


  _15th March 1546._

I have hitherto delayed writing to you, because I daily expected
you to come hither, as you had promised; nor should I have written
even now, as I remain in the same state of expectation, were it not
that I might incite you to hasten your journey; for I wonder why it
is that you thus put off from day to day. I remember that John de
Tournay[35] told me that you had a horse; but why not rather come by
boat? Unless David has sold his [horses,] that difficulty could be
easily got over, although I believe that one may now be more easily
procured than it could have been eight days ago, for fewer couriers
have passed this way during these days. Make haste, therefore, that
you may recruit a little, and gather heart again with us; for people
from your quarter say that you are half dead. Since I can draw you
out by no other inducement, I make the announcement, that you shall
have no letter from me until you come. Quick, then.--Adieu. Salute
all friends. May the Lord shortly bring you in safety to us.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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

  [35] Nephew of Viret, and minister in the Pays de Vaud.



CLIX. TO THEODORE VITUS.[36]

  [36] To the most honourable Doctor Theodore Vitus, most faithful
  Minister of Christ at Nuremberg.

  Theodore Vitus, (Dietrich de Weit,) a distinguished theologian,
  friend of Luther and Melanchthon, preached the Gospel with great
  success in the city of Nuremberg, his native place, and was worthy
  of the esteem and affection of Calvin, not more on account of his
  learning than his moderation. He died in 1549. Melanchthon wrote, at
  the foot of his portrait, the following verses:

    Ingenii monumenta sui, sed plura Lutheri
    Edidit; his poterunt secla futura frui.

    --[Melch. Adam, _Vitæ Theol. Germ._ pp. 199, 200.

     Indication of the various documents wherein are set forth the
     opinions of Calvin regarding the Lord's Supper--earnest desire
     for union and peace among the Churches--condition of Geneva.


  GENEVA, _17th March 1546_.

Your letter gave me the greater pleasure, as I had not ventured
to look for it, for it was my part to draw a letter from you by
being the first to write. But that you, without being called upon,
should of your own accord have anticipated me, I take as a proof
of your greater friendship towards me. If, however, you would know
the reason of my not writing, I refrained more from modesty than
negligence. And generally the testimony of Philip [Melanchthon]
is with me sufficient; but when no great familiarity intervenes,
the crooked policy of the times sometimes makes me apprehensive.
Wherefore, I am the more grateful to you for having removed every
scruple. I greatly rejoice, also, to find that my pamphlet, _De
Coenâ_, has met with your approbation.[37] It was written in French
ten years before. When, without my knowledge, it had been already
translated into Latin by two individuals, I at length consented to
its publication, being afraid, in fact, that some worse version
might forestall it. A style of instruction, simple and popular, and
adapted to the unlearned, shews what my purpose was from the first;
for I usually write more carefully for those acquainted with Latin.
I laboured, however, not only faithfully to express my views, and
reduce them within a brief compass, but also to unfold them lucidly,
and without technicalities. Since then the _Institution_, having
been revised, was again given to the public, in which, unless I
am mistaken, I expound and more fully confirm the same doctrine,
under a different form of expression, and with somewhat greater
development. I at length also published a _Catechism_, which is
trustworthy and pertinent evidence of the kind of doctrine with
which the common people are imbued by me. Would that the people
of Zurich, as you say, were willing to give their assent to that
confession![38] I do not think Luther is so unyielding but that
there might easily be an agreement, and they do not, withal, venture
to disapprove of my views. The chief obstacle to their giving a
public assent to my doctrine is, that being pre-occupied by a
meaning, once and now for a length of time prescribed to them, they
so stick to their customary forms as to admit nothing new. But if
you consider the tyranny manifested by certain of the adverse party
in the attempt to force the world, not only into their peculiar
views, but also into a prescribed form of words, the furious
insolence they shew, what commotions they excite,--the moderation
as well as rectitude by which you are characterized, will lead you
to condemn in the matter the absurd conduct of those parties, not
less than the people of Zurich. May the Lord by his Spirit dispose
us all to true moderation. You know that I am not in the habit of
complaining when there is no ground for it; nor do I doubt but that
you yourself, as might be expected from your eminent piety, sigh in
secret over the same evils, while it is not in your power to remedy
them. With respect to the assurances you give me regarding yourself,
I wish you in turn to believe, that I am and always will be your
sincere friend and brother. I now, with many others, request you
to go on strenuously, and make no halt in your progress, until you
have handed over to us Genesis completed.[39] For as Luther has just
grounds for congratulating himself in having found such an artist to
polish his works, so others experience how advantageous the labour
is to the public. I may have wished, however, that you had been more
sparing in your mention of the Sacramentaries, because I see that
the minds of some are thereby exasperated, of whom there was a hope
that they would be brought to moderate views. It will be for you to
consider what may be more conducive to that end. I will be satisfied
if you take my warning in good part, whether or not you act upon it.
The Ratisbon Assembly will indeed bring forth smoke for us, which
the Lord will soon dispel.[40]

  [37] The following is the passage of the letter of Vitus to Calvin
  to which he here refers:--"I have read your short address to the
  people on the Sacrament of the Supper, and I approve of your calling
  the bread and wine signs in such a sense that the things signified
  are in reality present. Would that they who leave only the naked
  signs, might be led by you to adopt that view!"--_Calv. Epist. et
  Resp._, Amst., p. 37.

  [38] This desire was happily realized some years afterwards, by the
  adoption of a common symbol on the Supper, approved alike by the
  theologians of Zurich and Geneva.

  [39] Vitus lent useful aid to Luther in the revision of his
  different writings, and rendered a real service to the Church by
  collecting and offering to the public the Commentaries of Luther on
  the Prophet Micah, and the first eleven chapters of Genesis.--Melch.
  Adam, _Vitæ Theol. Germ._

  [40] The Conference opened by the Emperor at Ratisbon, and to which
  Bucer had been summoned, was a mere feint to divert men's minds, and
  to transfer the decision of the points at issue to the Council of
  Trent.

Here we are tranquil unless the Emperor molest us. Some suspect
him of having an eye on Burgundy, with the view of threatening
the kingdom of France from that quarter, while he would harass
Provence by means of the young Duke of Savoy, and send in the
English from the other side. I hold myself under the protection
of God alone when I see that we are not far from certain danger.
Adieu, most honoured sir, and most sincere friend. May the Lord
Jesus ever guide and direct you by his Holy Spirit, and bless your
labours. All my colleagues respectfully salute you. To yours also
you will convey the highest respects in my name, and in that of my
colleagues.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. Copy, Library of Zurich, Coll. Simler._ Vol. 59.]



CLX.--TO VIRET.[41]

  [41] Viret, yielding to the entreaties of Calvin, went to Geneva
  towards the end of March, and there received the most honourable
  marks of public affection. We read in the Registers of Council, of
  date the 2d April 1546,--"Grand reception given to Farel and Viret,
  who had just arrived at Geneva."

     Instructions to Viret about a journey to Geneva.


  GENEVA, _26th March, before supper_.

The person who delivered yours to me did not know whence it came.
I thus received it somewhat later than I wished. I attended to the
wish you expressed, that a suitable horse, and one without show,
should be sent to you. It would, however, have been sent off sooner,
had I not told our people beforehand that you could not leave
your place of residence before the morning discourse. I certainly
could have wished, if your letter had arrived in time, that you
had been sent for sooner. But I supposed that you had set out with
Christopher: for that was the reason why I gave you no letter by the
messenger belonging to my household. If, after preaching, you can
come as far as Nyon, you will be here on Monday before supper; but
take care lest you fatigue yourself. You had better come to Nyon on
Monday. We shall have you with us in good time, if we get you well.
Salute all the brethren.

May the Lord bring you to us safe and in good spirits.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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



CLXI.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Calvin's labours--the diet at Ratisbon--the Church at Metz--the
     reformation at Heidelberg--_apology_ for M. de Falais--opinion
     regarding the sermons of Ochino.


  [_April 1546._][42]

  [42] _On the back_, in the handwriting of M. de Falais,--Received
  the 16th of April 1546.

MONSEIGNEUR,--I thank you for the care which you have of my health,
anxious that I would not overburthen myself, in straining a point
to write to you, when I am not in a fit state to do so. But had I
only to write to you, it would be to me a very easy labour, if that
can be called toil wherein one only finds pleasure. The difficulty
arises from the annoyances and interruptions of the train of
thought which intervene, to break off a letter in the midst twenty
times over, or even more, beyond all bounds. As regards health, I
was much more feeble when I wrote to you a while ago than I am at
present. But being in a good state of general bodily condition, I am
unceasingly tormented with a heaviness, which, as it were, suffers
me not to do anything. For, besides the sermons and lectures, there
is a month already gone in which I have scarce done anything, in
such wise that I am almost ashamed to live thus useless. But if it
please God, of his goodness, to make use of me, he will release me
and allay this ill, which holds me so fast that I cannot set about
any labour of importance, to employ the leisure which he gives me.
Nevertheless, he does not cease to exercise me by some means or
other, in order that I may not grow rusty through laziness. If,
however, he does not graciously restore me to a better condition, I
am not likely ever to get on horseback. Even more than that, were
I ever to be sent for, I could not stir out of the house in such a
state. But, as you observe, they let me alone, from fear of setting
astir the frantic blockheads; and on my side, I willingly give up
the diets to those who have a liking for them, as for any good
they do.[43] I am glad that our Lord has put you out of pain as
regards Norberg. As for what remains to be done, you will have an
opportunity of considering what it ought to be, having been informed
by Jéhan de Rochefort, and after having established your case, as it
can be done, in coming forth out of Egypt and out of Babylon. It is
like what is said by Moses and by Ezekiel,--_in much stir and with
haste_. I hope, should it so please God, that all is over by this
time. I would not have you to be too much astonished at the length
of time you have been in receiving letters from him, considering the
length of the journey. But if God has been so gracious to him, and
to you also, as to make a way of escape out of danger, he will not
have tarried so long on the way as not to be, by this time, on his
return. Thus, being at rest in regard to that matter, you will take
counsel for the future.

  [43] A new diet had been assembled at Ratisbon, for the pacification
  of the religious troubles of Germany. That assembly opened in the
  month of June 1546, in presence of the Emperor, and like those which
  had preceded, concluded without any result whatsoever.

As to Constance, I had not spoken to you, but that your present
abode did not please you. When the crisis comes, however, Strasbourg
is more suitable, and I like it better, were it not for the reason
which you allege.

In Metz,[44] I see a great evil, the want of guidance and of cordial
interest, albeit that these are rather two evils. But God will find
the remedy. We must try every method which he presents to us, and
even stir up ourselves, where the means appear to be wanting. And
whereas I know that you have no need to be exhorted not to spare
yourself, I forbear to do so.

  [44] The Protestants of this town, feebly supported by the league of
  Smalkald, and intimidated by the presence of the imperial legate,
  devoted to the Roman Catholic clergy, had already lost the rights
  which had been guarantied to them by the accord of 1543, and so
  found themselves deprived of the exercise of public worship and of
  the pastorate.--(See a letter of Myconius to Calvin, 13th November
  1543. _Calv. Epist. et Responsa_, Amst. p. 26.)

I am not at all amazed, if Master Peter Alexander is bold, having
his chin thus held above water, and that besides he is quite
accustomed at Heidelberg to hear that doctrine already for a long
time past.[45] He is even well aware that he has no other means
for advancing himself. Thus it is no wonder if he takes advantage
of it where there is no danger at all. But I see quite well that
he is not an over-confident man, were it only by his conclusions.
What is worse, he makes a stupid blunder in this, that he says, the
swearing an oath is forbidden by God; and that with a blasphemy,
inasmuch as he attributes authority to Saint Paul to permit what has
been prohibited by his Master; but these are matters for the civil
magistrate to decide.

  [45] In the year 1546, the Palatinate witnessed the accomplishment
  of a great religious revolution. The Elector, Frederic II., yielding
  to the wish of his subjects, proclaimed the establishment of the
  Reformation, and the abolition of the old worship in his states. The
  chief instrument of that revolution was the minister Paul Fagius,
  the disciple of Capito.--Sleidan, _Comment._ lib. xvi. p. 266. De
  Thou, lib. ii. c. 3.

_The Apology_ would be much better drawn up where you are than
at a distance. This I say not to exempt myself, but inasmuch as
I think that such is the case; for I am quite ready to undertake
the employment. So also would Master Peter Viret, but his style of
writing would not be altogether suited to such an argument, owing
to his want of conciseness. And for myself I would have to bite
my nails in more than a hundred passages, if we could not confer
together so as to resolve by common accord what might be fit to
say or to omit. Nevertheless, we shall take care to meet your wish
whenever you shall have come to a determination upon the whole
case and the state of your affairs. Howbeit, I have retained no
memorandum of the particulars beside me. What I have told you about
the Emperor, was not so much to find fault with what has been done,
as to set forth the reason why it ought not to be inserted so as
to be seen. I praise our Lord that the present of my Commentary is
agreeable to you. In conformity with your answer, our brother sent
his translation to Vendelin, addressing the preface to you, in order
that having seen it beforehand, you may judge what course shall
appear to you to be expedient.

The request which I made to you so affectionately, not to separate
your household from the French Church,[46] was not founded upon any
report, but solely upon a passage of your letter where you signify
that you were in course of doing so, not perceiving any amendment in
that quarter. It suffices, that I am aware of your intention, so as
not to be further troublesome to you on that score. I see indeed the
reasons you may have, but I take into view the scandal which would
thence arise. All is well, since you have condescended to my request.

  [46] The French Church of Strasbourg, of which Calvin had been
  pastor during his exile from Geneva.

I would desire, Monseigneur, that the hundred crowns [escus] might
be sent to the lady, and they would be returned to you forthwith,
sending to the Ladies de Tilly what is resting due to them, since
the father shews himself such a one as he is. I would earnestly
wish, that in disposing ourselves willingly and patiently to bear
the cross, we were framing our shoulders to such a charge. But these
are matters about which we shall better talk together than we can
write.

I pray you to hold me excused, if I do not as yet signify my opinion
of the translation of the Sermons of Messire Bernardino.[47] I may,
however, speak a word in your ear, that they are more useful in
Italian than in other languages, were it not that the name of the
man is of use; and then there is such a variety of minds, that it is
not amiss to endeavour to draw some of them by that means. Of the
translator, I shall let you know my opinion, please God, in a few
words shortly.

  [47] Introduced by Calvin to Myconius, Ochino made but a very short
  stay at Bâle, where those writings made their appearance which have
  been such a blot upon his memory. In 1545 he went to Augsbourg,
  where he became minister to the congregation of Italian refugees
  until the epoch of the _Interim_, which was the cause of his
  betaking himself to England. His leanings toward heterodoxy were
  veiled from the eyes of every one, except perhaps the clear-sighted
  discernment of Calvin, who valued his abilities, without having
  an entire confidence in the solidity of his doctrines. The
  ever-recurring changes of his unsettled life led him, at a later
  period, to class himself with the sect of the anti-Trinitarians.
  His discourses, so much admired by Cardinal Bembo, and the Emperor
  Charles V. himself, are less remarkable for their purity of doctrine
  than for the warmth of feeling and the poetical flash of the style.
  They have been printed under the following title: _Prediche di
  Messer Bernardino Ochino_, 1543, and reprinted on several occasions;
  but we are not aware of any translation, whether Latin or French.
  See Schelhorn, _Ergötzlichkeiten_, tom. iii. pp. 2022, 2161, 2166,
  and pp. 2174-2179.

As touching the _apology_ of the ladies,[48] I think, Monseigneur,
you have my opinion of it signified already in brief, at least I
would here declare it, that the author has not observed what the
Latins call _decorum_. For the course of procedure is unbefitting
the individuals. Everybody will not perceive this, only those who
have their wits about them. This is the reason why I have retained
it beside me.

  [48] The sisters of M. de Falais.

The letters of Diaz[49] were not needed to shew me on what authority
you had opened those which he might write to me. For you have
sufficient authority without any one else giving it to you. I
humbly thank you for the offer which you have so kindly made for
the baptism of our child.[50] And now, Monsieur, to conclude, after
having humbly, and with all possible kindly affection, commended me
to your good favour and that of Madame, and having also presented
the humble salutations of my wife, I pray our good Lord to guide you
always as he has done, shewing himself the true protector both of
you and of all that concerns you.

Your humble brother, servant, and ever your entire friend,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]

  [49] Juan Diaz, originally of Cuença, in Spain, studied letters at
  the University of Paris, and was distinguished, amid the scholars of
  his nation, "by superior learning, adorned with pure morals, great
  mildness, prudence, and benignity." Initiated in the knowledge of
  the Gospel, he left Paris and visited Geneva, Bâle, Strasbourg,
  where he acquired the friendship of Bucer, whom he accompanied into
  Germany. The Jesuit, Malvenda, a stout defender of Popish idolatry,
  having made vain efforts to lead him back to the Romish Church,
  the adversaries of Juan Diaz planned a most detestable conspiracy
  against his life, and, on the 27th of March, he was assassinated
  by order of Alphonso Diaz, his own brother, who had come from Rome
  in order to the accomplishment of this execrable outrage, the
  instigator of which remained unpunished.--See the record of this
  odious fratricide in Sleidan, and _Histoire des Martyrs_, pp. 162,
  168; and Letter CLXIII.

  [50] Calvin had this year a child by his wife, Idelette de Bure,
  which died in the birth.



CLXII.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Advice regarding the editing of the _Apology_--details of a loan
     contracted for M. de Falais--news from Germany and Italy--Farel
     and Viret at Geneva--death of Juan Diaz.


  _16th April 1546._

MONSEIGNEUR,--You see here what I have done desiring to comply with
your wish.[51] That it shall altogether satisfy you I shall not
venture to promise myself. It will be quite enough for me if you
have the persuasion that I have not failed from lack of good-will.
Indeed, I fear you may not find that which you had looked for. But
it is not reasonable that I bear the blame of the too great credit
which I may have with you. If I had been in a right frame, and had I
had leisure, possible it is that I might have done better. But since
these two things have been wanting to me, I pray you that you may
please hold me as excused. It would not have cost me very much to
fill up a much larger extent of paper; but I have studied brevity,
thinking that nothing could be better, considering the personage
to whom the writing is addressed. It did not occur to Saint André
that it wanted anything, except that, on having come to the passage
about your retirement, you might insist upon deducting separately
in detail the travelling expenses which you had incurred up to that
time. I had, indeed, thought of another conclusion to be urged, but
because I did not well know how to keep within bounds, I have let
it alone. You will exercise your own discretion as to adding an
article to that effect, if you think fit, namely, with regard to the
property, which you did not venture to make any other request to him
about, fearing that it would be trouble thrown away, to speak to him
about the property before being reinstated in his good graces, and
also because that is the thing you most of all desire and prefer to
anything else. In any event, let it please him to have regard to
such a family, and not allow himself to be led by those who only
seek its destruction. I know not whether it would be of advantage
to your brothers[52] to make mention of them. You will consider
about that. Towards the end, it would be needful to add an express
clause, to remove the suspicion that you had too great regret,
declaring that for the honour of God you bear the loss patiently,
beseeching God that he would always make you sensibly aware of the
work of Jesus Christ, and of the benefits bestowed on you by him, so
as to reckon all things but loss and dung in comparison of him. If
you determine to enter upon the subject of the property, it appears
to me that it would be advisable to mention it thus briefly; I have
explained the reason why I have not done so.

  [51] At the request of M. de Falais, Calvin had prepared an apology
  for his Lordship, which was to be presented to the Emperor at the
  Diet of Ratisbon. This memorial, drawn up at first in French,
  then translated into Latin, and along with a profession of faith,
  containing valuable details for the history of M. de Falais, has
  the following title:--_Apology of the very Illustrious Lord James
  of Burgundy, of Falaise, and of Breda, wherein he has wiped away
  the accusations wherewith he has been branded in the sight of the
  Imperial Majesty, and sets forth the Confession of his Faith._ This
  morceau has been published by the Amsterdam editor at the end of the
  letters of Calvin to M. de Falais.

  [52] M. de Falais had five brothers. Those alone of whom mention is
  made in the letters of Calvin, are John, Seigneur de Fromont, and
  Peter, Pronotary apostolic, who had embraced the Reformation.

But to proceed, Monseigneur, I have detained the man who has brought
me your last, hoping that he would be the messenger to carry you
this answer. But, at the end of six days, there has occurred a
sudden piece of business to Sire Nicolas the present bearer. I
have thereupon sent away the other, delivering to his care the two
young children, because he could not have arrived so soon. He has
been sufficiently admonished, not so much by me as by the others,
to settle and choose some manner of livelihood; but I see clearly
that he is not yet tired of running about. That arises in part from
his too great simplicity,--for he has no great head-piece. Some
clodpole, scarcely wiser than himself, had whispered in his ear
in passing, that I would be quite able to recommend him to Berne,
and put him in the way of his becoming a preacher. I have done
everything to repress such an expectation: but he does not leave
off his roving about; and although he seems to approve an advice
when offered to him, immediately afterwards he begins to do the same
thing again. I am sorry for it, for in other respects, I find him
well disposed, and without malice.

As for the business of Sire Nicolas, the case is thus:--He had no
means of squaring his accounts, but in taking the place which had
been adjudged in hypothec to another preferable creditor, having
struck off some pieces for law expenses. Thus he would have been
excluded, had he not undertaken to reimburse the other party. What
is worse, he who held the security was himself under hypothec
elsewhere, in danger that his property might be sold, and needed
to re-assure his interest therein. The subject is well worth what
the said Nicolas has bargained for. The hardship was for him,
that he would have had to pay seven hundred crowns before next
Easter, and also that it is too large for him. But the necessity
made him forget all that. It is true that he has to receive from
Sire Antony Sieglessen a sum in satisfaction thereof, but he fears
that it may not be ready at so short a term, seeing that he will
have to transact with people who have no pity. In that perplexity,
he has thought that if, peradventure, Antony de Sieglessen might
not so readily be forthcoming with that which he has to receive
from him, you would afford him some assistance, for a month, or six
weeks' delay, on his giving you the security of Sire Antony and the
place, on good and equitable terms. When he asked advice of me, I
requested him to try all means before having recourse to you, which
he had already indeed determined, as he told me, but that it was his
last remedy. In any event, however, he would bring you letters of
assurance over the place. To this I have not agreed, fearing lest it
might appear to you that it would have the effect of protracting a
settlement, promising to him to assure you that the responsibility
lies not with himself but with me.

I have wished much to make this statement to you, Monseigneur, on
purpose that you should be informed, that he did not rashly go
beyond his authority, but that he had been constrained thereto; in
order also, that when he could nowise do without your help, you
might the more be induced to aid him. I can indeed assure you, that
there will be no risk, for the assignment is quite valid. And if
money were to be had here, he would not need to stir out of the
house. But the country is stripped so bare of money, that it is
lamentable, the more so that there is more due to him at Strasbourg
than he has need for. I do not take upon me to ask it of you, for
that is not my business. In so far as I have endeavoured to remove
the doubts which might prevent you, I hope you will take it in good
part, and that you will not ascribe it to importunity. Besides that,
it is my duty, for I have been the cause, along with Monsieur David,
of involving him in this anxiety. For we made the first purchase in
his absence, because the said Monsieur David was fully resolved from
that time forward to complete the transaction.

I believe that you have been otherwise informed of the death of the
Marquis of Guasto.[53] We are not aware what the Emperor intends to
do, except that people are coming from Naples toward Genoa. One can
scarce think that he would go so far for pastime as to Argiers. And,
indeed, I believe, that considering himself secure upon the side
of France, and leaving the English to occupy the King's attention,
having fully ordered everything to his own advantage in Germany, he
would not make a mere feint of going to Argiers.[54]

  [53] Alphonso d'Avalos, Marquis of Guasto, governor of the Milanese,
  and one of the ablest generals of Charles the Fifth. He died in 1546.

  [54] The Emperor, in 1544, had undertaken a disastrous expedition
  against the town of Argiers. The military movements which were then
  going forward in Italy, were intended to cover his real projects of
  attack against the Protestant princes of Germany.

Master William Farel and Master Peter Viret, in passing from hence,
have requested me to present you their humble commendations. They
have been here eight days to my great comfort, except in so far as
they have made me put off my excusing myself to you. I am glad of
your well-disposedness, and principally for your cheerfulness, and
also because I hope that it will prove a means of our seeing you. We
shall, in the meanwhile, however, pray God, that he would restore
you from better to better, albeit that we must not look, neither you
nor myself, to be ever of much worth in this world.

We have made Saint-André preacher, at which possibly you will be
amazed. He did not look for it; and I believe also, that at the
first move his courage would not have inclined him that way. But we
have made conscience of it, seeing his zeal and readiness, not to
leave him always idle. I hope that God will make use of him for the
profit and upbuilding of his Church. He has not been brought to it
without a struggle, but perceiving that the call was from on high,
he has not resisted it.

To conclude, Monseigneur, after having presented the humble
commendations as well of myself as of my wife to your kind favour
and to that of Madame, I shall supplicate our good Lord to have you
always in his protection, guiding you with a view to his honour, as
he has done hitherto, and shewing himself so powerful in you, that
we may always acknowledge the fruit of that great victory with which
Jesus Christ consoles us.

  Your humble servant and brother in our Lord Jesus,
  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

When I had finished these presents, I received the sad news of the
death of good Diaz.[55] But it so happens, that the unhappy Papists
shew more and more that they are led by the spirit of their father,
who has been a murderer from the beginning.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]

  [55] See the following letter.



CLXIII.--TO FAREL.[56]

  [56] The Ecclesiastical Ordinances, digested by Calvin and adopted
  by the councils of the republic, daily encountered the keenest
  opposition in the heart of a party which reckoned at its head men
  belonging to the most distinguished families among the Genevese.
  The Consistory and Councils together took care that the laws
  were rigidly enforced, and checked improprieties without respect
  of persons. The Captain-General, Amy Perrin, the Syndic Corna,
  and several other persons, having, contrary to the prohibitions,
  danced in a private house, "It is ordained," as is contained in the
  Registers of 12th April 1546, "that they all be imprisoned;" and
  with regard to the wife of Amy Perrin, who spoke insolently to the
  Consistory, that she also be imprisoned, and be required to find
  security. Perrin, to avoid undergoing the punishment pronounced
  against him, had recourse to the pretext of a journey to Lyons; but
  he was incarcerated on his return. The Syndic Corna acknowledged
  his fault, and, after a deposition of some days, he was reinstated
  in his office. The minister, Henry de la Mare, was deposed, for
  having been present at the ball, and taken the side of the dance and
  dancers against the Consistory. See REGISTERS OF COUNCIL, April 1546.

     Troubles at Geneva--imprisonment of the several members of the
     family of Favre--account of the assassination of John Diaz at
     Neubourg.


  [_April 1546._]

After your departure the dances caused us more trouble than I
had supposed. All those who were present being summoned to the
Consistory, with the two exceptions of Corna and Perrin, shamelessly
lied to God and us. I was incensed, as the vileness of the thing
demanded, and I strongly inveighed against the contempt of God,
in that they thought nothing of making a mockery of the sacred
obtestations we had used. They persisted in their contumacy. When
I was fully informed of the state of the case, I could do nothing
but call God to witness that they would pay the penalty of such
perfidy; I, at the same time, however, announced my resolution of
unbaring the truth, even though it should be at the cost of my
own life, lest they should imagine that any profit was to come
of lying. Francisca also, the wife of Perrin, grossly abused us,
because we were so opposed to the Favres.[57] I replied as seemed
proper, and as she deserved. I inquired whether their house was
inviolably sacred, whether it owed no subjection to the laws? We
already detained her father in prison, being convicted of one act
of adultery,[58] the proof of a second was close at hand; there
was a strong report of a third; her brother had openly contemned
and derided the Senate and us. Finally, I added, that a new city
must be built for them, in which they might live apart, unless they
were willing to be restrained by us here under the yoke of Christ;
that so long as they were in Geneva, they would strive in vain to
cast off obedience to the laws; for were there as many diadems in
the house of the Favres as frenzied heads, that that would be no
barrier to the Lord being superior. Her husband had meanwhile gone
to Lyons, hoping that the matter would be silently buried. I thought
that they should be forced to a confession of the truth by an oath.
Corna warned them that he would by no means suffer them to perjure
themselves. They not only confessed what we wished, but that they,
on that day, danced at the house of the widow of Balthazar. They
were all cast into prison. The Syndic was an illustrious example of
moderation; for he publicly spoke against himself and the whole herd
so severely, that it was unnecessary to say much to him. He was,
however, severely admonished in the Consistory, being deposed from
his office until he gave proof of repentance. They say that Perrin
has returned from Lyons; whatever he may do, he will not escape
punishment. Henry was stripped of his office with our consent.
With him there fell out a ludicrous enough altercation. He had
admitted that what had been taken down from the witnesses was true.
Meanwhile he had recourse to the defence, 'Against an elder admit no
accusation unless before two or three witnesses.' I inquired whose
saying this was,--'Out of thine own mouth I judge thee, worthless
servant;' for that now the case did not lie in the trustworthiness
of the witnesses, but in his confession. Besides, when he repudiated
the witnesses, that he was pressed by the dilemma, either his
confession was true or it was false: if true, there was no further
ground for hesitation; but if he had said what was false, he was to
be held as answerable for perjury, because he had sworn to something
different from the reality. It therefore came to this, that he might
say that he had spoken falsely and without regard to principle.
When he said that it was unfair that he should be pressed by one
who ought to have been his defender, I inquired by what obligation
I was bound to him to defend a bad cause, for that I had taken no
oath to the Franciscan faction. Much was said to the man, backwards
and forwards, but the result was, that he departed loaded with
the reproach and odium of all. Being deprived of his ministry, he
was, at the same time, thrust into prison, whence, however, he was
liberated in three days. There he was a strenuous patron of the
dances, that he might embitter, as far as was in his power, the
hatred towards me of those who were already more than sufficiently
alienated from me. But whatever Satan may essay by the like of him,
he will afford a striking example. For two things are already matter
of public talk, that there is no hope of impunity since even the
first people of the city are not spared, and that I show no more
favour to friends than to those opposed to me. Perrin with his wife
rages in prison; the widow is absolutely furious; the others are
silent from confusion and shame.

  [57] At the head of the opposition to the ministers were observed
  the different members of the family of Francis Favre, a dissolute
  old man, and father-in-law of Amy Perrin. Francisca, his daughter,
  wife of the latter, made herself remarkable by the violence of her
  invectives against the Consistory. "They remonstrated with her, and
  made no more account of herself and her father than of the lowest
  in the city. Being again interrogated whether she would name the
  dancers, twice replied, that she would rather submit to punishment,
  and be dragged before all the justices, than appear before the
  Consistory."--Notes Extracted from the _Registers of the Consistory
  of Geneva_, by the late Syndic Cramer, 4te, 1853.

  [58] "That the father-in-law of Amy Perrin, who has committed
  adultery, be also imprisoned, and put upon his trial."--_Registers
  of Council._ Ibid.

Diaz, the Spaniard, whom you saw here, Viret, at the house of Des
Gallars, and who, setting out from Neuchatel for Germany, had
passed through with the two Senarclens, was most cruelly put to
death. When the Emperor was said to be approaching, he had repaired
to Neubourg, a town under the rule of Duke Otho Henry. From that
place he wrote to me on the 13th of March. He had a brother at Rome
of the name of Alphonso, who came thither with the express design
of making away with this godly man. They conferred together for
some days. When Juan observed that he was of no service, he left
Alphonso. The latter, pretending that he had forgotten something,
sends a servant to recall his brother, and put him to death in the
house. He followed him to the house, nor did he believe the domestic
that the slaughter had been perpetrated until he himself had viewed
the corpse. Then he hurried off on fleet horses to the county of
Tyrol.[59] Duke Otho sent the prefect of the palace to demand that
he should be given up to punishment. Unless Ferdinand be willing to
throw into confusion all things, both human and divine, he must of
necessity avenge so base and abominable an outrage. For the prefect
has at the same time surrendered himself a prisoner.

  [59] See the whole of this narrative in the _Histoire des Martyrs_,
  from the tract of Claude de Senarclens: _Vera Historia de Morte
  Joannis Diazii Hispani._ 1546.

Adieu, dearest brethren; may God ever protect you. Salute all
friends. You, Farel, will convey to the heads of the citizens my
best greeting. I wish that I could one day creep your length, in
whatever way it might be possible.--All ours salute you.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._--Opera, tom. ix. p. 38.]



CLXIV.--TO AMY PERRIN.[60]

  [60] Letter without date, of which the original French is lost.
  It is here reproduced from the Latin translation inserted in
  the collection of the published Latin letters of Calvin, with
  restoration of date, April 1546.

  Amy Perrin, one of the earliest hearers of Farel and Froment at
  Geneva, contributed powerfully to the disenthralment and reformation
  of his native country. At one with the Reformers in the abolition
  of the ancient worship and in the proclamation of the new, which
  he regarded as the security for the independence of Geneva, he
  broke with them the moment they undertook to correct manners, after
  having reformed beliefs. He then became the head of that party of
  undisciplined children of Geneva, "who wished to live according
  to their own inclination, without suffering themselves to be
  restrained by the words of the preachers," and whose triumph led to
  the banishment of the ministers, (1538.) Commissioned, two years
  afterwards, to negotiate their recall, he appeared to be reconciled
  to Calvin, and to submit to the institutions of the Calvinistic
  discipline; but the submission could not be lasting, and we again
  find him, in 1545, along with Pierre Vandel and the two Bertheliers,
  at the head of the party that must needs continue to strive with the
  ministers, until their total defeat, (May 1555.) Of an irascible
  temperament, of easy and frivolous manners, Amy took pleasure in
  fêtes, and in appearing in public magnificently dressed. Being
  accused (see the preceding letter) of having taken part in unlawful
  dances, he refused to compear before the Consistory, incurred,
  with his wife, the just rigours of the Seigneury, and became the
  implacable enemy of Calvin, who, in a letter at once moderate and
  powerful, essayed in vain to bring him back to the path of obedience
  and duty.

     Complaints regarding the conduct of Perrin--firm and courageous
     declaration by the Reformer of his resolution to persevere in
     his duty unto death.


  [_April 1546._]

I should willingly have met you, Lord Captain, had it not appeared
to me that a different course was expedient. You will have an
opportunity of hearing the reason from me at a proper place and
time. I could have wished, however, that you had appeared at the
Consistory, by way of example to others. As in that respect you did
not do your duty, because you had perhaps not been warned, I desired
you at least to be present at the close of the meeting to-day, that
the Syndic Corna and I might there discuss the matter with you.
What there was to prevent you I do not see. But this I wish you to
consider, that we can not enjoy weight for weight with an unequal
balance; and if impartiality must be observed in the administration
of human law, any departure from it cannot be tolerated in the
Church of God. You yourself either know, or at least ought to
know, what I am; that, at all events, I am one to whom the law of
my heavenly Master is so dear, that the cause of no man on earth
will induce me to flinch from maintaining it with a pure conscience.
I cannot believe that you yourself have any other end in view,
but I observe that no one has his eyes wide enough open when the
case is his own. As far as I am concerned, I desire, in this very
matter, to consult not only the edification of the Church and your
salvation, but also your convenience, name, and leisure; for how
odious would be the imputation which is likely to fall upon you,
that you were apparently free from and unrestrained by the common
law, to which every one is subject? It is certainly better, and in
accordance with my zeal for your welfare, to anticipate the danger
than that you should be so branded. I have heard, indeed, what has
proceeded from your house, viz., that I should take care lest I
stir up a slumbering fire, lest what occurred before should again
take place, in the course of the seventh year. But these speeches
have no weight with me; for I did not return to Geneva either for
the sake of leisure or of gain, nor will it again grieve me to be
constrained to leave it. The convenience and safety of Church and
State made me willing to return; and if measures are now being taken
against me alone, I should wish it to be said, once for all, to all
who think me troublesome, "What you do, do quickly." But yet, the
unworthy treatment and ingratitude of some parties will not cause
me to fail in my duty, and I will lay aside that devoted attachment
to this place only with my last breath, of which I take God as my
voucher. Nor will I ever so far yield to the humours of any other
individual, as hereafter to dispense with his personal attendance.
These observations do not refer to you, but to that member of your
family that is nearest to you. Nor do I write them with the view of
spreading quarrels, but that it may be manifest with what firmness I
am about to proceed, whatever may happen. I am especially desirous
to impress upon you the necessity of earnestly seeking to acquire
the primary virtue of obedience to God, and respect for the common
order and polity of the Church. May the Lord protect you by his own
defence, and discover to you how greatly even the stripes of a
sincere friend are to be preferred to the treacherous blandishments
of others!--Adieu.

  Your attached and sincere brother,
  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 80.]



CLXV.--TO FAREL AND VIRET.[61]

  [61] Menaced by a common peril, and having equally to resist the
  pretensions of Charles V. to universal rule, the King of France and
  the Protestant Princes of Germany had resumed negotiations, that
  must seemingly issue in a lasting treaty. This treaty of alliance
  was for long the object of the prayers and the hopes of Calvin, who
  reckoned upon extracting from it advantageous results to the French
  Protestants, and an implicit toleration for churches until then
  subjected to the most violent persecutions. He pressed Farel and
  Viret, one or other, to repair to Germany, to hasten the progress of
  negotiations and determine the conditions of the alliance.

     Requests in favour of the faithful in France.


  GENEVA, _1st May 1546_.

This pious brother is a citizen of Uzés,[62] a place where many
have been utterly ruined by the severity of the ungodly. They have
all agreed to try whether any succour is to be found among the
Germans. I replied, that I had somewhat greater hope to-day, in that
our princes have shewn, by clear indications, their aversion from
imprisoning. I had, besides, been reminded that there was a certain
person at Worms, sent by the Dauphin, who makes many promises. I am,
indeed, aware of the hollowness of courts, but there will be no harm
in making trial. I should not have refused what they strenuously
insisted upon, viz., that I should undertake this journey, were I
not still a prisoner, so slow is the process of my convalescence.
I hardly know what progress I have hitherto made towards recovery,
unless that my sufferings are allayed.[63] I have, therefore, left
this duty to one of you. Whoever of you finds it convenient will
provide the expenses. As you, Viret,[64] are on the eve of setting
out for Berne, it is right that our friend Farel be relieved by
you of this burden, if the Senate give its permission. But if you
shall not be free to go, Farel himself, I know, will spare neither
himself nor his age; certainly otherwise he will be absolutely
indispensable. Wherefore, if leave of absence be denied to Viret,
take care you do not fail, Farel, for I have almost given a pledge
in your name to the brethren. It remains with you, therefore, to
fulfil the pledge, even though it were given rashly. Moreover,
because, from the present state of the kingdom, it would be in vain
to ask of the King what he ought to do of his own accord, we have
judged that he must at least be required to undertake the commission
of inquiry. This, again, will be equivalent to interdicting the
Parliaments from engaging in it. In the next place, he must be asked
to nominate extraordinary impartial judges. If this is obtained,
a great step will be made. To aim at anything beyond this would,
as I said, be superfluous. If the Chancellor is disposed to favour
us, all will be well.[65] But as he is timid and tardy, we must see
to it that he is vigorously urged on. Accordingly, not less pains
must be taken in these secondary matters than in those of prime
importance. But abjuration is always to be expressly excluded; for
we do the work of Satan, if we open up a path to the godly whereby
they may be permitted to abjure Christ. I diligently commend the
whole matter, first to Master James Sturm, whose authority in the
conventions is of the highest order; in the next place to Bucer,
that he may stimulate those whom he can; again to Sturm and Dr.
Ulrich, that they may also interpose the weight of their personal
influence. The affair itself will give you counsel. You are not,
however, tyros. May the Lord prosper his journey who shall
undertake this sacred cause.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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

  [62] Is this Uzés a small town of Languedoc, now comprised in the
  department of Gard? Beza and the historian of the martyrs furnish us
  with no information on this point.

  [63] Desirous of rendering assistance to Calvin during his illness
  and recovery, the Seigneurs of Geneva decided upon allowing him an
  attendant at the public expense.--_Registers of Council_, 4th March
  1546.

  [64] Viret was on the point of repairing to Berne, in order
  to discuss certain matters relative to the ordinances of the
  Reformation in the Pays de Vaud.--Ruchat, vol. v. p. 298.

  [65] After the disgrace of the Chancellor Poyet, this high office
  was filled by François Olivier, Seigneur of Louville, President
  of the Parliament of Paris. He resigned in 1550, and again became
  Chancellor in 1559, in order to give his sanction to the lamentable
  executions of Amboise, which he survived only for a short time.



CLXVI.--TO MADAME DE FALAIS.

     Expression of Christian sympathy and condolence on occasion of
     the illness of M. de Falais.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 21st of June_ [1546.][66]

  [66] On the back, in the handwriting of M. de Falais: "Received the
  22d July." This note, taken in connection with the beginning of the
  next letter to M. de Falais, settles the date of the present one.

MADAME,--Notwithstanding that the addition which you have made to
your letter has marvellously saddened me, yet nevertheless it was
kind to have informed me of it, for that will serve to bestir us, so
that we may pray to God with so much the better heart, as danger is
to be feared.[67] And, indeed, I had already heard somewhat thereof
by Monsieur Dallein, and Master Peter Viret has confirmed it to me.
Beside that in praying to God to look down with pity upon us in this
strait, we must look patiently for an outlet such as he shall please
to send; and whichsoever way he disposes thereof, that we may be
prepared to bear with it in suchwise that it must effectually appear
how obedient we are to him. Bethink yourself, also, how by that
wearisome sickness and so many relapses, our Lord admonishes you,
before the blow, so to strengthen you, that you may not be taken by
surprise, whatever may happen. However the event may be, I do well
believe that for all that, although he may get the better of it, we
must not count, neither he nor myself, upon a long sojourning here
below. And possibly you also may very soon after follow us. But,
after all, I do not give up hope of more gladsome news.

  [67] M. de Falais was at the time dangerously ill.

To conclude, Madame, after having humbly commended me to your good
graces, I pray our good Lord to have ever his eye upon you, and to
make you know it by experience for your consolation, increasing in
you all those graces with which his children ought to be enriched.

  Your humble brother, servant, and old friend,
  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

My wife presents you her humble commendations.

  [_Orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CLXVII.--TO FAREL.[68]

  [68] Certain persons having obtained from the magistrate permission
  to act in public a _Morality_, entitled, _The Acts of the Apostles_,
  which had received the approbation of the ministers; one of them,
  named Michael Cop, less conciliatory than his colleagues, preached
  a very violent discourse in the church of St. Peter, and said that
  the women who should mount the theatre to act that farce, would be
  _shameless creatures_. These words stirred up a great tumult in the
  city, and Calvin required to put forth all his influence to quiet
  the agitation, and to preserve the life of his imprudent colleague.

  The plays were celebrated in presence of Viret. "It is ordained,"
  say the Registers of Council, "that booths be erected for our
  seigneurs, that they may comfortably witness the representation of
  the _Acts of the Apostles_."--1st July 1546. It does not appear,
  however, that these representations were frequently repeated. "Upon
  the remonstrances of the ministers," we read in the Registers,
  "resolved to delay the representations of the theatre to a less
  calamitous time."--July 1546. Ruchat, vol. v. p. 313. The minister
  inculpated was not Abel Poupin, as Ruchat relates, but Michael Cop,
  as the Registers attest.

     Excitement caused at Geneva by the Representation of a Play.


  GENEVA, _4th July 1546_.

Our plays narrowly escaped being converted into tragedy. When the
senate had asked my opinion, I said that I would make no reply
unless concerning the common resolution of the brethren. The
brethren having been heard, I replied, that for many reasons it did
not seem to us expedient that the games should be proceeded with,
and at the same time I explained the grounds of our opinion. I said,
however, that we did not wish to oppose them, if the senate held out
for them. When the day was coming on, Michael, (who had done so once
before,) instead of preaching, inveighed against the actors; but
so vehement was this second invective, that a concourse of people
straightway made towards me with loud shouts, threats, and what
not. And had I not by a strong effort restrained the fury of some
of them, they would have come to blows. I endeavoured in the second
discourse to appease their exasperation, observing moderation, for
I judged that he had acted imprudently in having at an unseasonable
time chosen such a theme for declamation. But his extravagance was
the more displeasing, since I could by no means approve of what he
had said. He maintained it to be true; I firmly denied it. There
were some of the brethren who encouraged the man in his obstinacy.
About nine in the evening, I was told that a hundred or thereabouts
would meet on the following day in the council-room. I immediately
called the brethren together: we came to the resolution that we
ought to accompany Michael. He was hardly suffered to go out along
with me. I bring him to the place of meeting; meanwhile I order
the others to be sent for. His accusers indicate their refusal
to speak while we are present; for they said they had no concern
with me, beyond that they regarded me with reverence, and were
therefore unwilling to enter into any dispute with me. I strenuously
insist that the cause is common, until it appear that Michael has
erred in his duty. We are ordered to withdraw to separate sides of
the house; from the opposite party arise seditious shouts; they
threateningly assert that they would have killed Michael were it
not that they revered me. To restrain the tumult, he was detained
in the council-room, but in a respectful manner. On the following
day, by the favour of the Lord, we quieted all disturbances; for
Abel,[69] by the esteem in which he is held, and I by my authority,
prevailed with the actors. The senate, however, was on our side. I
was so far displeased with it, that it was not more courageous and
spirited, for as usual it behaved too timidly; the result is, that
the games are now going on. Viret is present as a spectator, who has
again returned, according to arrangement, with a view to restore our
furious friend to sanity.[70]

  [69] The minister, Abel Poupin, exerted his interest with the actors
  to appease the tumult excited by his colleague.

  [70] It is seen by this instance, that Calvin was not so stern as to
  proscribe public games and amusements that harmonized with decency.
  "He himself made no scruple in engaging in play with the seigneurs
  of Geneva; but that was the innocent game of the _key_, which
  consists in being able to push the keys the nearest possible to the
  edge of a table."--Morus, quoted _Hist. de la Suisse_, vol. xi. p.
  356.

Of your brothers I hear absolutely nothing. There is with you one
Elie Limousin by name, a native of Rochelle, who has now in a
third letter asked me to certify to you what I have known of his
former life. Pious people who come from that district declare that
he was an upright man, and of honourable life, and also that he
was unmarried when he removed thence to us. There is no reason,
therefore, why any suspicion of this nature should be a hindrance
to his marriage. You will apologize for my not having replied to
him, and also for having so cursorily gone over to you what perhaps
demanded a longer discourse. Adieu, dearest brother in the Lord, and
most sincere friend. Salute respectfully all the brethren; there is
no salutation from any one here to you or them, as no one knew I
was going to write except Nicolas, the father-in-law of a brother,
who came in. May the Lord be ever present with you, and bless your
sacred labours.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 43.]



CLXVIII.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Proposals of matrimony on behalf of Viret.


  GENEVA, _4th July 1546_.

MONSEIGNEUR,--You see, by the date of the other letters, what
a length of time they have lain by me since they were written,
forasmuch as the bearer could not find means to fill his
letter-case; whereof I wished to inform you, fearing that you might
suppose that he had kept them up for such a length of time in his
own hands. We are in great anxiety for news concerning you, on
account of the rumour which is abroad. The Lord graciously vouchsafe
that you may have matter wherewith to gladden us. Now, however,
since the bearer has been tarrying for a while, I have taken upon
me, Monsieur, to make a request of you. You know that our brother
Viret is about to marry. I am in as great anxiety about it as
himself. We have plenty of wives here, both at Lausanne and at Orbe;
but yet there has not hitherto appeared a single one with whom I
should feel at all satisfied. While we have this matter in hand, I
would beseech you earnestly, if you have remarked any one in your
quarter who appears to you likely to suit him, that you would please
let me know of it. I have not thought fit to apply to any other than
yourself, seeing that every one has not the prudence which is herein
required. You may reply to me, that I am at least acquainted with
some one in your neighbourhood; but I shall not venture to breathe a
word before having your opinion, which you can tell me in one word,
for I shall hold your silence for a _non placet_.[71] I have not
felt the least difficulty in addressing you privately in regard to
this, although the subject may be rather delicate, for the necessity
of the case would excuse me, were I even somewhat importunate,
because there was no one else in whom it appeared safe to confide;
and I am well aware that, for your part, knowing of how much
consequence the marriage of such a man is for the Church of God,
you would not spare yourself any pains therein. Indeed, I would not
hinder your acting directly for him, supposing that a suitable party
can be found there; but in regard to asking advice, I have taken for
granted that you will allow me that liberty.

  [71] Allusion to a sister of M. de Falais.

In conclusion, Monseigneur, after having commended me to your kind
favour with such affection as that wherewith I love you, I pray our
good Lord to have always a care of you, guiding you in suchwise that
you may be more and more serviceable for the advancement of his
glory.

  Your servant, humble brother, and entire friend,
  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. copy_--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CLXIX.--TO VIRET.

     Account of the steps taken relative to his marriage.


  _13th July 1546._

Think of what you are going to do, and then write to me again what
resolution you have come to. The more we inquire, the more numerous
and the better are the testimonies with which the young lady is
honoured. Accordingly, I am now seeking to discover the mind of her
father. As soon as we have reached any certainty, I will let you
know. Meanwhile, do you make yourself ready. This match does not
please Perrin, because he wishes to force upon you the daughter
of Rameau. That makes me the more solicitous about pre-occupying
the ground in good time, lest we be obstructed by having to make
excuses. To-day, as far as I gather, he will enter upon the subject
with me, for we are both invited by Corna to supper. I will gain
time by a civil excuse. It would tend to promote the matter if I,
with your permission, should ask her. I have seen her twice; she is
very modest, with an exceedingly becoming countenance and person. Of
her manners, all speak so highly that John Parvi lately told me, he
had been captivated by her. Adieu; may the Lord govern you by his
counsel, and bless us in an undertaking of such moment.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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



CLXX.--TO VIRET.

     Fresh details regarding the projects for his marriage.


  GENEVA, _15th July 1546_.

Three days ago, towards the conclusion of supper, mention was made
of your marriage, which I had foretold you would be the case.
But Dominic Arlot, whose assistance I had employed, presently
interrupted the conversation; for he said that the matter was
completed. On hearing this our friend instantly sprung up from
table, and, in his usual way, gave reins to his indignation; for,
says he, his whole body shaking, "Will he then marry that girl of
low connections? Could there not be found for him in the city one
of better family? Whoever have been the originators or abettors of
this business, I regard them as vile and infamous. Of a brother and
sister I am thus unwillingly compelled to speak." I, in reply, say,
"I could not be the originator of it, inasmuch as the young lady
was unknown to me. I acknowledge that I was a promoter of it, and,
indeed, the principal one; but that the matter is finally settled,
as Dominic has asserted, is not true, beyond this, that I have gone
so far in it that to draw back would be dishonourable. In that there
is nothing for me to be ashamed of." His fury was thus turned into
laughter. But he again began to grow hot, because the matter had
been concealed from him by you. He was especially inflamed with a
foolish jealousy, because Corna confessed that you and he, while
riding, had talked over the thing together. "Is it even so?" he
proceeded to say to Corna. "Was it for this I attended him along
with you, that he might in the most insulting manner shut out from
his counsels the most attached friend he has in the world? [for] I
would cheerfully prefer him to myself."

I objected that he himself drew a false conclusion, since you had
not disclosed your mind even to Farel. He was, therefore, again
pacified, though he talked of the daughter of Rameau, whom he
extolled in an extraordinary manner. I nodded assent to all the
encomiums, that I might remain firm in regard to the other party.

Consider, now, whether it be expedient for you to come into the city
disengaged. For there will be a hateful apologizing, if they proceed
to obtrude her upon you. I know how dangerous even it may be to
give a promise before the natural disposition of the girl has been
ascertained. I am full of anxiety, nor can I easily clear a way for
myself. I think, however, that this course would not be ridiculous.
Suppose you consent to my asking the young lady in your name, the
condition being added, that before the betrothal takes place, you
are to meet her, that we may give some certain promise. They will
thus not dare to press you. Write in return, therefore, by the
earliest possible messenger what your views are, although, at the
same time, I give it as my advice that you should not delay long,
but come on an early day. Of the lady, I hear nothing that is not
highly pleasing. In her father and mother, also, there is nothing
blamable. I am the more confirmed, when I see that our opponents
have nothing to carp at beyond this, that it was impossible for them
to frighten us from our purpose. There are some things about the
daughter of Rameau which I fear; nevertheless, as it is your own
affair, you will be free to choose. I will never, however, allow
that there is any man on earth who has greater concern about his own
matters than I have about the present.

This youth came to us from Italy, with the view of giving his
attention to sacred literature, if a situation had been found such
as he had hoped for. But as he has been disappointed, he wished,
before he returned home, to pay you a visit. I have observed in him
a truly good disposition. You will say a few words to confirm him
in the fear of the Lord, and in reverence for his teaching.--Adieu.
May the Lord direct you by his counsel, and bless you in a
recommendation of so much moment. Salute respectfully all the
brethren.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

Forgive me for not having, some time ago, sent to you this letter
by our treasurer--I mean Bucer's, for, as the messenger brought it
open, I thought that it had been already read by you and Farel.
Afterwards, he reminded me that not even Toussain had read it.
You will therefore send it to Farel, as soon as you shall have
an opportunity. I am surprised that Bucer was not aroused by the
murderous outrage so greatly to be execrated, which the Emperor
perpetrated when he struck off the heads of the principal senators
at Ratisbon. I am also surprised that he has made no mention of the
incendiaries, but I set it down partly to his engagements. The other
matter he has perhaps passed over on purpose, because he did not
dare to commit everything to writing in these dubious times.

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



CLXXI.--TO VIRET.

     Same subject as the preceding.


  [_July 1546._]

Only say the word, the thing is settled. I should never have been
in such haste, had I not been stimulated by so many remarkable
testimonies. But nothing gave me a greater impulse than the desire
to be freed from those embarrassments of which you are aware.

Adieu, again.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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



CLXXII.--TO VIRET.[72]

  [72] The project of marriage, developed in the two preceding
  letters, not having been realized, Viret turned his attention in
  another direction; and a passage in his will, preserved in the
  Archives of Geneva, informs us that he espoused, in his second
  marriage, Elizabeth Laharpe, daughter of a French refugee of
  Lausanne. This marriage was celebrated in October or November 1546,
  and the nuptial benediction was pronounced by Calvin himself, who,
  in a subsequent letter, (of the 3d December,) makes allusion to the
  journey which he had accomplished, in order to be present at the
  nuptials of his friend.

     Breaking off of the match treated of in the preceding letters.


  GENEVA, _25th July 1546_.

What I wrote to you, by the treasurer, regarding the settlement
of the matter, was told to me by Peter Ursier, whom I was then
employing as negotiator; because I was unwilling to say anything
myself, until I had received a more definite commission. But
after reading your letter, I waited on the father and daughter,
that I might be absolutely certain of success. As soon, however,
as reference was made to a change of residence, the father took
exception to it, on the ground that something different had been
promised him. I said that no promise to that effect had been made
with our knowledge; and, moreover, that I had carefully enjoined
Peter Ursier not to cajole them by such promises. I pointed out
how absurd it would be if we were to leave our churches to follow
whither our wives called us; that a marriage consummated under such
a condition would be an unhappy, because an unholy, alliance, that
would not pass without punishment falling on both you and the girl;
finally, that you would never be prevailed upon to afford the first
example of so disgraceful a practice, and, therefore, that it was
in vain to make the request. I added, that Lausanne was not so far
distant from this as to prevent his daughter from being with him
as often as might be necessary; that it would, likewise, be more
satisfactory to have daily to congratulate his absent daughter than
constantly to see and hear her weeping and bewailing the cruelties
of her husband, which he observed was the case with so many. He
requested space for deliberation, and, at the end of three days, he
replied, that he was unwilling to send his only daughter from home.
I felt greatly indignant at being so deluded by the folly of those
in whom I trusted. I restrained myself, however, and dissembled my
anger. But I do not need to offer any more lengthened excuse to
you, as I am free from all blame. We may accordingly turn to some
other quarter. Christopher spoke to me of a certain widow, who, he
asserts, pleases him admirably. If such is the case, I am at rest,
and leave it. But if not, indicate your mind. We shall very shortly,
also, have a messenger from Strasbourg.--Adieu, brother, and most
sincere friend. Salute all the co-presbyters very affectionately.
May the Lord preserve you all safe, and direct you by his Holy
Spirit even to the end.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

Excuse me for not writing by the female servant of Petronilla, for I
was not then fully aware of the state of the case; in other words,
there was still a gleam of hope.

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



CLXXIII.--TO FAREL.

     Violence of the family of Amy Perrin--declamations of the wife
     of Froment against the ministers of Geneva.


  GENEVA, [_1st September 1546._]

Although the letter was not in every respect to my mind, for I was
afraid that its undue harshness might hurt so delicate a stomach,
I took care to have it forwarded, but in such a way that he should
not know that I had seen it.[73] For this person conveyed it to
his house as if it had been intrusted by you to himself. Should
he thunder after his peculiar fashion, his bolts will die away in
mere clatter. I not only appear before him, but almost obtrude
myself upon him; only, I observe a mean, that I may keep in mind
the place I hold; nor is this done on my own account, but because
the man, being accustomed to adulation, would abuse my modesty,
to the derision of Christ. I therefore despair of him, unless God
apply a remedy. His wife is an unnatural fury. The widow N. is
so shamelessly wanton, that you would say she is quite youthful.
Then, having an evil conscience, she is excited by every word that
is spoken before the congregation, and discharges upon us at home
the venom she harbours. She has manifested towards you, however,
marvellous good-will; for she took to her house your two nephews,
when they were dangerously ill, and treats them as her own sons.
This kind office deserves a liberal meed of thanks, which you will
not omit to convey to her, whenever a messenger shall present
himself. She is so opposed to all of us, that I believe Cæsar[74]
himself is not more of an enemy; and yet, I confess I do not know
what cause is to be assigned for this, unless that she shamelessly
undertakes the defence of all her crimes.

  [73] At the request of Calvin, Farel had written a letter to Amy
  Perrin, in order to calm his resentment, and lead him back to the
  good path. The message of Farel, like that of Calvin himself, was
  without effect, and the quarrel between the Reformer and his old
  friend, now his adversary, became daily more confirmed and violent.

  [74] A term frequently employed by Calvin to designate Perrin, with
  the adjunct of a derisive epithet,--_Cæsar our comedian_.

I am now going to give you a humorous story. The wife of Froment[75]
lately came to this place. She declaimed through all the shops, and
at almost all the cross-roads, against long garments. When she knew
that I was aware of it, she excused herself by alleging that she
had said with a smile, that we were either unbecomingly clothed,
to the great detriment of the Church, or that you taught what was
erroneous, when you said that false prophets could be distinguished
by their long vestments. When I was rebutting so stale a calumny,
she began to ascribe even to the Holy Spirit what she had directed
against us. What is the meaning, said she, of that passage of the
Gospel, "They will come to you in long garments?" I replied, that I
did not know where that sentence was to be found, unless, perhaps,
it might occur in the gospel of the Manichæans; for the passage of
Luke xx. 45, is as follows: "Beware of the Scribes, who desire to
walk in long robes," but not, "They will come to you," &c., which
she had interpolated from Matthew vii. [15.] Feeling that she was
closely pressed, she complained of our tyranny, because there was
not a general license of prating about everything. I dealt with the
woman as I should have done. She immediately proceeded to the widow
of Michael, who gave her a hospitable reception, sharing with her
not only her table, but her bed, because she maligned the ministers.
I leave these wounds untouched, because they appear to me incurable
until the Lord apply his hand. We are to celebrate the Supper on
the next Lord's-day. You may thus form a judgment of the straits by
which I am encompassed. Would that it could be celebrated without
me, even on condition that I should creep to you on my hands! I
wish that the verse of Terence would occur to your brothers, "To
lose in time is to make gain." I have admonished them, but they do
not make the haste I wished. They may bear, however, for a short
time the delay that has taken place, although it is disagreeable to
us.--Adieu, brother and most sincere friend. Salute respectfully, in
my name, all the brethren, your family, and the godly citizens. May
the Lord preserve you, and always direct you by his Spirit! Amen.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._--Opera, vol. ix. p. 38.]

  [75] See note 1, vol. i. p. 343. It appears, from this passage,
  that Froment was not at that time settled in Geneva. He was called
  thither a short time afterwards to assist Francis Bonivard in
  digesting the Chronicles of the city.



CLXXIV.--TO FAREL.

     Calvin's indisposition--literary labours--apparent
     reconciliation with Perrin and his family.


  GENEVA, _2d October 1546_.

Not to beguile you by a vain hope, I may say that I do not think I
shall come to your place before winter; for having once experienced
the inconvenience of a voyage, I shall not venture again to commit
myself to the waters. A good part of the journey would thus fall
to be accomplished on foot, for the jolting of a horse is not
only hurtful to me, but the rubbing also is dangerous. I am not
acquainted with the physician of whom you speak, nor do I rightly
understand what druggist you blame, unless, as I conjecture, you
hint at Francis. What Textor may now think I do not know, except
that he was too stringent in his prescriptions. For by involving
himself in the lawsuits of his father, he has woven, in his native
place, a Penelope's web that will have no end. Meanwhile, you
see him complaining that he was deprived of my advice. But this
peevishness of the good man must somehow or other be tolerated
by us. As you exhort me to write, I wish I had more leisure
occasionally, and more robust health. I have now, however, set
myself in earnest to the Epistle to the Galatians.[76] I am not
free in the matter of publication, as far at least as the Epistles
of Paul are concerned. You once heard from me when I was at
Strasbourg, that Wendelin laid me under obligations by services of
such a nature, that I should be constrained to charge myself with
ingratitude unless I offered this work to him. For at the time of
my greatest straits, he expended on my behalf above forty golden
pieces, and he was not less prompt in his assistance in taking
charge of my domestic affairs, than if I had hired him for the
express purpose of superintending them. I am, therefore, now not at
liberty to refuse him the Epistles. If I should write anything else,
it will rather be published here, and yet Des Gallars could find no
one to undertake to bring out two short treatises he had composed.
Before, however, I subject my writings to any risk, I shall retain
a copy. I left off for a time a short treatise, _De Scandalis_,[77]
that I had begun, because the style did not flow so freely as I
wished, nor have I a mind to resume it, until I shall have completed
the Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians. I had lately some
conversation with our friend Perrin. If he perform what he promised,
matters will not be at the very worst.[78] Penthesilæa, while in
her outward deportment she affects a wonderful friendship, rages
within doors in a terrible manner. I observe that you have written
to her. I shall call for her on the earliest opportunity. I shall
then discover what effect your letter has had.--Adieu, brother and
most sincere friend. May the Lord be ever present with you, always
protect you, and render your labours prosperous! I wrote to the
ministers of Berne. If you desire to know the contents of the letter
Viret, I think, retained a copy. My wife reverently salutes you, as
also Des Gallars, Feron, my brother, (for since I received yours I
have not seen the others.) The best greeting to the brethren and
friends, and to your whole family.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

I had no talk with Perrin about your letter. I was unwilling to
touch that sore, until it should have been somewhat mollified by
the lapse of time. If there is any news, provided it be certain, let
us immediately know, I pray you.

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

  [76] The Commentaries on the four Epistles of St. Paul to the
  Galatians, the Ephesians, the Philippians, and the Colossians, were
  not published until 1548, by the bookseller Girard, of Geneva. Is
  there a previous edition of the Commentary on the Galatians? We are
  not aware of any.

  [77] This, one of the most remarkable of the works of Calvin,
  appeared only in 1550.

  [78] This apparent reconciliation was without satisfactory result.
  Perrin could not tolerate, nor Calvin sacrifice, the right of
  censure vested in the Consistory, and which the excesses of the
  _Libertins_ daily rendered more necessary. "Complaints to the
  Council by M. Calvin regarding the dissoluteness of the youth, there
  being nothing more common in the city than acts of debauchery and
  licentiousness."--_Registers of Council_, 11th October 1546.



CLXXV.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Recurrence to the matrimonial projects of Viret--explanations on
     various subjects.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 4th of October 1546_.

MONSEIGNEUR,--While hour after hour I was on the lookout for James
on his return from Lyons, to reply to you by him, I was amazed the
other day when my brother told me that he had passed through without
speaking with me. And now it happens that I must write you very
much in haste, because of the sudden departure of the bearer. It is
very true I was told of it yesterday, but it was at eight o'clock
at night, when my megrim troubled me so severely, that it was with
great pain I could open my mouth. This morning I thought that he
would be gone away, until at the end of the sermon, he told me that
he would wait a quarter of an hour to oblige me; wherefore, I must
beg of you to excuse the brevity.

As to the affair of the individual for whose sake I have made the
request, he has replied to me, thanking you very humbly for the
kind affection you have shewn him; that he would desire above all
things to have communication with the party, fearing lest, from
the want of a mutual understanding, they might not assort so well
together in future. Besides, while these troubles last, it appeared
to him that the journey could not be well undertaken, and I am much
of that opinion; for thereby there would be some danger of a long
protraction of the affair, and this is by no means your intention,
which I find very reasonable. As for the rest, there is no sort of
hindrance arising from health; but I find this to be an annoyance,
that a matter, uncertain at any rate, should be kept for so long in
suspense, although I do not find fault with his request, considering
the reasons which he has alleged to me for it, that it is necessary
that the wife he shall take may be informed beforehand of some
domestic charges which he is obliged to bear. Besides, love requires
previous acquaintance, and the household affairs never go on well
without a private mutual understanding, and a settlement of the
conditions required on both sides. The mischief is, the waiting for
that length of time; and besides, I do not see any great object to
be gained by it. I pray God that, in any event, he would well order
it.

About the book,[79] it strikes me that I have told you enough
already of what occurred to me, and therefore I do not comprehend
wherefore you ask my opinion anew, unless it might be to shew
it to him. Besides, he will take it better, methinks, if it may
please you, to shew him the passage of my letter on that point,
the more that I speak therein more freely, not knowing the author.
Nevertheless, if it appears to you that there is somewhat more to be
said, when you shall please to inform me of it, I will follow your
advice.

  [79] M. de Falais had sent Calvin a theological work by a certain
  Denis de la Roche, requesting his opinion of it.

Furthermore, Antony Maillet has written to me, that he had spoken
to Peter Telsen, and tells me that the twelve crowns which Master
Valerand has disbursed, are to be refunded to you, although I need
not be in very much haste about it, but suit my own convenience.
I know not whether he has done so by mistake, but if he has still
twelve crowns to pay, Peter Telsen must have laid out twice as much
as he ought; for I have sent you twelve crowns by my brother, the
which you have told me you had received. Notwithstanding, if Peter
Telsen have failed to do so, I would not that you should be the
loser, albeit I know not for what purpose he can have employed the
money; but as to that, it will be my business to settle with him.
Before saying a word about it, I was desirous to know the truth. I
pray you, then, that you may please let me know whether, besides the
twelve crowns which my brother returned to you, there has a still
further sum of like amount gone out of your purse. Seeing that they
have roused so much indignation down there, I see not what hinders
you to publish your _Apology_, and it seems to me very fit that you
do so. Nevertheless, I say what I think about it without prejudice.
The rest remains still in the pen, for the bearer has not given me a
long enough time. And thus, Monseigneur, after commending me humbly
to your kind favour and that of Madame, I pray our good Lord to have
you always in his keeping, vouchsafing you grace in suchwise ever to
walk, that he may be ever more and more glorified in you. I render
thanks to him for that he hath set you up again, but I beseech of
him to increase you in strength daily, until you are completely
restored. My wife presents her humble commendations.

  Your servant, humble brother, and entire friend,
  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. copy_--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CLXXVI.--TO MADAME DE FALAIS.

     Sad communication to be made to M. de Falais--promise to send
     several discourses.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 19th of October_ [1546.]

MADAME,--Forasmuch as you informed me by your last, that you sent
me therewith the letter of Monsieur de Fresne, I feared that the
bearer had not done his duty in taking proper care of what had been
committed to him. But he has assured me that he had received nothing
else but what he has delivered to me. Wherefore, I guess that it
has been left behind by neglect. I believe that your intention in
sending it to me, was in order to have my advice how to inform
Monsieur of it.[80] Now, as he must be made aware of the news, I
could have no hesitation in opening up somewhat of the business,
whenever he shall be in a good humour, and then telling him all
about it. Except when he is ailing, he is not a man that lets
himself be overcome by sadness, and who does not know how to make a
profitable improvement of the grace which God vouchsafes him for his
consolation.

  [80] Allusion to the death of one of the sisters of M. de Falais,
  which they had not ventured to communicate to him.

He has put me in mind that you were complaining lately of Monsieur
enjoying himself all alone in the reading of my Commentary.[81] You
request me also to have some thought of those who only understand
French, that they also may partake, and you ask for my sermons.
Well, if there had been a demand for putting them forth, I would
indeed have set about it in good earnest; but that will not be
this year. However, if God bestow grace to finish the Epistle to
the Galatians, which ought to be summary, I have the framework of
something of a treatise which shall speak French as well as Latin,
that may prove somewhat useful, as I hope.

  [81] The Commentary on the First Epistle of Saint Paul to the
  Corinthians, dedicated to M. de Falais.

After having affectionately commended me to your kind favour, and
presented the humble salutations of my wife, I beseech our good Lord
to have you in his safeguard, making you more and more serviceable
for the advancement of his kingdom.

Your servant and humble brother,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CLXXVII.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Congratulations on his convalescence--uncertainty of prospects
     in Germany--confidence in the all-powerful protection of God.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 19th of October 1546_.

MONSEIGNEUR,--I believe that you have received my last letter, by
which you will have understood that yours had been delivered by
Alexander, but somewhat tardily. I give thanks to our good Lord
affectionately for the news which Madame has communicated to me of
the recovery of your health. I hope that it may please Him, who has
begun so well, that in the spring you will feel yourself so nimble
that you will not know how to restrain your merriment, so as to
make up for past time. We shall look for that, and for all else, as
it shall please him of his infinite goodness to allot, having good
expectance that the rage which the Court of _Malines_ has vented
upon you will pass off in smoke.[82]

  [82] The confiscation of the property of M. de Falais had been
  pronounced by the Court of Malines. That decree had been submitted
  to the confirmation of the Emperor.

I believe that it will soon be time to sound a retreat for both
camps.[83] I pray God so to direct the whole that the upshot may
prove for the advancement of his own honour. I am better pleased
that he makes war upon that unhappy tyrant with his own hand, than
otherwise. For if we were to attempt anything of importance, I
should always fear the fatal consequences of the presumption. We
have never yet heard what has become of that harebrained fellow,
the Count de Buren,[84] whether he has passed on with his army, or
whether he has been driven back. Howsoever it may be, _it is not the
multitude nor the arm of flesh that can prevail_.

  [83] The sentence which put the Elector of Saxony and the Landgrave
  of Hesse to the ban of the Empire, 20th July 1546, was the signal
  for war in Germany. The Imperial army, and that of the Protestant
  Princes, observed one another for several months, on the banks
  of the Danube, without the one being able to obtain any decisive
  advantage over the other. But the troops of Charles the Fifth were
  decimated by want and sickness while there was an overabundance in
  the camp of the confederates.

  [84] Maximilian d'Egmont, Count de Buren, a valiant and adventurous
  captain. He brought a powerful reinforcement to Charles the Fifth
  from the Netherlands, and he executed that difficult operation with
  the most happy success.

Master Valerand is returning; you shall know better from him the
whole state of your affairs. Howbeit, I see no other means, unless
you yield somewhat on your side, until God opens up a better. You
will know who this bearer is, and his purpose in going to you.
Because I believed his determination to be right, I have not desired
to turn him back from it.

To conclude, Monseigneur, after my humble commendation to your kind
favour, I shall pray our good Lord to have ever his hand stretched
out to guide you by his grace.

Your servant, humble brother and entire friend,

  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

My wife also entreats to be always humbly commended to your kind
favour.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CLXXVIII.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Excuses for Viret--uses of sickness--various rumours concerning
     the war in Germany--explanations on the subject of the Supper.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 16th of November 1546_.

MONSEIGNEUR,--Although I was expecting a letter from you from day
to day, I could not let this messenger go away without writing,
to make some reply to your last. I shall begin upon the subject
of the little book which you sent me. Having read my answer, and
the opinion I had of it, you have mentioned to me the name of the
author; and because he is somewhat opinionative, you request me
to let you know my mind about it, in order that you may tell him
on his return the opinion you have formed. Your words are these,
"The author is Denis de la Roche, who has requested of me that I
would send it you privately. In consequence of this I feel puzzled
how to set about finding fault, for I fear he will suspect that
the criticism comes from you, and he is a little proud, and withal
tenacious of his own views. Inasmuch as you have known him longer
than I, write me your advice, so that upon his return I may be able
to tell him the judgment which I have come to, when he shall ask me
for it."

You must hold me excused in this matter. I know not how to proceed
therein, since I have already shortly stated to you my opinion in
regard to it. If you ask me for a lengthened discussion, I could not
do it so well as when it was fresh in my recollection; and indeed I
have doubtless forgotten part of what I formerly wrote. What made me
doubtful as to your drift, was that it seemed to me you were asking
me to do over again what I had already done. And even now I do not
comprehend wherefore you would have a new declaration of my opinion,
unless you were dissatisfied with the first. It would be very
difficult for me to discuss in detail the things which have escaped
me. For I have retained but a confused idea of the general argument,
and of some points here and there.

As concerns the marriage in reference to which I have put you
in requisition,[85] I beseech you, Monseigneur, to believe what
I shall tell you, for I shall recount the pure truth without any
dissimulation whatever. The reason which induced me to write you
about it was, that a party had been proposed here who was no wise
suitable for him. But on account of the forwardness of some of
those who had meddled in the affair, we had very great difficulty
in getting the proposal set aside. And so, to break the blow, it
was my earnest desire to have found some one in another quarter;
for there would have been less envy and jealousy had he taken
one from a distance, as we have already had ample experience in
the murmurs which some have made when we would not follow their
leading-string. I assure you, however, that he has not been making
indirect application elsewhere. But without reference either to
her whom you kindly named in your reply, nor yet to any other, I
have thought it advisable, under the circumstances of the case, to
recommend the man to you. Then you know the first letter loitered
long upon the way, before we had any news from you, which was the
occasion of my writing again, and that at his own instance, although
I did not comprehend very clearly why. For in the meantime, from
what I have since learnt, he had a proposition from another quarter.
Nevertheless, after receiving tidings from you, I communicated with
himself, and the result was such as I have told you, without feigned
civility or double-dealing. Since then, I have understood that the
proposal about a widow was still under consideration, although to
this hour I know not how it stands. And so far was I from meddling,
that knowing in this town of a widow as well endowed as I could
have wished for myself if God had so far afflicted me as to have
deprived me of my helpmate,[86] and that there was a necessity for
my marrying again; on considering the other proposals which were
under consideration, I have not felt inclined to bring forward her
name. And notwithstanding, I have no doubt whatever that it would
prove an admirable match for him. But all the more that I refrained
from active friendly interference, it was sufficient for me to
commit him to God, and to let the stream find its own channel. You
see how I have thanked you without hypocrisy, now that I have set
before you the difficulties that I have had here. And I do not think
that there was any want of honesty in the man for whom I spoke;
indeed I might venture to assure you of it. But purposes change in
a few hours. Seeing the present position of matters, I did not like
to communicate to him anything of what was contained in your letter.
I shall not trouble you with long excuses; and besides, it is well
that the thing has not taken wind. Wherefore, if you think fit,
consider the whole matter as if it had never been mooted. Meanwhile,
your goodwill toward me must not be buried out of mind, nor toward
the man who is principally concerned in the affair. For I assure you
that he was truly grateful for your interference, and I know that
he has it imprinted on his heart, although it was attended with no
result.

  [85] For Peter Viret. See preceding letters to M. de Falais, pp. 63
  and 74.

  [86] Calvin lost his wife, Idelette de Bure, in the beginning of
  April 1549, and never married again. His Latin correspondence
  contains two beautiful and touching letters to Viret and to Farel
  (7th and 11th April) on that sad event. They will be found reprinted
  in this collection.

With regard to the money which has been laid out on account of our
child, that you may not be further troubled about it, Antony Maillet
will settle the amount. And now, please God, I shall do my duty,
thanking you most affectionately that you have been pleased to have
patience until the settlement could be made.

Since the _Apology_ has not yet gone forth, it is very desirable to
have the news which Master Valeran[87] may bring along with him.
And, indeed, over and above the circumstance which has befallen in
your particular case, the general declaration which the man has made
against the whole cause, well deserves that the style should be
altered, and that some additions be interwoven. And seeing that God
has allowed you to wait so long, he will so end all as to instruct
you the more certainly.

  [87] Valeran Poulain, of Lille, who was at a later period minister
  of the French Church at Frankfort.

Although I have indeed heard of a man having been seized at Berne
for poisoning and fire-raising, nevertheless, I have so little
correspondence in that quarter, that I have heard nothing of it but
upon common report. On which account I did not care to say much to
you about it. If it be really so as has been related to you, I must
acknowledge that it is a good thing that God is more concerned about
my life than are my neighbours.

Although your weakness may be protracted, it is much that you go
on steadily, though by slow degrees, in the way of amendment. And
when I consider the complaint, I feel that there is still greater
reason to be well content. Notwithstanding, we shall not give over
praying to God that it would please him to confirm you entirely,
with thanksgiving that he has brought you back from the brink of
the grave. Besides, I hope, from present appearances, that he is
minded yet to make use of you in health, since he has employed you
in sickness. For although laid powerless upon a bed, we are by no
means useless to him, if we testify our obedience by resigning
ourselves to his good pleasure,--if we give proof of our faith by
resisting temptation,--if we take advantage of the consolation which
he gives us in order to overcome the troubles of the flesh. It is in
sickness, especially when prolonged, that patience is most needful;
but most of all in death. Nevertheless, as I have said, I confide
in this good God, that after having exercised you by sickness he
will still employ your health to some good purpose. Meanwhile, we
must beseech him that he would uphold us in steadfast courage, never
permitting us to fall away because of lengthened on-waiting.

Howsoever doubtful the retreat of Renard[88] may be, it is
nevertheless no small matter, that instead of reaching the point
aimed at, which would have been his great advantage, he has made a
crablike movement backwards. And from what we have heard, he has
left behind the marks of the persecution of God's hand. I am much
better pleased that God should cut off his finger than we his arm.
Not that that is not still God's work, which he performs by us,
but I always fear so much the effect of glory, that I rejoice the
more when it is plainly the doing of the Lord. And the unhappy man
has likewise still greater occasion to feel uneasiness at heart.
Whatever may come of it, I think that I have only spoken the truth,
after the news of his departure, in writing what follows:--Whither
is he going? Whither is he gone? What will become of that wicked
man?--By thus driving him away, God has at least lowered his pride.

  [88] The Emperor Charles V. See note 2, p. 78.

A report is afloat, which troubles and plagues more than it
astonishes me. It is that Maurice has entered into an understanding
with him to ruin his own cousin and his father-in-law, and in the
end to ruin himself;[89] for Satan must assuredly have got entire
possession of him. We shall await, however, whatsoever shall please
God, prepared to accept all that shall please him.

  [89] Maurice of Saxony, cousin of the Elector John Frederic, and
  son-in-law of the Landgrave of Hesse, unworthily betraying the cause
  of the Confederates, concluded a secret treaty with the emperor,
  to whom he took the oath of fidelity, and who guarantied to him in
  return the spoils of his father-in-law.

Concerning the advice which you require of me, whether it were
expedient to refresh the memory of the ambassadors: before I had
an opportunity of writing to you, the time to do so had gone by; I
therefore rather held my peace, not so much from forgetfulness as
from this consideration: _Ne pluvia post messem_.

There is one point, however, that I think I have forgotten, namely,
the complaint they make, that it appears I would shut up the
body in the bread alone. I know not where they have dreamed that
dream. In several treatises I speak of that matter, but chiefly
in the _Institution_, in the _Catechism_, in the _Commentary on
Corinthians_, and in the manner of administration of the Lord's
Supper. In the _Supplication_ I have only touched upon it very
lightly. Besides that, I have written a little book upon the
subject, in which I believe a reader of sound judgment will meet
with nothing to find fault with. But here is their mistake: many
think that we make no distinction between the sign and the truth
signified, unless we separate them entirely, to make God like a
mountebank, who exhibits delusive representations by sleight of
hand. It is our duty, however, to proclaim, that this comes by the
craft of Satan, who only seeks to bewilder the understanding, that
he may render our labours of no avail. Let us therefore pray to
God that he would bestow increase by his grace, so that our labour
may not be in vain. Such examples ought to incite us thereto, and
likewise to admonish us, not to think that we have done some great
thing by merely having written.

Monsieur, having presented the humble commendations of myself, as
well as of my wife, to your kind favour, and also that of Madame, I
pray our good Lord, that it would please him ever to preserve you in
his holy protection, strengthening you in all might by his Spirit,
making his glory to shine forth in you ever more and more.

I beg to be excused for faults, for I have not been able to revise
the present letter, being engrossed by headache with which I have
been seized. Our friend and brother, Des Gallars,[90] also humbly
commends himself to you, and sends you a distich which he has
composed upon Renard. We greatly desire to have some news. If the
war did not give holiday to the printing-presses, I would have sent
Vendelin the _Galatians_; but since the _Corinthians_ lie quiet in
his desk, there is no need for my being in any hurry.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]

  [90] Nicolas des Gallars, of Paris, (M. de Saules,) the friend and
  secretary of Calvin, and one of the most distinguished ministers
  of Geneva. He was sent as pastor to the Church at Paris in 1557,
  reappointed in 1560 to the French Church of London, assisted the
  following year at the conference at Poissy, was named minister of
  the Church of Orleans, and became, in 1571, preacher to the Queen of
  Navarre. We have several of his works mentioned by Senebier, _Hist.
  Litt._, tom. i. p. 341.



CLXXIX.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Consolations on the death of his sister.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 20th of November 1546_.

MONSEIGNEUR,--The day before Camus arrived, I had written to you,
as well as to others, by a young tailor of Picardy; but because I
was not certain whether they had as yet informed you of the death
of Madame your sister,[91] I did not venture to mention it. Now I
have rejoiced, and have thanked God with my whole heart, perceiving
by the letter of Madame that you had at once taken your stand upon
the point whereon I would have founded my principal argument, if I
had wished to console you. And, indeed, you have much occasion for
gratitude on account of the grace which God has vouchsafed to her,
and to you also. For seeing that her husband had waxed so cold, the
good lady would have been in an unhappy captivity had she remained
longer in the world, and would only have languished her life away.
On your part, you would not have had it in your power to lend her
a helping hand, nor to solace her sorrows; and so you never could
have thought of her without regret and vexation. God, therefore,
has had pity upon you and her, in thus providing, and above all, in
preventing the dangers into which she might have fallen in a long
career, by reason of the frailty which is in us. And we have yet
a better ground of further consolation, that it will not be long
ere we find ourselves together again. Meanwhile, let us think of
preparing ourselves to follow her, for the time will soon come. But
I like much better to congratulate you, seeing that our Lord has
already put these things in your heart, than to labour in recalling
them to your memory. The other news which Camus has told me about
you, has also cheered me to await the time when God will bring to
pass what he has put into so good a train.

  [91] Helène de Falais. She had married Adrien de L'Isle, Seigneur de
  Trénoy.

Monseigneur, after humble commendations to your kind favour, and
having presented the humble remembrances of my wife, I pray our good
Lord to have you ever in his safeguard, to strengthen you in body
and in spirit, so as always to make you more abound in his service.

  Your humble servant and bounden friend,
  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

I assure you that you make me desire the arrival of the spring-time
more than I would otherwise have done. Our brother Des Gallars
commends himself also very humbly to your kind favour.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CLXXX.--TO MADAME DE FALAIS.

     Assurances of affection for herself and her husband.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 20th of November 1546_.

MADAME,--Having been made aware that Monseigneur had been informed
of the death of his sister, I have only given him one word on the
subject, knowing beforehand from yourself that he has no need of
long consolation, seeing that God, without human means, has put into
his heart that which cannot fail to alleviate his sadness.

As for my promise, to which you hold me bound, I shall discharge
myself of it, when God shall have vouchsafed me the means wherewith
to do so. But I am astonished that you should even hint at the
reward which my said Lord intends for me, as if I were looking to
that, and had not other considerations in the discharge of my duty
to him. The love and reverence which I may well bear toward him in
our Lord are so strong, that I am very sorry that I cannot devote
myself more to his and your service, to shew what is in my heart.
Howbeit, I beseech you not to take amiss what I have now said, for
I have had no other feeling than the fear that you may not place
such reliance upon me as I desire. Besides, I do not mean to make
any complaint which deserves a reply; for it is quite enough for me
that you have neither entertained a doubt nor a suspicion which has
induced you to mention it.

Now therefore I shall make an end, after having humbly commended me
to your kind favour. I pray our good Lord to have you always in his
holy protection, guiding and governing you after his own good will,
so as to glorify his holy name in you.

Your humble servant and good brother for ever,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CLXXXI.--TO VIRET.

     Statement of the expense of a visit to Lausanne, on the occasion
     of Viret's marriage--ecclesiastical difficulties at Berne.


  GENEVA, _3d Dec. 1546_.

Two letters of Bucer were delivered to me after a short interval. I
send both of them to you, although they may contain almost nothing
which you have not learned from other sources. With regard to
the King of France, I think that he will shortly be brought to
give some assistance with money to our party--the only thing that
is sought from him. It is, moreover, in the highest degree, his
interest to distract the attention of Charles by another war.[92]
I have enjoined Peter Textor to pay to you sixteen crowns; for
although I had ten with me when I came to the marriage, it escaped
my memory. But here is a greater lapse of memory; when I had found
them laid aside in my desk, I stood still for some time, not knowing
whether I had ever seen them before. Raymond came upon me, who
reminded me of the fact, that he had given them to me by order of
Antony Maillet. You will therefore add this sum to the former. In
the other six [crowns,] I am afraid that I have made a mistake; for
they may possibly belong to my brother. For as a teacher of Orleans
was in his debt, he arranged that payment should be made by the son
of Bruno. He had lately received five [crowns.] You will therefore
retain these until I shall have learned with certainty from Saint
André, whether they ought to be given to you or to my brother.

  [92] This diversion, dictated to the King of France by sound
  politics, was not effected, and Francis I. remained a peaceable
  spectator of events, whose necessary tendency was to secure, by the
  defeat of the Protestant party in Germany, the ascendency of Charles
  V. in Europe.

Sulzer lately wrote to me that matters had reached an extremity.[93]
He implores our aid. I consulted with the brethren. As we could
discover no plan of procedure in circumstances so perplexed, and
almost desperate, I repaired to Nyon. I became aware that they
had committed much more grievous errors than the letters contain
any mention of. They are not, in my opinion, fighting for a cause
that is good in every respect. All see that their proceedings are
preposterous; and yet when we also see that everything is going to
ruin, with what conscience shall we be silent? I asked Nicolas,[94]
whether he thought that a letter from us would be of any service? He
gave a trembling and hesitating consent to our writing. Should a
messenger present himself in good time, I wish that you also would
intimate your opinion; thereafter consider whether it be not time to
press for obtaining a Synod.

  [93] The ministers of Berne were divided by incessant disputes on
  the subject of the Supper. Sulzer and certain of his colleagues
  inclined to the Lutheran view, which Erasme Ritter combated; and
  by an abuse of power, that was not uncommon at that period, the
  Seigneury of Berne claimed to determine by itself the sense of the
  controverted dogma, the settlement of which ought to have been
  remitted to a Synod.--Ruchat, tom. v. pp. 225, 226.

  [94] The senator, Nicolas de Zerkinden, friend of Calvin and prefect
  of Nyon.

Adieu, brother, and most sincere friend, along with your wife, whom
you will respectfully salute in the name of all ours, as well as
James and the rest.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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



CLXXXII.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Military movements in Switzerland--policy of the Cantons in
     reference to the Emperor.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 8th of December 1546_.

MONSEIGNEUR,--I have nothing to write you at present, except that
we are waiting to see what will be done by the Swiss.[95] All is in
readiness at Berne as if to start at any moment, the captain, his
council, officers, soldiers, chosen and commissioned; a second order
sent, to be ready to march, with artillery and baggage. Their army
consists of ten thousand men. I believe they would not have delayed
so long, if there had not been an impediment which holds them as
it were tied by the leg. For it is now about a year since all the
cantons agreed that none should leave the country to engage in war,
without the consent of the rest. Now there is fear that the Papists
may be urged to invade the country while it is depopulated, under
colour of breach of treaty; which if the King of France had only
thrown in a word, would have happened a long time ago,--namely, had
he called the Papists to enter his service, which ours would have
readily agreed to do. Thus would the one side have spoken German to
Charles, the others Italian or Picard.

  [95] The Roman Catholic and Reformed Cantons, solicited, the former
  by the emperor, the latter by the Protestant princes, to take
  part in the struggles of which Germany was the theatre, had both
  observed a strict neutrality. But the Seigneury of Berne having
  received information that military movements were taking place in
  Franche-Comté, then under the rule of the Spaniards, summoned ten
  thousand men to arms, and occupied the passes of the Jura. That
  measure, which arose out of the pressure of circumstances, would
  perhaps have brought about a division among the confederates, and
  serious complications from without, if the treachery of the Elector
  Maurice had not hastened on the course of events in Germany.--John
  de Müller, _Hist. de la Confédération Suisse_, continuation of M.
  Vulliemin, tom. xi. p. 292.

I fear indeed that there must be a want of good management as
well in that as in other things. Thereby are we so much the more
admonished to pray God that he by his infinite goodness would
be pleased to supply so many shortcomings. True it is, that the
ignorant are apt to judge foolishly. But however that may be, every
one is amazed that they are so long ----,[96] without putting forth
an effort. For it looks as if God were holding out the hand to
us, as much as to say--enter in. And in letting the time slip by,
we only invigorate _him_ who is already almost desperate. Let us
pray, therefore, and seeing that it pleases God to make trial of
our patience for our good, let us be content with what he sends us,
never growing weary of serving him, on any account whatsoever.

  [96] A word effaced in the original.

There has been murmuring of late on account of some appointment.
They would indeed need wondrous masons to complete the building. But
I fear that our people, or some of them at least, may let themselves
be so far led away as to entertain the proposals, which would be to
replace the enemy, not only in the exercise of his former tyrannous
sway, but even of that to which he has always aspired. Yet, inasmuch
as I feel assured that it will not so happen unless God shall be
altogether exasperated against us, I trust that he will avert so
great a danger. For I have no doubt that he looks rather upon his
own work in us, than upon our sins and shortcomings, that he may
have pity on us.

And now, Monseigneur, having humbly commended me to your good
favour, and that of Madame; having also presented the commendations
of my wife, and of our neighbours, I pray God of his goodness to
keep you always in his protection, and to make you feel more and
more the joy of his help.

Your servant and humble brother and ever bounden friend,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CLXXXIII.--TO MADAME DE BUDÉ.[97]

  [97] The original letter is without address. But it is generally
  believed that it was addressed by Calvin to the widow of the
  celebrated William Budé, great-grandson of the secretary to King
  Charles V., and one of the most learned personages of the period of
  the revival of letters. William Budé having declared in his will
  that he wished to be buried without ceremony, this circumstance led
  to the supposition that he had died in the faith of the Reformed.
  His widow not being able to make free profession of her faith at
  Paris, was about to settle at Geneva, on the solicitation of Calvin,
  (June 1549.) She was accompanied by her daughter and three of her
  sons, Louis, Francis, and John de Budé, who held a distinguished
  rank in the republic. The best known of the three brothers is John
  de Budé, Sieur de Vérace, the particular friend of Calvin and of
  Théodore de Bèze. He was received an inhabitant of Geneva the 27th
  June 1549, burgess the 2d May 1555, member of both Councils in 1559,
  fulfilled several important missions to the Protestant princes of
  Germany, and died in 1589, after having rendered distinguished
  services to his new country, and thereby added fresh lustre to his
  family, whose descendants still live at Geneva.--Galiffe, _Notices
  Généalogiques des Familles Genèvoises_, tom. iii. p. 83, _et seq._

     Calvin exhorts this lady to leave France, and retire with her
     family to Geneva.


  _This 20th .... 1546._[98]

  [98] _On the back_, in another handwriting,--"Of 46. I think that
  this letter must be to Madame Budé."

MADAME,--Howbeit that I have occasion to praise God for the great
zeal and constancy he has vouchsafed to you, as I have heard
from the bearer, yet, believing that my exhortation might not be
superfluous to you, in the midst of such diversified trials and
conflicts, I was unwilling to forego writing you some words by him,
and, above all, to help you to come to a determination upon the
point on which you are still somewhat doubtful; that is, as to your
retiring hitherward that you may serve God in peace of conscience.
Were it possible for you to discharge your duty where you are, I
would by no means advise you to stir. But I am well aware in what
captivity you are held. If God had given you strength and constancy
to prepare for death, and not to flinch for any fear of the danger
wherein you are, there would be nothing better than to keep that
grace in exercise. But if you feel that the weakness of the flesh
gets the mastery, and hinders you from doing your duty, seeing that
your conscience must needs be troubled and in continual torment,
the only way is to seek a suitable remedy. For it is no slight
perplexity, yea, even agony, to feel ourselves blamable in a matter
of so great moment; yea, and that the evil continues to such an
extent, that we can make no end of offending God. Although many
deceive themselves in this matter, making themselves believe that
it is but a trifling fault to defile themselves with superstitions
which are repugnant to the word of God, and derogate from his
honour, I reckon that his honour, to whom we owe everything, is so
precious to you, that it is felt to be a subject of intolerable
regret to you to offend against it daily, as you are constrained
to do at present. I do not doubt, therefore, but that you have a
special desire to escape out of such wretchedness, and that until
you do, you cannot but be in very great anxiety and sadness.
Consider, now, whether this is not an unhappy condition, thus to
linger for ever. I know, indeed, that there are many who reply to
us, that we here are no more angels than themselves, and that we
offend God even as they do; which is true. But as the proverb says,
"Sickness upon sickness is not health." If, then, we come far short
in other respects, what need is there to increase our condemnation
by adding to the rest this sin which is so grievous; to wit, that of
not giving glory to the Son of God, who became as nothing for our
salvation?

Besides, after you have done your best by dissimulation, to keep
clear of the perils which surround you, you are not a whit better;
for the wicked are very sharp-sighted, and you will never content
them but by an entire renunciation of God; wherefore, you have no
rest for the body any more than for the soul. And after declension
from God, in order to comply with the world, you have derived no
benefit from it, except that you languish as in a trance. You will
ask me if, being come hither, you shall always have assured repose.
I confess that you will not; for while we are in this world, it is
fitting that we should be like birds upon the branch. So it has
pleased God, and it is good for us. But since this little corner
is vouchsafed to you, where you may finish the remainder of your
life in his service, if he so please, or profit more and more, and
be confirmed in his word, in order that you may be more ready to
endure persecutions, if it shall so please him, it is not right that
you refuse it. We have always to take care lest we be the cause of
our own misfortune, and draw it down upon ourselves by not accepting
the means of escape which God presents to us. I know that it is
a hard thing to leave the country of our birth, most of all to a
woman like yourself, of rank, and advanced in life. But you ought to
overcome such difficulties by higher considerations; such as, that
we should prefer to our own country every region where God is purely
worshipped; that we should not desire any better repose for our old
age than to abide in his Church, his dwelling-place and the place
of his rest; that we should prefer to be contemptible in the place
where his name may be glorified by us, to being honourable in the
sight of men, while we defraud him of the honour which belongs to
him.

Concerning the doubts which may come into your mind, it would be too
tedious to reply to them all. But you have always this as a settled
point, that we must refer our many anxieties to the Providence of
God, trusting that he will provide an outlet in cases where we see
none. And in fact it is undoubted, that if we seek him we shall
find him. That is to say, he will be with us to guide our steps,
and to have a care of our affairs, to order them well for us. True
it is, that we shall not cease to be subject to many troubles and
annoyances; but let us pray him that, having been strengthened by
his word, we may have wherewithal to overcome them. And assuredly
you possess many helps, which deprive you of the excuse which many
others have. If it shall please God to lead you hither, you will not
come so bereft of property as to have nothing to live upon, while
there are many poor people who have only burdens without temporal
provision. How many Christian women are there who are held captive
by their children! while our Lord has given you this advantage, that
you have children who not only are ready to aid in your deliverance
from captivity, but also exhort you thereto. You have the liberty
which many wish for, of which you ought to avail yourself, that you
may all the more freely engage in the service of God. Among the
other hindrances that it appears you have, your daughter may be
one, inasmuch as she is still unmarried. But instead of reckoning
that to be a hindrance, it ought rather to serve as a spur the more
readily to decide you. I understand that you love her not merely
with the common love of mothers, but with a peculiar affection. I
beseech you, then, to consider well whether it would be better for
her to be there tied down in marriage, to live in perpetual bondage,
or to be brought by you to a place where she may be free to live as
a Christian with her husband; for you must trust that God will find
out for her a worthy person, who will be a comfort to you as well
as to herself.[99] There is one thing of which it is right that you
should be made aware, in order that nothing may alarm you as new and
unforeseen. It is this, that Satan will stir up many troubles in
order to upset or to delay your pious purpose; but when you shall
have taken your fixed resolve, it will not be difficult for you to
rise above all. Meanwhile, profit by the opportunity, now when it
is offered to you; for as, in matters of conscience, it behoves us
to resolve speedily without seeking advice or long dalliance, it is
also necessary to perform soon what we have decided on, fearing,
because of the frailty which is in us, to grow cold upon our good
intention.

  [99] Catharine de Budé married, in 1550, William de Trie, Seigneur
  de Varennes, a gentleman of the Lyonnais, a refugee at Geneva on
  account of religion.

To conclude, knowing that all my exhortations must be vain and
useless, unless God make them effectual by gaining an entrance to
your heart, I shall beseech him to instruct you with true prudence
to decide upon what shall be most fitting for you to do; to bestow
steadfast constancy upon you in obeying his will; to stretch out the
hand, and be himself your guide; to grant you such grace, that in
leaning upon him, you may perceive his assistance in everything, and
all throughout.

  Your servant and humble brother,
  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.

[_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva_. Vol. 107.]



CLXXXIV.--TO THE AVOYER NŒGUELY.[100]

  [100] John Francis Nœguely, one of the most illustrious
  magistrates, and one of the most able captains of the republic of
  Berne, in the sixteenth century. In 1536 he commanded the Bernese
  army, which conquered the Pays de Vaud from the Duke of Savoy;
  discharged the functions of Avoyer from 1540 to 1568, and died at a
  very advanced age.

     Complaints of the misconduct of several ministers in the Pays de
     Vaud.


  FROM LAUSANNE, _this 12th January 1547_.

MONSEIGNEUR,--Seeing that this present bearer[101] has brought me so
good a testimony regarding Lion, and also that I myself have known
him to be both well qualified and zealous, insomuch that I have no
doubt of his fitness to serve the Church of God, I am constrained to
recommend him to you, assured also that the letter of introduction
which I give him to you will be of service to him, considering the
kind affection which you bear to me. I pray you then humbly that it
may please you to hold him as recommended, to the intent that by
your means he may hereafter find an opening for the service of our
Lord Jesus, in which you may have occasion to rejoice; for were not
such my expectation, I would be very sorry to breathe a word about
it.

  [101] In a note, by an unknown hand, "Philippe Buissonnier de
  Bresse."

Moreover, Monsieur, if God granted me an opportunity of speaking to
you, I would willingly disburden my heart of the scandals which lie
heavy upon us here, on account of the misconduct of some who are
ministers of the word of God in your demesne, and in their whole
life give constant occasion to blaspheme the name of God.[102] I am
well persuaded that you, on being made aware of the wretchedness in
which every one thereabouts is sunk, will be as well disposed to
provide for it, as I have great regret and sorrow even to hear it
spoken of. I believe, indeed, that you will have spoken about it in
council, seeing that a poor brother who goes to your quarter, named
Master Francis Maurice, will give you occasion to think thereupon.
I do not touch further on the maladies, except that I earnestly
desire that it would please God to put it in your heart to apply
an effectual remedy. And because I know that individually you are
well inclined, as becomes you, I do beseech you, inasmuch as I ought
to have the interest of the Church of God at heart, that it would
please you to hold out a hand to those who are in trouble for having
borne themselves faithfully in God's service and yours: Wherefore,
Monsieur, after having humbly commended me to your kind favour, I
pray our good Lord to uphold you in his safe keeping, guiding you
always by his Spirit in obedience to his will.--Your humble servant,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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

  [102] Several ministers of the Pays de Vaud, and particularly
  Zebedee, later pastor of Nyon, Lange, pastor of Bursins, delivered
  from the pulpit the most virulent declamations against the doctrines
  of the Reformer.



CLXXXV.--TO FAREL.[103]

  [103] On the news of the dangers that menaced the churches of
  Germany, an important mission had been confided to the Reformer.
  "Calvin is despatched by the Seigneury to Zurich, to obtain certain
  information of the condition of the war between the Emperor and the
  Protestant princes."--_Registers of Council_, 23d January 1547.
  "Calvin having returned, reports that the war between the Emperor
  and the Protestants is more enkindled than ever, and that the Swiss,
  apprehensive of that prince turning his arms against them, are
  putting themselves in a state of defence."--Ibid., 23d January 1547.

In a letter to Farel, he gave with greater detail the impressions he
had received during his hasty journey.

     Mission of Calvin to Switzerland--dispositions of the various
     Cantons.


  GENEVA, _20th February 1547_.

Textor will have returned to us before my letter reaches you. The
reason why I did not proceed by way of [Neuchatel] in returning from
the Swiss, was, that I had engaged to be present with the brethren
on a day that must have elapsed had I not made very great haste.
With regard to the present disturbances, I have to remark, that the
people of Bâle are either in a state of marvellous insensibility, or
they possess a wonderful power of concealing their real feelings.
They did, however, make some exertion, but coldly, and their zeal
was not to my mind. I observed great fervour at Zurich. The
inhabitants of that place were as much concerned about the people
of Constance[104] as about themselves. They made over to them all
their resources, and yet the wretched state continued still to
vacillate, just as if it had been without any help whatever. If it
had stood to this hour, I think there would have been no danger for
the future. If you are in possession of any information, make us
aware of it. Some people were furious, because of a report that the
ambassadors of the people of Strasbourg were seen in the court of
Charles. To me it does not appear probable. The people of Zurich
were soon persuaded. I was, however, greatly pleased to find that
they forgot all causes of dissension, and thought only of the common
weal, being prepared to spend their strength not less in behalf of
Strasbourg than of Constance. You can hardly credit how offensive
are the terms accepted by the cities that have surrendered; but the
most disgraceful of all is Wurtemberg.[105] This, to be sure, is
the reward of tyrants. I observe that the Bernese were occupied in
defending their own bounds, that they might be the less conscious
of the neighbouring conflagration. But there are very many more
private matters regarding the churches that cannot be committed to
writing. It would therefore repay the trouble if you came hither
speedily, because I have now in hand certain materials which I must
send back in a short time. I am desirous that their contents be
communicated to you, and you will infer that I am not desirous of
that without good grounds.--Adieu, my brother, along with your whole
family, to the members of which you will convey the best greeting
in my name and that of my wife. Salute also respectfully all the
brethren.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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

  [104] Situated at the extremity of the Confederation, without
  forming part of it, and sharing the faith of the Reformed Cantons,
  Constance, the first city open to the attacks of the Emperor
  upon the banks of the Rhine, invoked the aid of the Cantons,
  whose rigorous neutrality left it exposed without defence to its
  adversaries.--_Histoire de la Confédération Suisse_, tom. xi. p. 296.

  [105] Ulrich, Duke of Wurtemberg, although among the first to submit
  to the Emperor, was compelled to sue for pardon on his knees, and to
  pay a ransom of 300,000 crowns.--Robertson, _Hist. of Charles V._,
  book viii.



CLXXXVI.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Search for a house for that gentleman in Geneva--Various
     details--Mention of Charles V. and Francis I.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 25th February 1547_.

MONSEIGNEUR,--Having received your letter by the Sieur de la
Rivière, I feared that the other, of which you made mention, must
have been lost. It has since been brought to me. In reply, I thank
God for having increased your joy and contentment. I have written
briefly a joint letter to the three companions, to congratulate them
on their welfare. I know not whether God will one day so bless us,
that they shall have no more need of my letters. If not, I shall
another time be a little more liberal on paper.

As for yourself, in obedience to the commission which you gave
me, I have looked about since my return for a convenient lodging.
As for that of Clébergue,[106] you would be too far away from the
neighbours you desire;[107] although I have long had a wish for it
myself, for the sake of retirement, when I seek to have leisure:
And they promised to let me have an answer; but none has come. If I
had it at my disposal as they had given me to hope, you know that
it would be very much at your service. Near us, I have not been
able to find one having a garden, which would be more suitable for
you than the one which I have taken. Not that I am quite content
with the lodging, but I took it for want of a better. You will have
in front a small garden, and a tolerably spacious court. Behind
there is another garden. A great saloon, with as beautiful a view
as you could well desire for the summer. The other rooms have not
so pleasant an aspect as I would like. But when you have arrived,
possibly we may devise some satisfactory arrangement. With the
exception of the saloon, one might find houses better furnished and
more conveniently laid out; but there would have been no garden, and
I see that is a feature which you desire above all. However that may
be, it is hired for twelve crowns. When you see it, if you say that
this is too much, I shall have my excuse ready, that I am not such
a manager as to be very sparing of my purse, any more than of that
of others. I have hurried on the bargain solely on account of the
garden. If time hangs heavy with you where you are, it appears to
me the season will be as suitable in a month as at a later period,
provided that the weather be as favourable as it usually is at that
time. As for escort, although my brother is not here at this moment,
I can safely venture to undertake for him that he will willingly
serve you; and he has gone that road so often, that he ought to know
it well. Moreover, he has already had to do with the boatmen: and
I believe you will recollect my advice, that you should come part
of the way by water, to refresh you. Awaiting your full resolve, we
shall sow without making any stir about it, and prune the vines.

  [106] The present _Quai des Bergues_.

  [107] Calvin at that time inhabited the house of the Sieur de
  Fréneville, situated in the _Rue des Chanoines_, near St. Peter's
  Church, and corresponding to the house in the same street which is
  now No. 122.--See the _Mémoires de la Société d'Histoire de Genève_,
  vol. ix. p. 391.

As for your causes of complaint, I beseech you, Monseigneur,
to overlook many things, to avoid that vexation which does not
alleviate the ill, and cannot mend it; above all, to please to bear
with what may have been done from inconsiderate zeal, for that is a
fault which happens with the best. But I believe the matter has been
already settled in some way or other. I hope the consequences have
been modified by your prudence.

With regard to Sieur de Paré,[108] if peradventure he should come
straight to you without passing this way, and that besides he makes
fresh overtures in regard to the proposal, you have there Monsieur
D'Albiac, who, being very intimate with him, will be able to inform
you of everything better than Maldonado can have done. And it will
be right to make diligent inquiry; for I would fear that by the
follies of his youth he may have had some disease, such as many
persons have now-a-days. I openly avow to you my fear, choosing to
exceed in that respect, rather than to conceal anything until it
be too late. You will ask me wherefore then I have put off so much
time already. But my conjectures on this point have arisen since. It
would indeed have been the shortest way to communicate by word of
mouth, if I had conceived in my mind all that I do now. I set the
matter before you, that you may think of it. For I would not have
that reproach,--I mean not only in the sight of the world, but also
before God,--that the girl should have been in any way wronged by
my concealment. I am aware, that by reason of its being a malady so
common and prevalent, many make scarcely any difficulty about it.
But I suspect that you, like myself, will have your scruples.

  [108] He sought in marriage a relation of M. de Falais.

To make an end, Monsieur, after having humbly commended me to your
kind favour, and that of Madame, I entreat our good Lord to have you
in his keeping, which is the one thing needful of our whole life, as
well for this present time as that which is to come; I mean that he
may always make you to feel as he does now, that you are under his
guidance. All those who do not write, humbly commend them to your
good graces, and to those of Madame.

  Your servant and humble brother,
  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

Monsieur, he who will present you this letter, is the ambassador
from this town. There are two who proceed to your quarter, I know
not wherefore, that is to say, on account of their private affairs,
which they have to settle together. I have thought it well to inform
you of this, for no other reason, save that I presume you would
have been sorry not to have been told of it. For if your affairs
admit of your deciding to come, you may avail yourself of this means
of communication; not that there is need of great ceremony, as we
have already spoken of it, but only in order that they may not
fancy themselves slighted, especially if you should come hither. I
speak the language of the country. If there are any good tidings,
I hope that they will bring them to us. But there is need for God
humbling us, from whichever side it may come. I hope, however, that
our Antiochus,[109] who presses us at present, will be so hard
pressed, that he shall be regardless of the gout in his hands and in
his feet; for he will have it over his whole body. As regards his
companion, Sardanapalus,[110] may God have a like care of him! for
they are both well worthy to have the same measure meted to them.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]

  [109] The Emperor Charles the Fifth,--conqueror, without a combat,
  of the army of the confederate princes: thanks to the treason of
  Maurice of Saxony, this prince, although suffering severely from
  the gout, was at this very time receiving the submission of the
  confederate towns of Suabia and of the Palatinate, from which he
  exacted enormous penalties.

  [110] The King, Francis I. He died the following month, the 31st
  March 1547.



CLXXXVII.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.[111]

  [111] _On the back_--To Monseigneur, Monsieur de Fallez, at Basle,
  near to the Cauf-Hauss.--M. de Falais was in fact about to quit
  Strasbourg, then threatened by the imperial army, to fix his
  residence in Switzerland.

     Instructions regarding the _Apology_--alarming rumours current
     at Geneva--Calvin's confidence.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 7th of March 1547_.

MONSEIGNEUR,--I forgot in my last letter to mention the subject of
the _Apology_, and I know not how it had escaped me. Saint André
had the copy; and in so far I was not deceived in my opinion. But
as matters stand at present, if you should think of printing it,
I do not see anything there will be to change. To soften it down,
that is not possible; and the times will not warrant its being
kindled into greater vehemence, at least with any effect. And if you
determine to have it printed at Strasbourg, I am not very sure that
they will venture to admit it as it is. "_For what can he dare to
do who hath once involved himself with a tyrant?_"[112] Here there
would be more liberty. I recollect that you spoke to me, immediately
after having seen it, about correcting some points, but without
signifying to me what these were, nor how to be corrected. Will you
therefore please to let me know your wish by the first opportunity,
and what you desire that I should do? As for some one to translate
it into Latin, you have one at hand sufficiently elegant, should
you think proper to make use of him.[113] Here, also, we might
doubtless find one; for want of a better, I shall undertake it
myself,--and that I hope I may do, without boasting; for provided
that it is perspicuous, that will be sufficient; and besides, the
barbarism of _Majestas vestra_, which one must employ, forbids a
too exquisitely ornate style. In any event, however, we shall have
need of your advice, in case we undertake it here. Moreover, our
people are in some alarm. But I do not think they have any cause.
You know very well that frontier towns are very apt to take fright;
and forasmuch as we have Granvelle for a neighbour,[114] and we
hear talk of a levy of men, one is somewhat in doubt. As for me, I
think differently, for it is not the proper season for attempting
anything here. But we must let many rumours glide past, even as we
cannot hinder water from going downwards. However matters turn out,
I am very glad that our Lord arouses us, in order to make us turn to
himself; and that is the greatest mercy that can happen to us, that
we may be led to commit ourselves in real earnest to his protection.

  [112] "Quid enim audeat, qui tyranno se implicuit?" The town of
  Strasbourg had submitted itself to the emperor. The terms of that
  submission bore, that it shall renounce the League of Smalkald, and
  shall contribute, with the other states, to the execution of the
  sentence pronounced against the Landgrave and the Elector.

  [113] Sebastian Castellio, who had then retired to Bâle.

  [114] Antoine Perrenot, Bishop of Arras, Cardinal de Granvelle, the
  celebrated minister of Charles V. and of Philip II. He was born at
  Ornans, near Besançon in 1517, and died in 1586 at Madrid.

Making an end for the present, Monsieur, after having humbly
commended myself to the kind favour both of yourself and Madame,
and having presented the respects of our neighbours, I pray our
good Lord to have you in his holy keeping, to guide you in all your
paths, to show you what is right and fit for you to do, and to give
eventually a good and prosperous result.

You will perceive by the letter of Sire Nicolas how it goes with
your money. He has also informed me of the choice which he sets
before you; you will make your election as opportunity presents
itself.

  Your servant and humble brother for ever,
  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CLXXXVIII.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Disputes of M. de Falais with Valeran Poulain--Reports of the
     expected arrival of the former in Geneva.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 15th March 1547_.

MONSEIGNEUR,--I am glad that you have our brother, Master Peter
Viret, to cheer you in the midst of the annoyances which must have
been very hard upon you, seeing that I have been tormented more than
I can express through mere sympathy. But I hope that God has applied
a remedy as regards the actual issue; and assuredly he has cared
for you by sending you him from whom you may receive as effectual
consolation as from any man in the world, so that I am in nowise
sorry that I did not undertake the journey; for I do not fear that
you will have any need of me. For this reason, also, I shall make my
letters to you shorter.

Concerning the person you allude to,[115] I am not aware of having
given him any reason to think that I deemed your complaints
excessive; but fearing lest some illness might attack you, and also
thinking it unbecoming that you should enter into contention with a
man of his disposition; considering on the other hand his audacity,
and what a venomous animal is apt to emit when pressed, I entreated
you to take the whole with moderation, so far as might be possible.
Besides, I know him well, and do not so much fear his ill-will, as
to wish that the Church of God should suffer from my dissimulation.
But I do not see now what I can do in the matter, and indeed there
is no present need. For where he is known, his reputation is already
lower than we need. Where he is unknown, nothing would be gained
by speaking of him, unless he endeavours to insinuate himself. But
yet God may make him wise, after having suitably chastised him on
account of his foolishness.

  [115] Allusion to Valeran Poulain. It appears from the next letter
  in this Series, pp. 104-106, that Valeran sought, in spite of the
  opposition of M. de Falais, the hand of Mademoiselle de Willergy, a
  relation of this Seigneur, likewise sought by M. de Paré.--See Note
  1, p. 98.

I now come to your journey. Although I see no danger in the way,
either of ambush, or of other proceedings of a like kind, nor yet
of open violence,--nevertheless, as for the first, I have given no
assurance to any one to that effect, but on the contrary rather
have my suspicion. In the second place, as regards the time of
your coming, I have spoken as one who knew nothing at all about
it. It is true that when I am asked if you have an intention of
coming to see us, I am not very obstinate in the denial thereof to
my friends, fearing lest they might think me a double dealer. And
even when I have hired the house, not only he who spoke to you,
but some others also, have at once conjectured that it was for
yourself. I have answered them, Yea, that it was possible, but that
there were others for whom it might be; that I took it thus at a
venture, not doubting, however, to find a tenant to put into it. I
cannot, however, hinder many from guessing about it, and persuading
themselves, without my breathing a word on the subject, that you
are coming. However, if it please God, you shall have no prejudice
thereby so far as I am concerned. I hope, if the Lord will, that
next week Master Peter Viret will bring us your news. If after
having heard our brother Saint André, you have anything new to tell
me, you will find a suitable messenger in him.

Whereupon, Monsieur, having affectionately commended me to your kind
favour, and to that of Madame, and having presented to both of you
the remembrance of my wife and friends, I beseech our good Lord to
have you always in his keeping, to comfort you, to strengthen and
perfect you in every work for his glory, and your salvation. Amen.

  Your very humble servant and brother,
  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CLXXXIX.--TO VALERAN POULAIN.[116]

  [116] Enclosed in a letter to M. de Falais, with the words,--Copy of
  a letter written to Valeran.

There has been already repeated mention of Valeran Poulain in the
correspondence of Calvin with M. de Falais, and we shall again find
his name in the subsequent letters of the Reformer, when a refugee
at Strasbourg on the ground of religion. He aspired at that time to
the functions of the ministry, which he exercised at a later period
at London and Frankfort; and if, by his indiscretion, he at first
drew down upon himself the severe censures of Calvin, he afterwards
succeeded in regaining his esteem and meriting his affection. See
the correspondence of the Reformer, (years 1555, 1556.)

     Severe reprobation of his behaviour towards M. de Falais--reply
     to a calumny directed against the Reformer.


  [GENEVA, _March, 1547_.]

Greeting,--I only received your letter this day, which was later
than was proper. Meanwhile, however, I think that the conversation
of our friend Viret has done something towards changing your mind
on the point. When I heard Saint André's account of the matter, I
briefly replied that I was not a little grieved to find that you had
thus sullied by your last act whatever praise you had earned, in
the discharge of a mission so illustrious. And I am not indeed so
light-minded, as to pronounce a judgment after hearing merely the
one side of a question. Nor is my vision blinded by the splendour of
rank; but while I hear men indifferent, and giving expression to no
accusing word, I am constrained to think that you acted neither with
prudence nor propriety in soliciting the girl in marriage. But I am
still more displeased, seeing she complains that you circumvented
her by means of numerous baseless accusations, and indirect arts.
You mention to me Bucer and Bernardino. If you had done nothing
but with their advice, you would, assuredly, never have set about
what you did. Do you suppose that your cause will meet with their
approval? I mentioned in a former letter, regarding the younger
[lady] to whom you aspired, what I thought was censurable in her.
In seeking after this one, you seem to have forgotten what you wrote
to the other on your departure. Even although nothing else had
stood in the way, you ought to have absolutely abstained from the
mention of marriage until she had reached her destination. But if
what she herself testifies be true, the engagement was brought about
through the influence of the worst inducements. Accordingly I shall
not believe that the marriage is, as you say, from the Lord, until
you prove that she says what is untrue, when she affirms that you
had beforehand engrossed her mind with numerous calumnies. Albeit,
she strongly asserts that she gave you no credence, and that no
engagement was formed between you, but that she always expressly
stipulated to be allowed to do everything in accordance with the
advice of Monsieur de Falais. She says, however, that you affirmed
that his will was quite well known to you, that the only difficulty
would be with his wife, as she still regarded with admiration
the fumes of nobility. These were not the tokens of God; but you
prohibit me from believing them. I can do nothing less, however,
than hear both sides. When I reflect on the whole circumstances,
certain particulars appear with which, I confess, I am displeased.
You remind me that illustrious men are sometimes guilty of grave
offences. It is on other grounds, however, that I love and reverence
M. de Falais, than on account of the mock greatness on which alone
most of the nobility pride themselves. In the next place, I have,
as yet, heard nothing from him but reasonable complaints. Moreover,
I have looked more to the matter itself than to the persons. I wish
that you had never involved yourself in those troubles; but since
it has so happened, it remains for me to desire to see you relieved
from them in a short space, which I trust is now accomplished.

With regard to the estate which I am said to have purchased with
so many thousands, I should indeed be silly if I spent many words
in rebutting falsehoods so gross. There is no one here, or in the
whole vicinity, who is not aware that I do not possess a foot of
land. Moreover, my acquaintances well know that I never had money
sufficient to purchase an acre, unless when I am paid what enables
me to meet the expenditure of the quarter. I have surely not
reached the point alleged, as I am still using in my house another's
furniture; for neither the table at which we eat, nor the bed on
which we sleep, is my own. Whence, then, those reports? I know not,
unless it be that godless men so malign me, in order to fix a brand
on the Gospel. They will never, however, prevent me from being truly
rich, because I am abundantly satisfied with my slender means;
and while my poverty is a burden to no one, it is nevertheless an
alleviation to some.

Adieu, and believe that I am friendly disposed towards you. I wish
there may sometimes occur occasion for correspondence, &c.

  [_Lat. copy._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CXC.--TO VIRET.[117]

  [117] Invested with the right of censure and ecclesiastical
  excommunication, the Consistory daily beheld its authority assailed
  and disowned by numerous adversaries, who accused it of encroaching
  upon the power of the magistrates. "The ministers complain that
  they are accused of exceeding the authority accorded them by the
  edicts, and request permission to put into force the right of
  excommunication, in order to bring offenders to their duty. Resolved
  to hand over to the Consistory rebellious and obstinate offenders,
  and to leave the others unmolested."--_Registers of Council_, 21st
  and 29th May 1547.

     Weakness of the Genevese magistracy--Expectation of Viret's
     arrival in Geneva.


  GENEVA, _27th March 1547_.

I am in doubt with regard to your coming to us.[118] Roset, as far
as I hear, exceeded due bounds in explaining to you the necessity
for it, although he is not the only one who errs in this respect;
for the whole council is in a state of groundless agitation. I see
no one of the whole number in whom I can put confidence. I certainly
observe no one here who can be said to be judicious. They show no
boldness in a good and praiseworthy cause. So childish are they
all, that they are frightened by the silly shake of a head, while
a man of no consequence displays his insanity. I do not defend my
cause under the form of a public one, carried on in my absence.
If I desist from prosecuting it, the whole consistory will of
necessity go to ruin. Moreover, they so conduct themselves as to
extort daily clamours in the course of their sermons; otherwise
the entreaties of Roset would not have particularly influenced me.
Just now, our brother has made known to me from Saint André, that
our comic actor Cæsar, and certain of his faction, have been making
diligent inquiry as to whether you were coming hither immediately.
I observe, therefore, that there is a strong desire for you on the
part of some, that others expect you because they are aware that you
have been summoned. With no one belonging to the council have I any
communication that can be relied on, Michel[119] alone excepted; but
he is neither very sharp-sighted, nor is he even admitted to the
more private deliberations. John Parvi makes a magnificent offer of
his services, but he is not the thing. Besides these, no one has
come near me. Certain guesses, not lightly formed, have made me
suspicious of Corna. I indeed love the man, but he does not permit
me to confide in him. In the first place, he is timid; in the next,
he is distrustful; and, finally, he adores that shadow, or ghost
if you will.[120] Those who are desirous that the matter should be
arranged without disturbance, hope that you would prove a suitable
pacificator. The party composing the faction itself is anxious for
you, with the view of being somewhat relieved from its difficulties
by your mediation. We desire and solicit you, I myself in
particular, that you may see, judge, and do whatever in your opinion
shall be for the interest of the Church. But observe its wretched
condition. Farel lately learned that he had been unfortunate in
turning to me for assistance, because nothing could be done unless
he were separated from me. Nothing assuredly would be more agreeable
to me, than if all matters here were brought to a happy issue by
your interference, even though I were banished to the Garamantes.
But this mode of procedure will be as little satisfactory to you
as to myself. I mention this plan as that prescribed by the most
moderate, as they wish to be thought. But if you could be here by
Tuesday next, and remain until Monday, you might have my opinion of
this complicated matter; you would, in that case, I presume, conduct
public worship. Should it be necessary for you to return sooner,
I do not advise you to subject yourself to so much trouble for no
purpose. If the arrangements of your church do not permit you to
come in such good time, I have nothing to say; but if I were in your
place, I know what I would do; I do not, however, wish you to be
guided by my judgment. Adieu, therefore, brother and dearest friend,
along with your wife and brothers, all of whom you will greet in my
name. Des Gallars sends his warm thanks to you through me, and he
expresses the same to me, on the ground that I am the cause of your
undertaking the journey.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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

  [118] "Arrival at Geneva of the minister Viret, a very excellent
  man."--_Registers_, April 1547.

  [119] Doubtless Michel Morel.

  [120] Is this an allusion to the gradually declining influence of
  Amy Perrin?



CXCI.--TO WOLFGANG MUSCULUS.[121]

  [121] To the excellent servant of Christ our Lord, Doctor Wolfgang
  Musculus, most reverend pastor of the Church of Augsbourg, brother,
  and fellow-minister.

  Wolfgang Musculus, born in a small town of Lorraine, and of an
  obscure family, raised himself by his talents, and the varied range
  of his accomplishments, to a place among the most distinguished men
  of his time. He cultivated with success music, poetry, and theology;
  was converted to the gospel in a convent by the perusal of the
  writings of Luther; gained the friendship of Capito and Bucer, and
  quitted Strasbourg in 1531, with a view to the discharge of the
  functions of the ministry in the church of Augsbourg. Driven from
  that city in 1548, by the proclamation of the _Interim_, he withdrew
  at first to Zurich, and afterwards to Berne, where he died in 1563.
  His numerous manuscripts, as well as those of Abraham Musculus his
  son, are preserved in the Library of Zoffingue.--Melch. Adam, _Vitæ
  Theol. Germ._, p. 367.

     Anxiety regarding the Churches of Germany--advice to Musculus.


  GENEVA, _21st April 1547_.

If I were to follow out the subject in this letter, as time and
the present condition of things demand, I see that there would be
no end to it. There are, besides, other reasons that prevent me
from entering on this forest so full of thorns. I was unwilling,
however, to send away this youth wholly empty, who had come in my
way, without at least testifying to you, in the present calamitous
state of your church, and as becomes the friendly relations
subsisting between us, that I ever bear you in mind. Indeed, when
the earliest rumours reached this, you were among the first, of
those whose danger caused me agony, to occur to my mind; and when
the ungovernable violence of my grief had hurried me to Zurich,
as soon as I fell in with Bernardino,[122] who had arrived about
half an hour before I met him, I began at once, forgetful alike
of salutation and everything else, to make inquiries after you.
I confess, however, that I was solicitous about your safety, in
proportion to the strength of the fear I had, lest you should
abandon the Church in such a time of need, as usually happens when
matters are desperate and past recovery; or rather lest, being
as it were deserted by your flock, you should betake yourself
elsewhere;[123] for it is difficult, amid so great darkness, to
discern what is most expedient. Now, howsoever severe the trial may
have been, I yet rejoice that the Lord has caused the spirit of
prudence and counsel to spring up in you and your fellow-ministers,
and has sustained your minds with the spirit of fortitude, as far as
might be in circumstances not the best. I also give God thanks, that
in whatsoever way matters have been improved, a short breathing time
is granted you, until at length tranquil serenity may clearly dawn
upon you. Meanwhile, it is proper we should learn, that it has been
usual with God in all ages to preserve his own Church in a wonderful
way, and without human protection. Relying therefore on this ground
of confidence, let us strive to break through whatever difficulty
there may be, and let us never lose heart, even although we should
be destitute of all things.

  [122] Named pastor of the Italian church at Augsbourg in
  October 1545, Ochino fled from that city on the approach of the
  imperial army, in the early part of the year 1547.--Schelhorn
  _Ergoetzlichkeiten_, vol. iii. pp. 1141, 1142.

  [123] Wolfgang Musculus did not cease to proclaim the Gospel in
  Augsbourg until the church in which he preached had been closed
  by order of the emperor, and his congregation dispersed. He was
  himself obliged to take his departure the year following, (26th June
  1548.)--Melch. Ad., p. 381.

Adieu, most upright brother, and one dear to me from the bottom of
my heart, as also your fellow-ministers, all of whom you will very
affectionately salute in my name. May the Lord Jesus be present with
you, guide you by his Spirit, and bless your holy labours. You will
also convey to your family my best greeting.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

My colleagues also reverently salute you all. If any opportunity be
afforded you, you will make me aware of the state of your affairs.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Zoffingue._ Vol. i. p. 10.]



CXCII.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Steps taken at Basle to retract a promise of marriage made to
     Valeran Poulain.


  FROM GENEVA, _this first of May_ [1547.]

MONSEIGNEUR,--I wrote to Myconius,[124] as you will see by the copy
which I send you. I was of opinion that it was enough, because the
judges will better comprehend my meaning from his mouth. It will
have more weight, because the prosecution of the suit will not thus
be so vehement on my part, as if I should take upon me to write to
them, thus making myself too much a party in the matter. I believe
that our brother, Master Peter Viret, will do the same in regard to
the Sieur Bernard Mayer, in consequence of what I have told him.
Should there be any need for it, he condemns himself of treachery in
the letters which he has written to me. For after having requested
me, in the month of January, to intercede for him in regard to the
marriage of Merne, he has told me that Wilergy was in love with him
_many months before_: so much so, as to ask him in marriage, rather
than wait to be asked. How is that to be reconciled, unless he
wanted to have both of them? But he must be cut short in the whole
of this troublesome nonsense; seeing that it is quite unworthy of a
hearing. I have no doubt that the judges will very soon put an end
to that.

  [124] See _ante_, vol. i., pp. 312, 313, _note_. Calvin called on
  him for his aid with the magistrates of that town for having a
  promise of marriage cancelled between Mademoiselle de Wilergy and
  Valeran.--_Bibl. de Genève_, vol. 106.

Monsieur, having heartily commended me to your kind favour and that
of Madame, without forgetting the three Demoiselles, I pray our good
Lord to have you in his keeping, to confirm you always in patience,
to deliver you from the annoyance of this importunate suitor, and to
bring you into assured prosperity.

  Your servant and humble brother,
  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CXCIII.--TO FRANCIS DRYANDER.[125]

  [125] To the most erudite Doctor Francis Dryander, and very dear
  friend.

  Francis Enzinas, better known under the name of Dryander, born at
  Burgos in Spain, was the disciple of Melanchthon, and embraced
  the Reformation with ardour. Imprisoned for having published a
  translation of the New Testament in Spanish, he recovered his
  liberty in 1542, and visited Calvin at Geneva. He afterwards
  withdrew to Strasbourg, whence he passed over to England, after the
  adoption of the _Interim_, and occupied a chair in the University
  of Oxford. There are several letters of Dryander to Bullinger
  (1549-1552,) in the fine collection of _Zurich Letters_, published
  by the _Parker Society_, 1st series, Vol. i. p. 348, and following.

     Confused state of the Church--hopes and fears for the future.


  GENEVA, _18th May 1547_.

Greeting:--It would not require a letter of very great length,
were I to comply with your request to write to you at full length
my opinion of the present state of general disorder; because when
matters are in so great confusion, I not only abstain from passing
any judgment, but I do not even venture to inquire into what may be
the issue of them. For as often as I have begun the attempt, I have
been immediately involved in darkness so intense, that I thought
it better to close my eyes upon the world, and fix them intently
upon God alone. I only speak of myself, as I am here situated. Had
I been placed in the situation which some others occupy, my mode of
procedure might then have required to be changed. Besides, I cannot
from this retreat as from a watch-tower observe the circumstances
that go to the formation of a judgment. And if anything reaches me,
it comes late. Further, nothing can with certainty be determined,
until the whole particulars are gathered together. But at present
the more private counsels, from which an opinion is chiefly to be
formed, are unknown to me. What folly then would it be for me to
fatigue myself to no purpose or profit, by occupying my attention
with what is obscure! "What," therefore, you will say, "do you alone
wish to enjoy undisturbed quiet amid the ruins of the Church?"
On the contrary, I sigh anxiously night and day, but I repel as
much as I can all needless reflections that from time to time
steal upon me. I do not, nevertheless, succeed in this so far as
I could wish; it is, however, something, that I do not indulge a
prurient disposition. I occupy myself in considering what is already
done; and I connect matters that occur from day to day, with what
preceded them. Reflection on these things furnishes me, I confess,
with various grounds both of hope and fear. But because, as I have
said, there are so many opposing reasons, I restrain myself in
good time, lest I say anything rashly and beyond what is proper.
The prediction, indeed, which you gave in your letter, will never
deceive us, even although heaven and earth were mingled in confusion
together, viz., that God will take so peculiar a care of his own
Church, as to preserve it even amid the annihilation of the whole
world. Excuse the brevity of this epistle, as I was warned a little
before supper of the departure of the messenger. [My] brother had
told me before mid-day, that he was ready for the journey: I would
not have written, if he had gone so soon. He returned after three
o'clock: I had thus less time than I should have had. Adieu: may the
Lord direct you by his Spirit, and preserve you safe.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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



CXCIV.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     The sending of a minister--perplexities regarding anticipated
     events in Germany.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 18th May 1547_.

MONSEIGNEUR,--Since your convenience has not permitted your coming
hither as we had hoped, it is enough if God graciously grants you
health where you are. For albeit I might desire to be near you,
nevertheless I prefer what is best for you. Concerning the man of
whom Maldonado spoke to you, besides the knowledge which I have had
of him while he has been here I have made inquiry about him at his
old master, Gallars, who tells me that he found him very leal and
serviceable. It is true, that he would not reckon him qualified
to manage great affairs, unless one should instruct and set him
his lesson; but that in the carrying out of whatsoever he shall be
commanded to do, there will be nothing wanting; nay, that he will
even be vigilant. And even as regards the former quality, I do not
undervalue him. For a staid and modest man is far better, than one
who is overbold and venturesome. You will decide according to the
turn of your affairs, in order that the Sieur d'Albiac may send him;
and thus you may not remain long unprovided. Moreover, I hope that
God has rid you of the annoyances wherewith that marplot[126] has
been so long teasing you. That done, you may be altogether at ease
about your house.

  [126] Valeran Poulain. See pp. 104, 110.

We are still on the lookout for news about the general state of the
church. If God intends so sorely to afflict us, as to let loose that
tyrant upon us,[127] who only seeks to ruin everything, we must be
quite prepared to suffer. Considering that He who has us in charge,
rules in the midst of his enemies, it becomes us to have patience,
consoling ourselves in the assured hope, that in the end he will
confound them. But yet I hope that he will provide against these
great troubles, supporting our weakness; and that he will check the
boldness of those who triumph before the time, and that against
himself.

  [127] The Emperor Charles the Fifth had just gained a decisive
  victory at Mühlberg (24th April 1547) over the Protestant princes.

Monsieur, having humbly commended me to your kind favour, and that
of Madame, and having presented to both of you the remembrances of
my wife, I pray our good Lord to guide you continually, to watch
over you and to enlarge you in all his mercies. I abstain from
entering upon the proposal which the Sieur Maldonado has brought me,
about settling a church in that quarter;[128]--for I know not what
to say about it, except that I would desire that all may be well
done.

  Your servant and humble brother,
  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]

  [128] That is to say, at Bâle. The French church of that town was
  founded after the massacre De la Saint Barthelemy, at the request of
  a great number of refugees, among whom we find the children of the
  Admiral de Coligny.--MSS. of the archives of the French Church of
  Bâle.



CXCV.--To Monsieur de Falais.

     Information in regard to a house--advice on the subject of a
     marriage proposed for a relative of Monsieur de Falais.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 26th of May 1547_.

MONSEIGNEUR,--I hope that the bearer of these presents will be the
captain of our town,[129] from whom I have hired the house. He has
a mind to betake himself to your quarter, in order to confer with
you. He has offered me an alternative condition. In the first place:
should it please you to lend him money for a certain term, that the
house shall remain pledged to you in security for the repayment,
without paying any rent; and that of the repairs which you may make
for your convenience, he shall bear a part: secondly, that he should
sell it to you. It is true that he is not the feudal superior, but
he engages at all risks to maintain and warrant you in the sale of
it out and out. In this case, he must have three hundred crowns for
it. If your intention is to purchase, you will discuss the price
with himself, making the best bargain you can. It is very certain,
that assuming the responsibility of keeping it in repair, he will
not readily give it for two hundred crowns. You will have to choose
between these two conditions, and to arrange with himself, if you
see it to be for your advantage. If so be that you do not enter
into agreement with him, I have told you already that the house
could not be secured to you, consequently you would need to look
about elsewhere. For you will not prevail on him to put it into a
proper state for your accommodation, unless you go about it in this
way. And in good earnest, if you purpose to come here about the end
of summer, I advise you to endeavour that the repairs may be made
before your arrival, to avoid having your heads broken, and many
other inconveniences. I believe that the plan I have laid down would
please you very well, so that your absence need be no hindrance,
and it will be quite easy to have the thing done. He does not think
much repair is needed, but I suspect it will not amount to less
than forty crowns. Wherefore, the purchase would seem to me more
expedient, especially if you could agree at two hundred crowns, and
that he would take upon himself to warrant in perpetuity. I desire
that you may do something in this matter, provided it be to your
advantage.

  [129] The bearer of this letter was the captain-general, Amy Perrin,
  then on his way to Bâle. He had been charged with a secret mission
  to the new king of France, Henry II., and was imprisoned after his
  return to Geneva, because of unfaithfulness in the fulfilment of his
  commission.

The Sieur de Parey[130] arrived last evening, and came to call
for me about nine o'clock. As it was rather late, we had scarcely
leisure to speak together, so that I do not yet know the position
of his affairs. After having spoken to Sieur Maldonado, I would
advise that you only inform the girl of the nature of the objection,
without mentioning to her any mishap which may have occurred to him;
for all that would be told over again afterwards. Therefore, I would
merely let her understand: "He sleeps little, there is somewhat of
levity about him, wherefore some danger might be apprehended from
his peculiar constitution. Consider, then, whether you would be
patient if God were to visit you with such a trial." That, in my
opinion, would be sufficient. And according as you shall see her
disposed, you will do what you think right in the matter. We have
had some report of the decision, and he,[131] complaining of the
sentence of the judges, glories in his shame. May God give him a
better mind.

  [130] A pretender to the hand of Mademoiselle de Wilergy.

  [131] Valeran Poulain. See note 1, p. 113.

Monsieur, having humbly commended me to the kind favour of yourself
and of Madame; and having presented to you the remembrances of Des
Gallars and of my wife, I pray our good Lord to have you always in
his keeping, to rule and guide you, and bestow grace upon you to
glorify him always.

It is enough that you be informed who the bearer is. I do not know
if he will have other company along with him, for he went away
in such haste, that without having spoken of it to me, he came
this morning all booted and spurred, to bid me adieu. You see
what has been the cause of my not having been able to communicate
with Maldonado, for he went away yesterday evening to sleep at
Tourné. That is also the reason wherefore I have not sent you any
compliments from him.

  Your servant and humble brother,
  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CXCVI.--TO VIRET.

     Interview of Calvin with a senator of Berne--advantage secured
     over the party of the Libertins.


  GENEVA, _28th May 1547_.

Zerkinden[132] was here. I laid bare the ailments, and at the same
time suggested the remedy of which we had spoken together.[133] He
approved of it, but he thinks it will be difficult to obtain it.
If, however, he come to Berne in time, he will make trial; for he
admits that, in such an emergency, there is nothing that should
not be attempted. I am, however, afraid that others may be sent
thither before him, who, as is usual with them, after making a great
display, will perform nothing. Thus, what has been for long desired
will be granted too late. But may God look to this, as to all other
matters!

  [132] Nicolas Zerkinden, senator of Berne, prefect of the town of
  Nyon.

  [133] The establishment of discipline in the churches of the Pays de
  Vaud.

We had here lately some little trouble about slashed breeches.[134]
This was the pretext, but they had already begun to break out into
the greatest license. When the _Two Hundred_ had been summoned
at their request, we were all present. I made a speech, which in
a moment extorted from them what with firm expectation they had
eagerly swallowed; for I discoursed about sources of corruption in
general, premising that I was not speaking against these trumperies.
They fall into a rage, and gnash with their teeth, as they do
not dare openly to shout. By this one experiment, however, they
learned, what they had not supposed to be the case, that the people
are on our side. The tragic Cæsar hastily set off on a journey the
following day, to avoid being present at the public procession,
which that meeting rendered hazardous and puerile, whereas he was
hoping that it would be the token of a certain supreme authority.
He had returned to terms of friendship with Romanel, with a view to
concuss the whole city, with no one to interpose. We, however, have
unexpectedly shattered all his plans. Thus does God make sport of
those Thrasoes!

  [134] An ordinance had recently interdicted the use of slashed
  breeches at Geneva. The reason which Calvin gives for this
  prohibition may be seen in a subsequent letter to the faithful of
  France, (24th July 1547.)

Adieu, brother and most sincere friend. May the Lord be continually
present with you, and bless and prosper your labours. You will
hear the rest from Rebitti. Salute your wife in the name of me and
mine.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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



CXCVII.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Recommendation of John de Budé--Uncertainty of the news from
     Germany.


  FROM GENEVA, _the 4th of June 1547_.

MONSEIGNEUR,--I have nothing to write you at present, except that
the bearer is one of the sons of the late Mr. Budé.[135] When you
shall have made his acquaintance, you will find him so excellent,
that you will esteem him worthy of being loved by all those who love
God, even if the memory of his father had not of itself recommended
him. He is none of those who make a great show and parade. And all
the more on that account is he valued by me, and I know that so it
will be with you. His intention is to go to see Bâle and Strasbourg,
then to return without making any long sojourn in those parts.
Notwithstanding, I have advised him to make full inquiry whether the
roads will be safe before going further, and he has promised me to
do so; for where there is no necessity, it would answer no purpose
to put himself in danger. I believe that before he arrives there,
you will be no longer in deliberation with regard to Sieur de Parey.
For the prolonged delay which he asks for, is by no means with a
view to strengthen his resolution; and indeed I conjecture, that
it has been cautiously suggested by his relations, thinking that
between this time and that he might alter his mind, seeing that they
must be acquainted with his humour.

  [135] John de Budé, Sieur de Vérace. See note 1, p. 90.

We are quite amazed to have no news that can be depended upon.
One may perceive the disorder which prevails in Germany, and the
wretched management. If there had been a grain of salt among them,
they would have looked well to their affairs, before they came to
the knowledge of that which was to be known far and wide three days
afterwards. But what do I say? _Non est consilium, non est fortitudo
absque domino._ Therefore they are taken unawares.

I hope to know by the first what decision you have come to with our
captain.[136]

  [136] Amy Perrin.

To make an end, Monsieur: having humbly commended me to your good
grace and of Madame, and having presented the like remembrances
to you on the part of my wife and others, I supplicate our good
Lord always to have a care of you, to rule you by his Spirit, to
strengthen you against all stumbling-blocks and annoyances, as well
as the whole of your household. Although I have not leisure to write
to the young ladies, I desire to be very affectionately remembered
to all three.

  Your servant and humble brother,
  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CXCVIII.--TO MONSIEUR DE BUDÉ.[137]

  [137] See the notice concerning the family of Budé, p. 90.
  We believe, contrary to the opinion of M. Galiffe, _Notices
  Généalogiques_, tom. iii. p. 83, that this letter is addressed
  to Louis or to Francis Budé, and not to John de Budé, Sieur de
  Vérace, their brother. This latter had already made a journey to
  Geneva, and he was known to the Reformer, who had introduced him
  in very kind terms to M. de Falais.--Letter of 4th June 1547, p.
  118. It is not then to the Sieur de Vérace, that the first words of
  Calvin's letter can apply, but to one of his brothers: "Although I
  am personally unknown to you, I do not on that account hesitate to
  write you privately, in the hope that my letter will be welcome,"
  &c. The family of Budé were then preparing to leave France. Two
  years afterwards, they settled at Geneva, as appears from their
  registration in the list of the inhabitants, 27th June 1549, and the
  following passage of a letter from Viret to Calvin, 12th June of the
  same year: "_I rejoice that the Budé have arrived, along with their
  mother._"--MSS. of the Library of Geneva.

     He exhorts him to follow the example of the rest of his family,
     and retire to Geneva.


  _This 19th June 1547._

MONSIEUR,--Although I am personally unknown to you, I do not
hesitate on that account to write you privately, hoping that my
letter will be welcome, as well for the sake of the Master whom I
serve, as for the matter of which it treats; and also that those
who have induced me to do so, have credit enough with you, as I
believe they have, to secure me access. I have heard of the upright
spirit which our Lord has given you, wherefore let us all praise
him. For although you may have many temptations of a worldly kind
where you are, to impede and distract you, you nevertheless do not
cease to groan under the unhappy captivity in which you are held,
desiring to escape from it. And indeed your honest zeal has been
already partially manifested, when, in place of hindering the party
who were about to shift their quarters, you confirmed them in their
good purpose, and instead of delaying, have endeavoured to forward
their departure, only regretting that you could not follow them
immediately. Now, then, seeing that Satan has many means to damp our
zeal in well-doing, and that our nature is very apt to side with
him, you must stir up the fire which God by his Spirit has already
lighted in your heart, until the good desire be realized. You must
abandon everything as hurtful which separates you from him, in
whom lies all our happiness, and with whom if we are not united,
we forfeit life and salvation. We do not mean, however, to condemn
all those who live elsewhere, as if the kingdom of God were shut up
within our mountains, while we know it is extended over all. But it
is right, wheresoever we are, that God should be honoured by us,
and we are nowise to be excused, if we pollute the earth which he
has sanctified to our use. If we are in a place where we are not
permitted to acquit ourselves of our duty, and where the fear of
death leads us to do what is evil, we ought, knowing our grievous
infirmity, to seek the remedy: which is, to withdraw from such
bondage. Since our Lord has opened your eyes to let you see what an
evil it is to defile yourself with superstition, it only remains for
you to come forth of it. Besides, you have less excuse than another,
considering the position which you hold, for the reckoning will be
twofold, if instead of shewing the way, as you are bound to do, you
give occasion to those who see you, to step aside out of it.

As for the other difficulties which are peculiar to your present
circumstances, I refer myself to your own experience. More than all
that, you have to consider that if the good lady with just reason
dreaded to finish the remainder of her life there, you may well fear
a longer period of languishing, according to the ordinary course of
nature. There is assuredly no to-morrow that we can make ourselves
sure of. Therefore, on the other hand, you ought to make the greater
haste, for fear you should be taken unawares. You see, therefore,
that God is urging you in every way. Howsoever the matter may be
settled, I pray you, Monsieur, not to allow the grace which God
has given you to be quenched. If he has given you worldly riches,
have a care lest in place of rendering them in homage to him, you
may be hindered by them from serving him. I need not tell you, that
he has given you a help which every one has not. This is, that you
have a Sarah who will be ready to follow you, whithersoever that
kind Father shall call you; so that it depends upon yourself alone
whether or not you shall follow the example of our father Abraham.
It is quite true that you will find no spot on earth where you can
be beyond the reach of trial, as indeed it is not reasonable to
expect our faith to be exempt from these anxieties. But since the
present is a time of conflict, there is nothing better for us than
to fall back upon our standard, where we may receive courage to do
battle steadfastly even unto death. It is an advantage not to be
despised, when God gives us leisure to confirm our faith, that the
preparation may be of service to us in due time and place. For this
ought to be quite enough for us, when he arms us with his strength
for victory, before putting us to the proof. But seeing that the
very beginnings are difficult, and perseverance still more so, the
best resource is to pray God that he would stretch out his hand to
you, and give you courage to surmount all obstacles. To which end
we also would beseech him along with you, that he would please to
shew himself your protector even unto the end, upholding you not
only against the wicked, but also against Satan their chief. Having
humbly commended me to your good favour, and to that of Madame your
wife....

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. copy_--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 111.]



CXCIX.--TO VIRET.

     Citation of the wife of Amy Perrin before the Consistory--case
     of Gruet--news from Germany.


  _2d July 1547._

We must now fight in earnest. The wife of the comedian Cæsar
was again summoned to the Consistory, on account of her
frowardness.[138] While there, though she received no provocation,
in the form even of too harsh a word, she vomited forth more venom
than on any previous occasion. First of all, she denied the right
of our court to take cognizance of her, even supposing she had
been guilty of a delinquency. In the next place, she complained
that she was deeply branded with ignominy, by being compelled to
appear in a place to which the depraved and criminal could alone
of right be summoned. When one of the assessors sought to restrain
her intemperate behaviour, she turned her fury upon him. Abel
then interposed, and expressed his surprise that she had at first
professed that she was too modest, or too little given to speaking,
to be able to answer at greater length, whereas she was a match
in abuse for as many as there might be. At this her fury boiled
all over. "No, indeed," she says, "but you are a reviler, who
unscrupulously slandered my father. Begone, coarse swine-herd, you
are a malicious liar!" She would have almost overwhelmed us by her
thunders, had she not been forcibly extruded. The Senate desired
that she should be more closely imprisoned. She escaped by means
of that matron who is wont to take under her patronage all bad
causes. One of her sons accompanied her in her flight. Accidentally
meeting Abel not far from the city gate, she insulted him afresh,
and even more shamelessly than before. Abel said nothing, but
conducted himself with the greatest moderation, just as he had
done in the Consistory. Next day a paper is found in the pulpit,
threatening us with death, unless we remain silent. I send a copy
of it to you.[139] The Senate, startled by such audacity, orders
a rigid inquiry to be made into the conspiracy. The investigation
is committed to a few. As many suspected Gruet, he was immediately
arrested.[140] It was, however, a different hand; but while they
were turning over his papers, much was discovered that was not
less capital. There was a humble petition which he had designed to
present to the people in the Assemblies, in which he contended that
no offence should be punished by the laws but what was injurious
to the state; for that such was the practice of the Venetians, who
were the highest authority in the matter of government; and that in
truth there was danger, while this city submitted to be ruled by the
brain of one man of melancholy temperament, of a thousand citizens
being destroyed in the event of any outbreak. Letters were also
found, chiefly written to André Philippe, and to others. In some he
named me; at other times, he had enveloped me in figures of speech,
so clumsily contrived, however, that one could lay his finger on
what he meant to conceal. There were, besides, two pages in Latin,
in which the whole of Scripture is laughed at, Christ aspersed, the
immortality of the soul called a dream and a fable, and finally the
whole of religion torn in pieces. I do not think he is the author of
it; but as it is in his handwriting, he will be compelled to appear
in his defence, although, it may be, that he himself has thrown into
the form of a memorandum, according to the turn of his own genius,
what he heard from others; for there are mutilated sentences,
crammed with solecisms and barbarisms. I know not whether Jacoba,
whose sister is the wife of Des Gallars, has been apprehended. There
is, indeed, a decree of the Senate [for that purpose.] What Vandel's
sentence will be is still doubtful; but he is in considerable
danger.[141] Such was the state of things when I wrote. You know
that our Syndics have little enough judgment, otherwise the Senate
is exceedingly well disposed to the cause.

  [138] "Complaint of Calvin against the wife of Amy Perrin, who
  insulted the minister Abel in full Consistory."--_Registers of
  Council_, 24th June.

  [139] The import of this note, written in the Savoyard language,
  and affixed to the pulpit of the ministers, was, "that people did
  not wish to have so many masters; that they (the ministers) had now
  gone far enough in their course of censure; that the renegade monks
  like them had done nothing more than afflict all the world in this
  way; that if they persisted in their course, people would be reduced
  to such a condition that they would curse the hour in which they
  emerged from the rule of monachism; and that they (the ministers)
  should take care lest as much should be done to them as was done to
  the Canon Vernly of Fribourg." The last passage was equivalent to a
  threat of death.

  [140] The former canon, Jacques Gruet, of dissolute manners,
  of licentious and perverse doctrine, constantly opposed to the
  ministers, and intolerant of all rule in the Church as in the State,
  had lain under the imputation of having been the instigator of the
  attempt at poisoning Viret in 1535.--_Histoire de la Suisse_, vol.
  xi. p. 364.

  [141] Pierre Vandel, one of the chief of the reprobate children
  of Geneva. Handsome and brilliant, he loved to exhibit himself
  surrounded by valets and courtezans, with rings on his fingers,
  and his breast covered with gold chains. He had been imprisoned on
  account of his debaucheries, and his insolent behaviour before the
  Consistory.

The brethren have replied to me regarding Sonnier, that they mean to
make no change in their former resolution; for I relaxed, as I had
abstained from writing, with a view to spare him. He eagerly made
reference to the minister De Coppet, who also wished to change his
place. I advise you to examine whether there is any truth in this.

The statements contained in Bucer's letter regarding those two
victories are quite certain; for a friend of mine[142] passed
through this, who had ascertained the truth of the whole matter. He
also informed me that tidings of a third victory had been brought
away within two hours before he left Strasbourg; but he did not
venture to assert this for certain. He further mentioned to me,
that when the Landgrave had come to Leipsic on the strength of
the promise made to him, he returned without accomplishing the
matter, and in despair, and that he was collecting a new army.
The name of Henry[143] was erroneously given in Bucer's letter;
for the Landgrave still keeps him in fetters, or at least closely
imprisoned. But Bucer was speaking of Erich,[144] who professes the
same doctrine with ourselves, and yet hires himself to the tyrant
in disturbing the Church. I wish that your Senate could be induced
to take the initiative in the stipulated treaty; for Pharaoh wishes
to be asked, and thinks it unbecoming his dignity to solicit the
weaker parties.[145] But let them look to these and other matters,
that are now in course of arrangement. I desire nothing to be done,
unless what I judge to be fitting and useful to you.

  [142] Doctor Chelius, in the handwriting of Calvin.

  [143] Henry of Brunswick.

  [144] The personage here designated is doubtless Erich, hereditary
  prince of Sweden, who ascended the throne in 1560, and was deposed
  in 1568.

  [145] A common interest at that time conciliated the King of France
  and the Swiss. The ambassadors of Henry II., Brissac and Marillac,
  assured Geneva of the friendship of the King, and took in charge
  letters of Calvin to the Helvetic Churches.--_Histoire de la
  Suisse_, vol. xi. p. 358.

Adieu, brother and most sincere friend, along with your wife and
your whole family. May the Lord always direct you and be present
with you. You will salute the brethren respectfully in my name. I
and my wife salute thee and thine in the Lord.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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



CC.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Solemn lessons afforded by the sad occurrences in
     Germany--troubles in Geneva--energetic attitude of Calvin.


  _This 14th of July 1547._

MONSEIGNEUR,--From what you have written me, I am certainly of
opinion that our brother, Master Francis de la Rivière,[146] should
withdraw at least for a season. For should it so be that it suited
him to return hither, he would not have to make a long journey:
and bringing with him some recommendation from Bâle, he might make
application at Berne to be sent to Lausanne, with some provision in
the meantime. I should not however have come to this resolution,
unless your letter had helped me to it. I have merely told him
that you would be glad of his coming, in order that your family
might receive instruction from him several times in the week. For I
desired to avoid any more definite engagement, that you might remain
at perfect liberty in that matter.

  [146] The minister Francis Perucel, called La Rivière.

With regard to the house, I beg you will inform me what you wish me
to do about it. But let me have your letter by the middle of August.
For according to the use and wont of the town, I have leave to
renounce the bargain for the following half year, giving intimation
to that effect six weeks before the term. By doing this, you will
not be burdened with needless expense; while I fear that by holding
it for a longer period, you may incur outlay without return.

I believe Saint André has told you what we have done with _the
Apology_. The printing shall not be delayed for want of copy. As
for the money, I am not of opinion that you ought to withdraw any
of it merely to avoid the murmurs which might thence arise, but
rather, that enjoining those who have the charge thereof, to apply
it as they ought--correcting abuses, if there be any, you should
depute some one to act for you in the matter. However, you will
determine that according to your own discretion. But I did not like
to withhold what occurred to me, seeing that you have been pleased
to consult me on the subject.

We have had no news from Germany since the capture of the
Landgrave,[147] who has been suitably rewarded for his baseness. In
the present position of affairs, I recognize our God's intention
utterly to deprive us of a triumphant Gospel, that he may constrain
us to fight under the cross of our Lord Jesus. But let us be
content that he return to the early method of his dealings, in the
miraculous preservation of his Church by his own power, without
the help of an arm of flesh. The trial is hard, I confess; but our
fathers have had the like, quite as depressing, and have never been
shaken in their stability. Now is the time to put in practice the
proverb, "Let us hope and we shall see." Besides, we need not be
astonished that God has corrected us thus roughly, considering the
life we have led. But as you say, may those who have not hitherto
been touched, take note of such examples, that they may humble
themselves, and by that means prevent the hand of the Judge.

  [147] Intimidated by the defeat of the Elector of Saxony, the
  Landgrave of Hesse had submitted himself to the Emperor, and only
  obtained his pardon by imploring it upon his knees, and surrendering
  his person and states into the power of this prince.

There has been some want of consideration on the part of the
commissioners from this town, in not informing me of their
departure. However, I do not give up the expectation of tidings
from you by them. I do not know whether any report of our troubles
has yet reached you, but they talk of them so loudly throughout the
neighbouring country, that it would appear all is over with us.
More than that, they have often had me dead, or at least sorely
wounded. Be that as it may, I feel nothing of it myself. And in
the town we are not aware of the hundredth part of what is said.
There have, indeed, been some murmuring and threats on the part of
loose-living persons, who cannot endure discipline. Even the wife of
him who was to go to see you,[148] and who wrote to you from Berne,
rebelled very proudly. But it has been necessary that she should
betake herself to the country, feeling herself but ill at ease in
town. The others, indeed, lower the head, in place of lifting up the
horn; and there is one of them who is in danger of paying a very
heavy reckoning; I know not even whether it may not cost him his
life.[149] The young people think that I press them too hard. But if
the bridle were not held with a firm hand, that would be the pity.
Yea, we must look to their wellbeing, however distasteful to them it
may be.

  [148] Amy Perrin. His wife, daughter of a rich burgess, François
  Favre d'Echallens, and reprimanded incessantly by the Consistory,
  was the implacable enemy of the ministers and of Calvin.

  [149] Jacques Gruet, formerly a Canon, and a man of licentious
  and irregular morals, impatient of all restraint either of Church
  or State. Severely censured by the ministers on account of his
  debaucheries, he had uttered threats of death against them, which
  he even ventured to affix to the pulpit of St. Peter's Church. His
  trial, conducted with all the rigour of that period, terminated by a
  sentence of capital punishment. Condemned for sedition, blasphemy,
  and atheism, he perished on the scaffold the 26th July 1547.

Monsieur, having humbly commended me to your kind favour and that
of Madame, I pray our good Lord that he may have you always in
his keeping, strengthening you by his Holy Spirit to resist all
temptations, and making you abound in all well-doing to his honour.
And seeing that the time of the trial of Madame draws near, we
shall remember her in prayer for her happy delivery. My wife also
presents her humble remembrance to both of you.

  Your servant and humble brother,
  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CCI.--TO VIRET.[150]

  [150] Subjected to torture, Gruet admitted his guilt, and as well
  on the ground of his impious and blasphemous productions, as of a
  letter written to a private individual, in which he exhorted the
  Duke of Savoy to turn his arms against Geneva, he was condemned to
  death. It appeared, according to the letter of Calvin to Viret,
  of which a fragment is here reproduced, that this sentence was
  not unanimous, and that Gruet reckoned up to this time, in the
  councils of the republic, friends or accomplices who were desirous
  of saving him. This did not prevent his execution on the 26th July
  1547, and the example threw terror into the ranks of the party of
  the Libertins. On the trial of Gruet, see the various historians of
  Geneva,--Spon, Picot, and the _Histoire de la Suisse_, vol. xi. pp.
  364, 365.

     Indecision of the Seigneurs of Geneva--inflexibility of Calvin.


  GENEVA, _24th July 1547_.

There is nothing new in our affairs. The Syndics protract the case
of Gruet against the will of the Senate, which does not, however,
as would be proper, utter any protest against the delay. For you
know that few of them are judicious. I exercise my severity in
dislodging common vices, and principally the sources of corruption
among the youth. I conceal all sense of the dangers which good men
from several quarters allege to exist, lest I should appear over
solicitous about myself. The Lord will give the issue in the way
that may please himself. Adieu, brother, and most sincere friend,
as also your wife and family. May the Lord Jesus continually direct
you, and be present with you. You will convey best greetings to the
brethren, and to your wife in my name. My wife salutes you and your
family. Yours,

  CALVIN.

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



CCII.--TO THE FAITHFUL OF FRANCE.[151]

  [151] _Entitled_: To our very dear lords and brethren who desire the
  advancement of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  During the period that the Reformation was for a while overcome in
  Germany, and that it had to sustain the rudest conflicts in order to
  its establishment at Geneva, the most alarming reports were spread
  among the French Protestants, and carried discouragement and dismay
  into their ranks. Calvin, addressing his brethren from the midst
  of the struggle in which he was engaged against the party of the
  Libertins, reassured and comforted them by his letters, and exhorted
  them to place their entire confidence in God.

     State of Germany--details regarding the struggles of the
     Reformer in the cause of the truth at Geneva.


  _This 24th of July 1547._

The electing love of God our Father, and the grace of our Lord Jesus
Christ, rest always upon you by the communion of the Holy Spirit.

Very dear lords and brethren, I doubt not that you have daily much
news, as well from hence as from Germany, which might prove a
stumblingblock to those who are not overmuch confirmed in our Lord
Jesus Christ. But I trust in God he has so strengthened you, that
you shall not be shaken, either thereby or by any still greater
marvel which may yet arise. And verily, if we are indeed built upon
that solid stone which has been ordained for the foundation of the
Church, we may well sustain more boisterous storms and tempests
without being foundered. It is even expedient for us that such
things should happen, that the firmness and constancy of our faith
may be approved.

As for the state of Germany, our Lord has so abased the worldly
pride of our people, and given all power and authority to him from
whom we can look for nought but ill, as that it indeed appears that
he means himself to maintain his spiritual kingdom wheresoever he
had already set it up. It is very true, that according to the carnal
mind it is in danger; yet in commending to himself the care of his
poor Church and the kingdom of his Son, let us hope that he will
provide for all, beyond what we can think. The danger hitherto has
been, lest human means might have dazzled our eyes. Now, however,
since there is nothing to prevent our looking to his hand, and
recalling to mind how he has preserved his Church in time past, let
us not doubt but he will glorify himself in such sort that we shall
be amazed. Meanwhile, we must never grow weary of fighting under the
ensign of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, for that is worth more
than all the triumphs of the world.

As regards the rumours of our troubles which have flown abroad, they
seem, the greater part of them, in the first place, to have been
improvised; because, were you upon the spot, you would not see a
tenth part of what is told at a distance. True it is, that we have
many hard-headed and stiff-necked rebels, who on all occasions seek
only to raise themselves, and by riotous courses to dissipate and
abolish all order in the Church, and these, indeed, as well young as
old. And the state of our young people, especially, is very corrupt;
so that, when we will not allow them every license, they go from bad
to worse.[152] Of late, they were sorely enraged under cover of a
small matter. It was because they were not allowed to wear slashed
breeches, which has been prohibited in the town for these twelve
years past. Not that we would make overmuch of this, but because
we see that, by the loop-holes of the breeches, they wish to bring
in all manner of disorders. We have protested, however, in the
meantime, that the slashing of their breeches was but a mere piece
of foppery, which was not worth speaking about, but that we had
quite another end in view, which was to curb and to repress their
follies. During this little conflict, the devil has interjected
others, so that there has been great murmuring. And because they
perceived in us more courage than they could have wished, and more
determination to resist them, the venom which some of them had
concealed within their heart burst forth. But this is nought but
smoke; for their threats are nothing else but a splutter of the
pride of Moab, who is powerless to execute what he thus presumes to
threaten.

  [152] Ils font des mauvais chevaulx à mordre et à regimber.

Howsoever that may be, you need not be astonished. There have been
greater commotions stirred against Moses and against the prophets,
although they had to govern the people of God; and such exercises
are needful for us. Only beseech our Lord, that he would vouchsafe
us grace not to flinch, but that we may prefer his obedience to our
life if need be, and that we may be more afraid of offending him
than of stirring up all the fury of the wicked against ourselves,
and that at length it may please him to allay all the tumults which
might otherwise break the courage of the unsettled, for it is that
which down-weighs me more than all the rest. This grace our Lord has
vouchsafed us, that we have a right good will to remedy the evil,
and all our brethren are well agreed to go forward earnestly in
that which is our duty, so that there is the same constancy in all.
Nothing is needful, except that this good Lord continue to conduct
his own work.

I entreat of you, my dear brethren, continue steadfast on your part
also; and let no fear alarm you, even although the dangers were
more apparent than you have seen them hitherto. May the reliance
which God commands us to have in his grace and in his strength
always be to you an impregnable fortress; and for the holding fast
the assurance of his help, may you be careful to walk in his fear,
although, when we have made it our whole study to serve him, we
must always come back to this conclusion, of asking pardon for our
shortcomings. And inasmuch as you know well from experience how
frail we are, be ever diligent to continue in the practice which
you have established, of prayer and hearing of the holy word, to
exercise you, and to sharpen and confirm you more and more. Let
nothing turn you aside, as sometimes there are many colourable
pretexts adduced to justify the remission of such duties. I am
convinced that it would be much better that all those who desire
to honour God should assemble together, and that every one should
call the others thither as by sound of trumpet. But yet, it is much
better to have what you have, though it be but a part, than nothing
at all. And so, watching well against declension, seek rather to
advance in the way of proficiency, and make use of what God gives
you,--edifying one another, and in general all poor and ignorant
ones, by your good life, that so, by the same means, the wicked may
be put to confusion. In so doing, you will perceive the hand of God
upon you, to whom I pray that he would increase in you the graces
which he has put within you; that he would strengthen you in true
consistency; that, in the midst of dogs and of wolves, he would
preserve you, and every way glorify himself in you; after having
commended me affectionately to your kind prayers.

  Your humble brother and entire friend,
  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.

  [_Fr. copy_--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107.]



CCIII.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Thanksgiving for the happy deliverance of Madame de
     Falais--false reports concerning the state of Geneva--details
     regarding the publication of the Apology--indisposition of
     Calvin, and his regret at being separated from Monsieur de
     Falais.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 16th of August 1547_.

MONSEIGNEUR,--Two days after the arrival of M. Budé, I received your
letter, which you had delivered to James Dallichant; so that all
of them have been delivered. Thinking to find a messenger, I have
twice since then been disappointed; and I was also in doubt whether
to undertake the journey. For notwithstanding the hindrances which
might detain me, I was afraid that I had no sufficient excuse. But
the tidings which have since reached us, have removed that doubt. I
return thanks to our Lord, and all our friends along with me, for
the happy delivery which he has granted to Madame, praying that he
would so bless the offspring which he has given you, that you may
have a twofold comfort in them in the time to come, as I do also
hope. We shall look for a letter from you shortly. It is enough in
the meanwhile to know that all is well as to the main point.

In reply to all that you have sent to me, I had requested Gallars to
translate the _Apology_, promising to revise it finally myself. But
he has been so negligent, that Master Francis Baulduin[153] came
just in time to begin it. I send you, therefore, his translation,
which we have revised together, not to polish it very highly, but
merely to see whether the meaning had been truly rendered, at the
same time with the French copy in the handwriting of Saint André.

  [153] Francis Baudouin of Arras, a distinguished lawyer, fled
  to Geneva on account of religion. He became the friend and the
  secretary of Calvin, whose opinions at a later period he attacked,
  and betrayed his confidence by robbing him of his most precious
  papers.--(See Drelincourt, Defence of Calvin, pp. 251, 252.) Called
  successively as Professor of Law to Bourges, to Strasbourg, and to
  Heidelberg, Baudouin died in 1573, leaving the reputation of one of
  the most learned men of his time, and of a most versatile spirit in
  matters of religion. It has been justly said of him, that he was a
  Roman Catholic in France, a Lutheran at Strasbourg, and a Calvinist
  at Geneva.

In the Latin epistle of Dryander,[154] I have corrected what
appeared to me to be right; you can follow that which shall seem
best to yourself. I hope that you will understand who has induced me
to write many things, which I did not object to, but which appeared
to me to be superfluous, or at least that they would be of no weight
with the individual to whom they were addressed.

  [154] See note 1, p. 111. Dryander seems at this period to have
  filled the office of secretary to M. de Falais. He carried on at
  the same time a correspondence with Calvin, expressing the highest
  esteem for his character and talents.--_Library of Geneva_, Vol.
  110. One of his brothers, John Ensinas, had been burnt at Rome in
  1545, a martyr to the Protestant faith.

You will see the answers which I have made in the name of
Mademoiselle de Wilergy, and may give effect to, if you think they
are the right thing. I speak drily enough to the Abbess, because of
the suspicion, which is very strong.

If it please God to settle a church there, it will be a great
comfort to your family. But the blessing will extend much further,
and will have the effect of removing many stumblingblocks. It is
a great pity the scattering of the handful who met at Vezel.[155]
Our Lord, I fear, must have been disposed to punish that excessive
moroseness, which could only arise from a despising of his blessing.
However, I hope that, after having punished the fanatics and
crack-brained persons who have been the cause of all the mischief,
he will yet set up again his little flock which remains, and will
hold out a hand to them, to lead them always in the right way.

  [155] Some Flemish and French refugees had already formed a
  community at Vezel, which was enlarged in 1553 by the dispersion of
  the foreign congregation of London, and which was constituted as a
  church by the minister Francis Pérucel, called La Rivière.

What moved me to urge you about the house, was my fear of the shame
I should feel if perhaps you did arrive here and should not find a
lodging ready. Besides, the repairs which the landlord thought of
making thereon, would not make it fit for your occupation. Thus the
rent you are paying for it, would be so much money lost, unless we
should fall upon some remedy for it. Although I have taken it for
three years, it was at my option to be quit of the bargain at the
end of the half-year, on giving intimation three weeks before the
term. At this time we shall be foreclosed of that liberty. If you
could have decided upon coming, I would have desired the whole to be
put in proper repair, that you might be exempt from annoyance. But
seeing the matter stands as it does, it is very unadvisable indeed
to charge yourself with a house here; only I could have wished to
cause you no needless expense. But since you have allowed this half
year to pass away, we shall need to take care between this and the
end of January, so as not to enter upon the second year.

I perceive that the troubles which we have had here are also
exaggerated with you as well as elsewhere. At Lyons they have had
me dead in more than twenty ways. Everywhere throughout the country
they tell of wonders, of which, God be thanked, we perceive nothing.
It is very true Satan has here very many firebrands; but the flame
passes off with a blaze like that of flax. The capital punishment
which has been inflicted upon one of their companions,[156] has laid
their horns in the dust. As for your landlord,[157] I know not what
face he will wear towards us when he returns. He appeared to go away
on friendly terms, at least manifesting more compunction and respect
towards me than formerly. Meanwhile, however, his wife has played
the she-devil to such a degree, that she has found it necessary to
gain the open country. It is already about three months that he has
been absent. He must needs walk softly upon his return. Up to the
present time, we have got on very well, considering the condition
of the servants of God. Had we not been so depressed, we should
have been too much at our ease. I believe, indeed, that he may have
opened the letter, and that that may have given boldness to Valeran,
and to that worthy man with whom he was lodged, to take a second
look into them. However that may be, in complaining about it as he
does, he must at once avow himself to be a breaker-open of letters,
which is certainly the act of a lawless man. As for his wrongs, they
weigh no more with me than his person in the scale of importance,
which is a little less than a feather. Moreover, it is evident
that he was drunk, or at least seeing double, when he thus wrote.
Provided he does not go the length of throwing stones, our patience,
yours and mine, will not find it very hard to bear with his abuse.
We are not better than David, were we even called to bear further
injury, and he is at least quite as worthy as Shimei. In that and in
greater things, let us pray God that he may vouchsafe us grace to
call us to his light, despising the calumnies of those who judge in
darkness. I am more sorry than for aught else to see him gone so far
astray.

  [156] Jacques Gruet. See p. 128.

  [157] Amy Perrin.

If there is no pressing hurry, or if there might be more hope of
reasonable despatch in the absence of the protonotary, I think
that it would only be right to await his return, as well that
nothing may be done by halves, as to avoid the suspicion he might
take up, that you had watched the opportunity, or anticipated the
complaint he meant to make, in terms of his letter, which was
not a little dissatisfied. But should there be any _damnum aut
periculum in mora_, this consideration ought not to hamper you, so
at least methinks. Otherwise the better way will be, to wait for an
opportunity to get rid of the whole at once.

As for the book-mark--your own arms, as well as the motto,
everything will be liable to be blazoned abroad by those who,
without good ground, are, nevertheless, always open-mouthed in
speaking evil of us. Howbeit, I find nothing amiss, neither in
the one nor in the other. Even had there been no diminishing of
the expenses, there could be no harm in putting the arms at the
beginning, and the motto at the end. But I am much puzzled which
of the two methods to choose, unless you were to put your armorial
bearings with the saying underneath,--_Qui recedit a malo prædœ
est expositus_, with the citation of the chapter.[158]

  [158] Isaiah lix. 15.

As regards the marriage,[159] for my part, I would by no means
consent to it. You see how confidentially I reply to you. 'The
family is very poor indeed. The noblesse of Savoy is very different
from that of your country; the man himself is well enough, but not
so steady as to withstand evil counsels; subject to illnesses,
arising chiefly from a sanguine temperament,--(you fear one
reproach; I am afraid of a quite different one, which I would only
mention if I desired to be put out of the way, &c.) You had been
rash in entertaining his proposal.' Pardon me if I am too forward.
I would like better to take the other whom I know, if it fell to me
to decide. But it is full time for me to pull up, having certainly
exceeded due bounds.

  [159] Of Mademoiselle de Wilergy.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before I have concluded, a cough has seized me, and hits me so hard
upon the shoulder that I cannot draw a stroke of the pen without
acute pain.[160] There is a letter to Wendelin, to which I would
much desire to have a reply, because there is some inquiry regarding
the Commentaries on St. Paul, of which several persons urge the
printing. I hope that it shall be profitable, otherwise I would not
have composed them. Seeing that the present bearers are not quite
certain of going so far as Strasbourg, and that even if they do go,
I could not be sure to have an answer by them, I beg you kindly to
charge some one of your servants to convey the letter in good time,
and to procure the answer.

  [160] The conclusion of the letter is in the handwriting of Francis
  Baudouin.

Monsieur, having heartily commended me to your kind favour, and that
of Madame, and also presented to you remembrances from my wife,
I pray our Lord that it would please him to have you in his holy
keeping, to preserve to you the blessing he has bestowed, that you
may even see the fruit of it, so as to derive more full consolation
and joy; and, in the meanwhile, to help you in everything, and
that continually. I am sorry that I cannot be with you for at least
a half of a day, to laugh with you, while we wait for a smile from
the little infant, under the penalty of bearing with his cries and
tears. For that is the first note, sounded as the key-note, at the
beginning of this life--the earnest of a better, that we may smile
from the heart when we shall be about to depart from it.

I entreat of you to bear with my indisposition, commending me to the
goodly company.

  Your servant and humble brother,

  John Calvin.[161]

  [_Fr. orig. autogr.--Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]

  [161] The signature of the letter is autograph.



CCIV.--TO FAREL.

     False report of Calvin's death--proposition (query) by the
     wife of Amy Perrin--calumnious accusation against Idelette de
     Bure--journey of Farel to Geneva.


  GENEVA, _21st August 1547_.

I am more grateful to you than words can readily express, for
having spontaneously transferred to us your credit and service,
when you thought that we were pressed by great difficulties. In
this, however, you did nothing that was novel or unexpected. The
reason why I did not avail myself of your offer, was that various
rumours were everywhere flying about which I thought had been
extinguished, but which would have been the more increased had
I summoned hither you and Viret. You know with what sort of men
we have to deal, and how eager they are for an opportunity of
speaking against us. Letters were daily arriving, especially from
Lyons, from which I learned that I had been more than ten times
killed.[162] It was therefore proper that the ungodly should be
deprived of the occasion of talking. The senate is now quieted,
and is favourably disposed to the good cause. Amy, our friend,
is still in France.[163] His wife is with her father, where she
carries on her revels in her usual fashion, and yet we requested
the Senate that all past offences might be forgiven her, if she
shewed anything to warrant a hope of repentance. That petition
has not been granted, for she has gone so far as to have cut off
all hope of pardon for herself. As the day of the [Lord's] Supper
draws near, I may meet with Penthesilæa. Froment lately made a
movement about a reconciliation, but he wished the matter to be
settled according to his own arbitration. I replied that our church
was not so destitute but that there were brethren competent to
undertake that duty. We shall make every effort. And yet she has
cruelly wounded me. For when at the baptism of our child James, I
had admitted the truth about the fault of my wife and her former
husband,[164] she calumniously asserted among her own friends, that
my wife was therefore a harlot; such is her bold impudence. I shall
treat her not according to what she deserves, but according to
what my office demands. Add that N. had invented a most calumnious
fable,--to the effect, that I had received a severe reprimand from
you and Viret, on the ground that, having been placed here by you in
your room, and by way of deputy, I abused my precarious authority.
You will now, however, come at a much more opportune time than you
would have done before. You would hear everything that cannot be
committed to writing. You might apply your hand to wounds that are
not yet well healed. We might consult together about the remedying
of occult diseases. You will therefore see whether you will have any
leisure. I have commenced work upon the Fathers of Trent;[165] but
the beginnings proceed slowly. The reason is, I have not an hour
that is free from incessant interruptions. Adieu, most sound-hearted
brother, and matchless friend; salute respectfully fellow-ministers
and your family in my name. May the Lord be always present with you,
direct you, and bless your labours. Amen. --Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._--Opera, vol. ix. p. 240.]

  [162] "M. Calvin has represented that letters have been written to
  him, as well from Bourgoyne as from Lyons, to the effect that the
  children of Geneva were willing to give five hundred crowns to have
  him put to death; he does not know who these are."--_Registers of
  the Consistory_, 1st September 1547.

  [163] Charged with an important mission to the court of King Henry
  II., Perrin, on his return, was subjected to the accusation of
  treason in the carrying out of his commission. The King of France
  had said that he would give two millions to be master of Geneva.
  Perrin was accused of having replied, that two hundred horse would
  be sufficient to conquer the city.--_Hist. de la Suisse_, vol. xi.
  p. 361. It could not however be proved, that he had contracted
  secret engagements with France. He was nevertheless imprisoned,
  afterwards released at the request of the Seigneury of Berne, and
  stripped of his offices.--_Registers of Council_, September and
  November 1548.

  [164] Idelette de Bure is known to have espoused in her first
  nuptials an Anabaptist, Jean Storder. According to the doctrines
  of that sect, which denied the authority of the civil power, the
  marriage to be legitimate had no need of the sanction of the
  magistrate.

  [165] Allusion to the work which Calvin was at that time preparing
  against the Council of Trent, and which appeared at the end of the
  year.--See the Letter to Farel of the 28th December 1547.



CCV.--TO VIRET.

     Mention of a letter from M. de Falais--Emmanuel Tremelli--a book
     by Viret--journey of Budé and Nicolas des Gallars to Paris.


  GENEVA, _29th August 1547_.

Before bringing to a conclusion the matter of Beat, it seems proper
to wait the return of Textor, who I know will be here in a short
time, unless some new obstacle intervene. For he had been compelled
to remove from Macon, when Claude the dyer lately returned from
that quarter. The letter from Bâle contained absolutely nothing of
interest to you or me. There was but one letter of Falais to me, in
which he mentioned the birth of a daughter,[166] of whose death he
spoke in a second letter to Maldonado. He had besides sent a copy
of the letter of recommendation which the Landgrave had obtained
from the Emperor; but I had read a translation of it by Pagnet
fifteen days before. I send it to you in case you should not have
seen it. I had forgot the epistle of Valeran, in which that wretch
so unblushingly insults a perfect nobleman, that I am ashamed to
read it. Budé strongly solicited me to exert myself to bring
Emmanuel[167] hither, if it could be accomplished on any ground. His
services could be of no avail to us, unless in the professorship of
Hebrew; and this office is filled by Imbert. I wish you would excuse
me to him, if you have no objection, that he may at least understand
that I am not guilty of neglect. Girard has not yet brought the
preface, although I reminded him that he should do so to-day. Send
the book on the Church and Sacraments.[168] I would read it with
pleasure, even although you did not impose that task upon me. Only I
request your permission to consult my own convenience; for I never
had less leisure than at present. The long nights, however, will
presently afford me somewhat more. Des Gallars has left for Paris,
along with Budé, as he could not otherwise satisfy his mother; and
he could not have had a better opportunity than now, in the absence
of his father-in-law. Besides, he has it in view to bring his
sister along with him; a modest girl, I hear, and who is harshly
treated by her step-father. I wished you to know that. Adieu, most
sound-hearted brother and friend, with your wife and brothers, all
of whom you will salute in our name. May Christ be ever present with
you.

  [166] See the letter to M. de Falais of the 16th August, p. 132.

  [167] Emmanuel Tremelli, a learned Hebraist of Ferrara, disciple of
  Peter Martyr, at that time in retirement at Strasbourg.

  [168] The book,--_De la Vertu et Usage du Saint Ministère et des
  Sacremens_, Genève, 1548. Senebier, _Hist. Litt._, vol. i. p. 156,
  _Art._ Viret.

       *       *       *       *       *

But I had forgot about Vernon. Sulzer obtained from the Senate
a supplement for him, so long as he should be sick, to meet the
unusual expenditure; and also half stipend for Maigret.[169] Lest
that arrangement should displease me, Sulzer charged him to return
to terms of friendship with me. After asking me to come to him, he
made a long enough petition for forgiveness. I replied as I was
disposed, and as I was bound to do. The result was that he promised
amendment, and I fraternal affection, if he changed his course of
life for the better.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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

  [169] The minister Antoine Maigret, who was shortly afterwards
  deposed from his charge.



CCVI.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Dedication of the _Apology_--mention of M. de Montmor--Sickness
     of Maldonado.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 10th of September 1547_.

MONSEIGNEUR,--By your last, I perceive, that I have not yet
satisfied you concerning the _Apology_. Although the three points
which you have noted need not retard the publication, the excuse may
be made in three sentences; because should we enter somewhat further
on explanation, we must touch upon rather ticklish matters, which it
would be better to let sleep. I do not know to whom it would be well
to address it at present, considering the temper of the times. She
has already played a principal part: I cannot think of any of the
other persons who would be suitable. To dedicate it to the noblesse
of the Netherlands, would be a hateful proceeding. In Germany, what
states would you choose? I would therefore prefer that no change be
made in the beginning. Touching the conclusion, although there is
plenty of material, and that very pertinent, that might be added,
even as it stands it is not incomplete. Hereafter, should occasion
call for it, you will consider whether you should add thereto, or
make some other distinct publication. However, I refer the whole to
your discretion, and merely express to you my opinion.

Concerning the party you inquire about, I fear that you suppose I
build marriages in the air very much at random. But why so? for
indeed I believe that I have some foundation of reason and sound
confidence. Eight months ago, the son of M. de Montmor, with whom
I was brought up in my childhood,[170] informed me that he would
desire above all else to retire hither, and he continues of that
mind; for it is not merely on one occasion that he has so written.
He is a young man; at least he is of the age of thirty-four years,
good-natured, very gentle, and docile. Though he has drunk deep
of youthful follies in earlier life, now that God has given him a
knowledge of himself, I believe he will be quite to your mind. I
have made diligent inquiry of Nicolas Loser, and Nicolas Picot his
son-in-law, who have spoken to him, whether there was any taint of
disease about him, such as young men acquire in their dissolute
courses. They have replied to me in the negative. My desire has
thereupon led me to build an expectation. Should he come, as I
expect, I would send him at once to yourself; and then you can
consider whether he would be a suitable person. If he does not come
within a mouth, I know not whether I ought to expect him. But I
think he will come, to communicate to me, and forthwith return to
expedite his departure.

  [170] We read in the Life of Calvin by Theodore Beza, "From his
  youth he was all the better, and liberally brought up,--at the
  expense of his father, however--in the society of the children of
  the house of Montmor, whom he also accompanied as the companion
  of their studies at Paris." It is to one of the members of that
  noble family, Claude de Hangest, Abbot of Saint Eley, that Calvin
  dedicated, in 1532, his Commentary on Seneca's Treatise _De
  Clementia_.

We have been like to lose the good Maldonado, for he has been at the
point of death: and the fever even now confines him to bed, but not
with imminent danger, so far as we can discern, by the favour of
God. I have prepared some verjuice, enough for a year's provision,
which awaits you, if perchance you come. It is the produce which you
have got from your garden for the bygone year.

In conclusion, Monsieur, having humbly commended me to your kind
favour, and that of Madame, I pray our good Lord to have both of
you in his holy protection, to lead and direct you, to send you
whatsoever he perceives to be needful for you.

  Your servant and humble brother,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The title would appear to me to read well thus: _Excuse composed by
M. Jacques de Bourgoigne, &c., to clear himself towards his Imperial
Majesty from the calumnies laid upon him on account of his faith,
whereof he makes confession._ For the word _Apology_ is not used in
French.



CCVII.--TO HENRY BULLINGER.

     Comments by Calvin on a work by Bullinger--state of Germany and
     Italy--policy of the Cantons.


  [GENEVA, _19th September 1547_.]

It is now six months since I returned your book, with annotations,
such as you had requested me to make.[171] I am surprised that I
have received no reply from you since that time. When I was in your
quarter, you reminded me that there was to be frequent interchange
of letters between us. In the meantime, I have heard of some of your
townsmen having at different times passed through this place; I have
had no one going to you, so far as I remember. Should an opportunity
of writing be at any time afforded you, I earnestly request you will
not allow it to pass without availing yourself of it.

  [171] Bullinger had submitted his book on the Sacraments to Calvin,
  (_Absoluta de Christi et ejus Ecclesiæ Sacramentis Tractatio_,)
  in which he departed slightly from the doctrine of Zwingle, with
  the view of approximating to that of the French Reformer. Still,
  however, the mystery of the spiritual presence of Christ, under
  external and material symbols, was not expressed in it with
  sufficient clearness. Calvin had fully criticised this book in a
  letter, or rather in an extended memoir, the original of which is
  preserved at Zurich, under the title, _Censura Libri Bullingeri
  de Sacramentis_, Geneva, 27th February 1547. This memoir, written
  with a brotherly freedom, concludes with these words:--"You thus
  have what in your book I desire to see corrected, that it may meet
  with absolute approval. I make no note of the parts that merit
  commendation. I have discharged the office of a friend, by complying
  with your wishes, and freely admonishing you; it now remains for
  you to take my liberty in good part. This I am confident you will
  do."--_Library of Zurich. Coll. Hottinger_, M. F. 80, p. 338.

I am compelled to hear more about the disaster of Germany than I
could wish; and yet nothing is said of the condition of Constance,
which remains deeply fixed in my mind. There was great trepidation
at Strasbourg when it was supposed that the Emperor would winter
there. Moreover, even to this day, they assert that the gates
will not be opened to him, if they receive support from any other
quarter. I do not know what the Helvetic cities may think. For a
short time, indeed, all rumours of a war to be waged against them
have ceased, on account of the Italian commotions. But what if
all these cities, struck with terror of him, do not venture upon
any movement? He already occupies Placentia and Parma,--Peter
Farnese[172] having been put to death as some suppose, or at least,
quite prostrated; and so great a success may possibly be the means
of bringing Italy into a state of peaceful subjugation in the course
of this year. Were he to enter Strasbourg, he would, you perceive,
occupy an encampment whence he could invade us. Would there then be
time, my Bullinger, for you to deliberate? For by keeping silence,
do you not, as it were, present your throat to be cut? On this
point, however, I have no good reason for making an appeal to you,
for I know that your fellow-citizens will be so wise as to desire
to apply a remedy. The neighbours [Bernese] are manifestly acting
the part of fools, in withstanding the adoption of any measures for
curbing this wild beast.[173] Nevertheless, as they are of their own
accord bent on destruction, may the Lord direct his own elect by the
spirit of wisdom, to make a seasonable stand against the dangers.
There are many things which ought to deter you from the French
alliance. But just as, on the one hand, it is by no means expedient
that you should be wholly bound up with him [the French king], so,
on the other, I do not see that you are to shun all connection with
him.

  [172] Peter Farnese, son of Pope Paul III., had in truth been
  recently assassinated at Placentia, and that city had opened
  its gates to Charles V. But Parma remained under the power of
  the Pope, who in vain sued for justice from the Emperor on
  account of the murder of Farnese, and the dispossession of his
  children.--Robertson, _History of Charles V._, B. ix.

  [173] The Catholic cantons having engaged to take no step that
  should have the effect of connecting them with the Emperor, the
  Reformed cantons, with Berne at their head, bound themselves to the
  strictest neutrality, and informed the German princes, that they
  could give them no aid without throwing the half of the confederate
  states into the hands of their enemy.--_Hist. de la Suisse._ Tom.
  xi. p. 291.

As to the rest, the boy who has delivered my letter to you, is the
son of a senator with whom I am on terms of the greatest intimacy.
He has, in virtue of our friendship, requested me to give his son
a letter of introduction to you. He lives with your treasurer, as
far as I understand. But it is his father's design that he should
prosecute the study of letters, of which he has acquired the
rudiments. He is of a teachable disposition and fond of study. I
therefore beg of you to recommend him to the masters of your school,
in your own as well as my name, not simply in the ordinary fashion,
that greater attention may be paid to him than if he were unknown.
This service will be highly gratifying to me.

Adieu, illustrious sir, and highly revered friend in the Lord, along
with your fellow-ministers and brethren, all of whom you will salute
in my name and in that of my brethren. May the Lord be continually
present with you, and bless your labours, I also wish well to your
wife and children.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Archives of Zurich. Gallicana Scripta._ p. 4.]



CCVIII.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Return of Nicolas Des Gallars--stay of Farel and Viret at Geneva.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 29th of September 1547_.

MONSEIGNEUR,--Since my last letter nothing new has occurred, except
that our brother Des Gallars has returned, and has also brought with
him the present bearer for your service, seeing that M. Budé did
not find the person ready of whom he had spoken to you. I think and
feel assured, that this man will quite suit you; he is so loyal and
serviceable, and knows well what is good breeding, so as to demean
himself becomingly. I have advised that he should come hither along
with you as soon as possible, and chiefly because I do not know
whether you have resolved to undertake the journey. I have had no
tidings of the individual about whom I wrote to you,[174] only I
have heard that some disturbance had broken out at Noyon, which may
possibly have delayed him, because he was to have been accompanied
by a steward of his own, who must have been detained along with the
others.

  [174] M. de Montmor. See note, p. 141.

Master William Farel and Master Peter Viret have been here for a
week: your presence alone was wanting to complete the festival.
Everything goes on as usual. May God of his grace correct whatever
is defective, and increase whatever little good there may be. The
good Maldonado cannot raise himself up; so that there is no hope of
his being of service to you for the present. But when you have work
for my brother to do, he will make up for the former failure.

Monsieur, having presented our affectionate remembrances, all, as
well to yourself as to Madame, I pray our good Lord to have you
always in his holy keeping, to govern you by his Holy Spirit, to
bless and to help you in every way.

  Your humble brother and servant,
  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the above remembrances, Master William, Master Peter, my wife,
all the friends are included, more than a dozen. I pray also to our
Lord, that he may please to rule your whole household, to which I
desire to be heartily commended.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CCIX.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Re-assuring intelligence on the state of Geneva--restoration of
     Maldonado.


  _The 26th of October_ [1547.]

MONSEIGNEUR,--In turning over my papers the other day for another
purpose, I found a few words of a preface[175] which I had written
on the return of Master Peter Viret. I now send it you, not so much
in order that it may be made use of, as to let you know that I had
carefully attended to what you had requested of me, although from
forgetfulness it had been left there.

  [175] For _The Apology_ of M. de Falais.

I have no doubt but that many reports are flying about at present
concerning the affairs of this town. Whatever you may hear of them,
let it not prevent your sleeping quite at your ease; for there is
a vast number of people who take a pleasure in lying, not merely
among our neighbours, but also of those within the town.

The good Maldonado is raised up again by the favour of God, but not
without great difficulty.

Monsieur, having humbly commended me to your good grace and that of
Madame, I pray our good Lord to have you always in his holy keeping.
I look for tidings of you about the end of this week.

  Your humble brother and servant,
  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CCX.--TO FAREL.

     Sad state of the Republic--discouragement of the Reformer.


  GENEVA, _14th December 1547_.

I am not surprised, and I am thankful that you feel impatient
because so few letters from me reach you at this time; for I see
from this that we are the objects of solicitude on your part. You
are, moreover, daily hearing many reports, some of which may cause
you bitter sorrow, and others inspire you with various fears on
our account. The rumours that are spread abroad are almost all
groundless; but we are oppressed by intestine evils that are so
little public as hardly to be known, unless to a few in the city.
The wild beast that lately, by the treachery of his keepers, escaped
from his den, breathes nothing but threats.[176] Macrin being cast
out, there is nothing they do not promise themselves, because they
are confident that matters are now entirely in their own hands.
For they count upon this [ejection] as constituting the proof
of oppressed liberty. Affairs are certainly in such a state of
confusion that I despair of being able longer to retain this church,
at least by my own endeavours. May the Lord hear your incessant
prayers in our behalf. [My] brother will give you a better account
of all the circumstances [than I can do by letter.]

  [176] According to the testimony of the Registers of Council, Amy
  Perrin had been restored to liberty, on bail, at the instance
  of the Seigneury of Berne and his family, and on condition of
  begging the forgiveness of God and men, and paying the expenses of
  justice.--_Register_, 23d November 1547. Had this legal liberation
  been preceded by the escape of the prisoner? We are not aware.

Adieu, most upright brother. Salute respectfully all the
brethren.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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



CCXI.--TO VIRET.[177]

  [177] The scene of tumult and sedition described in this letter left
  so lively an impression on the mind of Calvin, that he recalled it
  seventeen years afterwards, on his deathbed, in his farewell to the
  ministers of Geneva, subjoining these memorable words:--"Although I
  am nothing, yet I know that I prevented three thousand disturbances
  from taking place in Geneva; but take courage, you will become
  strong, for God will make use of that city, and will maintain it;
  and I assure you he will keep it."--_Collection de M. Tronchin, à
  Genève. Adieux de Calvin, recueillis par Pinaut._

The Registers of Council are silent on this scene, the date of
which has been given, by a frequently repeated mistake, as the 17th
September; but the circumstances tally with the 13th December 1547.

     Rising at the Hôtel de Ville--heroic bearing of Calvin--trust in
     God alone.


  [GENEVA,] _14th December 1547_.

[The enemy] are so blinded that they pay no regard to propriety.
Yesterday not a little confirmed a suspicion previously entertained
by us, that they were shamelessly striving to excite some commotion.
The _Two Hundred_ had been summoned. I had publicly announced to
my colleagues that I would go to the senate-house. We were there
a little, indeed, before the hour of meeting. As many people were
still walking about in the public street, we went out by the gate
that is contiguous to the senate-house. Numerous confused shouts
were heard from that quarter. These, meanwhile, increased to such a
degree as to afford a sure sign of an insurrection. I immediately
ran up to the place. The appearance of matters was terrible. I cast
myself into the thickest of the crowds, to the amazement of almost
every one. The whole people, however, made a rush towards me; they
seized and dragged me hither and thither, lest I should suffer any
injury. I called God and men to witness that I had come for the
purpose of presenting my body to their swords. I exhorted them, if
they designed to shed blood, to begin with me. The worthless, but
especially the respectable portion of the crowd, at once greatly
relaxed in their fervour. I was at length dragged through the midst
to the Senate. There fresh fights arose, into the midst of which
I threw myself. All are of opinion that a great and disgraceful
carnage was prevented from taking place by my interposition. My
colleagues, meanwhile, were mixed up with the crowd. I succeeded
in getting them all to sit down quietly. They say that all were
exceedingly affected by a long and vehement speech, suitable to the
occasion, which I delivered. The exceptions were at least few, and
even they, not less than the respectable part of the people, praised
my conduct in the circumstances.

God, indeed, protects myself and colleagues to the extent of the
privilege implied in the declaration of even the most abandoned,
that they abhor the least injury done to us not less than they
detest parricide. Their wickedness has, however, reached such a
pitch, that I hardly hope to be able any longer to retain any
kind of position for the Church, especially under my ministry. My
influence is gone, believe me, unless God stretch forth his hand.

I can make no certain reply regarding the daughter of our neighbour,
because having once already found the father difficult to manage in
this matter, I do not venture to raise any expectation. Nothing,
however, would be more expedient, in my judgment, than for the man
himself to come hither; for the father will strenuously demand that
at the very first. Nevertheless, if you so order it, we shall make
every endeavour even in his absence. I have not yet spoken to the
brother of Du-Plessis. About their quarrel, more at another time.

Adieu, brother and most sincere friend. Salute your colleague and
all the brethren. My wife and I wish yours every greeting. May the
Lord be perpetually present with you.--Amen.

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



CCXII.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Printing of _The Apology_--troubles at Geneva.


  _The 19th December 1547._

MONSEIGNEUR,--I shall not at present write a very long letter to
you because I was not informed that the messenger would go away so
soon. He is an engraver, who had left about two hours before I could
speak to our printer. Seeing, therefore that your armorial bearings
would not have been very well suited to the form of the book, I
immediately sent after him, and have had them done in lead, as you
will see by the proof. I feel quite confident that you will not be
sorry that a crown was expended to make the thing quite complete.
The printing of the book is not yet begun, because it has been
necessary to recast some letters of the fount, which is the same
with which the supplication was printed, very readable and handsome.
We shall begin it this week, if the Lord will; but we shall not
touch the Latin at all, until we hear from yourself. As I have no
spare time at present, I shall put off all other matters, and send
you an answer in regard to them by Robert, my wife's cousin.

We are somewhat annoyed here by those who ought to bring us peace.
I hope, however, that good shall result from it, and that shortly,
to the rejoicing of those who desire that God may be honoured. But
while our brethren are persecuted by open enemies, we ourselves
must needs be troubled by those of our own household. There is one
mercy, however, that all is for our profit, provided that we are so
well advised as thus to take it. As I have formerly told you, do not
be disturbed by anything that is said, setting down the whole as
falsehood, until you hear from us how matters go.

Monsieur, having humbly commended me to your kind favour, and to
that of Madame, and the whole of your worthy family, I beseech our
good Lord to have you in his keeping, to guide you by his Spirit,
to send you what to him may seem meet as best for you.

  Your servant and humble brother,
  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have sent by a trusty man the letter of M. de Varan.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CCXIII.--TO VIRET.[178]

  [178] Disarmed for a moment by the heroic attitude of Calvin in
  the rising of the 13th December, the parties that divided Geneva
  were not slow to renew their lamentable strife. The voice of the
  Reformer was disregarded, and he wrote with deep sadness on the
  23d December,--"Our affairs are in no better condition. I do not
  cease to press upon them, but I cause them to make little or no
  advancement. I am now returning from the Senate; I said a great
  deal, but it is like telling a story to the deaf. May the Lord
  restore them to their right mind."--Calvin to Viret, MSS. of Geneva,
  Vol. 106.

     Invitation to come to Geneva.


  GENEVA, _26th December 1547_.

Amid the great swellings of our commotions, I ought not,
nevertheless, to have gone so far as to ask you to come hither,
because I knew that you were detained in your own locality by
necessary occupations; and another obstacle stood in the way of it,
as it was possible some rumour of your coming might thereupon reach
the Arctei. Now, as I hope you have more leisure, you would do a
valuable service were you to make yourself ready for the journey
on the earliest possible day. I have not yet made up my mind as to
what I am finally to do, beyond this, that I can no longer tolerate
the manners of this people, even although they should bear with
mine: and withal I do not understand why they object to my severity.
I should not, however, take it so ill, did I give them offence
without even any fault on my part, were I not becomingly impressed
with a sense of their wretchedness. For how little of life remains
to me, that I should be solicitous about myself? But I am foolish
in handling these matters in a letter, when I am confident you
will be here presently. Adieu, brother, and dearest friend. May
the Lord Jesus protect you along with your wife and whole family.
You will salute in my name, and in that of the brethren, your
fellow-ministers.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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



CCXIV.--TO FAREL.

     Publication of _The Antidote_--statement regarding the condition
     of Geneva.


  GENEVA, _28th December 1547_.

My _Antidote_[179] now begins to please me, since it is so greatly
approved of by you, for before, I was not satisfied with it. But
you who know my daily labours, and still more the contests with
which I am not so much occupied as quite wasted, are perhaps ready
to excuse me when there is anything not quite perfect. I certainly
marvel that any composition worthy of perusal can emanate from me.
With regard to your exhortation, that my colleagues and I should
persist with unbroken resolution, I may say that neither dangers nor
troubles weaken my determination. But as I am sometimes destitute
of counsel in matters where confusion so greatly prevails, I desire
that God would grant me my discharge,--a foolish wish you will say;
I admit that it is so; but what did Moses, that illustrious example
of patience? Does he not complain of too heavy a burden being laid
on his shoulders? I also am, in truth, simply tempted by these
thoughts; I do not, however, give way to them. We have inspired some
fear in our men, and nevertheless there is as yet no appearance of
amendment. Such is their shamelessness, that they devour with open
and regardless ears all our clamours; finally, the diseases of many
are incurable. For thus far we have essayed almost all methods with
no success. The last act remains, at which I wish you to be present.
You will, I suppose, have learned from my letter to Viret, how God
stilled the tragical tumult; for I had given him an injunction to
that effect.[180] The _Two Hundred_ ordered us, and the other ten
peace makers, to make away with all dissensions.[181] I wished
that the initiative should be taken by me. Our Cæsar yesterday
denied that he had any quarrel with me; I immediately pressed
out the matter from the sore. In a grave and calm speech, I made
certain sharp strictures, but such as were calculated to wound very
slightly. Although he promised reformation hand in hand, I am afraid
that I have preached but to the deaf. I wish you would again gladden
me by your arrival. I am aware that some people have complained to
Viret of my immoderate severity. I know not what his belief is. I
scented out the fact, however, that he was afraid lest I should too
greatly indulge my ardour. I have requested him to come hither.
One in Terence says: If you were here, you would feel differently.
I might say the same. If you were in my place, I know not what
you would do. But amid a multitude of sorrows, this likewise must
be patiently borne. I do not say these things in reply to you or
Viret, but to others who idly censure us. I seem, moreover, to see
your _sympathy_ for me, so far am I from thinking that you have any
hostility towards me. Adieu, best and most upright brother, along
with your whole family, whom you will affectionately salute in my
name and in that of my wife, as well as all fellow-ministers, and
all the godly.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 49.]

  [179] Calvin had just published his celebrated treatise of the
  _Antidote_, (_Acta Synodi Tridentinæ cum Antidoto_, 1547,) which
  he translated into French the year following, with changes fitted
  to bring it within the comprehension of the people.--_Opuscules_,
  p. 881. In this work the Reformer passes in review the decrees of
  the Council of Trent, and refutes them with a merciless logic and a
  marvellous eloquence. The Catholic theologian Cochlæus replied to
  him by personal attacks, which Des Gallars and Beza undertook to
  refute.

  [180] See Letter, p. 148.

  [181] In testimony of regard for Calvin, the Council adopted the
  following decree: "Resolved to present to Calvin all the furniture
  that is in his house belonging to the city, 29th December 1547." The
  preceding year he had been offered ten crowns as a present, but he
  refused them, praying the Council to distribute them among the other
  ministers who were poor compared with him, "and even to diminish his
  stipend in order to benefit them."



CCXV.--TO THE FAMILY OF BUDÉ.[182]

  [182] This family had not yet quitted France. See the letters, pp.
  90, 119. They received this new letter of Calvin, on the occasion of
  the death of one of its members, perhaps Mathieu de Budé, who had
  corresponded with the Reformer in 1546, and of whom, subsequent to
  this period, all trace is lost. There exists (MSS. of the Library of
  Geneva, vol. 109) a letter of Mathieu de Budé to Calvin, relative to
  the assassination of John Diaz at Neubourg. We remark the following
  passage:--"I have received your letter ... which was most welcome to
  me, as well because I recognize in it your disposition of goodwill
  and love, as on account of the ordinary consolation which I have
  received from it...."--26th April 1546. The author of that letter is
  not mentioned by M. Galiffe.--_Notices Généalogiques_, tom. iii. p.
  83. He had died, no doubt, before the establishment of his family at
  Geneva.

     Consolations on occasion of the Death of one of its Members.


  [1547.[183]]

  [183] Dated, on the back of the letter, in a foreign hand.

MESSIEURS AND WELL-BELOVED BRETHREN,--Although the present is
addressed particularly to two of you,[184] I nevertheless write
in such wise, that if you think fit it may serve for the whole
household. If the account which I have heard of the death of your
good brother and mine have been the occasion of joy to me, as,
indeed, there was good reason for it, you who have known better the
whole matter, have, assuredly, far more ample matter for rejoicing,
not for that you have been deprived of so excellent a companion, on
which account both you and I have good ground for regret--all the
more that the number of those who in the present day walk constantly
in the fear of God is so small and rare, but because of the singular
grace which God had conferred upon him, of perseverance in the
fear of his name, the faith and patience which he has manifested,
and other tokens of true Christianity. For all that is as a mirror
wherein we may contemplate the strength wherewith our kind heavenly
Father assists his children, and most of all, out of their greatest
difficulties. Then, also, we may conclude that his death was indeed
happy and blessed, in the face of him and of all his angels. At
the same time, you must reflect that it is a fine example for
you, lest it be converted into a testimony against you, to make
you inexcusable before God, the great Judge. For inasmuch as he,
dying as a Christian, has shewn you how you ought to live, it is
certain that God would not have such a testimony to be useless.
Know, then, that the death of your brother is as God's trumpet,
whereby he would call upon you to serve him alone, and this far more
loudly than if your brother had lived ten years longer to exhort
you: while, besides, the pious exhortations which he addressed to
you are ever sounding in your ears, that his zeal may glow in your
hearts, that his earnest and instant prayers may quicken you, to
draw you towards Him to whom he has been gathered and restored as
one of his own. I do not doubt that his expressed condemnation of
the abuses and superstitions which exist in Christendom, may have
given occasion of murmuring to many, and that it may have somewhat
aroused the rage of the adversaries of the Gospel against the whole
family; but it is not fitting that the plots and threatenings of
the wicked should have more power to discourage our hearts than so
effectual a call from God to uphold us. In short, you must take
heed that the blessing become not an occasion of evil to you;
wherefore, if hitherto ye have begun well, which, indeed, ought to
prove a help to you in going forward, do not slacken, but rather
redouble your ardour, so as to run with greater diligence. I am not
ignorant of the dangers which environ you, and am not so devoid of
fellow-feeling, as not to have that sympathy which I ought. But you
are aware, that will not excuse such a degree of timidity as there
is among those who mingle in the world, disguising themselves in
every way; and so much the more that there are few who are quite
exempt from it, our duty is to urge and provoke one another forward;
and inasmuch as every one ought to do his utmost to walk according
to the measure of knowledge vouchsafed to him, you should examine
the more narrowly whereunto ye have attained. For you cannot pretend
the common excuse wherewith the most part cover themselves, as with
some moistened rag of a palliative, namely, that God has not yet
bestowed so much grace upon them. For besides that God has opened
your eyes to make you understand with what zeal you ought to glorify
him before men, above all, the profession you have made obliges
you to it as well. Nought remains, therefore, except that you
disencumber yourself of worldly anxieties, to seek in good earnest
the everlasting kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. And if it be not
possible to confess him as your Saviour where you are, you should
far rather prefer to be removed for a little while from the country
of your birth, than to be for ever banished from that immortal
inheritance to which we are called. Whether willingly or no, we
must needs be strangers in this world; shall we then refuse even to
stir from the nest? Happy, indeed, are they who declare, not merely
by empty profession, but effectually, that they are so, and rather
than decline from the faith, are quite ready at once to quit their
home, and, in order to dwell in union with Jesus Christ, make no
difficulty about parting with their earthly comforts. These are hard
sayings to those who have not tasted the worth of Christ; but to you
who have felt his power, all else ought, after the example of Saint
Paul, to be counted but as filth and dung. Indeed, it is not enough
that you yourselves keep steadfast, but if there be others who are
weaker, you ought to strengthen them by your admonitions, and to
look well to it that there be no falling away.

  [184] Doubtless these were John de Budé, Sieur de Vérace, and Louis,
  Sieur de la Motte, his brother.

I myself am far from the dealings of the present time; whether that
will be of long continuance I know not. But I speak of a thing known
and experimentally ascertained. It is a great shame that with such
a measure of knowledge as God has vouchsafed us, there is so little
heart, compared with the ardour of the martyrs who have gone before
us, who were ready to go to death so soon as God had enlightened
them with a far less amount of understanding. We learn somehow to
make shift while we ought rather to be learning to live; but there
are others in worse plight than we; for, to speak the truth, there
are many who dare not venture to breathe a word, but are content
to dream apart, and to feed upon their fancies, instead of rather
seeking, as they ought, to be continually exercised, as well by
reading together as by conference and godly conversation, the more
to confirm and enkindle holy zeal. I have no reason to distrust
you; but you will pardon my anxiety, which proceeds from an upright
love, if I am moved to warn you in the name of God, not to let such
a blessing be lost, as that which God has sent to your family; and
that you may not lessen it, take heed to grow in grace; that you may
not draw back, determine to go forward; that you may not come short,
resolve to go on unto perfection.

Wherefore, Messieurs and beloved brethren, after hearty
commendations to all of you who desire the kingdom of our Lord Jesus
Christ, and serve God with a good conscience, I beseech this kind
Father to have you in his protection, and to make you feel it, so
as you may lay hold upon him with such boldness as should belong to
you, that he would guide you by his Spirit in the obedience of his
will, and glorify himself in you, even unto the end.

  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.

  [_Fr. Copy, Library of Geneva._ Vol. 168.]



CCXVI.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Cost of printing _The Apology_--despatch of several copies.


  _The 24th of January 1548._

MONSEIGNEUR,--Until the return of Sire Nicolas, I shall not trouble
you with long letters, for I expect more ample news by him. Rest
assured, that if I may follow my inclination, please God I shall not
fail to keep my promise.[185] But seeing that I am not a free man,
I must needs abide the course of events. We have, God be thanked,
another sort of tranquillity than during the time of billeting. But
there is never any season throughout the year in which I have not my
work cut out for me, and more than I could well get through, even
although I were a tolerable tailor.

  [185] He refers to the promise of a visit to M. de Falais. Calvin
  went in fact to Bâle the 2d of February following. We read under
  that date, in the Council Registers of the state of Geneva:--"Calvin
  went to Bâle. The Council offers him things requisite for the
  voyage. 26th February,--Calvin on his return from Bâle."

That which detains me at this time would be explained if I could
only come to you. And, besides, were I to be prevented by some
unlooked for business, Master Peter Viret, who is ready to supply my
place, will explain it to you. But before speaking of a substitute,
we shall see what the Lord will allow.

Concerning the books,[186] at the price which I have agreed upon
with the printer, together with what has been paid to the engraver
of the armorial bearings, they will cost you about a crown the
hundred. I gave three florins of Savoy, that is to say, testons, to
the engraver for his trouble; besides which, he got his victuals.
That, with about a teston which it cost him in returning, is over
and above the amount for printing. There have been eight hundred
copies thrown off. I have allowed the printer to retain a hundred
for himself, deducting to that amount proportionally upon the
whole. By this means the object has been attained of spreading it
throughout France. I have sent away here and there about fifty
copies; among others, one to Madame de Ferrara,[187] which, however,
need not prevent you addressing another to her, along with a letter.
The seven hundred, all expenses included, amount to seven crowns. I
believe that René, diligence excepted, will have been faithful.

  [186] _The Apology_ of M. de Falais.

  [187] Renée of France, Duchess of Ferrara. See, in this collection,
  the letters of Calvin to that princess.

In conclusion, Monsieur, having commended me affectionately to your
kind favour and that of Madame, and having also presented to both
of you the recommendations of my wife, I beseech our good Lord to
have you always in his keeping, to guide you by his Spirit, and to
increase you in every grace.

  Your humble brother and servant,

  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

I desire particularly to be remembered to the excellent young ladies
whom I have not yet seen, and my wife the like.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CCXVII.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Particulars regarding his departure, and the purchase of a
     property near Geneva.


  _This last day but one of February 1548._

MONSEIGNEUR,--According to our agreement, the coming of Sire Nicolas
Loser will afford you a good opportunity for making the journey, if
your health admits of it.[188] He ought to go as far as Strasbourg;
but in order that you may not be delayed, I have somewhat hastened
his departure. To those who make inquiry of me, I reply, that
already you are wishing to be here; but that whether you shall come
or no, will be seen in due time.

  [188] In the journey which he had recently made to Bâle, Calvin had
  decided M. de Falais to come and fix himself definitively at Geneva.

Regarding the payment, which you have hinted to me, I believe
that you will be disposed to grant it. We shall speak about that,
however, when you are on the spot. The minister of the village[189]
is a good sort of a man. But it will be for yourself to decide when
you shall have arrived. Meantime we shall look about, here and
there, that you may choose what best pleases you. I shall take care
of the two receipts until your arrival.

  [189] Veigy, near Geneva. M. de Falais made there the purchase of a
  domain which he occupied during several years.

To conclude, Monsieur, having commended me humbly to your kind
favour, I beseech our good Lord to uphold you always in his keeping,
to lead you by his Spirit, and to aid you in all and throughout.
We pray you, my wife and myself, to present also our humble
commendations to Madame, not forgetting Mademoiselle de Brédan.

  Your servant, humble brother, and sincere friend,
  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

I thought, indeed, that Sire Nicolas Loser would have left, and
that he was to be my messenger, but this will not be for five or
six days yet; and to avoid delay I have thought it well to send the
present by M. Brevassis.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CCXVIII.--TO HENRY BULLINGER.[190]

  [190] See letter to Bullinger of 19th September 1547, p. 143. The
  observations of Calvin on the treatise on the _Sacraments_ being
  badly received, as it appears, by the minister of the Church of
  Zurich, had led, on the part of the latter, to a temporary coldness,
  of which Calvin complained in a letter, characterized alike by the
  noblest independence and the most Christian affection.

     Brotherly explanations regarding the difference on the subject
     of the Communion.


  GENEVA, _1st March 1548_.

I hardly know what prevented me from replying sooner to you, unless
it were that no trustworthy messenger presented himself who roused
me to diligence. But when I heard that the ambassador of your city
was here, I was unwilling to be guilty of allowing him to depart
without a letter from me. I pass over in silence the long reply in
which you seek to wash away all those points of difference about
which I had carefully admonished you. For of what avail is it for
us to enter on a controversy? I made a note of those points in your
book that did not satisfy myself, or that might prove unsatisfactory
to others, or such as I thought might not meet the approbation of
the pious and learned. I did that at your request. I discharged
the duty of a friend; if you think differently, you are at liberty
to do so, as far as I am concerned. It would certainly not be the
last of my wishes that there should be perfect harmony between us.
But in whatever way I may hold the firm persuasion of a greater
communication of Christ in the Sacraments than you express in words,
we will not, on that account, cease to hold the same Christ, and
to be one in him. Some day, perhaps, it will be given us to unite
in fuller harmony of opinion. I have always loved ingenuousness,
I take no delight in subtleties, and those who charge others with
obscurity, allow me the merit of perspicuity. Neither, accordingly,
can I be charged with guile, who never artfully affect anything
to gain the favour of men; and my method of instruction is too
simple to admit of any unfavourable suspicion, and too detailed
to offend on the ground of obscurity. Wherefore, if I do not give
uniform satisfaction, indulgence must be extended to me because I
study in good faith, and with perfect candour, openly to declare
what I have to say. It was on this account that lately, when at
Bâle, I felt surprise at your complaint, as a friend reported to me,
that I taught differently in my Commentaries from what I had held
out to you. I replied in one sentence, which was the truth, that
I used the same language at Zurich as at Geneva. I was, however,
disposed to attribute the whole statement, be it what it might, to
the mistake of my informant. At a time when it was dangerous for
me to declare in language what views I held, I did not turn aside
from the straight line by foregoing the free and firm announcement
of my opinions in every particular, even so far as to bend the most
rigid to some sort of moderation. Why then should I now, without
any necessity, change at once my general mode of procedure and my
convictions? If, however, I fail in persuading men of the truth of
this, I shall be content to have God as the witness of my confession.

Your ambassador will give you a fuller and more perfect account
of affairs in France than I can compress in a letter. I wish they
were of such a kind as it would give you pleasure to hear; but
there is nothing except sad news daily. Although he was ordered to
abstain from all the abominations of the Papacy, he could not avoid
observing a disgraceful profanation of the sacred ordinance of
baptism.

Adieu, illustrious sir, and highly to be revered brother in the
Lord. You will respectfully salute in my name Masters Pelliean,
Bibliander, Walter, and the other fellow-ministers and masters of
the school. May the Lord Jesus guide you by his own Spirit, bless
your pious labours, and preserve you safe.

All my colleagues also reverently salute you. To your wife and
family the best greeting.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Arch. of Zurich. Gallicana Scripta_, p. 8.]



CCXIX.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.

     Obstacles to his departure--delay of some months.


  _The 3d of April_ (1548.[191])

  [191] On the back, in the handwriting of M. de Falais:--Received the
  12th April 1548.

MONSEIGNEUR,--Your letter has arrived just in time to stop the
departure of my brother; for that was a settled matter, if I had not
been informed. But in my opinion the reasons which detain you where
you are, are not of such importance as you deem them. You see how
familiarly I write to you on this point, and I do not fear to do
so, being authorized by yourself. I had not thought that you would
need expressly to renounce your rights as a burgess,[192] although
I foresaw clearly that it would amount to a tacit renunciation when
you settled your domicile in another seigneury. Seeing that there
is an advantage in it, you are right to go thither, unless we could
effect some such arrangement as the following: that even were you to
be longer absent, they should allow you to remain upon the roll, on
condition of your providing a substitute who should discharge during
your absence your duties as a burgess; or even if there was no hope
of that, might you not present a new request, notwithstanding the
reply which they have given you, to beg of them, that in the event
of its suiting your convenience to remain here, or that after you
were come here, it might not suit you to return, they should be
satisfied with your renunciation by a procurator? But I would state
the two conditions thus: that notwithstanding the reply they have
made to you, inasmuch as you are uncertain when you shall have come
hither, whether you shall think fit to fix your residence here, you
would therefore beg of them, that on condition of your engaging,
as indeed you ought, to supply any deficiency that may arise owing
to your absence, it would please them still to retain you for some
time on the roll of burgesses--in fact, to grant an extension of
your leave. Or, at the least, fearing to be troublesome by your
importunity, that you pray them to accept a renunciation by letter,
on account of your bodily weakness, as they are aware that it is
not very easy for you to move from place to place. By so doing, you
will remove the suspicion they may have conceived, that you mean to
abandon them entirely. However it may turn out, I think they will
have good reason to be satisfied. In any case, I never expected that
the rights of a burgess would be long continued to you.

  [192] M. de Falais could not establish himself at Geneva, without
  losing the right of a burgess, which he had acquired at Bâle.

Touching the rumour which your clowns have spread abroad in order
to calumniate you, it scarcely astonishes me. I had quite laid my
account with it, that you would not get away without many of them
letting loose their tongues. And you must be prepared for that, as
well for the other year as for this one. You have this comfort,
however, that it all very soon goes off in smoke. I am still less
alarmed at the threat whispered in the ear, for it would need great
courage to venture on such a step; and I know not who would dare
to be the leader in an affair of so great difficulty and hazard.
In short, I can perceive no danger for you, according to our
arrangement of each day's journey. But seeing that you think it
better to put it off for some months, and that the advice of some
friends is to that purport, I have no mind to press it further, and
would rather agree to this delay, than by urging you to a contrary
course lead you to incur the risk of mischief or of annoyance.

I know not whether this summer will disclose the councils of those
who may set the world in confusion.[193] For my part, I do not think
so, unless some new accident turn up. However, I do not so much
place reliance upon my own conjectures, as I await the course of
events in submission to the will of God.

  [193] The Emperor, and the new king of France, Henry II. Faithful to
  the policy of Francis I., a persecutor of the Reformation in his own
  States, the latter was about to conclude a secret treaty with the
  Protestant princes of Germany.

Although your coming hither may be stayed for a season, it will
be of no consequence as regards the house, for I had concluded no
agreement about it. Only I had purchased a good cask of wine, such
as it would be difficult to get again. But I have got rid of it
without any difficulty, and even as a favour to the purchaser.
Therefore it will be for you to consider how matters go yonder,
and thereupon to decide. And do not annoy yourself lest any one
should be offended by your change of plan, for although all your
acquaintances desire much to see you here, still there is not one of
them who does not prefer your quiet and convenience.

If I could have found a suitable messenger, I would not have waited
so long before sending the complement of the _Apologies_. But I know
not by what means to do so, for up to this time, no opportunity
either of carrier or bearer has occurred. When I can find one, I
shall not fail to do so. About the Latin copies you have never
expressed to me your wish, as far as I know. Perhaps you would
rather defer doing so until your arrival. Let me know your mind
regarding this, if you please, in one word; if you would have them
printed, it shall be done.

To conclude, Monseigneur, having humbly commended me to your kind
favour, I beseech our good Lord to keep you in his protection, to
have such a care of you as that all your steps may be directed by
him, and to make you serviceable always more and more for his own
glory. My wife also presents her humble commendations, and both of
us desire to be remembered to Madame and to Mademoiselle de Brédan.

  Your humble brother and servant,
  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CCXX.--TO FAREL.[194]

  [194] While persecution decimated the Reformed Churches of France,
  and the proclamation of the _Interim_ dispersed those of Germany,
  the Swiss Churches were a prey to the most grievous dissensions, and
  appeared further removed than ever from that era of unity and peace
  which Calvin never ceased to invoke for them.

     Distressing condition of the Swiss churches.


  GENEVA, _30th April 1548_.

My grief prevents me from saying anything of the dreadful calamity
that hangs over so many churches. Michael will inform you of
what I wrote to Viret. The cause is of such a nature that no one
is to be reckoned among the servants of Christ who does not come
forward boldly in his defence. But there is need of counsel and
some moderation. Should Viret agree to it, I shall presently hasten
to your quarter, that we three may thence proceed together to
Zurich. As to the rest, Viret and I marvelled as to what decision by
arbitration you referred to; for neither of us has hitherto heard
anything of the matter. I, indeed, assert for certain, that no hint
of any kind was ever given to me. See, therefore, who has undertaken
this business. You will hear the other matters from the messengers.

Adieu, brother and most sincere friend, along with your family and
fellow-ministers, whom I desire respectfully to salute. May the Lord
preserve you all and govern you by his own Spirit.--Amen. Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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



CCXXI--TO FAREL AND VIRET.[195]

  [195] "Calvin informs the Council of certain disputes between
  the Seigneury and the ministers of Berne, which have gone so
  far that three of the ministers of said city have been deposed,
  besides Peter Viret of Lausanne; requests that leave may be given
  him to go to Berne to defend Viret, which was granted him; the
  Seigneury, besides, undertaking to defray the expenses of the
  journey."--_Registers of Council_, May 7, 1548.

     Disputes among the ministers of Berne--and Calvin's journey
     thither.


  GENEVA, _9th May 1548_.

After receiving your last letter, I had set out on my journey; but
meeting the father-in-law of my brother Coppet who told me that
you had left Berne three days before, I returned home for several
reasons, which, if it shall be deemed necessary, I will detail to
you when I see you. Make me now aware of what you intend to do; for
I will straightway execute whatever you shall demand, without the
slightest deliberation. I have not yet been able to understand the
result of your proceedings. Giron and Zerkinden requested greetings
to me. When Nicolas asked whether they had anything to say besides,
he got the answer that there was nothing good. I hence suspect
that the matter is worse than they were willing to express. Adieu,
brethren most dear to me. Both of you salute the brethren. May God
preserve you all, guide you by his own Spirit, and establish you
amid these stormy troubles.

       *       *       *       *       *

When you, Viret, have read Bucer's letter, you will give it to the
bearer of this that it may be carried to Farel. I have understood,
besides, that Duke Christopher of Wurtemberg, with his father, has
set out for the court of the Emperor. We thus see that all is in the
hand of one. Nevertheless the Lord will either close it, or wither
it, or cut it off, as seems good to him.

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



CCXXII.--TO VIRET.

     Communications regarding affairs at Berne.


  [GENEVA, _June 1548_.]

You will say to Farel that I had written to Bucer before his
letter reached me. I send you a copy of a letter to Sulzer. I have
resolved to write to Bullinger and Haller, should I be permitted
and have leisure. This is the reason why I do not return the letter
of Gualter. It is necessary that the threats of Ludovic form the
matter of judicial inquiry by the brethren. When he shall have been
convicted by them, I doubt not but that he will be proceeded against
according to law. I shall indicate in my next letter, what form of
process I think should be adopted. Adieu, dearest brother in the
Lord, and most sincere friend. I sincerely congratulate you on the
safe delivery of your wife, and the addition to your family.[196]
I wish that I could be present at the baptism. This desire I
assuredly cherish in common with yourself. But I shall be present
with you in spirit.

  [196] By his second wife, Sebastienne de la Harpe, Viret had
  three daughters, designated in his will as Marie, Marthe, and
  Jeanne.--(_MS. of the Arch. of Geneva._)

May the Lord continue to bless you in all things.--Amen.

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



CCXXIII.--TO VIRET.[197]

  [197] See letter of 9th May preceding. The relations between the
  Vaudois ministers and the Seigneury of Berne, became daily more
  complicated. A Synod assembled at Lausanne, having ventured formally
  to propound ten propositions contrary to the celebrated disputation
  of Berne, and to manifest an inclination in favour of ecclesiastical
  discipline, with the concurrence of two Bernese ministers, Beat
  Gerung and Simon Sulcer,--these two clergymen were arbitrarily
  deposed by the Seigneury, under the pretext of "the maintenance of
  peace and tranquillity in the Church."--Ruchat, tom. v. pp. 357, 358.

     Ecclesiastical tyranny of the Seigneurs of Berne--sojourn of
     Idelette de Bure at Lausanne.


  [GENEVA,] _15th June 1548_.

I took care to have a copy of the letter which I wrote to Bullinger
and Haller transcribed for you, in case its contents should be
reported differently from what you may have thought it proper they
should have been; for, as far as I am concerned, the letter itself
contains my opinion to the best of my judgment. If the reason must
be assigned, I not only look to what is becoming in honourable men,
but I further fear that we may suffer a heavy penalty if, by servile
dissimulation, we strengthen the tyrannical power which barbarous
men already openly usurp. We may serve Jodocus,[198] and other such
beasts, provided only they form no barrier to our serving Christ;
but when the truth of God is trodden down, woe to our cowardice
if we permit this to be done without protest. It should not even
be tolerated that an innocent man should suffer injury. At this
time, both numerous servants of Christ and his doctrine itself are
assailed. Is it not full time that all the godly, both collectively
and individually, should raise their heads in his cause? But,
nevertheless, that you may come to a free decision making no
account of my pre-judgment of the case, you are not only permitted,
so far as I am concerned, but I even wish you to give your opinion.
Should it seem proper to allow Farel a reading, I will take care
that another copy be sent to him, that I may receive back the one I
send to you.

  [198] Jodocus, minister of the Church of Berne.

It is truly a source of pain to me that my wife should have been so
great a burden to you; for she could not have been of much service
to your wife when confined, so far as I can divine, since she
herself, on account of the state of her health, stood in need of the
assiduous attentions of others. It is matter of comfort to me to be
persuaded that you would not bear it impatiently.

Adieu, brother and most sincere friend. May the Lord guide you, and
protect your whole family--Amen. Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. copy._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 111.]



CCXXIV.--TO HENRY BULLINGER.[199]

  [199] See the letters, pp. 143, 160. In a new message to Bullinger,
  Calvin strove to dissipate the still lingering prejudices
  entertained by the Zurich theologians against those of Geneva and of
  Strasbourg, regarding the Sacraments; and he proposed the basis of
  that union, long-desired, which was consummated the following year
  between Zurich and Geneva. The Church of Berne, now deeply imbued
  with Lutheran views, refused its adhesion.

     New explanations regarding the Supper--Violence of some of the
     Bernese ministers--Calvinism and Buceranism.


  GENEVA, _26th June 1548_.

Your letter at length reached me, eight days after I had arrived
at home. Reust was not himself the bearer of it; it was brought by
Roset. The former, I suppose, was less solicitous about the delivery
of it, as he had found a master without our assistance. We both,
however, courteously placed our services at his disposal. With
regard to your small treatise to which you refer in your letter, I
wish, my Bullinger, as we were lately in your quarter, it had not
been troublesome to you and your colleagues to have talked together
in a quiet way of the whole matter. There would assuredly have been
some advantage in this; for I had not come prepared for a stage
display, which is not less disagreeable to myself than it is to
you, to say nothing of Farel, whose disposition you are also aware
is utterly averse from ostentation. But we were anxious to discuss
with you in a familiar way, and with not the least desire to engage
in formal debate, those points with regard to which we are most
nearly at one. And this indeed were the best method of procedure
among brethren, and one we should have found profitable, unless I
am greatly deceived. For with regard to the Sacraments in general,
we neither bind up the grace of God with them, nor transfer to
them the work or power of the Holy Spirit, nor constitute them the
ground of the assurance of salvation. We expressly declare that it
is God alone, who acts by means of the Sacraments; and we maintain
that their whole efficacy is due to the Holy Spirit, and testify
that this action appears only in the elect. Nor do we teach that
the sacrament is of profit, otherwise than as it leads us by the
hand to Christ, that we may seek in him whatever blessings there
are. I do not in truth see what you can properly desire as wanting
in this doctrine, which teaches that salvation is to be sought from
Christ alone, makes God its sole author, and asserts that it is
accepted only through the secret working of the Spirit. We teach,
however, that the sacraments are instruments of the grace of God;
for, as they were instituted in view of a certain end, we refuse to
allow that they have no proper use. We therefore say, that what is
represented in them, is exhibited to the elect, lest it should be
supposed that God deludes the eyes by a fallacious representation.
Thus we say, that he who receives baptism with true faith, further
receives by it the pardon of his sins. But lest any one should
ascribe his salvation to baptism as the cause, we at the same time
subjoin the explanation, that the remission flows from the blood of
Christ, and that it is accordingly conferred by baptism only in so
far as this is a testimony of the cleansing which the Son of God by
his own blood shed on the cross procured for us, and which he offers
for your enjoyment by faith in his gospel, and brings to perfection
in our hearts by his Spirit. Our opinion regarding regeneration is
precisely similar to that about baptism. When the signs of the flesh
and blood of Christ are spread before us in the Supper, we say that
they are not spread before us in vain, but that the thing itself is
also manifested to us. Whence it follows, that we eat the body and
drink the blood of Christ. By so speaking, we neither make the sign
the thing, nor confound both in one, nor enclose the body of Christ
in the bread, nor, on the other hand, imagine it to be infinite,
nor dream of a carnal transfusion of Christ into us, nor lay down
any other fiction of that sort. You maintain that Christ, as to his
human nature, is in heaven; we also profess the same doctrine. The
word _heaven_ implies, in your view, distance of place; we also
readily adopt the opinion, that Christ is undoubtedly distant from
us by an interval of place. You deny that the body of Christ is
infinite, but hold that it is contained within its circumference;
we candidly give an unhesitating assent to that view, and raise a
public testimony in behalf of it. You refuse to allow the sign to
be confounded with the thing; we are sedulous in admonishing that
the one should be distinguished from the other. You strongly condemn
impanation; we subscribe to your decision. What then is the sum
of our doctrine? It is this, that when we discern here on earth
the bread and wine, our minds must be raised to heaven in order to
enjoy Christ, and that Christ is there present with us, while we
seek him above the elements of this world. For it is not permitted
us to charge Christ with imposition; and that would be the case,
unless we held that the reality is exhibited together with the sign.
And you also concede that the sign is by no means empty. It only
remains that we define what it contains within it. When we briefly
reply, that we are made partakers of the flesh and blood of Christ
that he may dwell in us and we in him, and in this way enjoy all
his benefits, what is there, I ask, in these words either absurd
or obscure, especially as we, in express terms, exclude whatever
delirious fancies might occur to the mind? And yet we are censured,
as if we departed from the pure and simple doctrine of the Gospel.
I should wish, however, to learn what that simplicity is to which
we are to be recalled. When I was lately with you, I pressed this
very point. But you remember, as I think, that I received no answer.
I do not make this allegation so much by way of complaint, as that
I may publicly testify to the fact that we lie under the suspicion
of certain good men without any ground for it. I have long ago
observed, moreover, that the intercourse we have with Bucer acts as
a dead-weight upon us. But I beseech you, my Bullinger, to consider
with what propriety we should alienate ourselves from Bucer, seeing
he subscribes this very confession which I have laid down. I shall
not at present declare the virtues, both rare and manifold, by
which that man is distinguished. I shall only say, that I should do
a grievous injury to the Church of God, were I either to hate or
despise him. I make no reference to the personal obligations under
which I lie to him. And yet my love and reverence for him are such,
that I freely admonish him as often as I think fit. How much greater
justice will his complaint regarding you be judged to possess! For
he sometime ago complained that you interdicted youths of Zurich,
who were living at Strasbourg, from partaking of the Supper in that
church, although no confession but your own was demanded of them.
I indeed see no reason why the churches should be so rent asunder
on this point. But what is the reason that godly men are angry with
us, when we cultivate the friendship of a man who, by himself,
professes nothing that can stand in the way of his being received as
a friend and a brother? As the matter hinges on this, shew me, if
you can, that by my friendly intercourse with Bucer I am restrained
in the free profession of my views. I may perhaps seem to be so,
but I make the thing itself the test of the truth. Wherefore, let
us not be so suspicious where there is no call for it. As to the
other matters, when I had come to Lausanne I counselled the brethren
to send as soon as possible to Haller, for I had the hope they
would obtain from him all that was just; and in this expectation
I was not disappointed. Jodocus, however, and Ebrard,[200] what
brother of the giants I know not, who had been sent, were so grossly
violent in their invectives, that they were presently compelled to
betake themselves [home]. So great a source of indignation was my
proceeding to Zurich, as if, forsooth, I had no right to be affected
by the danger of a church so near us, or to seek a suitable remedy
in conjunction with the brethren. Jodocus said, in a threatening
way, that he knew what I had done when with you. I boasted, however,
that I had been a party to no transaction that was unworthy of my
reputation as an honourable man. But why should I recount to you
the insolence and scurrilities of both of them? Take this as the
sum of the matter, that the two brethren, both eminently learned,
grave, and judicious, were so astounded, that they thought it best
to make a seasonable departure. Such is brotherly clemency. It is,
however, worth while to make a brief statement, that you may form a
judgment of the matter from the beginning to the end. Immediately on
our first meeting, in place of salutation, it was asked, Who raised
these tragical commotions? When it was said, in reply, that they
were known to have proceeded from Zebedee, Ebrard exclaimed, 'Yes,
that good man is unworthily traduced by you, because he laid bare
your stratagems.' On the brethren requesting those stratagems to be
explained to them; 'We have,' he says, 'a Bernese disputation from
which we form our judgment of you and all your affairs.' I beseech
thee, my Bullinger, to say whether such is the case. What have we
profited by shaking off the tyranny of the Pope? Observe, also,
how suitable was the interrogation of Jodocus, who had asked me to
form one of the assembly at Lausanne? Finally, that the last part
of the proceedings might be of a piece with the first, the brethren
were ordered to go away, and have done with their Calvinism and
Buceranism. And all this with an impetuosity almost like madmen,
and outrageous clamours. Could you expect anything more unfeeling
or truculent from Papists? Though we may patiently tolerate this
intemperate Bacchantism, the Lord, nevertheless, will not suffer it
to pass unpunished. At Paris and in many parts of the kingdom, the
ferocity of the ungodly is inflamed afresh. The King himself holds
on in his fury. Thus is fulfilled the prediction, Without fightings,
within fears; although Jodocus excites not only fears within, but
open fightings. But may the very fewness of our numbers incite us to
an alliance!

  [200] Ministers of the Church of Berne.

Adieu, most excellent and most honoured sir, along with your
colleagues, all of whom I desire you will respectfully salute in
my name. To your wife also, and your whole family, I send the best
greeting. May the Lord Jesus protect and direct you all. Amen.

Something is said about the state of Constance, not much fitted to
inspire gladness. May the Lord regard you, and rescue you from the
jaws of the lion.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

It would be better you should suppress this letter, if you thought
proper, than that it should lead to the excitement of a greater
conflagration at Berne; for the lack of self-restraint on the part
of some is marvellous.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Archives of Zurich._ Gest. vi. p. 6.]



CCXXV.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.[201]

  [201] M. de Falais was on the point of leaving Bâle to settle at
  Geneva. He arrived, doubtless, in that town the end of July 1548.
  We read, in a letter of Calvin to Viret of the 20th August 1548:
  "Dominus Falesius uxor et soror vos salutant;--the wife and sister
  of M. de Falais salute you."--Vol. 106 of the _Library of Geneva_.
  The correspondence of Calvin with this Seigneur, thenceforward
  interrupted, was only resumed occasionally, and in 1552, ceased
  entirely.

     Preparations for the marriage of Mademoiselle de Wilergy, his
     relation.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 17th of July_ [1548.]

MONSEIGNEUR,--I believe that it will be best as it is. If it had
been possible to speak together about the contract,[202] I would
have much desired to do so; but I do not know whether you will be
able to come this week. However, the man offers, in case he should
leave his wife a widow without children that she shall have a
thousand crowns. In the event of his leaving children, she shall
have the half, but on condition that, if she marry afterwards,
and have also children by the second marriage, she must not have
the power of preferring them to those of the first. The present
assignment will be founded upon the instrument of Paris, to be
implemented, when he shall have made good his money and expenses. I
am of opinion that his offer is very liberal; for it is quite right
that the husband retain some control in his own hand.

  [202] The contract of marriage of Mademoiselle Wilergy.

The wedding, I hope, will go off well. There must needs be some
company, but no great multitude. And besides, we must not be too
hard upon you, for it will be necessary to find lodgings for them. I
think ten persons will be a reasonable number, including myself. And
seeing that my brother is not here at present, I know not whether we
could send notice by letter to Dôle and to Basle. Perhaps, indeed,
we might, if they should be here for the whole day to-morrow.

I had forgotten to mention the French traveller;[203] that is, to
tell you that I do not find him in any hurry; and yet that is not
by any means because all is not quite clear about him, but for the
purpose of seeking some advantage over and above. I wish very much
that it may please God to bring you hither to drink of the wine upon
the spot, and that soon. If the bearer had left this earlier in the
morning, you might have had a flask of it. If there were any means
of sending you the half of it, I should not have failed to do so,
but when I inquired, I found that it could not be done.

  [203] M de Montmor. See the note, p. 141.

And so, Monsieur, having commended me to your kind favour, and that
of Madame and your whole household, I beseech our Lord to have you
in his keeping.

  Your humble brother and servant,
  JOHN CALVIN, confined to bed.

       *       *       *       *       *

M. de Ballesan has written to request of me, that I would see
whether he could get any help from you. After making excuses more
than enough for you, I have at length been constrained to promise
him that I would write to you about it, which I had resolved to do
yesterday by Monsieur de Parey; but he forgot to come, so great was
his hurry to make the journey.

  [_Orig. signat. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CCXXVI.--TO FAREL.

     Uncertainty regarding the disposition of the Cantons--stay of
     Monsieur and Madame de Falais in Calvin's house.


  [GENEVA,] _27th August 1548_.

I have no doubt, even although you do not expostulate with me, that
you silently condemn me for neglect in having suffered so many
bearers to depart for you without my letter. If I were to plead that
there was nothing to write about, you would at once confute me.
Even though matter for correspondence is never wanting, I permit
myself to indulge in silence, when there is nothing pressing. We
are waiting to find whether the Swiss will suffer themselves to be
circumvented by the artifices of Ulysses. May the Lord look to this,
on whose Providence it is fitting we should lean;[204] since reason
does not guide the helm, and we know that fortune has no dominion.
As far as can be divined, [their policy is as follows:] As on the
one hand the Emperor will seek to deceive them by fair words, so
they in their turn will keep him in suspense until they have seen
that they are protected by those defences which they deem necessary.
Here we are occupied in the usual way, but the skirmishes are
slight. Unless I am wholly deceived in my conjectures, either some
disturbances will speedily arise, or this winter cause suffering to
the great crowds in many places. Good Toussain[205] is not grieved
by the matter. To his other troubles is added the disease of his
son. You will therefore use your influence with Peter the surgeon to
get him to repair to that quarter, in case some means of alleviation
may be discovered. We shall see about William; we have talked among
ourselves regarding him. But as Allen and San Privat are present,
we have as yet come to no determination. The godly man offers no
objection, but I am unwilling to send him away for no end. He will
also return to Lausanne before he undertakes this journey. If you
have found a trustworthy messenger, I wish you would send to me
what letters of mine you have in your possession. Viret is to do
the same. I shall send them back, with certain marks, if there be
any which it is not expedient all should read. I shall send each
of you his own, when I am at liberty to do so, that you may add
similar marks. I will take care that these are subjoined. I have
not yet seen Christopher. M. de Falais is now with me, who I trust
will pass the winter here.[206] I have caused him to cast away the
unfavourable doubt regarding you, which he had conceived from your
conversation. The more he loves you and defers to you, the more
anxious was he that you should judge aright of his piety. But it
is in truth as you say: when you demanded of him what you thought
would be for the edification of the Church, he suspected that you
desiderated in him the very thing you sought for, as if he had not
manifested it hitherto. Both [Monsieur and Madame de Falais] very
affectionately salute you, as also my colleagues; and my wife, who
is in bed from prolonged illness. I have been struggling these days
past with pain in the head, and spasms of the stomach, to such a
degree as to cause violent convulsions. Adieu, brother and most
sincere friend, along with your family and brothers, especially my
guest Fato, to whom I will send back the token of friendship, unless
he sometime visit us.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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

  [204] Messengers of the Emperor were then scouring the Cantons
  with a view to detach them from the French alliance, which was
  nevertheless renewed, 9th June 1549.

  [205] The minister Toussain, pastor of the church of Montbeliard, at
  that time dispersed by the imperial army.

  [206] See the letter to M. de Falais of 17th July 1548, and the
  relative note.



CCXXVII.--TO VIRET.[207]

  [207] We have reproduced (Vol. i. p. 449,) a letter of Calvin
  to Viret, containing a severe judgment of the Reformer upon the
  magistrates of Geneva. Stolen from Viret by a faithless servant,
  and given to the Seigneury by Trolliet, this letter excited real
  commotions, the traces of which are to be found in the Registers of
  Council.

  "Calvin justifies himself in council with regard to a certain letter
  he had written, in which it was alleged he blamed the Seigneury of
  this city. He also complains of the calumnies directed against him
  by Trolliet."--24th September.

  On the 15th October following, Farel appears in Council, "and
  prays them to entertain a constant regard for Calvin; that he
  observes with grief they do not show to that servant of God the
  deference that is due to him ... praying the Council to take order
  therein."--28th October. "Farel testifies anew that too little
  regard is had for the character and merits of Calvin; that he has no
  equal in learning; that it was not necessary to take such offence at
  what he might have said, as he had censured with great freedom the
  greatest men, such as Luther, Melanchthon, and many others.

  "Resolved, to thank the said Farel, and to remit to him the original
  of the foresaid letter, in order that it might be restored to Viret."

     Embarrassment occasioned to Calvin by the treacherous
     publication of one of his letters to Viret.


  [GENEVA,] _20th September 1548_.

I was within a little of letting our friend Merlin depart without a
letter. When he was already equipped for the journey, he sacrificed
for me the time between sermon and supper; the half of which period
I spent in conversation with some people. With regard to a successor
to Himbert, I have scarcely ground for giving an advice. I see
indeed the dangers that are imminent, unless some one be put in his
place as soon as possible. I do not observe among you any one who
pleases me in every respect. You cannot call from a distance any but
unknown men. Our choice is accordingly restricted to those in whom
you may have to desiderate something as wanting; only let it not be
piety and a moderate acquaintance with the language,--qualifications
that are to be regarded as the chief. But if you make choice of any
one with this reservation, that he is not to be under obligation
to remain in the office, should anything more suitable shortly
afterwards present itself, you will take care expressly to state
this to the person himself, and to the senate. When I became aware
that the letter, obtained surreptitiously and translated into
French by Trolliet, was being circulated, and that oil was thus
poured on the flame, I came into the council chamber, and pointed
out the injustice of those devices, the danger of such procedure
to the Church, and the evil precedent it afforded. That person was
summoned; he appeared in the midst of the meeting; I acknowledged my
hand, and then made such an apology as the circumstances demanded.
We were thus suffered to go home. A resolution, however, was come
to, that I should be again summoned after the following Monday.
This has not been done. What has prevented it I know not, unless,
as I suspect, it be the stratagem of the ungodly to afford them
a weapon for the purpose of injuring me, as often as it shall be
advantageous for them to employ it. For the council was disposed
to allow the whole matter to pass into oblivion. Accordingly, if
at any time I have stood in need of your help, you now see that I
especially require it. For I shall not be able to urge you without
a confession of fear. But if you repair hither, and complain of
the injury done to you,--if you then add that you do not deserve
at the hands of the republic to have a letter that was stolen from
you retained,--if finally you demand its restoration, and moreover
signify that you need it for the conviction of the thief,--I do
not think it will be difficult to obtain it. Do you now consider
whether another course is more expedient. The whole council is
censured in the letter. For the time is described when Corna
resigned the office of treasurer. I next mention those whom the
people then created syndics, and who were allured into the council.
Then follow finally the best things they wish to be expected of
them. I know not what I ought to expect. For under pretext of Christ
they mean to reign without Christ; since among them are reckoned
Amy Curtet, and Dominic Arlo, who are now in prison, until they
shall have discharged the debts due by them to the public treasury.
Perrin, with his friends, goes to them, and urges them to become
reconciled to me. Others also solicit this. Last of all, they omit
no wickedness by which they may overthrow me. I partly dissemble,
and partly openly profess that all their efforts are held by me in
derision. For they would think they had obtained the victory, if
they observe in me any token [of fear.] Nor indeed is there anything
that is more fitted to break the force of their impetuosity, and
animate good men in sustaining the cause, than my self-reliance. If
you are not at liberty to come shortly, consider whether it be not
expedient to write. But I should not wish you to do so, unless by a
sure messenger, and one who should have a commission requiring an
answer. Adieu, brother, and most sincere friend, along with your
wife and young daughter. Respectfully salute the brethren. My wife
also salutes you.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

If you can find a faithful friend, I should wish him once to read
over what I have here written to you.

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



CCXXVIII.--TO A FRENCH SEIGNEUR.[208]

  [208] Perhaps to Charles de Jonvillers, who became some years
  afterwards the secretary and friend of the Reformer. It was in fact
  in 1549, and in consequence of the advice of Calvin, that this
  Seigneur left Chartres, his country, to go to Geneva, which received
  him as inhabitant in 1550, and as burgess in 1556.

     Exhortation to come to Geneva, that he might there serve the
     Lord faithfully.


  _This 18th of October 1548._

MONSIEUR,--I have partly been informed of your intention by the
Sieur François de la Rivière, and praise our Lord for the good
courage he has given you to serve him fully. As we ought to yield
ourselves up to him entirely and without reserve, if we desire
to be approved as his, you must now ascertain how you can employ
yourself as is your duty in his service. It is true that the earth
is the Lord's, and that we are at liberty to dwell in any part of
it, provided we take care to keep ourselves unpolluted, to honour
him in our body as well as our spirit. When we are told that the
whole earth is holy, we are thereby admonished, that we ought in
nowise to defile it by leading a sinful life. You must now take
good heed, that by concealing as you are doing the light that is
in you, you do not make yourself a partaker in the pollutions
which you very properly condemn in unbelievers. I fully believe,
that your heart is very far from consenting thereto; but in making
the outward show of communicating, there can be no doubt that you
thereby make a profession of consenting to it. And as before God
we ought to manifest our detestation of idolatry, so also before
men, we ought to abstain from whatsoever may make it appear that
we approve thereof. It is surely right that the body be kept quite
pure for the service of God, as well as the soul, seeing that it is
the temple of the Holy Spirit, and has the promise of the immortal
glory which shall be revealed at the last day. But is it possible to
employ body and soul with sincerity of heart in the service of God,
while we make a semblance of agreement with idolaters, in an act
which we know to be dishonouring to God? It is not enough to reply
to this, that you make no oral declaration, indeed, that you would
be ready to protest the contrary, were you required to do so, for
you are well aware that you go thither with no other intention, than
that of leading God's enemies to believe that you do not repudiate
their doings, for if it was not for the sake of gratifying them,
and by such means shrinking from the declaration, that you are
utterly opposed to their sacrileges, you never would join them in an
act of worship. And that is nothing else than rendering a feigned
homage to their idol, albeit without the homage of the heart. If it
seems to you that I am too severe in dealing with your faults so
narrowly, I ask you to enter upon the work of self-examination, and
you will find, that I bring forward nothing against you, whereof
your own conscience does not reprove you. Judge, then, whether God
does not see there much more to find fault with, for he sees our
state far more clearly than we ourselves do. Therefore, I cannot,
consistently with the understanding which God has vouchsafed me,
advise a Christian man to continue in such a state; and can only
say, that to my thinking he is truly happy who is free from such
constraint. Whosoever, therefore, has the means of withdrawing from
it, ought not in my opinion on any account to neglect to do so. True
it is, that never shall man have things so entirely to his mind,
that he shall be exempted from difficulty, but, on the contrary,
must expect many annoyances, even wrong and loss of property. But
let us learn to prefer the honour of God to all things else. In your
case, I understand that your merciful God has already brought you
so far, that you are resolved not to stagnate in a place where you
knowingly offend him. Wherefore, I forbear from any more lengthened
exhortations; only, be careful not to quench that zeal which he
has vouchsafed you, but rather stir it up as a remembrancer to keep
you in mind to carry out your good intention. For I know well, and
experience will convince you, how many distractions there are to
make you forgetful of it, or so far to delay that you might grow
cool about it. Regarding the alternatives which Sire François has
set before me, I have told him what to give you as my opinion.
However, your departure must be like that out of Egypt, bringing
all your effects along with you. For all this, I believe you will
need steadfast and very determined courage. But you are able to do
all in Him who strengthens you. When he has brought you hither,
you shall see how he will guide you farther. For my part, I would
gladly help thereunto cheerfully and steadily, as bound I am to
do. I am confident, that after leading you by the hand in greater
things, he will not fail you on this occasion. But he is sometimes
pleased to exercise and try our faith, so that while quitting hold
of that which is within our grasp, we know not what we shall receive
in place of it. We have an example of this in our father Abraham.
After having commanded him to forsake his country, his kindred,
and everything else, he shewed him no present reward, but put that
off to another time. "Get thee out," said he, "into the land which
I shall shew thee." Should it please him at this time to do the
like with us, that we must quit the land of our birth, and betake
ourselves into an unknown country, without knowing how it may fare
with us there, let us surrender ourselves to him, that he may direct
our way, and let us honour him, by trusting that he will steer us
to a safe harbour. It is needful, at least, that you be informed
beforehand that you shall enter here no earthly paradise, where
you may rejoice in God without molestation: you will find a people
unmannerly enough; you will meet with some sufficiently annoying
trials. In short, do not expect to better your condition, except in
so far, that having been delivered from miserable bondage of body
and of soul, you will have leave to serve God faithfully. You will
have the pure doctrine of the Word, you will call upon his name in
the fellowship of faithful men, you will enjoy the true use of the
sacraments. But that may well be all in all to us, if we only prize
it as we ought. As for other comforts, you will take those which
God vouchsafes to you, willingly suffering the want of those which
he denies. Make up your mind, then, to follow Jesus Christ, without
flying from the cross; and indeed you would gain nothing by trying
to avoid it, because it will assuredly find you out. But let us be
content with this invaluable blessing, that we are allowed to live
not only in peace of conscience, but daily to exercise ourselves in
the doctrine of salvation, and in the use of the sacraments, for
our confirmation. He who builds on this foundation, shall rear a
solid edifice, and in truth you cannot evidence whether you do value
Jesus Christ or not, unless by reckoning all the world as filth in
comparison of him.

To conclude, having recommended me affectionately to your kind
favour, I beseech our good Lord to fill you with the spirit of
counsel and discretion, to discern what will be right and fitting
for you to do, and to strengthen you in true constancy, to put in
practice whatsoever shall be according to his will; that having done
so, it may please him to lead you by the hand, to bless you in going
out and coming in, to turn all into godly prosperity.

Your humble brother and servant in our Lord,

  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.

  [_Fr. Copy, Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107.]



CCXXIX.--TO THE PROTECTOR SOMERSET.[209]

  [209] Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, Duke of Somerset, Regent
  of England, under the minority of Edward VI. It was under his
  administration that the Reformation was victoriously established
  in England. Supported by Parliament, he suppressed the troubles
  which arose in some parts of the kingdom after the death of Henry
  VIII., confirmed the king's supremacy, abolished the worship of
  images, private masses, and restored the communion in both kinds.
  He held a correspondence with Calvin, who dedicated to him, June
  24, 1548, his Commentary on the First Epistle of Paul to Timothy;
  and by advice of the Reformer, he offered an asylum to the exiles,
  Bucer, Fagi, Ochino, and Peter Martyr,--banished for the sake of
  their religion from the Continent. Beloved by the people, hated
  by the nobles, he made himself unpopular by his want of success
  in the war which he kept up against the Scots and in France; was
  overthrown by a conspiracy of the nobility, imprisoned in the Tower
  of London, (October 1549,) and only recovered his liberty the year
  following, to perish in 1552 on the scaffold, victim of the ambition
  of Warwick, Earl of Northumberland, his relative.

     Duties imposed on the Protector by the high office which he
     holds--plan of a complete reformation in England--preaching of
     the pure word of God--rooting out of abuses--correction of vices
     and scandalous offences.


  GENEVA, _22d October 1548_.

MONSEIGNEUR,--Although God has endowed you with singular prudence,
largeness of mind, and other virtues required in that station
wherein he has set you, and for the affairs which he has put into
your hand; nevertheless, inasmuch as you deem me to be a servant of
his Son, whom you desire above all else to obey, I feel assured,
that for the love of him you will receive with courtesy, that which
I write in his name, as indeed I have no other end in view, save
only, that in following out yet more and more what you have begun,
you may advance his honour, until you have established his kingdom
in as great perfection as is to be looked for in the world. And you
will perceive likewise as you read, that without advancing anything
of my own, the whole is drawn from his own pure doctrine. Were I
to look merely at the dignity and grandeur of your position, there
would seem no access whatever for a man of my quality. But since you
do not refuse to be taught of the Master whom I serve, but rather
prize above all else the grace which he has bestowed in numbering
you among his disciples, methinks I have no need to make you any
long excuse or preface, because I deem you well disposed to receive
whatsoever proceeds from him.

We have all reason to be thankful to our God and Father, that he has
been pleased to employ you in so excellent a work as that of setting
up the purity and right order of his worship in England by your
means, and establishing the doctrine of salvation, that it may there
be faithfully proclaimed to all those who shall consent to hear it;
that he has vouchsafed you such firmness and constancy to persevere
hitherto, in spite of so many trials and difficulties; that he
has helped you with his mighty arm, in blessing all your counsels
and your labours, to make them prosper. These are grounds of
thankfulness which stir up all true believers to magnify his name.
Seeing however, that Satan never ceases to upheave new conflicts,
and that it is a thing in itself so difficult, that nothing can be
more so, to cause the truth of God to have peaceable dominion among
men, who by nature are most prone to falsehood; while, on the other
hand, there are so many circumstances which prevent its having free
course; and most of all, that the superstitions of Antichrist,
having taken root for so long time, cannot be easily uprooted from
men's hearts,--you have much need, methinks, to be confirmed by holy
exhortations. I cannot doubt, indeed, that you have felt this from
experience; and shall therefore deal all the more frankly with you,
because, as I hope, my deliberate opinion will correspond with your
own desire. Were my exhortations even uncalled for, you would bear
with the zeal and earnestness which has led me to offer them. I
believe, therefore, that the need of them which you feel, will make
them all the more welcome. However this may be, Monseigneur, may
it please you to grant me audience in some particular reformations
which I propose to lay here briefly before you, in the hope, that
when you shall have listened to them, you will at least find some
savour of consolation therein, and feel the more encouraged to
prosecute the holy and noble enterprise in which God has hitherto
been pleased to employ you.

I have no doubt that the great troubles which have fallen out for
some time past, must have been very severe and annoying to you,
and especially as many may have found in them occasion of offence;
forasmuch as they were partly excited under cover of the change of
religion. Wherefore you must necessarily have felt them very keenly,
as well on account of the apprehensions they may have raised in your
mind, as of the murmurs of the ignorant or disaffected, and also
of the alarm of the well-disposed. Certes, the mere rumour which I
heard from afar, caused me heartfelt anxiety, until I was informed
that God had begun to apply a remedy thereto. However, since perhaps
they are not yet entirely allayed, or seeing that the devil may have
kindled them anew, it will be well that you call to mind what the
sacred history relates of good King Hezekiah, (2 Chron. xxxii.,)
namely, that after he had abolished the superstitions throughout
Judea, reformed the state of the church according to the law of God,
he was even then so pressed by his enemies, that it almost seemed
as if he was a lost and ruined man. It is not without reason that
the Holy Spirit pointedly declares, that such an affliction happened
to him immediately after having re-established the true religion in
his realm; for it may well have seemed reasonable to himself, that
having striven with all his might to set up the reign of God, he
should have peace within his own kingdom. Thus, all faithful princes
and governors of countries are forewarned by that example, that
however earnest they may be in banishing idolatry and in promoting
the true worship of God, their faith may yet be tried by diverse
temptations. So God permits, and wills it to be thus, to manifest
the constancy of his people, and to lead them to look above the
world. Meanwhile, the devil also does his work, endeavouring to ruin
sound doctrine by indirect means, working as it were underground,
forasmuch as he could not openly attain his end. But according to
the admonition of St. James, (James v. 11,) who tells us, that in
considering the patience of Job, we must look to the end of it, so
ought we, Monseigneur, to look to the end which was vouchsafed to
this good king. We see there that God was a present help in all his
perplexities, and that at length he came off victorious. Wherefore,
seeing that his arm is not shortened, and that, in the present day,
he has the defence of the truth and the salvation of his own as much
at heart as ever, never doubt that he will come to your aid, and
that not once only, but in all the trials he may send you.

If the majority of the world oppose the Gospel, and even strive with
rage and violence to hinder its progress, we ought not to think it
strange. It proceeds from the ingratitude of men, which has always
shewn itself, and ever will, in drawing back when God comes near,
and even in kicking against him when he would put his yoke upon
them. More than that, because by nature they are wholly given to
hypocrisy, they cannot bear to be brought to the clear light of
the word of God, which lays bare their baseness and shame, nor to
be drawn forth out of their superstitions, which serve them as a
hiding-hole and shady covert. It is nothing new, then, if we meet
with contradiction when we attempt to lead men back to the pure
worship of God. And we have, besides, the clear announcement of our
Lord Jesus, who tells us that he has brought a sword along with
his Gospel. But let not this daunt us, nor make us shrink and be
fearful, for at last, when men shall have rebelled most stoutly, and
vomited forth all their rage, they shall be put to confusion in a
moment, and shall destroy themselves by the fury of their own onset.
That is a true saying, in the second Psalm, that God shall only
laugh at their commotion; that is to say, that seeming to connive,
he will let them bluster, as if the affair did not at all concern
him. But it always happens, that at length they are driven back by
his power, wherewith if we be armed, we have a sure and invincible
munition, whatsoever plots the devil may frame against us, and
shall know by experience in the end, that even as the Gospel is the
message of peace and of reconciliation between God and us, it will
also avail us to pacify men; and in this way we shall understand,
that it is not in vain that Isaiah has said, (Is. ii. 4,) that
when Jesus Christ shall rule in the midst of us by his doctrine,
the swords shall be turned into ploughshares, and the spears into
pruning-hooks.

Albeit, however, the wickedness and opposition of men may be the
cause of the sedition and rebellion which rises up against the
Gospel, let us look to ourselves, and acknowledge that God chastises
our faults by those who would otherwise serve Satan only. It is an
old complaint, that the Gospel is the cause of all the ills and
calamities that befall mankind. We see, in fact, from history, that
shortly after Christianity had been everywhere spread abroad, there
was not, so to speak, a corner of the earth which was not horribly
afflicted. The uproar of war, like a universal fire, was kindled in
all lands. Land-floods on the one hand, and famine and pestilence
on the other, a chaotic confusion of order and civil polity to
such a degree, that it seemed as if the world was presently about
to be overturned. In like manner we have seen in our times, since
the Gospel has begun to be set up, much misery; to such an extent,
indeed, that every one complains we are come upon an unhappy
period, and there are very few who do not _groan_ under this
burden. While, then, we feel the blow, we ought to look upward to
the hand of Him who strikes, and ought also to consider why the blow
is sent. The reason why he makes us thus to feel his rod is neither
very obscure nor difficult to be understood. We know that the word,
by which he would guide us to salvation, is an invaluable treasure;
with what reverence do we receive it when he presents it to us?
Seeing, then, that we make no great account of that which is so
precious, God has good reason to avenge himself of our ingratitude.
We hear also what Jesus Christ announces, (Luke xii. 47,) that the
servant knowing the will of his Master, and not doing it, deserves
double chastisement. Since, therefore, we are so remiss in obeying
the will of our God, who has declared it to us more than a hundred
times already, let us not think it strange if his anger rage more
severely against us, seeing that we are all the more inexcusable.
When we do not cultivate the good seed, there is much reason that
the thorns and thistles of Satan should spring up to trouble and
annoy us. Since we do not render to our Creator the submission which
is due to him, it is no wonder that men rise up against us.

From what I am given to understand, Monseigneur, there are two
kinds of rebels who have risen up against the King and the Estates
of the Kingdom. The one, a fantastical sort of persons, who, under
colour of the Gospel, would put all into confusion. The others are
persons who persist in the superstitions of the Roman Antichrist.
Both alike deserve to be repressed by the sword which is committed
to you, since they not only attack the King, but strive with God,
who has placed him upon a royal throne, and has committed to you
the protection as well of his person as of his majesty. But the
chief point is, to endeavour, as much as possible, that those who
have some savour of a liking for the doctrine of the Gospel, so as
to hold fast, should receive it with such humility and godly fear,
as to renounce self in order to serve God; for they ought seriously
to consider that God would awaken them all, so that in good earnest
they may profit far more from his word than they have ever yet
done. These madmen, who would have the whole world turned back
into a chaos of licentiousness, are hired by Satan to defame the
Gospel, as if it bred nothing but revolt against princes, and all
sorts of disorder in the world. Wherefore, all the faithful ought
to be deeply grieved. The Papists, in endeavouring to maintain the
corruptions and abominations of their Romish idol, shew themselves
to be the open enemies of the grace of Jesus Christ, and of all his
ordinances. That ought likewise to occasion great sickness at heart
among all those who have a single drop of godly zeal. And therefore
they ought every one of them earnestly to consider, that these are
the rods of God for their correction. And wherefore? Just because
they do not set a proper value on the doctrine of salvation. Herein
lies the chief remedy for the silencing of such calumnies, that
those who make profession of the Gospel be indeed renewed after the
image of God, so as to make manifest that our Christianity does not
occasion any interruption of the humanities of social life, and to
give good evidence, by their temperance and moderation, that being
governed by the word of God, we are not unruly people subject to
no restraint, and so by an upright holy life shut the mouth of all
the evil speakers. For by this means God, being pacified, shall
withdraw his hand, and instead of, as at this day, punishing the
contempt with which they have treated his word, he will reward
their obedience with all prosperity. It would be well were all the
nobility and those who administer justice, to submit themselves,
in uprightness and all humility, to this great king, Jesus Christ,
paying him sincere homage, and with faith unfeigned, in body, soul,
and spirit, so that he may correct and beat down the arrogance and
rashness of those who would rise up against them. Thus ought earthly
princes to rule and govern, serving Jesus Christ, and taking order
that he may have his own sovereign authority over all, both small
and great. Wherefore, Monseigneur, as you hold dear and in regard
the estate of your royal nephew, as indeed you shew plainly that you
do, I beseech you, in the name of God, to apply your chief care and
watchfulness to this end, that the doctrine of God may be proclaimed
with efficacy and power, so as to produce its fruit, and never to
grow weary, whatsoever may happen, in following out fully, an open
and complete reformation of the Church. The better to explain to
you what I mean, I shall arrange the whole under three heads.

The first shall treat of the sound instruction of the people; the
second shall regard the rooting out of abuses which have prevailed
hitherto; the third, the careful repression and correction of vice,
and to take strict heed that scandals and loose conversation may not
grow into a fashion, so as to cause the name of God to be blasphemed.

As concerning the first article, I do not mean to pronounce what
doctrine ought to have place. Rather do I offer thanks to God
for his goodness, that after having enlightened you in the pure
knowledge of himself, he has given you wisdom and discretion to take
measures that his pure truth may be preached. Praise be to God, you
have not to learn what is the true faith of Christians, and the
doctrine which they ought to hold, seeing that by your means the
true purity of the faith has been restored. That is, that we hold
God alone to be the sole Governor of our souls, that we hold his law
to be the only rule and spiritual directory for our consciences,
not serving him according to the foolish inventions of men. Also,
that according to his nature he would be worshipped in spirit and
in purity of heart. On the other hand, acknowledging that there is
nothing but all wretchedness in ourselves, and that we are corrupt
in all our feelings and affections, so that our souls are a very
abyss of iniquity, utterly despairing of ourselves; and that,
having exhausted every presumption of our own wisdom, worth, or
power of well-doing, we must have recourse to the fountain of every
blessing, which is in Christ Jesus, accepting that which he confers
on us, that is to say, the merit of his death and passion, that by
this means we may be reconciled to God; that being washed in his
blood, we may have no fear lest our spots prevent us from finding
grace at the heavenly throne; that being assured that our sins are
pardoned freely in virtue of his sacrifice, we may lean, yea rest,
upon that for assurance of our salvation; that we may be sanctified
by his Spirit, and so consecrate ourselves to the obedience of the
righteousness of God; that being strengthened by his grace, we may
overcome Satan, the world, and the flesh; finally, that being
members of his body, we may never doubt that God reckons us among
the number of his children, and that we may confidently call upon
him as _our_ Father; that we may be careful to recognize and bear
in mind this purpose in whatsoever is said or done in the Church,
namely, that being separated from the world, we should rise to
heaven with our Head and Saviour. Seeing then that God has given you
grace to re-establish the knowledge of this doctrine, which had been
so long buried out of sight by Antichrist, I forbear from entering
further on the subject.

What I have thus suggested as to the manner of instruction, is only
that the people be so taught as to be touched to the quick, and
that they may feel that what the Apostle says is true, (Heb. iv.)
that "the word of God is a two-edged sword, piercing even through
the thoughts and affections to the very marrow of the bones." I
speak thus, Monseigneur, because it appears to me that there is
very little preaching of a lively kind in the kingdom, but that the
greater part deliver it by way of reading from a written discourse.
I see very well the necessity which constrains you to that; for in
the first place you have not, as I believe, such well-approved and
competent pastors as you desire. Wherefore, you need forthwith to
supply this want. Secondly, there may very likely be among them
many flighty persons who would go beyond all bounds, sowing their
own silly fancies, as often happens on occasion of a change. But
all these considerations ought not to hinder the ordinance of Jesus
Christ from having free course in the preaching of the Gospel.
Now, this preaching ought not to be lifeless but lively, to teach,
to exhort, to reprove, as Saint Paul says in speaking thereof to
Timothy, (2 Tim. iii.) So indeed, that if an unbeliever enter, he
may be so effectually arrested and convinced, as to give glory to
God, as Paul says in another passage, (1 Cor. xiv.) You are also
aware, Monseigneur, how he speaks of the lively power and energy
with which they ought to speak, who would approve themselves as
good and faithful ministers of God, who must not make a parade of
rhetoric, only to gain esteem for themselves; but that the Spirit of
God ought to sound forth by their voice, so as to work with mighty
energy. Whatever may be the amount of danger to be feared, that
ought not to hinder the Spirit of God from having liberty and free
course in those to whom he has given grace for the edifying of the
Church.

True it is, nevertheless, that it is both right and fitting to
oppose the levity of some fantastic minds, who allow themselves
in too great license, and also to shut the door against all
eccentricities and new doctrines; but the method to be taken, which
God hath pointed out to us, for dealing with such occurrences, is
well fitted to dispose of them. In the first place, there ought to
be an explicit summary of the doctrine which all ought to preach,
which all prelates and curates swear to follow, and no one should
be received to any ecclesiastical charge who does not promise to
preserve such agreement. Next, that they have a common _formula_ of
instruction for little children and for ignorant persons, serving to
make them familiar with sound doctrine, so that they may be able to
discern the difference between it and the falsehood and corruptions
which may be brought forward in opposition to it. Believe me,
Monseigneur, the Church of God will never preserve itself without a
Catechism, for it is like the seed to keep the good grain from dying
out, and causing it to multiply from age to age. And therefore, if
you desire to build an edifice which shall be of long duration,
and which shall not soon fall into decay, make provision for the
children being instructed in a good Catechism, which may shew them
briefly, and in language level to their tender age, wherein true
Christianity consists. This Catechism will serve two purposes, to
wit, as an introduction to the whole people, so that every one may
profit from what shall be preached, and also to enable them to
discern when any presumptuous person puts forward strange doctrine.
Indeed, I do not say that it may not be well, and even necessary,
to bind down the pastors and curates to a certain written form, as
well for the sake of supplementing the ignorance and deficiencies of
some, as the better to manifest the conformity and agreement between
all the churches; thirdly, to take away all ground of pretence for
bringing in any eccentricity or new-fangled doctrine on the part
of those who only seek to indulge an idle fancy; as I have already
said, the Catechism ought to serve as a check upon such people.
There is, besides, the form and manner of administration of the
sacraments; also the public prayers. But whatever, in the meantime,
be the arrangement in regard to these matters, care must be taken
not to quench the efficacy which ought to attend the preaching of
the Gospel. And the utmost care should be taken, that so far as
possible you have good trumpets, which shall sound into the very
depths of the heart. For there is some danger that you may see no
great profit from all the reformation which you shall have brought
about, however sound and godly it may have been, unless this
powerful instrument of preaching be developed more and more. It is
not said without a meaning, that _Jesus Christ shall smite the earth
with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he
slay the wicked_, (Is. xi. 4.) The way by which he is pleased to
subdue us is, by destroying whatsoever is contrary to himself. And
herein you may also perceive why the Gospel is called the Kingdom
of God. Even so, albeit the edicts and statutes of princes are good
helps for advancing and upholding the state of Christianity, yet God
is pleased to declare his sovereign power by this spiritual sword of
his word, when it is made known by the pastors.

Not to tire you, Monseigneur, I shall now come to the second point
which I propose to touch upon; that is, the abolition and entire
uprooting of the abuses and corruptions which Satan had aforetime
mixed up with the ordinances of God. We wot well that under the Pope
there is a bastard sort of Christianity, and that God will disavow
it at the last day, seeing that he now condemns it by his word.
If we desire to rescue the world from such an abyss, there is no
better method than to follow the example of St. Paul, who, wishing
to correct what the Corinthians had improperly added to the Supper
of our Lord, tells them, (1 Cor. xi.) _I have received of the Lord
that which I have delivered to you_. Thence we are bound to take a
general instruction, to return to the strict and natural meaning of
the commandment of God, if we would have a sound reformation and
by him approven. For whatsoever mixtures men have brought in of
their own devising, have been just so many pollutions which turn
us aside from the sanctified use of what God has bestowed for our
salvation. Therefore, to lop off such abuses by halves will by no
means restore things to a state of purity, for then we shall always
have a dressed-up Christianity. I say this, because there are some
who, under pretence of moderation, are in favour of sparing many
abuses, without meddling with them at all, and to whom it appears
enough to have rooted out the principal one. But on the contrary,
we see how fertile is the seed of falsehood, and that only a single
grain is needed to fill the world with them in three days' time,
to such an extent are men inclined and addicted thereto. Our Lord
teaches quite another method of procedure, for when David speaks of
the idols, he says, (Psalm xvi.,) _Their names will I not take up
into my lips_, to intimate in what degree of detestation we ought
to hold them. Above all, if we consider how we have offended God in
the days of our ignorance, we ought to feel doubly bound to flee
from the inventions of Satan, which have led us into the commission
of evil, as from baits which serve only to seduce souls. On the
other hand, we see, even when we remonstrate with men about their
faults and errors, though we warn them as earnestly as possible,
they are nevertheless so hardened that we can produce no effect. If,
therefore, we were to leave them any remnant of abuse, that would
only serve to nourish their obstinacy the more, and become a veil to
darken all the doctrine which we might set before them. I willingly
acknowledge that we must observe moderation, and that overdoing is
neither discreet nor useful; indeed, that forms of worship need to
be accommodated to the condition and tastes of the people. But the
corruptions of Satan and of Antichrist must not be admitted under
that pretext. Therefore it is that Holy Scripture, when praising
those kings who had cast down the idols and their worshippers,
not having swept them entirely away, notes it as a blemish, that
nevertheless they had not cast down the chapelries and places of
silly devotion. Wherefore, Monseigneur, seeing that God has brought
you so far, take order, I beseech you, that so without any exception
he may approve you as a repairer of his temple, so that the times
of the king your nephew may be compared to those of Josiah, and
that you put things in such condition, that he may only need to
maintain the goodly order which God shall have prepared for him by
your means. I will mention to you an instance of such corruptions,
as, if they were allowed to remain, would become a little leaven,
to sour in the end the whole lump. In your country, some prayer is
made for the departed on occasion of communicating in the Lord's
Supper. I am well aware that it is not done in admission of the
purgatory of the Pope. I am also aware that ancient custom can be
pleaded for making some mention of the departed, for the sake of
uniting together all the members of the one body. But there is a
peremptory ground of objection against it, that the Supper of Jesus
Christ is an action so sacred, that it ought not to be soiled by
any human inventions whatsoever. And besides, in prayer to God, we
must not take an unbounded license in our devotions, but observe the
rule which St. Paul gives us, (Romans x.,) which is, that we must
be founded upon the word of God; therefore, such commemoration of
the dead, as imports a commending of them to his grace, is contrary
to the due form and manner of prayer,--it is a hurtful addition to
the Supper of our Lord. There are other things which possibly may be
less open to reproof, which however are not to be excused: such as
the ceremony of chrism and unction. The chrism has been invented out
of a frivolous humour by those who, not content with the institution
of Jesus Christ, desired to counterfeit the Holy Spirit by a new
sign, as if water were not sufficient for the purpose. What they
call extreme unction, has been retained by the inconsiderate zeal of
those, who have wished to follow the apostles without being gifted
as they were. When the apostles used oil in the case of the sick,
it was for the healing of them miraculously. Now, when the gift of
miracles has ceased, the figure ought no longer to be employed.
Wherefore, it would be much better that these things should be
pruned away, so that you might have nothing which is not conform to
the word of God, and serviceable for the edification of the Church.
It is quite true we ought to bear with the weak; but in order to
strengthen them, and to lead them to greater perfection. That does
not mean, however, that we are to humour blockheads who wish for
this or that, without knowing why. I know the consideration which
keeps back many is, that they are afraid too great a change could
not be carried through. It is admitted, that when we have to do
with neighbours with whom we desire to cherish friendly feeling,
one is disposed to gratify them by giving way in many things. In
worldly matters, that may be quite bearable, wherein it is allowable
to yield one to another, and to forego one's right for the sake of
peace; but it is not altogether the same thing in regard to the
spiritual governance of the Church, which ought to be according to
the ordinance of the word of God. Herein, we are not at liberty to
yield up anything to men, nor to turn aside on either hand in their
favour. Indeed there is nought that is more displeasing to God,
than when we would, in accordance with our own human wisdom, modify
or curtail, advance or retreat, otherwise than he would have us.
Wherefore, if we do not wish to displease him, we must shut our eyes
to the opinion of men. As for the dangers which may arise, we ought
to avoid them so far as we can, but never by going aside from the
straight road. While we walk uprightly, we have his promise that
he will help us. Therefore, what remains for us is to do our duty,
humbly committing the event unto himself. And here we may perceive
wherefore the wise men of this world are ofttimes disappointed in
their expectation, because God is not with them, when, in distrust
of him and his aid, they seek out crooked paths and such as he
condemns. Do we then wish to feel that we have the power of God
upon our side? Let us simply follow what he tells us. Above all,
we must cling to this maxim, that the reformation of his Church is
the work of his hand. Wherefore, in such matters, men must leave
themselves to be guided by him. What is more, whether in restoring
or in preserving the Church, he thinks fit, for the most part, to
proceed after a method marvellous, and beyond human conception. And,
therefore, it were unseemly to confine that restoration, which must
be divine, to the measure of our understanding, and to bring that
which is heavenly into subjection to what is earthly and of this
world's fashion. I do not thus exclude the prudence which is so
much needed, to take all appropriate and right means, not falling
into extremes either on the one side or upon the other, to gain
over the whole world to God, if that were possible. But the wisdom
of the Spirit, not that of the flesh, must overrule all; and having
inquired at the mouth of the Lord, we must ask him to guide and
lead us, rather than follow the bent of our own understanding. When
we take this method, it will be easy to cut off much occasion of
temptation, which might otherwise stop our progress midway.

Wherefore, Monseigneur, as you have begun to bring back Christianity
to the place which belongs to it, throughout the realm of England,
not at all in self-confidence, but upheld by the hand of God, as
hitherto you have had sensible experience of that powerful arm, you
must not doubt that it shall continue with you to the end. If God
upholds the kingdoms and the principalities of the infidels who are
his enemies, far more certainly will he have in safeguard those who
range themselves on his side and seek him for their superior.

I come now to the last point, which concerns the chastisement of
vice and the repression of scandals. I have no doubt that there
are laws and statutes of the kingdom both good and laudable, to
keep the people within the bounds of decency. But the great and
boundless licentiousness which I see everywhere throughout the
world, constrains me to beseech you, that you would earnestly turn
your attention to keeping men within the restraint of sound and
wholesome discipline. That, above all, you would hold yourself
charged, for the honour of God, to punish those crimes of which men
have been in the habit of making no very great account. I speak of
this, because sometimes larcenies, assault, and extortions are more
severely punished, because thereby men are wronged; whereas they
will tolerate whoredom and adultery, drunkenness, and blaspheming
of the name of God, as if these were things quite allowable, or
at least of very small importance. Let us hear, however, what God
thinks of them. He proclaims aloud, how precious his name is unto
him. Meanwhile, it is as if torn in pieces and trampled under foot.
It can never be that he will allow such shameful reproach to remain
unpunished. More than this, Scripture clearly points out to us, that
by reason of blasphemies a whole country is defiled. As concerning
adulteries, we who call ourselves Christians, ought to take great
shame to ourselves that even the heathen have exercised greater
rigour in their punishment of such than we do, seeing even that some
among us only laugh at them. When holy matrimony, which ought to be
a lively image of the sacred union which we have with the Son of
God, is polluted, and the covenant, which ought to stand more firm
and indissoluble than any in this world, is disloyally rent asunder,
if we do not lay to heart that sin against God, it is a token that
our zeal for God is very low indeed. As for whoredom, it ought to
be quite enough for us that St. Paul compares it to sacrilege,
inasmuch as by its means the temples of God, which our bodies are,
are profaned. Be it remembered also, that whoremongers and drunkards
are banished from the kingdom of God, on such terms that we are
forbidden to converse with them, whence it clearly follows, that
they ought not to be endured in the Church. We see herein the cause
why so many rods of judgment are at this very day lifted up over the
earth. For the more easily men pardon themselves in such enormities,
the more certainly will God take vengeance on them. Wherefore, to
prevent his wrath, I entreat of you, Monseigneur, to hold a tight
rein, and to take order, that those who hear the doctrine of the
Gospel, approve their Christianity by a life of holiness. For as
doctrine is the soul of the Church for quickening, so discipline
and the correction of vices are like the nerves to sustain the body
in a state of health and vigour. The duty of bishops and curates is
to keep watch over that, to the end that the Supper of our Lord may
not be polluted by people of scandalous lives. But in the authority
where God has set you, the chief responsibility returns upon you,
who have a special charge given you to set the others in motion, on
purpose that every one discharge himself of duty, and diligently to
look to it, that the order which shall have been established may be
duly observed.

Now, Monseigneur, agreeably to the protestation which I made above,
I shall make no further excuse, neither of the tiresomeness of my
letter, nor on account of my having thus freely laid open to you
what I had so much at heart. For I feel assured that my affection
is well known to you, while in your wisdom, and as you are well
versed in the Holy Scriptures, you perceive from what fountain I
have drawn all that is herein contained. Wherefore, I do not fear
to have been troublesome or importunate to you, in making manifest,
according as I could, the hearty desire I have that the name of God
may always be more and more glorified by you, which is my daily
supplication; beseeching him that he would please to increase his
grace in you, to confirm you by his Spirit in a true unconquerable
constancy, upholding you against all enemies, having yourself
with your whole household under his holy protection, enabling you
successfully to administer the charge which is committed to you,
that so the King may have whereof to praise this gracious God for
having had such a governor in his childhood, both for his person and
for his kingdom.

Whereupon I shall make an end, Monseigneur, very humbly commending
me to your kind favour.

  [_Fr. Copy._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107.]



CCXXX.--TO FAREL.

     Election of new magistrates at Geneva--troubles in
     France--letter from Bucer.


  GENEVA, _27th November 1548_.

You ought not to impute to my negligence your not having received
a letter from me since you set sail from this place; for I have
found no one setting out in your direction. It is not quite safe,
moreover, in these times, for a letter to be carried about by a
variety of hands. In the next place, I hardly know what to write
to you, because there is nothing that is not fitted to cause you
much more annoyance than satisfaction. The prefect Molard is here,
with whom are joined as assessors the eldest son of Balthazar and
a certain Rigot of that faction. You see, therefore, that there
will be no danger this year to the wicked from the severity of the
judges. We wait, however, to see in what channel their licence
will break forth. On the same day our comic friend Cæsar again
donned the socks.[210] Being now rendered somewhat more ferocious,
he boasts among his stage-players after his own Thrasonic fashion.
Finally, there appears to be no hope of speedy amendment, whatever
we may essay. Nor is it to be doubted that they are labouring to
effect a great revolution in the republic at the next assembly of
syndics; but the Lord in heaven is vigilant.

  [210] Deprived, the preceding year, of his office of councillor and
  captain-general, Amy Perrin had contrived, by the force of intrigue,
  to recover his former dignities.

The commotions at Bourdeaux are settled, or they are at least
lulled for a season.[211] For examples of extreme cruelty have been
exhibited, which may in a short time boil forth in greater tempests.
The people of Saintonge keep themselves concealed in the isles.
Bucer lately wrote to me that Antiochus was looking forward to a day
of purification. As far as I can gather from his letter, the council
have no heart for that.[212] I also received a letter from Bullinger
yesterday. When I reply you will know all. Should our council by
chance permit what has been adduced against the Interim of the sons
of Cæsar[213] to be printed here, I shall send you a copy by the
first messenger I can find. But as Trolliet maintains among his own
friends that there is no need of so many books and sermons, I am
afraid lest his authority prove so powerful as to force us to seek
a press elsewhere. Adieu, brother and most sincere friend, along
with your colleagues Fatin, Michel, Thomas, and the rest of the
co-presbyters. May the Lord continue to guide you all by his Holy
Spirit. You will salute your whole family in my name and in that
of my wife. All my city colleagues salute you. The others conduct
themselves piously and uprightly, with the two exceptions of Philip
and Ludovic Siliniac. James Bernard had lately a quarrel with a
grandson of Wendelin, because he allied the latter too closely with
us. His brother left this for another place three days ago. In
haste, yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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

  [211] The city of Bourdeaux having risen in revolt against the
  authority of the king on the ground of fresh taxation, the Constable
  Montmorency, being commissioned to suppress the disturbances, acted
  with relentless severity, and signalized his entry into the capital
  of Guienne by frightful executions.--De Thou, Lib. v.

  [212] Bucer wrote to Calvin:--"Earnestly entreat the Lord for
  this republic that it may learn to put away its own will and obey
  him."--Calv. _Opera_, Lib. ix. p. 46. But the magistrates had
  already resolved to make their submission, which involved the
  suppression of the Gospel in that unhappy city.

  [213] Is the reference to the partisans of the Imperial Alliance?



CCXXXI.--TO JOHN STURM.[214]

  [214] Without date. This letter appears to have been written at the
  moment when Strasbourg, menaced by the victorious army of Charles
  V., was disposed, in spite of the counsel of Bucer, to accept the
  _Interim_, and avoid by a voluntary submission the punishment
  inflicted on the leagued cities of Germany.--(December 1548.)

  John Sturm, a learned humanist and able politician, born at
  Sleida in 1507, passed through a brilliant course of study at the
  University of Louvain. Famous from his youth for learning and
  eloquence, he was nominated in 1529 Professor of Belles Lettres
  in the College of France, founded by Francis I., and became in
  1537 Rector of the celebrated Academy of Strasbourg. Connected
  thenceforward with the German and Swiss Reformers, he occupied an
  important place in the religious negotiations of the age, maintained
  a correspondence with the principal European sovereigns, and died in
  1583.

  Calvin and Sturm were known to each other, and associated together
  during the sojourn of the French Reformer at Strasbourg. From
  this period date the relations they maintained during many years,
  numerous precious memorials of which are to be found in the
  correspondence of Calvin. See on the subject of Sturm the curious
  and learned work entitled:--_La vie et les travaux de Jean Sturm,
  Premier Recteur de l'Académie de Strasbourg, par C. Schmidt_. 1 vol.
  in 8vo, 1855.

     Evidences of faith and Christian steadfastness, amid the dangers
     that threaten the Church.


  [GENEVA, _December 1548_.]

If the rumour that has suddenly been spread among us be true, it
behoves us to hold ourselves ready for the clash of arms. Would
that the world were wise, for in that case it would long ago have
been accustomed to cultivate peace under the favour of God. But
since a good part of it takes too much pleasure in a war with
God, it is but just that all those who refuse peaceably to submit
themselves to the Author of Peace, should perish wretchedly in their
mutual tumults. We ought at least to take this consolation in the
midst of evils, that those stormy troubles bring some cessation of
hostilities to the Church of God. The power of Antiochus will be
ruined; our Pharaoh, being conquered, will turn his violent assaults
elsewhere, and relax perchance somewhat of his severity at home.
New friends also will be able to effect some mitigation. I refrain
from exhorting you to use your efforts in the particular quarter
to which I refer, because I am persuaded that there is already
sufficient willingness. As to the rest, whether a final dispersion
be imminent, or, what is more pleasing to forecast, whether the Lord
has resolved to gather together, by means of earthly commotions,
into his heavenly kingdom, all those who are now scattered and
wandering wretchedly abroad, we shall have cherished a friendship in
good faith, the bond of which is inviolable....[215]

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107a.]

  [215] Conclusion wanting in the original manuscript.



CCXXXII.--TO MADAME DE CANY.[216]

  [216] Peronne de Pisseleu, wife of Michel de Barbançon, Seigneur
  de Cany, one of the personages of most importance in Picardy. This
  lady, instructed in the Reformed faith by Laurent de Normandie,
  lieutenant of the king at Noyon, and the friend of Calvin, had for
  a long time to endure the severity of her husband, who afterwards
  came at a later period to be a partaker of like faith.--_Bèze, Hist.
  Eccl._, tom. ii. p. 244.; De Thou, lib. xxv. Madame de Cany, sister
  of the Duchess d'Etampes, favourite of the late king, had possessed
  an unbounded influence at court, which she always used for generous
  purposes. Her ordinary residence was the Château de Varanues,
  situated on the Oise, near to Noyon.

     Exhortation to a courageous and honest profession of the truth.


  _This 8th January 1549._

MADAME,--I would not have taken the liberty to write to you, if a
man, whom I ought to trust among all others, had not emboldened me
to do so, by assuring me that my letter would be agreeable to you.
That is, Monsieur de Normandie, who, feeling himself obliged to you
for the kindness you had shewn him, had a special desire to do you
service, so far as he had the means, and besides, has such a care
of your salvation as he ought to have who knows that you have loved
him, as partaker of a common Christian faith. On this account he has
induced me to write to you, thinking that not only you might take
pleasure in my letters, but that they might perhaps be profitable
for you, as well for your consolation in present extremity, as to
exhort you to perseverance so needful in the midst of such manifold
temptations. And would to God I might have more ample opportunity of
compliance with his request. But seeing that it is his pleasure that
we should be separated by so great a distance, which does not permit
more frequent communication between us, I beseech you, Madame, to
take what I do write as a testimony of the earnest desire which I
have to promote your salvation. If, because of the confession you
have made of your Christianity, murmurs and threatenings rise up
against you, you must bear in mind to what we are called, which is,
that notwithstanding all sorts of contradiction on the part of the
world, we must render to the Son of God the homage which belongs to
him. These indeed should be to you as so many warnings to prepare
yourself for greater things, for neither great nor small ought to
seek exemption from suffering in the cause of our Sovereign King,
in which his honour is as much involved as our salvation. Above
all, since himself has begun by shewing us the way, who among us
shall dare to refuse to follow him? Where is the greatness, or
the elevation, that can bestow greater privilege upon us than
on himself? And more than that, if we can appreciate the honour
he confers upon us in making use of our service to maintain his
so precious truth, we shall hold it to be a peculiar advantage,
rather than be annoyed on account of it. True it is, that the
human understanding cannot apprehend that; but, seeing that the
infallible wisdom of God pronounces, that those who are persecuted
for the testimony of the Gospel are most happy, at all hazards we
must needs acquiesce in that judgment. And indeed, who are we that
_we_ should maintain the cause of God? Where is our sufficiency for
it, seeing that we are altogether inclined to falsehood? How should
we be witnesses for his truth, unless by his own special gracious
permission? On the other hand, seeing that we deserve on account
of our sins to suffer all shame of face and ignominy, every sort
of misery and torment, yea were it even a hundred thousand deaths,
if that were possible, have we aught to complain of, ought we not
rather to rejoice, when, forgetting our faults, he wills that we
should suffer for his name? Therefore, inasmuch as we are so froward
and carnal that we cannot reach such elevation, let us beg of this
gracious God that he would please to imprint in our hearts that
which naturally we find so strange. Furthermore, let us take to
ourselves the example of the Apostles, who counted the reproach of
the world as a great honour, and even gloried in it. In short, let
us never think that we have fully received the truth, if we do not
prefer, above all worldly triumphs, to fight under the banner of our
Lord Jesus, that is to say, to bear his cross.

Even so, Madame, consider, I beseech you, if hitherto you have taken
pains to serve and honour so good a master, how you can strive more
earnestly than ever to arm yourself against opposition, to take
courage against all difficulties in order to surmount them; for,
since the worldly often manifest invincible constancy in the pursuit
of their vanities, patiently enduring so many labours, troubles,
and dangers, it would be too shameful were we to grow weary in the
midst of the way of salvation; albeit that this is by no means all
that is required of us, that we shew ourselves steadfast in the
midst of persecutions; for, even if there were no enemies to make
open war upon us, we find enough of aversion and indisposedness
in ourselves and all around, to hinder us in making our calling
sure, which all those who have a true zeal to devote themselves to
God, experience more fully than any one could tell them. Inasmuch,
then, as I hold you to be of the number, I entreat you to exercise
yourself continually in the doctrine of renouncing the world yet
more and more, in order to come nearer to our Lord Jesus, who has
once for all purchased us to separate us unto himself. I mean the
world, such as we carry it within ourselves, before we are made
again after his likeness. And seeing that our whole nature, inasmuch
as by the corruption of the plague it has been depraved, is enmity
against God, the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ cannot be duly
established, until all which is ours has been beaten down; and not
only the open vices which are condemned of men, but also even our
own reason and wisdom. I am aware that I do not speak to you of any
new thing, and that by the grace of God you have long ago begun
to follow in the way of the holy heavenly calling. But the study
of holiness is one of which we must avail ourselves even to the
end. And as I have ample cause to praise God for the graces he has
bestowed on you, and whereby he magnifies himself in you, by making
his own glory to shine forth therein; in also looking to the frailty
which we all feel, I think it no superfluous trouble to exhort
you to follow on, as indeed you do. And even as it is becoming in
Christians to submit in all humility to receive the admonitions
which are addressed to them in the name of God, even that the most
learned should gladly submit to be taught, I hope that you will
receive the whole with a benign and kindly heart. Believe me, when
I hear that God has wrought so powerfully in you, and that he has
vouchsafed you such commendable qualities, I am incited all the more
to desire that he would increase his work in you, until he has quite
finished it; and this it is that has constrained me more freely to
declare to you my desire and affection.

In conclusion, Madame, having humbly commended me to your kind
favour, I entreat our good Lord to have you in his holy protection,
to guide you by his Holy Spirit in all strength and prudence, to
vouchsafe you grace to promote his honour, until he gather us all
unto himself.

  Your servant and humble brother,

  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.

  [_Fr. Copy, Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107.]



CCXXXIII.--TO MADEMOISELLE DE....

     Exhortations to steadfastness in the faith--acknowledgment of
     liberality.


  _The 12th of January 1549._

MADEMOISELLE MY SISTER,--I am very glad that your letter has
afforded an occasion for my writing to you, so that without further
excuse access and freedom have been given me, were it for nought
else than to declare the affection I have for you. Therein, that
is in your letter, I can perceive evident and clear signs of
spiritual vitality; and I have not a doubt but the heart speaks
therein quite as much, or rather more than the mouth. Besides, you
shew convincingly that you have no longer mere passing convictions,
such as many people have now-a-days, but that you have been touched
to the quick, and moved with the desire of dedicating yourself
wholly to God and to his will. It is very true, as you say, that
while clinging from worldly fear to the superstitions which in the
world reign paramount, you are still very far from that perfection
whereto our gracious God doth call us. But yet it is to have made
some progress even to acknowledge our sins, and to be displeased
with them. You must now advance farther, and condemning your own
weakness, set yourself in earnest about getting rid of it; and
if you cannot succeed all at once in compassing your wish, yet
nevertheless you must persevere in seeking the remedy for it, until
you have been completely cured. To do this, you will find it to
be of advantage to call yourself to account day by day, and while
acknowledging your faults, to groan within yourself, and mourn
over them before God, so that your displeasure against whatsoever
is evil may become more intense, until you are quite confirmed and
resolved to renounce it as you ought, even as indeed I feel assured
you labour hard to do. And it is not in vain that you beg of me to
join my prayers with yours, to seek with importunity to God that he
would be pleased to have compassion upon you, and to deliver you
from this unhappy captivity. Let us continue then with one accord
to put up this request, and he will at length make manifest that
you have not altogether lost your time. True, sometimes he lets us
grow faint, and before declaring effectually that he has heard our
prayers, he seems to keep at a distance, as much to sharpen our
desire, as to make trial of our patience; and, therefore, you need
not reckon that hitherto your prayers to him have been in vain,
but much rather take encouragement, and strive even more and more,
knowing that if perseverance be required throughout our whole life,
it is specially desired in prayer. And, besides, you must also take
care in real earnest to fan the flame which God has already begun
to kindle within you; for all the gracious affections he breathes
into us, are just so many sparks which we must not extinguish, or
allow to go out by our heedlessness. Since, then, God has already
opened your eyes so far, that you admit we ought to be his peculiar
ones, and dedicated to him in righteousness, so as to glorify him as
well in our bodies as in our souls; seeing also that he has touched
your heart, so that you have some feeling of our unhappiness in
alienation from him, unquestionably you must not now go to sleep
or trifle away at your ease, but even as we stir fire when it does
not burn as it ought to do, it is quite right that you be upstirred
yet more and more, until the longing desire to devote yourself
wholly to him and to his righteousness, overcomes all hindrances
either from the flesh or from the world. I see, or at least take
into view, the very great difficulties you have where you are; but
since these considerations do not excuse you in the sight of God,
when the question is of obedience to his word, and also in a thing
of so great importance as the rendering unto him the glory which is
due, and the making confession of your Christianity,--if I desire
your salvation as I ought, as God is my witness that I do, it is my
duty to awaken you, so far as I possibly can, not that I can teach
you any new thing, but that on my part I may assist you in making a
right use of that knowledge which God has vouchsafed you; to wit,
how reasonable it is that his honour be preferred to our life, and
also that we endeavour to put away all those subterfuges, which our
flesh suggests to us, for turning aside from the path which he
points out. That we may do so, we must learn a habit of forgetting
ourselves, for the allurements of the world are no less dangerous
than open war. The most humble have their share. You, on the other
hand, owing to the high condition wherein God has set you, have a
larger portion. But you must consider that this is a discipline
God sends you, in order that you may all the better manifest the
strength and vigour of the savour of our heavenly life, when you
shall have surmounted those great obstacles, following out in spite
of them your heavenly calling. However, Mademoiselle, when you feel
your own infirmity so great, that in the midst of dangers you are
unable to give glory to God, do not neglect the remedy, which is to
betake yourself to the cross, where you may be joined to the flock,
and hear the voice of the Shepherd; whatever may happen, shun to
be as a sheep straying in the wilderness. When you are in such a
disposition, there is no doubt that God will have compassion upon
you, that himself will provide when you shall see no means of doing
so; for it is thus that he withdraws his own not only from the
mouths of wolves, but from the very depths of hell.

I have received the ten crowns which you have sent for the support
of the poor believers who have need of it.[217] I have intrusted
them to a discreet hand, to make distribution according to your
intention. May the Lord vouchsafe acceptance of this alms at your
hands, as a sacrifice of a sweet savour, and cause you one day to
rejoice in the spiritual benefits which he has imparted to those you
are thus helping in their earthly poverty.

  [217] The donations which a pious liberality daily multiplied at
  Geneva, gave rise to the foundations known by the name of French,
  German, and Italian _Bourses_. The names of Margaret de Valois, and
  the Duchess of Ferrara, shine in the first rank upon the list of
  foreign contributors.--Bolsec, _Life of Calvin_, c. xi.

And now, Mademoiselle, having commended me humbly to your kind
favour, with prayer to our good Lord to uphold you in his
protection, to govern you always by his Spirit, and to assist you in
every way and evermore, I shall conclude for the present. My wife
also desires to be humbly commended to your kind favour.

  Your servant and humble brother,

  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.

  [_Fr. copy._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 108.]



CCXXXIV.--TO THE MINISTERS OF THE CHURCH OF MONTBELIARD.[218]

  [218] To the Faithful Servants of Christ, the Ministers of the
  Church of Montbeliard, dearest Brethren and Fellow-Ministers.

  George of Wurtemberg, Count of Montbeliard, having fallen under
  the disgrace of the Emperor, at the end of the war of Smalkald, in
  which he had taken part in the ranks of the Protestant princes,
  was stript of his Principality in 1548, and withdrew to the Canton
  of Berne.--Ruchat, vol. v. p. 368. At the termination of that
  revolution, the Churches of the Pays de Montbeliard were dispersed,
  and their ministers, among whom was to be remarked Pierre Toussain,
  were banished, and sought an asylum in the different Reformed
  Cantons of Switzerland, until the period of the restoration, both
  political and religious, that replaced them some years afterwards in
  their native country.

     Exhortations to discharge to the end their ministerial duties.


  [GENEVA, _16th January 1549_.]

Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus
Christ.--Very dear brethren, deserving of my hearty reverence, what
we so long feared has at length come to pass, for Satan has, by the
aid of his ministers, overturned among you also the order of the
Church as established by God. Yet your letter was consolatory--so
far as there could be any consolation in so very sad a state of
things--for we learned from it that you were all faithful to the
last in the discharge of your duty. In denouncing, as you say you
did, those seducers who were making themselves busy in defiling the
purity of sound doctrine, you acted with a decision worthy of the
ministers of Christ. You now give a bright example of the sincerity
of your faith, in preferring even exile to perfidious dissimulation.
For when he who had hitherto given a hospitable reception within
his dominions to the Church of Christ, and had granted you full
permission to preach Christ, now deprives you of the office of
teachers, there is no use in pushing the matter farther, as we
think, especially when there is no hope of making progress, and
when the sheep, over which Christ had made you pastors, no longer
desire your services. As he is a traitor who voluntarily yields up
and deserts his post, so it is our duty, when forced, not to offer
resistance, unless perhaps we should be expressly called upon by the
Church to undergo the extremity; for it is a hundred times better
to die, than for those who were prepared to follow Christ to make
vain their vows. But your case is far different; for so long as you
were pastors, you were faithful and assiduous in your attention to
your flocks. Now when there is no use in desiring to persevere, and
when the sheep themselves, to whom your faith was pledged, do not
consider it profitable for you to proceed farther, you are certainly
free from all further obligation. It remains, therefore, for you to
commend to Christ the charges committed to you, that he alone by his
Spirit may give guidance when you have no longer any opportunity
of carrying on your labours. Henceforward we may imagine what your
sorrow must be, seeing that nothing presents itself to you but exile
and poverty. But your greatest affliction will be caused by the
misery of the Church, for whose interests you have evinced greater
regard than for your own. And we indeed are equally affected--as we
ought to be--by your public and private misfortunes. Would that we
could extend a helping hand to you! For the rest, we exhort you to
hold on to the end in this your testimony of Christian sincerity.
Your lot, however hard, will be more blessed than if you maintained
a name and a place where the Son of God was exiled. Yet we shall
soon see him so reigning in heaven, as to make his power appear
also on the earth. Meanwhile, it becomes us to be ready for the
warfare, since it is not yet the hour of triumph. Adieu, best and
most upright brethren. May the Lord Jesus Christ be with you, may he
comfort and support you in your devoted steadfastness.

Your brethren truly in the Lord, the Ministers of the Church of
Geneva.--In the name of all,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._--Opera, tom. ix. p. 50.]



CCXXXV.--TO HENRY BULLINGER.[219]

  [219] The year 1549 is remarkable for the tendencies to union
  manifested by many of the Swiss Churches, and for their happy issue!
  Several persons, says Ruchat, zealous for religion, imagined that
  the clergy of Zurich and Geneva did not hold the same doctrine
  on the Supper, on the ground of some slight difference in the
  expressions they made use of; and this divergence caused them pain.
  Accordingly, as they held Bullinger and Calvin in great esteem,
  and desired to be able to profit equally by writings published by
  theologians of both churches, they deemed it necessary to institute
  conferences with a view to union; and Calvin, ever full of zeal for
  the interests of the Church, did not hesitate to subscribe to this
  petition.--_Hospinien_, tom. ii. p. 367; Ruchat, tom. v. p. 369.

     Hope of union with the theologians of Zurich--dedication of
     several writings.


  GENEVA, _21st January 1549_.

I at length received your former letter, which I thought had
been destroyed, three days before the latter of the two reached
me. For when the person who married the other sister[220] sought
Hooper's[221] letter from his companion, observing another small
packet, he immediately laid hands on it. His companion, either
from modesty, or from some cause I know not what, did not dare to
take it from him. I have read your annotations, from which I have
discovered what you regard as wanting in my method of treating the
subject. I have endeavoured briefly to satisfy you, because the
matter itself did not demand a long discourse. I shall know how far
I have succeeded in this, when I have received your reply. I may at
least on good grounds wish to obtain this of you, viz., that you
will not allow yourself to become entangled in baseless suspicions.
For I observe that, owing to this cause, you are perplexed in
regard to many points which present difficulty, simply because you
put upon the majority of my statements a different construction
from what you have any ground for doing. A pre-conceived opinion
regarding me leads you to imagine and attribute to me what never
occurred to my mind. Besides, while you are concerned to maintain
your own opinions, whatever they may be, to the very last, you
sometimes consider more what is in harmony with them, than what is
the truth on the subject. If simplicity pleases you, I certainly
take no delight in disguise and circumlocution. If you love a free
declaration of the truth, I never had any mind to bend what I wrote,
so as to receive its acceptance with men. If there be any who have
flattered Luther and others, I am not of that number. Our most
excellent Musculus knows, that even when wise men were in fear, I
was always free [from apprehensions]. But had it not been for the
obstacle of an unprofitable distrust, there would by this time have
been no controversy between us, or none to speak of. Although,
however, I differ from you in opinion, that does not imply the
least severance of affection; just as I cultivate the friendship
of Bucer, and yet am free to dissent occasionally from his views.
You are accordingly too severe in saying in your letter that the
matter can only go well, provided you understand that you are not
regarded as our enemies. On what grounds you form that surmise, I
know not. This indeed I know, that I both think and speak of you in
a friendly spirit. This, moreover, is known to very many who have
heard me speak. It may indeed be that I have found fault with you
in private letters to my friends, or that I have not concealed my
conviction, that what they censured was deserving of reprehension.
There was always, however, such an admixture of praise, as qualified
any bitterness, and afforded proof of good intentions. Others may
form what opinion they choose, but I shall never have to repent
of lack of integrity on my part. If Master Blaurer[222] shall
undertake Provence, which is offered to him, and Musculus accept
the Professorship of Theology, I shall not only congratulate the
Church of Berne, but hope that this will prove a bond of closer
relationship between us. I beg you will inform me of your affairs,
whenever an opportunity occurs. You would have had my Commentaries
on the Five Epistles of Paul before this time, had I not thought
that they were for sale with you. As messengers rarely go and come
between this and your quarter, I was afraid that the carriage would
cost more than the purchase of them. I now send you the Commentaries
on the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, and the four [Epistles]
immediately following. I have yet published nothing on the Epistle
to Titus, and the two Epistles to the Thessalonians. I also send
my reply, which is highly approved of by Brentius, whose opinion
I do not mention to you in the way of boasting, but that you may
therefrom form a conjecture as to how much more moderate he is in
his doctrine of the Sacraments than he formerly was. Adieu, most
illustrious sir, and dearest brother in the Lord. May the Lord Jesus
always guide you and your colleagues, all of whom you will salute
respectfully in my name. Ours in turn desire best greetings to you,
of whom Des Gallars presents for your acceptance a small treatise he
has composed. The best greeting to Master Musculus, and other pious
brethren.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Archives of Zurich._ Gest. VI. 166, p. 19.]

  [220] Valeran Poulain, brother-in-law of Hooper, whose sister
  he espoused at Zurich. He became this same year minister of the
  congregation cf Foreign Protestants at Glastonbury, near London. We
  shall find him afterwards minister of the Church of Frankfort.

  [221] John Hooper, formerly chaplain to the Duke of Somerset,
  withdrew to Zurich during the latter years of the reign of Henry
  VIII. He was at this time disposed to return to England.

  [222] Ambroise Blaurer, formerly minister of the Reformed Church of
  Constance, at this time minister of the Church of Bienne.



CCXXXVI.--TO BUCER.[223]

  [223] This undated fragment should, we think, be referred to the
  month of February 1549; that is, to the period at which Bucer,
  compelled to leave Strasbourg, by the establishment of the Interim
  in that town, was making preparations for his departure for
  England. In one of his letters to Calvin we discover the following
  passage:--"We are only hindered by the tears and sighs of the
  pious--of whom there are still a great many here--from leaving this
  place before we get orders. For, if the Lord will, we wish rather to
  seal than to break up our ministry. You see how our affairs stand,
  and how much we need the assistance of your prayers, both in our own
  behalf and on that of this very unfortunate Church."--_Calv. Opera_,
  b. ix. p. 233.

  Sadly disappointed in the dream of his whole life--the union of
  the Reformed Churches of Germany and Switzerland--forgotten by
  parties who could not forgive his moderation in an age of hatred
  and intolerance, Bucer carried with him into exile the respect
  and affection of Calvin, who in a letter, of which we have here
  only a mere fragment, addressed to him the highest consolations of
  Christian philosophy.

     Consolations to be found in the study of divine and everlasting
     truth.


  [_February 1549._]

As truth is most precious, so all men confess it to be so. And yet,
since God alone is the source of all good, you must not doubt, that
whatever truth you anywhere meet with, proceeds from him, unless
you would be doubly ungrateful to him; it is in this way you have
received the word descended from heaven. For it is sinful to treat
God's gifts with contempt; and to ascribe to man what is peculiarly
God's is a still greater impiety. Philosophy is, consequently, the
noble gift of God, and those learned men who have striven hard after
it in all ages have been incited thereto by God himself, that they
might enlighten the world in the knowledge of the truth. But there
is a wide difference between the writings of these men and those
truths which God, of his own pleasure, delivered to guilty men for
their sanctification. In the former, you may fall in with a small
particle of truth, of which you can get only a taste, sufficient to
make you feel how pleasant and sweet it is; but in the latter, you
may obtain in rich abundance that which can refresh the soul to the
full. In the one, a shadow and an image is placed before the eyes
which can only excite in you a love of the object, without admitting
you to familiar intercourse with it; in the other, the solid
substance stands before you, with which you may not only become
intimately acquainted, but may also, in some measure, handle it.
In that, the seed is in a manner choked; in this, you may possess
the fruit in its very maturity. There, in short, only a few small
sparks break forth, which so point out the path that they fail in
the middle of the journey,--or rather, which fail in indicating the
path at all,--and can only restrain the traveller from going farther
astray; but here, the Spirit of God, like a most brilliant torch, or
rather like the sun itself, shines in full splendour, not only to
guide the course of your life, even to its final goal, but also to
conduct you to a blessed immortality. Draw then from this source,
wherever you may wander, and as soon as he finds you a settled
abode, you ought to make that your place of rest....

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 50.]



CCXXXVII.--TO THE PASTORS OF THE CHURCH OF BERNE.[224]

  [224] While Calvin was engaged in active negotiations with the
  ministers of Zurich for the adoption of a common formula regarding
  the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, he addressed to the ministers of
  the Church of Berne a statement of what the Church of Geneva held
  on that important question, in the hope of leading that Church into
  the proposed union. But the Bernese clergy, placed in a position
  of absolute dependence on the seigneury, could not adopt any
  formula without its authority; and the seigneurs, jealous of their
  influence, regarded with a distrustful eye any communication with
  the ministers of Geneva. The approaches of Calvin, also, were not
  well received, and the noble desire of the Reformer for the union of
  the Helvetian churches, realized at a later period by Bullinger, met
  with no response.--_Ruchat_, tom. v. pp. 578, 579.

     Desire of union between the Churches of Berne and Geneva.


  GENEVA, _13th March 1549_.

Seeing that we have, unsolicited, offered you a reading of our views
on the sacraments, it seems desirable to furnish you, briefly, with
some reason for our resolution in this matter; although, indeed, no
lengthened introduction is needed in dealing with us in so just a
cause. When your illustrious senate has publicly called upon you to
deliberate, among other matters, regarding the peace of the Church,
of which the peculiar bond is harmony in purity of doctrine, it is
probable there will be some discussion regarding the sacraments,
as that subject has for a long time occupied the attention of the
Bernese Church. And while we are not required to make any exposition
of our doctrine, we have, nevertheless, thought it our duty, even
though unasked, to take part with you in bearing testimony on a
matter in which we have all been completely unanimous. For since
we both preach the same Christ, both profess the same gospel, are
both members of the same church, and have both the same ministry,
there ought not to be that diversity of authority among us to which
we have been subject, either to break up the unity of our faith,
or to hinder from flourishing amongst us so many rights of holy
fellowship consecrated to the service of Christ. That proximity
of residence, also, which is so influential among the children
of this world, in drawing them into close friendship, ought not,
at least, to be less powerful among us. We are, in reality, so
commingled, that even the situation of the two places brings us, as
it were, within a bond of mutual union. So far is this the case,
that there is a federal union between the two cities. Some of our
ministers, moreover, supply the churches of the Bernese district,
just as certain of your body, again, have some of the churches of
Geneva under their charge. It is, consequently, to a great extent,
as much your interest as it is ours to become intimately acquainted
with those doctrines to which we conform. At all events, in this
way--passing by other considerations--many unfavourable suspicions
will be counteracted, and malicious men will be deprived of a source
of abuse. We confidently trust that our wishes will be agreeable,
not only to yourselves, but also to your most illustrious senate.
It only remains that you receive this communication calmly and with
forbearance. And if you do so, as there is the highest hope you
will, it will not be found to contain anything which you may not
easily comprehend. Adieu, dearly beloved and estimable brethren and
fellow-ministers; may the Lord Jesus long preserve, by his strength,
the Bernese republic in a most prosperous condition. May he uphold
the illustrious senate, under whose auspices ye have been assembled.
May he direct and bless your assembly, and guide you by a spirit of
wise zeal and uprightness to promote the advancement and edification
of the Church.

Signed in the name of all your brethren and fellow-ministers of the
Church of Geneva,

  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

Then follows an exposition of the sacraments, corrected by the hand
of Calvin.

  [_Lat. Copy._--_Archives of Zurich_, Gest. VI. 105, p. 390.]



CCXXXVIII.--TO VIRET.[225]

  [225] A peculiar interest attaches to this and the following letter,
  written under a load of great domestic affliction. Early in April
  1549, Calvin lost the worthy partner of his life, Idelette de Bure,
  whose frail and delicate health gave way under the pressure of a
  protracted illness, and whose last hours are known to us by the
  touching picture given of them by the Reformer. The consolations
  of friendship, and the consideration of the important duties he
  had to discharge, supported Calvin in this affliction, and the
  self-control which he manifested during the first days of his
  bereavement, excited the admiration of his friends. Viret wrote him
  on this occasion as follows: "Wonderfully and incredibly have I been
  refreshed, not by empty rumours alone, but especially by numerous
  messengers who have informed me how you, with a heart so broken
  and lacerated, have attended to all your duties even better than
  hitherto ... and that, above all, at a time when grief so fresh,
  and on that account all the more severe, might have prostrated your
  mind. Go on then as you have begun ... and I pray God most earnestly
  that you may be enabled to do so, and that you may receive daily
  greater comfort and be strengthened more and more."--Letter of 10th
  April 1549. _Calv. Opera_, tom. ix. p. 53.

     Death of Idelette de Bure, the wife of Calvin.


  _April 7, 1549._

Although the death of my wife has been exceedingly painful to me,
yet I subdue my grief as well as I can. Friends, also, are earnest
in their duty to me. It might be wished, indeed, that they could
profit me and themselves more; yet one can scarcely say how much
I am supported by their attentions. But you know well enough how
tender, or rather soft, my mind is. Had not a powerful self-control,
therefore, been vouchsafed to me, I could not have borne up so long.
And truly mine is no common source of grief. I have been bereaved of
the best companion of my life, of one who, had it been so ordered,
would not only have been the willing sharer of my indigence, but
even of my death. During her life she was the faithful helper of
my ministry. From her I never experienced the slightest hindrance.
She was never troublesome to me throughout the entire course of
her illness; she was more anxious about her children than about
herself.[226] As I feared these private cares might annoy her to
no purpose, I took occasion, on the third day before her death,
to mention that I would not fail in discharging my duty to her
children. Taking up the matter immediately, she said, "I have
already committed them to God." When I said that that was not to
prevent me from caring for them, she replied, "I know you will not
neglect what you know has been committed to God." Lately, also, when
a certain woman insisted that she should talk with me regarding
these matters, I, for the first time, heard her give the following
brief answer: "Assuredly the principal thing is that they live a
pious and holy life. My husband is not to be urged to instruct them
in religious knowledge and in the fear of God. If they be pious, I
am sure he will gladly be a father to them; but if not, they do not
deserve that I should ask for aught in their behalf." This nobleness
of mind will weigh more with me than a hundred recommendations. Many
thanks for your friendly consolation. Adieu, most excellent and
honest brother. May the Lord Jesus watch over and direct yourself
and your wife.[227] Present my best wishes to her and to the
brethren.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._--Opera, tom. ix. p. 50.]

  [226] Idelette de Bure had, by her first marriage with Jean Storder,
  several children known to us only by the pious solicitude of their
  mother on her deathbed.

  [227] We read in Viret's letter to Calvin already referred
  to,--"My wife salutes you most courteously; she has been grieved
  in no ordinary way by the death of her very dear sister, and she
  and I feel it to be a loss to us all." Idelette de Bure kept up
  with Viret's wife a pious epistolary correspondence, which has
  unfortunately not been preserved.



CCXXXIX.--TO FAREL.

     Further details regarding the death of Idelette de Bure.


  GENEVA, _11th April 1549_.

Intelligence of my wife's death has perhaps reached you before now.
I do what I can to keep myself from being overwhelmed with grief.
My friends also leave nothing undone that may administer relief to
my mental suffering. When your brother left, her life was all but
despaired of. When the brethren were assembled on Tuesday, they
thought it best that we should join together in prayer. This was
done. When Abel, in the name of the rest, exhorted her to faith and
patience, she briefly (for she was now greatly worn) stated her
frame of mind. I afterwards added an exhortation, which seemed to me
appropriate to the occasion. And then, as she had made no allusion
to her children, I, fearing that, restrained by modesty, she might
be feeling an anxiety concerning them, which would cause her greater
suffering than the disease itself, declared in the presence of the
brethren, that I should henceforth care for them as if they were
my own. She replied, "I have already committed them to the Lord."
When I replied, that that was not to hinder me from doing my duty,
she immediately answered, "If the Lord shall care for them, I know
they will be commended to you." Her magnanimity was so great, that
she seemed to have already left the world. About the sixth hour of
the day, on which she yielded up her soul to the Lord, our brother
Bourgouin[228] addressed some pious words to her, and while he
was doing so, she spoke aloud, so that all saw that her heart was
raised far above the world. For these were her words: "O glorious
resurrection! O God of Abraham, and of all our fathers, in thee have
the faithful trusted during so many past ages, and none of them
have trusted in vain. I also will hope." These short sentences were
rather ejaculated than distinctly spoken. This did not come from
the suggestion of others, but from her own reflections, so that she
made it obvious in few words what were her own meditations. I had
to go out at six o'clock. Having been removed to another apartment
after seven, she immediately began to decline. When she felt her
voice suddenly failing her, she said: "Let us pray: let us pray. All
pray for me." I had now returned. She was unable to speak, and her
mind seemed to be troubled. I, having spoken a few words about the
love of Christ, the hope of eternal life, concerning our married
life, and her departure, engaged in prayer. In full possession of
her mind, she both heard the prayer, and attended to it. Before
eight she expired, so calmly, that those present could scarcely
distinguish between her life and her death. I at present control
my sorrow so that my duties may not be interfered with. But in the
mean while the Lord has sent other trials upon me. Adieu, brother,
and very excellent friend. May the Lord Jesus strengthen you by his
Spirit; and may he support me also under this heavy affliction,
which would certainly have overcome me, had not he, who raises
up the prostrate, strengthens the weak, and refreshes the weary,
stretched forth his hand from heaven to me. Salute all the brethren
and your whole family.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 50.]

  [228] The minister Francis Bourgouin.



CCXL.--TO MADAME DE CANY.[229]

  [229] See the letter and the note at p. 201.

     Account of the instructive death of Madame Laurent de Normandie.


  _This 29th of April 1549._

MADAME,--Although the news which I communicate is sad, and must also
sadden the person to whom I beg you to impart it, nevertheless I
hope that my letter will not be unwelcome to you. It has pleased my
God to withdraw from this world the wife of my kind brother, M. de
Normandie.[230] Our consolation is, that he has gathered her unto
himself; for he has guided her even to the last sigh, as if visibly
he had held out the hand to her. Now, forasmuch as her father must
needs be informed,[231] we have thought there was no way more
suitable than to request that you would please take the trouble to
request him to call on you, that the painful intelligence may be
broken to him by your communication of it. What the gentleman has
written to us who lately presented our letter to you, has emboldened
us to take this step, viz., that you had introduced the good man in
question to the right way of salvation, and that you had given him
understanding of the pure and sound doctrine which we must maintain.
We do not doubt, therefore, that you are willing to continue your
good offices, and that even in this present need. For we cannot
employ ourselves better, than in carrying this message in the name
of God, to comfort him to whom you have already done so much good,
that he may not be beyond measure disconsolate. Therefore, Madame, I
leave you to set before him the arguments and reasons which you know
to be suitable for exhorting to submission. Only I shall shortly
relate to you the history, which will furnish you with ample matter
for showing him that he has reason to be thankful. And, according to
the grace and wisdom that God has given you, you will draw thence
for his comfort as opportunity shall require.

  [230] Laurent de Normandie, sprung from a noble family of Picardy,
  fellow-countryman and friend of Calvin, discharged the functions of
  master of requests and of lieutenant of the King at Noyon, before
  retiring to Geneva. Received inhabitant of the town, the 2d May
  1547, burgess, the 25th April 1555, he lived there in intimacy with
  Calvin, who dedicated to him in 1550 his _Traité des Scandales_.
  He had married for his first wife Anne de la Vacquerie, of a noble
  family, which has merged in that of the Dukes of Saint Simon, and
  illustrious under the reign of Louis XI., by the first president
  Jacques de la Vacquerie. A short time after his arrival at Geneva
  he lost his wife, whose edifying death is the subject of Calvin's
  letter to Madame de Cany, and he married a second time (14th
  September 1550) Anne Colladon.--Galiffe, _Notices Généalogiques sur
  les Familles de Genève_, tom. ii. p. 527.

  [231] Eloi de la Vacquerie.

Having heard of the illness of the good woman, we were amazed
how she could have been able to bear so well the fatigue of the
journey, for she arrived quite fresh, and without showing any sign
of weariness. Indeed she acknowledged that God had singularly
supported her during that time. Weak as she was, she kept well
enough until a little before Christmas. The eager desire which she
had to hear the word of God, upheld her until the month of January.
She then began to take to bed, not because the complaint was as
yet thought to be mortal, but to prevent the danger which might
arise. Although expecting a favourable termination, and hoping to
recover her health, she nevertheless prepared for death, saying
often, that if this was not the finishing blow, it could not be
long delayed. As for remedies, all was done that could be. And if
her bodily comfort was provided for, that which she prized most
highly was nowise wanting, to wit, pious admonitions to confirm her
in the fear of God, in the faith of Jesus Christ, in patience, in
the hope of salvation. On her part she always gave clear evidence
that the labour was not in vain, for in her discourse you could see
that she had the whole deeply imprinted upon her heart. In short,
throughout the course of her sickness, she proved herself to be a
true sheep of our Lord Jesus, letting herself be quietly led by the
Great Shepherd. Two or three days before death, as her heart was
more raised to God, she also spoke with more earnest affection than
ever. Even the day before, while she was exhorting her people, she
said to her attendant, that he must take good heed never to return
thither where he had polluted himself with idolatry; and that since
God had led him to a Christian Church, he should be careful to
live therein a holy life. The night following, she was oppressed
with great and continued pain. Yet never did one hear any other
cry from her, than the prayer to God that he would have pity upon
her, and that he would deliver her out of the world, vouchsafing
grace to persevere always in the faith which he had bestowed.
Toward five o'clock in the morning I went to her. After she had
listened very patiently to the doctrine which I set before her,
such as the occasion called for, she said: "The hour draws near, I
must needs depart from the world; this flesh asks only to go away
into corruption; but I feel certain that my God is withdrawing my
soul into his kingdom. I know what a poor sinful woman I am, but
my confidence is in his goodness, and in the death and passion of
his Son. Therefore, I do not doubt of my salvation, since he has
assured me of it. I go to him as to a Father." While she was thus
discoursing, a considerable number of persons came in. I threw in
from time to time some words, such as seemed suitable; and we also
made supplication to God as the exigency of her need required.
After once more declaring the sense she had of her sins, to ask the
pardon of them from God, and the certainty which she entertained
of her salvation, putting her sole confidence in Jesus, and having
her whole trust in him,--without being invited by any one to do
so, she began to pronounce the Miserere as we sing it in church,
and continued with a loud and strong voice, not without great
difficulty, but she entreated that we would allow her to continue.
Whereupon, I made her a short recapitulation of the whole argument
of the psalm, seeing the pleasure she took in it. Afterwards,
taking me by the hand, she said to me, "How happy I am, and how am
I beholden to God, for having brought me here to die! Had I been in
that wretched prison, I could not have ventured to open my mouth to
make confession of my Christianity. Here I have not only liberty to
glorify God, but I have so many sound arguments to confirm me in my
salvation." Sometimes, indeed, she said, "I am not able for more."
When I answered her, "God is able to help you; he has, indeed, shown
you how he is a present aid to his own;" she said immediately, "I do
believe so, and he makes me feel his help." Her husband was there,
striving to keep up in such sort that we were all sorry for him,
while he made us wonder in amazement at his fortitude. For while
possessed with such grief as I know it to have been, and weighed
down by extremity of sorrow, he had so far gained the mastery over
self, as to exhort his better part as freely as if they were going
to make a most joyful journey together. The conversation I have
related took place in the midst of the great torment she endured
from pains in her stomach. Towards nine or ten o'clock they abated.
Availing herself of this relaxation, she never ceased to glorify
God, humbly seeking her salvation and all her wellbeing in Jesus
Christ. When speech failed her, her countenance told how intently
she was interested, as well in the prayers as in the exhortations
which were made. Otherwise she was so motionless, that sight alone
gave indication of life. Towards the end, considering that she was
gone, I said, "Now let us pray God that he would give us grace to
follow her." As I rose, she turned her eyes upon us, as if charging
us to persevere in prayer and consolation; after that, we perceived
no motion, and she passed away so gracefully, that it was as if she
had fallen asleep.

I pray you, Madame, to excuse me if I have been too tedious. But I
thought that the father would be well pleased to be fully informed
of the whole, as if he himself had been upon the spot. And I hope
that in so good a work you will find nothing troublesome. St. Paul,
in treating of charity, does not forget that we ought to weep with
those who weep; that is to say, that if we are Christians, we ought
to have such compassion and sorrow for our neighbours, that we
should willingly take part in their tears, and thus comfort them.
It cannot otherwise be but the good man must, at the first, be
wrung with grief. Howbeit he must already have been long prepared
to receive the news, considering that his daughter's sickness had
increased so much, that her recovery was despaired of. But the great
consolation is, the example which she has afforded to him and to
all of us, of bowing to the will of God. And thus, seeing that she
has presented herself so peaceably to death, let us herein follow
her, willingly complying with the disposal of God; and if her father
loved her, let him show his love in conforming himself to the desire
which she exhibited of submitting herself to God. And seeing that
her dismissal has been so happy, let him rejoice in the grace of
God vouchsafed to her, which far surpasses all the comforts we can
possess in this world.

In conclusion, Madame, having humbly commended me to your kind
favour, I beseech our good Lord to be always your protector, to
increase you with all spiritual blessing, and to cause you to
glorify his name even to the end.

  Your humble servitor and brother,

  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.

  [_Fr. Copy.--Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107.]



CCXLI.--TO VIRET.

     Various particulars--recommendation of Francis Hotman,
     Jurisconsult.


  _7th May 1549._

When Ferron was deposed he said you would write on his behalf. I
have not received anything as yet. He behaved so insolently in
our assembly that he very much resembled a man deprived of his
reason.[232] The Lord will direct the matter according to his will;
we have resolved on acting so moderately as to show him that he has
to do with men and with servants of Christ. Cæsar the comedian
annoys us in whatever way he can. Hitherto it has so turned out that
he has gained nothing by it but the utmost disgrace. And yet, among
his own party he gives himself all the airs of a victor.[233] Haller
has at length explained what he would desiderate in our confession.
This consists of a great many unimportant and trivial points. I
shall reply to him as soon as I find opportunity. I did not send you
the letter before it was read to the brethren. It is on this account
that Hotman[234] has undertaken this journey to you; he will carry
it more safely than otherwise. I do not think it proper, nor have I
been disposed, to inquire more minutely into that situation to which
he aspires, except that he has resolved to dedicate his work to the
Lord and to the Church. I especially approve of this resolution.
For he has strong native talent, is of extensive erudition, and is
possessed of other valuable qualities. However, I know that you
think so highly of him that there is no need of me recommending him.
And, as you are of opinion that his work would be useful, I have
no doubt that you would be sufficiently disposed of yourself to
aid him. I was unwilling, however, to act so, that he might think
me wanting in my duty to him. I shall only add, that he should
understand there is nothing nearer our hearts than that he should
devote his labour to the Church.

  [232] Accused of having wished to seduce a servant, Ferron was
  deposed from the ministry on the 5th September 1548.--_Registers of
  the Council._

  [233] In a letter from Calvin to Farel, written on the same day as
  that to Viret, we meet with a passage regarding Amy Perrin:--"Cæsar,
  our comedian, in his last mission, exasperated them [the Bernese]
  exceedingly, and I fear he has commenced a serious tragedy among
  us."--_MSS. of Geneva_, vol. 106. Charged with a mission to Berne,
  he had returned to Geneva more insolent and more intractable than
  ever.

  [234] The learned lawyer, Francis Hotman, recently engaged in the
  evangelical cause, had quitted France, his native country, at the
  advice of Calvin, to retire to Geneva. He became, during the same
  year, Professor of Law at the Academy of Lausanne.--See _La France
  Protestante_, Art. Hotman.

Adieu, brother and most sincere friend. May the Lord Jesus preserve
yourself, your wife, and your little daughter, and send a blessing
upon your sacred labours. Salute all respectfully in my name.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr.--Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107.]



CCXLII.--TO HENRY BULLINGER.[235]

  [235] The new King of France, Henry II., sought an alliance with the
  Swiss with extreme eagerness. His envoys, Boisrigault, Liancourt,
  Lavan, and Menage overran the Cantons, scattering everywhere proofs
  of his liberality, to obtain a renewal of the ancient treaties.
  Everywhere, says the Swiss historian, their proposals were welcomed,
  except at Berne and at Zurich. In the latter town, Bullinger rose
  with great energy against this negotiating with a man who was
  converting a loyal and Christian people into a nation of hired
  murderers. He called to their recollection the persecutions of which
  France had been the theatre, and adjured his fellow-citizens to
  avoid all terms with a persecuting monarch, who was covered with
  the blood of their brethren. Better aware than Bullinger of the
  dangers which the supremacy of the Emperor was spreading over the
  various states of Europe, and over the Reformed Churches of Germany
  and Switzerland, and hoping, perhaps, to obtain by a treaty some
  relief to the faithful of France, Calvin was in favour of the French
  alliance, and in this remarkable letter attempted to vindicate its
  legitimacy by examples borrowed from the Old Testament.--_Histoire
  de la Suisse_, tom. xi. p. 306, _et suiv._

     Pleading in favour of the alliance of the Reformed Cantons with
     France.


  _7th May 1549._

As time does not permit me to reply to your letter now, I am merely
desirous of telling you that I have scarcely ever received anything
more pleasant from you, as it served to alleviate a very trying
domestic grief, which, occasioned by the death of my wife a little
before, was causing me very much sorrow. For I am very glad that
hardly anything--or at least very little--hinders us from agreeing
now even in words. And, certainly if you think you can so arrange
matters, I make no objection against endeavours being made to come
hither, that you may the better become acquainted with all the
sentiments of my mind. Nor shall it ever be owing to me that we do
not unite in a solid peace, as we all unanimously profess the same
Christ. But I have, at present, another reason for writing you.

You partly indicate what has kept you back from joining in the
French alliance. I confess the godly have just cause of alarm in the
example of Jehoshaphat, who bound himself in an unfortunate alliance
with a wicked king, to his own ruin and that of his kingdom. Yet
I do not so understand it, that he was punished because he made
a league with the King of Israel, but rather because he espoused
a bad and impious cause, in order to gratify that king's desire.
Ambition was inciting him to an unprovoked attack upon the Syrians;
Jehoshaphat complied with his wishes and rashly took up arms. Add
to this, that they went forth to battle, the Lord through Micaiah
forbidding them. This example does not, therefore, so weigh with
me that I should pronounce all alliance whatever with the wicked
to be unlawful. For I reflect that Abraham was not hindered by any
religious scruples from making a covenant with Abimelech. Isaac,
David, and others did the same, and received neither reproof nor
punishment. I can, however, so far conclude, that alliances of
this nature are not to be sought after, seeing they must always
be attended with very much danger. But if we be at all incited--I
should rather say urged--to it by a just motive, I see no reason why
we should be altogether averse to it.

Moreover, as regards the alliance in question, I cannot hold that
it should be so avoided, from this cause, unless the present aspect
of the times should compel me to adopt an opposite conclusion. You
have to do with a professed enemy of Christ, and one who is daily
venting his rage against our brethren. He is too little deserving
of trust that could wish that both we and Christ were annihilated.
It is absurd that we should enter into friendly alliance with one
who is at war with all the servants of Christ without distinction;
that we should seize, as that of an ally, a hand polluted with
innocent blood. And, certainly, I should be unwilling to come
to any conclusion on the matter, unless it were the express and
distinct wish of the pious brethren. For his ferocity is indeed
extraordinary. Besides, I am suspicious of the war with England.
For I do not think it right to furnish any aid against a kingdom in
which Christ is worshipped; and the very injustice of the cause,
also, is another obstacle.

But, again, when I consider how our cause has been weakened, how
great are the calamities which still impend, threatening almost the
ruin of the Church, I fear much that if we neglect those aids which
it is not unlawful to employ, we may fall into a state rather of
excessive carelessness than of devout trustfulness. Nor, in truth,
am I ignorant that God is especially present with us, and powerfully
succours us when we are destitute of all human aid. I know, also,
that there is nothing harder, when he reveals himself through some
Egyptian shade, than to keep the eye from turning aside; for if they
be not fixed on the one God, they rove wickedly and perniciously. We
must, therefore, endeavour zealously to counteract these dangers.
Meanwhile, however, we should be on our guard, lest if, in this our
critical condition, we reject what, without offending God, could
have aided us, we may afterwards feel, to our loss, that we were too
careless. My first fear is, that our Pharaoh, shut out from all hope
of contracting friendship with you, may betake himself to Antiochus.
How much soever they may have weighty grounds of disagreement, this
latter is a wonderful master at contriving pretexts; and those who
at present hold sway at our court, would desire nothing more than to
incline the mind of a youth, both inexperienced and not sufficiently
sagacious, to accept of peace on any terms whatever. Certainly, if
he has not already concluded it he will do so in a short time. Nor
will there be wanting those who will urge him on. And I would there
were none among us who would hold themselves and us as slaves to
Antiochus, should an opportunity occur for doing so. He will, in
truth, attempt every thing, the other not only approving of it, but
also, in the mean time, assisting in it; because he will suppose
that in this way he is avenging his repulse. In the mean while,
cruelty will be kindled everywhere through the kingdom itself, for
he will, as women are wont, direct his own rage to another,--a
consideration, certainly, not to be accounted last by us of this
place. If I wished to regard my own life or private concerns, I
should immediately betake myself elsewhere. But when I consider how
very important this corner is for the propagation of the kingdom of
Christ, I have good reason to be anxious that it should be carefully
watched over; and, in this respect, it is for your advantage,
and quiet partly depends upon it. What man, imbued with wicked
schemes, when he has been estranged from you, will not be moved by
despair? But you think that we are wanting in men of discontented
and revolutionary character, or in those suffering from want, who
have, for a long period, extended their hands to him. However, as
often as I reflect particularly upon our wretched brethren who
lie crushed under that fearful tyranny, my mind becomes soft and
more disposed to this [alliance], as it the more unquestionably
appears beneficial for the alleviation of their sufferings. Why is
the rage of the tyrant to be removed when he has seen that he is
despised and scorned? Is it that thereby the wicked are to have the
greater license for tormenting the innocent? Thus, if any alliance
does intervene, not only will Pharaoh himself be, for the present,
somewhat softened, and the executioners rendered less daring, but it
will, indeed, be possible also to extinguish the flames.

I beseech and solemnly implore you then, my dear Bullinger, to
ponder in time all these considerations; and if you come to any
agreement, strive earnestly to have your brethren remembered whose
condition is so wretched and awful. For although I know you have
their welfare sufficiently at heart, and am certain that when the
matter is raised, you will, of your own accord, be solicitous about
it, yet I did not wish to neglect my duty. Indeed, such is his
fierceness, that no fixed law can be laid down for you. I hope it
is possible to show, however, that some sort of moderation may be
exhibited.

Adieu, excellent man, and much esteemed brother in the Lord. Salute
especially Theodore, Pellican, Gualter, Vuerduler, and the rest of
the fellow-ministers. Present my respects to your colleagues, and
to Des Gallars among the rest. I pray the Lord Jesus that he may
continue to guide and sustain you by his Spirit; may he bless you
and your labours. I have to thank you greatly for the volume of
discourses which Haller sent in your name.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr.--Archives of Zurich._ Gallic. Scripta, p. 11.]



CCXLIII.--TO MADAME DE LA ROCHE-POSAY.[236]

  [236] _On the back_: It is thought that this letter has been written
  to Madame de la Roche-Posay, Abbess of Thouars. A Seigneur of that
  name played an important part in the religious wars of Poitou, but
  he figured in the ranks of the Roman Catholic army.--Bèze, _Hist.
  Eccl._, tom. ii. p. 588. There is a letter from the Reformed Church
  of de la Roche-Posay of the 27th May 1561, addressed to Calvin.
  (Library of Geneva, Vol. 107.)

     He exhorts her and her companions to live in conformity with the
     law of God.


  _This 10th of June 1549._

MADAME AND WELL-BELOVED SISTER,--As we ought to be glad when the
kingdom of the Son of God our Saviour is multiplied, and the good
seed of his doctrine is everywhere spread abroad, I have been
greatly rejoiced in perceiving from your letter that his grace
and bounty has reached to you, to draw you on in the knowledge of
his truth, wherein lies our salvation and every blessing. Indeed,
it is a kind of miracle when he is pleased to make his glorious
light shine in the place of such deep darkness; and this I say,
that you and your associates may be the more induced to value the
inestimable benefit which he has conferred on you. For if the lies
of Satan wherewith he has blinded and bewitched the wretched world
reign everywhere at present, they have their chief seat in those
unhappy prisons which he has reared up, that he may keep souls in a
twofold captivity. Acknowledge then that our good Lord has reached
out a hand to you, even to the depths of the abyss, and that in so
doing he has expressed an infinite compassion toward you. Wherefore
it is your duty, as St. Peter has told us, to employ yourself in
magnifying his holy name. For in calling us to himself, he sets us
apart in order that our whole life may be to his honour, which it
cannot be without our withdrawing ourselves from the pollutions of
this world. And indeed there ought to be a difference between those
who are enlightened by Christ Jesus, and the poor blinded ones
who know not whither they are going. Therefore take heed that the
knowledge which he has bestowed upon you be not unimproved, that
you may not be reproached at the great day for having made void
his grace. But because I am confident that you do so as much as
lieth in you, I shall not dwell at greater length on that subject.
It is quite certain that we cannot be too earnestly importuned on
this very point. Besides, I believe that you will receive this
exhortation as you ought, not thinking it superfluous, inasmuch as
it may be of service to you against many assaults which Satan never
ceases to make upon all the children of God. Now, while he has many
ways in this world for seducing us out of the straight path, we on
our parts are so pitiably frail, that we are immediately overcome.
Wherefore we have much need to arm ourselves completely at every
point. Moreover, being sensible of our infirmity, which makes us so
often come short, we should supplement the exhortations which are
made to us in the name of God, with prayer and supplication, that
it would please our heavenly Father to strengthen us by his might,
and to supply whatsoever is lacking. However it may be, let us never
seek out excuses to flatter ourselves in our vices as the most part
do, but let us be thoroughly convinced that God's honour deserves
to be preferred to everything else, yea verily to life itself. And
let us not think it strange, if for his name's sake we be chased
from one place to another, and that we must forsake the place of our
birth, to transport ourselves to some unknown place, for we must
even be ready to depart from this world whensoever he shall call
us away. I understand quite well, that in such bondage as you now
are, you can not serve God purely without the rage and cruelty of
the wicked rising up immediately against you, and without the fire
perhaps being lighted. Such being the case, were it even necessary
that you should compass sea and land, never grow weary in seeking
the liberty to regulate yourself entirely according to the will of
your kind heavenly Father. Howbeit, you must remember, that wherever
we may go, the cross of Jesus Christ will follow us, even in the
place where you may enjoy your ease and comforts. Lay your account
with it, that even in the country where you have liberty, as well
to honour God as to be confirmed by his word, that you will have to
endure many annoyances. For this is the very way whereby God would
make trial of our faith, and know whether, in seeking after him, we
have been renouncing self. It is right that you be informed of this
beforehand, so that it may not be new to you when the experience
of it comes, though I doubt not that you and your associates are
already prepared for it. But the chief thing is to pray God that
he would lead you, as well to guide you as to uphold by his strong
arm, in order that as he has begun a good work in you, he would
continue it until he has brought you on to that perfection, after
which we must aspire until we are gone forth out of this world. And
to confirm you in this respect, recall to mind continually what an
unhappiness it is to be in perpetual disquietude and trouble of
conscience. In this condition of mind, you will naturally abhor
the wretched state in which you are, and count but dung all those
delights and all those comforts which you must purchase at so sad
a price as that of daily offending God. When you consider that our
life is accursed, and, of course, worse than any kind of death, if
our state be not approved of God, no bands of any earthly comforts
will be so strong that you will not easily rend them asunder, so
as entirely to escape from a kind of life which God condemns,
especially to live in a place where not only you may be free to
follow a holy and Christian calling, but where you will likewise
have the means of exercising yourself daily in sound doctrine,
of which we are so clearly enjoined to avail ourselves. Such a
recompense of reward may well stifle all regret of the flesh-pots
and pleasures of Egypt, and encourage us rather to follow God in the
wilderness than to befool ourselves in the practice of those lusts
which our flesh desires and longs for.

Meanwhile, Madame and good sister, having affectionately commended
me to your kind favour, and that of your companions, I pray our
good Lord more and more to increase his spiritual blessings upon
you, to keep you wholly in his obedience, and to have you under his
protection and defence against all the ambushes of Satan and those
who belong to him.

  Your humble servant and brother,

  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.

  [_Fr. Copy, Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107.]



CCXLIV.--TO BUCER.[237]

  [237] This letter is without a date, but is evidently related to
  the early period of Bucer's residence in England. Proceeding from
  Strasbourg on the 5th April 1549 with Paul Fagius, he reached London
  on the 25th, and met with a very cordial reception at Lambeth, in
  the house of Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. At the desire of
  his protector, and amid the sorrows inseparable from his exile,
  he immediately undertook a new translation of the Bible, which he
  was not permitted to finish, owing to repeated illness, brought on
  by the change of climate. He was engaged, at the same time, on a
  revision of the English Liturgy, from which he removed everything
  that appeared to be tainted with Popery, without going as far in
  these corrections as he was desired by Calvin, who was pressing him
  by letter to remove the accusations of his life, by showing himself
  more resolute and firm than hitherto.--See _La France Protestante_
  of M. M. Haag. Art. Bucer.

     Encouragements and consolations--desire for the conclusion of
     peace between France and England--excesses of the ultra-Lutheran
     party in Switzerland and Germany--agreement between the Churches
     of Geneva and Zurich.


  _June 1549._

Although your letter was mixed with joy and sorrow, yet it was
extremely pleasant to me. Would that I were able in some measure to
lighten the sufferings of your heart, and those cares by which I
see you are tortured! We all beseech you, again and again, not to
keep afflicting yourself to no purpose. Yet it is neither proper
in itself, nor is it in keeping with your piety, nor should we
desire to see it, that amid such various and manifold causes for
grief, you should be joyous and cheerful. You should make it your
study, however, to serve the Lord and the Church as far as you
have opportunity. You have indeed run a long race, but you know
not how much may be still before you. It may be that I, who have
just commenced the race, am at present nearer to the goal. But the
direction and the termination of your course are alike in the hand
of the Lord. I am a daily witness to many deaths, in order that I
may be made as active as possible amid the dangers which threaten us
from many quarters. Just as wars keep you busy where you are, so we
here give way to sluggish fears. I trust, however, that the internal
tumults are already calmed; and there is a report of a cessation
of hostilities between you and the French.[238] Would that a plan
of stable peace could be agreed upon: for we see that trainer of
gladiators, who is bringing these two kingdoms into conflict, in
the meantime laughing at his ease, and ready to seize any turn of
fortune, in order that he may attack the victor with fresh forces,
and gather the spoils of the vanquished without sweat and blood, and
thus triumph over and carry off the booty from both.[239] But when
I reflect on the wicked counsels by which France is ruled, I almost
despair of this matter. Indeed, they fear him more than enough;
but, by haughtily despising others, they do not guard themselves
against his craft. And indeed the Lord is by this blindness justly
avenging, as I take it, their atrocious cruelty to his saints, which
is daily increasing. Just as their wickedness is gathering strength,
and is continually becoming worse, so I pray that the English may,
with a contrary emulation, make a stand for the genuine purity
of Christianity, until everything in that country is seen to be
regulated according to the rule which Christ himself has laid down.
As you wished, and as the present state of things urgently demanded,
I have attempted to encourage the Lord Protector; and it will be
your duty to insist by all means, if you get a hearing--and of
that I am persuaded--that those rites which savour of superstition
be entirely removed. I particularly commend this to you, that you
thereby may free yourself of a charge which many, as you know,
falsely bring against you; for they always regard you as either the
author or approver of half measures. I know that this suspicion
is fixed too deeply in the minds of some to be easily rooted out,
even if you do your best. And some have been led to calumniate you
spitefully for no error whatever. This is accordingly damaging to
you, in some measure fatal, as you can with difficulty escape from
it. However, you must be on your guard, lest occasion of suspicion
be afforded the ignorant: the wicked eagerly snatch at any pretext
for abuse. I am exceedingly sorry that N.[240] is annoying you
without cause. Would that he would learn humanity some time! I am
the more ready to pardon him, as he seems to me to be so moved by
malice, as to be driven by a blind impulse. You cannot credit how
bitterly he has wounded us at times; alike the innocent, the absent,
and the friendly. When Viret was well nigh overcome by the very
great injustice of some, and by the perfidiousness of others, he was
as violently attacked by this individual, as if he had been the most
infamous traitor to the Church. He would certainly accustom himself
to mildness if he knew what hurt is done by the intemperateness of
his too fervid zeal and immoderate severity. You must endure with
your accustomed forbearance this and other indignities offered to
you. The people of Zurich, certainly, did not approve of his cause.
I differ from you somewhat in this matter; in that, you think injury
will be done to the opposite party. For while you think that they
would never labour under such gross hallucinations as to imagine
that Christ was diffused everywhere, you do not hold what Brentius,
among others, has written, that when Christ was lying in the manger
he was, even as to his body, full of glory in heaven. And to speak
more plainly, you know that the Popish doctrine is more moderate
and sober than that of Amsdorf,[241] and those resembling him, who
have raved as if they were the priestesses of Apollo. You know
how cruelly Master Philip has been annoyed, because he observed
a certain degree of moderation. In their madness they even drew
idolatry after them. For what else is the adorable sacrament of
Luther but an idol set up in the temple of God? I desired, however,
to see all these things buried. Indeed I have done my utmost among
our neighbours to keep them from railing; yet as it afforded them
satisfaction, I did not hesitate, the names being suppressed, to
condemn all the errors to which I was expressly opposed. You
certainly seem to me to enter with too much subtlety into the
discussion about place. Others are more seriously offended by your
obscurity, which they think you have studied craftily to employ. I
know indeed that in this they are wrong. But I do not see why you
should shrink so much from what we teach; that when Christ is said
to have ascended into heaven, there is affirmed by this expression
a diversity of places. For it is not disputed here whether there is
place in celestial glory, but only whether the body of Christ is
in the world. As the Scriptures have borne clear testimony on that
point, I have no hesitation in embracing it as an article of faith.
And yet, as you will find from our document,[242] this was yielded
to the fretfulness of some, not without a struggle: for I had framed
the words differently. Nothing was comprised in this formula which
we employed, except what I perceived it would be scrupulousness
not to concede to others. You wish piously and wisely, to explain
more clearly and fully the effect of the Sacrament, and what the
Lord bestows through it. Nor indeed was it owing to me that they
were not fuller on some points. Let us bear therefore with a sigh
what we cannot correct. You will find here a copy of the document
which they sent me. The two paragraphs which you feared they would
not admit, were readily adopted. Had the rest imitated the calmness
of Bullinger, I should have obtained all more easily. It is well,
however, that we have agreed about the truth, and that we are at one
in the most important sense. It would be exceedingly appropriate for
you to modify these two theses somewhat, in order to bring out more
clearly that you place Christ apart from us who are in the world, by
a diversity of place; in the second place, that you might discard
the more obviously all those false inventions by which the minds of
men have been led to superstition; and above all, that you might
vindicate the glory of the Holy Spirit and of Christ, lest aught
should be attributed to the ministers or to the elements. At the
commencement of our deliberations, agreement seemed really hopeless.
Light suddenly broke forth. Our forefathers wished to deliberate
with other Churches. We agreed without difficulty. N.'s dissension
must be borne with equanimity. Farel, as you will see, writes you at
great length. Viret dare not, for you cannot believe how unjustly he
is treated. He salutes you as dutifully as he can, and wishes you to
excuse him. All my colleagues, also, salute you respectfully. There
is nothing new here except that Zurich and Berne have cut off all
hopes of an alliance with France.[243] Adieu, very illustrious sir,
and father in the Lord, truly worthy of my regard.

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 49.]

  [238] War prevailed at that time between France and England, with
  Artois and Scotland for its theatre. Peace was concluded only the
  year following (May 1550).--De Thou, tom. vi.

  [239] In allusion to the Emperor, who saw his power increase by
  the weakness of the English and French monarchs, who were equally
  interested in opposing his supremacy on the Continent.

  [240] Doubtless one of the ministers of the Church of Berne.

  [241] Nicolas Amsdorf, a learned German minister, exaggerated
  the Lutheran doctrine regarding Works and the Supper, and wrote
  a book, in which he endeavoured to prove that good works are
  hurtful to salvation,--_Bona opera sunt ad salutem noxia et
  perniciosa._--McIchior Adam, pp. 69, 70

  [242] The common formulary, doubtless, on the Supper, compiled by
  Calvin, which the theologians of Zurich and Geneva were led to adopt.

  [243] While Schaffhausen, Basle, and Bienne acceded to the French
  alliance, Zurich and Berne haughtily refused to be the allies of a
  monarch who was the persecutor of the churches of France. Moved by
  the eloquence of Bullinger, the Seigneury of Zurich declared that
  it would lean upon God alone, and dispense with the alliance of the
  king.--_Hist. de la Suisse_, tom. xi. p. 308.



CCXLV.--TO LADY ANNE SEYMOUR.[244]

  [244] "To the Most Noble, Most Gifted, and Most Honourable Lady Ann,
  Eldest Daughter of the very Illustrious Protector of England."

  Anne Seymour, the eldest daughter of the Duke of Somerset, Protector
  of England, was distinguished alike for her illustrious descent,
  genius, and piety. She married in 1550 the Earl of Warwick, son
  of the Duke of Northumberland, and thus apparently sealed the
  reconciliation of her father with the ambitious head of that
  illustrious house. We read in a letter, from Martin Micronius to
  Bullinger, of 4th June 1550:--"On the third of this month was
  celebrated a marriage between the daughter of the Duke of Somerset
  and the son of the Earl of Warwick, at which the King himself was
  present. This event, I hope, will wonderfully unite and conciliate
  the friendship of those noblemen."--_Zurich Letters_, 1st series,
  tom. ii. p. 569.

     Thanks to the Duchess of Somerset, the mother of Anne
     Seymour--exhortation to perseverance in the true faith.


  _17th June 1549._

As your mother, illustrious lady, lately presented me with a ring,
as a token of her good-will towards me, which I did not at all
deserve, it would be exceedingly unbecoming in me not to show some
sign of gratitude, by giving expression, at least, to my regard
for her. But not being able to find language, again, in which to
discharge this sort of duty, nothing seems fitter than that I
should call you to my aid, noble lady, distinguished no less by
your worth than by your descent. For as you will be, of all others,
the most suitable negotiator with your mother, you will be glad to
present this mark of respect to her, in virtue of your very great
affection for her; and, particularly, as the address will not, or I
am mistaken, be unpleasant to her. For I learn you have understood
from her words that she is agreeably disposed towards me. Now, if
my prayers be of any avail with you, I would particularly request
of you, not to take amiss the humble salutation offered, with all
submission, by me to her, that she may, at least, understand, that
that gift of which I was held worthy was not bestowed upon one who
knew not to be grateful. Moreover, I made bold to use the more
confidence with you, as I learned that you were not only cultivated
in liberal knowledge, (a singular thing in a young person of
rank of this place,) but that you were also so well informed in
the doctrines of Christ, that you grant a willing access to his
ministers, among whose number, if I mistake not, you acknowledge
me a place. It remains for me to exhort you to pursue your so
happy course, even although, as I hear, you are willing enough of
yourself; and I trust that the Lord who gave you this disposition,
will also grant you steadfastness to persevere to the end. However,
you will take my exhortation in good part, as incitements are never
superfluous, since there are so many obstacles and hindrances in
the world, and so many infirmities in our flesh. Certainly, among
so many excellent gifts with which God has endowed and adorned you,
this stands unquestionably first,--that he stretched out his hand
to you in tender childhood, to lead you to his own Son, who is
the author of eternal salvation, and the fountain of all good. It
becomes you to strive, with all the more zeal, to follow eagerly at
his call. Especially as he has, at the same time, given you that
support of which we see not only the daughters of noblemen, but even
noblemen themselves, to be often deprived. Salute your brother--a
boy of heroic nature--and your very noble sisters. May the Lord
enrich you daily with his blessing, and may he be the constant guide
of the whole course of your life.

Adieu, most excellent lady, deserving of my esteem. Truly yours to
obey you,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr.--Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]



CCXLVI.--TO FAREL.

     Reply by the Protector of England to a letter from Calvin.


  _9th July 1549._

The English messenger[245] has at last returned. He has brought
a letter from the Regent, in which he expresses himself thankful
for my service. His wife sent me a present of a ring, not of great
value, not being worth more than four crown pieces. The members of
his family led me to expect a tolerably liberal present from him,
in a short time, which I neither desire nor long for. For what
has, as I hear, given a keener stimulus to him, is a sufficiently
ample reward for me. Adieu, dearly beloved brother in the Lord. May
the Lord Jesus keep you and continue to bless you in your sacred
labours. I infer that the quarrel with the prefect is settled, from
your not writing me regarding it. Salute respectfully your family
and our fellow-ministers. My associates send you their regards:
Normandie also, and the rest of your friends.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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

  [245] The messenger charged with the letter to the Regent of 22d
  October 1549.



CCXLVII.--TO FAREL.

     Imprisonment of two brothers of M. de Falais--persecution in the
     Low Countries and in France.


  GENEVA, _19th July 1549_.

You know of the letter we have received from Bullinger. I was hoping
the Bernese were going to give over negotiations. At all events,
the inhabitants of Zurich see now with what just reason we in time
past complained of our broken heads. Haller lately confessed to me
that he would gladly have written, had Schirma not been afraid. I
certainly excuse what does not provoke such rage. The people of
Zurich might have obtained their wishes from the Senate, had they
not stripped themselves of all liberty. For they have so often
repeated this old song--that they should abide by things as they
were, that nothing further should be done, that something deceptive
always lurked under the guise of harmony--that they are now ashamed
to say a word on the opposite side. Nothing remains for them now
but to suppress everything, or follow that new plan of yours. I
was astonished that Viret did not indicate by a single word what
was your opinion of them both. Be sure to let me know at your very
first opportunity what arrangement you think should be made. I have
nothing further to add except that two of M. de Falais' brothers are
in prison.[246] After the Emperor had given them a polite reception,
he sent them to Granvelle. He received them courteously also. On
leaving him, they were bound by the officer, and thrust hastily into
prison. They were then removed to the Castle of Villevord, whence no
one is brought forth except for punishment. Awful persecution blazes
now over that region; let us then assist the godly brethren with
our prayers.[247] The Frenchman is as mad as ever. He wished to be
present at the burning of two [martyrs] lately.[248] May the Lord
by his own power put a check upon his atrocious ferocity. Amen.

  [246] The names and fate of these two brothers of M. de Falais are
  not known.

  [247] See the account of the persecutions in Hainault in _L'Histoire
  des Martyrs_, p. 184. A woman named Mary was buried alive. A learned
  Frenchman named M. Nicolas, endured courageously the torment of the
  stake, crying out in the midst of the flames: "O Charles, Charles,
  how long will thy courage endure?"

  [248] One of the martyrs here referred to was a poor tailor, who,
  led before the King and Diana of Poictiers, made a courageous
  confession of his faith, addressed stern words to _la favorite_,
  and was condemned to perish in the flames. The king wished to be a
  spectator of his sufferings, "and, to command a better view, went to
  the house of Sieur de la Rochepot, opposite the stake. The martyr
  remained firm, and having perceived the king, he fastened on him
  a look so fixed and penetrating, that the affrighted monarch was
  forced to retire; and he afterwards repeatedly confessed, that the
  look of that man incessantly pursued him, and that he never again
  wished to be present at a fine spectacle."--_Histoire des Martyrs_,
  p. 189, Bèze, tom. i. p. 79.

We all salute you. Salute also, in turn, all our friends, and
especially our fellow-ministers. I infer that you have been deceived
about Christopher, because you had supposed he was going to come
hither. Respectful regards to him.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

De Falais received that sad intelligence with quite heroic courage.

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



CCXLVIII.--TO VIRET.

     Negotiations in reference to the publication of the
     _Consensus_--George, Count of Montbeliard.


  [GENEVA, _20th July 1549_.]

You ought also to add your judgment to the letter of Bullinger.
The reason which he prefixes for publishing the agreement, has
something or other absurd in it. I fear again that the same
over-scrupulousness will appear in this affair. I shall neglect
nothing, however, which you and Farel think it useful to attempt.

I have written to Paris concerning the Hebrew professor. If one be
procured, he can hardly be present on the day of your assembly, as I
had not fixed upon so short a time, seeing that it would have been
in vain for me to have done so, as two letters had scarcely reached
that place.

Count George de Wurtemberg, brother of Duke Ulrich, is here.[249] We
dined with him yesterday. We had much pious conversation together.
He had said so much to my honour before, that Wendelius was almost
making an ado about it. Plessiacus will give you an account of the
state of France. It is better to talk over our affairs than to write
about them.

  [249] George de Wurtemberg, Count of Montbeliard, dispossessed of
  his estates by Charles V. He had obtained from the Seigneury of
  Berne permission to reside at Arau.

Adieu, most honest brother, together with your wife and little
daughter. May the Lord Jesus ever watch over you all. Salute the
brethren in my name. Excuse me to Renier for not having written
him.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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



CCXLIX.--TO THE PASTORS OF THE CHURCH OF ZURICH.[250]

  [250] See letter p. 208.

  After the long conferences, in which Farel and Fabri took part in
  the name of the Church of Neuchatel, and after a correspondence
  of many months, the theologians of Zurich and Geneva came to an
  agreement on the doctrine of the sacrament of the Supper, and drew
  up a common formula, which may be seen in Hospinian.--_Hist. Sacr._,
  tom. ii. pp. 369, 370. It is very likely, says Ruchat, that this
  definite formula was the work of Calvin. We recognize his genius in
  it at least, and we find in it the same ideas and expressions met
  with in his Liturgy on the Holy Supper.--_Hist. de la Réf._, tom. v.
  p. 378. Tho adoption of this formula was the first step towards the
  union of the Swiss churches, sanctioned two years after the death of
  Calvin (1566), by the adoption of the famous _Helvetic Confession_.

     Urgent recommendation of the adoption of a fixed formulary in
     the celebration of the Lord's Supper.


  GENEVA, _1st August 1549_.

Although I have repeated occasion to act with you concerning the
same matter, yet I do not think I should be afraid of seeming
troublesome. Since the same subject is a matter of common interest
to us, it cannot be that you will disapprove of what I am engaged
in, and, as the perpetual importunity of good men urges me to it,
a little more zealously than is proper. I have oftentimes already
given advice regarding a small matter, although many were offended,
not without a show of reason, at my seeming to teach something or
other different from you regarding the sacraments. Your Church,
adorned with so many distinguished gifts, is deservedly held in
honour by those men. They show some [respect] to our Church also,
and, perhaps, to myself as an individual. So they are anxious to
obtain assistance from our writings in coming to a knowledge of
the doctrines of sacred duty, lest any sort of discussion should
retard their progress. I have thought, accordingly, that no remedy
was better fitted for removing this offence than if, to show our
unanimity, we were to enter kindly into consideration of it by
means of friendly conference. For this purpose I have, as you are
aware, undertaken a journey to you. And our venerable associate,
William Farel--that indefatigable soldier of Christ, and my guide
and counsellor--has not been reluctant to join me as a companion,
in order to unite with us in bearing truly and faithfully what
testimony we can on the one side and on the other. But because, in
the present state of the question, I do not carry all along with
me, I am greatly pained that those, whose peace of mind I should
wish to regard, continue in a troubled, or, at all events, in an
uncertain state. And, just as I said at the outset, I think I do
nothing unseasonable, when I insist on there being some public
testimony made regarding those points on which we are agreed. I have
indeed thought it a reward for my trouble to draw up briefly and
arrange those paragraphs on which we have conferred, in order that,
if my plan be approved of by you, any one may see at a glance, as
it were, what we have been engaged in, and what we have completed.
I certainly do trust that you will be my witnesses, that I have
reported faithfully all that I have brought forward. Pious readers
will doubtless observe, that we--I mean Farel and myself--have
with equal care sought perspicuity, unmixed with any deceit, and
void of all guile. Nevertheless, I should wish them, at the same
time, to be reminded, that there is nothing contained here which
our fellow-labourers also, be they who they may, whether serving
Christ under the rule of the Genevese Republic, or in the Neuchatel
district, have not by their signature approved.

Adieu, most excellent men and brethren, deserving of my hearty
regard. May the Lord continue to guide you by his Spirit in the
edification of his Church, and may he bless our labours.

  [_Lat. Copy._--_Archives of Zurich_. Gest. vi. 105, p. 411.]



CCL.--TO BULLINGER.[251]

  [251] See the preceding letter. The negotiations entered into with
  the Church of Zurich, and already near a close, were prosecuted
  equally at Berne; but they were encountered there by insurmountable
  difficulties, arising from the hesitation of the ministers and the
  policy of the Seigneury. Calvin did not shrink from any concessions
  which, without causing injury to the integrity of the doctrine,
  might rally their spirits to union and peace.--Hospinian, tom. ii.
  p. 370.

     Revisal of the Formulary--persecutions in France.


  GENEVA, _13th August 1549_.

I was reminded, when it was too late, of the departure of the
registrar. For it was not convenient for me to write then--on
account of the Supper namely--especially as I was not able to do
it so satisfactorily as could be wished. Indeed this is almost a
customary thing with me. But a letter came into my possession to-day
which you had written just before mine was composed. I had delayed
writing you a private letter, indeed, until a trustworthy messenger
might be at hand to convey it to you. And although I had not
actually come under any obligation, I was unwilling to forego the
opportunity which presented itself. You will ascertain whether the
edition with this new preface will satisfy the Bernese. Of yourself
and your associates I have no doubt. For, in my opinion, I have
followed your outlines and only spread my colours over them. But you
remember what I lately wrote regarding your two paragraphs. I am
persuaded there will be no one among you who would not, of his own
accord, desire my additions. And they are of especial importance,
lest some might think we were rather artfully silent, and others
justly desire what must necessarily be expressly stated. The third
correction will present no difficulty save in one or two words. I
know the whole matter must so commend itself to you and to the rest
of the brethren, that I shall entirely acquiesce in your decision.
What you decide upon, therefore, I shall regard as altogether
satisfactory. I think, again, that you will understand what I am
aiming at.

I dare hardly venture to give you anything new from this place,
there are so many idle rumours daily afloat. This, at least, is
certain, that numerous dangers are not very far distant, unless the
Lord counteract them. All that I wish is, that Christians may live
securely, as they can die securely. The Frenchman is so insane,
that, as one may say, he wishes, after the fashion of the giants,
to fight against God.[252] In the meanwhile, the firmness of the
martyrs is wonderful.[253] It was a new thing for the king, when one
of them of his own accord devoted himself as a sacrifice, that he
might openly address to him at least three words for Christ, when he
was preparing to witness the burning. I do not write to Celio, and
perhaps he has not yet gone to you. If he is there, I should wish
him, as previously ordered, to speak to the bookseller regarding the
money for which I became security. He complains that the decision
will be unfair. Our friend, however, says the opposite. I remain
neutral. But since I have pledged my word, I am called upon to pay
it.

  [252] In the month of July 1549, the fury of the persecutions was
  redoubled at Paris and in the provinces, and places of execution
  were so multiplied everywhere, as if the King had wished, by
  additional severity, to remove from memory the Edict which he had
  restored on account of the Vaudeis of Provençe.--Bèze, _Hist.
  Eccl._, tom. i. p. 70, _et suiv._ Notwithstanding all this violence,
  says Bèze, the churches increased and gathered strength in many
  places.

  [253] Among the number of professors burnt on occasion of the
  public entrance of the King into Paris, there is found Florent
  Venot, of Sedano in Brie,--allowed to stand for six weeks in a pit
  at Chatelet, called _the Hippocras' Cup_, where it was impossible
  either to remain lying or standing--and whose firmness overcame the
  cruelty of the executioners. "You think," he said to them, "by long
  torment, to weaken the force of the spirit, but you waste your time,
  and God will enable me to bless his holy name even till my death."
  Compelled, by a refinement of cruelty, to be a spectator of the
  torment of his brethren burnt at Paris, he exhorted them by look and
  gesture before he ascended the pile prepared for him in the _Place
  Maubert_.--_Hist. des Martyrs_, p. 186.

Adieu, brother in the Lord, and most honourable and accomplished
man, together with all your fellow-ministers, whom you will salute
respectfully in our name. May the Lord be ever near you and keep
you, and may you be instrumental in advancing the glory of his name!
Amen.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr.--Archives of Zurich._ Gest. vi. 105, p. 417.]



CCLI.--TO FAREL AND VIRET.

     Letter concerning Vergerio--history of Francis Spira.


  _15th August 1549._

You have here the letter which I sent to Bullinger.[254] I resolved,
indeed, not to send it until I should learn that it would be
agreeable to you. But the messenger, who has just left me, having
unexpectedly presented himself, led me to change this resolution.
It might perhaps have been written better by another, yet I hope
it will appear tolerably satisfactory to you. Having the utmost
confidence in your carefulness, my dear Viret, I have not retained
a copy of it. You will see then, that a copy of it be put into the
hands of Farel, that I may get back this my autograph. I know that
what I have written is nothing but some few trifles or other which I
have collected, and which are alike unworthy of me to write and of
you to read, especially as they are circulated by public report. A
few days ago I received a letter from Paolo Vergerio, with a history
of Francis Spira, which he desired to be published here.[255] He
states that he was compelled to go into exile, chiefly because the
Pope, enraged by this publication, was laying insidious stratagems
for his life. He is living at present among the Rhætians. He says,
however, that he is strongly inclined to visit us.[256] The history
I have not yet examined thoroughly. So far, however, as I may judge
of such a communication, it seems to be written with a little more
prudence and sobriety than were those epistles [of his] which Celio
translated. When I shall have examined it more carefully, I must
consider what preface I should write to it. Adieu, most worthy
brethren and friends. May God preserve you and your families, and
continue to guide you by his Spirit even to the end!--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr.--Library of the University of Leyden._]

  [254] The preceding letter.

  [255] Francis Spira, a jurisconsult of Padua, having abjured the
  Protestant faith through fear of the tortures of the Inquisition,
  died a short while afterwards in a state of fearful mental anxiety.
  Paolo Vergerio, an aged Bishop of Pola in Istria, who was led to
  give up his bishopric that he might live in the free profession of
  the doctrines of the gospel, among the Grisons, visited Spira on his
  deathbed, and endeavoured in vain to console this unhappy penitent.
  Tho history of Spira, written by Vergerio, and translated from the
  Italian into Latin by Celio Secondo Curione, was published in 1550,
  with a preface by Calvin.--(_Miscellanea Groningana_, tom. iii. p.
  109.) We have not met with this edition, which is become extremely
  rare.

  [256] We find Calvin's opinion of Vergerio at greater length, in a
  letter to Farel of July 1550.



CCLII.--TO FAREL.[257]

  [257] Endowed, according to the testimony of his contemporaries,
  with a powerful and impetuous eloquence which charmed multitudes,
  and which, with the strong faith with which he was animated,
  could alone explain his splendid success as a missionary, Farel
  was abler with the tongue than with the pen, and his various
  writings, called forth by circumstances, are in general defective.
  We find in them a few ideas, cast forth at hazard, without plan,
  in strange disorder, and with a superabundance of explanation, in
  a diffuse and obscure style. It is not uninteresting to know the
  judgment which Calvin pronounced upon the works of his friend, and
  to find in this judgment even a new testimony to the brotherly
  candour which presided at all times over the intercourse of the two
  Reformers.--See on the writings of Farel, Senebier, _Hist. Litt._
  tom. i. pp. 148, 149; Sayous, _Etudes sur les Ecrivains de la
  Réformation_, tom. i., 1st sketch; and Haag, _France Protestante_,
  Art. Farel.

     Criticism on a work by Farel.


  GENEVA, _1st September 1549_.

You will learn from your brother that the painful case of Ferron
has been renewed.[258] Bullinger, as you will observe, writing
previous to receiving my letter, had good hopes of publishing a
union. I make honourable mention of you in my preface; even if it
should give pain to the wicked, they must nevertheless swallow it
in silence. I have written nothing regarding your book,[259] as
I laid the whole burden on Viret. I said from the first, what is
true, that I mistrusted my own judgment regarding your writings,
seeing that our mode of writing is so different. You know with what
respect I regard Augustine. Not, however, because I disguise from
myself how much his prolixity dissatisfies me. Perhaps my style, in
the mean time, is over-concise. But I am not at present discussing
which is best. For I have not confidence in myself [to do so], for
this reason, that whilst I follow my own inclination, I had rather
pardon than condemn others. Normandie--who is so great a friend of
mine, that he is a great friend of yours also--will furnish the best
testimony as to what I think of your book. I am only afraid that the
involved style and tedious discussion will obscure the light which
is really in it. I know, and that not without pleasure too, that
nothing but what is excellent is expected from you. I speak without
flattery. Your book seems to deserve a place among [works of] that
class. But because the readers of our time are so fastidious, and
not possessed of great acuteness, I should wish the language to
be so managed, that one might allure them by the fluency of his
expression, and bring forward at the same time, that erudition which
lies concealed under those coverings of which I have spoken. This
is my candid judgment. Although I prefer acquiescing in the opinion
of Viret, yet I could not be altogether silent, seeing that you had
already insisted on it for the second time. Your brother will let
you know about our affairs.

  [258] See Note 1, p. 223.

  [259] The only work of Farel's mentioned at this date by Senebier,
  is the following: _Le Glaice de la Parole Véritable contre le
  Bouclier de Défense, duquel un Cordelier s'est voulu servir_, in
  12mo, Geneva, 1550. It is a vehement reply to a Cordelier who had
  adopted the sentiments of that spiritual mysticism which leads to a
  denial of all morality. It presents, besides, the ordinary defects
  of the works of Farel--confusion and prolixity.

Adieu, brother and very honest friend, with all your
fellow-ministers, especially Christopher, and Michael Faton. May
the Lord ever guide and watch over you.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

M. Normandie[260] sends kindest greeting to you.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr.--Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107a.]

  [260] Laurent de Normandie, a Picard gentleman, and
  Procurator-general at Noyon, had retired to Geneva some months
  previously, at the request of Calvin, his countryman and
  friend.--_Registers of the Council_, 2d May 1549. "Laurent de
  Normandie retires to this place for the sake of religion, and
  presses the Council to receive him as an inhabitant, which is
  granted him."



CCLIII.--TO VIRET.

     First mention of Theodore Beza--poverty of Calvin's colleagues.


  _5th September 1549._

I understand that Eustace, on his return, had some conversation
with you regarding two professors whom he knew about. While some
deference is due to the judgment of a pious and learned man, yet I
dare not trust it absolutely. Consider the matter calmly, therefore,
along with the brethren. For I have promised that I will write
to you in no other way than to give you a faithful advice. The
Piedmontese author of the long epistle is no better known to me than
to you; so we may wish him well when he asks nothing more from us. I
have written to Farel my opinion of his book.[261] But it happened,
through the negligence of his brother Claudius, that the letter was
not delivered; for after he had breakfasted with us, I retired to my
library, and he went away without saluting me. I have a messenger
here, however, who will, I hope, set out to-morrow. Normandie can
tell you how faithfully I endeavoured to send Beza[262] to you. I do
not care for mentioning others. Yea, and the individual in question
knows that I have entreated him almost importunately. Should he
return I will not cease to urge him. The monks are wrong, however,
in asserting that my associates are wealthy. For the only one who
may be thought rich is involved in debt with three or four:--I mean
Cop. Abel and Des Gallars are rich in books; Bourgouin and Raymond
have excellent daughters, but nothing more. But even if they do not
speak to him, we will consult the good of the Church rather than our
regard for him. I think you know of Renier's wishes; and I know that
he is so beloved by you and by the right-minded, that you will be
especially anxious to find work for him adapted to his capacity.

  [261] See the preceding letter.

  [262] This is the first time the name of Beza is found mentioned
  in the correspondence of Calvin. Born on the 24th of June 1519,
  at Vezelay, in Burgundy, he had left Paris after a brilliant and
  dissipated youth, to retire to Geneva.--_Registers of the Council_,
  3d May 1549. "Eight French gentlemen, among whom is Theodore Beza,
  arrive here and obtain permission to remain." Beza was a short time
  afterwards, made Professor of Greek in the Academy of Lausanne,
  from which place he wrote to Bullinger:--"The Lord has shewn me
  this, in the first place, for which may I be able to make my boast
  in him continually,--that I must prefer the cross to my country,
  and to all changes of fortune. In the next place, I have received
  the friendship of Calvin, Viret, Musculus, and Haller; kind Heaven,
  the friendship of such men! When I think that these are my friends,
  so far from feeling any inconvenience from exile, I may adopt the
  saying of Themistocles,--'Perieram nisi periissem.'"--_MSS. of
  Archives of Zurich_, Gest. vi. p. 139.

Adieu, most upright brother and friend, together with your wife,
your little daughter, and your whole family. May the Lord keep you
and guide you by his Spirit! Salute the brethren earnestly in my
name.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr.--Library of Gotha._ Vol. 404, p. 16.]



CCLIV.--TO JOHN HALLER.[263]

  [263] "To John Haller, Pastor of the Bernese Church."

  John Haller, of the illustrious family of that name, which reflected
  so much honour on Switzerland, was born at Zurich in 1523, and
  became a minister at the age of nineteen, as he informs us himself
  in his _Chronicle_. He became the colleague of Musculus, at
  Augsburg, in 1545, was recalled to Zurich three years afterwards,
  and, yielding to the pressing solicitations of the Seigneury
  of Berne, undertook the duties of a minister of that church in
  1548. His zeal and talents, together with his prudence, which was
  remarkable in one so very young, raised him to the highest offices;
  and before he was quite twenty-nine, he was chosen president of the
  clergy of Berne, an office which he filled for a long period amidst
  very trying circumstances.--Ruchat, tom. v. p. 329, _et suiv._

     A Reformer's complaints on the malevolence of the Bernese
     ministers.


  GENEVA, _26th November 1549_.

I beg you, my dear Haller, not to take it amiss that I ask you to
discharge the present duty for me, as I shall impose a new burden
on you, by and by, to provide, viz., for the transmission of my
letter to Zurich. Conrad Curio, who is at present schoolmaster
at Zurtolphi, got me to become security for him with a certain
bookseller. My reminding him of it has been hitherto useless, and
I am now pulling his ears a little more smartly, lest I pay the
penalty of his negligence. I send a letter to be safely delivered
to him at an early period, which may be done without trouble to
yourself. Had I not been convinced of your love toward me, I should
not have ventured to impose any burden on you. Would that I had the
same confidence in all! But I see that Satan has too much influence
among those who wish to be regarded as ministers of Christ, when
Hotman[264] was lately refused a place among the deacons, for
which I can see no other reason than that he was for some time
my coadjutor. But although I am his familiar companion, he ought
not [on that account] to injure the pious and the learned. Those
unscrupulous individuals who go about raging so wildly will never
cause me to regret the labour which I incur in behalf of the Church.
They will assuredly bring upon themselves equal odium and reproach
from all good men. I shall defer the rest for two days or four.

  [264] See note 2, p. 224.

Adieu, distinguished sir, and very dear brother in Christ, deserving
of my regard. May the Lord guide you and your family!--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. copy.--Imperial Library of Dupuy._ Vol. 102.]



CCLV.--TO WOLFGANG MUSCULUS.[265]

  [265] The ministers of the Pays de Vaud were accustomed to
  meet weekly to consult about religious matters, and for mutual
  exhortation. This custom displeased the Seigneurs of Berne,
  who abolished it by an edict dated 2d September 1549, under
  pretext that those assemblies, instead of producing edification,
  engendered disputes, divisions, and disorders. The College of
  Lausanne protested in vain, through Viret, against this measure,
  which obtained the approbation of the leading ministers of Berne,
  notwithstanding the strong representations addressed by Calvin to
  Haller and Musculus.--Ruchat, tom. v. p. 382, _et suiv._

     Prohibition of the Vaudois Conferences--remonstrances on the
     intolerance of the Bernese ministers towards those of France.


  GENEVA, _28th Nov. 1549_.

If your senate had reasons for forbidding the ministers to assemble
in future, according to their custom, to confer upon the Scriptures,
it seems to me that I have formed a correct opinion of them. But I
deny that this was a useful remedy. I have heard that there were
never any contentions at Lausanne until that madman resolved upon
perpetually harassing the Church. Every one will admit that such
meetings are an excellent institution; and experience has hitherto
shown that they have not been without a tolerable amount of fruit.
The negligence of those who attend more to other things than to
sacred literature, is there best detected. Such are at least
stimulated by shame, and all derive benefit. It is certainly unjust
that for one man's fault--for the wantonness of one idler--men are
to be deprived of a beneficial exercise. It is wronging the brethren
also, to visit upon all the transgression of one individual. Haller
once saw an appearance of quarrelsome wrangling. But who fanned
the flame? who supplied the fuel? It is well known that as long
as Zebedee was allowed to rage there with impunity, the brethren
were harassed with perpetual contentions.[266] Why was there not
a check put to his fury, as there might quickly have been? Whence
arose his shameless audacity? If you do not know, there are too
many among ourselves who have helped thus to puff up his arrogance.
What now, if those very men, who long took advantage of his rashness
that they might continue to harass the brethren, are the cause of
the meetings being prohibited? When you inveigh so bitterly against
all the ministers of our country, you seem to me to be forgetful
both of your mildness and your modesty. As those grievously err
who, with the same chalk, as they say, whiten the innocent and the
guilty; so, where is the justice of blackening all with the same
coal? I admit the great deficiencies of many, and I would that
the proper amount of strictness were exercised. I know that many
are wicked, wanton, and virulent; but, believe me, such are now
permitted to throw off the reins. In the meantime forgive me, if I
am indignant, that the whole French name is thus cruelly condemned.
Although I make no distinction of nations here, nor am I one who
shows indulgence to the vices of my friends, yet it is natural that
I should be better acquainted than you are with their virtues. As
to those scripture conferences which have hitherto been customary,
grant us at least that old proverb, "Experience teaches fools." We
have now for a long time had sufficient proof that the brethren are
benefited by the exercise of this style of interpretation. Now the
less the interchange of opinion, the greater will be the danger
from pernicious dogmatisms. The slothful will sleep undisturbed;
many will somehow or other grow godless, or become degenerate. This
also has very great weight with me, that all good men are groaning
under this edict, and the wicked are rejoicing. And when you see
the College of Lausanne (to omit others) suffering so much on this
account, it is surely your duty to alleviate their holy anxiety,
as far as words can do so. In other respects also, your being very
closely united is not more for their interest than for your own, if
you wish to benefit the Church of God. For, to be frank with you, I
was vexed a little lately by the rejection of Hotman, as I suspected
that my connection with him had done him harm.

  [266] Deposed from the ministry, and appointed Principal of
  the College of Lausanne, Zebedee ranked among the most violent
  adversaries of Viret and of Calvin. Numerous testimonies to his
  animosity against the Reformation will be found in the sequel.

From my confidence in your friendship, I expostulate the more freely
with you and my friend Haller. For I am persuaded that some things
which trouble me are displeasing to you also. But however that may
be, I hope you will put a just and friendly interpretation on these
complaints. Adieu, most excellent and accomplished man, and my
revered brother in the Lord. May God keep you and your family, and
be ever present with you and guide you!--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

My colleagues heartily salute you.

I thought I had given this letter with others to the messenger,
but after he left I discovered my mistake when it was too late. I
suppose you have not heard that the marriage of the Duke of Mantua
with the daughter of Ferdinand has been celebrated at Papia. It is
yet uncertain who is to succeed Paul.[267] War is expected in Italy.
God grant that we may seek peace with himself!

  [_Lat. orig. autogr.--Library of Zoffingue._ Vol. i. p. 14.]

  [267] Pope Paul III. died on the 20th November 1549, of grief and
  rage, on hearing of the treachery of his grandson Octave Farnese,
  who, to obtain the restitution of Parma, joined the cause of the
  Emperor against his grandfather.--De Thou, b. vi.; Robertson, b. x.



CCLVI.--TO MONSIEUR DE SAINT LAURENS.[268]

  [268] The title:--To the father of Mademoiselle de Saint-Lorrans.
  _Sans_ date (1549?) This gentleman retired in the following year to
  Geneva.

     Statement of leading articles of the Reformed Faith.


  FROM GENEVA, ... [1549?]

MONSIEUR,--Although I am personally unknown to you, still I believe
you will not think it strange that I make so bold as to write to
you, having been requested to do so by two persons who ought to
insure me free enough access,--I mean Monsieur de Saint-Martin and
your daughter. Wherefore, also, I shall forbear making further
excuses, and likewise because I have heard that my letters would
not be unwelcome to you, but that you would have the patience to
read and think over the contents, which gives me good hope that you
have the true seed of God in you, which only needs to be cultivated
in order to sprout and produce its fruit. Now, as that is the end
I propose to myself, that we may attain it, I beseech you above
all chiefly to consider, that it is the duty of every Christian,
not to consent to the abuses which reign in the world, but rather
to ascertain what is the pure truth of God, with the purpose of
adhering to it; further, that you would listen to me, touching the
doctrine which we hold,--not that I would make full and entire
declaration of it to you, but I shall merely state in few words the
summary of the whole, in such wise that it will be easy for you
to perceive what is our principal object. As to the first, there
are very many who settle down in their ignorance and superstition,
because they will not take the trouble to open their eyes when the
clear light is presented to them. Inasmuch as I do not hold you
to be of that number, without further exhortation, it suffices
me that I have warned you of the fact. There is much reason that
all Christians should take care how they live towards God, so as
not wilfully to deceive themselves, above all in a matter of such
importance as is the salvation of the soul. It is notorious that
Christianity has been much corrupted and depraved, as well by the
negligence of prelates, as by that of governors, and that by their
stupidity, or avarice and ambition. I do not consider that this
corruption is only in manners or morals, but what is worse, doctrine
and truth have been turned into a lie. The service of God has been
polluted by endless superstitions. The order of Church government
has been turned upside down, the signs and symbols of the sacraments
so jumbled together, that all is confusion. If everybody does not
perceive that, it is because they have not brought back all things
to the true standard; but if we compare the religion and doctrine
held under the Papacy, with the pure ordinance of God, we shall
therein discover more contradiction than between day and night.
Therefore, to form a right notion, we must not pause to lay stress
upon either the authority of princes, or an ancient custom, or on
one's own understanding, but rather look above all, to what God
has commanded or forbidden, for he has not spoken in secret, but
has desired that his will should be known both of great and small.
When you have once settled this point of submitting yourself to be
taught of God, to acquiesce in what his word contains, desiring to
know what is the right way of salvation, that will be already a good
step towards arriving at the full knowledge of what it is for our
advantage to know.

The second request that I have said I had to make, is that you
consider calmly the sum of our doctrine, when I shall have shortly
stated it to you; for there are many who at once reject and condemn
it, without having heard what it is, because they are prejudiced
against us, which warps their judgment. I pass over the imputations
and crimes which they lay against us, to make us odious to all the
world; but do what they will, they cannot reproach us with having
any other end than to gather in the people who have long been going
astray, and to bring them back to their standard, which is the pure
word of God. We demand, however, that all differences of opinion be
determined by an appeal to that, and that every one abide by what
we know to be the will of God. Our adversaries make themselves a
buckler of the name of the Church, which they falsely assume. And it
is the same conflict which in their time the prophets and apostles
had with those who usurped pre-eminence in the Church, belying in
all things the duties of their office. But we know that the Church
is founded on the doctrine of the prophets and apostles, and that
she ought to be united to Jesus Christ, her head, who is without
variableness. So therefore it is but a bastard church where God's
doctrine does not reign as the rule. Following that rule, we desire
that God may be served according to his commandments, and we reject
all new-fangled ways invented to suit the appetite of men; for it
is not lawful for men to impose law or statute upon conscience,
and God moreover has reserved to himself this privilege, to ordain
for us whatsoever seemeth good unto himself. Therefore it is, that
we are accused of having abolished and trampled under foot the
ordinances of our mother, holy Church, for example when we say
with Isaiah and Jesus Christ, that it is in vain we think to find
out God by means of human traditions; then, when we say with St.
James, that there is but one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to
destroy. Well, then, when you had searched to the very utmost, you
would find that all which is among them called the worship of God,
is nothing but pure invention forged at their own pleasure. In like
manner, because the Holy Scripture, treating of our salvation, and
wherein rests our whole trust and confidence in regard to it, sends
us back to the sole grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, declaring that
we are poor wretched sinners, utterly lost and useless for good,
we endeavour to bring all the world to partake of this grace; and
that it may be acknowledged and magnified as it behoves to be, and
which cannot be done without casting down the false belief that we
can do aught to merit paradise. They take occasion on this account
to accuse us of making no account of good works, whereby they do us
wrong; for we are far more careful to recommend holy living, than
are any of our adversaries. But in order that men may not deceive
themselves by an overweening confidence, we teach that we are able
to do nothing whatever in our own strength, unless God guides us
by his Holy Spirit, and that even when we had done all, this would
afford a far too feeble ground whereon to found our justification;
that we must therefore have continual recourse to the mercy of God,
and to the merit and passion of Jesus Christ; and that it is there
that we must rest our hope, making no account of all the rest.
Thence it comes, that we say likewise, that we ought to address God
in all our prayers, for he calls us to himself, and forasmuch as
we of ourselves are too vile and unworthy to draw near to him, he
hath given us his Son Jesus Christ for our Advocate. Therefore it
is, that they reproach us with our hostility to the saints of both
sexes, and that we forbid the honouring of them. But this is absurd,
for we render to the saints the honour which God assigns them. Only
we cannot bear that they should be made idols of, being set up
instead of God, or of his Son our Saviour, which besides they do not
ask, but on the contrary take to be a great wrong; for those things
which, under shadow of devotion, are done with the view of pleasing
them, they seek vengeance before God.

The sacraments, which ought to serve for our confirmation in the
truth of God and in his fear, have been strangely perverted. When
we set ourselves carefully to restore them to their true use and
first original, they would have it believed that we are going to
destroy them. But would they only look to the ordinance as it has
been instituted by the Master, it would then be quite evident that
the manner of observance which we practise, does not derogate in
anything from what he has prescribed. True it is, we have not the
mass as among them, but we have the Supper such as Jesus Christ has
left it to us, and our adversaries can say nothing to the contrary,
only they object their custom as a reason for everything, but we
have another kind of buckler altogether, which is the commandment
that must endure inviolable to the end of the world. _Do this_,
saith the text, _until I come_. Whereby it follows, that whosoever
attempt to change anything until the coming of our Lord Jesus, prove
themselves rebels against him. I should be over-tedious were I to
follow out the other details which I omit mentioning to you, because
it shall well suffice me, if it please God to lead you to concur in
what I have herein lightly handled, in the hope that by more ample
reading you may be yet more confirmed in the same purpose. And now,
therefore, Monsieur, having humbly commended me to your kind favour,
I beseech our good Lord to guide you by his Spirit, to make you
conformable in everything to his will, and to send what he knows to
be good and wholesome for you.--Your servant,

  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.

  [_Fr. Copy_, _Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107.]



CCLVII.--TO THE PROTECTOR SOMERSET.[269]

  [269] _On the back_, in the hand writing of Calvin: "To Monsieur the
  Protector of England.--Sent."

  This letter was addressed to the Earl of Somerset after his first
  disgrace.--(See the letter of the 22d October 1548, and the Note
  p. 275.) Set at liberty, the 6th February 1550, by the favour of
  the king his nephew, he resumed his place in the Privy Council, but
  losing the title and dignity of Protector. The letter of Calvin is
  without any doubt of February or March 1550.

     Congratulations on the royal favour shown to the Duke of
     Somerset--use to be made of his influence for spreading the
     Gospel in England.


  _January 1550._

MONSEIGNEUR,--That I have so long delayed to write to you, has been
from no want of good-will, but to my great regret I have refrained,
fearing lest, during the troubles which have been of late, my
letters should be the occasion of annoyance. I thank my God that
he has now afforded me the opportunity which hitherto I have been
waiting for. It is not I alone who rejoice at the good issue which
God has given to your affliction, but all true believers, who desire
the advancement of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, forasmuch
as they know the solicitude with which you have laboured for the
re-establishing of the Gospel in all its purity in England, and that
every kind of superstition might be abolished. And I do not doubt
that you are prepared to persevere in the same course, in so far as
you shall have the means. On your own part, Monseigneur, not only
have you to acknowledge the favour God has shown you in stretching
out his hand for your deliverance, but also to bear his dealing
with you in remembrance, that you may profit by it.[270] I know the
regret which you may well entertain, and how you may be tempted to
render the like to those whom you reckon to have meditated greater
mischief against you than what has come to pass. But you know the
admonition which Saint Paul has given us on that head, that is,
that we have not to fight against flesh and blood, but against the
hidden wiles of our spiritual enemy. Wherefore let us not waste our
energies upon men, but rather let us set ourselves against Satan
to resist all his machinations against us, as there is no doubt
whatever that he was the author of the evil which impended over you,
in order that the course of the Gospel might thereby be hindered,
and even that all should be brought to confusion. Therefore,
Monseigneur, forgetting and pardoning the faults of those whom you
may conceive to have been your enemies, apply your whole mind to
repel his malice who thus engaged them to their own destruction in
setting themselves to seek your ruin. This magnanimity will not only
be pleasing to God, but it will make you the more loved among men;
and I do not doubt that you have such regard to that as you ought.
But if your humane disposition itself impels you to this course,
so much the more may I be confident that you will receive kindly
what I say, knowing that nothing induces me to tender such advice
to you, but the love I bear you, and the care which I have for your
honour and welfare. And besides, it is so difficult a virtue so
to overcome our passions as to render good for evil, that we can
never be too much exhorted to do so. Moreover, seeing that the Lord
has directed the issue so much better than many expected, keep in
mind, Monseigneur, the example of Joseph. It would be difficult to
find in our day such a mirror of integrity. For he, seeing that
God had turned to good the evil which they had plotted against
him, is unwearied in showing himself the minister of the goodness
of God towards his brethren who had persecuted him. This victory
will be more glorious than that which God has already given you,
when he saved and secured your person, and your property, and your
honours. However, Monseigneur, you have also to consider that if
God has been pleased to humble you for a little while, it has not
been without a motive. For although you might be innocent in regard
to men, you know that before this great heavenly Judge there is
no one living who is not chargeable. Thus, then, it is that the
saints have honoured the rod of God, by yielding their neck, and
bowing low their head under his discipline. David had walked very
uprightly, but yet he confessed that it had been good for him to be
humbled by the hand of God. For which reason, as soon as we feel any
chastisement, of whatsoever kind it may be, the first step should be
to retire into ourselves, and well to examine our own lives, that
we may apprehend those blessings which had been hidden from us: for
sometimes too much prosperity so dazzles our eyes, that we cannot
perceive wherefore God chastises us. It is but reasonable that we
should do him at least as much honour as we would to a physician,
for it is his to heal our inward maladies, which are unknown to
ourselves, and to pursue a course of healing, not according to our
liking, but as he knows and judges to be fitting. What is more,
it must needs happen sometimes that he makes use of preservative
remedies, not waiting till we have already fallen into evil, but
preventing it before it comes. God, besides your native rank, having
assigned you a high dignity, has performed great things by your
hand, and which shall possibly be more applauded after your death
than they are duly appreciated during your lifetime. Moreover, he
has caused his name to be magnified by you. Now, the most virtuous
and excellent persons are in greater danger than any others of being
tempted to forget themselves. You are aware, Monseigneur, of what
is written concerning the good King Hezekiah, that after having
performed such memorable actions, as well for religion and the
worship of God as for the common weal of the country, his heart was
lifted up. If God has been pleased to prevent that in you, it is a
special favour he has shown you. Were there no other reason for it,
save that he would be glorified in your deliverance, and that he
would be recognized by you, as well as by all in your person, as the
true protector of his own, that alone ought to be all-sufficient to
you.

  [270] During his disgrace, which was regarded as a public calamity
  by the friends of the Reformation in England and throughout Europe,
  the Duke of Somerset had sought consolation in reading and in pious
  meditations. He translated into English a work on Patience, to which
  he added a preface containing the expression of the most elevated
  sentiments. He received also exhortations from Peter Martyr, and
  shewed himself no less constant in his attachment to the Gospel,
  than resigned to the loss of fortune and credit.--See Burnet,
  _History of the Reformation_, vol. ii. p. 184; vol. iii. p. 209,
  fol. London.

It remains, Monseigneur, that since he has thus given you the upper
hand, you do render homage to him for this benefit, as is due.
If we are recovered out of a dangerous sickness, we ought to be
doubly careful, and to honour this merciful God, just as if he had
bestowed a new life upon us. You may not do less in your present
circumstances. Your zeal to exalt the name of God, and to restore
the purity of his Gospel, has been great. But you know, Monseigneur,
that in so great and worthy a cause, even when we have put forth all
our strength, we come very far short of what is required. However,
if God, in thus binding you to himself anew, has meant, in this way,
to induce you to do better than ever, your duty is to strive to
the uttermost and with all your energy, so that so holy a work as
that which he has begun by you may be carried forward. I doubt not
that you do so; but I am also confident, that knowing the affection
which induces me to exhort you thereunto, you will receive all my
solicitation with your wonted benignity. If the honour of God be
thus esteemed by you above all else, he will assuredly watch over
you and your whole household, to pour out his grace there more
abundantly, and will make you know the value of his blessing. For
that promise can never fail,--_Those who honour me, I will render
honourable_. True it is, that those who best do their duty are
oftentimes troubled the most by many violent onsets. But this is
quite enough for them, that God is at hand to succour and relieve
them. Now, although it is enough for you to look to God and to feel
the assurance that your service is pleasing to him, nevertheless,
Monseigneur, it is a great comfort to you to see the king so well
disposed that he prefers the restoration of the Church, and of pure
doctrine, to everything else, seeing it is a virtue greatly to
be admired in him, and a peculiar blessing for the kingdom,[271]
that in a youth of such tender age the vanities of this world do
not hinder the fear of God and true religion from ruling in his
heart. This also ought to be a great help and confirmation, that
you discharge the principal service which he desires and asks, in
serving our heavenly King, the Son of God.

  [271] The young King Edward VI. Instructed by the most able masters,
  this prince gave early proof of a strong mind and of a lively piety.
  When scarcely fourteen years of age, he set forth in a discourse,
  of which a fragment has been preserved, the plan of the Reformation
  in England. He drew up with much care a journal of events which
  happened during his reign. He composed, besides, a collection of
  passages of the Old Testament condemning idolatry and image-worship.
  This collection, written in French, was dedicated by the young
  King to the Duke of Somerset, his uncle.--Burnet, _History of the
  Reformation_, vol. ii. pp. 224, 225.

Monseigneur, having very humbly commended me to your kind favour,
I beseech our good Lord, that, upholding you in his holy keeping,
he would increase in you yet more and more the gifts of his Holy
Spirit, for the furtherance of his own glory, so that we may all
have whereof to rejoice.

Your very humble servant,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. minute.--Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]



CCLVIII.--TO FAREL.

     Tidings from Germany and England--recommendation of a domestic.


  GENEVA, _1st February 1550_.

Although you have not had a long letter from me for a considerable
time, yet I do not think that even now I have anything new to write
to you. All the time that our friend Thomas was here, I was either
suffering severely from a cough or annoyed by catarrh. A violent
headache is now tormenting me, although it has been easier for the
past hour. It is well that I am not prevented from labouring, in a
kind of way, to discharge my necessary duties; but I usually make
but slow progress. Much of my time is wasted, at present, by ill
health, which ought to be devoted to useful labour. We hear nothing
from Germany, except that the Lord has punished the Emperor by the
destruction of some of his ships. Would that some disease would put
a check upon his evil deeds! You know that the tutor of the English
king has been set at liberty, and, I suppose, you are aware also
of what happened to my letter.[272] The prefect of C---- having
got it from the messenger took it into the palace; he afterwards
restored it to the messenger, who, before giving it to the king's
tutor, presented it to [the Archbishop] of Canterbury, to ask his
advice. He returned it to him again after retaining it two days.
The messenger, fearing that that was done insidiously, or that he
was bringing upon his own head the very danger which others were so
anxiously avoiding, presented it to the King's Council, although, as
I hear, he was advised to do that by good and wise men. I expect an
answer immediately. Whatever may turn up, I shall see to it that you
be made acquainted with it.

  [272] The letter to the Protector, of January 1550.

Whether it is owing to the indolence of John Girard that your book
is not yet printed,[273] or from the confused state of his affairs
at home, or because he has made deliberate choice of many things
before it, I dare not affirm. I have certainly spoken to him
frequently on the matter, and he has made serious protestations
about it. Normandie also has repeatedly ordered him to get on with
it. So the _Institute_, which should have been completed a month
ago, is not finished yet. I wished to make this brief statement
to you, to let you know that I had not been neglectful. He is not
particularly moved by my reproving him, except that he immediately
promises to do it forthwith.

  [273] See Note 3, pp. 240-1.

Adieu, brother and very worthy friend. May the Lord by his Spirit
continue to guide you, and may he watch over you and your family!
You will salute your fellow-ministers cordially in my name,
especially Faton and your colleague.

The short Treatise on the Sanctification of the Infants of Pious
Parents, and on Female Baptism, is being printed, although it did
not require more than two days' labour.[274] As to what you fear
of the venomous creatures which I have irritated giving forth some
poison, I am quite easy on that score. Adieu again.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [274] The Reformer having attacked the _Interim_ in one of his
  writings, was accused of Pelagianism by a German theologian, perhaps
  Flacius Illyricus. He replied to this accusation in a publication
  entitled, _Appendix Libelli de vera Ecclesiæ reformandæ ratione,
  in qua refutat Censuram quamdam typographi ignoti de parvalorum
  Sanctificatione et muliebri Baptismo_. Geneva, 1550.

       *       *       *       *       *

I understand that you require a maid-servant,--neither yourself nor
your brothers told me so. However, having heard it from others, I
wish to tell you that there is a woman here who is pious, upright,
and careful, and advanced in years, who would gladly serve you if
she could be of use to you.

All your friends salute you kindly, especially M. Normandie, yet
this does not detract from the regard of the others--from that of
Verron, for instance, the writer of the present letter.

  [_Lat. orig.--Library of Gotha._ Vol. 404, fol. 5.]



CCLIX.--TO FAREL.

     Election of a new Pope.


  _3d March 1550._

I am glad that worthy man has at length so far listened to rational
advice as to yield to you. One must overlook what difficulty he
occasioned for some time, only he should try to make up for his
slowness by assiduity when he has once arrived. This I expect he
will be entirely prepared to do. For I know him to be an upright man
and one who is diligent in his business. I know that he will be so
commended to you that there is no need of words [from me.] His wife
will get accustomed to it by degrees. He brings two boys with him,
of whom the one is the son of a very excellent and very upright man,
the other is a grandson of Pommier's brother. When they reach you,
let them understand that you will attend to them. I shall faithfully
discharge my duty to the son of M. Michael Schalter. I have just now
received your letter.

The Pope who has been created ought to be an extraordinary monster,
seeing that the best of workmen have wrought so long at the forging
of him.[275] Nor indeed could a fitter than Julius have been fallen
upon, as the moderator of the Council of Trent.

  [275] The pontifical chair, rendered vacant in the month of November
  1549, by the death of Paul III., was occupied in the month of
  February of the following year by the Cardinal del Monte, who took
  the name of Julius III. The irregularities of his past life, and the
  disgraceful accusations which rested on his character, rendered him
  very unfit to be a reformer of the Church.

Adieu, brother and very honest friend. May the Lord Jesus sustain
you! Salute the brethren earnestly, especially my co-patriot,
Christopher Muloti, Faton, and the rest. Adieu again.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN

  [_Lat. orig. autogr.--Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]



CCLX.--TO FRANCIS DRYANDER.[276]

  [276] _On the back_: "To the very Illustrious M. Francis Dryander, a
  Spaniard, at Baslo, with M. Myconius."

  Dryander left Strasbourg (for England) in 1548. Melanchthon
  gave him letters of introduction to King Edward and to Cranmer,
  by whose patronage he obtained a Chair in the University of
  Cambridge.--(Zurich Letters, first series, tom. i. p. 349.) At
  the end of the following year (December 1549) we find Dryander
  in Strasbourg again. What were his motives for returning to the
  Continent cannot now be ascertained. See the notice of Dryander, p.
  111.

     Counsels and encouragements--collection of commentaries on
     Isaiah by Des Gallars.


  GENEVA, _7th March 1550_.

I am happy that you have returned safely from England. If your
affairs here are satisfactory and prosperous, and the Lord is
providing you with employment, I am the more delighted, although,
as matters now stand everywhere, it becomes us so to walk in the
world that we may be willing forthwith to depart. England seems as
yet unsettled. Elsewhere, whatever was satisfactorily established
appears now to decay. So that, unless we can preserve our patience,
we shall nowhere find the aspect of affairs so pleasing as to
prevent us from longing for a change. This is every day more and
more the experience of myself, whose struggle you suppose is almost
concluded. For I am perpetually disturbed by new contentions, and
new sources of annoyance and disgust, to such a degree, that,
were a free choice allowed me, I would prefer any lot to groaning
continually under so grievous a burden. The Lord has adorned you
with genius and learning; he has gifted you with a zealous and
magnanimous spirit. We must pray that he will not suffer these rich
endowments to lie unimproved. I know, indeed, that hitherto you
have endeavoured to make your life useful to the Church, and that
your attempts have not been without fruit. But I desire that your
gifts may be more fully displayed, and I trust that they will. My
meditations on Isaiah, which you say are expected, will shortly be
published. The composition of the work, however, is Des Gallars',
for, as I have but little time for writing, he jots down to my
dictation and arranges his materials afterwards at home. I then make
a revision of it, and wherever he has missed my meaning I restore
it. When my letter reaches you, I expect the treasurer of our city
will be there also, and will remain for two days. If you have any
news he will be glad to convey them. I have nothing to say to MM.
Myconius and Sulzer till they answer my last. Remember me, however,
to them and to Oporinus. My colleagues desire me to salute you
cordially. I pray for all joy and prosperity to your wife wherever
she is.

Adieu, illustrious sir. May the Lord continue to guide you by his
Spirit, and be ever present with you!--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr.--Archives of the Protestant Seminary of
  Strasbourg._]



CCLXI.--TO NICOLAS COLLADON.[277]

  [277] "To Nicolas Colladon, a man distinguished for piety and
  learning."

  Among the numerous French refugees whom persecution led yearly to
  Geneva, there were none more distinguished than the members of the
  Colladon family, originally from Berry, where they occupied an
  eminent position, and are reckoned, even in our own day, among the
  number of the Genevese aristocracy. Nicolas Colladon, to whom the
  letter of the Reformer is addressed, was the son of Leon Colladon,
  the celebrated parliamentary advocate of Bourges, who, with his
  brother Germain, retired to Geneva in the early part of the year
  1551. Long initiated in evangelical doctrine, Nicolas Colladon
  continued to exercise those pastoral functions in his adopted
  country, which he had previously performed in Berry. In 1564 he
  was made Principal of the College of Geneva, and in 1566 succeeded
  Calvin himself in the chair of theology, without ceasing to
  discharge his pastoral duties with a zeal which, during the plague
  of 1570, found a perilous opportunity of signalizing itself. He
  spent the last years of his life in the Canton de Vaud. The precise
  date of his death is not known.--Senebier, _Hist. Litt._, tom. i. p.
  398. Galiffe, _Notices Généalogiques_, tom. ii. p. 566; and Haag,
  _France Protestante_, Art Colladon.

     Settlement of the Colladon family at Geneva.


  _12th May 1550._

I have at present no other reason for writing you than that I
thought it absurd that a messenger, sent with difficulty hither
from so intimate a friend, and on business well known to me, should
return without a letter from me. I was afraid, also, at the same
time, lest your brother should entertain unpleasant suspicions
should he hear that I had been altogether silent. My friend Laurent
at present declines the journey to which you urge him; his excuse is
brief, but such as we both hope will abundantly satisfy you. I will
only add this from him, that he was as far as possible from seeking
any excuse for not visiting you. I assure you that his inclination
is in no respect altered; but having seriously pondered the whole
matter, I dare not advise him to leave his home at present. It
is well, however, that those with whom you invited him to confer
are disposed to entertain a removal.[278] And, indeed, they can
accomplish nothing in this affair without coming to us. For as the
girl is engaged in marriage here,[279] it would be too hazardous for
them to remain at home. It will be your duty, therefore, to urge
them to collect their baggage, and prepare for the journey. This may
at first sight appear ridiculous, as if, in a matter so difficult
and perplexing, I fancied everything was easily managed. I am not
so inexperienced, however, as to be ignorant of the obstacles,
embarrassments, and delays with which you must struggle. This only
I wish, since the matter admits of no delay, that you would exert
yourself vigorously in discharging your duty.

  [278] In allusion to the various members of the Colladon family, who
  were contemplating a removal to Geneva.

  [279] Anne Colladon, the sister of Nicolas, was on the point of
  being married to Laurent de Normandie. See Note 1, p. 217.

Adieu, beloved brother in the Lord. Salute your relatives kindly in
my name, both the father and all the families. May God direct you
with the Spirit of wisdom and fortitude; may he be present with you
and further all your pious efforts! Amen.--Yours,

  CHARLES PASSELIUS.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr.--Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]



CCLXII.--TO THE SEIGNEURY OF GENEVA.[280]

  [280] Three years after the death of Gruet, beheaded for the crime
  of rebellion and of blasphemy, (see the note p. 226,) there was
  discovered in a garret of his house a writing in his own hand, of
  twenty-six pages, which was brought to the magistrates of Geneva.
  These latter submitted the document to Calvin, who drew up his
  opinion in the Memorial which we here reproduce, as an undeniable
  evidence of the religious doctrines and the morals professed by some
  of the chiefs of the Libertin party.

  The writing in question was condemned, the 23d May 1550, as being
  full of the most detestable blasphemies, and was burnt by the hand
  of the hangman in front of the house of Gruet.

     Notice of a publication attributed to Gruet.


  [_May 1550._]

Seeing that it has pleased Messieurs to ask my opinion regarding
the book of Gruet, it appears to me, that in the first place, they
ought in regular judicial form to identify the handwriting, not so
much for the condemnation of the individual, who is quite enough
condemned already, as for the consequences which may ensue; as well
in order that it may not be thought that they have been lightly
moved on account of an uncertain book, as for the sake of adherents
and accomplices.

That being done, I think that the suppression of the book itself
ought not to appear to be for the sake of burying it out of sight,
but be accompanied by a testimony that they had looked upon it with
such detestation as it deserved, and that it was done for the sake
of example only.

It is true, that seeing we ought to abstain from all filthy
communication, and that nothing of that kind ought to proceed out of
our mouth,--such blasphemous and execrable speeches ought not to be
repeated, as if we had no horror of them at all; but, in obedience
to the rule which our Lord has given in his law, it is for the
common weal that faithful magistrates specially define the impieties
which they punish. Besides, Messieurs are well aware how necessary
it is, for many reasons which I leave for them to consider, although
God's ordinance regarding it ought to be all-sufficient for us.

The form, under correction, which we should recommend, is that there
should be a preamble or narrative something like what follows:--

That whereas, in such a year, and on such a day, Jacques Gruet, as
well on account of hideous blasphemies against God, and mockery of
the Christian religion, as because of wicked conspiracy against
the public state of this city, mutinies and other crimes and
malpractices, had been condemned to such a punishment, it has since
come to pass that a book has been found in his own handwriting,
as has been ascertained upon sufficient evidence, in which are
contained many blasphemies, so execrable, that there is no human
creature who ought not to tremble at the hearing of them, and
wherein he makes a mock at the whole of Christianity, so far
as to say of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God and King of
Glory, before whose majesty the devils are constrained to bow down
themselves, that he was an idle beggar, a liar, a fool, a seducer,
a mischievous wicked person, an unhappy fanatic, a clown full of
vain-glorious and wicked presumption, who well deserved to be
crucified; that the miracles which he had performed were nought but
sorceries and apish tricks, and that he deemed himself to be the Son
of God, in like manner as the Hierarchs weened themselves to be in
their Synagogue; that he played the hypocrite, having been hung as
he deserved, and died miserably in his folly, a thoughtless coxcomb,
great drunkard, detestable traitor, and suspended malefactor,
whose coming into the world has brought nothing but all sorts of
wickedness, disaster, and confusion, and every sort of reproach and
outrage which it is possible to invent:

He has said of the Prophets, that they have been only fools,
dreamers, fanatics; of the Apostles, that they were rascals, and
knaves, apostates, dull blockheads, brainless fellows; of the Virgin
Mary, that it is rather to be presumed that she was a strumpet; of
the law of God, that it is worthless, like those who have framed it;
of the Gospel, that it is nothing but falsehood; that the whole of
Scripture is false and wicked, and that there is less meaning in it
than there is in Æsop's fables, and that it is a false and foolish
doctrine:

And not only does he thus villanously attack our holy and sacred
Christian religion, but he also renounces and abolishes all religion
and divinity, saying that God is nothing, representing men to be
like to the brute beasts, denying eternal life, and disgorging
execrations, the like of which ought to make the hair stand up upon
the head of every one, and which are of such rank infection as to
bring a whole country under the curse, so that all people of every
degree, having any sound conscience at all, ought to ask pardon of
God that his name has been thus blasphemed among them.

In conclusion, it appears to me that sentence ought to be given in
such or similar form as follows:--

That whereas the writer of the said book has been, by judicial
sentence, condemned and executed, yet, in order that the vengeance
of God may not abide upon us for having suffered or concealed
such horrible impiety, and also as an example to all accomplices
and adherents of a sect so infectious and worse than diabolical,
even to shut the mouth of all those who would excuse or cover
such enormities, and to show them what condemnation they deserve,
Messieurs have ordained ... &c....

The sooner this is done the better, for already this unhappy book
has been too much in the hands of these gentlemen....

  [_Fr. orig. autogr.--Coll. of the Chevalier Engard at Geneva._]



CCLXIII.--TO MELANCHTHON.[281]

  [281] The proclamation of the _Interim_ plunged Germany into a state
  of extraordinary confusion. Some towns were so bold as to present
  remonstrances to the Emperor, and protested against an arbitrary
  edict, which reprobated alike the partisans of the ancient worship
  and those of the new. But their voice was not heard, and the
  greater number of the towns submitted. There were even theologians
  compliant enough to legitimize this submission. Of this number
  was Melanchthon, who, by his virtues and his knowledge, deserved
  the first rank among the Reformed doctors, but who, deprived now
  of the manly exhortations of Luther, and led away by an excessive
  love of peace, and by the natural weakness of his character, was
  making concessions which cannot be justified. Led by his example,
  and seduced by the artifices of the Elector Maurice, the Assembly
  of Leipsic declared that in matters purely _indifferent_ we ought
  to obey the orders of our lawful superiors,--a dangerous principle,
  which applied to ceremonies, and led to the revival of the grossest
  and most pernicious errors of the Romish Church. Melanchthon
  himself wrote a great number of the letters of Αδιάφορος
  [indifferent], in support of this doctrine, and his weakness
  drew down upon him the most violent reproaches from the zealous
  Lutherans, who accused him of being an accomplice of the enemies of
  the Gospel.--Sleidan, book xxii.; Robertson, book x. Moved by this
  sad news, Calvin did not hesitate to blame Melanchthon in a letter
  addressed to him, in which respect and affection are joined to a
  just severity.

     Controversies excited in Germany by the establishment of _the
     Interim_--Brotherly reproofs.


  [_18th June 1550._]

The ancient satirist once said,--

  "Si natura negat, facit indignatio versum."

It is at present far otherwise with me. So little does my present
grief aid me in speaking, that it rather renders me almost entirely
speechless. Besides, as I cannot express in words how my mind is
affected, being overcome with merely thinking on the subject on
which I am about to write, I am almost struck dumb. I would have
you suppose me to be groaning rather than speaking. It is too
well known, from their mocking and jests, how much the enemies of
Christ were rejoicing over your contests with the theologians of
Magdeburg.[282] They certainly presented a foul and abominable
spectacle, as well to the Lord and the angels, as to the whole
Church. If no blame attaches to you in this matter, my dear Philip,
it would be but the dictate of prudence and justice, to devise a
means of curing the evil, or at least of somewhat mitigating it.
Yet, forgive me if I do not consider you altogether free from
blame. And from this you may conjecture how severe the judgments of
others are concerning you, and how offensive and unpleasant their
remarks. In the mean while, let it be well understood, that in
openly admonishing you, I am discharging the duty of a true friend;
and if I employ a little more severity than usual, do not think
that it is owing to any diminution of my old affection and esteem
for you. Although for me to offend by rude simplicity, rather than
bespeak by adulation the favour of any man, is nothing uncommon
or new to you. I also feel, on the other hand, less anxiety about
your taking it amiss to be reproved by me when I have just cause
for displeasure, inasmuch as I am well aware that nothing gives you
greater pleasure than open candour. I am truly anxious to approve
all your actions, both to myself and to others. But I at present
accuse you before yourself, that I may not be forced to join those
who condemn you in your absence. This is the sum of your defence:
that provided purity of doctrine be retained, externals should
not be pertinaciously contended for.[283] And if it be true that
is confidently asserted everywhere, you extend the distinction
of non-essentials too far. You are not ignorant that the Papists
have corrupted the worship of God in a thousand ways. We have put
up with corruptions which were barely tolerable. The ungodly now
order these same things to be restored, that they may triumph over
a down-trodden gospel. And if any one does not hesitate to oppose
this, will you not ascribe it to pertinacity? Every one knows how
this is opposed to your modesty. If you are too facile in making
concessions, you need not wonder if that is marked as a fault in
you by many. Moreover, several of those things which you consider
indifferent, are obviously repugnant to the word of God. Perhaps
there are some who insist too positively on certain points, and,
as usually happens in disputes, make offensive attacks upon some
things which have little harm in themselves. Truly if I have any
understanding in divine things, you ought not to have made such
large concessions to the Papists; partly because you have loosed
what the Lord has bound in his word, and partly because you have
afforded occasion for bringing insult upon the Gospel. At a time
when circumcision was as yet lawful, do you not see that Paul,
because crafty and malicious fowlers were laying snares for the
liberty of believers, pertinaciously refused to concede to them a
ceremony at the first instituted by God? Accordingly, he boasts
that he did not yield to them, no not for a moment, that the truth
of the Gospel might remain intact among the Gentiles. In our day,
indeed, the enemy has not troubled us about circumcision, but
that they may not leave us anything pure, they are tainting both
doctrine and every exercise of worship with their putrid leaven.
As for the theologians of Magdeburg, you say that they were only
raising disputes about a linen vesture. I do not see the force of
this. I certainly think the use of the linen vesture, with many
other fooleries, has been hitherto retained as much by you as by
them. And, indeed, good and pious men everywhere deplore that you
should have countenanced those corruptions which manifestly tend to
destroy the purity of all doctrine, and to undermine the stability
of the Church. Lest you may perhaps have forgotten what I once
said to you, I now remind you of it, namely, that we consider our
ink too precious if we hesitate to bear testimony in writing to
those things which so many of the flock are daily sealing with
their blood. I spoke thus, indeed, at a time when we seemed to be
farther out of the reach of missiles [than at present]. And seeing
that the Lord led us forth into the arena, it became us on that
account to strive the more manfully. Your position is different
from that of many, as yourself are aware. For the trepidation of
a general or leader is more dishonourable than the flight of a
whole herd of private soldiers. Accordingly, while the timidity of
others may be overlooked, unless you give invariable evidence of
unflinching steadfastness, all will say that vacillation in such a
man must not be tolerated. You alone, by only giving way a little,
will cause more complaints and sighs than would a hundred ordinary
individuals by open desertion. And, although I am fully persuaded
that the fear of death never compelled you in the very least to
swerve from the right path, yet I am apprehensive that it is just
possible, that another species of fear may have proved too much
for your courage. For I know how much you are horrified at the
charge of rude severity. But we must remember, that reputation
must not be accounted by the servants of Christ as of more value
than life. We are no better than Paul was, who held fearlessly on
his way through "evil and good report." It is indeed a hard and
disagreeable thing to be reckoned turbulent and inflexible,--men
who would rather see the whole world in ruin, than condescend to
any measure of moderation. But your ears should have been deaf to
such talk long ago. I have not so bad an opinion of you, nor will I
do you the injustice, to suppose that you resemble the ambitious,
and hang upon the popular breath. Yet I have no doubt but that you
are occasionally weakened by those goadings. What? Is it the part
of a wise and considerate man to rend the Church for the sake of
minute and all but frivolous matters? Must not peace be purchased
at any tolerable amount of inconvenience? What madness is it to
stand out for everything to the last, to the neglect of the entire
substance of the Gospel! When lately these and similar remarks were
circulated by designing men, I thought and perceived you to be more
influenced by them than you should have been; accordingly, I open
my mind candidly to you, lest anything should mar that truly divine
magnanimity, which, in other respects, I know you to possess. You
know why I am so vehement. I had rather die with you a hundred
times, than see you survive the doctrines surrendered by you. Nor do
I say this as if there was danger lest the truth of God made known
by your ministry should come to nought, or as if I distrusted your
steadfastness; but simply because you will never be sufficiently
solicitous lest the wicked obtain an occasion of cavilling, which
owing to your facileness they eagerly snatch at. Pardon me for
loading your breast with these miserable, though ineffectual groans.
Adieu, most illustrious sir, and ever worthy of my hearty regard.
May the Lord continue to guide you by his Spirit, and sustain you
by his might; may his protection guard you. Amen.[284] Salute, I
entreat you, any of my friends that are near you. A great number
here respectfully salute you. Multitudes, to avoid idolatry in
France, are making choice of a voluntary exile among us.

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr.--Coll. of M. Troncliin at Geneva._]

  [282] The town of Magdeburg, then besieged by the army of the
  Elector Maurice, persisted in rejecting the _Interim_, and the
  theologians of that Church flooded Germany with pamphlets, in which
  Melanchthon was not spared. The Burghers of Magdeburg, put under the
  ban of the empire, sustained a long siege, and did not submit till
  the following year.--Sleidan, book xxii.

  [283] In a reply to Flacius Illyricus, who maintained that,
  rather than tolerate the restoration of the Popish ceremonies,
  he would plunder and destroy the Churches and stir up the
  people,--"_vastitatem faciendam in templis, et metu seditionum
  terrendos principes_." Melanchthon advocated _immovable
  steadfastness in doctrine, submission in everything else_.--"_In
  ceremoniis tolerandam aliquam servitutem, quæ tamen sit sine
  impietate._"--Melch. Adam. _Vita Melanchthonis_, p. 344. But was it
  possible to submit to the Church of Rome without deserting sound
  doctrine?

  [284] This letter is without date. We discover the date, however, in
  a letter of Calvin's to Valentin Pacaeus, a doctor of Leipsic, of
  18th June 1550, where we meet with these words:--"I make no mention
  of M. Philip, as I am writing specially to himself."--Calv. _Opera_,
  tom. ix. p. 54.



CCLXIV.--TO VIRET.

     Hope of an early visit from Viret--projected excursions in the
     neighbourhood of Geneva.


  GENEVA, _22d July 1550_.

When some one or other informed me lately that you intended coming
here in a short time, I snatched eagerly at the intelligence, just
as if you had been bound to come by a previous agreement. If you do
think of coming, I beseech you, again and again, to stay a Sabbath
with us, for you could not have a better opportunity during the
whole year. You will deliver a discourse in the city on the morning
of the Lord's day. I shall set out for Jussy; you will follow me
after dinner, and we shall proceed thence to M. de Falais'.[285]
Leaving him again, we shall make a hasty passage to the opposite
side,[286] and rusticate till Thursday with Seigneurs Pommier and De
Lisle. On Friday, if you choose to make an excursion to Tournet or
Belle Rive, you will have my company also. You need not be afraid
of any unpopularity, for matters have calmed down somewhat, as you
will hear. See you do not disappoint me. Certainly many here are
expecting you.

  [285] See note 2, p. 175. M. de Falais lived during the summer in
  a country-seat, situated at Veigy, a small village of Savoy, a few
  leagues from Geneva.

  [286] On the opposite bank of the lake, where rises the delightful
  eminence of Chambesy, crowned at the present day with beautiful
  villas.

Adieu, again and again, until you come. Salute the brethren, and
your wife and little daughters at home. May the Lord Jesus keep you
all and watch over you.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

You will give the letters to M. Yergerio, to be delivered to
Zerkinden and Haller.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr.--Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]



CCLXV.--TO FAREL.

     Opinion regarding Vergerio--intelligence regarding Bucer--letter
     to Melanchthon--disputes with Berne--literary publications of
     Calvin.


  _July 1550._

Although I have not been able to secure a messenger for a long time,
who might convey my letter to you with convenience and safety, yet I
must really confess that I am ashamed of my long delay. But you will
readily excuse me; and I can with truth declare, that I would gladly
have written you on different occasions had I been able sooner to
find a messenger. It is not expedient for us, in my opinion, to be
anxious about our exculpation with the people of Zurich, lest some
groundless suspicion should steal in upon them. We shall see by and
by whether they have any faith in those clouds of theirs. Defence
will be easy then. Let us in the meantime cherish our unanimity.
Vergerio, Bishop of Pola,[287] is here at present; he will not
return to the Grisons, however. I think Viret wrote you concerning
him. He came by Lausanne, and spent a few days in familiar
intercourse with the brethren. There is much that is praiseworthy
about him; and I hope that he will be steadfast in the right path.
As I knew he passed through Zurich, I endeavoured to elicit from
him whether he had heard of aught unfavourable there. I could not
scent out anything, however. We should therefore keep quiet, unless
a better opportunity presents itself. Those who come from England,
say that matters get on well there. I have heard nothing of Bucer,
except that he seems rather pliant to some.[288] There is a fixed
opinion in the minds of many regarding him which is not easily
rooted out. It is not unlikely that the good man feels annoyed by
this prejudice. And whether he affords any occasion for it or not,
I cannot tell. We shall have some word soon. No change has taken
place in Saxony as yet. Should you feel disposed to spend a quarter
of an hour, perhaps, in reading an epistle in which I discuss [the
question] of ceremonies, you will find a copy of it enclosed. I have
written to Melanchthon also in almost the very same strain, but,
owing to my negligence, it turns out that I do not possess a copy
of it.[289] Should you also be inclined to look into those points
on which I recently advised the Protector of England, I have sent
that [document] also. Would that time had allowed me to seek your
advice, rather than show you what I have now done regarding the
matter. The Collector of Finance[290] of the French king, who was
in prison, has cost us no further trouble. The Bernese ambassadors,
lately sent in his behalf, were of some use, though of less than I
could have wished. They succeeded, however, in quieting the mind of
the king. Five or six days after there comes a most polite letter,
in which the king returns us his thanks, and courteously asks us to
release the captive. This was done. By the wonderful goodness of
God, we are now freed from a source of anxiety which often robbed me
of my sleep. That new impost which the Bernese are exacting,[291]
annoys us sadly. We are resolved not to pay it. We wish it tried
at law; our opponents wish us to bow to their authority. Thereupon
one evil rises out of another. Moreover, this awkward circumstance
attends it, that I dare not refuse my advice to those soliciting it.
I commenced Genesis seven days ago; may it be auspicious! In the
meantime Isaiah is called to press.[292] The printers are at present
busy with Paul, but I fear they have been longer of beginning than
they should.[293] If it be not out in nine days hence, it will
have other companions, for I hope that the book _De Scandalis_ and
the _Canonical Epistles_ will be printed during the coming winter.
Adieu, most upright brother, ever to be revered by me in the Lord.
Salute earnestly your family and all the brethren. May the Lord
watch over you all and guide you by his Spirit!

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a._]

  [287] Paolo Vergerio, one of the missionaries of Reform in Swiss
  Italy. Born of an illustrious family of Istria, he had successively
  studied law and oratory, was made Bishop of Istria, and discharged
  the duties of Pope's legate in Germany. He became a convert to
  the Gospel through conversations with Melanchthon, abandoned his
  diocese, and retired among the Grisons. He died in 1565.

  [288] There is a beautiful letter from Bucer to Calvin, [Calvini
  _Opera_, tom. ix. p. 58,] dated from Cambridge, and containing
  curious details regarding the religious state of England. We find
  this passage in it relative to the young King Edward VI.,--"Increase
  in prayer in behalf of the most serene King, who is making quite
  wonderful progress in pious and literary studies."

  [289] See the preceding letter.

  [290] We find no allusion to this fact in the Registers of the
  Council of that year. But Ruchat mentions, after Roset, the arrest
  of one Jean Baptiste Didaco, Receiver-General of Finance at Rouen,
  who, having been imprisoned at Geneva at the impeachment of one of
  his domestics, was released at the request of the King of France,
  and of the Bernese, after three months' imprisonment.--Ruchat, tom.
  v. pp. 311, 313.

  [291] The nature of this tax is not known; it was set on foot in
  the localities belonging to the ancient territory of the Chapter
  of Saint Victor, and shared between the jurisdiction of the two
  republics.

  [292] _Commentarii in Iesaiam Prophetam._ In fol. Geneva, 1550. A
  work dedicated to the King of England.

  [293] _In omnes Pauli Epistolas atque etiam in Epistolam ad Hebraeos
  Commentarii._ In fol. Geneva, 1550. With a preface by Theodore Beza.



CCLXVI.--TO WILLIAM RABOT.[294]

  [294] The title:--To William Rabot, "Dictus a Salena" of Avignon.

  It appears from a letter of Rabot's to Calvin, preserved in the
  Library of Gotha, that, exiled from his native country from
  conscientious motives, this young man was then engaged in the
  study of law at the University of Padua, in company with a number
  of gentlemen, among others Charles de Jonvillers, Francis and
  Louis de Budé, &c. Their studies were intermingled with religious
  discourses, which contributed to the spread of the Gospel in certain
  distinguished families, among which we remark that of Contarini,
  originally of Padua. The increasing rigours of persecution soon
  scattered this focus of Evangelism, and led some of those youthful
  missionaries to Geneva, where Charles de Jonvillers, one of
  their number, gained the friendship of Calvin, and became his
  secretary.--_Divers MSS. of Gotha and of Geneva._

     Exhortation to the study of the Scriptures.


  _24th July 1550._

Although we have been unknown to each other by sight, yet since you
recognize the Master Christ in my ministry, and submit yourself
cheerfully and calmly to his teaching, this is a sufficient reason
why I should, on the other hand, esteem you as a brother and
fellow-disciple. But, as I understand from your letter, that it
is not very long since the Lord shed the light of his gospel on
you, I could not give a fitter expression of my love towards you,
than by exhorting and encouraging you to daily exercises. For we
see sparks of piety immediately disappear which had shone forth
on many occasions; because, instead of increasing the flame, they
rather extinguish what little light the Spirit of God had enkindled
in them, by the empty allurements of the world, or the irregular
desires of the flesh. That nothing of this kind may happen to you,
you must first of all give devoted submission to the will of the
Lord, and in the next place, you must fortify yourself by his sacred
doctrines. But as this is too extensive a theme to be embraced in a
letter, it is better for you to draw from the fountain-head itself.
For if you make a constant study of the word of the Lord, you will
be quite able to guide your life to the highest excellence. You have
faithful commentaries, which will furnish the best assistance. I
wish very much you could find it convenient at some time to pay us
a visit; for, I flatter myself, you would never regret the journey.
Whatever you do, see that you follow the Lord, and at no time turn
aside from the chief end.

Adieu, illustrious and very dear sir.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. copy._--_Archives of the Protestant Seminary of Strasbourg._]



CCLXVII.--TO FAREL.

     Publication of the book on _Scandals_--persecution by the King
     of France--Bucer's discouragement.


  GENEVA, _19th August 1550_.

How I am to repay you for your letter, I know not, unless that, as
soon as the Lord shall have enabled me to complete the first three
chapters of my Commentary on _Genesis_, I give you a reading of
it. If it please you, it will be worth the trouble of plucking the
fruit before the time; and besides, I shall have the benefit of
your judgment on the remainder of the context, if you should think
there is anything of which I should be made aware. The pamphlet
_De Scandalis_, considering the immense fulness of the proof, will
be not only short but even concise.[295] But then the evidence is
all traced back to this conclusion,--that there is no reason why
ungodly men should bring the Gospel into disrepute, and expose it to
popular odium, under the pretext of stumblingblocks; and that the
weak should be strengthened, in order that by the firmness of their
faith they may overcome whatever stumblingblocks Satan may cast in
their way. To put so great a check upon error, that should any one
turn aside from the right path, or stumble or be disheartened, he
may be without excuse. Yet I show at the same time, how dreadful a
vengeance God will take on the authors of offences. Meanwhile, you
will attack that monster when the signs are favourable, which I
confidently trust you have already done.

  [295] The Treatise on Scandals, one of the most remarkable of
  Calvin's writings appeared this same year, with a beautiful
  dedication addressed by Calvin to Laurent de Normandie, _his old
  and constant friend_. It was published at first in Latin, under the
  following title:--_De Scandalis quibus hodie plerique absterrentur,
  nonnulli etiam alienantur a pura Evangelii Doctrina_. Geneva, 1550.
  This work was translated into French by Latern during the following
  year. It is to be found in tom. viii. of his _Opera_, and in the
  _Recueil des Opuscules_, p. 1145.

Whatever good hopes of Henry, Viret led you to cherish, they were
vain.[296] Rumours of this sort are daily afloat. We should,
therefore, place no more reliance on them than they deserve. It
is a sure enough token that the ferocity of the beast is in no
degree appeased, when our brethren, so far from experiencing any
alleviation of their sufferings, are more closely pursued every
day. ANOTHER LION is said to be making certain extraordinary
exertions.[297] We should, therefore, ask God to subdue their rage,
or, at all events, to waste their strength by mutual collision--as
he has hitherto done--that they may not be able to do any more
damage. I am not ignorant of the danger from which the Lord has
extricated us. Nor need we thank that abandoned faction, truly, for
not bringing this unfortunate, nay devoted, city into utter ruin.
But as I had all along good hopes of a remedy, nothing gave me great
alarm.

  [296] Henry II. of France, to gain the good-will of the cantons,
  pretended at that time to take a lively interest in the protection
  of Geneva, menaced by the Duke of Savoy and the Emperor of Germany.
  He even informed the magistrates of the republic regarding certain
  plots, real or imaginary, laid for its destruction.--_Registers of
  the Council_, 1549, 1550, _passim_.

  [297] The Emperor Charles V. published, at that time, his bloody
  edict against the Protestants, Lutherans, Zuinglians, and others,
  and seemed to be preparing himself for a general crusade against the
  Reformed Churches.--Sleidan, book xxii.

It is to be feared that I shall gain some ill-will on account of the
taxes.[298] For they know that Normandie and I are consulted [on the
matter]. I prefer running this risk, however, to allowing those to
ruin themselves whom I ought to advise. I was not able to bring them
to a friendly agreement. All I could do was, to point out to them
the best course.

  [298] See note 3, p. 277.

My dear Christopher,[299] confessing as you do in the beginning
of your letter, that you are not standing firm in the faith, I am
astonished at your refusing to think about the state into which you
have fallen. Are you and Mirabeau to be here, then, at Whitsuntide
or not? I shall write to my godmother concerning her little daughter
at my earliest opportunity.[300] The whole of yesterday was spent in
some trifling manner, I hardly know how.

  [299] This passage in the letter is addressed to Christopher Fabri,
  or Libertet, a colleague of Farel's at Neuchatel.

  [300] Calvin had stood godfather to one of the daughters of
  Libertet, whose wife he habitually called by the familiar name of
  _my godmother_.

I return to you again, my dear Farel. I do not know whether you
have sent Bucer's letter to Viret. Anyhow, I have gathered from
it that the worthy man is labouring under too much moroseness at
present.[301] I shall write him a quiet letter by and by. There will
be silence in future concerning the Zurichers; for I perceive that
it only heightens his exasperation. Seeing that he longs greatly for
your [letter], I should like him to approve of mine. For that saying
of Terence's applies to him, that the unfortunate abuse everybody.
For he makes no secret of thinking, that his old friends neglect
him when they do not write frequently. Nor is he deceived in Sturm,
perhaps, who formerly stood so high in his favour that he would have
wronged most men before him.

  [301] Saddened by his exile, and tormented by a malady under which
  he sunk the year following, Bucer complained bitterly of being
  continually the object of an unjust suspicion to the theologians of
  Zurich, and of being neglected by his friends in Switzerland.

Adieu, brethren, both very dear to me. May the Lord be always
present with you, to guide and watch over you.--Amen. I was more
tedious than I imagined on Saturday. For I did not wish to give [the
letter] to Latern just when I had it ready. But, having striven
in vain to reconcile him to his wife, I sent them both away, not
without considerable displeasure.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

Normandie especially salutes you. Your other friends do the same. We
have some here at present, by no means our friends. Maréchal de la
Mark, the Duc de Nemours,[302] and too great a host of that sort.
They will decamp a short while before dinner.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Gotha._ Vol. 404, p. 10.]

  [302] Two of the keenest adversaries of the Reformation in France.



CCLXVIII.--TO FAREL.

     State of religion in England--Calvin's literary labours--arrival
     of Robert Stephens at Geneva.


  GENEVA, _10th November 1550_.

As for the circumstances of the English king, I simply charged Hugo
to inform you, that the success of the Gospel in that country was
highly gratifying. The French and the Germans are allowed to adopt
the plain and simple mode of administering the sacraments, practised
by us. So well disposed was the King himself to religious matters,
that he showed some kindness even to me. But as you will learn all
this better from the letter of Utenhoven, I shall not add more.[303]
I had hardly any communication with the other brother, for having
gone out of the church with him, I met by accident the syndic Corné,
with whom I walked on, and while doing so, the worthy man slipped
away, and did not again make his appearance. I am afraid he may have
taken it amiss that I neglected him for the syndic. But you can
easily excuse the thing, although an excuse is hardly needed. But
to return to England. You will gather from the same source certain
other things, of one of which, I must truly confess, I can by no
means approve; viz., that John Laski can be so much influenced by
the slightest breezes of court favour; I fear its winds will drive
him in all directions.[304] I have not as yet made bold to stir up
the King himself. As certain parties have repeatedly urged me,[305]
I have at last resolved upon dedicating Isaiah to him; and as I
thought there would be room enough for an overplus, I intend adding
to it a second work, viz., the _Canonical Epistles_, which was
conjoined with the former, and which will be out at the same time. I
shall accordingly inscribe his name on both works.[306]

  [303] See note 2, p. 283. Having left Strasbourg at the same time as
  Bucer and Fagius, John Utenhoven went to London, where he resided
  for many years before going to exercise the ministry in Poland. See
  his correspondence with Bullinger, (1549-1554,) _Zurich Letters_,
  first series, toms. i. and ii.

  [304] John Laski, (Joannes a Lasco,) a Polish nobleman devoted to
  the cause of the Reformation, who had preached successively in
  Poland, in Germany, and in England. In the reign of Edward VI.
  he rose to great favour in the latter country, and was appointed
  superintendent of the congregation of foreign Protestants in
  London.--_Zurich Letters_, first series, tom. i. p. 187.

  [305] "I am glad your Commentary on Isaiah, and also the Canonical
  Epistles, are designed for our king; and I do not doubt but that,
  even from your letter to him, very considerable benefit will accrue
  to the English king."--Utenhoven to Calvin. Paris MSS. _Recueil
  Historique de France_, tom. xix.

  [306] See Calvin's letter to the King of England, of January 1551.

In truth, that on the Acts and on Genesis, of which you remind me,
can scarcely be said to have any existence yet. I am ashamed of
my slow progress with the Acts; and the third part which has been
completed will, I expect, make a large volume. I was compelled to
lay Genesis aside for some time. The revisal of the New Testament
has kept me busy for four months past. I am dragged reluctantly into
a considerable part of the Old Testament also. I had reminded our
printers, in time, to select persons for themselves who, unlike me,
were fit for and would undertake the work. They have not attended
to my hint, and so their neglect is now my punishment. I have got
Louis de Budé[307] to undertake David, Solomon, and the history of
Job, but as he will assist me only with his own labour, he will not
entirely rid me of annoyance. I have rolled over the Apocrypha on
Beza. What could I do? Many are wanting Bibles to themselves, and
it is long since there was a single copy to be had. There is no
one to undertake the burden, so the horse's housings fall to the
ox. Some time has been expended also on the French version of the
treatise _De Scandalis_. But I am annoying you to no purpose with
these trifles; and, in truth, if I had to give you a reason for so
doing, I could only deal in absurdities. I can truly affirm this,
however, that it was not without shame that I read that part of your
letter in which you laud my industry, being abundantly conscious of
my own sloth and tardiness. May the Lord enable me, creeping along
gradually, to be in some manner useful....

  [307] Louis de Budé, Sieur de la Motte, brother of John de Budé,
  was particularly versed in Oriental languages, of which he was made
  professor at Geneva, a short time after his arrival in that town.
  He died in 1552. We have of his a _Psautier traduit de l'Hebreu en
  Français_. 8vo. Geneva, 1550.

I have not received a letter from Bucer for a long time. What
Vergerio is doing I know not, except that he wrote me from Zurich,
with certain reasons for not returning at once to his own church.
My only fear is that he will have enough to do, as you know the
restless disposition of those people. Robert Stephens[308] is now
entirely ours, and we shall soon hear what storms his departure
has raised at Paris. The retiring philosophers will doubtless be
quite insane.[309] If the Lord will, I shall pay you a visit early
in spring, since I did not go during the last vintage season, which
I hoped, and particularly desired, to do. My colleagues, Normandie
and his sister, one of the Budés, who is here, (for John has gone
to France for his father-in-law,) Trier, one of the Colladons--all,
salute you most lovingly and cordially; so do very many others.
Present my best regards to my countryman Christopher, to Michael
Faton, and to your own family; nor do I wish to forget Mirabeau.
Be not surprised that the sea of Scandals is wellnigh drunk up by
the draughts I have taken of it. Be it known, also, that I was
afraid to attempt exhausting it, lest I should drain it dry. May
the Lord preserve you long in safety, and may he ever bless your
labours.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]

  [308] The celebrated printer Robert Etienne, (Stephens,) a man of
  the purest reputation, who lived in an age which failed to recognize
  his genius, and which rewarded his labours with ingratitude. Having
  become odious to the clergy by his beautiful editions of the Bible,
  and by his desire for reform, and but ill protected by the King of
  France against the vexations of the Sorbonne, he resolved to quit
  his country and remove his presses to Geneva, whither the printer
  Crespin had already preceded him. He arrived there towards the end
  of the year 1550, with his son Henry, who afterwards shed a new
  lustre on the name of Stephens. He publicly embraced the cause
  of the Reformation, together with the members of his family, and
  honoured his adopted country by the publication of various works
  of antiquity, both sacred and profane. Made a burgess of Geneva in
  1556, he lived in constant intimacy with Calvin and Beza, until his
  death in 1559.--Senebier, _Hist. Litt._, pp. 355, 356; Haag. _France
  Protestante_, Art. Estienne.

  [309] In allusion to a tolerably numerous party in France, who, on
  receiving the Gospel, believed they might remain united in external
  communion with the Romish Church, and escape persecution by an
  apparent adhesion to its dogmas.



CCLXIX.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.[310]

  [310] After leaving Bâle, and his establishment at Geneva, (July
  1548). This seigneur lived in the village of Veigy, situated several
  leagues from the city, between Hermance and Les Voirons.

     Misconduct of a servant of M. de Falais.


  _This 24th of December_ (1550.)

MONSEIGNEUR,--I thank you in the name of all, for the trouble you
have been pleased to take in helping us, if perchance the bad
business which has been going on underhand can be set right.[311] I
find, however, that the examination will not be sufficient to enable
us to get to the bottom of it. We have of course forbidden all
intercourse for the future between the young man and that unhappy
woman. But it will be a more difficult matter to bring home to their
consciences their past misdeeds. Indeed there is but one witness who
testifies that the brother was incensed at it. Now he denies that he
had ever perceived it at all.

  [311] In allusion to the misconduct of a servant of Monsieur de
  Falais.

Yesterday I was called away from the consistory by some
extraordinary business, so that I could not see how they dealt with
this gallant. And my brethren are at this moment taken up with the
_Visitation_,[312] whither indeed I must also go. However, I hope
that what we have got will serve very well to make a beginning. I
shall, if it please God, let you know of any shortcoming, by word
of mouth, humbly thanking you for your so liberal entertainment,
although I feel always assured of your good-will, even had you not
said a word to me about it.

  [312] We read in the MS. Chronicle of Michael Roset, lib. v. chap.
  27, "By advice of the ministers, April 3, 1550, it was enacted, that
  an annual visitation be maintained from house to house, for the
  examination of men and women as to their faith, in order to discern
  between the ignorant, and hardened sinners, and true Christians,
  which in time has wrought great benefit."

Wherefore, Monseigneur, being constrained to conclude, I beseech
our good Lord to have you in his holy keeping, and to guide you by
his Spirit, as seemeth good to him, for the glory of his name by
you even unto the end. I hope that he will vouchsafe us grace to
celebrate the Supper together, although we must be locally separate.
And so I commend me to the kind favour of yourself and of Madame.

Your humble brother and servant,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 194.]



CCLXX.--TO HALLER.[313]

  [313] See the notice, p. 249.

In a reaction, perhaps exaggerated, against the practices of the
Romish Church, the magistrates of Geneva were led to adopt a
measure which made a great noise among the Swiss Protestants. While
Berne and Zurich celebrated the four great feasts of the year,
according to the ancient Catholic custom, the Genevese abolished
the weekday feasts, and kept nothing but the Sabbath. This measure,
in which Calvin had no hand whatever, and of which he, in some
degree, even disapproved, was made nevertheless the subject of
very violent personal declamations against him. Some even accused
him of wishing to abolish the Sabbath. In letters to his friends,
Haller, Bullinger, and some others, he thought it his duty to
represent the true character of the reform effected at Geneva, and
his real relation to it. He had little difficulty in obtaining the
approbation of Bullinger, who replied to him in these words: "You
have just given the answer which I expected, my dear brother. For I
know that in matters of that sort, where duty is but little heeded,
and much ill-will is engendered, you have never been morose. I am
anxious, indeed, in such matters, to see that liberty preserved,
which I perceive to have flourished in the churches from the very
days of the apostles." ...--Calvini _Opera_, tom. ix. p. 63.

     Explanations on the subject of the abolition of the great
     festivals at Geneva.


  GENEVA, _2d January 1551_.

I desire you, my dear Haller, not to measure my affection for you
by my not writing to you and to our friend Musculus, of late, to
lighten the domestic affliction under which you both laboured.[314]
There is no need for my occupying many words in expressing how
anxious I was about your danger, from the time that I heard of your
houses being visited by the plague. But as this remembrance should
not be more pleasing to kind-hearted and considerate men than the
duty of writing, I trust that when I inform you that my silence
did not by any means arise from neglect, I shall fully satisfy
you both. The reason why I did not write you is this: a report
lately reached this place regarding your calamity, but I could not
accurately ascertain the extent of its progress. Accordingly, I
did not venture to take any active measures; I preferred having
recourse to prayer; this I knew both to be more necessary for you,
and to be desired by you. Besides the abolition of the feast-days
here has given grievous offence to some of your people, and it is
likely enough that much unpleasant talk has been circulating among
you. I am pretty certain, also, that I get the credit of being
the author of the whole matter, both among the malevolent and the
ignorant. But as I can solemnly testify that it was accomplished
without my knowledge, and without my desire, so I resolved from the
first rather to weaken malice by silence, than be over-solicitous
about my defence. Before I ever entered the city, there were no
festivals but the Lord's day. Those celebrated by you were approved
of by the same public decree by which Farel and I were expelled; and
it was rather extorted by the tumultuous violence of the ungodly,
than decreed according to the order of law. Since my recall, I have
pursued the moderate course of keeping Christ's birth-day as you are
wont to do. But there were extraordinary occasions of public prayer
on other days; the shops were shut in the morning, and every one
returned to his several calling after dinner. There were, however,
in the meanwhile, certain inflexible individuals who did not comply
with the common custom from some perverse malice or other. Diversity
would not be tolerated in a rightly constituted church: even for
citizens not to live on good terms with one another, would beget
mistrust among strangers. I exhorted the Senate to remove this
disagreement in future by a proper remedy. And indeed, I lauded,
at the same time, in express terms, the moderation which they had
hitherto exercised. I afterwards heard of the abrogation, just
as a perfect stranger would. Would that N.[315] had acted less
ambitiously on former occasions! For feast-days might have been
abolished in that entire province. In order that those four might
return to their old condition and former privileges, he contended as
keenly against all the French-speaking pastors as if he had been
acting for the good of the Church. You would have said that Victor
was doing battle with the Orientals in behalf of his Easter. When I
once asked him why circumcision had a right to more honour than the
death of Christ, he was compelled to be silent. But let us forget
the past. I am satisfied with having indicated briefly the cause of
so sudden a change among us. Although I have neither been the mover
nor instigator to it, yet, since it has so happened, I am not sorry
for it. And if you knew the state of our Church as well as I do, you
would not hesitate to subscribe to my judgment. Let me say this,
however, that if I had got my choice, I should not have decided in
favour of what has now been agreed upon. Yet there is no reason
why men should be so much provoked, if we use our liberty as the
edification of the Church demands; just as, on the contrary, it is
not fair to take a prejudice against our custom.

  [314] The plague, which had cut off Hedio, the pious minister at
  Strasbourg, made great ravages at Berne during the same year.
  It entered the houses of Wolfgang Musculus, and of John Haller,
  although they escaped themselves. A great number of the ministers
  of the Church of Berne sunk under the attacks of this awful
  scourge.--Ruchat, tom. v. p. 470. The _Chronique_ of Haller, cited
  by Hottinger.

  [315] Ruchat, who reproduces this letter, (tom. v. p. 441,)
  considers that the name here suppressed is that of Pierre Kontzen, a
  minister of Berne, who presided, in 1538, at the Synod of Lausanne.

Adieu, very excellent sir and brother, deserving of my hearty
regard. Salute your colleagues, I pray you, and Mr. Nicolas
Zerkinden, in my name. My brethren salute you and those
aforementioned, very heartily. May the Lord by his Spirit rule over
you, preserve you, and bless you in all things. Amen.

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 62.]



CCLXXI.--TO VIRET.[316]

  [316] Always attentive to regulate by ordinances the different
  points of religious and ecclesiastical life, the Seigneurs of Berne
  had just published (Dec. 1550) new edicts more rigorous than those
  which had preceded them. These edicts were especially directed
  against the gross notions and certain customs of the Papists, which
  Berne punished by fine. Indulgent to the taking of oaths, of which
  the custom was generally disseminated among the Catholic population
  subject to their dominion, the Seigneurie seemed to reserve all
  their severity for the offence of not observing the feasts abolished
  at Geneva.

     Criticism of a mandate published by the Seigneurs of Berne.


  _4th January 1551._

What else can we say, my dear Viret, of those men destitute of
the Spirit of God, but that they have lost their wits? For from
that very trivial circumstance in which they have betrayed their
infatuation, we conjecture what violent decrees they would have
passed if matters should ever come to a serious issue. I have no
doubt but the taunt of some Papist, rashly uttered over his cups,
has so stunned them, that they have immediately hatched this mode
of propitiating them. But in their zeal to gratify the Papists, not
only do they indulge them with a permission to take rash oaths,
but they even urge superstitious people on, as if by the blast of
a trumpet, to taking these oaths. For how many will be found who,
for the sake of incurring this penalty, will spontaneously and
deliberately commit the offence? For my own part, I am of opinion,
that before the edict is promulgated, you should not fail to
repair thither. If the prefect, having received the order, should
urge you to publish it, James, in your absence, will petition him
to put it off till this return. For should you betake yourself
thither, by private conferences with your friends you will gain
more than if ten deputations were sent out. Nevertheless, unless
you insist strenuously by well-timed entreaties, you yourself will
not obtain much success. Meanwhile you will have to put in practice
the artifice of leaving free to them and untouched whatever they
may have resolved to expedite in the city. One thing, however, you
will take care to point out to them, that their purposes cannot be
effected in this province. For I am in hopes that ere long they will
repent of their thoughtlessness. For the present what has dropped
from them so inconsiderately, in the first burst of their passion,
they will wish to defend. Beware then of going one step further than
seeing that they put in execution the article about prayer in the
French edicts. Respecting the abrogation of feast days[317] in our
city, I doubt not but scandalous speeches are bandied about there.
I told our brother Beza, when he lately visited us, that that edict
had been framed without my knowledge, and even without a desire on
my part for anything of the kind. As I cannot, however, escape being
considered as the author of it, why should I not quietly treat
with contempt all unfavourable judgments on that point? I have sent
to you an unsealed letter for Haller. If you think proper, you may
take a copy of it, and shew it to Farel on his return. Farewell, my
most excellent brother; salute your wife and daughters for me. I am
happy that everything goes on well at home. May the Lord preserve
you long in this prosperous state, and bless your labours. You will
present my best wishes to the brethren. My colleagues and most of
the brethren desire to be kindly remembered to you.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]

  [317] This abolition, which was at a later period to provoke such
  warm debates between Berne and Geneva, had been pronounced the 16th
  Nov. 1550.



CCLXXII.--TO RICHARD LE FEVRE.[318]

  [318] Richard Le Fèvre, a native of Rouen, one of the martyrs of the
  Reformed Church of Lyons. Seized in that town in 1551, and condemned
  to death, he appealed thence to the Parliament of Paris, and was
  delivered _in transitu_ by some unknown friends. Surprised, two
  years afterwards, at Grenoble, he was brought back to the dungeons
  of Lyons, saw his first sentence confirmed by the Parliament of
  Paris, and went cheerfully to the stake the 7th July 1551. He wrote
  on the 3d of May to Calvin,--"The present is to let you know, that I
  hope to go to keep Whitsuntide in the kingdom of heaven, and to be
  present at the marriage of the Son of God, ... if I am not sooner
  called away by this good Lord and Master, whose voice i am ready to
  obey, when he shall say, Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess the
  kingdom which has been prepared for you before the foundation of
  the world."--(The original autograph letter, _Library of Geneva_,
  Vol. 109.) During his first captivity at Lyons, Richard Le Fèvre had
  consulted Calvin on some points of doctrine, and had received pious
  exhortations from him regarding them.

     Explanations regarding various points of doctrine in dispute
     between the Romish and the Reformed Churches.


  GENEVA, _19th January 1551_.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--As God has called you to give testimony to his
Gospel, never doubt that he will strengthen you in the might of his
Spirit; and that, as he has already begun, so he must needs perfect
his work, manifesting himself victorious in you against his enemies.
It is true that the triumphs of Jesus Christ are despised by the
world; for while we are under reproach, the wicked are glorifying
themselves in their pride, but yet are they still confounded by
the power of that truth which God has put into our mouth, and our
hearts are also strengthened to obtain the victory over Satan and
all his supporters, while looking for the day when the glory of
God shall be fully revealed, to the confusion of the wicked and of
the unbelieving. All that you have felt and experienced, up to the
present moment, of the abounding goodness of God, ought to confirm
you in the assured hope, that he shall not fail you in the future;
meanwhile, however, pray him that he would make you understand
always better and better what a treasure there is in that doctrine
for which you contend, so that in comparison thereof you may not
esteem even your life to be precious. Have always, besides, your
eyes lifted up on high to that kind Lord Jesus, who will be your
surety, seeing that you are only persecuted for his name. Think
upon that immortal glory which he has purchased for us, to the end
that you may be able to endure in patience the afflictions wherein
you are. Beseech this kind Lord continually that he would give you
such an issue as he has promised to all who are his own, and that
according as he has thought fit to try your faith, so he would cause
you to experience the strength of his promises. And that as he is
the Father of Light, he would enlighten you to such a degree, that
all the thick fumes which the wicked raise up before you, may not be
able to dim your eyesight, and that all their quirks and cautions
may not be able to darken your understanding, that you should ever
lose sight of the true Sun of Righteousness, who is the very Son of
God.

When you have to reply to arguments, you do well to answer in all
simplicity, speaking according to the measure of your faith, even as
it is written: _I have believed, therefore I shall speak_. True it
is that all those subtilties which they conceit themselves to have,
are nought else but silly prating; but rest you content with what
God has imparted to you of the knowledge of himself, so as to bear
clear testimony unfeignedly to the truth. For however they may sneer
at it, it will be as a thunderbolt of confusion to them, when they
hear nothing but what is founded upon God and his word. Besides,
you know who it is that has promised to give a mouth and wisdom
to his own, which his adversaries shall not be able to withstand.
Ask of him that he may guide you, according to what he shall know
to be good. They will not cease for all that to hold you convicted
of heresy; but it has been ever thus with all the apostles and
prophets, and with all the martyrs. The clerk of court will only
write what suits his own pleasure, but your confession will not
fail to be recorded before God and his angels, and he will make it
profitable to his own as is best for them.

I shall mention briefly some points upon which they have endeavoured
to trouble you. In order to persuade you that we are not justified
by the grace of God alone, they have alleged that Zacharias and
several others are called _just_. Well, you must consider how God
has accepted them as such. If on inquiry you find that it is on
account of his own free grace in pardoning all that might have been
charged against them, and not imputing to them their faults and
vices, behold merit entirely excluded; for in saying that faith
alone in Christ justifies us, we understand, in the first place,
that we are all of us accursed, and that there is nothing in us but
sin; and that we are neither able to think, nor to do any good,
except in so far as God governs us by his Holy Spirit, as members
of the body of his Son. Furthermore, that even when God vouchsafes
us the grace to walk in his fear, we are very far from discharging
ourselves of our duty. Now, it is written: Whosoever shall not
fulfil all whatsoever is commanded, shall be cursed; and therefore
we have no other refuge but to the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who cleanses and washes us in the sacrifice of his death, which is
our sanctification. Thus God also accepts as well-pleasing the good
works which we perform in his strength, although they must always
be tainted with some shortcomings. And so in this way, whosoever
thinks to rest upon his own merits, will find himself, as it were,
suspended in the air, to be driven about of every wind. In short,
those who think to merit anything, would fain make God their debtor,
whereas we must hold everything of his pure bounty. We shall be rich
and abounding in merits, if in Jesus Christ: while we are strangers
to his grace, we need not think to have one drop of good in us.
If the enemies bring forward the word _wages_, let it not trouble
you, for God gives wages to his own, although they are in nowise
worthy of them; but inasmuch as he accepts the service which HE
has enabled them to render, having consecrated them in the blood
of his Son Jesus Christ, on purpose that they may derive all their
value from thence. Wherefore, the wages which God promises to his
faithful ones, presupposes the remission of their sins, and the
privilege they have of being supported as his children. And in truth
this word, _justification_, implies that God holds us as just, and
therefore loves us, the which we obtain by faith alone: for Jesus
Christ is the sole cause of our salvation. It is true that St. James
takes another signification, when he says, _that works help faith
for our justification_; for he means to prove by the effect that
we are justified: neither does he dispute at all in regard to the
foundation of our salvation, and wherein our confidence must be
placed; but only how the true faith is known, so that no one may
make mistakes in regard to it, glorifying himself in the empty name.
Should they return to you with further importunity on this point, I
hope God will furnish you wherewithal to overcome them.

Concerning the intercession of the Virgin Mary and departed saints,
come back always to this principle, that it is not for us to appoint
advocates in paradise, but for God, who has ordained Jesus Christ a
single one for all. Also, that our prayers ought to be offered up
in faith, and therefore ordered by the word of God, as saith St.
Paul in Romans x. Now, it is certain, that throughout the word of
God there is not a single syllable of what they say; wherefore all
their prayers are profane and displeasing to him. If they further
reply to you, that it is not forbidden to us, the answer is easy:
that it is forbidden to us to set about anything according to our
own proper fancy, yea, in matters of far less moment; but above all,
that prayer is a most high privilege, and too sacred to be directed
according to our fantasy. Nay more, they cannot deny that their
having recourse to the saints arises from pure distrust that Jesus
Christ alone would be sufficient for them.

As for their continual reply, that the charity of the saints is
not diminished, the answer is easy: that charity is regulated and
limited by what God requires from each individual. Now, he desires
that the living exercise themselves in prayer for one another. Of
the departed there is no mention made, and in such important matters
we must imagine nothing out of our own brain, but keep to what is
told us in Scripture.

In regard to what the adversaries allege, that it is said in
Genesis that the name of Abraham and Isaac was to be invoked after
their decease, true it is that the text runs thus; but it is pure
absurdity to bring it forward for the present purpose. That is
written in the forty-eighth chapter of Genesis, where it is said,
that Jacob in blessing Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph,
prayed to God that the names of his fathers Abraham and Isaac, and
his own, may be called upon these two lads, as on the heads of the
tribes lineally descended from himself. Now, that is as much as if
he had said, that they were to be reputed and reckoned as being of
the number of the twelve tribes, and that they should form two heads
of tribes, as if they had been his children in the first degree; as
also that they were born in Egypt. He binds them together by his
prayer to the lineage which God had blessed and sanctified, because
at that time they were separate, according to outward appearance.
And so that form of expression signifies nothing more than the
bearing of the name of Abraham, and being owned as of his lineage,
as it is said in chap. iv. of Isaiah, that the name of the husband
is called upon the wife, inasmuch as the wife is under the shadow
and guidance of her husband.

So far as they bring forward Saint Ignatius, you do not require much
of an answer. There is one passage where he says: _That Jesus Christ
stands for him instead of all ancestry_. Arm yourself then with that
single word, to bring them back to the pure doctrine of the Gospel.

Because I have made use of that expression against the Papists,
they take advantage of it to say, that I approve and value the
book whence it is taken. Now, that you may not be deceived thereby,
I assure you, that it contains such a heap of silly folly, that
the monks of the present day could not write greater nonsense. But
seeing that you are not acquainted with the Latin tongue, and still
less with the Greek in which Saint Ignatius has written, (if indeed
we have anything which is truly his,) you need not enter upon this
question. Be content to answer them, that you can never go wrong
while following Jesus Christ, who is the Light of the world. As for
the early doctors, those who are better read in their writings will
be able to tell them quite enough to stop their mouths. Let it be
enough for you to possess the assurance of true faith in the word
of Jesus Christ alone, which can neither fail you, nor deceive. And
it is even thither that all the early doctors send them, protesting
that they have no wish to be believed, excepting in so far as what
they speak shall be found conformable to what is taught us of God,
and which is contained in his word.

On the subject of the Sacrament of the Supper, when they speak to
you about transubstantiation, you have a ready answer: that all
those passages which they bring together, even if they could be
taken in the sense which they adduce, cannot be applied to the mass.
For, when it is said, _This is my body and my blood_, it is also
then and there added, _Take, eat ye, and drink ye all of this cup_.
Now, among them, there is but one who eats the whole; and even at
Easter, he gives but a part of it to the people. But there is even
yet a sorer evil, that instead of what Jesus Christ said,--_Take_;
they presume to offer a sacrifice, which was to be unique and of
perpetual efficacy. And, besides, in order to have some help from
these words, they ought to maintain the observance of the Supper,
which they do not. Moreover, you can always protest, that you do
not deny that Jesus Christ gives us his body, provided that we
look for it from heaven. In reply to all the cavils which they may
allege, you have only to declare to them that which you have seen
and heard, well knowing that it is from God you have it; for our
faith would be very slender indeed, if it were founded only upon
men. There is nothing better, then, than continually to meditate
the doctrine wherein lies the true substance of our Christianity,
so that in due time and place, you may be able to manifest that you
have not believed in vain. And as I have said from the beginning, if
the enemies of the truth are stirred by their ambition to contend,
manifest on your part, that it is enough for you that you glorify
God in opposing their tricks and sophistries. Content yourself with
having for your buckler a simple confession of that which God has
imprinted upon your heart. Least of all need you torment yourself,
if they deal in impudent calumnies against me or others, seeing that
they have leave to speak evil without rhyme or reason. Let us bear
patiently all the reproaches and slanders which they cast upon us;
for we are not better than Saint Paul, who tells us that we must
walk in the midst of false accusing and vituperation. Provided we do
what is right, when they speak evil concerning us, we may bear it
with unconcern. Besides, when they lay fresh calumnies upon us, we
may well render thanksgiving to God, that we have a clear conscience
in his sight and before men, and that we are free from all suspicion
of evil. And on the other hand, albeit that we are wretched sinners,
so full of wretchedness and poverty, that we groan by reason of it
continually; still he does not permit the wicked to speak evil of
us, unless falsely; yea, to condemn them from their own mouth, of
having invented regarding us that which they had not very far to
search for, inasmuch as it is in themselves. Let us therefore glory
in the grace of God with all humility, when we see that these poor
unhappy men, like drunkards, glory in their shame. If you are vexed
to hear them speak evil thus deceitfully concerning me, you ought
to be far more deeply grieved to hear them blaspheme against our
Saviour and Master, to whom belongs all honour, since, making full
account of all the innocence which shall ever be in us, we might
well be overwhelmed in utter confusion.

Meanwhile, comfort yourself in our Almighty God, who has vouchsafed
us the grace to knit us together so entirely with his Son, that
all the devils of hell, and all the wicked of the world, can never
be able to separate us. Rejoice, therefore, that you uphold his
quarrel, with a good conscience, hoping that he will strengthen you
to bear whatsoever it shall please him you should suffer. We have
such remembrance of you in our prayers, as we ought to have, in
beseeching the God of all grace, that seeing it has pleased him to
employ you in the maintenance of his truth, he would vouchsafe you
all that is needful for the discharge of so honourable a service;
that he would strengthen you in true perseverance; that he would
give you true spiritual truth, so as that you may seek only the
advancement of his name, without regard to self; and that he would
show himself your protector in such wise, that you may feel it to
your own consolation, and that others also may take knowledge of it
for their edification. All the brethren hereabouts salute you in the
Lord, rejoicing greatly that he has wrought so powerfully in you,
having also compassion on you in your captivity, and desiring that
it may please this gracious God to unfold his goodness and mercy
upon you.

  Your brother in our Lord,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr._ Printed in _Histoire des Martyrs_, Edit. of 1597, lib. v. p. 265.]



CCLXXIII.--TO VIRET.

     Various particulars--literary labours of Theodore Beza.


  GENEVA, _24th January 1551_.

I send you a reading of three letters, that I may not be any longer
in your debt. For Toussain commends himself to your prayers, and
Farel is desirous of your advice, so I thought that you would
be interested in the letters of both. I wished you to know also
what answer Haller gave me. I am glad that he received me with
such moderation, because of the harsh violence with which many
attack me. But more of all this when I shall see you. You cannot
believe how much I am displeased with the present state of our
republic. Indeed, it would be more proper at present to call it an
_oligarchy_. Accordingly, familiar conversation is not necessary
for the discussion of those matters. Farel had written me before,
that the Synod was to meet on the fifth of March. He seems to be
wishing advice at present regarding a new day [of meeting.] I have
written to him, however, to abide by the day already agreed upon,
if he wishes me to be present.[319] John Laski salutes you all. I
perceive now that I have been twice deceived by Florian. For he had
false letters of recommendation, which he made use of. Excuse me to
our friend Beza for not writing him at present. He may take his own
way with the Apocrypha, but I have forewarned him that there will be
a greater saving, if he undertakes a new version of it. If he has
any of the Psalms done, they need not be waiting for company.[320]
Request him, therefore, to send some of them, at least, by the first
messenger. I shall write to Vergerio and the Zurichers by and by.
In the meantime, if you can find a trustworthy messenger, you will
attend to the letter to Bernardin. Adieu, most excellent brother,
together with your wife and family. Kind regards to the brethren.
May the Lord keep you all, and guide you by his Spirit.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]

  [319] In an assembly which met at Neuchatel on the 14th of March
  1551, the number of individuals who should compose the Consistory
  was fixed, and a collection of regulations regarding marriage was
  drawn out.

  [320] The translation of the Psalms begun by Clement Marot, was
  continued by Theodore Boza, who obtained, during this same year, the
  authority of the Council of Geneva for the publication of a part of
  his work.



CCLXXIV.--TO THE KING OF ENGLAND.[321]

  [321] Edward VI., son of Henry VIII. and Jane Seymour, King of
  England, born in 1537, died, in his sixteenth year, the 8th of
  July 1553. Gifted with a precocious strength of reason, and a
  lively sensibility, instructed in the ancient languages and
  foreign literature, this young prince did not live long enough to
  realize the hopes to which his accession to the throne had given
  birth. "His virtues," says the historian Hume, "had made him an
  object of tender affection to the public. He possessed mildness of
  disposition, application to study and business, a capacity to learn
  and judge, and an attachment to equity and justice." Devotional
  reading had a particular attraction for this prince, who was
  heartily devoted to the cause of the Reformation. Calvin dedicated
  two of his commentaries to him: "_Joannis Calvini Commentarii
  in Iesaiam Prophetam, Eduardo VI., Angliæ Regi, 8 Cal. Januarii
  1551_." "_Joannis Calvini Commentarii in Epistolas Canonicas._" The
  dedication of the first of these commentaries (25th December 1550)
  furnishes us the date of the letter of Calvin, written in the month
  of January 1551, and brought to the King by the minister, Nicolas
  des Gallars.

     He exhorts him to persevere in the work of the Reformation in
     his kingdom--enumeration of abuses--ceremonies--ecclesiastical
     elections--universities.


  FROM GENEVA, (_January 1551._)

SIRE,--If I must excuse myself towards your Majesty for having used
the boldness to dedicate these books which I now present to you, I
would need to find an advocate to speak a word for me. For so far
would my letter be from having credit enough to do that, that it
would even stand in need of a fresh excuse. And, indeed, as I never
should have taken upon me to address the Commentaries to you which
I have published with your name, neither should I have ventured now
to write to you, but for the confidence I had already conceived,
that both would be well received. For inasmuch as, holding me to be
among the number of those who are zealous for the advancement of the
kingdom of the Son of God, you have not disdained to read what I
did not specially present to your Majesty, I have thought, that if,
while serving Jesus Christ my Master, I could likewise testify to
the reverence and singular affection which I bear you, I could not
fail to find a kind and courteous acceptance.

Moreover, Sire, holding myself assured that my letter will have such
a reception from you as I desire, I shall not hesitate to pray and
beseech you in the name of Him to whom you ascribe all authority and
power, to take courage in following out what you have so well and
happily begun, as well in your own person as in the state of your
kingdom; namely, the consecration of all to God and to our blessed
Saviour, who has so dearly purchased us. For as regards general
reformation, it is not so well established, as that it should be
wise to look on it as achieved. And, in fact, it would be very
difficult to purge in a day such an abyss of superstition as there
is in the papacy. Its root is too deep, and has expanded itself
too widely, to get so soon to the bottom of it. But whatsoever
difficulties or delays there may be, the excellency of the work is
well worthy of unwearying pursuit.

I have no doubt, Sire, but Satan will put many hindrances in the way
before you to slacken your pace, and to make your zeal grow cold.
Your subjects, for the most part, do not know the blessing which you
procure for them. The great, who are raised to honour, are sometimes
too wise in their own conceits to make much account of the word, far
less to look to God at all. And new and unexpected conflicts arise
daily. Now I hope, indeed, Sire, that God has stored you with such
greatness and constancy of mind, that you will neither be weakened
nor wearied by all that. But the thing itself is of so great
importance, that it well deserves that one should apply to it far
more than human strength and energy. And then, after all, when we
shall have striven to the very uttermost, there will always remain
more waiting to be done.

We see how, in the time of the good King Josiah, who has the special
testimony of the Holy Spirit, that he approved himself a prince
excellent in faith, in zeal, and in all godliness; nevertheless,
the Prophet Zephaniah shows, that there was still some remainder
of bygone superstitions, yea, even in the city of Jerusalem. Even
so, however you may labour with your Council, Sire, you will find
it very difficult completely to uproot all the mischief which
would well deserve to be corrected. But this ought to be a great
confirmation to animate and spur you on; and even if you should
not accomplish all that could be desired, it is a very sufficient
consolation to you, when you hear that the pains which this good
king took, is a service pleasing to God, insomuch that the Holy
Spirit magnifies the reformation effected by him, as if nothing more
had been desired. Let me entreat you then, Sire, to reach forward
to the mark which is set before you in the example of this godly
king, that you may have the honour, not only of having overthrown
impieties which are clearly repugnant to the honour and service
of God, but also of having abolished and razed to the ground,
whatsoever served merely to nourish superstition. For when God would
praise as with an open mouth the faithful princes who have restored
and again set up the purity of his service, he expressly adds this
word, that they have also _taken away the high places_, that the
memory of foolish devotions might be utterly obliterated.

True it is, Sire, that there are things indifferent which one may
allowably tolerate. But then we must always carefully insist that
simplicity and order be observed in the use of ceremonies, so that
the clear light of the Gospel be not obscured by them, as if we
were still under the shadows of the law; and then that there may be
nothing allowed that is not in agreement and conformity to the order
established by the Son of God, and that the whole may serve and be
suited to the edification of the Church. For God does not allow his
name to be trifled with,--mixing up silly frivolities with his holy
and sacred ordinances. Then there are manifest abuses which cannot
be endured, such as prayer for the souls of the departed, of putting
forward to God the intercession of saints in our prayers, as also of
joining them to God in invocation. I do not doubt, Sire, that you
are aware that these are so many corruptions of true Christianity.
I beseech you, in the name of God, that you may please look to that
matter, so that the whole may be restored to a sound and wholesome
state.

There is another point, Sire, of which you ought to take a special
charge, namely, that the poor flocks may not be destitute of
pastors. Ignorance and barbarism have lain so heavy on this accursed
popery, that it is not easy to obtain all at once men fit and duly
qualified to discharge that office. Notwithstanding, the object
is well worth pains, and that your officers, Sire, should have an
eye upon it, as they ought. Without that, all the good and holy
ordinances which you can make, will scarce avail for the reformation
of the heart in good earnest.

Further, inasmuch as the schools contain the seeds of the ministry,
there is much need to keep them pure and thoroughly free from all
ill weeds. I speak thus, Sire, because in your universities, it is
commonly said, there are many young people supported on the college
bursaries, who, instead of giving good hope of service in the
Church, rather show an inclination to do mischief, and to ruin it,
not even concealing that they are opposed to the true religion.
Wherefore, Sire, I beseech you anew, in the name of God, that you
may please to take order therein, to the effect, that property which
ought to be held sacred, be not converted to profane uses, and far
less to nourish venomous reptiles, who would desire nought better
than to infect everything for the future. For, in this way, the
Gospel would always be kept back by these schools, which ought to be
the very pillars thereof.

Meanwhile, Sire, all honest hearts praise God, and feel themselves
greatly obliged to you, that it hath pleased you of your favour
to grant churches to your subjects who use the French and German
languages.[322] In so far as regards the use of the Sacraments, and
spiritual order, I hope that the permission which you have been
pleased to confer upon them will bear fruit. Howbeit, Sire, I cannot
help beseeching you once more, feeling so deeply how needful it is,
not only that you would secure the rest and contentment of the godly
who desire to serve God and to live peaceably in obedience to you,
but also that you would restrain vagabond and dissolute people,
should such withdraw into your kingdom.

  [322] The privilege granted by King Edward VI. to the Church of the
  foreign Protestants instituted at London 1550. The royal patent was
  thus expressed:--"Considering that it is the duty of a Christian
  prince well to administer the affairs of his kingdom, to provide
  for religion, and for the unhappy exiles, afflicted and banished by
  reason thereof, we would have you to know, that having compassion
  of the condition of those who have for some considerable time past
  been domiciled in our kingdom, and come there daily, of our special
  grace ... will and ordain that henceforward they may have in our
  city of London a church, to be called the Church of the Lord Jesus,
  where the assembly of the Germans and other strangers can meet and
  worship, for the purpose of having the Gospel purely interpreted
  by the ministers of their church, and the Sacraments administered
  according to the word of God and the apostolic ordinance."

I know well, Sire, that you have people of distinguished learning at
hand, who can make known to you these things by word of mouth, far
better than myself by writing; also, that in your council you have
men of prudence and zeal to suggest all that is expedient. Among the
others, I have no doubt that Monsieur the Duke of Somerset spares
no trouble to follow out that wherein he has employed himself so
faithfully hitherto. But I believe, Sire, that all that shall be no
hindrance to prevent your kind reception of what you will recognize
as proceeding from a like source.

To conclude, Sire, forasmuch as I fear to have already wearied you
with my tediousness, I pray you, in respect of that as in everything
else, that you would please excuse and pardon me of your kind
favour, to which very humbly I beg to be commended, having besought
our gracious God and Father to maintain and uphold you in his holy
protection, to guide you by his Spirit, and to cause his name to be
more and more glorified by you.

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. copy._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107.]



CCLXXV.--TO BULLINGER.[323]

  [323] The agreement concluded two years before, between the Churches
  of Geneva and of Zurich, on the question of the Sacraments, had
  been a source of joy to all the sober-minded in Switzerland and in
  Germany, who had deplored the excesses of the sacramental quarrel.
  But it displeased the intemperate Lutheran party, who accused
  Calvin of fickleness, and went so far as to charge him with having
  changed his opinions, and with squaring his doctrine to that of
  Zuingle, since the defeat of the Protestant party in Germany. This
  was nothing but a calumny, which is removed by a comparison of the
  previous writings of Calvin upon the Supper, with the formula drawn
  up under his care and which he was desirous should be published at
  Zurich.--Ruchat, tom. v. p. 379.

     He excuses the infrequency of his letters, and urges the
     publication of the _Consensus_.


  GENEVA, _17th February 1551_.

Although you readily excuse the fewness of my letters, and even,
with your usual courtesy, voluntarily relieve me of that duty, I
nevertheless feel ashamed of my exceeding indolence and negligence,
in having been less attentive to you than to some of my every-day
friends. But indeed the reason of this is, that others, by their
violent importunity, shake me free of my listlessness. You, with a
more generous indulgence, allow me to be silent; and indeed I am
so much exhausted by constant writing, and so greatly broken down
by fatigue, that I frequently feel an almost positive aversion to
writing a letter. Would that others had as much of your moderation
as would enable them to cultivate a sincere friendship at the
expense of less writing. Our French friends oppress me in this
way beyond all consideration. It so happens, that by continually
apologizing, I am getting myself suspected of indolence by my
particular friends. Add to this, that unless I have a definite
subject before me, I seem to act absurdly enough when I drag in
matters known to everybody, as if they were possessed of novelty.
But as to what you say you wrote me about some time ago, without
receiving any answer, I cannot make out what you refer to, unless,
as I conjecture, you had sent me some communication which did not
reach me. If such be the case, I shall not neglect to look after
it, now that you have given me the hint. As certain individuals of
a malignant, morose, and ill-natured disposition, are making an
ado about our union, I should, if agreeable to you, wish it to be
published.[324] I have calmly endured, overlooked, and swallowed
many things, but, believe me, I have failed to observe that it was
greatly displeasing to Satan. If the form of the union is published,
I trust it will be useful to the Churches of Saxony. However, you
will, with your accustomed sagacity, determine upon what is best.
When numbers were asking for copies of it, I would on no account
allow it to be printed, until I should obtain your permission. I
wrote you about the matter on a previous occasion, but inferred from
your silence that you considered it as yet premature. I should wish,
however, that you would give me your judgment on it. You did me a
favour concerning the Bull. Had I received it two days earlier, it
would have been of more use to me. For I had already entered upon
the composition of the preface, in which that subject is discussed.
I send you a copy of it, if you can find time to read it. I wish,
however, that you would send it to Vergerio, together with the
letter, at your earliest opportunity. The Bull is possessed of one
merit, viz., that the Pope breathes out downright tyranny without
any show of deceit. We must, therefore, as you say, find refuge
in prayer. It is said that Germany will have rest this year from
internal war, as the Turk is annoying Ferdinand. But as it is the
Lord who quiets all tumults of arms, we should pray him to put a
check in all other respects, upon the savage madness of our enemies.

  [324] Some have erroneously fixed on 1549 as the date of this
  publication. Delayed by the theologians of Zurich it was only
  finished in 1551, under the title--_Consensio mutua in re
  Sacramentaria ministrorum Tigurinæ Ecclesiæ et D. Joannis Calvini
  Ministri Genevensis Ecclesiæ_. Zurich, 8vo. Caused by Calvin to be
  translated into French the following year, this important document
  figures in the _Recueil des Opuscules_, p. 1137, with a preface by
  Calvin to the Ministers and Doctors of the Church of Zurich.

Adieu, distinguished sir, and specially revered brother. Salute your
family and your colleagues in my name, and in that of my brethren.
May the Lord watch over you, be present with you, and continue to
guide you.--Yours,

  _John Calvin_.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Coll. of M. Moudin at Geneva_.]



CCLXXVI.--TO BULLINGER.

     Thanks for a document--dedication of two commentaries to the
     King of England--captivity of Bishop Hooper--movements of the
     Emperor in Germany.


GENEVA, _12th March 1551_.

I was met by a messenger bearing your letter, when lately on my
way to Neuchatel. After my return home, I received another from a
certain Italian, together with the fifth _Decade_.[325] You say
by way of apology for sending your books, that you do not do so
in order that I may learn from you; for my part, as I am desirous
to make my labours beneficial to all good men, so on the other
hand, I am glad to profit by the writings of others. And indeed
intercourse like this is brotherly, when we know that the gifts of
the Spirit are so distributed among us, that no one individual is
sufficient for himself. Your gift was, therefore, acceptable to me.
The publication of our agreement was the occasion of very much joy,
not only to myself, but also to Farel and the rest of the brethren.
Would that your letter had reached me fifteen days earlier; for
it might have been issued during these days of the Frankfort fair.
How seasonable will the publication be for our beloved France;
exceedingly useful too, I hope. I finished lately my Commentaries
on Isaiah and the Canonical Epistles. I thought proper to dedicate
both of them to the King of England.[326] You may have a reading of
a copy of one of the prefaces which I sent to Vergerio. I have added
a private letter also, in which I have endeavoured to kindle the
generous nature of the young man. Meanwhile, we have heard the sad
news of Hooper's imprisonment.[327] I was somewhat apprehensive of
this long ago. I am now afraid that the bishops, as if victorious,
will become much more ferociously insolent. While, therefore, I
admire his firmness in refusing the anointing, I had rather he had
not carried his opposition so far with respect to the cap and the
linen vestment, even although I do not approve of these: I recently
recommended this. He has many and powerful adversaries, and I
doubt not but they will set themselves violently to crush him. But
I trust that the Lord will be with him, especially because, as I
am informed, some treacherously oppose him, who in other respects
pretend to be favourable to the Gospel. I congratulate you on the
tranquil condition of your Church. There are very vile wretches
here who cause us no small amount of annoyance and disquiet, who
will meet, however, I confidently trust, with the end which they
have merited. The plans of the Emperor are a source of concern to
many. It is justly calculated to excite suspicion that some of his
troops are being transported across the Alps.[328] Should he invade
this country, my only comfort is the hope that the Lord will take
me away from this miserable life. He will not, meanwhile, neglect
his own flock, about which I am especially harassed. Adieu, very
distinguished sir, and most esteemed fellow-minister, together with
the brethren; all of whom you will affectionately salute in my name.
Des Gallars also particularly salutes you. May the Lord continue to
guide you by his Spirit, to protect you with his own hand, and to
bless your sacred labours. Amen.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 59.]

  [325] Under this title, Bullinger had commenced publishing a series
  of discourses concerning the principal points of the Christian
  religion.

  [326] See the letter to the king, p. 299.

  [327] Having returned to England the previous year, and having
  been appointed Bishop of Gloucester through the patronage of
  Cranmer, Hooper was imprisoned and suffered a few days of captivity
  for having refused to wear, at the time of his consecration,
  the sacerdotal dress then in use in the English Church. See his
  correspondence with Bullinger, _Zurich Letters_, 1537-1558, tom. i.
  p. 9; Burnet, vol. i.

  [328] After having proscribed the Reformed worship in the town of
  Augsburg, the Emperor took up his quarters at Inspruck, among the
  valleys of the Tyrol, from which he could keep an eye at once upon
  the Council of Trent, Germany, and Italy.--Robertson, book x.



CCLXXVII.--TO BULLINGER.

     Mention of a letter to the Duke of Somerset--Re-opening of the
     Council of Trent--symptoms of war in Europe.


  GENEVA, _10th April 1551_.

I have received two letters from you within these few days, both
full of remarkable good-will towards me, and therefore very
agreeable. It is well that God has not only bestowed on us the same
desire to incite the English King and his advisers to go on, but has
also made our plans so fitly to harmonize.[329] This circumstance
will surely have some influence in confirming them. I begin now to
look every day for the return of the messenger who carried thither
my books with the accompanying letter. As soon as he returns, if he
report anything worthy of mention, I shall take care to inform you
of it. Meanwhile, I have written to the very illustrious the Duke
of Somerset, and have shown him that it is impossible but that the
Papists will become more insolent, unless the disagreement regarding
the ceremonies be speedily adjusted.[330] I have advised him to
extend a hand to Hooper. Whatever the Pope may pretend, I do not
think that the Council of Trent is being seriously assembled.[331]
The reason for my conjecture is, that the King of France commanded
all his bishops to make a careful survey, each of his own diocese,
and to return completed records of each visitation to the
metropolitan bishops within six months; and informed them that it
was his intention to hold a general council of the whole kingdom. No
mention was made on that occasion of Trent and the Pope. I have no
doubt, however, but that there was an understanding between them;
namely, that the French King should, to gain the favour of the Pope,
by the pretence of a national council, dissolve that at Trent.
Thoughtful men are of opinion that the flames of war have been
kindled in Italy. The Turkish ambassador is at present at the French
court to stimulate the king to war. An immense fleet threatens Italy
or Spain. The Lord will accordingly so overrule them, as that they
will not be so dangerous to the Church. It was not kind of you, when
you knew that my course would lie in your direction when on my way
to Trent, not to offer lodgings to at least one of us. You perhaps
expect a new Bull which will admit us.[332] We are not, however, of
the number of those who obtain a place, either from right or custom,
or the favour of the Apostolic See. We may accordingly remain at
home. Yet there is something for us to do even at home. For Christ
furnishes material for labour, and Satan does not permit us to be
idle. You will pardon my haste. For when these young Germans offered
me their services, they gave me only an hour for writing, and it has
almost expired. Adieu, most accomplished sir, and very dear brother,
worthy of my hearty regard. My colleagues respectfully salute you.
They and I present kindest salutations to Bibliander, Pellican, and
Gualter, and the rest of the brethren. May the Lord preserve you all
by his power, direct you by his Spirit, and bless your labours. Our
agreement was not so carefully expressed in Latin as I could have
wished; but it will soon be printed again. Meantime, I have added
a French translation to the Latin, in which you will not find any
blunders. Yours truly,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 60.]

  [329] Bullinger had presented the King of England with his third
  and fourth _Decade_, (see note 1, p. 306,) with a long letter, in
  which he reminds the young king of the duties which he had to fulfil
  towards his subjects. "This epistle and book were presented to
  the King by the hands of Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester, personally
  acquainted with Bullinger, to whom the King declared his good
  acceptance thereof, and the respect and esteem he had for the
  reverend author."--Strype, _Memoir_, vol. ii. pp. 390, 394.

  [330] The letter here referred to has escaped all our
  investigations, and appears to be entirely lost.

  [331] One of the first acts of the new Pope, Julius III, was to
  decree the re-assembly of the Council of Trent, on the 1st of May
  1551. This session, termed the eleventh--eight having been held at
  Trent and two at Bologna--was without result. The fathers resolved
  upon fixing that there should not be another assembly until the 1st
  of September.--Fra Paolo, _Hist. du Concile de Trente_, lib. iv.
  sect. i.

  [332] An invitation to the Council was, in point of fact, addressed
  by the Pope to the Cantons, with all sorts of flattering words, to
  induce them to comply. The theologians of Zurich, appointed to draw
  up a reply, had little difficulty in showing that the Council was
  not for the advantage of the Swiss, or for the good of religion,
  and the Reformed Cantons adopted unanimously the conclusions of the
  theologians, and refused to send deputies to the Council.--Ruchat,
  tom. v. p. 426.



CCLXXVIII.--TO VIRET.[333]

  [333] The year 1551 was marked by two grievous losses to the
  Reformed churches of Europe. Bucer, overcome by the sorrows of
  exile, died in England on the 28th of February, and the decease
  of Joachim Vadian, one of the most brilliant minds of that age,
  occurred at Saint Gall during the same year. The earliest notice
  of Bucer's death is to be found in the Journal of King Edward VI.
  of England:--"_February 28th._--The learned man Bucerus died at
  Cambridge, who was two days after buried in St. Mary's Church, all
  the whole University, with the whole town, bringing him to the
  grave, to the number of three thousand persons. Also there was
  an oration of Mr. Haddon made very elegantly at his death...."
  &c.--_Zurich Letters_, first series, tom. ii. p. 492. Vadian, cut
  off in the prime of life, breathed his last in the arms of his
  friend Kessler, the poet, leaving behind him a name held in deep
  veneration by his friends and countrymen. Above two thousand of
  the present inhabitants of Saint Gall claim the honour of being
  descended from the burgomaster Vadian. See the notice of him given
  in the present collection, vol. i. p. 475.

     Death of Bucer and of Joachim Vadian.


  GENEVA, _10th May 1551_.

Although you have received no letters from me for a considerable
time, let me tell you, that you have, on that account, been a source
of constant and even anxious thought to me. The grief which I have
suffered at the death of Bucer increases my anxiety and fear. I
have now again experienced a fresh wound from the death of Vadian,
whose labour, although of wide influence, and calculated to be felt
throughout the entire Church, was nevertheless of especial use in
the state, and of great importance among the Swiss and Grisons in
particular. I feel my heart almost like to break when I think of the
great loss the Church of God has sustained in the death of Bucer.
The Lord grant that I may leave in life all those whose death I
should mourn, that I may the more joyfully leave the world.

Adieu, most excellent brother. May the Lord keep you together with
your wife and family. Salute all earnestly in my name.

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 60.]



CCLXXIX.--TO FAREL.

     Renewed expressions of regret for the death of Vadian and
     Bucer--controversies excited by Osiandor--numerous migrations to
     Geneva--commencement of hostilities in Italy.


  GENEVA, _15th June 1551_.

Nicolas[334] has at length returned from England, having been
detained for eleven days by head winds, and afterwards tossed about
by so severe a tempest, that he scarcely escaped shipwreck. He
reports that he was so kindly and affectionately received, that I
have good reason to congratulate myself that my labour was spent to
the best advantage. After having delivered my letter to the Duke of
Somerset, and having said that he had another also for the King,
the Duke himself undertook the duty of presenting it, and on the
following day set out for the Court. If I am not deceived, the work
not only greatly pleased the Royal Council, but also filled the King
himself with extraordinary delight. The Archbishop of Canterbury
informed me that I could do nothing more useful than to write to
the King more frequently. This gave me more pleasure than if I had
come to the possession of a great sum of money. In the present state
of the kingdom, many things are still to be desired. Among other
evils that are incurable until the King shall have attained his
majority, there is this one: that all the revenues of the Church
are devoured by the nobles, and they are meanwhile hiring for a
miserable pittance, worthless men to discharge the duties, or at
least occupy the position of pastors. I nevertheless will not cease
to goad the whole of them. I did not allude to the death of Bucer,
lest I should open my own wound afresh.[335] For when I reflect how
great a loss the Church of God has sustained in the death of this
one man, I cannot but feel the deepest anguish. He would have been
of great advantage to England. I was expecting more from his future
writings, than anything he had hitherto performed. In addition to
this, the Church is now destitute of faithful teachers. Vadian had
very great influence among the Swiss.[336] The Lord has taken him
away. Osiander is absolutely mad.[337] Let us take courage, however,
until we shall have finished our course and reached the goal. One
thing I fear, that while holding a place among the runners, I may
set an example of slowness. Yet I am not a little comforted by this,
that you, who have outstripped all others, extend to me so much
pardon and mild indulgence. It is sufficient, if, not led away by
the unsettled wanderings of others, we hold on in the right way;
even although some get far ahead of us, and others lag a great way
behind. As for our old friend with the new face,[338] I shall for
my part be careful to encourage him, as you urgently advise, and
shall give my colleagues a hint to do the same. But believe me,
he manifests no sincerity. I surmised from the first what he was
wishing to be at. I concealed that I had detected it; kept my hand
on it, as it were. He patronizes, as he used to do, persons given
over to shameless pleasures. He is in like manner given to defend
bad causes. His arrogance and ferocity are in no degree abated.
His cohort runs riot more at will than ever. However, I shall so
conduct myself, that he will easily perceive that I am heartily
reconciled to him. You have heard, I suppose, what a mournful
procession they lately made: and yet so shameful a butchering of
a most distinguished citizen has not restrained their wantonness.
As to Christopher's asking me to attend their suppers, I have,
hitherto, indeed, refused none of them: but when the duties were
intrusted to Ambard Corné, he, by his procrastination, broke in upon
the established order. I am, in the meantime, much occupied with
foreigners, who daily pass through this place in great numbers, or
who have come hither to take up their abode.[339] Among others, the
Marquis de Vico, a Neapolitan, arrived lately. Another will follow
by and by. Should you pay us a visit next autumn, you will find our
city considerably increased--a pleasing spectacle to me, if they do
not overwhelm me with their visits. Viret was here lately, but he
went off sooner than I could have wished. There is already open war
between the Pontiff and the French.[340] There is a rumour, that
all the Cardinals who sided with the King, have fled from Rome. If
the Emperor is to be involved in this war, he will be forced to
give some relief to Magdeburg, and those places allied with it.
Adieu, most upright brother; salute my friends earnestly, both your
colleague and the other fellow-ministers. Ours also send kindest
regards to you, viz., my colleagues, Normandie, Budé, Trier, Saint
Laurent, the two Colladons, and my brother. May the Lord long spare
you to us; may he shine on you with his Spirit, bless your holy
endeavours, and watch over the Church committed to your care!--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 240.]

  [334] Nicolas des Gallars.

  [335] In a letter to Calvin of the 25th May preceding, Farel gave
  eloquent expression to his sorrow at the death of Bucer:--"I have
  at length received the last letter of the pious Bucer. What a
  spirit! How calmly he sunk down! We must mingle joy with our sorrow,
  inasmuch as our friend has gone up to God."--Library of Paris.
  _Recueil Historique de France_, tom. xix.

  [336] A man of distinguished learning, an accomplished statesman,
  and an able negotiator, as well as a theologian, and an admirable
  poet, Joachim Vadian left as wide a blank in the political councils,
  as he did in the churches of his country. He had been elected eleven
  times to the office of Burgomaster of Saint Gall.--See Melchior
  Adam, _Vitæ Medicorum Germanorum_; and the _Theatrum_ of Pauli
  Freheri, tom. ii. pp. 1231, 1232.

  [337] An allusion to a recent work of Osiander's _On Justification_,
  which gave rise to keen controversy in Germany.--See the
  Correspondence of Calvin with Melanchthon in 1552.

  [338] By all appearance Amy Perrin.

  [339] The number of refugees daily increasing at Geneva, permission
  was grantod them to assemble together for public worship in their
  own languages. English was preached at the Auditoire, Italian at the
  College, Spanish at Saint Gervais, and Flemish in Saint Germain. The
  unity of the Spirit shone through the diversity of languages.--Spon
  and Picot, _Histoire de Genève_.

  [340] The Pope and the King of France were at that time engaged
  in a struggle about the town of Parma, which the former wished to
  plunder, and the latter to defend in behalf of Ottavio Farneso. Tho
  Emperor was not slow in joining the cause of the Pope, and peace was
  not concluded till the following year.



CCLXXX.--TO A FRENCH GENTLEMAN.[341]

  [341] This letter without an address, was written to a friend,
  perhaps to one of the members of the family of Beza in France,
  during an illness which endangered his life, in 1551, and which
  called forth from the Reformer the most touching testimonies of his
  affection.

     Sickness of Theodore Beza--Calvin's grief.


  _30th June 1551._

When the messenger presented himself with your letter to Beza, I
was seized with fresh alarm, and, at the same time, weighed down
with a load of grief. For I was informed, the day before, that he
had been seized with the plague. I was therefore not only troubled
about the danger he was in, but from my very great affection for
him I felt almost overpowered, as if I was already lamenting his
death; although, indeed, this grief did not rise so much from
private regard, as from my public anxiety for the prosperity of
the Church. Indeed, I were destitute of human feeling, did I not
return the affection of one who loves me with more than a brother's
love, and reveres me like a very father. But the Church's loss
afflicted me more deeply, when I pictured a man, of whom I had so
very high expectations, suddenly snatched away from us by death,
at the very outset of his career--a man whose gentle disposition,
polished manners, and native candour, had endeared him to all good
men. Should you ever happen to make a secret and hasty journey
hither--which I am very anxious you should--you will find him far
superior in those respects to anything I have stated. I trust that
melancholy foreboding is far distant, of an event which you say
would be an irreparable loss to you. Your coming would be the more
desirable, as he was very anxious to see you when he left. What
should we delight in but Christ? Yet I confidently trust that the
life of the man will not be denied to our prayers. For although
he has not yet escaped danger, yet yesterday's messenger brought
us more hopeful accounts of him. To-morrow I hope to hear what
will remove all doubt. Adieu, distinguished sir, and take in good
part this voluntary service of mine, seeing I write with so much
familiarity to one with whom I am not acquainted. May the Lord guide
you by his Spirit, and shield you by his protection!

  [JOHN CALVIN.]

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 60.]



CCLXXXI.--To the Duke of Somerset.[342]

  [342] See the letter to the King of the month of January, p. 299.
  The ministor, Nicolas des Gallars, charged to present to the King
  the letter and the Commentaries of Calvin, had met with the most
  flattering reception at Court.*

    *See Calvin's letter to Farel, p. 311, ante.

     Protestations of attachment--reforms required in the Church of
     England--squandering of the revenues of benefices and of the
     universities.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 25th July 1551_.

MONSEIGNEUR,--I know not how to thank you enough for the kind
reception which my messenger has met with from you, not merely in
that you have been pleased to take the trouble of offering my books
to the King, but for all other proofs of the singular friendly
affection which you have hitherto graciously shown me. As for the
youth whom you have taken into your service, I should not have
had the boldness to write to you about him, had I not thought, as
was generally expected, that he was likely to turn out remarkably
well. But so much the more am I obliged to you, since I find that
my recommendation has been of use in this quarter. As however all
that I could write would be but very feeble compared with what is in
my heart, and what your benefits deserve, I prefer to desist from
further comment on them. Only I pray you, Monseigneur, to consider
me so wholly yours, that had I any way of doing you service, it
would not be my fault if you lacked proof of more good-will than I
know how to express. I would have made these excuses to you sooner,
or rather these thanks, if it may please you to hold them such,
had it not been for the desire which this gentleman had, himself
to present my letter to you. And in this also, I can perceive the
friendship you are pleased to show towards me, since those who well
deserve to have access to you, hope to be the more welcome by means
of my letters.

Nevertheless, Monseigneur, I shall not cease to commend to your
attention that which is of itself dear and precious enough to you.
It is, that you provide and take heed that God may be faithfully
honoured and served; above all, that better order be established
in the Church than heretofore. Albeit it may not be easy to obtain
people specially qualified to discharge this office; yet, from
what I hear, there are two great hindrances against which it
would be essential to provide. The first is, that the revenues of
the universities which have been founded for the maintenance of
scholars, are ill distributed; many being thus supported who openly
profess to resist the Gospel, so far are they from affording any
hopes of upholding that which has been there built up with great
pains and labour.

The second evil is, that the revenue of the cures is diverted and
wasted, so that there is not wherewithal to support worthy men who
might be fit to discharge the office of true pastors. And thus
ignorant priests are installed, who bring in great confusion. For
the character of individuals begets a great contempt of the word
of God; and thus whatever their authority, they cannot exercise
it. I pray you, therefore, Monseigneur, to advance and improve the
Reformation, and so give it permanence; be pleased to exert all your
might in correcting this abuse. I quite believe that it has not been
your fault that matters have not been better regulated in the first
instance. But since it is very difficult all at once to organize an
establishment as well as might be desirable, it only remains that we
persevere, so as to perfect in time what has been well begun.

It ought not to be ill taken by those who at the present time
derive profit from Church property, that the pastors be adequately
supported; seeing that every one ought to strive to support them out
of his own private means, were there no public ones. It would even
be to their own advantage to discharge themselves of this debt, for
they cannot expect to prosper while defrauding the people of God
of their spiritual pasturage, by depriving the churches of good
pastors. And on your part, Monseigneur, I have no doubt, when you
have faithfully laboured to reduce these matters to order, that God
will the more multiply his blessings upon you. But since I feel
assured that you are so well inclined of yourself that I need not
longer to exhort, I shall conclude, after having besought our good
Lord, that it may please him to guide you always by his Spirit, to
increase you in all well-doing, and to cause his name to be more and
more glorified by you. Even so, Monseigneur, I do commend me very
humbly to your gracious favour.

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [FR. COPY.--_Library of Simler, Coll. of Simler._ Vol. 75.]



CCLXXXII.--TO VIRET.

     Reply to the attacks of Pighius, and of George of Sicily.


  [GENEVA,] _15th August 1551_.

I regret the postponement of the Council, now when it is too late.
Send for me, however, when you think fit; although it will be much
more convenient, in another respect, for you to come to us. I send
you the ravings of George of Sicily, which the Italian brethren
wish me to refute.[343] I have declined, however, as there would
be no end to replies if every single dog of that sort were to be
silenced by a special treatise. It is better, therefore, that many
do not deem it worthy of a reply. If I ever find leisure, I should
prefer executing what I undertook years ago. By replying to Pighius,
I shall put a stop to the barking of others. I have nothing to say
regarding Matthaeus at present, except that, if while presenting
the brethren with his work, he at the same time warn them of its
dangers, I hope they will find it agreeable. We can discuss the
rest better when we meet. Adieu, most worthy and upright brother.
Salute your wife and little daughters, also your colleague, Ribet,
and the rest of the brethren. You may tell Hotman, that I gave a
willing audience of two or three hours to a fellow-citizen of his,
but I fear I was not of much service to him. He is too much puffed
up with stolid self-assurance, for anything to make an impression on
him.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]

  [343] Calvin published his treatise, _De Æterna Dei
  Praedestinatione_, during the following year, in reply to certain
  attacks directed against this doctrine by an Italian Doctor named
  George of Sicily, and the German theologian, Albert Pighius, whom
  he had already assailed in 1543.--(See vol. i. p. 371 of the
  present Collection.) Little is known regarding George of Sicily.
  Suspected by the Catholics on account of his professing certain of
  the Reformed doctrines, and by the Protestants from his holding
  certain heterodox opinions, he was disclaimed alike by both of
  those Churches, and ultimately fell a victim to the Inquisition, at
  Ferrara.--_MSS. of the Library of Ferrara._



CCLXXXIII.--TO THE MINISTERS OF NEUCHATEL.

     Arrest of a minister from Neuchatel in France--steps for
     obtaining his release.


  GENEVA, _5th September 1551_.

When the melancholy tidings reached this place that Hugues,[344]
with five other brethren, and a lady of rank, had been seized in
the neighbourhood of Maçon, we at once resolved to inform you of
it, that you might at least aid them with your prayers. For there
is no use, in my opinion, in troubling ourselves with the French at
present. We know they have a judge who is merciful as well as just.
Textor is here, and is unremitting in his endeavours among [his]
friends. If the matter proceeds farther, I shall inform you of it;
only keep your mind at ease for a few days; for another messenger
brought word to-day, that when he left they had good hopes of a
speedy release. Adieu, most excellent brethren, very dear to me. May
the Lord be ever present with you, to guide you all by his Spirit.
We are desirous of commending the Church of Lyons to you, which
indeed is uncalled for.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [344] Notwithstanding the interested advances made by the King of
  France to the Swiss Cantons, and despite his alliance with the
  Protestants of Germany, the persecutions did not terminate in
  France. A minister of the district of Neuchatel, originally from
  the neighbourhood of Mans, named Hugues Gravier, having undertaken
  a journey to his native country, was arrested at the bridge of
  Maçon, and, after a long imprisonment, condemned to the flames,
  notwithstanding the intervention of the Seigneurs of Berne in his
  behalf. He submitted to this cruel torture at Bourg-en-Bresse,
  with wonderful firmness; and his death, says the historian of the
  _Martyrs_, was the means of forming a nursery of the faithful
  throughout the entire neighbourhood.--_Hist. des Martyrs_, p. 234,
  anno 1552. _Hist. Eccl._, p. 86.

       *       *       *       *       *

My dear Farel, I do not ask pardon for my slothfulness, as if I had
rather abstain from writing you, but that you may the sooner hasten
hither that we may have a conversation. Adieu, again and again.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]



CCLXXXIV.--TO BULLINGER.[345]

  [345] The new opinions made every day fresh progress in France,
  in spite of the rigour of the edicts, and the severity of the
  judges. Inspired by the evil spirit of Cardinals Tournon and
  Lorraine, the King resorted to measures of great cruelty. _The
  Edict of Chateaubriand_, issued on the 27th of June 1551, declared
  Protestants amenable at once to ecclesiastical and civil tribunals,
  so that if absolved by the jurisdiction of the one, they were liable
  to condemnation by that of the other! This was a violation of the
  laws of the most ordinary justice; but at a time when the Emperor,
  aided by the heretic Maurice of Saxony, was attacking the Pope, the
  King of France could not give too strong a pledge of his orthodoxy.
  The blood of the disciples of the Gospel flowed like water, to
  expiate the alliance of this persecuting monarch with the Lutherans
  of Germany.--Haag, _France Protestante_, Introduction, p. x.

     Edict of Chateaubriand, in France--attacks on Calvin in Geneva.


  GENEVA, _15th October 1551_.

My slowness in writing to you is owing to the want of messengers.
For I do not care for sending a letter which may have lost its
interest by being so long in reaching you. When Beza undertook to
see my letter delivered to you without delay, I was unwilling to
neglect a duty in which I must confess I am too remiss. I do not
know how matters are moving in England. The matrimonial alliance
with France does not, in my opinion, forebode so much good as many
seem to think. Would, at least, that it might mitigate somewhat the
fury of his father-in-law.[346] For in order to gain new modes of
venting his rage against the people of God, he has been issuing
atrocious edicts, by which the general prosperity of the kingdom
is broken up. A right of appeal to the supreme courts has hitherto
been, and still is, granted to persons guilty of poisoning, of
forgery, and of robbery; yet this is denied to Christians: they
are condemned by the ordinary judges to be dragged straight to the
flames, without any liberty of appeal. It has been decreed, that the
friends of those whose lives are at stake must not dare to intercede
for them, unless they wish to be charged with patronizing heresy.
The better to fan the flames, all informers are to receive the
third part of the goods of the accused. Should any judge appear too
remiss, he is liable to a penalty. The King's chancellor is to guard
against admitting such to public offices, or any who may have, on
any occasion, been open to the slightest suspicion. No one, besides,
can hereafter occupy the place of a judge, unless he be hostile to
Christ; and whosoever would aspire to a public office, must furnish
abundant evidence of being obsequious sons of the Church of Rome;
and should any one [gain office] by deception, a penalty attaches
to those who recommended him. A penalty is imposed, besides, on all
citizens who may, by their suffrages, have raised to the magistracy,
any individual known to hold, or suspected of holding, the Lutheran
doctrines. The Supreme Council is bound by law to compel any of
their number, who may seem to have a leaning to our doctrines, to
clear himself by oath. All are commanded, with more than usual
earnestness, to adore the breaden god on bended knee. All parsons of
parishes are commanded to read the Sorbonne articles every Sabbath
for the benefit of the people, that a solemn abnegation of Christ
may thus resound throughout the land. The goods of all who have
migrated to us are to be confiscated, even although they should
be sold, or in any way disposed of, previous to their departure,
unless the authorities have been duly apprised of the sale before
their departure was contemplated. Geneva is alluded to more than ten
times in the edict, and always with a striking mark of reproach. But
indeed every place of dissent from the See of Rome is referred to.
This ferocity is necessary, in order that the direst confusion may
follow. The flames are already kindled everywhere, and all highways
are guarded lest any should seek an asylum here. If any opportunity
occurs, we must spare no pains to alleviate the sufferings of our
brethren. I would already have been on my way to you, for the
purpose of holding a consultation, had I not been excluded access to
you, at present, by your entreaties. Nevertheless, I beseech you,
in the name of Christ, that you keep an attentive lookout in all
directions; but I do not see what assistance is to be expected from
those who sit down so securely amid their own dangers. How ominous!
The sword is whetted for our throats, and we, who are all brethren,
seek to avoid a consultation! With these warnings, it becomes us
to accustom ourselves to fix our regards on heaven. How I fear we
may, by and by, suffer a heavier punishment for this our inactivity
than could be wished! In truth, I am not astonished that they are so
slow in checking the insult of the enemy, when they take worthless
villains to their bosom, by whom the Church is torn and wounded,
and exposed to the ridicule of her enemies. A certain Dominican, a
minister of the word in a neighbouring village, has emerged from
the mud under evil auspices.[347] He bawled out openly in the
assembly that he had a dispute with me and the Church of Geneva;
and this without the least provocation. Not content with that, he
brought forward a paper filled with foul accusations, in which I
was bitterly reviled for more than twenty times. On the matter being
known, he was sent home. Emboldened by impunity, any satellite of
the Council of Trent insults me now with equal ferocity. This is the
communion of the Church which we daily profess. I omit other matters
equally dishonourable, which I endure, not without sadness; although
I am not so much moved on my own account, as on that of the public;
for I see clearly that such a breaking up of all orderly discipline,
so foreign to Christianity, cannot stand for any length of time.

  [346] There were at that time proposals of marriage between the
  young King Edward, and Elizabeth of France, daughter of Henry
  II., but the negotiations relative to that match wore without
  result.--Burnet, _History of the Reformation_, vol. ii. p. 282,
  (Nares' Edition.)

  [347] Calvin, referring to the same circumstance in a letter to
  Viret, (Aug. 1551,) expressed himself thus:--"An ignorant monk, from
  an obscure village, disparaged me. A ridiculous affair. He was a
  demagogue, who from the front of the platform, bawled out that we
  were worse than the Papists, and brought forward a paper before the
  Consistory, written by himself, in which he accused me, by name, of
  teaching what was false and contrary to the word of God; called me
  an impostor; babbled out that those who agreed with me held impious
  opinions," &c.--(_Calv. Opera_, vol. ix. p. 61.) From these last
  traits, we recognize the same obscure individual, who made bold to
  bring forward such accusations against Calvin, and whose disputes
  with the Reformer were soon to acquire a sad notoriety over all
  Switzerland. This man was Jerome Bolsec!--See the following letter.

Adieu, very excellent and highly revered brother. May the Lord guide
you ever; may his blessing rest on your pious endeavours, and may he
shield you by his protection!

Salute Theodore, Pellican, Gualter, and the rest of the brethren
earnestly in my name.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr.--Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, a.]



CCLXXXV.--TO THE MINISTERS OF SWITZERLAND.[348]

  [348] At a general meeting, held October 16, 1551, the minister
  of Jussy, Jean de Saint André, in preaching from the words of St.
  John, (viii. 47,) "He that is of God heareth God's words ...," took
  occasion to develope the doctrine of eternal election, declaring
  that "those who are not regenerated by the Spirit of God, continue
  in a state of rebellion even to the end, because obedience is a
  gift accorded only to the elect." He had scarcely finished speaking
  when one of the hearers rose up, and pronounced this doctrine false
  and impious, accompanying his discourse with coarse abuse of those
  who make God the _author of sin_, and exhorted the people to guard
  against this new doctrine as a detestable piece of folly. This man
  was the old Carmelite monk, Jerome Bolsec, a physician, preacher,
  and poet, who, wandering by turns in France and Italy, had retired
  to Geneva some months previously, where he had already frequently
  attacked the doctrines of Calvin. Unnoticed in the crowd, the
  Reformer, whom Bolsec had thought absent, immediately rose up,
  and by a succession of testimonies borrowed from the writings of
  Augustine, eloquently refuted his adversary. Arrested on account of
  the temerity of his language, and interrogated by the magistrate,
  Jerome refused to retract, and was thrown into prison. The case was
  brought before the Council, where he boldly maintained his opinion,
  adding, besides, that many of the Swiss ministers shared in his
  sentiments. Before pronouncing a judgment, which the ministers of
  Geneva earnestly desired, the magistrates wrote concerning the
  subject to three Reformed towns, namely, Zurich, Berne, and Bâle,
  furnishing them with a list of the errors of Bolsec, and asking
  their advice as to how they should treat him. See the _Registers of
  the Council_, Oct. 1551; Gautier, _Manuscript History of Geneva_,
  and Ruehat, tom. v. p. 456.

     Statement of the controversy with Bolsec regarding Election.


  GENEVA, [_October 1551_.]

There is one Jerome here, who, having thrown off the monk's cowl,
is become one of those strolling physicians, who, by habitual
deception and trickery, acquire a degree of impudence which makes
them prompt and ready in venturing upon anything whatever. He made
an attempt, eight months ago, in a public assembly of our church, to
overthrow the doctrine of God's free election, which, as received
from the word of God, we teach in common with you. Then, indeed, the
impertinence of the man was regulated by some degree of moderation.
He ceased not afterwards to make a noise in all places, with the
intention of shaking the faith of the simple in this all-important
doctrine. At length he openly disgorged what poison was in him. For
when one of our brethren, not long since, was expounding, after our
ordinary custom, that passage in John where Christ declares that
those who do not hear God's words are not of God; he remarked that
as many as have not been born again of the Spirit of God, continue
in a state of stubborn resistance to God, even to the end, inasmuch
as the gift of obedience is peculiar to the elect of God, on whom it
is bestowed. That worthless wretch rose up, and affirmed that the
false and impious opinion, that the will of God is the cause of all
things, took its rise during the present century from Laurentius
Valla; but that in this he acted wrongly, for he charged God with
the blame of all evils, and falsely imputed to him a tyrannical
caprice, such as the ancient poets fancifully ascribed to their
Jove. He then took up the second head, and affirmed that men are
not saved because they have been elected, but that they are elected
because they believe; that no one is condemned at the mere pleasure
of God; that those only are condemned who deprive themselves of the
election common to all. In dealing with this question, he inveighed
against us with a great deal of violent abuse. The chief magistrate
of the city, on hearing of the matter, imprisoned him, especially
as he had been tumultuously haranguing the common people not go
allow themselves to be deceived by us. On being brought before the
Senate for trial, he proceeded to defend his error with no less
obstinacy than audacity. He, moreover, made it his boast that a
considerable number of the ministers of the other churches sided
with him; on which we requested the Senate not to give its final
decision until, having heard from your church, it should ascertain
how this worthless wretch had wickedly abused your name by making
you sanction his error. Overcome by shame, he at first did not
decline the decisions of the churches, but began to jest about
having good reason to mistrust you from your familiar intimacy with
our brother Calvin. The Senate, however, according to our request,
resolved upon consulting you. Besides, and in addition to this, he
was implicating your church. For while denouncing Zwingle above all
others, he said that Bullinger was of precisely the same opinion
with himself. He has craftily watched for a handle of discord among
the Bernese ministers. We are really anxious to have this plague
so removed from our church, that it may not infect our neighbours
when we have got rid of it ourselves. Although it is of very great
importance to us and to the public tranquillity, that the doctrine
which we profess should meet with your approval; yet we have no
reason to entreat your confidence in many words. The _Institutes_
of our brother Calvin, against which he is especially directing his
attacks, is not unknown among you. With what reverence and sobriety
he has therein discussed the secret judgments of God, it is not for
us to record: the book is its own bright witness. Nor in truth do
we teach anything here but what is contained in God's holy word,
and what has been held by your church ever since the light of the
Gospel was restored. That we are justified by faith, we all agree;
but the real mercy of God can only be perceived when we learn that
faith is the fruit of free adoption, and that, in point of fact,
adoption flows from the eternal election of God. But not only does
this impostor fancy that election depends upon faith, but that
faith itself is originated as much by man himself as by divine
inspiration. There can be no doubt, on the other hand, that when
men perish, it must be imputed to their own wickedness. But by the
case of the reprobate whom God, from his own mysterious counsel,
passes by and neglects as if unworthy, we are taught a striking
lesson of humility. Yet such is this Jerome, that he will not admit
that God does anything justly unless he has palpable evidence of it.
In fine, this much is fixed and conceded by us all, that when man
sins, God must not be regarded as having any share in the blame,
nor that the word sin can in any sense be applied to him. Yet this
does not hinder him from exercising his power, in a wonderful and
incomprehensible way, through Satan and the wicked, as if they were
the instruments of his wrath, to teach the faithful patience, or
to inflict merited punishment on his enemies. This profane trifler
cries out that we bring an impeachment against God when we allege
that he governs all things by his providence; destroying, in
short, in this way, all distinction between causes as remote and
concealed, on the one hand, and as near and patent on the other;
rendering it impossible to regard the sufferings to which holy Job
was subjected as the work of God, but that he may be held as equally
guilty with the Devil, the Chaldeans, and the Sabæan robbers. Our
mutual relationship, therefore, demands that you will not consider
it troublesome to uphold and maintain, by your countenance, that
doctrine of Christ which has been outraged by the profanity of a
wanton and ill-disposed man. As we confidently trust that you will
do this gladly and of your own accord, we consider it useless to
ply you with anxious and earnest requests; and, on the other hand,
should our services be at any time of advantage to you, you will
ever find us prepared to discharge every brotherly duty.--Adieu,
most beloved and esteemed brethren. May God guide you by his Spirit,
bless your labours, and defend your Church!

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 63.]



CCLXXXVI.--TO OSWALD MYCONIUS.[349]

  [349] This is Calvin's last letter to Myconius. Struck by apoplexy
  while in the pulpit of the Cathedral of Bâle, a few days before
  the Easter festivals of 1551, Myconius never rallied, till he was
  carried off by the plague in October 1552, in the sixty-fourth year
  of his age. His bereaved widow survived him only a few days. Simon
  Sulzer succeeded him in the office of _Antistes_ which he had filled
  during more than ten years with moderation and wisdom.--See Melch.
  Adam, _Vitæ Theol. Germ._, p. 224; Ruchat, tom. v. p. 468.

     Recommendations regarding the dispute with Bolsec--request on
     behalf of the Protestants of France.


  LAUSANNE, _November 1551_.

I am compelled to dictate these few lines, being confined to bed
with a severe headache. The person who is to deliver my letter to
you is my brother's father-in-law. He will, therefore, communicate
to me faithfully anything with which you may intrust him. Although
in so just and sacred a cause I trust there will be neither
difficulty nor delay, yet, as you have especially to do with the
general answer of the brethren, I beseech you particularly, and
Sulzer also, to undertake the whole matter.[350] Our Senate,
indeed, took a correct enough view of the case, but it is of great
importance to have the mind of your church as well as of our own.

  [350] Alluding to the reply expected from the ministers of Bâle,
  concerning the case of Bolsec. See the preceding letter.

There is another thing, also, which I am exceedingly anxious to
obtain from you and the rest of the brethren; but as there is no
need for pressing you on the matter, it will be sufficient for me to
give you a hint of it. Edicts worse than atrocious have lately been
published by the King of France, in which all manner of cruelties
are employed for the extinction of whatever spark of manliness there
is in the kingdom.[351] Not only has he increased the rage of those
judges and officers who previously, in most instances, went farther
than they should, but if any are more moderate than the rest, they
are compelled by violent threats to shed, like very gladiators, the
blood of the innocent. The flames have been kindled already in very
many places. There is one mode, perhaps, by which his fury may be
somewhat appeased: Were those of the Swiss who profess the sound
and pure doctrine of the Gospel to intercede, perhaps, during those
commotions of war, their authority might carry the more weight. As
the cause is a just one, and worthy also of your compassion, I shall
say no more, convinced as I am that it will be to you an object
of the deepest interest. Adieu, brother, worthy of my heartfelt
reverence. Salute all your friends and fellow-ministers. May the
Lord guide you by his Spirit, and protect you by his power!--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]

  [351] See letter, p. 319.



CCLXXXVII.--TO CHRISTOPHER FABRI.[352]

  [352] "To Mons. Christopher Fabri, minister of the Word of God in
  the Church of Neufchatel."

  The theologians of Bâle were the first to communicate their
  sentiments regarding the case of Bolsec. In a letter dated 28th
  November, they openly acknowledged the doctrine which was the
  occasion of the dispute. They regarded election as "the effect
  of a secret cause, known to God alone, and which man should not
  attempt to fathom." So far as Bolsec himself was concerned, they
  were inclined to treat him with indulgence, deceiving thereby the
  hopes of the Reformer, who desired a triumphant condemnation of his
  adversary.

     Calvin's dissatisfaction with the reply of the ministers of
     Bâle, and the conduct of Monsieur de Falais regarding the affair
     with Bolsec.


  _November 1551._

I shall attend to your orders. Would that we could obtain our
wishes! The ministers of Bâle have replied. We have found by
experience how little advice they can give us. Myconius approaches
the matter with a certain coldness. There is no use, as you say,
in his taking credit to himself for wisdom from his hesitancy. Yet
Sulzer writes just as if it would be satisfactory. The Senate had
sent their own messenger a short time before. I fear they will
repeat the same old song. But if the men of Berne and Zurich go
prudently about the matter, we need not take it to heart; for all
depends on this, lest he may have been admitted to the Bernese
district. I am so much ashamed at De Falais, that I can scarcely
bear to be taunted about his fickleness.[353] If your reply reach
us in time, it will assist us not a little. Adieu, very worthy and
very dear brethren. I could not find a messenger up to the present
moment. My dear Fabri, I now at length discharge your orders to me.
I have not had an opportunity of writing you since the brethren
determined upon what kind of testimony should be given to Heroldus.
I have been as moderate as I could. Adieu again. Convey my best
regards to your friends.--Entirely yours,

  CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]

  [353] In the theological disputes between Calvin and Bolsec, M.
  de Falais declared himself in favour of the latter, from whom he
  received medical advice. He had even written a letter to Bâle in his
  behalf.



CCLXXXVIII.--TO FAREL.

     Recommendation of a schoolmaster--complaints against the
     ministers of Zurich.


  GENEVA, _8th December 1551_.

There is little need for my commending the bearer to you, as he is,
in my judgment, sufficiently known and approved by you. It is no
ordinary proof of his piety and modesty when I state, that not only
did he come down to this quarter willingly, but came forward even
with eagerness, when I was almost prevented, through bashfulness,
from asking him to undertake the matter. Nor have I any doubt
but that he will discharge any duty imposed upon him, faithfully
and with care. But the fact of his being regarded, by competent
judges, as a learned and skilful physician, will perhaps go farther
with your men. Were he not known among you, I should give ampler
testimony in his favour. I only trust that your school may furnish
him with pupils worthy of his position as a moderately learned
master.

I complained lately of the theologians of Bâle,[354] who,
as compared with those of Zurich, are worthy of very great
praise.[355] I can hardly express to you, my dear Farel, how much I
am annoyed by their rudeness. There is less humanity among us than
among wild beasts. What would happen if we were not surrounded with
enemies? What marvellous dulness is it, that when three or four
churches are driven together into a corner, they do not recognize
each other! In truth, this is worse than dishonourable, because
groundless rumours are circulated, by which any brother who may be
within the bounds is hindered from showing us any sympathy. The
Senate did not consider the pastors worthy of being written to,
but to heighten the insult, they limited their communication to
the magistrates. Should you be displeased with the general letter
of the men of Zurich, let me tell you, that Bullinger's private
letter to me was not a whit better, although it is preferable that
you should read it and judge for yourself. It is not fair that I
should be troubled with his trifles, while he is, at the same time,
looking down on our wants with supreme contempt. You will pardon
me, therefore, if you do not obtain what you asked regarding the
translation of his book. Adieu, very dear brother. May the Lord
Jesus guide you, and watch over you continually, together with your
brethren and the church! Salute Christopher and the rest in my name.
Michael will remain here till the end of the week.--Yours truly,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. Copy._--_Eccl. Archives of Berne_, vol. vi. p. 171.]

  [354] See the preceding letter, p. 327.

  [355] The theologians of Zurich, like those of Bâle, did not
  hesitate to profess adherence to the doctrine attacked by Bolsec.
  "Jerome," said they, "deceives himself and wrongs Zuingle, if he
  believes that the latter taught that God himself was the cause of
  man's sinning; for if he appeared to teach something similar to
  that in his book on _The Providence of God_, we must, at the same
  time, consult his other writings, where he has plainly established
  that sin comes by no means from God, but from human corruption and
  voluntary wickedness." Addressed to the Councils of Geneva by an
  oversight which the ministers of that church seemed keenly to feel,
  the answer from Zurich did not appear to Calvin to be a sufficiently
  explicit condemnation of his adversary. See the letter to Bullinger
  of January 1552.



CCLXXXIX.--TO LELIO SOCIN.[356]

  [356] Lelio Socin, founder of the celebrated sect which bears his
  name, was born at Sienna of a distinguished family: his father,
  Mariano Socin, a professor in the University of Bologna, was one
  of the most learned jurisconsults of his age. Of a bold and active
  mind, which found pleasure in the most subtle speculations, and
  which would not stop short of the interpretation of mysteries,
  Lelio left his native country in 1548, and joined the Reformers of
  Switzerland and Germany, whose friendship he won by the politeness
  of his manners, the purity of his life, and his zeal for learning.
  He resided by turns at Zurich and Wittemberg, and was not slow,
  by correspondence or conversation, to express his doubts on the
  common doctrines, which he skilfully advanced rather in the form
  of questions than as opinions which he was prepared to maintain
  and to teach. He was beloved by Bullinger, who did not suspect the
  heterodoxy of his beliefs, and who wrote to Calvin regarding him, "I
  restrain as far as I can this man's curiosity;" and Calvin himself,
  after having repeatedly broken off correspondence with Socin, could
  not forbear renewing it, and giving a friendly reply to the doubts
  which he had expressed on the resurrection, baptism, the trinity,
  &c. (Calv. _Opera_, tom. ix. pp. 51, 57, 197.) The letter, which
  is published here for the first time, throws valuable light on the
  relation of the Reformer to the founder of a sect to which even
  Socin himself was yet a stranger, and whose doubts were afterwards
  to be set up as dogmas by his disciples. Lelio Socin died in 1562,
  before he had completed his thirty-seventh year.--M'Crie, _Hist. of
  Ref. in Italy_, _passim_.

     Refusal to reply to the curious questions proposed to him by
     Socin.


  [1551.]

You are deceived in so far as you entertain the impression
that Melanchthon does not agree with us on the doctrine of
predestination. I only said briefly that I had a letter written by
his own hand, in which he confessed that his opinion agreed with
mine. But I can believe all you say, as it is nothing new for him
to elude in this matter, the better to rid himself of troublesome
inquiries. Certainly no one can be more averse to paradox than I
am, and in subtleties I find no delight at all. Yet nothing shall
ever hinder me from openly avowing what I have learned from the
word of God; for nothing but what is useful is taught in the school
of this master. It is my only guide, and to acquiesce in its plain
doctrines shall be my constant rule of wisdom. Would that you also,
my dear Lelio, would learn to regulate your powers with the same
moderation! You have no reason to expect a reply from me so long as
you bring forward those monstrous questions. If you are gratified by
floating among those aërial speculations, permit me, I beseech you,
an humble disciple of Christ, to meditate on those things which tend
towards the building up of my faith. And indeed I shall hereafter
follow out my wishes in silence, that you may not be troubled by
me. And in truth, I am very greatly grieved that the fine talents
with which God has endowed you, should be occupied not only with
what is vain and fruitless, but that they should also be injured by
pernicious figments. What I warned you of long ago, I must again
seriously repeat, that unless you correct in time this itching after
investigation, it is to be feared you will bring upon yourself
severe suffering. I should be cruel towards you did I treat with
a show of indulgence what I believe to be a very dangerous error.
I should prefer, accordingly, offending you a little at present
by my severity, rather than allow you to indulge unchecked in the
fascinating allurements of curiosity. The time will come, I hope,
when you will rejoice in having been so violently admonished. Adieu,
brother very highly esteemed by me; and if this rebuke is harsher
than it ought to be, ascribe it to my love to you.[357]

  [_Lat. copy._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]

  [357] This letter, without a date, appears to us to belong to the
  last months of the year 1551. Lelio Socin was living at that time at
  Wittemberg.--M'Crie, _Hist. of the Ref. in Italy_, p. 430.



CCXC.--To Bullinger.[358]

  [358] The magistrates of Geneva, after having received the advice
  of the leading Swiss Churches,--which were unanimous alike in
  their recognition of the doctrine of election, and in soliciting
  indulgence for Bolsec,--proceeded with the trial of the prisoner,
  who, having refused to retract his opinions, was solemnly banished
  on the 23d December 1551, for having persisted in an obstinate
  despisal of the judgment of the Churches to which he had promised
  submission.--(_Registers of the Council_, Dec. 1551. Spon and Picot,
  _Histoire de Genève_.) Calvin did not wish the sentence to be more
  severe, although he counted on the Swiss Churches taking a more
  energetic course, and in the ardour of his zeal for what he regarded
  as sound doctrine, looked upon all hesitation and all weakness as a
  cowardly abandonment of the truth.

     Thanks for the zeal manifested on behalf of the faithful in
     France--Complaints of the conduct of the Ministers of Zurich in
     the affair of Bolsec.


GENEVA, _January 1552_.

You have clearly shown yourself to be what you have always been, by
your unremitting endeavours to mitigate the rage of our Pharaoh,
and aid our unfortunate brethren. I cannot forget how strenuously
and faithfully you have always devoted yourself to this cause.
Still, I have good reason to fear that little has been gained
by our letters: for the courtiers to frustrate them is nothing
wonderful. Indeed, I lately learned as much, in a quiet way, from
the royal ambassador when he was here. We would require to send
some one, therefore, if we wish to be of any use. The matter was
taken up at Baden, I understand, but their deliberations probably
came to naught. So confident am I of your watchful attention and
faithfulness, that I consider it unnecessary for me to stimulate you
by a single word.

Would that we were so well satisfied about another matter, that
we could tender our thanks to you and your colleagues without any
qualification. Inasmuch as we experienced--not without severe
pain--considerably less support from you than we had anticipated,
I prefer bringing my complaint candidly before you, rather than
nourish my displeasure by keeping it to myself. You write that you
were astonished why we, annoyed by a vile and impious wretch, should
ask your opinion of a doctrine which he was falsely attacking. In
this impression you have been greatly mistaken, for when he accused
us of holding impious doctrine, we deferred to your judgment out of
respect to you. I fail to see why this should annoy you. I certainly
did not think you would consider any amount of labour burdensome,
which should bring so very great relief to your brethren. You say
that it is a serious matter to give an unqualified approval of
disputations, especially when they turn upon a matter which, in the
reader's judgment, might be handled to better purpose in some other
way. And yet, I have never supposed, nor do I yet believe, that you
belong to the number of those who are so well pleased with their
own performances, that they cannot peruse without aversion anything
executed by another; nor, in truth, did I propose dictating a
formula to you, to which we desired your unqualified assent. It was
enough, and more than enough, to have your approval of a doctrine
which we held to be found in the word of God, nor was it our object
to discuss it with skill and acuteness; so far from that, the
matter, when stripped of all artifice, shows that we wanted nothing
more than that by refuting the man's wicked calumnies, you should
bear testimony to our teaching only what was drawn from the pure
fountain of God.

You ought not to have feared, I think, that any one was accusing you
of dishonesty, because I asked you not to think it troublesome, to
give an answer to our magistrates, as if on an entirely new subject.
For how could they make a public statement regarding a matter,
into which no one had made any inquiry, although I readily allow
it appeared differently to you? Your charging us with the want of
moderation and humanity, was caused, we think, by your placing less
confidence in our letter than you ought to have done. Would that
Jerome were a better man than our letter declared him to be! Would
that he attributed all to the grace of God, as you seem to think.
But for you to plead in defence of a man who seditiously disturbed
a peaceful Church, who strove to divide us by deadly discord, who,
without ever having received the slightest provocation, loaded us
with all sorts of abuse, who publicly taunted us with representing
God as a tyrannical governor, nay more, that we had put the Jove of
the poets in the place of God,--to defend such a man, I say, were
the extreme of absurdity. How, moreover, can he attribute all to
the grace of God, when he says that grace is offered alike to all,
but that its efficacy rests with the free will of every one; when
he prates about the heart of flesh, or the susceptibility of grace,
being given to all, but so that every one may receive it of his
own accord? Altogether, I feel grieved beyond measure that there
is not a better understanding between us. Indeed I was astounded,
on finding from your letter, that the kind of teaching which I
employ is displeasing to many good men, just as Jerome is offended
by that of Zuingle. Wherein, I beseech you, lies the similarity?
For Zuingle's book, to speak confidentially, is crammed with such
knotty paradoxes, as to be very different, indeed, in point of
moderation, from what I hold. You are wrong in inferring that I
have promised a new work, in which I undertake to demonstrate that
God is not the author of sin. When that impostor was vexing me with
his calumnies, I stated in refutation what was true, viz., that I
had given sufficient evidence in a book which I had published, of my
utter abhorrence of such blasphemy. I refer to the book published
long since against _Libertines_. The dishonesty of that worthless
wretch, however, induced me to publish in addition what remained
of my reply to Pighius on _Predestination_. Should I fall into any
mistakes, you will be kind enough to set me right. For the rest,
I am sufficiently alive to the desirableness of my saying what I
have to say with frankness and candour. Jerome has been publicly
sentenced to perpetual exile. Certain slanderers have been falsely
circulating that we desired a more cruel punishment, and some have
been foolish enough to believe it. Our friend, De Falais, whose
maid-servant Jerome had cured of cancer, on that account espoused
his cause so very warmly, that he seemed almost infatuated. We
easily, and from the first, shook ourselves free of this annoyance.
But at the request of the neighbouring brethren, we were anxious to
remove that plague from the Bernese district. Now that your answer
has been ambiguous, the sorry wretch is making his boast that you
countenance his error. I only wish I could at present venture to
indicate the catastrophe of the tragedy, regarding which you desired
to be informed. You will hear, before long, or I am much mistaken,
in certain attempts just made, that he has paved the way for making
still greater disturbances. Now, if I have laid bare my inmost
feelings in making these complaints to you, let that have no weight
so far as our reply is concerned. Although you disappointed my
expectations, I nevertheless gladly offer you our friendship. I pass
by the others just as if I was entirely satisfied. In conclusion,
as my brother's sister is anxious about her son who is boarded in
your place, I am compelled to trouble you about him. I wish you
would inquire at his teacher, in her name, as to what progress
he is making, and if you find that he is not realizing the hopes
and desires of his father, that you will inform me of it at your
earliest opportunity.

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]



CCXCI.--TO FAREL.

     Fresh complaints by Calvin against the ministers of Zurich and
     Berne--his unpopularity in the latter city--advices to Farel.


  GENEVA, _27th January 1552_.

I received your letter lately, in which you asked me silently to
repress the feeling of wrong done me by your neighbours.[359] As
for the people of Zurich, the die has been cast three days ago.
The remedy was in my hands, indeed, until then. But I have no
inclination to recall those letters which I have lately despatched.
It was absolutely necessary for me afterwards to write to the
theologians of Bâle, with whose answer, apparently so cold and
empty, I had good grounds from the first to be displeased. But those
things advanced by the others were so very worthless, that they
did not cause me much annoyance. You are much mistaken in thinking
that the former party are about to see their error. Wait rather
till they make an absolute renunciation of the election of God. We
have experienced the wonderful providence of God in this matter;
for without being at the time aware of it, I, by the formula of our
agreement, have so bound them, that they are no longer at liberty
to do damage to the cause. For, in other circumstances, as I am
informed by one, they would have become the patrons of Jerome. Even
Bibliander, carried away by a sudden fit of excitement, was within
a very little of coming to oppose us. He is at present engaged in
writing something or other. However, you will find nothing in my
letter, if I am not mistaken, except what is exceedingly temperate.
I had, in truth, enough to do in repressing the grief with which I
was at that time consumed. You will hear from Christopher what Viret
advises to be done with the third. As he has an absolute horror of
going to Berne, I have no special counsel to offer. However, the
atrocity of the evils by which we are beset, compels us to attempt
something. And now new matter for a tragedy has arisen out of mere
nothing. For the chief magistrate of Ternier, on false and reckless
information, eagerly summoned, as he is accustomed to do, John de
Saint André before a public tribunal, charging him with having
said before a public assembly, that whoever received the Supper on
Christmas-day, received the devil and not Christ.[360] And witnesses
were found to give evidence against him. In short, Satan will not
lay aside such fanners as these until he has kindled some dreadful
conflagration. But I suppose we may rather weep over evils of this
sort, than hope to prevent them. At least I do not see what can
be done. If I go to Berne, I fear I shall not receive a brotherly
welcome from the brethren. Wicked men, who are at present exhibiting
so much effrontery, while matters are in a doubtful state, will then
be certain to be more insolent in their boasting. And although the
pastors hold out some show of friendship, yet I scarcely expect to
succeed in inducing them to maintain friendly intercourse with us,
except by the permission of the Senate. You know how defective they
are in courage and firmness. If they so far comply with our wishes
in this matter, they will nevertheless think that they have doubly
discharged their duty, when they have indicated in a single word
that they have nothing to complain of. There is much talk in the
city in the meantime. While revolving these dangers in my own mind,
I can scarcely venture to seek a remedy for evils which vex me all
the more from my very desire for their removal. If you hope to find
Blaurer of any use to you, you should employ him. But I abstain from
writing, lest some might think themselves wronged by my complaining
to him. Try him, therefore, and give him advice about what he should
do.

  [359] In their reply to the ministers of Geneva concerning Bolsec,
  the ministers of Berne freely pleaded the cause of toleration:--"We
  do not believe," said they, "that it is necessary to treat those
  who err with too much severity, lest while wishing to defend,
  with too great zeal, the purity of dogmas, we swerve from the law
  of Jesus Christ, that is, from charity.... Jesus Christ loved
  the truth, but he loved souls also; not only those who advanced
  without declension, but also those who went astray. And it is the
  latter of which the Good Shepherd, in the Gospel parable, takes the
  greatest care."... More explicit than the theologians of Zurich
  and of Bâle on the doctrine which formed the ground of the debate,
  the ministers of Berne gave a deliverance against the doctrine of
  predestination:--"To come," said they, "to the subject of dispute
  with Bolsec, you are not ignorant how much vexation it has caused
  very many good men, of whom we cannot have a bad opinion, who
  reading in the Scriptures those passages which exalt the grace
  of God to all men, have not sufficient discernment rightly to
  understand the true mysteries of Divine election, attach themselves
  to the proclamation of grace and of universal benevolence, and think
  that we cannot make God condemn, harden, and blind any man, without
  being guilty of the insupportable blasphemy of making God himself
  the author both of man's blindness and of his perdition, and by
  consequence of all sin."--See this letter, and those of the Churches
  of Zurich and Bâle, in the Collection of Professor Alph. Turretin,
  entitled, _Nubes Testium_, and in Ruchat, tom. v. p. 461, _et seq._

  [360] This minister was banished shortly after beyond the territory
  of the Seigneurs of Berne on account of this expression.

In the next place, I have something about which I wish to admonish
yourself. For I understand the prolixity of your discourses has
furnished ground of complaint to many.[361] You have frequently
confessed to us that you were aware of this defect, and that you
were endeavouring to correct it. But if private grumblings are
disregarded because they do not in the meanwhile give trouble, they
may, nevertheless, one day break forth into seditious clamours. I
beg and beseech of you to strive to restrain yourself, that you may
not afford Satan an opportunity, which we see he is so earnestly
desiring. You know that while we are not called upon to show too
much indulgence to the foolish, we are nevertheless bound to give
them something to allure them. And you are well enough aware that
you have to do with the morose and the choleric; and in truth their
aversion arises simply from too much pride on their part. Yet,
since the Lord commands us to ascend the pulpit, not for our own
edification, but for that of the people, you should so regulate
the matter of your teaching, that the word may not be brought into
contempt by your tediousness. It is more appropriate, also, for us
to lengthen our prayers in private, than when we offer them in the
name of the whole Church. You are mistaken if you expect from all an
ardour equal to your own.

  [361] Farel was a genuine orator. All his contemporaries speak
  with admiration of his eloquent discourses, of his beautiful
  exhortations, and of his prayers, so fervent, that no one could hear
  them without being charmed. But it appears that his discourses were
  all extempore; none of them have been preserved, but they had a few
  of the defects of improvisation. Their fault was prolixity. Calvin,
  in his preface to the Psalms, paid, among other things, a brilliant
  tribute to the eloquence of his friend, and to those thunders of the
  word (_tonitrua_) by which he had been enchained at Geneva.

I have dictated this letter in bed.[362] Adieu, most excellent and
upright brother. Salute all friends. May the Lord preserve and guide
you by his Spirit, and bless your labours!--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]

  [362] In Calvin's own hand.



CCXCII.--TO MADAME DE CANY.[363]

  [363] Without date. The end is wanting. We believe that this letter
  refers to the first month of the year 1552.

     Rigorous and inflexible spirit of Calvin against heresy--Praise
     of Theodore Beza.


  GENEVA, _January 1552_.

MADAME,--I am very sorry that the praiseworthy act which you did
about half a year ago, has met with no better return. This is
because no good and true servant of God found himself within reach
of such help, as that received by as wicked and unhappy a creature
as the world contains. Knowing partly the man he was, I could have
wished that he were rotting in some ditch; and his arrival gave me
as much pleasure as the piercing my heart with a poniard would have
done. But never could I have deemed him to be such a monster of all
impiety and contempt of God, as he has proved himself in this. And
I assure you, Madame, that had he not so soon escaped, I should, by
way of discharging my duty, have done my best to bring him to the
stake.[364] Nevertheless, if the good we purpose does not come to
pass, it is quite enough that God accepts our service. He commands
us to help all those who need, and above all, those who suffer
for his name. If men are often found unworthy of our help, let us
be content that the Master acknowledges it all as done to himself;
and that even if men prove ungrateful, he will confer so ample a
reward, of which we cannot be deprived. And in this we enjoy a great
advantage over those who, in serving their own fancies, persuade
themselves that they do God service. For when we follow that which
he approves, we are in no danger of losing our labour. Wherefore,
let us not weary in well-doing, as likewise St. Paul exhorts us,
signifying that we should not fail to find much in men that would
immediately discourage us, did we not look beyond them. And, indeed,
there is no doubt that our Lord wishes to try our constancy when
he allows such temptations to befall us. Accordingly, he who would
shield himself behind the ingratitude of mankind, will not be
excused. As regards ourselves, there is much need that we should be
confirmed against such scandals, for we meet them every day. And I
have no doubt, that our Lord has so confirmed you, that you will not
cease exerting yourself for his people when the opportunity occurs,
and you have the means of doing what your duty requires. For seeing
that God accepts and puts down to his account whatever is done to
his people, it is to him that we fall short, and not to men, when we
do not fulfil this duty. Now, our Lord presents you by us with an
occasion of showing your perseverance, albeit that it is enough for
me to have exhorted you in general.

  [364] Who is the personage to whom these words refer, stamped at
  once by the inflexible spirit of the time and the stern rigour of
  the Reformer? The historian can only offer conjectures: can it be
  Jerome Bolsec? But a regular sentence had banished him from Geneva,
  and Calvin himself does not appear to have called for a more severe
  judgment against this innovator whom resentment had transformed
  into a vile pamphleteer. "That fellow, Jerome, is driven out into
  perpetual exile by a public sentence. _Certain revilers have spread
  abroad the falsehood, that we earnestly desired a much severer
  punishment, and foolishly, it is believed._"--(Calvin to Bullinger,
  in the month of January 1552.) In that age of inexorable severity
  against unsound doctrine, Servetus only appeared at Geneva to
  expire at the stake, and Gentili only escaped the scaffold for a
  time, by the voluntary retraction of his opinions. To name Gentili,
  Servetus, Bolsec, is to recall the principal victims of Calvinistic
  intolerance in the sixteenth century, but not to solve the mystery
  which attaches to the personage designated in the letter of Calvin
  to Madame de Cany.

With regard to the present matter, I prefer to entreat you, as I
now entreat with all possible affection. It is on the behalf of
Monsieur de Bèze,[365] against whom a certain Monsieur de Sunistan
has a lawsuit for the priory of Londjumeau. Upon his retirement,
his condemnation was inevitable, for you are aware how things go
in our favour. Be that as it may, Monsieur de Sunistan would have
been well content with much less, and has obtained more than he
could have ventured to wish, seeing that the Sieur de Bèze has been
found liable for the whole of the costs, with restitution of the
rents. Whereupon he (Sunistan) proceeds against the commissioners,
who have received them in the name of the aforesaid De Bèze. To
remedy this evil, we have bethought ourselves, Madame, of having
recourse to you as to a refuge which God vouchsafes to us. We hope,
indeed, that Madame[366] will do much for us. And since it has been
through her that the said Sunistan has got the benefice, this is
a reason why she should have authority to make him relinquish his
claim upon the costs. I assure you, in all sincerity, that when
he shall have done his utmost, he will not be able to get what he
seeks. And therefore, Madame, I again beseech you, that it may
please you to write so urgently to the said lady, that she may exert
herself warmly to make the aforesaid Sunistan satisfied with the
presentation. I do not make this request so much on my own account,
as in the name of our Master, who has all credit and power with you
as he deserves. I say this, not only to excuse the liberty I take,
but also to obtain more easily from you what I ask. Nevertheless, I
protest in truth, if I did not all I could to deliver from annoyance
the man for whom I speak, I should do wrong to Jesus Christ and his
Church. Our Lord has so wrought upon him, that he has withdrawn,
notwithstanding the ease which he enjoyed, from the expectation of
further advancement. But I let that alone in order to speak as to
what I have known. I shall not even touch upon many virtues, which
would have won your affections, had you seen them as I have done.
I will only tell you, that he has received excellent graces from
God, and has so improved them for the general benefit of the Church,
that he is truly a pearl. This is why I have said that I less regard
in this case the private individual, than my duty to my Master and
his whole household, who have so much interest in such a spirit not
being quenched by vexations and annoyances. And I am not the only
person who think of him thus, but all those to whom the honour of
God is dear, love and value this man as a treasure. I believe that
my brother De Normandie does not write of him to you with less
affection than I. We agree in this respect as in everything else,
so that I believe that we both equally love him. You may have some
taste of his mind by certain passages which he has translated,
although he has other gifts which are surpassing and far more
valuable. But I hope, Madame, that the reading of the Psalms, which
you will receive by the bearer,[367] will of itself be my excuse
towards you for so pressingly requesting you to be pleased to be the
means of giving him relief, so that he may follow out this work, and
also better things besides: and in doing so, you will oblige many
worthy persons whom I know you would willingly please....

  [_Fr. Copy._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]

  [365] Theodore Beza, then professor of Greek literature in the
  Academy of Lausanne. Born the 24th June 1519, at Véselay in
  Burgundy, he had left Paris after a brilliant and dissipated
  youth, and retired to Geneva the 24th October 1548, giving up the
  possession of the rich benefices which he held of his uncle, the
  Abbé of Froidmont. Of this number was the priory of Londjumeau,
  which became the matter of a tedious lawsuit between Beza and the
  new titular, M. de Sunistan, the protégé of the Duchesse d'Etampes.

  [366] Anne de Pisseleu, Duchesse d'Etampes. She was a sister of
  Madame de Cany.

  [367] Laurent de Normandie. See note 1, p. 311.

This passage seems to refer to an edition of the Psalms translated
into French verse by Theodore Beza, earlier than that which is
mentioned by Senebier.--(_Histoire Littéraire de Genève_, tom.
i. p. 289.--_Septante-Neuf Pseaulmes mis en Rithme Française,
Quarante-Neuf par Clement Marot, avec le Cantique de Siméon et les
Dix Commandements_, in 24. Genève, chez Simon de Bosc, 1556.) M.
Picot, _Hist. de Genève_, tom. ii. p. 7, mentions an edition of the
Psalms, published in 1551. We know that the first complete edition,
for the use of the Reformed Churches, appeared at Lyons in 1562,
with the "Privilège du Roi."



CCXCIII.--TO BULLINGER.[368]

  [368] Despite Calvin's disagreements with the magistrates of Berne
  and the Helvetic Churches, he did not hesitate to undertake a
  journey to them in the month of March 1552, which the seriousness
  of the circumstances demanded, in order to plead the cause, among
  the Cantons, of the French Protestants, who were then in a most
  deplorable condition. "This year," says Ruchat, "the King of France
  carried his persecution of the Reformers, even to the death, so to
  speak: and those faithful subjects, who wished only to be allowed to
  serve God in liberty of conscience, were subjected to the violence
  of his officers, who acted like so many unchained furies. The
  flames were kindled, the wheel and the gallows were erected at all
  the tribunals. The Protestant States of the empire, and the four
  Reformed Cantons, wore active in their intercessions with the King,
  by means of special ambassadors, in behalf of these poor persecuted
  ones; but all their prayers were useless." (_Hist. de la Réf._, tom.
  v. p. 479.) The King, on advising the Cantons to abstain from any
  further approaches to him, declared that he wished to be allowed
  to remain his own master, and to act as he pleased, and for them
  to refrain in future, lest those cities continued this business at
  their own peril; ... that they were at liberty to govern their own
  cities as they thought proper; that, for his own part, he wished,
  without let or hindrance, to do the same in his own kingdom,
  because he intended by all means to purge it of those _seditious_
  men.--(Bullinger to Calvin, tom. ix. p. 68.) This last epithet was a
  _calumny_. Yet he continued, nevertheless, to persecute the faithful
  of France as seditious and as rebels, because they desired to serve
  and to worship God according to his word.

     Journey of Calvin and Farel in Switzerland--steps in favour of
     the Reformed in France--return to the affairs of Bolsec.


FROM AN INN AT BASLE, _13th March 1552_.

When Farel and I left home, we had resolved to visit you. At Berne
we altered our plan, for the following reason:--We stated in the
senate that there appeared some hope of relief for our unhappy
brethren; because the king lately published an edict, in which he
makes unusual concessions to the Germans; for in the first place
he puts them on an equality with the natives; and further, by an
extraordinary indulgence, he grants them the liberty of living
according to their own religion. Besides, the attempts of the
Sorbonne to excite cruelty, have less success and favour than
hitherto. The death of Chatelain[369] also, who was cut off by an
attack of colic, happened seasonably for us. The king seems so
bent upon war, that he does not hesitate to prefer his present
convenience to the senseless rage with which he formerly burned.
There are many things, we think, which at present you may safely
concede to them. It is certain, that in a war so changeable and so
complicated as this, though there may be no formal compact, they
have many common interests involved. Now the miserable condition
of our holy brethren admonishes us of the necessity of watching
over them, and urgently demands that we assist them to the best of
our power. For the king, as if he had exhausted his kindness upon
the Germans, ceases not severely to oppress his own. Moreover, as
many opportunities might escape us, from our ignorance of passing
events, it had already seemed to us advisable to turn and warn the
Bernese to seize a favourable opportunity. But now, being taught by
much experience that letters are of little avail, we have besought
the Bernese senate to despatch an embassy, to assure the king
that the cause was sincerely advocated; and that not only from
the entreaties of others, but of your own inclination, and from
the deepest feeling of your heart, you are inclined and earnestly
desirous to plead it. The senate replied, that the occasion seemed
not yet ripe, for that lately letters had been brought from the
king, wherein he not only haughtily refused what the four states had
sought, but fiercely chid them for not considering him a clement
Christian king. It was stated, also, that letters would presently
arrive, from which it would appear whether the King's mind were
changed. The consul promised, however, that should a convenient
opportunity occur, the Senate would by no means neglect this cause.
Among other things, also, the Senate dissuaded us from going to
Zurich, lest unnecessary expense should be incurred. We were vexed
at this, because we would freely confer with you upon other matters,
nor would you have been displeased at our arrival; however, that
we might not seem too rash, we chose rather to be deprived of the
pleasure of seeing you, and the benefit of your conversation, than
to attempt anything which might injure the cause. Now both of us
beseech you; nay rather all the godly who are suffering in France
for the testimony of Christ, humbly beseech you by our mouth to be
diligently watchful for all opportunities. Although it is enough
to advise you, yet the anxiety under which we know them to groan,
compels us to add some vehemence to our entreaties. But as we shall
certainly not obtain what we wish, we must exercise moderation,
so as not to give offence to the King. The edict has forty-seven
heads. If in regard to four or five of the heads some reasonable
relief were obtained, the brethren will think themselves not hardly
dealt with. One for instance requires, that on holidays each with
his family be present at the mass, and not only that he approve
that idolatry by his gesture, and defile himself by impious and
faithless hypocrisy, but that the articles of the Sorbonne be read
aloud at the sacrifice; and thus all will subscribe to abominable
blasphemies. But it is demanded that there be a rigorous examination
of this matter. We must beg of the King, therefore, that men
who pass their lives quietly, giving offence to none, shall not
be eagerly watched, nor be subjected to the captious demands of
the priests. The King confiscates the goods of those who betake
themselves to us,--to places, as he says, obviously removed from
obedience to the Holy See: nay, should their property be sold, he
orders the purchasers to be dispossessed. As to this, we must beg
that no man shall be considered a criminal, if, having nothing else
laid to his charge, he willingly and peacefully migrate elsewhere,
because he cannot for conscience sake remain in the kingdom;
provided only that they do not betake themselves to an unfriendly
country. But the first thing to be secured is, that an embassy be
resolved upon. It will appear afterwards what is to be demanded.

  [369] See note 1, Vol. i. p. 439.

"This good bishop," says Beza, "agreeing to persecute those whom he
formerly defended as far as he could, was made Bishop of Orleans,
whither God attended him on his journey. For on the eve of his
_entrée_, he went, as the custom was, to the Monastery called
Saint Iverte, and entered a pulpit to preach; there was a very
great number of people present, and whilst uttering harsh threats
against those termed heretics, he was seized with a colic so sudden
and severe, that being carried away he died a miserable death
on the following night, and made his _entrée_ elsewhere than at
Orleans."--_Hist. Eccl._, tom. i. p. 81.

To the letters which I received when already on horseback, I only
reply that I had good reason to expostulate, especially to a
brother, in a brotherly way. Consider what we expected from you in
the troubled state of our affairs. Consider, also, how contrary to
our hopes was the answer you gave us; you may see that we had some
cause to grieve. You wonder, because I utter a moderate and gentle
complaint, that we were assisted less liberally than we had promised
ourselves. However, I make no objection to my letters remaining
buried, if they contained anything offensive.

The little book which I send you, will satisfy you, I hope,
concerning the whole matter.[370] You may, however, if you choose,
convey through me your free judgment. My brother's father-in-law
was to have travelled thither with me; but since God has thrown
an obstacle in our way, he writes to his son's master to keep him
till the end of the year, for but a short time now remains. In the
meanwhile, it will be the master's duty to treat him as a boy who
requires a tighter rein and a severer discipline. Farewell, most
accomplished sir, and most esteemed brother. Salute warmly, in my
name, your brethren and fellow-ministers. The Lord guide you by his
Spirit, and keep you under his protection! Amen. The Marquis de
Vico,[371] and Normandie, and our other companions, desire me to
greet you heartily.

  [370] Doubtless the writing published by Calvin and his colleagues,
  entitled, "_Congrégation faite en l'Eglise de Genève sur la Matière
  de l'élection éternelle_." Geneva, 1552, 8vo.

  [371] The Marquis de Vico, a Neapolitan nobleman, retired to Geneva.
  He was admitted an inhabitant of the city, "after having promised to
  submit to the laws of the magistrates, and to live in the profession
  of the Reformed religion."--_Registers of Council_, 15th June 1551.

Excuse my employing an amanuensis, for I dictate from my bed.

  In the name of Farel and myself,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr.--Arch. of Zurich. Gallicana Scripta_, p. 16.]



CCXCIV.-TO CRANMER.[372]

  [372] Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of
  England, took an important part in the Reformation of his country
  during the reigns of Henry VIII. and Edward VI. He laboured
  assiduously with the Reformers of the Continent, who esteemed
  his learning and honoured his character, to establish a bond of
  union between the foreign churches and his own; and if he did not
  live to see his efforts crowned with success, he at least left
  behind him an example worthy of imitation. What is most notable
  in these endeavours is to be found in Cranmer's Letters to the
  leading theologians of Switzerland and Germany, reproduced in the
  Collections of his Works published by the _Parker Society_. They
  are likewise to be found in the Collection of _Zurich Letters_,
  1st series, vol. i. p. 21-26, from which we borrow the following
  letter to Calvin, which furnishes us with the date of the Reformer's
  reply to the Prelate:--"As nothing tends more injuriously to the
  separation of the Churches than heresies and disputes respecting
  the doctrines of religion, so nothing tends more effectually to
  unite the Churches of God, and more powerfully to defend the fold
  of Christ, than the pure teaching of the Gospel and harmony of
  doctrine. Wherefore I have often wished, and still continue to do
  so, that learned and godly men, who are eminent for erudition and
  judgment, might meet together, and, comparing their respective
  opinions, might handle all the heads of ecclesiastical doctrine, and
  hand down to posterity, under the weight of their authority some
  work not only upon the subjects themselves, but upon the forms of
  expressing them. Our adversaries are now holding their councils at
  Trent, for the establishment of their errors; and shall we neglect
  to call together a godly synod, for the refutation of error, and for
  restoring and propagating the truth? They are, as I am informed,
  making decrees respecting the worship of the host; wherefore we
  ought to leave no stone unturned, not only that we may guard others
  against this idolatry, but also that we may ourselves come to an
  agreement upon the doctrine of this sacrament. It cannot escape
  your prudence how exceedingly the Church of God has been injured
  by dissensions and varieties of opinion respecting the sacrament
  of unity; and though they are now in some measure removed, yet I
  could wish for an agreement in this doctrine, not only as regards
  the subject itself, but also with respect to the words and forms of
  expression. You have now my wish, about which I have also written
  to Masters Philip [Melanchthon] and Bullinger; and I pray you to
  deliberate among yourselves as to the means by which this synod can
  be assembled with the greatest convenience. Farewell.--Your very
  dear brother in Christ,

    "THOMAS CANTUAR.

    "LAMBETH, _20th March 1552_."

  Calvin could only subscribe to the wishes so nobly expressed by
  Cranmer, and which harmonized so well with the most elevated
  sentiments of the Reformer of Geneva.

     Agreement to the proposal for assembling a General Synod for the
     more close union of the Reformed Churches.


  GENEVA, [_April 1552_.]

Your opinion, most distinguished sir, is indeed just and wise,
that in the present disordered condition of the Church, no remedy
can be devised more suitable than if a general meeting were
held of the devout and the prudent, of those properly exercised
in the school of God, and of those who are confessedly at one on
the doctrine of holiness. For we see how Satan is attempting, by
various devices, to extinguish the light of the Gospel, which, by
the wonderful goodness of God, having risen upon us, is shining in
many a quarter. The hireling dogs of the Pope cease not to bark,
in order to prevent the pure Gospel of Christ from being heard:
so great is the licentiousness that is here and there breaking
forth, and the ungodliness that is spreading abroad, that religion
is become a mere mockery; and those who are not professed enemies
of the truth, nevertheless conduct themselves with an impropriety
which will create in a short time, unless it be obviated, terrible
disorder among us. And not only among the common herd of men here
does the distemper of a stupid inquisitiveness alternate with that
of fearless extravagance, but, what is more lamentable, in the
ranks of the pastors also the malady is now gaining ground. It is
too well known with what mad actions Osiander is deceiving himself
and deluding certain others.[373] Yet the Lord, as he has done
even from the beginning of the world, will preserve in a miraculous
manner, and in a way unknown to us, the unity of a pure faith from
being destroyed by the dissensions of men. And those whom he has
placed on his watch-tower he wishes least of all to be inactive,
seeing that he has appointed them to be his ministers, through
whose labours he may preserve from all corruptions sound doctrine
in the Church, and transmit it safe to posterity. Especially, most
illustrious Archbishop, is it necessary for you, in proportion to
the distinguished position you occupy, to turn your attention as
you are doing towards this object. I do not say this as if to spur
you on to greater exertions, who are not only, of your own accord,
in advance of others, but are also, as a voluntary encourager,
urging them on; I say it in order that, by my congratulations, you
may be strengthened in a pursuit so auspicious and noble. I hear
that the success of the Gospel in England is indeed cheering; but
you will experience there also, I doubt not, what Paul experienced
in his time, that by means of the door that has been opened for
the reception of pure doctrine, many enemies will suddenly rise
up against it. Although I am really ignorant of how many suitable
defenders you may have at hand to repel the lies of Satan, still
the ungodliness of those who are wholly taken up in creating
disturbances, causes the assiduity of the well-disposed to be at
no time either too much or superfluous. And then I am aware that
English matters are not so all-important in your eyes, but that
you, at the same time, regard the interest of the whole world.
Moreover, the rare piety of the English King, as well as his noble
disposition, is worthy of the highest commendation, in that, of
his own inclination, he entertains the pious design of holding
a convention of the nature referred to, and offers a place for
it also in his own kingdom. And would that it were attainable to
bring together into some place, from various Churches, men eminent
for their learning, and that after having carefully discussed the
main points of belief one by one, they should, from their united
judgments, hand down to posterity the true doctrine of Scripture.
This other thing also is to be ranked among the chief evils of our
time, viz., that the Churches are so divided, that human fellowship
is scarcely now in any repute amongst us, far less that Christian
intercourse which all make a profession of, but few sincerely
practise. If men of learning conduct themselves with more reserve
than is seemly, the very heaviest blame attaches to the leaders
themselves, who, either engrossed in their own sinful pursuits,
are indifferent to the safety and entire piety of the Church, or
who, individually satisfied with their own private peace, have no
regard for others. Thus it is that the members of the Church being
severed, the body lies bleeding. So much does this concern me,
that, could I be of any service, I would not grudge to cross even
ten seas, if need were, on account of it. If it were but a question
regarding the rendering of assistance to the kingdom of England,
such a motive would at present be to me a sufficiently just one.
Now, seeing that a serious and properly adjusted agreement between
men of learning upon the rule of Scripture is still a desideratum,
by means of which Churches, though divided on other questions, might
be made to unite, I think it right for me, at whatever cost of
toil and trouble, to seek to obtain this object. But I hope my own
insignificance will cause me to be passed by. If I earnestly pray
that it may be undertaken by others, I hope I shall have discharged
my duty. Mr. Philip [Melanchthon] is at too great a distance to
admit of a speedy interchange of letters. Mr. Bullinger has likely
written you before this time. Would that I were as able as I am
willing to exert myself! Moreover, the very difficulty of the thing
which you feel, compels me to do what, at the outset, I affirmed I
would not do, viz., not only to encourage, but also to implore you
to increase your exertions, until something at least shall have
been accomplished, if not all that we could desire.--Adieu, very
distinguished Archbishop, deserving of my hearty reverence. May the
Lord continue to guide you by his Spirit, and to bless your holy
labours!

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 61.]

  [373] Alluding to the unfortunate controversies raised by Osiander
  in Germany on the doctrine of Justification.



CCXCV.--TO BULLINGER.

     Fresh details regarding the persecutions in France.


  GENEVA, _Whitsunday 1552_.

After having resided for some time at Paris, this pious young man
retired among you, and, judging from his conduct, I have no doubt
but that he has really the fear of God in him, and is of a truly
modest character. He studied the humanities with considerable
success, has since entered upon theology, and now, that he may
make greater progress in this study, he has resolved to enter your
College and Church. Although he is not inclined to trouble you,
nor, as I trust, any one else, yet as he appeared to me to be a
person of pure and simple piety, I did not choose to send him away
without this testimony. Our two friends who lately went among you
have not yet returned. Would that our pious brethren experienced
some relief![374] About two weeks ago, two others were put in
chains at Lyons.[375] The faithful in Bretagne and Anjou are being
badly treated. One was burnt lately at Bordeaux; others saved
their lives by a perfidious recantation. He is venting his rage
in other parts of the kingdom also. We must, therefore, be busy
while we have opportunity. Adieu, most accomplished sir and revered
brother. May the Lord be ever near you to guide by his Spirit.
Salute your fellow-ministers in my name. My brethren salute you
earnestly.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. copy._--_Imperial Library, Coll. of Dupuy_, 102.]

  [374] See the eloquent appeal addressed to Bullinger, _ante_, pp.
  329, 341. The latter had written to Calvin, giving him an account
  of the fruitless efforts of the Cantons with Henry II., and of the
  haughty response of that monarch: "He lives who delivered his people
  from Egypt; he lives who brought back the captivity from Babylon; he
  lives who defended his Church against Cæsars, kings, and profligate
  princes. Verily we must needs pass through many afflictions into
  the kingdom of God. But woe to those who touch the apple of God's
  eye."--_Calv. Opera_, tom. ix. p. 68.

  [375] See the following Letter.



CCXCVI.--TO THE FIVE PRISONERS OF LYONS,--MARTIAL ALBA, PETER
ESCRIVAIN, CHARLES FAVRE, PETER NAVIHERES, BERNARD SEGUIN.[376]

  [376] In the month of April 1552, five young Frenchmen, instructed
  at the school of theology of Lausanne, and devoted to the functions
  of the ministry, made arrangements for returning to their own
  country. These were Martial Alba of Montauban, Peter Ecrivain of
  Gascony, Charles Favre of Blanzac in Angoumois, Peter Navihères of
  Limousin, and Bernard Seguin of La Reole. After having spent some
  days at Geneva, they set out for Lyons, and met on the way at the
  Bourg de Colognes, nigh to L'Ecluse, a stranger, who offered himself
  as their fellow-traveller. They consented without harbouring any
  suspicion. Arrived at Lyons, they parted with their travelling
  companion, who pressed them to visit him at his dwelling of Ainay.
  They went thither without any distrust, were arrested and led
  away to the prisons of that jurisdiction. Such was the origin of
  a long and doleful process, which held the Churches of France
  and Switzerland for a long time in suspense, and during which,
  the blood-thirsty cruelty of the judges was only equalled by the
  constancy of the victims. On the first rumour of the arrest of
  the five students, the Church of Geneva took the matter up, and
  lavished upon the captives, by the voice of Calvin, the most lively
  testimonies of their sympathy.

     Information on various doctrinal points, and assurances of
     Christian sympathy.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 10th of June 1552_.

MY VERY DEAR BRETHREN,--Hitherto I have put off writing to you,
fearing that if the letter fell into bad hands, it might give fresh
occasion to the enemy to afflict you. And besides, I had been
informed how that God wrought so powerfully in you by his grace,
that you stood in no great need of my letters. However, we have
not forgotten you, neither I nor all the brethren hereabouts, as
to whatever we have been able to do for you. As soon as you were
taken, we heard of it, and knew how it had come to pass. We took
care that help might be sent you with all speed, and are now waiting
the result. Those who have influence with the prince in whose power
God has put your lives, are faithfully exerting themselves on your
behalf, but we do not yet know how far they have succeeded in their
suit. Meanwhile, all the children of God pray for you as they are
bound to do, not only on account of the mutual compassion which
ought to exist between members of the same body, but because they
know well that you labour for them, in maintaining the cause of
their salvation. We hope, come what may, that God of his goodness
will give a happy issue to your captivity, so that we shall have
reason to rejoice. You see to what he has called you; doubt not,
therefore, that according as he employs you, he will give you
strength to fulfil his work, for he has promised this, and we know
by experience that he has never failed those who allow themselves to
be governed by him. Even now you have proof of this in yourselves,
for he has shown his power, by giving you so much constancy in
withstanding the first assaults. Be confident, therefore, that
he will not leave the work of his hand imperfect. You know what
Scripture sets before us, to encourage us to fight for the cause
of the Son of God; meditate upon what you have both heard and seen
formerly on this head, so as to put it in practice. For all that I
could say would be of little service to you, were it not drawn from
this fountain. And truly we have need of a much more firm support
than that of men, to make us victorious over such strong enemies as
the devil, death, and the world; but the firmness which is in Christ
Jesus is sufficient for this, and all else that might shake us were
we not established in him. Knowing, then, in whom ye have believed,
manifest what authority he deserves to have over you.

As I hope to write to you again, I shall not at present lengthen
my letter. I shall only reply briefly to the point which brother
Bernard has asked me to solve. Concerning vows, we must hold to
this rule, that it is not lawful to vow to God anything but what he
approves. Now the fact is, that monastic vows tend only to corrupt
his service. As for the second question, we must hold that it is
devilish presumption for a man to vow beyond the measure of his
vocation. Now, the Scripture declares, both in the nineteenth of St.
Matthew and in the seventh of the First to the Corinthians, that
the gift of continence is a special grace. It follows, then, that
those who put themselves in the position and under the necessity of
renouncing marriage for the whole of their life, cannot be acquitted
of rashness, and that by so doing they tempt God. The question
might very easily be spun out to a greater length, by stating that
we ought to consider, first, who He is to whom we vow; secondly, the
nature of that vow; and thirdly, the party making the vow. For God
is too great a master for us to trifle with, and man is bound to
consider his own capabilities; for to present a sacrifice without
obedience, is nothing but thorough pollution. However, this one
point may suffice you to prove to them that the gift of continence
is a special gift, and in suchwise special, that for the most part
it is only for a season. So that he who possessed it for thirty
years, like Isaac, may not do so for the remainder of his life.
Hence you may conclude, that the monks, in binding themselves never
to marry, attempt without faith to promise what is not given to
them. As for their poverty, it is quite the reverse of that which
our Lord enjoined upon his followers.

Concerning the nature of a glorified body, true it is, that the
qualities thereof are changed, but not entirely. For we must
distinguish between the qualities which proceed from the corruption
of sin, and those which belong to and are inseparable from the
nature of the body. St. Paul, in the third chapter of the Epistle
to the Philippians, says that our vile or weak body shall be made
like to the glorious body of Christ. By this humble expression or
_Tapinosis_, he points out which of the qualities that we at present
bear about with us in our bodies are to be changed; those, namely,
which are of the corruptible and fading nature of this world. And on
this subject St. Augustine says, in _the Epistle to Dardanus_, which
in number is the 57th, "_He shall come again in the same form and
substance of the flesh, to which certainly he gave immortality; he
hath not taken away the nature. In this form he must not be supposed
to be everywhere diffused._" This argument he follows out at greater
length, showing that the body of Christ is contained within its own
dimensions. And in fact our glorified bodies will not be ubiquitous,
although they will have that likeness of which St. Paul speaks. As
for the passage of the Apocalypse, the words are these in the fifth
chapter: "_And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth,
and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are
in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and
power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb,
for ever and ever._" Now you see that it is a childish cavil to
apply this to souls in purgatory; for St. John, by the figure which
is called _Prosopopœia_, rather conveys that even the fishes
blessed God. And in regard to the passages of the Doctors, refer
your people to the 27th Epistle of St. Augustine, _To Boniface_,
where he states, toward the end, _that the sacraments have a certain
similitude of those things which they represent_. _From whence it
comes to pass, that after some fashion the sacrament of the body of
Christ may be the body of Christ._ Item, that which he treats of in
the third book, _Of Christian Doctrine_, where he says, among other
things in the fifth chapter, "_Such is the completely miserable
bondage of the soul in conceiving of the signs in place of the
things signified, and never lifting up the eye of the understanding
above the corporeal creature to breathe eternal light_." Item,
in the ninth chapter.--"_The believer knows by experience, and
understands_, [agnoscit] _to what the mystery of baptism, and the
celebration of the body and blood of the Lord, may be referred, so
that the soul can offer religious worship, not in the bondage of the
flesh, but rather in the liberty of the spirit. So to follow the
literal sense, and in suchwise to conceive of the signs instead of
the things sealed or signified by them, is a slavish weakness; that
mere symbols should be so unprofitably interpreted, is the result
of vague error_." I do not heap up quotations, because these will
be quite enough for your purpose. In conclusion, I beseech our good
Lord that he would be pleased to make you feel in every way the
worth of his protection of his own, to fill you with his Holy Spirit
who gives you prudence and virtue, and brings you peace, joy, and
contentment; and may the name of our Lord Jesus be glorified by you
to the edification of his Church!

  [_Fr._--Printed in _Histoire des Martyrs_, lib. iv. p. 225.]



CCXCVII--TO EDWARD VI.[377]

  [377] Calvin wrote this letter to King Edward VI., when dedicating
  to him the following little work: Four Sermons of Master John
  Calvin, treating of matters very profitable for our time, with a
  Brief Exposition of Psalm lxxxvii. Geneva, 1552, in 8vo, inserted
  in the _Recueil des Opuscules_, p. 824. These four sermons have
  been translated at different times into English. In the first,
  Calvin exhorts the faithful to flee from idolatry; in the second,
  he encourages them to suffer everything for Jesus Christ; in the
  third, he shews how highly believers ought to prize the privilege of
  being in the Church of God, where they are at liberty to worship him
  purely; in the last, he shews that this liberty cannot be purchased
  at too high a price.

     Dedication of a new work, and Christian exhortations.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 4th July 1552_.

SIRE,--Although I ought to fear lest my importunity may prove
troublesome to your Majesty, and have indeed on that account
abstained from writing to you more frequently, nevertheless, I have
had the boldness to send you, together with my letters, a short
exposition which I have composed of the 78th (87th)[378] Psalm,
hoping that you would take pleasure in it, and also that the reading
thereof might be profitable to you. As I was one day expounding
it in a sermon to the people, the argument appeared to me so
appropriate for you, that I was forthwith moved to draw up a summary
of it, such as you will see, when it shall please your Majesty
to devote to it one hour only. It is very true, that I treat the
subject generally, without addressing you personally. But as I have
mainly had regard to you in the writing of it, so in the prudent
application and appropriation of it, you will find that it contains
a very profitable lesson for your Majesty.

  [378] An error in the original; we must read 87th.

You know, Sire, how much danger kings and princes are in, lest
the height to which they are raised should dazzle their eyes, and
amuse them here below, while making them forgetful of the heavenly
kingdom; and I doubt not that God hath so warned you against this
evil, to preserve you therefrom, that you are a hundred times more
impressed with it, than those who have no personal experience of
it. Now, in the present Psalm mention is made of the nobleness and
dignity of the Church, which ought so to enrapture both great and
small, that no earthly honours and possessions should hold them
back, or hinder them from aiming to be enrolled among the people
of God. It is indeed a great thing to be a king, and yet more,
over such a country; nevertheless, I have no doubt that you reckon
it beyond comparison better to be a Christian. It is therefore
an invaluable privilege that God has vouchsafed you, Sire, to
be a Christian king, to serve as his lieutenant in ordering and
maintaining the kingdom of Jesus Christ in England.[379] You see,
then, that in acknowledgment of such great benefits received from
his infinite goodness, you ought to be stirred up to employ all your
energies to his honour and service, setting to your subjects an
example of homage to this great King, to whom your Majesty is not
ashamed to submit yourself with all humility and reverence beneath
the spiritual sceptre of his Gospel; and if hitherto you have done
this, so that we have cause to glorify God for his goodness, the
present Psalm will always serve you as a support and a buckler.
Meanwhile, I humbly entreat you, Sire, that this short letter may
serve as a protest and testimony to your Majesty of the hearty
desire I have to do better, if the means were given me.

  [379] For a facsimile of the original of this passage, see Vol. I.

Sire, after having very humbly commended me to your kind favour,
I pray our Lord to fill you with the gifts of his Holy Spirit,
to guide you in all prudence and virtue, to make you prosper and
flourish to the glory of his name.

Your very humble and obedient servant,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr.--British Museum. Harl. Coll._ No. 6989, Art. 83.]



CCXCVIII--TO CRANMER.[380]

  [380] This letter bears no date, but it refers to the subject set
  forth in a preceding letter of Calvin's to Cranmer, p. 345, and we
  have no hesitation in assigning it a place in the course of the same
  year,--perhaps in _July 1552_.

     Calvin exhorts him to prosecute with fresh zeal the Reformation
     of the Church in England, by purging it of the relics of Popery.


[_July 1552._]

Seeing that, at the present time, that which is most of all to be
desired is least likely to be attained, viz., that an assembly of
the most eminent men of learning, from all the various Churches
which have embraced the pure doctrine of the Gospel, after having
discussed separately the controverted topics of the day, might
transmit to posterity, out of the pure word of God, a true and
distinct confession; I nevertheless highly commend the plan which
you, reverend sir, have adopted, to make the English frame for
themselves, without delay, a religious constitution, lest, by
matters remaining longer in an unsettled state, or not being
sufficiently adjusted, the minds of the common people should be
confirmed in their suspense. And it is the duty of all in your
country, who have any influence, to direct their energies with
united zeal toward this object, so that your duties may still be
special. You see what such a position as yours demands, or rather
what God may legitimately require of you in consideration of the
nature of the office which he has imposed on you. Supreme authority
is vested in you--an authority which your high rank entitles you
to, not more than the previously entertained opinion regarding
your wisdom and integrity. The eyes of many are fixed upon you,
either to second your exertions, or to imitate your lukewarmness.
And sincerely do I desire that, under your leadership, they may
be advanced to such an extent during the next three years, that
the difficulties and contests of the present time, caused by the
removing of the grossest superstition, shall have ceased to exist.
I, for my part, acknowledge that our cause has made no little
progress during the short period the Gospel has flourished in
England. But if you reflect on what yet remains to be done, and how
very remiss you have been in many matters, you will discover that
you have no reason to advance towards the goal with less rapidity,
even although the most of the course has, as it were, been gone
over; for I need not inform you that I, as it were, take note of
your assiduity, lest, after having escaped danger, you should become
self-indulgent. But to speak freely, I greatly fear, and this fear
is abiding, that so many autumns will be spent in procrastinating,
that by and by the cold of a perpetual winter will set in. You are
now somewhat advanced in years, and this ought to stimulate you to
increased exertions, so as to save yourself the regret of having
been consciously dilatory, and that you may not leave the world
while matters remain in so disordered a condition. I say matters
are still in a disorganized state, for external religious abuses
have been corrected in such a way as to leave remaining innumerable
young shoots, which are constantly sprouting forth. In fact, I am
informed that such a mass of Papal corruptions remains, as not only
to hide, but almost to extinguish the pure worship of God. Meanwhile
the life of the whole ecclesiastical order is all but extinct,
or at least is not sufficiently vigorous: take, for example, the
preaching of doctrine. Assuredly pure and undefiled religion will
never flourish, until the Churches shall have been at greater pains
to secure suitable pastors, and such as shall conscientiously
discharge the duties of teaching. Satan, indeed, opposes his secret
wiles to the accomplishment of this. I understand that there is
still one shameful obstacle, viz., that the revenues of the Church
have been plundered; truly an insufferable evil. But iniquitous as
this is, there appears to me to be another vice of equal magnitude,
viz., that out of the public revenues of the Church, idle gluttons
are supported who chant vespers in an unknown tongue. I shall say
nothing farther on this point, except that it is inconsistent for
you to approve of such mockery, and it is openly incompatible with
the proper arrangements of the Church; besides, it is in itself
exceedingly ridiculous. I do not doubt, however, but that these
considerations will immediately occur to your own mind, and will
be suggested to you by that most upright man Peter Martyr, whose
counsel I am exceedingly glad to know you enjoy. Difficulties so
numerous and so trying as those against which you are contending,
appear to me a sufficient excuse for the exhortations I have
offered.--Adieu, most distinguished and esteemed Primate. May the
Lord long preserve you in safety; may he fill you more and more with
the Spirit of wisdom and fortitude, and bless your labours! Amen.

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 61.]



CCXCIX.--TO JOHN LINER.[381]

  [381] A letter without address, but evidently, as the date and
  the contents prove, relating to the trial of the five students of
  Lausanne.--(See the letter of the 10th of June, and the note at p.
  355.) The personage to whom Calvin writes, is doubtless John Liner,
  a rich merchant of Saint Gall, settled at Lyons, who often visited
  the scholars in their dungeon, undertook several journeys on their
  behalf, and was unsparing, during the whole course of the suit, in
  tokens of most lively affection.--(_Histoire des Martyrs_, liv. iv.
  pp. 230, 231.) John Liner afterwards retired to his own country,
  where he lived to a very advanced age, and corresponded with Charles
  de Jonvillers, the secretary of Calvin, a correspondence which has
  been preserved to our days in the library of Saint Gall. Note, p.
  363.

     Thanks for the zeal manifested by him on behalf of the prisoners
     of Lyons.


  _This 10th of August 1552._

VERY DEAR SIR AND BROTHER,--We are all bound to give thanks to
God for having made choice of you to assist our poor brethren who
are detained in prison by the enemies of the faith, and having so
strengthened you by the power of his Spirit, that you spare no pains
in so doing. I say that we are bound to give thanks to Him; for
we must needs recognize this work as his, and that it is he alone
who has disposed and directed you thereto. You have also reason to
rejoice at the honour he has done you, in employing you in so worthy
and honourable a service, and giving you grace to perform it. For
however despised and rejected of men, the poor believers persecuted
for the sake of the Gospel may be, yet we know that God esteems them
very pearls; that there is nothing more agreeable to him than our
striving to comfort and help them as much as in us lies. The Lord
Jesus declares, that whatsoever shall have been done to one of the
least of his people, will be acknowledged by him as done to himself.
How then if we have furthered those who fight his battles? For such
are as it were his agents, whom he appoints and ordains for the
defence of his Gospel. Yea, he declares that a cup of water given to
them shall not be lost. If then you have hitherto had the courage
to present so goodly a sacrifice to God, strive to persevere. I
know well that the devil will not fail to whisper in your ear on
many sides to divert you from it, but let God prove the strongest,
as is meet he should. It is said that they who comfort the children
of God in their persecutions which they endure for the Gospel, are
fellow-labourers for the truth. Be content with this testimony, for
it is no light matter that God should uphold and approve us as his
martyrs, even though we do not personally suffer, merely because his
martyrs are helped and comforted by us. And, therefore, although
many tell you the contrary, do not leave off so good a work, or show
yourself weary half-way. I feel assured that you did not look to men
at the first; follow on then as the servant of Him to whom we must
cleave to the end. Reflect, moreover, how many worthy brethren there
are who glorify God for what you are doing, who would be scandalized
if you altered your course. As for the dangers which they set before
you, I have no fear of their coming to pass, for the good brethren
for whom you have done so much, feel themselves so indebted to you,
that were they at liberty, far from being cowardly enough to betray
you, they would expose themselves to death for your sake. You must
also consider, that by the support which they receive from you, they
are the more confirmed, for they have no doubt whatever that God has
directed you to them, as indeed he has. And they have reason to lean
still more firmly upon him, seeing the paternal care he shews them.
Be of good courage, therefore, in this holy work, in which you serve
not only God and his martyrs, but also the whole Church.

Whereupon, my very dear sir and brother, after having heartily
commended myself to you, I pray our good Lord that he would
increase you more and more with the gifts and riches of his Spirit,
for the furtherance of his own honour; and meanwhile, that he would
have you in his keeping.

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. copy._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107.]



CCC.--TO THE FRENCH CHURCH IN LONDON.[382]

  [382] To the brethren of ..., without any further indication.
  The name of the Polish nobleman, John A Lasco, moderator of the
  Congregation of Foreign Protestants at London, informs us to what
  Church this letter was addressed.

  The Reformed Church of London, next to that of Strasbourg the oldest
  of the refugee churches, was formed during the first years of the
  reign of Edward VI., obtained a legal recognition in 1550, had for
  ministers Francis Péruçel, called La Rivière, and Richard Vanville,
  and as moderator an illustrious foreign nobleman, devoted to the
  cause of religious reform, John A Lasco or Laski. Dispersed in 1553,
  under the intolerant reign of Mary, it reconstituted itself under
  the reparative reign of Elizabeth, and reckoned in the list of its
  pastors one of the most distinguished ministers of Geneva, Nicolas
  des Gallars. In its early commencement, that Church, which has been
  perpetuated to our own day, and to which the greater part of the
  French Churches of England, of Scotland, and even of America, owe
  their origin and their organization, was troubled by theological
  disputes, which made the intervention of Calvin needful.

     Exhortations to harmony--Is it lawful to call Mary the Mother of
     God, and to pray for the Pope?


  FROM GENEVA, _this 27th September 1552_.

VERY DEAR AND HONOURED BRETHREN,--As I desire your quiet, to the
end that, being at peace among yourselves, you may be the better
enabled and disposed to serve God, and may do so with the greater
courage, I have grieved for the trouble which some inconsiderate
people have occasioned you, and grieved doubly because they made
a cloak of me and of this Church in order to trouble you. Now, as
they did us injustice in that, it appears to me that you ought to
have been too reasonable and humane to suffer us to be mixed up
and implicated in their follies. One of them, of whom I had heard
complaint made, will bear me witness that I have not encouraged
him in his fault since his return, but have rather endeavoured to
make him feel and understand it, although M. A Lasco had written
to me confidentially that all had been forgiven. I mention this,
because I have heard that they have been reproached with wishing to
make an idol of me and a Jerusalem of Geneva. I have not deserved
that your Church should treat me thus, and even were there twice
the amount of ingratitude, I should not cease to seek your welfare.
But I am constrained to warn you of it, for such proceedings are
calculated rather to ruin than to edify. And however I may seek
to bury such matters in oblivion, I cannot hinder many from being
offended by them. If those who have stirred up these conflicts have
taken occasion to do so from the diversity of ceremonies, as M. A
Lasco has informed me,[383] they have but ill understood in what the
true unity of Christians consists, and how every member is bound to
conform himself to the body of the Church in which he lives. It is
true, that if a different form has been seen and preferred, it is
quite allowable in communicating first of all with the pastor, to
tell him what is thought of it, provided one accommodates one's-self
to the usages of the place where one lives, without clamouring
for novelty, but peaceably conforming to any order that is not
repugnant to the word of God. Now, how the two persons in question
have proceeded I know not, unless I give credit to the testimony
which has been furnished me, namely, that there has been a great
want of consideration, and that they have neither observed due
measure nor modesty. But this I say, because it is well to set such
persons right by gentleness, rather than to make matters worse by
over-violent remedies. Not that I mean to say that they have been
too severely dealt with, but that I have heard it so reported,
although I do not believe it. I think you will not take it ill that
I let you know this, as it can do you no harm.

  [383] A Lasco had composed a work entitled, _The whole Form
  and Manner of the Ecclesiastical Ministry in the Church of the
  Strangers, set up at London by the very faithful Prince, Edward VI._

Concerning the other debatable points, I doubt not but there may
have been somewhat of ignorance in their reproving the way of
speaking of the Virgin Mary as the mother of God, and together
with ignorance, it is possible that there may have been rashness
and too much forwardness, for, as the old proverb says, The most
ignorant are ever the boldest. However, to deal with you with
brotherly frankness, I cannot conceal that that title being commonly
attributed to the Virgin in sermons is disapproved, and, for my
own part, I cannot think such language either right, or becoming,
or suitable. Neither will any sober-minded people do so, for which
reason I cannot persuade myself that there is any such usage in your
church, for it is just as if you were to speak of the blood, of the
head, and of the death of God. You know that the Scriptures accustom
us to a different style; but there is something still worse about
this particular instance, for to call the Virgin Mary the mother of
God, can only serve to confirm the ignorant in their superstitions.
And he that would take a pleasure in that, shews clearly that he
knows not what it is to edify the Church.

As for the name of the Bishop of Rome, that is a foolish question
to dwell upon. We bestow too much honour upon those horned cattle
in calling them bishops, for the name is too honourable for them.
Neither does the title of Pope any better suit the brigand who has
usurped God's seat. In reference to this, I would follow unbiassed
that which is commonly received. The chief practical point of
difference is about the form of prayer. I know that we must make
a due distinction between the individual and the abominable and
accursed seat (of the beast). But I do think that those who pray
specially for him who bears such a mark of reprobation, have surely
much time to spare. I lay down laws for no one, but it were much
to be desired that the sobriety of our prayers should shew the
reverence we feel for the name of God. I speak with such freedom as
you ought to bear from a brother, and I hope, too, that you will
bear with it; for I shall be quite ready to suffer the word of
admonition from you whenever you disapprove of what I write to you.
Moreover, when you have well weighed the matter, and that each is
willing, without contention, to submit to the truth, I hope that
harmony will easily be established amongst us. Furthermore, if
this annoyance has been hard upon you, have some compassion upon
us, who have here daily far more rude encounters to sustain. And
for my part, I shall continue to pray our good Lord as I do, that
it would please him to increase you more and more in the graces of
his Spirit, to make your labours profitable, and to strengthen your
hands in the exercise of the rule which he has committed to you. And
my brethren will do the same, for I know their mind towards you.

  [_Fr. Copy._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107.]



CCCI.--TO THE SEIGNEURS OF GENEVA.[384]

  [384] On the back, in the handwriting of Calvin: "The case against
  Trolliet."

  Trolliet, of Geneva, a discontented and unsettled spirit, became,
  first of all, a hermit in Burgundy, and lived in affectation of
  sanctity. Soon tired, however, of playing this part, he re-appeared
  at Geneva, and solicited the functions of the ministry, from which
  he was warned off by the influence of Calvin, against whom he vowed
  an irreconcilable hatred. Thenceforward, he made himself remarkable
  in the ranks of the libertine party, by the violence of his attacks
  against the Reformer. He arraigned his writings, and offered to
  prove, that in the book of _The Christian Institution_, Calvin had
  made God _the author of sin_. These accusations, emulously repeated
  by the adversaries of the Reformer, and speciously tricked up with
  the authority of Melanchthon, provoked sharp discussions, which
  were only half appeased by the sentence of the Seigneurs of Geneva,
  who approved the _Christian Institution_, while at the same time
  declaring Trolliet, "homme de bien," out of consideration for the
  party to which he belonged. The whole of the papers relating to the
  controversy of Calvin with Trolliet, are to be found collected in
  Vol. 145 of the _MSS. of the Library of Geneva_.

     Reply of Calvin to the Syndics of Geneva in the case of Trolliet.


  _6th October 1552._

The answer of John Calvin, minister of the word of God in the Church
of God, presented this Tuesday, the 6th of October 1552, to our
honourable Lords Messieurs the Syndics and Council, against the
writing produced on the Monday preceding, by the Seigneur Trolliet:--

In the first place, Messieurs, as for what he terms his written
defence in his disputation against me, I do not understand what
he aims at, nor for what purpose he says this, unless to acquire
reputation with the ignorant, from having disputed with John
Calvin. And your Excellencies know what the whole procedure was,
namely, that he became confused, having no reply to make, except
that he did not understand it. Wherefore, it would be well that he
should get rid of vain-glory, which has too much incited him already
to give unnecessary trouble and annoyance, as well to himself as to
others. For had he walked as modestly as he ought, according to his
measure, this contention would never have arisen.

But the worst is, that he pretends to sustain his charge against me,
and, nevertheless, misrepresents the whole argument. For the point
which was debated on the first day of September, was that he charged
me with making God the author of sin, which I denied with all due
protestation, for it is an utterly execrable blasphemy. Whereupon he
attempted to prove it, alleging the passages which he cites in his
written representation. So that the main point of our case, as he
has maintained in your presence more than ten times over, lies in
this,--Whether I have made God the cause of evil and of sin, or not.
And but for this, there was no difficulty whatever regarding this
first point. For I do not disavow anything that I have written. But
I say that we ought to have a horror of applying the word sin, to
God; seeing that in him there is nothing but all equity and justice,
even as he is both the rule and the fountain thereof. Wherefore I am
amazed that he was not ashamed of denying it. But be that as it may,
if he be obstinate in his denial, I require, as right and reason
enjoins, that it may please you, before going farther, to order
your secretary to give me an act and extract to that effect. For I
ought not, and cannot suffer such a reproach to be fastened upon
me, without clearing myself as I ought. Moreover, in the sentences
which he quotes as extracts from my _Institution_, he does me great
wrong, having given them in a detached and garbled form. And he even
thrusts in and mixes up with the doctrine which is avowedly mine,
the objections which are made to it by blasphemers. He ought to have
been much ashamed, when I demonstrated that by such means Saint Paul
might be charged with having called God unrighteous. But that he
should persist in such a course, is altogether unbearable. Again,
that which he brings forward on the first page, from leaf 461, is
wrongly stated, and contrary to my true meaning, seeing that he
accumulates there what I have said about the wicked, whom I reprove
and condemn.[385]

  [385] "Since we are all corrupt and contaminate by vice, it cannot
  be but God must hate us, and that not with tyrannical cruelty,
  but with reasonable equity.... That all the children of Adam come
  forward to contend and dispute against their Creator, because by his
  eternal Providence, they were devoted, before they were born, to
  perpetual calamity. When, on the contrary, God brings them to know
  themselves, how can they murmur at that? If they have all been taken
  out of a corrupt mass, it is no way marvellous that they are liable
  to condemnation. Let them not therefore accuse God of iniquity,
  because by his eternal decree they are ordained to condemnation, to
  which their very nature makes them amenable."--_Institution of the
  Christian Religion_, edit, of 1554, p. 461.

However, I am free to confess, that I have stated that God not
only has foreseen, but also foreordained, the fall of Adam, which
I maintain to be true,[386] not without good grounds and evidences
from holy writ. The opposite party, without alluding to the proofs
which I bring forward, says that I have spoken amiss, and at the
same time can allege nothing to shew that I have done so, except,
indeed, that he is pleased to arrive at that conclusion. Judge,
Messieurs, whether this be equitable.

  [386] "The first man fell, because God thought it fit. Now, as to
  why he thought it fit, we know nothing. Yet it is certain, that he
  has not thus decided, unless because he saw that it would advance
  the glory of his name.... Man then falls, according as it has been
  ordained of God, but he falls by his own vice."--_Ibid._ edit, of
  1551, p. 463.

"Although that by the eternal Providence of God man has been created
for that state of misery in which he is, yet notwithstanding he has
derived the cause of that misery from himself, and not from God.
For he perishes only because of his having, through perversity,
degenerated from the pure nature which God had given him."--_Ibid._,
p. 464.

On the second proposition:--

As to his accusing me of having written--That man is by the
ordinance and will of God under the necessity of sinning; I much
wish, as I have so often said, that people would not attribute to
me that jargon of the monks, which I have never used. And indeed
it is only those hypocrites who have ever twaddled thus. Let then
the doctrine, as I state it, be attentively considered, and I am
ready to acknowledge that the wicked, sin of necessity, and that
such necessity is by the ordinance and will of God; but I also add,
that such necessity is without constraint, so that he who sins,
cannot excuse himself by saying, that he was compelled thereto. And
I prove this doctrine so clearly from holy Scripture, that it is
impossible for any living man to resist it. And it amazes me, that
the adverse party should not display his subtlety in controverting
what I have said before you, and that he even conceals the proofs
which I have abundantly brought forward in my books. He says that
he has maintained contrary opinions, without the will or the power
to approve of mine. But were he the most learned personage in the
world, it would be too much to insist upon being believed, while
simply answering that he neither will nor can consent to what is
proposed to him. So much the less reason is there for a man who
is scarcely at all versed in the holy Scriptures, and who is no
competent judge in theological matters, to expect that those to
whom God has vouchsafed grace to understand them a little better,
should be reproved according to his fancy. Now, then, honourable
Seigneurs, if the proofs which you have heard are not sufficient,
I offer to make them more complete, as often and whenever it may
please you. And for the rest, I refer to what is contained in the
Book concerning the predestination and providence of God.[387]

  [387] This is the book: _De Æterna Dei Prædestinatione et
  Providentia._ Genève, 1550, in 8vo; translated into French the same
  year.

On the contradictions which the Seigneur Trolliet has imagined.

The opposing party thinks that I contradict myself, when I teach
that a man ought rather to search for the cause of his condemnation
in his corrupt nature, than in the predestination of God; and does
not see that I there expressly state, that there are two causes,
the one concealed in the eternal counsel of God, and the other open
and manifest, in the sin of man. Now, since he confesses that this
is true, he condemns himself by his own mouth and sign-manual. And
as for me, I willingly accept that confession, which shews plainly
that he has never understood a single point of the case which he
discusses so boldly. Here, then, Messieurs, is the very core of the
whole question: that I say, that all the reprobate will be convicted
of guilt by their own consciences, and that thus their condemnation
is righteous, and that they err in neglecting what is quite evident,
to enter instead into the secret counsels of God, which to us are
inaccessible. The Scripture, however, shews us clearly, that God has
predestined men to such ends as he chose them to reach. But as to
why or how this is done, we must remain ignorant, because it has not
been revealed to us.

Touching the contradiction which the adverse party conceits that he
has brought forward from the second page of the 463d leaf, it is
marvellous, that after having been so disgracefully cast in such a
frivolous objection, he should return to it anew. I say, in that
passage, that it is perverse to pry into the secrets of God whereto
we are unable to attain, in order to search for the origin of the
condemnation of mankind, while passing over the corruption of their
nature, from whence it manifestly proceeds. However, this does
not mean that the counsel of God does not overrule in a sovereign
degree the disposal of everything, although proximate causes may
strike our eyes. That were as much as to find a contradiction in
these propositions, which are all those of holy writ: That man is
not nourished by his labour, nor by his industry, but by the grace
of God alone. That it is not the heat or influence of the sun which
makes the earth fruitful, but the pure grace of God. That it is
not bread that sustains and nourishes us, but the strength which
God of his goodness puts into us. And on the other hand, that the
idle man deserves to starve. Item, that the earth will deny us
pasturage. Item, that we are sustained and strengthened by bread.
Now the solution is quite easy when we learn to distinguish between
the sovereign cause, and those which are secondary, and more upon a
level with human understanding.

As to the passages extracted out of the book of Melanchthon,[388]
I confess that God is not the author of sin. I have even expressly
maintained this article of faith in my books, and as warmly as
could be required from a faithful servant of God. It is therefore
superfluous to set up this as a matter of dispute between us.
Notwithstanding, I must confess, as I have formerly declared, that
the method of instruction which Melanchthon adopts, is different
from mine. I have also, honourable Seigneurs, explained to you the
cause of this. It is, that Melanchthon, being a timorous man, has
accommodated himself too much to the common feeling of mankind,
that he might not give occasion to over-curious people to seek to
pry into the secret things of God. And thus, as at last appears,
he has spoken of the present question rather as a philosopher than
a theologian, having no better authority to rest upon than that of
Plato. And then evidently he aims at a middle course, as if he would
confess that he swam between two currents, which is what the adverse
party ought to take rather more into account.[389]

  [388] This is the famous book of the _Common Places_ (_Loci
  Theologici_), translated into French under the care of Calvin: _The
  Summe of Theology, or Common Places of Melanchthon_, translated from
  the Latin, by John Calvin. With a Preface. 1546, in 8vo.

  [389] It is not uninteresting to compare this estimate formed by
  Calvin of Melanchthon, with the remarkable one contained in the
  preface to the _Common Places_:--"I perceive that the author, being
  a person of profound knowledge, has not chosen to enter into subtile
  disputations, nor to treat these matters with that high degree of
  skill which it would have been so easy for him to employ. But he
  has brought himself down as much as he could, having only regard to
  edification. It is, certes, the style and fashion which we should
  observe, did not our adversaries constrain us by their cavils to
  turn aside from this course.... The same about predestination,
  because he sees now-a-days so many flighty spirits who are but too
  much given to curiosity, and who go beyond bounds in this matter.
  Wishing to provide against this danger, he has proposed to touch
  only on what was needful to be known, leaving all else buried out
  of sight, rather than by disclosing all he could, to give the reins
  to much perplexing and confused disputation, from whence arises no
  good fruit. _I confess that the whole of what God has been pleased
  to reveal to us in Scripture ought not to be suppressed, whatsoever
  happens_; but he who seeks to give profitable instruction to his
  readers, may very well be excused for dwelling upon what he knows to
  be most essential, passing lightly over or leaving out of sight that
  which he does not expect to be equally profitable."

As for the rest, most honourable Seigneurs, he who would place
Melanchthon and myself in opposition, greatly wrongs both the
one and the other, as well as the whole Church of God. I honour
Melanchthon as much on account of the excellent knowledge which is
in him, as for his virtues; and more than all, because of his having
laboured faithfully to further the Gospel. If I find anything to
reprove, I do not conceal it from him, as he gives me full liberty
not to do so. As for him, there are witnesses more than enough,
who know how much he loves me. And I know that he would detest
those who sought to shelter themselves behind him, to disparage my
doctrine in any way. Moreover, such sort of people only seek to sow
tares and scandals to obstruct the course of the Gospel. I shall
not waste my time in disproving these propositions, brought forward
by the adverse party, in which Melanchthon gives satisfaction to
none of the learned, because he yields to too tender a caution, not
venturing to say what he knows to be true, because he fears that all
may not be capable of hearing it. It suffices that I have produced
to you letters under his hand, wherein appears what I have advanced.
But even if license were given to the adverse party to form any
conclusion he might think proper, and to make what resolutions he
liked upon the writings of learned men, you would be at his mercy
as to receiving three Sacraments,--among which is the confessional,
because, forsooth, Melanchthon receives them. This I merely
mention, that he may learn to know himself better, and not to be so
excessively eager to throw himself into the battle-field.

As for myself, most honourable Seigneurs, having the assurance of
my conscience, that what I have taught and written has not been
the creation of my own brain, but that I have had it from God, it
must needs be that I maintain it, as I think I have fully done, if
I would not prove traitor to the truth. And should it seem good to
you, I offer anew to reply more fully, until the adverse party be
convicted of having falsely accused me, contrary to all truth and
reason.[390]

  [_Fr. orig._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 145.]

  [390] Here is the sentence pronounced on this occasion by the
  Seigneurs of Geneva:--

"_Wednesday, 9th November 1552._--Having heard in council the
worshipful and learned ministers of the word of God, Master
William Farel, and Master Peter Viret, and after them worshipful
Monsieur John Calvin, minister of this city of Geneva, and noble
John Trolliet, also of Geneva, in their depositions and replies,
now often repeated, touching the _Christian Institution_ of the
said Monsieur Calvin, and having well considered the whole, the
council has determined and concluded, that all things well heard
and understood, it has pronounced and declared, and pronounces and
declares the said book of the _Institution_ of the said Calvin, to
be well and holily done, and his holy doctrine to be God's doctrine,
and that he be held as good and true minister of this city, and that
henceforward no person dare to speak against the said book, nor
the said doctrine. We command both parties, and all concerned, to
observe this.

  "My said Lords Syndics and Council,

  "ROSET."



CCCII.--TO FAREL.[391]

  [391] While Calvin was eloquently pleading among others the cause
  of the persecuted faithful of France, he was struggling with
  an ever-increasing energy for the suppression of scandals, and
  the formation of a new people at Geneva. His efforts, however,
  seemed powerless before the enormity of the evil, and the furious
  resistance of that party, which history has justly branded with
  the name of Libertine. The cabal of the factious gathered strength
  from day to day, and disorders were committed with impunity. The
  task of reforming the public morals, courageously undertaken by
  the ministers, was almost absolutely fruitless. Ashamed of such
  excesses, but incapable of suppressing them, the Great Council
  increased the severity of its edicts, but had not the power to
  impose them upon the multitude who were banded together against
  the _foreigners_. The French were a particular object of fury to
  the factions. They beat them in the streets, and subjected them
  to all sorts of outrages. Most absurd accusations were circulated
  against them, and were believed by the multitude. The presence of
  Farel and Viret in Geneva could not quiet these troubles; and it
  was in vain that these courageous ministers presented themselves
  before the councils, "to commend to them the care of religion and
  morals."--_Chronique_ of Roset, c. v. pp. 42, 44; Ruchat, c. v. pp.
  489, 490.

     Conspiracy of the Libertines--energy of the Reformer--struggles
     of Viret at Lausanne.


  GENEVA, _26th October 1552_.

I occasionally abstain from writing, from having nothing important
to write about, but my material is in these days more abundant
than I could wish--so much so, that it has kept me from writing
altogether. For I think it better silently to repress the very
sad cares which torture me, rather than seek consolation by
inconveniencing you. Even if I did throw part of the burden on your
shoulders, I should rather increase than diminish the evil. The very
act of writing, moreover, by awakening the memory, irritates the
wound. I was aware that our enemies were making secret preparations
for an insurrection, for four months past; the fire was to be
kindled at the next election, in the month of November, when it is
customary to appoint the chief magistrate. Bernard had given me a
hint of it. But we were ignorant of the charge by which they thought
to oppress and even overwhelm us. But the Lord has seasonably
dragged them forth to the light. They spread a rumour among the
petty tradesmen, and then bawled out in the assembly hall, that
forty thousand pieces of gold were deposited with three Frenchmen,
as a reward for betraying the city. They made indirect allusions to
the three guardians of the poor, among whom was Du Tailly, whom the
Lord lately called to himself, and who is very greatly lamented by
all the pious. Wendel was not ashamed to allege, in the presence of
the Senate, that there were three hundred thousand. This conjecture
deceived them, for, when they had hoped, by their atrocious calumny
to kindle a fire which should consume us in a moment, the flame by
and by ended in smoke. They are, notwithstanding, in the meantime,
acting with careless effrontery, seeing, as they do, the inactivity
of those who ought to have mended matters, which they could have
done with the utmost ease had they possessed a single spark of
manliness. For what would not the wicked dare when there is impunity
for all evils? But I trust that Christ will ere long prove our
deliverer.

He[392] has neglected what he had promised to Viret. I, for my
part, am doing all I can to refresh his memory. But he is amusing
himself with us. It were better, therefore, for Viret to come of
his own accord. The proper time would be, however, before the
Martinalia, when despair will drive our enemies to act like the
Bacchæ if he does not make his appearance. But he is drawn away
elsewhere. And the affairs which he has in hand are to me of so much
importance, that I consider it sinful to place any obstacle in his
way, or to offer the very least hindrance.[393] On the contrary, I
feel exceedingly ashamed that I have afforded him no more comfort
under so great difficulties, than if I had been buried. Although,
therefore, most anxious that you should encourage us with your
presence, it must nevertheless be deferred until another occasion,
especially as it would be better that both of you should be present
at the same time. I scarcely know what to say regarding Garnier's
letter.[394] The specimen which I had lately of his character
in a private matter, will prevent me in future from having any
dealings with him. You will say the public position of the Church
is concerned. Pardon my timidity, for I fear very much that no men
are more insolent and haughty, than those of a servile disposition.
Had it been convenient for Viret to come here, nothing could have
been more useful and appropriate, than for us to hold a consultation
on the leading topics, before the matter had proceeded farther. I
fear, however, that it will be scarcely possible for Viret to be
here before the completion of the Bernese embassy. Accordingly,
I have no one to consult with, unless I lay the matter before my
fellow-ministers. I am persuaded, however, that no settlement should
be come to, until you reach us.

  [392] Probably Amy Perrin.

  [393] Placed by his character and talents at the head of the
  Vaudois clergy, Viret had to maintain a ceaseless struggle against
  the encroachments and ecclesiastical tyranny of the Seigneurs of
  Berne.--See Ruchat, c. v. p. 488.

  [394] Minister of the French Church of Strasbourg.

Adieu, most upright and very dear brother. Salute that noble man,
the Seigneur de Dammartin, your colleague, and the rest of our
friends. May the Lord guard you all by his protection, enrich
you with the gifts of his Spirit, and bless you in all things.
Amen.--Yours truly,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]



CCCIII.--TO VIRET.

     Literary labours of Theodore Beza.


GENEVA, _26th October 1552_.

After I had written Farel, our friend Gerold undertook, at my
request, to make a journey thither. There is, accordingly a letter
designed for both of you, which, having read, you will show to him
at your own convenience. I ask no more of you than that you will
think of us when it suits you. Your letter was not to be answered
until something important had been done, which has not been the case
as yet. You will tell Beza not to be anxious about the translating
of my discourses,[395] as I have handed over the task to Baduel as
if with his permission. Indeed, I felt ashamed, from the first, that
his valuable time should be taken up with work so very unworthy of
him--time that could and ought to be better occupied. I, on this
account, embraced the more gladly the opportunity afforded me of
laying the burden on another. He will be urged by and by, by our
friend Robert, to engage in a sort of lucubration in which he will
be of greater advantage to the Church.[396]--Adieu, brother and
very worthy friend. Salute the brethren earnestly, also your wife
and little daughters. May the Lord preserve you all; may the Spirit
guide you by his wisdom, and sustain you by his might.

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]

  [395] _Quatre Sermons traictans des matières fort utiles pour nostre
  temps._ 1552, 8vo. _Opuscules_, p. 824.

  [396] Beza published this year a new edition of his Tragedy of
  Abraham under the following title:--_Le Sacrifice d'Abraham,
  Tragédie Française, séparée en trois Pauses à la façon des Actes de
  Comédies, avec des Chœurs, un Prologue et un Epilogue_. 1552, 8vo.



CCCIV.--TO AMBROISE BLAURER.[397]

  [397] Ambroise Blaurer, of a noble family of Constance, entered
  in early youth a convent, which he soon left to become a preacher
  of reform, for which he had contracted a taste from reading the
  writings of Luther. Present at the Controversy of Berne with
  Zwingle, Œeolampadius, Bucer, and Capito, he beheld his preaching
  attended with the most gratifying success, and saw the Gospel
  victoriously established in his native town, where he exercised his
  valuable ministry until the war of Smalkald. Having at that time
  refused submission to the _Interim_, he left Constance, and retired
  first to Winterthur, near Zurich, and afterwards to Bienne, whilst
  his unfortunate city, fallen into the hands of the Imperialists,
  saw itself deprived at once of the Gospel and of liberty. Esteemed
  by Calvin, Blaurer witnessed his influence at Zurich and at Berne
  solicited more than once by the Reformer of Geneva. He died in
  1567.--See Beza, _Icones_, and Melch. Adam, _Theolog. Germ._, p. 413.

     Troubles at Geneva--sad intelligence from France and
     Germany--steady in the promises of God.


GENEVA, _19th November 1552_.

As I hope that my dearly beloved brother Beza will be with you
about the same time that you receive this letter, and as he will
inform you more fully as to my own state and that of the Church
than I can in the longest epistle, I shall at present be brief.
He will tell you the annoyance and disturbance we suffered from
some worthless wretches, whose sole power of injuring us lies in
the impunity and license which is allowed them. But God apparently
wishes us to be destitute of human aid, that himself alone may
protect us. In the meantime, though I little expected it, I live a
survivor of my native town. The city in which I was born has lately
been utterly destroyed by fire.[398] We are also compelled to hear
daily of fearful disasters throughout all Picardy, but so far is
the King's fierceness from being subdued by them, that never was
his pride more insulting to God. I wish that I might at length hear
from your beloved Germany something that might cheer me; yet as
nothing now appears but what is saddening, or at least confused,
I scarcely venture to ask what is doing there. And I suppose you
also are filled with alarm whenever any news is announced, fearing
lest some addition be made to the existing evils. Unless the Lord
stretch forth his hand to us from heaven, the wise and far-sighted
perceive that these misfortunes, severe and bitter as they are, are
but a gentle prelude to tremendous calamities. But although Satan
is going about everywhere with fearful license, yet if we consider
the desperate wickedness of the world, it is wonderful that God
has not given him much greater liberty. But we who have our anchor
fixed in heaven, must sail amid these troubled storms just as in the
peaceful haven, until the Lord brings us to the blissful rest of
his own kingdom.

  [398] In a letter to an unknown personage, (_Opera_, tom. ix. p.
  238,) Calvin mentions this same event, adding to it a curious detail
  taken from the letter of an eye-witness: "Among other things, he
  informed me of a circumstance which I am unwilling to withhold
  from you--that a striking spectacle presented itself to him in the
  destruction of our city, viz., that my father's house stood entire
  after all the others had been reduced to ashes." Farther on he
  adds,--"I have no doubt but that God wishes to make this a testimony
  against all those of our city who, eight or ten days before, had
  burnt in effigy Monsieur de Normandie."

F---- promised to hand over to you, my letters to Beza. If he
has not come to you, he will send them to Farel at his earliest
opportunity. Robert Stephens has my Commentary on John in the
press.[399] As soon as he has finished it, I shall cause a copy to
be sent to you.

  [399] _Commentarius in Evangelium Johannis._ Geneva, 1553. Fol.
  Robert Estienne.

Adieu, most distinguished sir, and excellent servant of Christ,
deserving of my hearty regard. May the Lord continue to guide you by
his Spirit, to shield you by his protection, and to bestow upon you
every kind of blessing. Salute your fellow-minister earnestly in my
name. My colleagues both salute you, and those who were lately my
companions. I desire you to convey my regards to the treasurer of
your city, and to the other pious and wise men. I beseech you very
earnestly to remember me in your prayers, for I am more in need of
this aid at present than words can express. Adieu, together with
your wife and family.--Yours sincerely,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. Copy._--_Library of Zurich._ Coll. Hottinger, F. 43, p. 464.]



CCCV.--TO MELANCHTHON.[400]

  [400] See Letter, p. 270. Doubly afflicted by the wars which
  were desolating Germany, and by the disorders which were rending
  the Church, Melanchthon had maintained a long silence, which
  was only broken on the 1st October 1552, by a touching letter
  to Calvin:--"Reverend sir and very dear brother,--I should have
  written you frequently, had I been able to secure trustworthy
  letter-carriers. I should have preferred a conversation with you on
  many questions of very serious interest, inasmuch as I set a very
  high value on your judgment, and am conscious that the integrity
  and candour of your mind is unexceptionable. I am at present living
  as if in a wasps' nest. But perhaps I shall ere long put off this
  mortal life for a brighter companionship in heaven." Full of
  affection and respect for Melanchthon, whose character he venerated,
  while he freely blamed him for his weakness and indecision, Calvin
  made known, in turn, to the German Reformer, the struggles of all
  sorts which he had to undergo at Geneva, and with which the name of
  Melanchthon himself is found mixed up, owing to the astute intrigues
  of the Libertines, who had an interest in involving these two great
  men in mutual opposition.

     Earnest desires for the continuance of their mutual
     affection--disputes with Trolliet--longing for agreement in
     doctrine regarding the Communion and Election.


  _28th November 1552._

Nothing could have come to me more seasonably at this time than
your letter, which I received two months after its despatch. For,
in addition to the very great troubles with which I am so sorely
consumed, there is almost no day on which some new pain or anxiety
does not occur. I should, therefore, be in a short time entirely
overcome by the load of evils under which I am oppressed, did not
the Lord by his own means alleviate their severity; among which
it was no slight consolation to me to know that you are enjoying
tolerable health, such at least as your years admit of and the
delicate state of your body, and to be informed, by your own
letter, that your affection for me had undergone no change. It was
reported to me that you had been so displeased by a rather free
admonition of mine--which, however, ought to have affected you far
otherwise--that you tore the letter to pieces in the presence of
certain witnesses. But even if the messenger was not sufficiently
trustworthy, still, after a long lapse of time, his fidelity was
established by various proofs, and I was compelled at length to
suspect something. Wherefore I have learned the more gladly that
up to this time our friendship remains safe, which assuredly, as
it grew out of a heartfelt love of piety, ought to remain for
ever sacred and inviolable. But it greatly concerns us to cherish
faithfully and constantly to the end the friendship which God has
sanctified by the authority of his own name, seeing that herein is
involved either great advantage or great loss even to the whole
Church. For you see how the eyes of many are turned upon us, so
that the wicked take occasion from our dissensions to speak evil,
and the weak are only perplexed by our unintelligible disputations.
Nor, in truth, is it of little importance to prevent the suspicion
of any difference having arisen between us from being handed down
in any way to posterity; for it is worse than absurd that parties
should be found disagreeing on the very principles, after we have
been compelled to make our departure from the world. I know and
confess, moreover, that we occupy widely different positions; still,
because I am not ignorant of the place in his theatre to which God
has elevated me, there is no reason for my concealing that our
friendship could not be interrupted without great injury to the
Church. And that we may act independent of the conduct of others,
reflect, from your own feeling of the thing, how painful it would
be for me to be estranged from that man whom I both love and esteem
above all others, and whom God has not only nobly adorned with
remarkable gifts in order to make him distinguished in the eyes
of the whole Church, but has also employed as his chief minister
for conducting matters of the highest importance. And surely it is
indicative of a marvellous and monstrous insensibility, that we so
readily set at nought that sacred unanimity, by which we ought to be
bringing back into the world the angels of heaven. Meanwhile, Satan
is busy scattering here and there the seeds of discord, and our
folly is made to supply much material. At length he has discovered
fans of his own, for fanning into a flame the fires of discord. I
shall refer to what happened to us in this Church, causing extreme
pain to all the godly; and now a whole year has elapsed since we
were engaged in these conflicts. Certain worthless wretches, after
stirring up strife amongst us, in reference to the free election of
God, and the sad bondage of the human will, and after creating a
public disturbance, had nothing more plausible to urge in defence of
their grievous opposition than the authority of your name.[401] And
after they had found out how easy it was for us to refute whatever
arguments they adduced, they tried to crush us, forsooth, by this
artifice,--by asking, if we were willing openly to disagree with
you. And yet, such was the moderation observed by us, that least
of all did they extort what they were adroitly seeking to obtain.
Therefore, all my colleagues and myself openly professed to hold the
same opinion on that doctrine which you hold. Not a word escaped us,
in the whole discussion, either less honourable towards yourself
than was seemly, or calculated to diminish confidence in you.[402]
Meanwhile, nevertheless, such indefinite and reserved expression of
opinion cannot but pain me exceedingly; and it cannot but pain me,
that opportunity is being left to the evil-disposed for harassing
the Church, after our death, as often as they please; while the
conflicting parties will array against each other the opinions of
those who ought to have spoken, as with one mouth, one and the same
thing. It is neither surprising, nor a thing greatly to be lamented,
that Osiander has withdrawn himself from us; yet he withdrew only
after a violent attack. For you were long ago aware that he belonged
to that race of wild animals which are never tamed; and I always
ranked him amongst the number of those who were a disgrace to us.
And assuredly, the very first day that I saw him, I abhorred the
wicked disposition and abominable manners of the man. As often as
he felt inclined to praise the agreeable and excellent wine, he had
these words in his mouth: "I am that I am;" also, "This is the Son
of the living God;" which he manifestly produced as mockeries of the
Deity. Wherefore, I have the more frequently wondered that such a
despicable person should at all be encouraged by your indulgence.
In truth, I was particularly astonished on reading a passage in
a certain preface of yours, where, after the proof of his folly
at Worms, you commended him rather more than enough. But let him
retire: it is an advantage to us to have got rid of him. I had
rather that certain others were retained. Nevertheless,--to pass by
these also,--the opposition, which is too plainly manifest in our
modes of teaching, pains me not a little. I, for my part, am well
aware that, if any weight is due to the authority of men, it were
far more just that I should subscribe your opinions than you mine.
But that is not the question; nor is it even a thing to be desired
by the pious ministers of Christ. This, in all truth, we ought both
to seek, viz., to come to an agreement on the pure truth of God.
But, to speak candidly, religious scruples prevent me from agreeing
with you on this point of doctrine, for you appear to discuss the
freedom of the will in too philosophical a manner; and in treating
of the doctrine of election, you seem to have no other purpose,
save that you may suit yourself to the common feeling of mankind.
And it cannot be attributed to hallucination, that you, a man acute
and wise, and deeply versed in Scripture, confound the election of
God with his promises, which are universal. For nothing is more
certain than that the Gospel is addressed to all promiscuously,
but that the Spirit of faith is bestowed on the elect alone, by
peculiar privilege. The promises are universal. How does it happen,
therefore, that their efficacy is not equally felt by all? For this
reason, because God does not reveal his arm to all. Indeed, among
men but moderately skilled in Scripture, this subject needs not to
be discussed, seeing that the promises of the Gospel make offer
of the grace of Christ equally to all; and God, by the external
call, invites all who are willing to accept of salvation. Faith,
also, is a special gift. I think I have clearly expounded this
whole question, involved and intricate though it be, in a book but
very lately published. Indeed, the matter is so obvious, that no
one of sound judgment can feel persuaded otherwise, than that you
are giving out what is quite different from your real inclination.
It increases my anxiety, and at the same time my grief, to see you
in this matter to be almost unlike yourself; for I heard, when the
whole formula of the agreement of our Church with that of Zurich was
laid before you, you instantly seized a pen and erased that sentence
which cautiously and prudently makes a distinction between the elect
and the reprobate. Which procedure, taking into consideration the
mildness of your disposition, not to mention other characteristics,
greatly shocked me. Accordingly, I do not ask you to endure the
reading of my book, or even a part of it, because I think it would
be useless to do so. Would that we might have an opportunity of
talking over these matters face to face! I am not ignorant of your
candour, of your transparent openness and moderation; as for your
piety, it is manifest to angels and to the whole world. Therefore,
this whole question would be easily, as I hope, arranged between
us; wherefore, if an opportunity should present itself, I would
desire nothing more than to pay you a visit. But if it shall indeed
turn out as you apprehend, it will be no slight comfort to me in
circumstances sad and grievous, to see you and embrace you before
that I shall take my departure from this world. Here we enjoy least
of all that repose which you fancy we enjoy. There is much trouble,
annoyance, and even disorder, among us. Full in view is the enemy,
who are continually imperilling our lives by new dangers. We are at
a distance of three days' journey from Burgundy. The French forces
are but an hour's march from our gates. But because nothing is more
blessed than to fight under the banner of Christ, there is no reason
why these obstacles should prevent you from paying me a visit.
Meanwhile, you will greatly oblige me by informing me of your own
and the Churches' condition.--Adieu, most distinguished sir and
heartily esteemed brother. May the Lord protect you by his power,
guide you by his Spirit, and bless your pious labours. My colleague,
and many pious and judicious men, reverently salute you.

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 66.]

  [401] The same fact is related in a letter of Calvin to Dryander
  in the following terms: "After that monk let loose against us from
  the service of M. de Falais had been condemned, a plot having
  been clandestinely hatched, a noisy fellow was found who, not
  only at table in private families, but up and down the taverns,
  kept constantly bawling, that we made God the author of sin, and
  otherwise traduced our ministry in the most insulting manner
  possible. When I saw that these evenomed words were spread about
  everywhere, by means of which profligate men were intriguing, by no
  means covertly, to overthrow the whole kingdom of Christ in this
  city, I mildly admonished the people to be on their guard against
  them. I also pointed out to the Senate how dangerous dilatory
  measures were in such dissensions. Those who had suborned him to
  molest me, by their intrigues so protracted the cause, that I was
  kept in suspense upwards of three months. For among the judges
  there were several who favoured the adverse party. But among many
  injuries, there was nothing I felt more keenly and bitterly than
  that this affair forced me into a hateful contest with M. Philip,
  with whom, however, I broke in such a manner that I never spoke of
  so great a man except in honourable terms."--_Library of Geneva._
  Vol. 107, _a_.

  [402] We can judge of this from the remarkable memorial of Calvin to
  the Seigneurie, entitled _La Cause contre Trolliet_, where we meet
  with these words:--"That party, Noble Seigneurs, which is desirous
  of bringing Melanchthon and myself into mutual conflict, is doing
  great wrong to both of us, and in general to the whole Church of
  God. I honour Melanchthon as much for his superior learning as
  for his virtues, and above all, for having laboured so faithfully
  to uphold the Gospel. If I find fault with him, I do not conceal
  it from him, seeing that he gives me liberty to do so. There are
  witnesses in abundance on his side, who know how much he loves me.
  And I know that he will hold in detestation all those who, under
  cover of his name, seek to blacken my doctrine."--6th Oct. 1552.
  (Library of Geneva, vol. 145.) Calvin's preface to Melanchthon's
  _Common Places_ may also be consulted. Geneva, 1546, 8vo.

Osiander had published many writings against Melanchthon, in which,
by a strange reversing of the orthodox doctrine, he attempted to
derive Justification from God the Father, by forgetting the part
which belonged to Jesus Christ as the Redeemer. See Seckendorf, and
Melch. Adam, p. 229.



CCCVI.--TO MONSIEUR DE FALAIS.[403]

  [403] No date. Written evidently about the end of 1552. This letter,
  the last which Calvin wrote to M. de Falais, throws a great light
  on the circumstances of their rupture, of which Jerome Bolsec's
  process was the occasion. Banished from Geneva for his attacks on
  the doctrine of predestination and his invectives against Calvin,
  Bolsec had found means to interest in his cause M. de Falais, whose
  physician he was, and who interceded to no purpose for him with his
  judges: "Master Jerome is better acquainted with my constitution
  and what affords me relief than any other doctor that I know....
  It is to him after God that I am indebted for my life."--_Archives
  of Geneva._ Letters of the 9th and 11th November 1551. These steps
  undertaken from a feeling of humanity, would certainly not have
  indisposed Calvin, if M. de Falais had not too openly taken part
  with Bolsec against the Reformer. Calvin bitterly complained of it,
  "that M. de Falais should write that he (Bolsec) was not a bad man,
  and for the sake of an obscure wretch should hold up his reputation
  as a subject of mockery." Letter to the ministers of Bâle, January
  1552. Expelled from Geneva and settled at Thonon, Bolsec contrived
  to envenom this difference which the recollections of a long
  friendship should have appeased, and which terminated in a painful
  rupture. In a vehement letter, Calvin, at that time suffering from
  bad health, took leave of his old friend, whose name he erased four
  years afterwards from the preface to his Commentary on the first
  Epistle to the Corinthians, in order to substitute in its place that
  of the Marquis de Vico.

     Rupture of Calvin with that Seigneur.


  [GENEVA, 1552.]

MONSEIGNEUR,--Since you esteem your cause with respect to me so
good, I shall not add to your satisfaction by avowing myself in the
wrong, which indeed would be mere hypocrisy on my part. For I know
that I myself had already long ago pointed out to you the conduct of
the man, and his acts are moreover matter of public notoriety. Since
that time you have bestowed on him such eulogiums, that the person
who recited them to me employed these words, that he had never heard
of a man held in such esteem. When you went such lengths, after
having been duly informed by me, your object in extolling him so
highly must have been to have us and our whole doctrine condemned;
of which, he has shewn himself so deadly, so furious, and so
diabolical an enemy, that he has not blushed to write:--The God of
Calvin is hypocritical, mendacious, perfidious, unjust, the provoker
and patron of crimes, and worse than the Devil himself. Thus then,
that I may express my opinion of you frankly, I ought to renounce
God and his truth, as well as the salvation which I hope for through
it. Such I believe, is not your intention, but, if from the humanity
and mildness of your disposition, you are content not only to remain
ignorant of the character of the man who makes war on God, but also,
by lending no credit to our testimony, you furnish a handle for
rendering us odious, suffer me, I entreat you, to have some zeal in
maintaining the honour of my Master. But you will say, that I should
at least have given you some intimation of the affair. I reply that
after having been thus obliquely disgraced by you, I wished to guard
against exposing myself to derision. If ten hours earlier I had been
made aware of the words which I have quoted, I should have contented
myself with letting you know what I had on my heart. As it chanced,
your friend immediately after, or the following day, asked me if I
had seen you. I replied that I had, and that I was sorry for it, and
I added that were you to pass a hundred times, I should avoid all
contact with you more carefully than with the most avowed enemies,
since in showing yourself so intimate with that man, you were, as I
have since been informed, the panegyrist of Castalio,[404] who is so
perverse with all kinds of impiety, that in truth I had a hundred
times rather be a Papist. Your friend then asked me if I had any
objections to your being informed of that. I replied that it was
with that intention that I had spoken to him on the subject, since
I had not been made aware of the fact sufficiently in time. If he
has divulged more than that, he has acted contrary to my opinion, my
wishes, and even his own promise. To have told you that you were
quite infected with the errors of that monster, was running counter
to the ends I had in view, for I told him that you must needs have
hated us gratuitously, to praise in our despite such a monster. The
substance of what I said was that I should have been more painfully
affected by such an injury coming from any other than you, such was
the confidence I had in your integrity; but I was still more sorry
to see you adhering, not knowing for what reason, to a person who is
more detestable than all the Papists in the world. And in fact, I
said to him several times, that I knew not how, nor wherefore, nor,
indeed, what that meant. And since even at this present moment you
love to follow a lesson quite opposed to that which I have learned
in the school of my Master, for you say that you are well-pleased
to forget the evil which may be in him; and yet we are told: Behold
dogs, observe, mark, shun, and beware of them.... I leave you the
object of your affections!--If I have been too sharp and bitter,
pardon me, you have obliged me to be so. And that you may know
that I feel neither anger nor ill-will, I write to you the present
letter, as one who is preparing to appear before God, who afflicts
me anew with an evil which is for me as it were a mirror of death
before my eyes. I will supplicate him, Monseigneur, that in having
pity on me, and receiving me to his mercy, he may preserve and guide
you by his Spirit, and increase you in all prosperity along with
Mademoiselle and your whole family.[405] Your servant,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr.--Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]

  [404] See vol. i. pp. 403, 409. Settled at Bâle, Castalio had just
  published his Latin version of the Holy Scriptures, which being
  judged with excessive severity by the Reformed Divines, drew on him
  numerous enmities.--_Bibla Sacra Latina_, Basil, 1551.

  [405] The history of M. de Falais, after his rupture with Calvin,
  is enveloped in much obscurity. He left Geneva in order to settle
  at Berne, lost his wife in 1557, and contracted a second marriage.
  We know neither the date nor the place of his death. Is it true, as
  Bayle affirms, that this seigneur, chagrined by the spectacle of
  the divisions which he had witnessed at Geneva, at last returned to
  the Catholic church? We are rather inclined to believe, from the
  testimonies of Calvin and Beza, indirectly confirmed by the silence
  of the Brabançon historians, that, though differing on some points
  of Calvinistic theology, the great-grand-son of Philip of Burgundy
  did not abjure the tenets for which he had sacrificed his fortune
  and his country. See Bayle, _Dict., Art._ Philip of Burgundy, remark
  G; Calvin, _Comment._ on the 1st Epistle of Saint Paul to the
  Corinthians, dedication to the Marquis of Vico, 24th January 1556;
  and the preface of Beza to the _Commentary_ on Joshua.



CCCVII.--TO MATHIEU DIMONET.[406]

  [406] Mathieu Dimonet, a devout Protestant of Lyons, was arrested in
  that town the 9th January 1553. In his letters to the ministers of
  Geneva he has himself related the details of his trial:--"On Monday
  9 January being in my house in presence of the king's lieutenant
  and the official, who, after they had searched and visited my
  books, found nothing, except a little book of spiritual songs set
  to music...." Dimonet underwent a first examination, and was then
  led away to the prison of the officialty. "I have undergone," says
  he, "great assaults and temptations ... for on the one side, they
  set before me tortures and death, then the shame and dishonour of
  myself and my relations, the sorrow of my mother, who they said was
  dying with grief and many other things ... which would have been
  very hard for me to bear, unless the Lord had strengthened me by
  his Holy Spirit." The prisoner courageously withstood the threats
  of the inquisitor Oritz, and the pressing entreaties of his family.
  The 15th July 1553, quite cheerfully, and praying to the Lord, he
  endured the torment of death.--_Histoire des Martyrs_, p. 247.

Exhortation to patience and constancy under persecution.


  _The 10th of January 1553._

VERY DEAR BROTHER,--Although I have not at present to sustain
the like conflicts that you have, yet you will suffer the word of
exhortation from me as if I were your fellow-prisoner, and in truth
the zeal which moves me to write to you proceeds from nothing else.
Yet I pray you to consider how we ought to refer all to the will
and disposal of our heavenly Father, who calls every one of us in
the order that he pleases. Sometimes he spares his children, until
he has gradually led and prepared them, as we hear it said to St.
Peter by the Master's own lips, "When thou shalt be old, they shall
carry thee whither thou wouldst not." But it sometimes happens
that he chooses novices, or at least such as have not been long
disciplined to warfare. However that may be, there is this advantage
that he is no less powerful to put forth his strength in the weak,
rendering them at once invincible, than to continue it to those who
have long experienced it. From what I hear, you have not been one of
the first called to his knowledge; yet God has nevertheless put you
among the foremost of his witnesses. He has bestowed such strength
and steadfastness upon you at the first assault, that the enemies
of truth have taken knowledge of the mark of Jesus Christ, which
they cannot bear. I feel indeed by the sympathy I have for you (as
I ought) that Satan ceases not to give you new alarms; but you must
have recourse to Him who has made so good a beginning, praying him
to complete his own work. If you have many trials, do not be greatly
amazed on that account, even although you feel such frailty in
yourself that you are almost ready to be shaken. Rather learn that
it is by such means that God would humble you, that his help should
be the better recognized by your need of it; and, moreover, that he
invites you to call on his name, and to have all dependence on his
grace, seeing there is need that we be forcibly driven to do so. I
doubt not but that there may also be firebrands from without, who,
under cover of friendship and relationship, will prove your worst
and most mortal enemies, since to save the body they will do their
utmost to draw the soul downward to perdition. And then, men's fancy
is a marvellous workshop for forging out foolish imaginations, which
disturb the true rest which we ought to have in the holy calling of
our God, who commands us to look simply to himself, as indeed we
have very good reason to do. Therefore we have need to be armed and
accoutred at every point. But you need not be daunted, seeing that
God has promised to equip his own according as they are assaulted by
Satan. Only commit yourself to him, distrusting all in yourself, and
hope that he only will suffice to sustain you. Further you have to
take heed chiefly to two things: first, what the side is you defend,
and next, what crown is promised to those who continue steadfast in
the Gospel. The service of God, the boundless grace which he has
manifested to us in his Son, and all the glory of his kingdom, are
such precious things, that no mortal man ought to think it hard to
spend his life in fighting against the base corruptions, whose reign
throughout the world tends to bring to nought those blessings. And
then, we know what will be the end of our warfare, and that He who
has bought us will never suffer so dear a price as his blood to be
lost, if we be but signed with it. Now we know how he owns as his
own, and declares solemnly that he will own at the last day, all
those who have confessed him here below. We do not know as yet what
he has determined to do concerning you, but there is nothing better
for you than to sacrifice your life to him, being ready to part with
it whenever he wills, and yet hoping that he will preserve it, in so
far as he knows it to be profitable for your salvation. And although
this be difficult to the flesh, yet it is the true happiness of his
faithful ones; and you must pray that it may please this gracious
God so to imprint it upon your heart that it may never be effaced
therefrom. For our part, we also shall pray that he would make you
feel his power, and vouchsafe you the full assurance that you are
under his keeping; that he bridles the rage of your enemies, and in
every way manifests himself as your God and Father.

As I hear that our brother, Peter Berger,[407] is in the same prison
with you, I beg you to greet him from me, and to give him my letters
as common to you both. Let us go forward, until we have arrived at
our goal--the being gathered together into the everlasting kingdom.

  [407] Peter Berger of Bar-sur-Seine, burgess of Geneva, was seized
  at Lyons three days after the scholars of Lausanne, whom he rejoined
  in the dungeons and preceded to martyrdom. "Having mounted the
  stake, he said, 'Lord, I commit my soul to thee.' Then looking up
  to heaven with steadfast gaze, and crying aloud, he said, 'To-day I
  see heaven open;' and immediately after, this saint yielded up his
  spirit to God."--_Histoire des Martyrs_, p. 234.

       *       *       *       *       *

I had forgotten one point, which is, that you should reply to
adversaries reverently and modestly, according to the measure of
faith God gives you. I say this because it is not given to every one
to dispute. Indeed the martyrs themselves were no great scholars,
nor subtile to enter upon profound disputations. Thus humbling
yourself under the guidance of the Spirit of God, answer soberly,
according to your knowledge, following the rule of Scripture, "I
have believed, therefore I speak." Yet let not that hinder you from
speaking frankly and plainly, in the full persuasion that He who has
promised to give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries
shall not be able to gainsay, will never fail you.

[_Fr._--_Printed in Histoire des Martyrs_, lib. iv. p. 247.]



CCCVIII.--TO CHRISTOPHER FABRI.

     Congratulations on the subject of his approaching
     marriage--Calvin's regret that he cannot be present at the
     ceremony.


  GENEVA, _13th January 1553_.

I am exceedingly glad that you are about to get married, not only
because it will be for your own private good, but also because
the brethren have considered it to be for the good of the whole
Church.[408] And while I do not indeed know enough of the lady, yet
I confidently trust, from various conjectures, that each of you will
turn out according to our wishes. We have good reason, therefore to
congratulate you, and we feel thankful to God in no ordinary degree.
I should gladly have been present at your marriage, had I not been
detained at home by the wickedness of those who cease not to bring
destruction upon themselves and the community by their madness.[409]
I have good reason to call it madness, for they have never exhibited
more unbridled licentiousness. I shall say nothing of their
mischievous plots for the destruction of the faith, of their gross
contempt of God, of their impious conspiracies for the scattering
of the Church, of the foul Epicurism of their whole life; and
this, not because these are light evils, but because they are not
unknown to you. The entire Republic is at present in disorder, and
they are striving to root up the established order of things. Had
your marriage been a month later, I should have had more leisure.
I cannot move a foot at present. I have not been through the
city-gates for a month past, not even for recreation. Would that I
had less ground for my excuse. Assuredly the season of winter would
not have stood in my way. But we shall pray that your marriage may
come off well, the effects of which will be felt even here. I would
not have thought it labour lost to obtain a conversation with our
beloved Farel and your chief magistrate, at the expense of the cold
and irksomeness of a three days' journey. But one consideration was
sufficient for me, that you wished me to discharge a duty which I
was as willing to fulfil, as you were earnest in desiring it. I hope
to find it more convenient to visit my friends on another occasion.
Adieu, very dear brother in the Lord. Farel will pardon me for not
writing him. Present my very kind regards to him. Louis, minister
of Veissy,[410] left us lately; I see that his life has been a
burden to him for some time past, owing to protracted debility.
John Macard[411] supplies his place. We must have a quarrel with
Philip.[412] Salute Maturin and the rest of our friends earnestly in
my name. May the Lord watch over you and guide you by his Spirit.
Amen.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

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

  [408] Christopher Fabri [or Libertet] was on the eve of his second
  marriage. We know nothing of his first wife. In a letter of May
  1545, to Fabri, then pastor at Thonon, Calvin speaks highly of the
  entertainment he received from his wife, on his return from a long
  tour in the German Cantons: "I could never get your wife to treat
  us in a plain, homely way.... She was willing to take advice. She
  repeatedly requested that I should ask for whatever I chose, as if
  it were my own; she adhered to her own opinion in this, however,
  that she entertained us too sumptuously; for there was twice as much
  food always prepared as there was any occasion for. We felt just as
  much at home as if you had been present."--_MS. of the Library of
  Neuchatel._

  [409] In allusion to the efforts of the Libertine party, put forth
  with increasing violence for the overthrow of ecclesiastical
  discipline, and which gave rise during the same year to a decisive
  struggle between the Reformer and his adversaries.

  [410] A village on the banks of the Arve, a few miles from Geneva.

  [411] John Macard, originally from the neighbourhood of Laon in
  Picardy, took refuge in Geneva on account of religion. A man of
  resolute character, and endowed with a manly eloquence, he rendered
  eminent service to the Church alternately at Geneva and Paris, and
  the latter reckoned him among the number of its most distinguished
  pastors.

  [412] The minister, Philip de Ecclesia, deposed on account of his
  disorderly life.



CCCIX.--TO JOHN CHEKE.[413]

  [413] John Cheke, preceptor of Edward VI., King of England, and
  distinguished alike in science and in letters, won the esteem
  and confidence of his royal pupil, who raised him to the rank
  of knighthood, and who gave him in many ways the most precious
  testimonies of his affection.--See Fuller's _Church History_, B.
  vii.; sixteenth cent., 19, 20. Though a man of sincere piety, Cheke
  was not possessed of a firmness of character equal to the variety
  of his knowledge and the greatness of his talents. He survived his
  pupil only to make a deplorable manifestation of the infirmity of
  his faith under fear of the scaffold and of martyrdom. Arrested in
  the Low Countries in 1556, by a secret order of Philip II., he was
  conducted to London, imprisoned in the Tower, and escaped death only
  by a solemn retractation. He then fell into a profound melancholy,
  and soon after died, exhibiting sentiments of sincere repentance,
  asking pardon of God and men for the sin of which he had been
  guilty. See Strype, _Memoirs_, III., i. 515, and _Zurich Letters_,
  first series, _passim_.

     Calvin apologizes for silence, and enjoins him to use his
     influence with the King for the advancement of the Gospel in
     England.


  GENEVA, _13th Feb. 1553_.

I have hitherto avoided writing you, most distinguished sir, lest
I should perhaps seem anxious to obtain what my own inclinations
did not prompt. For as the friendships of the world are hollow,
and ambition and deception everywhere prevail, so that those who
cultivate sincerity are exceedingly few, it is absolutely necessary
for us almost to regard all with suspicion whose uprightness of
character we have not thoroughly tested. I have at length, however,
found an exceedingly just motive for writing you, inasmuch as I
have now frequently made bold to write to the King himself, and
have never written a single letter to you, which was not at all
becoming, seeing that it was owing to your influence (under the
grace of God) that myself and the other servants of Christ were
permitted access to him. And as for the past my excuse is easy, for
I was at the first afraid lest those whom I was writing to exhort
might have too little confidence in me, if I employed the service
of others in presenting my letters; and I was again disinclined to
give you any trouble, as no familiarity had passed between us. If
I have in any way offended you in this matter, attribute it rather
to my shyness than to my negligence. Nay, indeed, it is now a long
while ago, that having been led thereto by the fame of your rare
piety and excellent learning, I must have worthily esteemed you.
Moreover, this one reason is sufficient to win for you the favour of
all good men, viz., that England has a king whom you have trained
by your labour, not only possessing very superior talents, but also
a maturity of moral excellence beyond his years, who is extending a
hand to the suffering--I should rather in fact say miserable--Church
of God in these very sad times. Certainly, having deemed you worthy
of this honour, the Lord has not only endeared you to those who
experience the present benefit of it, but to as many as desire to
see the Church of God re-established, or at least to see her remains
gathered together. If then I bear testimony to that affection which
I have so long cherished towards you in silence, I am persuaded
this expression of my regard will not be unpleasant to you. And
again, while you, in that splendid position of yours, do not
require the humble offices of men like me, and I, in turn, content
with my own poor state, am averse to impose any burden on you of
my own account, let us nevertheless cherish towards each other a
mutual goodwill throughout this fleeting life, until we find its
full enjoyment in heaven. Let us meanwhile, with one accord, make
it our study to adorn the kingdom of Christ, and, as far as in us
lies, to extend and watch over it. For we see how numerous are its
open and malicious enemies, whose fury is already kindled, and is
growing greater day by day; and, on the other hand, how few is the
number of those who have lent their name to the Gospel, how few are
conscientiously labouring for the advancement of the glory of God.
We see how much coldness, or rather how much indifference, there is
among many men of influence; in a word, how much deadness there is
throughout the world. And while I believe you will do so of your
own accord, and stand in no need at all of any foreign stimulus,
yet, with your accustomed good nature, I have no doubt but that you
will take in good part what I have laid thus familiarly before you,
and which it becomes every one of us earnestly to call to mind. I
have indeed particularly to request of you, whenever at any time
you think that the most serene King could be cheered forward by my
exhortations, to advise me thereon, and, according to circumstances,
that you will not grudge me your opinion. Adieu, most excellent and
heartily esteemed sir. May the Lord guard you by his protection,
continue to guide you by his Spirit, and bless your sacred labours.

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 68.]



CCCX.--TO THE FIVE PRISONERS OF LYONS.[414]

  [414] Declared guilty of the crime of heresy, and delivered over to
  the secular arm by the Judge Ordinary of Lyons, the five students
  made their appeal to the Parliament of Paris, while the authorities
  of Berne strove in vain to save "leurs escholiers." Transferred
  from dungeon to dungeon, during a trial which lasted for more than
  a year, brought back at last from Paris to Lyons, to await the
  sentence of their judges, the constancy of these young men never
  faltered for a single day. At length, the 1st March 1553, they
  received the communication of the decree of the Parliament of Paris,
  which gave them over to the stake.--_Hist. des Martyrs_, lib. iv.,
  p. 230. That melancholy intelligence soon spread around, and brought
  mourning to Lausanne and to Geneva.

     Exhortations to constancy--Mention of Oritz, the Inquisitor.


  _7th March 1553._

MY BRETHREN,--We have been for some days past in deeper anxiety and
sadness than ever, having heard of the resolve taken by the enemies
of the truth. When the gentleman you wot of passed this way,[415]
while he was dining very hurriedly, to avoid all delay, I drew up
such a form of letters as seemed to me expedient to write. God has
given, both to you and all his people, some further respite; we wait
the event as it shall please him to dispose it, always praying him
to uphold you, and not permit you to fall away; in short, to have
you in his keeping. I feel well assured that nothing shakes the
firmness which he has put within you. Doubtless, for a long time
past, you have meditated upon the last conflict which you will have
to sustain, if it be his good pleasure to lead you thereto, and
have even so fought hitherto that long practice has inured you to
fill up what remains. It cannot be but that you feel some twinges
of frailty; yet, be confident that He whose service you are upon
will so rule in your hearts by his Holy Spirit, that his grace shall
overcome all temptations. If he has promised to strengthen with
patience those who suffer chastisement for their sins, how much less
will he be found wanting to those who maintain his quarrel,--those
whom he employs on so worthy a mission as being witnesses for his
truth! You must therefore keep this sentence in mind, that _He who
dwells in you is stronger than the world_. We who are here shall do
our duty in praying that he would glorify himself more and more by
your constancy, and that he may, by the consolation of his Spirit,
sweeten and endear all that is bitter to the flesh, and so absorb
your spirits in himself, that in contemplating that heavenly crown,
you may be ready without regret to leave all that belongs to this
world.

  [415] This was the pious merchant, John Liner, of Saint Gall.--See
  the Letter of the 10th August, p. 358. He was present with the
  prisoners at the bar of Roanne when they received their sentence
  of death. He set out immediately for Berne, in order to try a last
  application on the part of the seigneury of that town to the King
  of France.--_Hist. des Martyrs_, pp. 230, 231. Various MSS. of the
  library of St. Gall.

I have received a certain paper containing some very subtle
arguments of that unhappy animal Oritz,[416] to prove that it is
allowable to make idols. I do not know whether it is you who have
sent it me, and whether you would have me to reply to it. I have not
thought it worth while to do so, because I was in some doubt about
it, and really I do believe that you have no great need of it. But
if you like you shall have an answer to it by the first. There is
one thing which I have to request of you: you saw some time ago the
letters of a paltry mocker of God in this place, who does nothing
but trouble the Church, and has never ceased to deal in that trade
for five years past. I wish much that by the first, you would write
a word of warning to make known his malice, as there is really no
end to him. And this I beseech you, as you love the repose of this
Church, which is more teased than you can well believe by internal
foes.

  [416] The inquisitor, Nicolas Oritz, who presided at the trial of
  the five students. The paper here mentioned still exists in the
  library of Geneva, 113, with this title:--"_Copy of a paper of the
  Inquisitor Houriz, given to the prisoners for the Word at Lyons, to
  be conveyed to M. Calvin to retain_."

And now, my brethren, after having besought our good Lord to have
charge over you, to assist you in everything and through everything,
to make you taste by experience how kind a Father he is, and how
careful of the salvation of his own, I pray to be remembered in your
prayers.

  [_Fr._--_Printed in Hist. des Martyrs_, lib. iv., p. 247.]



CCCXI--TO EDWARD VI.

     Recommendation of a French gentleman, a prisoner for the sake of
     the Gospel.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 12th March 1553_.

SIRE,--Although I had a petition to make to you for myself, I should
not have the boldness to urge it, yet I think that you will not
take it amiss, that I should make a request for another, when you
are informed of the necessity which constrains me, and the merits
of the case, which commends itself to you not less than to myself.
It is, Sire, that there is a French gentleman detained prisoner in
Paris[417] on account of some intercepted letter written by him to
one of our friends, who was the king's lieutenant in the town of
Noyon (of which I am a native), and retired to these parts;[418]
added to which the said gentleman was already held suspected in
the matter of religion. And being a man of some rank they kept an
eye upon him, which has been the occasion of his seizure. Now, if
my testimony has any weight with your Majesty, I can assure you,
Sire, that he is as right-minded a man as you could anywhere meet
with, excelling in all honour and virtue, endowed with graces which
deserve to be loved and valued, and above all, confirmed in the fear
of God. I know very well that this is great praise; but did you know
him, Sire, I have no doubt that you would form a like judgment, and
discover that I do not exceed due measure. Now, as he is beloved
of all, both high and low, even of Monsieur de Vendosme and other
princes, there is nothing save the cause of Jesus Christ on account
of which he can be hated or rejected, which cause is so dear to you,
Sire, that I hope you will not refuse to help him, if there be any
means of doing so. I am aware that your Majesty cannot aid, as might
be wished, all those who labour and are persecuted on account of the
Gospel. But should it be your good pleasure to exert yourself for
him of whom I treat, be assured, Sire, that in the person of one man
you will console many who are at present greatly dismayed, while the
foes of truth are fully intending to triumph if they succeed. But
not to be too troublesome to your Majesty, I shall enter no further
upon facts, which, if it seem good to you, you can better learn from
the statements of the gentleman who delivers this. Only I beseech
you, in the name of God, with all possible affection, yea as eagerly
as I would on behalf of my own life, that it may please you to grant
this request, namely, to ask the King of France to let him depart
out of his country, together with his wife, also detained, and with
as much of his property as can be withdrawn. In doing which you
will not only lay me under obligation more and more to pray God to
prosper you, but an infinite number of believers besides.

  [417] This gentleman, whose name is not known, corresponded by
  letter with Calvin, his countryman and friend. Shortly before his
  arrest he wrote to Calvin on the subject of a fire, which had almost
  entirely destroyed the town of Noyon, sparing, however, the house of
  the Reformer: "I have no doubt," said he, "that God has left this
  testimony against those of your town, who eight or ten days before
  had burnt in effigy Monsieur de Normandie and the rest."--Latin
  Letter of Calvin of 15th February 1553.

  [418] Laurent de Normandie.

Sire, after having commended myself as humbly as I can to your kind
favour, I pray our good Lord to keep you under his holy protection,
and to govern you by his Spirit in all prudence, uprightness, and
strength of purpose, and to make your crown to flourish more and
more.--Your very humble and obedient servitor,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr. copy._--_Imperial Library. Coll._ Dupuy, vol. 102.]



CCCXII.--TO FAREL.[419]

  [419] The reading of this letter, filled with the most lively and
  disinterested testimonies of affection for Farel, calls to one's
  mind the beautiful preface of Calvin's Commentary on the Epistle of
  St. Paul to Titus, dedicated to Farel and Viret:--"I do not think,"
  says Calvin, "that there have ever been friends who have lived
  together in such fast friendship and concord, as we have done during
  our ministry. I have been a fellow-pastor here with both of you. So
  far from there having been any appearance of envy between you and
  me, I always regarded us as one. We have since been separated. As
  for you, Master William, the Church of Neuchatel, which you have
  delivered from the tyranny of the Papacy, and won over to Christ,
  called you to be its pastor; and as for you, Master Peter, you
  stand in a similar relation to the Church of Lausanne. Each of us,
  however, guards so well the place committed to us, that by our
  united efforts, the children of God assemble within the fold of
  Jesus Christ, and are even united in one company."--Dedication of
  29th November 1549.

     Serious illness and unexpected recovery of Farel--Calvin's joy.


  GENEVA, _27th March 1553_.

When I recently performed the last offices of a friend towards you,
as I indeed thought, I was desirous of escaping the remainder of the
grief which was incidental to your premature death. I have suffered
the punishment which I deserved for my overhastiness. And would that
I had been the only one who suffered it. It made the thing worse,
that I involved very many good men in the same grief with myself.
Consoled, however, now by more joyful news, I am forgetting my
folly and disgrace. And it is certainly proper that this wonderful
goodness of God should absorb all cause for sorrow. Seeing now that
your disease has left you, you must endeavour gradually to recover
that vigour of mind which you exercised too actively in the most
trying conflicts, and to regain possession of that strength of body
which must needs be worn out and exhausted. Since I have buried you
before the time, may the Lord grant that the Church may see you my
survivor. My own private comfort is joined with the public good of
the faithful in this prayer; for my warfare will be the shorter,
and I shall not be subjected to the pain of lamenting your death.
Yet I am not, in the meanwhile, averse, if it should so please
God, to your life being so long lengthened out, as to allow me ten
years of labour. But let us now live so for Christ, that we may be
daily prepared to die for him; we ought, while we have opportunity,
to prepare for what will befall us. Make it your sole study, in the
meanwhile, to take care of your health, that you may soon recover.
My brother will tell you better, orally, than I can here how many
friends salute you. Adieu, very worthy brother. May the Lord, who,
contrary to our expectation, has restored you to his Church, cause
you ever to triumph over Satan and the wicked. Much health to your
fellow-ministers and others.--Yours truly,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 69.]



CCCXIII.--TO CHRISTOPER AND TO THOMAS ZOLLICOFFRE.[420]

  [420] _On the back._--To my kind brethren and friends, the brothers
  Christopher and Thomas Zollicoffre, merchants of Saint Gall,
  dwelling at Lyons. Pardon the mistake as to the names and the haste.

  The 21st May 1552. The Seigneury of Berne, informed of the arrest of
  the five Scholars of Lausanne, had written to the King of France to
  solicit the deliverance of their "pensionaires." The burgomaster of
  Zurich, John Hab, obtained an audience of this prince and found him
  inflexible. The following year, March 1553, the Bernese solicited
  anew the pardon of the five prisoners, condemned by the official of
  Lyons and the parliament of Paris. It is to this last intercession,
  urged forward by Calvin and Viret, that the letter of the Reformer
  to the brothers Zollicoffre refers.

     Last steps in favour of the Prisoners of Lyons.


  FROM THE HOSTELLERIE IN LAUSANNE,

  _28th March 1553_.

VERY DEAR MESSIEURS AND BRETHREN,--I write you this present letter
in much haste, having only just arrived at the town of Lausanne.
The occasion of my writing is, that Messieurs of Berne have written
so warmly to the king, that if they are ever to obtain anything
from him, we hope this appeal may be final. Now, the prisoners
have signified that we are to apply to you for the expenses of the
journey. We pray you, therefore, to consider and determine speedily
what had best be done. If you have any fitter messenger to send to
court, we beg of you to repay him his travelling expenses from Berne
to Lyons. If you think that he ought to proceed further, be pleased
to enjoin that money be furnished him without delay. May God of his
infinite mercy prosper the despatch as we hope. I have addressed you
privately, according to their instructions, and I believe that you
will not object to be employed in an affair of this kind. Whereupon,
after having affectionately commended myself to you, I beseech our
gracious God to have you in his holy keeping, to guide you by his
Spirit, and to make you prosperous.

  Your humble brother and sincere friend,

  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

You can see the copies of the two letters which Messieurs of Berne
have written. It might, perhaps, have been desirable that the first,
dated the 15th March, should have been kept back.[421] But the thing
is done. The remedy is good, inasmuch as the latter is as full as
could be desired. Having perused the whole, we beg of you to forward
them to the prisoners aforesaid. Our brother, Peter Viret, commends
himself most heartily to you.

  [_Fr. orig. autogr._--_Library of Saint Gall._ Vol. 7, p. 211.]

  [421] In a letter to the King of the 15th March, Messieurs of Berne
  had made strong complaint of the conduct of the Cardinal de Tournon,
  who, after having promised them to interest himself in behalf of the
  five students, had, with the utmost rigour, instituted proceedings
  against them. In a second letter, written three days later, they
  represented to this prince the innocence of their scholars, arrested
  at Lyons before they had sojourned there a single day, and condemned
  to death, although they had neither preached, nor dogmatized,
  nor excited any disturbance in the kingdom. They concluded by
  saying,--"We very humbly pray your Majesty to bestow them on us as
  a pure, royal, gratuitous, and liberal gift, which we shall esteem
  as great and precious, as if a present had been made us of an
  inestimable amount of gold and silver." These petitions were of no
  avail. Inspired by the fatal genius of the Cardinals of Tournon and
  of Lorraine, Henry II. confirmed the sentence of the parliament of
  Paris.



CCCXIV.--TO CRANMER.

     He entreats his influence in favour of the person already
     recommended to the King.


  _March 1553._

When I lately wrote to you my last letter[422]--which may not
perhaps be put into your hands until after you have received the
present one--nothing was farther from my mind than that I should
again trouble you so soon. An unexpected necessity has arisen,
however, which compels me, even before I have penned a single
friendly letter to you, to solicit you regarding a matter of great
importance. A certain man, of a noble family, has been lately
thrown into prison, whose kind heart and generous nature render
him still more worthy of commendation for his virtues, than for
the nobility of his descent. Thinking there was no danger, he had
written to a common friend, who came among us as a voluntary exile
when the royal prefect was at Noyon, the town in which I was born.
Owing to the perfidy of the messenger, the letter was seized. He
was arrested by a royal order. The Chancellor, and some others,
were appointed judges extraordinary. Seeing that this occurrence
has caused many good men to be seized with no ordinary alarm, and
that the enemies of the whole Church are ferociously insulting
Christ in the person of a man of sincere piety, it is our duty to
do all we can to restrain their fury, and bring relief to such a
distinguished servant of God. I was not at all afraid, therefore, of
any one accusing me of indiscretion in engaging in the pious duty
of commending the life of this person to your most serene king. And
the same necessity which drove me to this, leads me to exhort you to
use your interest, as far as may be lawful, for furthering the end
of my petition. And while I am confident that you will be glad to do
it of your own accord, I nevertheless ask and beseech of you, most
earnestly to do it for my sake all the more speedily. Adieu, most
distinguished sir, deserving in many ways of my hearty reverence.

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]

  [422] The letter to which allusion is here made is lost; and one
  cannot sufficiently deplore the disappearance of documents, which
  would have shed a fuller light on the relations of Calvin with the
  Reformer of England.



CCCXV.--TO MONSIEUR DE MAROLLES.[423]

  [423] Seigneur of Picardy, no doubt one of the ancestors of that
  illustrious confessor, Louis de Marolles, who expiated in the
  galleys of Marseilles the crime of his resistance to the dragooning
  zeal of Louis XIV. and the pressing solicitations of Bossuet. "The
  hour of liberty," says M. Charles Weiss, "never struck for that
  unfortunate one. He died in 1692 in the _Hôpital des Forçats_ at
  Marseilles, and was interred in the Turkish cemetery, the ordinary
  burial-place of the Reformed who died in the galleys, faithful to
  the last in the religion for which they had suffered."--_Histoire
  des Refugiés Protestantes de France_, tom. i. p. 101. See also the
  book entitled _Histoire des Souffrances du bien heureux martyr, M.
  Louis de Marolles_. La Haye, 1699.

     Christian encouragement and consolation.


  _12th April 1553._

MONSIEUR,--I doubt not that you are at present in very great
perplexity, seeing that the rage of the enemies is daily kindling,
and dangers increasing more and more. Thus you have much need to
have recourse to Him who not in vain claims the office of comforting
his people in their afflictions. Although it may be difficult to the
weakness of our flesh to continue steadfast when we see no end of
warfare; nay more, see that things grow worse; yet when girt about
with the armour which God bestows upon us, we must not fear but
that we shall overcome all the devices of Satan. I call "the armour
of God," not merely the promises and holy exhortations by which he
strengthens us, but the prayers which are to obtain the strength we
need. And therefore, sir, according to your necessity, get by heart
what Scripture sets before us, both as to the present condition of
Christians, and the miseries to which they must needs be subject,
and also as to the happy and desirable issue promised them; and how,
moreover, they shall never be forsaken in the time of their need.
I know--long continued maladies being the most harassing--that it
is extremely hard for you to languish for such a length of time.
But if the enemies of the truth are thus obstinate in their fury,
we ought to be ashamed of not being at least equally steadfast in
well-doing; and most of all when it concerns the glory of our God
and Redeemer, which, of his infinite goodness, he has bound up with
our salvation. And I have no doubt that you put in practice what
the Apostle tells you about strengthening the feeble knees, and
lifting up the hands which hang down. For it cannot be but that the
first blows dismay, unless we rouse our virtue to resist temptation.
And as I feel well persuaded that you are not slack in bestirring
yourself, I am the more brief. It is enough for me to have given
you a few words of advice, and at the same time to assure you that
you are not forgotten here, but that knowing the difficulties by
which you are beset, we have a fellow-feeling of them. I do not
mean to say that it is such as we ought to have, but it is at least
the testimony of the true brotherly love which we are bound to bear
you. Moreover, while praying God that he would strengthen your
courage and impart his protection, you will also have to request
that he would guide you with his advice, and give you a favourable
opening. However scant the means he may offer you, you are free, as
I believe, to use them, and that speedily, lest they escape you. As
for the road which would be best for you to take, I know not what to
say. Although I should be very glad to see you, and to enjoy your
good-fellowship, yet I should not repine, knowing that in order to
follow after God, and to be the more drawn to him, were you removed
to twice the distance from me. I do not know the advantages of the
other place. As for ours, I must not conceal from you that they
are so scanty I am ashamed to mention them. I wish much, and it
would be desirable, that there had been wherewithal to have drawn
you hither. But I ought not to inveigle you by vain expectations,
having no other desire than your wellbeing wherever it may be. True
it is, that what some promise themselves in retiring hither, rests,
as appears to me, on very slender grounds. However, there is this
to be said, the Christians here have liberty to worship God purely,
which is the chief point of all. For the present, you must commit
yourself to Him who has the spirit of prudence, to be guided by him.
Wherefore, in concluding, Monsieur, after having affectionately
commended me to your kind favour and prayers, I pray our good Lord
to increase you with the gifts of his Spirit, to uphold you with
his strong arm that you faint not, to bridle Satan and all his
underlings, so that they may not be able to do aught against you, to
glorify his name by you even to the end. I desire also that Madame
may have her share in these commendations. And should an occasion
offer, I especially entreat you to present the like also to Madame,
your neighbour.[424] Once more, I pray the gracious Father to have
you all under his care, not merely for the preservation of the body,
but also for the keeping the soul unpolluted. Your brother and
humble servitor,

  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.

  [_Fr. copy._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107.]

  [424] This was doubtless Madame de Cany. See note, p. 295.



CCCXVI.--TO VIRET.[425]

  [425] See the letter to the brothers Zollieoffre, and the notes
  relative to the last intercession of the Seigneurie of Berne in
  behalf of the students of Lausanne, p. 396. Viret took the most
  lively interest in the captives, and wrote them a beautiful letter a
  short while before their martyrdom, full of Christian exhortations,
  which may be seen in the _Histoire des Martyrs_, pp. 248, 249.

     Extinction of all hope in regard to the prisoners of Lyons.


  GENEVA, _22d April 1553_.

When the present messenger left Lyons matters stood thus: the
majority of the judges were disinclined to agree to the condemnation
of the brethren, inasmuch as the king had given no express orders
respecting it. The Constable, however, stood alone in opposing
this.[426] Good men thought accordingly that something would require
to be done. To me indeed their labour appears not only useless, but
absurd. For there is no hope of inducing the Bernese, after their
insolent repulse, to expose themselves to no purpose to the mockery
of the tyrant and his court. Nor in truth would the Lyonnese ask
aught of the kind from us, if a copy of a letter which I received
three days ago were put into their hands. Should you deem it
advisable, you may counsel some of your Bernese friends as to what
should be done there. But good men will understand from our letter
that they need give themselves no farther trouble. Adieu, very
excellent and upright brother, together with your wife and family.
Salute Beza, your colleague Ribet, and the rest of my friends. May
Christ ever watch over you and guide you.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]

  [426] The Constable, Anne de Montmorency, governor of Lyonnais,
  shared with Cardinal de Tournon the melancholy honour of having
  urged on with fury the condemnation of those prisoners who had been
  recommended to his merciful intercession with the king.--_Hist. des
  Martyrs_, p. 231, MSS. of the Archives of Berne.



CCCXVII.--TO BULLINGER.[427]

  [427] This letter is without a date, but from the allusion to the
  very dangerous illness of Farel, it must have been written in the
  month of April 1553.

     Assurances of respect and fraternal affection.


  _April 1553._

A letter was shown me lately at Farel's, addressed to himself, in
which you informed him that you were gradually recovering from a
very severe and all but fatal illness. The life of our brother
Farel was at that time despaired of; so much so, that on my return,
I declared everywhere that he was dead. We have now to offer our
sincere thanks to the Lord, who has restored both of you to us and
to his Church. I was very glad to find from your letter, three days
ago, that you are quite recovered. Although, to speak the truth,
the reading of it would have filled me with more joy, had I not
ascertained that it was written to prevent me from entertaining
any hostility towards you. Certainly such a thing never entered my
mind; nor do I think that Ulmius had any reason for saying so. He
came twice to me. We conversed together for a long time on various
matters, freely and familiarly. Mention was made of yourself, and
the whole of your colleagues, but not a syllable escaped me, so far
as I know, calculated to convey an unfavourable opinion of you. On
desiring him, however, as he was leaving me, to present my regards
to you, I omitted Bibliander, inasmuch as he was openly professing
hostility towards us.[428] When Ulmius[429] seemed to regard this
with incredulity, and turned away from it as if from an unlucky
omen, I briefly explained to him the cause of it:--that having been
tormented here by a vile and perfidious character, I led myself to
think that we were sure of support from you; that the issue was not
what I had expected; that, notwithstanding, our brotherly regard
for one another remained unchanged, and no token, certainly, of
alienation had been given by you. I added, moreover, that myself
and my fellow-ministers, while we had not been so fully supported
by you as we could have wished, were nevertheless inclined to put a
favourable construction on it. Also, that Bibliander was throwing
out threats about being engaged on a work against my doctrine, and
that he went babbling about concerning it, in some violent way or
other, among all without distinction. Our conversation at length
concluded, by my saying,--"Bibliander may write what he chooses; I
shall not consider him worthy of a reply."

  [428] Theodore Bibliander, professor of Theology at Zurich. Of an
  ardent and irritable nature, he could not bear to be contradicted,
  and it is even told of him that he challenged to a duel the
  celebrated Peter Martyr, one of his colleagues, owing to some
  disagreement on the doctrine of predestination. The Seigneurie of
  Zurich dismissed the warlike theologian.--_Hist. de la Suisse_, tom.
  xii. p. 87.

  [429] Is this John ab Ulmis of whom we read in numerous letters to
  Bullinger?--_Zurich Letters_, first series, vol. ii. pp. 377, 458.

But, to return to yourself, most excellent and venerable brother,
as I would be very far indeed from estimating you by the character
of that man, so I was never led to believe that you entertained
any hostility towards me whether publicly or privately. If that
individual kept up a great deal of offensive babbling, and was, as I
have said, boasting about his book, there was really no reason why I
should disguise the matter, or make any hesitation about it, for the
thing was notorious; and while I am accustomed to say nothing about
it to others, I did not think that I required to be silent on it to
Ulmius and a select few. This, therefore, I have in the first place
to testify to you--and I solemnly declare it--that, so far am I from
regarding you as an enemy, I desire to remain bound to you for ever
by all ties of brotherly attachment; and, confidently assured that
it will be so, I hail you in no other manner than as a loving and
inseparable companion in the work of the Lord. In the next place, I
wish you to believe that I never either wrote or spoke anything but
what was loving and honourable of that man who has publicly earned
so much distinction in the Church, and has been ever my friend in
private. If, therefore, you have been vexed at all by this matter,
let your mind be hereafter at ease.[430]

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. copy._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]

  [430] The end of this letter is wanting.



CCCXVIII.--TO THE FIVE PRISONERS OF LYONS.[431]

  [431] This letter must have preceded by some days the last conflict
  of the five prisoners. Foreseeing their end near, they wrote, on
  the 5th May, to the Seigneurie of Berne, to thank them for the
  testimonials of affection which they had received from them. "If it
  has not pleased God," they said, "to preserve life by your means,
  it has at least been prolonged thereby ... in spite of the fury of
  all those who would have desired long ago to put us to death. Since,
  then, that He is pleased that our blood should soon be shed for the
  confession of his holy name, we reckon ourselves far happier than if
  we were set at liberty, for as he is true and all-powerful, he will
  strengthen us, and will not permit us to be tormented beyond our
  strength; and after that we have suffered awhile, he will receive us
  into his heavenly kingdom, and will bestow upon us eternal rest with
  himself...." It was the 16th May when the five scholars were told
  to prepare for death; they received that intelligence with a pious
  serenity. The stake was set up upon the _Place des Terreaux_; they
  proceeded thither, singing psalms, and repeating passages of holy
  writ. "Having arrived at the place of death, they cheerfully mounted
  on the heap of wood, the two youngest first.... The last who went up
  was Martial Alba, the elder of the five, who had been a long time on
  his knees in prayer to the Lord. He earnestly requested Lieutenant
  Tignac to grant him a favour. The lieutenant said to him: What would
  you? He said to him: That I might kiss my brethren before I die.
  The lieutenant granted his wish. Then the said Martial kissed the
  other four who were already bound, saying to each of them, _Adieu,
  adieu, my brother_. The fire was kindled; the voice of the five
  confessors was heard, still exhorting one another in the midst of
  the flames: _Courage, my brothers; courage_.... These were the last
  audible words of these five valiant champions and martyrs of the
  Lord."--_Hist. des Martyrs_, lib. iv. p. 231.

     He exhorts them to steadfastness unto the end, in the assurance
     of eternal joy reserved in heaven.


  FROM GENEVA, _May 15, 1553_.

MY VERY DEAR BROTHERS,--We have at length heard why the herald of
Berne did not return that way. It was because he had not such an
answer as we much desired. For the King has peremptorily refused
all the requests made by Messieurs of Berne, as you will see by the
copies of the letters, so that nothing further is to be looked for
from that quarter. Nay, wherever we look here below, God has stopped
the way. This is well, however, that we cannot be frustrated of
the hope which we have in him, and in his holy promises. You have
always been settled on that sure foundation, even when it seemed
as though you might be helped by men, and that we too thought so;
but whatever prospect of escape you may have had by human means,
yet your eyes have never been dazzled so as to divert your heart
and trust, either on this side or that. Now, at this present hour,
necessity itself exhorts you more than ever to turn your whole mind
heavenward. As yet, we know not what will be the event. But since it
appears as though God would use your blood to sign his truth, there
is nothing better than for you to prepare yourselves to that end,
beseeching him so to subdue you to his good pleasure, that nothing
may hinder you from following whithersoever he shall call. For you
know, my brothers, that it behoves us to be thus mortified, in order
to be offered to him in sacrifice. It cannot be but that you sustain
hard conflicts, in order that what was declared to Peter may be
accomplished in you, namely, that they shall carry you whither ye
would not. You know, however, in what strength you have to fight--a
strength on which all those who trust, shall never be daunted, much
less confounded. Even so, my brothers, be confident that you shall
be strengthened, according to your need, by the Spirit of our Lord
Jesus, so that you shall not faint under the load of temptations,
however heavy it be, any more than he did who won so glorious a
victory, that in the midst of our miseries it is an unfailing pledge
of our triumph. Since it pleases him to employ you to the death in
maintaining his quarrel, he will strengthen your hands in the fight,
and will not suffer a single drop of your blood to be spent in vain.
And though the fruit may not all at once appear, yet in time it
shall spring up more abundantly than we can express. But as he hath
vouchsafed you this privilege, that your bonds have been renowned,
and that the noise of them has been everywhere spread abroad, it
must needs be, in despite of Satan, that your death should resound
far more powerfully, so that the name of our Lord be magnified
thereby. For my part, I have no doubt, if it please this kind Father
to take you unto himself, that he has preserved you hitherto,
in order that your long-continued imprisonment might serve as a
preparation for the better awakening of those whom he has determined
to edify by your end. For let enemies do their utmost, they never
shall be able to bury out of sight that light which God has made to
shine in you, in order to be contemplated from afar.

I shall not console, nor exhort you more at length, knowing that
our heavenly Father gives you to experience how precious his
consolations are, and that you are sufficiently careful to meditate
upon what he sets before you in his word. He has already so shown
how his Spirit dwells in you, that we are well assured that he will
perfect you to the end. That in leaving this world we do not go
away at a venture, you know not only from the certainty you have,
that there is a heavenly life, but also because from being assured
of the gratuitous adoption of our God, you go thither as to your
inheritance. That God should have appointed you his Son's martyrs,
is a token to you of superabounding grace. There now remains the
conflict, to which the Spirit of God not only exhorts us to go,
but even to run. It is indeed a hard and grievous trial, to see
the pride of the enemies of truth so enormous, without its getting
any check from on high; their rage so unbridled, without God's
interfering for the relief of his people. But if we remember that,
when it is said that our life is hid, and that we must resemble
the dead, this is not a doctrine for any particular time, but for
all times, we shall not think it strange that afflictions should
continue. While it pleases God to give his enemies the rein, our
duty is to be quiet, although the time of our redemption tarries.
Moreover, if he hath promised to be the judge of those who have
brought his people under thraldom, we need not doubt that he has a
horrible punishment prepared for such as have despised his majesty
with such enormous pride, and have cruelly persecuted those who
call purely upon his name. Put in practice, then, my brethren, that
precept of David's, and forget not the law of God, although your
life may be in your hands to be parted with at any hour. And seeing
that he employs your life in so worthy a cause as is the witness
of the Gospel, doubt not that it must be precious to him. The time
draws nigh when the earth shall disclose the blood which has been
hid, and we, after having been disencumbered of these fading bodies,
shall be completely restored. However, be the Son of God glorified
by our shame, and let us be content with this sure testimony, that
though we are persecuted and blamed we trust in the living God. In
this we have wherewith to despise the whole world with its pride,
till we be gathered into that everlasting kingdom, where we shall
fully enjoy those blessings, which we now only possess in hope.

My brethren, after having humbly besought your remembrance of me
in your prayers, I pray our good Lord to have you in his holy
protection, to strengthen you more and more by his power, to make
you feel what care he takes of your salvation, to increase in you
the gifts of his Spirit, and to make them subserve his glory unto
the end.

  Your humble brother,

  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

I do not make my special remembrances to each of our brethren
because I believe that this letter will be common to them all.[432]
Hitherto I have deferred writing on account of the uncertainty of
your state, fearing lest I might disquiet you to no purpose. I pray
anew our good Lord to stretch out his arm for your confirmation.

  [_Fr. copy.--Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]

  [432] Calvin refers here to other prisoners of Lyons, Mathieu
  Dimonet and Denis Peloquin, who kept up in prison a pious
  correspondence by letter with the scholars of Lausanne.



CCCXIX.--TO MADAME DE CANY.[433]

  [433] In the Fellowship Register of Geneva, (_Registres de la
  Compagnie de Genève_, Vol. A. p. 440,) there is a document entitled,
  "_Letter of a Lady persecuted by her Papist Husband_," from France,
  24th June 1552. That lady was of high birth, as these words
  indicate, "_Knowing the house to which she belongs, and the great
  lords of the kingdom to whom she is related, and who are in great
  favour with the king_...." This passage appears to us to point at
  Madame de Cany; see the Note, p. 295. Persecuted by her husband on
  account of her belief, that lady found her only consolation in the
  letters and exhortations which she received in secret from Geneva.
  Note, p. 409.

     Expression of Christian sympathy under trial.


  _This 7th of June 1553._

MADAME,--Although I am not so devoid of compassion as not to feel
my heart pained, in hearing of the more than ever strict captivity
in which you are now held, yet I shall not cease to exhort you to
furnish yourself with courage and constancy, according as you feel
the trial to be vexatious and hard to bear; for it is just when
pressed by Satan and the enemies of the faith to the uttermost, that
we ought to make the most of the grace of God. St. Paul glories in
this, that although he was chained in prison, nevertheless, the
doctrine which he preached was not bound, but having its course,
and thriving powerfully. And, indeed, seeing that it is the truth
of God which reaches far beyond this world, and upward above the
heavens, it is not likely that she should straiten herself according
to the fancy or by the tyranny of men. Consequently, the more the
devil contrives to torture us by distress, let us strive the more
to enlarge our hearts by faith, so as to meet all assaults. Our
Saviour, moreover, has formerly afforded you examples of the kind,
and gives us all the like daily in divers places; so that we ought
to take great shame to ourselves if we are not strengthened by
them. For were we to grow faint under the strokes of the rod, when
others are noways dismayed by death, what excuse should we have for
our cowardice? You had not counted on the possibility of meeting
with such rude conflicts at home. But you know how the Son of God
forewarns us, so that nothing should trouble us, seeing that we
have been prepared for it beforehand. Think, rather, that this is
not the end, but that God is trying you very gently, supporting
your weakness, until you have more strength to sustain blows. But
be this as it may, beware of letting yourself be cast down by
indifference or despair. Many are overcome, because they allow their
zeal to grow cold, and run off in self-flattery. Others, on the
contrary, become so alarmed when they do not find in themselves the
strength they wish, that they get confused, and give up the struggle
altogether. What then is to be done? Arouse yourself to meditate,
as much upon the promises of God, which ought to serve as ladders
to raise us up to heaven, and make us despise this transitory and
fading life, as upon threatenings, which may well induce us to fear
his judgments. When you do not feel your heart moved as it ought to
be, have recourse, as to a special remedy, to diligently seeking
the aid of Him without whom we can do nothing. In the meantime,
strive to your utmost, blaming coldness and weakness, until you can
perceive that there is some amendment. And in regard to this, great
caution is required so as to hold a middle course, namely, to groan
unceasingly, and even to woo yourself to sadness and dissatisfaction
with your condition, and to such a sense of misery as that you may
have no rest; without, at the same time, any doubting that God in
due time will strengthen you according to your need, although this
may not appear at once. It can be nothing strange to you to see
the poor Church of God so miserably afflicted--to see the pride of
enemies increase more and more with their cruelty. If your mind is
in too great perplexity, this it is that you should find strange, as
a proof of your having forgotten what we ought to have rooted in the
depths of our heart, the duty of conformity to the image of the Son
of God, patiently bearing the ignominy of his cross, until the day
of our triumph come. Nevertheless, let not this hinder, but rather
induce you to follow on in the way, for we must yet be sifted even
more thoroughly.

Had I heard, that, being deprived of the little liberty you had, you
did not cease to have your heart set aright, and to persevere in the
service of Him who merits well that his honour be preferred to all
beside, I should have whereof to rejoice more fully. However, I do
rejoice, whatever be the result, in the good hope I have of this:
therefore, do not wrong me by disappointment. However, you must
consider most of all what you owe to our gracious God, and to the
Lord Jesus Christ, who has shown how dear we were to him, since he
has not spared himself for us; therefore, see to it that Satan and
his underlings, who have thought to trample your faith beneath their
feet, be confounded. But as so great a victory requires greater
strength than your own, take refuge in this kind Lord Jesus, who
has been made to us the strength of God his Father, so that in him
we might do all things. And for my part, I shall beseech him that
he would pour out upon you the help of his Spirit, so that you may
know by experience what it is to be upheld by him, and that he may
be glorified thereby, praying also that he would take you into his
holy protection, against the fury of wolves, and the wiles of foxes.
Whereupon, Madame, after having humbly commended me to your kind
favour, likewise to your prayers, I shall now make an end.

  Your humble brother and servant,

  _J. de Bonneville_.[434]

  [_Fr. copy._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107.]

  [434] A town of Savoy, some leagues from Geneva--used sometimes as a
  pseudonyme by the Reformer.



CCCXX.--TO THE PRISONERS OF LYONS.[435]

  [435] The dungeons in which Mathieu Dimonet still pined away,
  contained several other prisoners, Denis Peloquin of Blois, Louis
  de Marsac, gentleman of the Bourbonnais, and one of his cousins.
  It is to the two last, recently arrived at Lyons, that the letter
  of the Reformer is addressed. The prisoners maintained a pious
  correspondence with those outside their prison. Peloquin wrote to
  his relations,--"... My dear brothers and sisters, ... do not stay
  yourselves, I beseech you, upon the judgment of the world, which
  is so blinded, that it cannot find life in death, nor blessing in
  cursing. Let us know that the means of being confirmed in Jesus
  Christ ... is that we should carry our cross with him, for the
  servant is not greater than the master...." Louis de Marsac wrote
  to Calvin:--"Sir and brother, ... I cannot express to you the great
  comfort I have received ... from the letter which you have sent to
  my brother Denis Peloquin, who found means to deliver it to one of
  our brethren who was in a vaulted cell above me, and read it to me
  aloud, as I could not read it myself, being unable to see anything
  in my dungeon. I entreat of you, therefore, to persevere in helping
  us with similar consolation, for it invites us to weep and to
  pray."--_Histoire des Martyrs_, pp. 236, 251.

     He impresses on them the duty of maintaining their confession of
     the truth quietly and modestly.


  _This 7th of July 1553._

MY BRETHREN,--I believe you have been informed that I was absent
from town when the tidings from your prison arrived, and did not
return for eight days after. I need not, therefore, to excuse myself
for having so long delayed writing to you. Now, although these
tidings have proved sorrowful to the flesh, even in consequence of
the love we justly bear you in God, as we are bound to do, yet must
we submit ourselves to the will of this kind Father and sovereign
Lord, and not only consider his way of disposing of us just and
reasonable, but also accept it with a gentle and loving heart as
altogether right and profitable for our salvation,--patiently
waiting until he palpably show it to be so. Besides, we have whereof
to rejoice even in the midst of our sorrow, in that he has so
powerfully aided you, for need was that you should be strengthened
by his Spirit, so that the confession of his sacred truth should be
more precious to you than your own lives. We all know too well how
difficult it is for men to forget self.

Therefore it must needs be that our gracious God put forth his
strong arm; then, for the sake of glorifying him we do not fear
torments, nor shame, nor death itself. Now, since he has girded
you with his power, so as to sustain the first assault, it remains
to entreat him to strengthen you more and more according to your
further conflict. And seeing that he has promised us victory in
the end, do not doubt, that as he has imparted a measure of his
strength, so you will have more ample evidence in future, that he
does not make a beginning only to leave his work imperfect, as it
is said in the Psalm. Especially when he puts such honour upon
his people, as to employ them in maintaining his truth, and leads
them, as it were by the hand, to martyrdom, he never leaves them
unprovided with the needful weapons. Yet, meanwhile, remember to
lift up your eyes to that everlasting kingdom of Jesus Christ,
and to think of whose cause it is in which you fight; for that
glance will not only make you overcome all temptations which may
spring from the infirmity of your flesh, but will also render you
invincible by all the wiles of Satan, whatever he may devise to
darken God's truth,--for I am well assured, that it is by his grace
you are so settled and grounded, that you do not walk at a venture,
but that you can say with that valiant champion of Jesus Christ, I
know on whom I have believed.

This is why I have not sent you such a confession of faith as our
good brother Peloquin asked me for, for God will render that which
he will enable you to make, according to the measure of mind which
he has allotted you, far more profitable than any that might be
suggested to you by others. Indeed, having been requested by some
of our brethren who have lately shed their blood for the glory of
God, to revise and correct the confession they had prepared, I have
felt very glad to have a sight of it for my own edification, but I
would neither add, nor take away, a single word; believing that any
change would but lessen the authority and efficacy which the wisdom
and constancy we clearly see to have proceeded from the Spirit of
God deserved. Be then assured, that God who manifests himself in
time of need, and perfects his strength in our weakness, will not
leave you unprovided with that which will powerfully magnify his
name. Only proceed therein with soberness and reverence, knowing
that God will no less accept the sacrifice which you offer him,
according to the measure of ability which you have received from
him, than if you comprehended all the revelations of angels, and
that he will make effectual that which he puts into your mouth, as
well to confirm his own, as to confound the adversaries. And as you
know that we have steadfastly to withstand the abominations of the
Papacy, unless we would renounce the Son of God, who has purchased
us to himself at so dear a rate, meditate, likewise, on that
celestial glory and immortality to which we are invited, and are
certain of reaching through the Cross--through ignominy and death.
It is strange, indeed, to human reason, that the children of God
should be so surfeited with afflictions, while the wicked disport
themselves in delights; but even more so, that the slaves of Satan
should tread us under foot, as we say, and triumph over us. However,
we have wherewith to comfort ourselves in all our miseries, looking
for that happy issue which is promised to us, that he will not only
deliver us by his angels, but will himself wipe away the tears from
our eyes. And thus we have good right to despise the pride of these
poor blinded men, who to their own ruin lift up their rage against
heaven; and although we are not at present in your condition, yet
we do not on that account leave off fighting together with you by
prayer, by anxiety and tender compassion, as fellow-members, seeing
that it has pleased our heavenly Father, of his infinite goodness,
to unite us into one body, under his Son, our head. Whereupon I
shall beseech him, that he would vouchsafe you this grace, that
being stayed upon him, you may in nowise waver, but rather grow in
strength; that he would keep you under his protection, and give you
such assurance of it, that you may be able to despise all that is of
the world. My brethren greet you very affectionately, and so do many
others.--Your brother,

  JOHN CALVIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

As this letter will, I hope, be in common to you both, I shall
merely add, that there is no need whatever for a long exhortation
from me; it is enough that I pray God that it may please him to
impress still better and better upon your heart, what I see by
your letter, that you already enjoy. However grievous it may be to
pine so long, if you got no other benefit by it than God's showing
you that he has not reserved you until now without cause, you have
good reason not to grow faint nor wearied out thereby. And as for
the sickness, it is well for you to consider, that God in this way
wishes to prepare you better for a greater conflict, so that the
flesh being entirely subdued, may be more able to resign itself.
Thus we ought to turn to profitable improvement everything that the
heavenly Father sends us. If you can communicate with the other
brethren, I pray you to salute them also from me. May God uphold you
all by his strong hand, preserve and guide you, and make his own
glory to shine forth in you more and more.

  [_Fr._--Printed in _Histoire des Martyrs_, lib. iv. p. 253.]



CCCXXI.--TO BULLINGER.

     Expression of regret for the death of the King of England--sad
     condition of the German Churches.


  GENEVA, _3d August 1553_.

Paulus an Italian, and a man of tried integrity, on writing lately
to our friend Count Celso, stated, among other things, that he had
brought a letter for me from the very honourable the Duchess of
Ferrara, which he left with you. Seeing that I received a letter
from Gualter not long since, in which he makes no mention of such
a thing; and seeing, moreover, that John Liner, a merchant of
Saint Gall, on passing through this place a short while before,
alleged that you had written me through a certain Jew, I am really
suspicious that you have been deceived by him. He was not seen by
any one here; and indeed I have no doubt but that he has betaken
himself to one who is likely to bring him greater gain. If it should
turn out accordingly that this letter has been lost, I am anxious
that the Duchess should be informed of it. Inasmuch, therefore,
as this nobleman, whom she has now employed for many years as a
messenger to the French king, was about to make a journey thither,
I have requested him to ask you whether anything was done with the
packet which Paulus left with you, in order that he may inform his
mistress of it.

The messengers regarding the death of the English king are more
numerous than I could wish.[436] We are therefore mourning him just
as if we were already certain of his death, or rather mourning over
the fate of the Church, which has met with an incalculable loss
in the person of a single individual. We are held at present in
anxious suspense as to whether matters are to go to confusion. It is
meanwhile very greatly to be lamented that Germany is being torn by
intestine strife, by wounds inflicted by each on the other. But it
is nothing wonderful that the Lord should employ violent remedies
for such hopeless diseases. All we can do is to pray earnestly
and unceasingly that he may not permit his Church to be utterly
overwhelmed, but rather that he may guide her safe through the
general wreck.

  [436] King Edward VI. died a very pious death on the 6th of
  July preceding. See Burnet's _History_. Bullinger verified this
  mournful event to Calvin in the following words:--"I have received
  intelligence from England of a very sad occurrence. That most pious
  king departed to the Lord on the 6th of July; and he departed very
  happily indeed with a holy confession. The book which I here send
  you was written by him, and published in the month of May. You
  will see from it how great a treasure the Church of Christ has
  lost."--Bullinger to Calvin, August 1553. _Eccl. Archives of Berne._

Adieu, most distinguished sir, and most revered brother in
Christ. Salute courteously your fellow-ministers, your wife, your
sons-in-law, and your daughters. May the Lord shield you all by his
protection and guide you by his Spirit. My colleagues salute you
earnestly.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Zurich._ Gallic. Scripta, p. 19.]



CCCXXII.--TO FAREL.[437]

  [437] We have already read at p. 30, of the present volume of
  Calvin's first connection with Servetus, and of the rupture of that
  connection as attested by the letter of Calvin to John Frellon (13th
  February 1546). Wandering by turns in France, Germany, and Italy,
  Servetus had taken up his residence at Vienne in Dauphiné, where he
  at once exercised the profession of a doctor, and persisted in his
  daring attacks on Christianity, for which he aspired to substitute
  a rational philosophy. Such is the drift of his book entitled
  _Christianismi Restitutio_, which he published anonymously in 1553,
  after having two-and-twenty years before directed his bold attacks
  against the doctrine of the Trinity, in his book _De Trinitatis
  Erroribus_, published at Haguenau in 1531. Accused by a Genevan
  refugee before the Inquisition of Lyons, as the author of these
  writings, Servetus was arrested, cast into the dungeons of Vienne,
  and condemned by Catholic judges to be burnt, from which he only
  escaped by flight. Hear how Theodore Beza recounts, in his letter
  to Bullinger, the preparations for the trial of Servetus, of his
  escape from prison, and of his arrival and arrest at Geneva:--"You
  have heard doubtless of that impious blasphemer Servetus. He caused
  a book, or rather volume of his blasphemies to be secretly printed
  at Lyons. Certain good brethren at Lyons informed the magistrate
  of this deceitful action. Persons were despatched to Vienne, where
  he was practising as a physician, to bring him bound [to Lyons].
  He was seized, but soon after effected his escape by deceit. At
  length he came to Geneva, where he went skulking about. He was
  forthwith recognized, however, by a certain person, and cast into
  prison. Calvin also, whom he treated very unhandsomely by name in
  thirty printed letters, pled the cause of the Church against him in
  the Council, in the presence of a great assemblage of the pious.
  He continued in his impiety. What will come of it I know not. Let
  us pray the Lord to purge his Church of these monsters."--_MSS.
  of Zurich._ Letter of the 27th August 1553. Such was the opening
  of the process which terminated so fatally for Servetus. Born in
  an age not disposed to show mercy to errors of faith, he seems,
  says a historian, to have fled from Spain--the native country of
  the auto-da-fé--only to see his effigy burnt in a strange land by
  the torch of a Catholic executioner, and to come afterwards to
  expire amid flames kindled by Calvinistic justice.--Albert Rilliet,
  _Relation du Procès Criminel intenté contre Servet_. Genève, 1844.
  8vo.--[Translated into English by the Rev. Dr. Tweedie.]

     Arrest of Servetus, and institution of the process against him.


  GENEVA, _20th August 1553_.

It is as you say, my dear Farel. Although we may be severely
buffeted hither and thither by many tempests, yet, seeing that a
pilot steers the ship in which we sail, who will never allow us to
perish even in the midst of shipwrecks, there is no reason why our
minds should be overwhelmed with fear and overcome with weariness.
We have now new business in hand with Servetus. He intended perhaps
passing through this city; for it is not yet known with what design
he came. But after he had been recognized, I thought that he should
be detained. My friend Nicolas summoned him on a capital charge,
offering himself as security according to the _lex talionis_.[438]
On the following day he adduced against him forty written charges.
He at first sought to evade them. Accordingly we were summoned. He
impudently reviled me, just as if he regarded me as obnoxious to
him. I answered him as he deserved. At length the Senate pronounced
all the charges proven. Nicolas was released from prison on the
third day, having given up my brother as his surety; on the fourth
day he was set free. Of the man's effrontery I will say nothing; but
such was his madness that he did not hesitate to say that devils
possessed divinity; yea, that many gods were in individual devils,
inasmuch as deity had been substantially communicated to those,
equally with wood and stone. I hope that sentence of death will at
least be passed upon him; but I desire that the severity of the
punishment may be mitigated.[439] Adieu. My colleagues again salute
you. Budé does the same, and Normandie, who has now recovered.
Present my regards to my brother Claude.

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 70.]

  [438] Nicolas de la Fontaine, a servant of Calvin's, was made,
  conformably to the judicial usages then in operation at Geneva,
  criminal prosecutor against Servetus.--_Registers of the Council_,
  14th August 1553.

  [439] It is curious to read on this point the reply of Farel to
  Calvin:--"In desiring to mitigate the severity of his punishment,
  you act the part of a friend to a man who is most hostile to you.
  But I beseech you so to manage the matter that no one whatever
  may rashly dare to publish new dogmas, and throw all things into
  confusion with impunity for such a length of time as he has done."
  In his relentless rigour against heresy, Farel did not hesitate to
  pronounce himself even to be worthy of death if he should teach any
  dogma opposed to the faith. His words deserve to be recorded:--"When
  I read Paul's statement that he did not refuse to suffer death if he
  had in any way deserved it, I saw clearly that I must be prepared to
  suffer death if I should teach anything contrary to the doctrine of
  piety. And I added, that I should be most worthy of any punishment
  whatever, if I should seduce any one from the faith and doctrine of
  Christ."--8th Sept. 1553. Calv. _Opera_, tom. ix. p. 71.



CCCXXIII.--TO DENIS PELOQUIN AND LOUIS DE MARSAC.[440]

  [440] Occupying the same cell during the last days of their
  captivity, the two prisoners were only separated to die. Denis
  Peloquin was taken from his prison the 4th September, and conducted
  to Ville Franche, where his heroic constancy at the stake excited
  the wonder and tender sympathy of the spectators. Louis de Marsac,
  with two other victims, Etienne Gravot of Gyen, and Marsac, his
  cousin, who had followed him into his dungeon, "gave thanks to God
  for the inestimable honour which he conferred upon them of suffering
  for his name." At the moment when the three condemned were about to
  be led to the place of execution, a rope was put about their neck,
  according to custom. "Louis de Marsac, seeing that they spared him
  in that particular, out of some regard to his quality, asked in
  a loud voice if the cause of his two brethren was different from
  his, adding these words, 'Alas! do not refuse me the collar of so
  excellent an order.' The lieutenant agreed to his wish, and the
  three martyrs, chanting with one voice the song of deliverance,
  shortly after mounted the pile prepared on the Place des Terreaux,
  and expired in the midst of the flames."--_Hist. des Martyrs._ Lib.
  iv. p. 254. _Hist. Eccl._ tom. i. p. 92.

     Information regarding various controverted points--exhortation
     to fidelity, even unto martyrdom.


  _This 22d of August 1553_.

VERY DEAR BRETHREN,--Although when writing your letter you thought
that the enemies of truth were about to sacrifice you soon, I do
not omit writing to you, so that if it please God that this should
arrive in time, you may again have some words of consolation from
me. It is very well and very prudently determined by you to give
thanks to God, since you know that he has confirmed you anew in
his promises, giving you such constancy as you have lately felt in
your last replies. It is indeed of him alone that you have remained
steadfast and unflinching. Hence I feel well assured that this
seal, which bears the true mark of the Holy Spirit, will never
be effaced. Elsewhere he has wrought so powerfully upon Michael
Girard,[441] that his former weakness gives all the greater lustre
to the strength which he has received from above. I have no doubt
that even the enemies themselves must be convinced that this change
did not proceed from man. Consequently there is stronger reason why
we should have our eyes open to contemplate the hand of God which
is here put forth after a wondrous manner, to withdraw his frail
creature from the horrible confusion into which he had fallen. At
the time that he followed his own devices, he fancied that he had
gained much in redeeming for a short period this fading miserable
life, by plunging himself into the abysses of eternal death. It is
then a divine work, that of his own goodwill he should have again
returned to death, that he might attain to a life of uprightness,
from which he had not merely strayed, but absolutely excluded
himself as far as in him lay. For the goodness of God has been the
more richly displayed, by having raised up his creature out of a
fall which seemed fatal, yea, so as even to triumph by it, and to
magnify his glory, as he has begun to do, and will I hope carry out
to perfection.

  [441] Michael Girard. _In a note in the History of the Martyrs_,
  this Michael Girard did not persevere.

I have seen the confession drawn up by him, which is pure and frank,
and worthy of a Christian man. Nevertheless, I think it right that
he should be warned as to some points, in order that the adversaries
may be the more confounded by his making a more distinct reply;--not
that what he says be not true, but because the malignant always lay
hold of the slightest occasions to calumniate and pervert what is
right.

On being questioned as to whether the body of Christ exist not under
the appearance of bread, he answered that this was mere blasphemy,
annihilating the death of Jesus Christ. Now there were two things
which he ought to have especially reproved in the Mass: the one
is idolatry, seeing that they make an idol of a bit of bread,
worshipping it as God; the other that they make of it a sacrifice
to reconcile men to God. Now as Jesus Christ is the only priest
ordained of God the Father, so likewise has he offered himself once
for all, and his death is the sole and perpetual sacrifice for our
redemption. Even on the first head, it would have been well to
protest his belief, that in the Supper we communicate in the body
and blood of Jesus Christ, but that we do so by rising to heaven
through faith, and not by making him descend here below, taking care
to add, that this is no argument in favour of their Mass, which is
altogether opposed to the Supper of Jesus Christ.

Being questioned as to whether the Virgin Mary and the saints
intercede for us, he answered, that there is but one only
intercessor and advocate, Jesus Christ; which is true, for there
are neither men nor angels who have access to God the Father save
by this Mediator alone. But it would have been well to add, that
the office of intercession is not bestowed upon the dead, God
commanding us to intercede, the one for the other, in the present
life: nevertheless, because it is not lawful to pray to God except
in assurance of faith, that nothing remains for us but to call upon
God in the name of Jesus Christ, and that all those who seek to the
Virgin Mary and the saints as their advocates, act extravagantly,
and turn aside out of the way.

Being questioned as to free-will, in order to show that of ourselves
we have no power of well-doing, he alleges the expression of Saint
Paul in the 7th of the Romans: _The good that I would, I do not_,
&c. Now it is certain, that Saint Paul does not speak there of
unbelievers who are wholly destitute of the grace of God, but of
himself and of other saints to whom God had already given grace to
aspire after well-doing. On such points he confesses that he felt
such a struggle within himself, that he could not attain to a full
performance of duty. Accordingly this further statement should have
been made: If the faithful feel their whole nature opposed to the
will of God, what must be the case with those who are full of pure
malice and rebellion? Just as he says in the 8th chapter, that all
the affections of the flesh are only so much enmity against God.
And in Ephesians ii., he shows clearly what is in man. Item, in the
First Epistle to the Corinthians, chapters i. ii., and in Romans
iii.; whence it follows, that it is God who works in us to will and
to do, according to his good pleasure.

Being questioned concerning vows, he answered, that all our promises
are but lies. Now, it would have been well to specify that a part
of their vows being impossible, they are nothing but an insult to
God: as, for instance, when the monks and priests renounce marriage;
and that generally the whole of these vows are nothing but false
inventions in order to bastardize the service of God, and that we
are not permitted to promise or offer to him except in accordance
with his word. I believe that the said brother will be well pleased
to be informed of these things, so that the truth of God may be the
more victorious in him.

For the rest, as in the midst of this life we are in death, you have
now need to be well persuaded that in the midst of death you are in
life. And thus we see that we must not be governed by sense merely
in following Jesus Christ, for there is nothing more alien to our
nature than to plunge ourselves into disgrace, and abase ourselves
unto death, in order to be elevated to the glory of heaven. But in
the end we shall feel, experimentally, that the Son of God has not
disappointed us in promising that whosoever shall lay down his life
in this world shall recover it to enjoy it for ever. Wherefore, my
brethren, if hitherto you have known by experience the value of the
consolations which this kind Lord Jesus Christ vouchsafes to his
own, to enable them to welcome all that they suffer in his cause,
and the value of the help of his Spirit in giving them such courage
that they faint not, beseech him to continue both the one and the
other, and in so praying rest in him, assured that he will fulfil
your holy desire. On our part, while you are fighting, we shall
not forget you. All my brethren salute you. The God of grace and
Father of mercy have you under his protection; and if it please him
that you should endure death for the testimony of his Gospel, as
seems likely, may he show that he has not forsaken you, but rather
that while appointing you his martyrs, he dwells and reigns within
you, to triumph in you to the confusion of his enemies, and the
edification of the faith of his elect; and may he lead us all until
he gathers us together into his kingdom.

       *       *       *       *       *

Excuse me that I have not sooner replied to you, for I only
yesterday received your letter which is dated of the twelfth.--Your
humble brother,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Fr._--Printed in _Histoire des Martyrs_, lib. iv. p. 244.]



CCCXXIV.--TO HIS DEARLY BELOVED, THE PASTORS OF THE CHURCH OF
FRANKFORT.[442]

  [442] The rigour of the judges of Servetus could not fail to extend
  to the book which served as the basis of the judicial prosecution
  directed against his person. From the confession of the accused,
  there had been printed a thousand copies of the _Christianismi
  Restitutio_, of which a certain number were deposited at Frankfort.
  Calvin did not forget the latter portion of this acknowledgment,
  confirmed besides by a letter from the printer at Vienne, but wrote
  immediately to the Church of Frankfort, desiring the sequestration
  and destruction of this dangerous deposit. A clerk of the celebrated
  printer, Robert Stephens, then resident at Geneva, was charged with
  this mission, which he accomplished with so very great success,
  that there are only _three_ copies of the original edition to be
  found at the present day; one in the Imperial Library of Paris,
  another in that of Vienna in Austria, and a third in a private
  collection.--Rilliet, _Relation du Procès de Servet_, p. 9.

     Request for the destruction of the copies at Frankfort of the
     book of Servetus.


  GENEVA, _August 27, 1553_.

Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus
Christ, more peculiarly set apart, and my worshipful brethren.

You have doubtless heard of the name of Servetus, a Spaniard, who
twenty years ago corrupted your Germany with a virulent publication,
filled with many pernicious errors. This worthless fellow, after
being driven out of Germany, and having concealed himself in France
under a fictitious name, lately patched up a larger volume, partly
from his former book, and partly from new figments which he had
invented. This book he printed secretly at Vienne, a town in the
neighbourhood of Lyons. Many copies of it had been conveyed to
Frankfort for the Easter fairs: the printer's agent, however, a
pious and worthy man, on being informed that it contained nothing
but a farrago of errors, suppressed whatever he had of it. It
would take long to relate with how many errors--yea, prodigious
blasphemies against God--the book abounds. Figure to yourselves a
rhapsody patched up from the impious ravings of all ages. There
is no sort of impiety which this monster has not raked up, as if
from the infernal regions. I had rather you should pass sentence
on it from reading the book itself. You will certainly find on
almost every single page, what will inspire you with horror. The
author himself is held in prison by our magistrates, and he will be
punished ere long, I hope; but it is your duty to see to it that
this pestiferous poison does not spread farther. The messenger
will inform you respecting the number and the repository of the
books. The bookseller, if I mistake not, will permit them to be
burnt. Should anything stand in the way, however, I trust that you
will act so judiciously, as to purge the world of such noxious
corruptions. Besides, your way will be clear,--because if the matter
be submitted to your judgment, there will be no necessity for asking
the magistrate to interfere. And while I am so persuaded of your
integrity that I believe it would be sufficient to inform you of it;
yet the magnitude of the affair demands that I should beseech you,
by Christ, faithfully to strive to discharge your duty, lest the
opportunity should slip from you.

Fare ye well, most honoured sirs, and very dear brethren. May the
Lord guide you by his Spirit, shield you by his protection, and
bless your labours.

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 71.]



CCCXXV.--TO VIRET.[443]

  [443] A serious conflict came to be raised between the ministers
  and the magistrates of Geneva. A chief of the Libertins, Philibert
  Berthelier, was excommunicated by the Consistory for his irregular
  habits, and appealed to the Council of State, which annulled the
  ecclesiastical sentence, and gave Berthelier authority to go forward
  to the Supper. The experiment was decisive; it was made to know
  whether or not Calvin would abandon ecclesiastical discipline, or
  resist the government. This letter of the Reformer to Viret, shows
  us with what energetic resolution and heroic constancy he resolved,
  in this instance, to maintain the honour of Christ. This conflict,
  which mutually divided the representatives of the spiritual and
  civil powers, could only be terminated by the solemn intervention of
  the Helvetian Churches.--_Registers of Council_, anno 1553. See also
  the various histories of Geneva, Spon, Picot, &c.

     Troubles at Geneva--Berthelier and the chiefs of the Libertins
     are refused admission to the Lord's Table.


  GENEVA, _4th September 1553_.

I was wishing to maintain silence towards you regarding our affairs,
that I might not augment your grief to no purpose. But fearing that
you might be more deeply affected by divers rumours, I at length
thought it better to inform you respecting the principal point. When
Berthelier, a year and a half ago, was interdicted the privilege
of the Supper, he complained to the senate, and we, to please
the scoundrel, were summoned before their assembly. After having
heard the case, the Senate pronounced him to have been rightfully
excommunicated. Whether from despair or contempt, he has kept quiet
ever since up to the present time. Now, indeed, that the Syndicate
of Perrin might not become forgotten, he has wished the Senate to
restore him, without consulting the Consistory. On being summoned a
second time, I demonstrated, in a long speech, that to do so would
be to act, not only contrary to what was right, but also contrary
to law; nay more, that it was sinful to destroy the discipline of
the Church in this manner. During my absence, however, and unknown
to the Consistory, an opportunity was afforded him of receiving the
Supper. As soon as I got notice of it, I used all my endeavours to
get the Syndics to call a meeting of the Senate. I have devoted
myself so earnestly to the cause, that, in my mind, nothing
calculated to influence their minds was left undone. I endeavoured,
partly by vehemence, and partly by moderation, to reduce them to a
sound mind. I even took an oath, that I had resolved rather to meet
death than profane so shamefully the holy Supper of the Lord; for
that nothing was more intolerable than that that individual, mocking
and insulting the Church of God by his contumacy, should by raising
the standard, so to speak, incite the worst characters, and those
like himself, to indulge in the same effrontery. The reply was, that
the Senate had nothing to change in its former decision. From which
you perceive, that by this law my ministry is abandoned, if I suffer
the authority of the Consistory to be trampled upon, and extend
the Supper of Christ to open scoffers, who boast that pastors are
nothing to them. In truth, I should rather die a hundred times, than
subject Christ to such foul mockery. I need not record what I said
yesterday in both assemblies, as you will get an oral account of it
from many. The wicked and the abandoned may now obtain, therefore,
what they have eagerly sought. The calamity to the Church grieves
me, as indeed it ought. But if God yields so much power to Satan, as
to strip me of the liberty of my ministry by his violent commands,
I am satisfied. Certainly, he who has inflicted the wound, will
himself find a remedy. And, indeed, seeing that so much wickedness
has now passed with impunity for many years, perhaps the Lord is
preparing some judgment which I am not deemed worthy to see. In
fine, whatever may happen, it is our duty to submit to his will.

Farewell, most worthy brethren. May the Lord be ever present with
you, to guide and protect you. Pray him, on the other hand, to look
down upon this unfortunate Church.

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 74.]



CCCXXVI.--TO BULLINGER.

     Deep anxiety on account of the condition of the English
     Churches--Conference of the Swiss Churches in regard to Servetus.


  GENEVA, _7th September 1553_.

With respect to the letter, I had no doubt but that you made a
faithful endeavour, so far as it was your duty, to send it to me in
safety. That Jew has deceived you however; at least he has not done
what you expected of him. He at length arrived here, but alleged
that he had been robbed at Fribourg: he could give no definite
account of the letter. As circumstances did not turn out here
according to his wishes, he crossed over to England. I informed
him that matters were in a disturbed state in that country, and
endeavoured to deter him from his design. It was of no avail,
however; but he may take his own way.

We have good reason to feel anxiety--yea even torment--regarding
that nation [England].[444] What is to become of so great a
multitude of pious men, who have betaken themselves to voluntary
exile in that country?[445] There is danger, also, that we shall
hear very sad news ere long, of the many native English who have
already embraced Christ, if the Lord do not in his mercy send help
to them from heaven. Besides, the same rumour is gathering strength
here with respect to Cardinal Pole.[446] Moreover, as, I have always
heard that she is a very haughty animal who now succeeds to the
crown, and cruel withal, there sometimes steals over me a prophetic
conjecture, that her audacity will carry her all lengths. You are
aware of the rash daring peculiar to her family. She will prove
troublesome to almost all parties in the long run. Should she make
a weak attempt to alter the existing constitution, she will find
opponents not a few. Meanwhile, the Church of God will be in a
manner buffeted by manifold tempests. Let us, therefore, as you say,
commend this very troubled state of affairs to God.

  [444] In a letter to Theodore Beza of 30th August 1553, he
  gave eloquent expression to his deep anxiety for the Church of
  England:--"Scarcely has any other thing so much distressed me as
  this English affair. Let us earnestly implore mercy of God, that
  he may have pity on us, and upon his most afflicted Church. But
  where is our Martyr? where John A Lasco? where is Hooper, Bishop of
  Worcester? where is Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury? where is the
  Duke of Suffolk? where are numberless other excellent men? Lord,
  have mercy upon them. I cannot easily express how greatly these
  things distress me."--_Zurich Letters_, 1st series, vol. ii. p. 741.

  [445] "The London Church has more than 15,000 foreigners. Where will
  these miserable ones flee to, should the Pope gain the day? We must
  pray God therefore...."--Letter of Bullinger to Calvin, of 26th
  August 1553.--Eccl. Archives of Berne, vol. vi. p. 312.

  [446] Cardinal Pole was at that time preparing to leave Rome to
  return to England:--"An English nobleman was sent lately by Queen
  Mary to recall that Reginald Pole, who is too well known both to you
  and myself; for that English Athaliah desires the benefit of his
  presence and his counsel."--Bullinger to Beza, letter already quoted.

Our Council will, on an early day, send the opinions of Servetus
to your city, to obtain your judgment regarding them. Indeed they
cause you this trouble, despite our remonstrances;[447] but they
have reached such a pitch of folly and madness, that they regard
with suspicion whatever we say to them. So much so, that were I to
allege that it is clear at mid-day, they would forthwith begin to
doubt of it. Our brother Gualter [will tell you] more;[448] for I
am compelled to conclude, as there are many here whom I found on
returning home from dinner.

  [447] At the session of the 5th September, the Council of Geneva
  had decided, contrary to the wish of Calvin, upon consulting the
  Churches of Berne, Basle, Sebaffhausen, and Zurich, respecting the
  culpability of Servetus, but this decision was realized just a
  fortnight too late.--Rilliet, _Relation du Procès de Servet_, p. 84.

  [448] Rudolph Gualter, minister of the Church of Zurich, and
  son-in-law to Bullinger.

Adieu, therefore, most accomplished sir, and honourable brother in
the Lord. Salute your fellow-ministers, your sons-in-law, and your
whole family. May Christ preserve, guide, and bless you all. Amen.
My colleagues--all very dejected--salute you earnestly.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. orig. autogr._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]



CCCXXVII.--TO SULZER.[449]

  [449] The Lesser Council of Geneva, acting upon the proposition made
  a few days previously, (note 1,) prepared to write to the Churches
  of Berne, Zurich, Sebaffhausen, and Basle, to ask their advice
  regarding the culpability of Servetus. It was not, however, till
  the 21st of September, that the messenger, charged with the various
  papers relative to the trial, had put into his hands the circular
  letter addressed to the magistrates or pastors of the four towns.
  These letters were accompanied by a copy of the _Christianismi
  Restitutio_, a copy of the works of Tertullian, and one of those of
  Irenæns, as well as the questions put to Servetus, together with his
  replies, and the refutation of the ministers. In those circulars,
  the council gave expression to its entire confidence in the
  intelligence of the pastors of Geneva, but desired, before coming to
  a decision, to have fuller information on the point, by consulting
  the other Churches. The fate of the prisoner evidently depended on
  the result of this supreme measure. Calvin, addressing Bullinger and
  Sulzer alternately, insisted strongly on the alleged culpability of
  Servetus, and on the necessity of a punishment, which should be,
  as it appeared to him, a solemn consecration of those truths which
  had been shaken by the attacks of the audacious Spanish doctor. The
  messenger charged with the letter to Sulzer was the Treasurer Du
  Pan, one of the most devoted disciples of the Reformer.

     Statement of the errors of Servetus, and of the duty of the
     Christian magistrate to repress them.


  GENEVA, _8th September 1553_.

As Michael Servetus, twenty years ago, infected the Christian world
with his virulent and pestilential opinions, I should suppose his
name is not unknown to you. While you may not have read his book,
yet you must have heard something of the sort of doctrines contained
in it. It was he whom that faithful minister of Christ, Master Bucer
of holy memory, in other respects of a mild disposition, declared
from the pulpit to be worthy of having his bowels pulled out, and
torn to pieces. While he has not permitted any of his poison to go
abroad since that time, he has lately, however, brought out a larger
volume, printed secretly at Vienne, but patched up from the same
errors. To be sure, as soon as the thing became known, he was cast
into prison. He escaped from it some way or other, and wandered in
Italy for nearly four months. He at length, in an evil hour, came
to this place, when, at my instigation, one of the Syndics ordered
him to be conducted to prison. For I do not disguise it, that I
considered it my duty to put a check, so far as I could, upon this
most obstinate and ungovernable man, that his contagion might not
spread farther. We see with what wantonness impiety is making
progress everywhere, so that new errors are ever and anon breaking
forth: we see how very inactive those are whom God has armed with
the sword, for the vindication of the glory of his name. Seeing
that the defenders of the Papacy are so bitter and bold in behalf
of their superstitions, that in their atrocious fury they shed the
blood of the innocent, it should shame Christian magistrates, that
in the protection of certain truth, they are entirely destitute of
spirit. I certainly confess that nothing would be less becoming,
than for us to imitate their furious intemperance. But there is
some ground for restraining the impious from uttering whatever
blasphemies they please with impunity, when there is an opportunity
of checking it. As respects this man, three things require to be
considered. With what prodigious errors he has corrupted the whole
of religion; yea, with what detestable mockeries he has endeavoured
to destroy all piety; with what abominable ravings he has obscured
Christianity, and razed to the very foundation all the principles of
our religion. Secondly, how obstinately he has behaved; with what
diabolical pride he has despised all advice; with what desperate
stubbornness he has driven headlong in scattering his poison.
Thirdly, with what proud scorn he at present avows and defends his
abominations. For so far is he from any hope of repentance, that he
does not hesitate to fling this blot upon those holy men, Capito and
Œcolampadius, as if they were his companions. When the letters
of Œcolampadius were shown him, he said that he wondered by what
spirit they had been led away from their former opinion. But as I
hope you will see to it that the impiety of the man be represented
in the character it merits, I shall not add more. Only there is one
thing I wish to say to you, viz., that the treasurer of this city,
who will deliver to you this letter, takes a correct view of this
case, so that he at least does not avoid the issue which we desire.
Would that your old disciples were animated by the same spirit![450]

  [450] These last words betray Calvin's want of confidence in the
  Pastors of the Church of Berne, with certain of whom he was found
  to disagree upon certain points of doctrine, and who had given
  expression to principles of great toleration in the reply relative
  to Bolsec.

I write you nothing regarding French matters, as I do not think
there is anything new here, which is not equally known among
yourselves, except that there were three pious brethren burnt at
Lyons on Sabbath last; a fourth was sent to a neighbouring town to
suffer a similar fate.[451] It is scarcely credible, seeing that
they were illiterate men, how they were, as far as it appeared,
enlightened by the Spirit of God to the highest perfection of
doctrine, and with what courage they were supported to maintain an
inflexible firmness. One at first, overcome by fear, had swerved
from a genuine confession. When the judges resolved upon releasing
him, he, having asked forgiveness for his insincerity, eagerly
offered himself to the flames. Similar fires are kindled, also, in
other parts of France; nor is there any hope of relief.--Adieu.

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 70.]

  [451] See letter, p. 418.



CCCXXVIII.--TO A CAPTIVE LADY.[452]

  [452] Notice in the handwriting of Charles de Jonvillers:--"He wrote
  this letter to a good young lady, personally unknown to him, who
  having set out on the way to Geneva, was arrested by a relation
  of her own, who wished to deprive her of her liberty. Two of her
  brothers came hither to get letters from him. But fearing lest they
  might ask them for their own ends, and to the injury of the young
  lady, he wrote and adopted this style for the express object he had
  in view."

     He consoles her under her trials, and exhorts her to use every
     means to secure her retreat to Geneva.


  FROM GENEVA, _this 13th September 1553_.

MADEMOISELLE AND VERY DEAR SISTER,--I am much grieved by your
affliction, not only because the children of God ought to bear each
other's burdens, but because I feel the cause for which you suffer
to be a common one; for, as I am told, they afflict and detain you
captive for having wished to follow Jesus Christ. You have, however,
whereof to rejoice in the good testimony which your conscience
renders you in the sight of God, that you do not suffer on account
of evil doing, but because Satan cannot endure that you should break
loose from the bonds of the servitude in which you have hitherto
pined. Notwithstanding, you must call upon God, beseeching him to
have compassion upon you, and committing yourself entirely into his
hand, to hope for such deliverance as he shall please to send you.
Nevertheless, if there were any right and lawful means of escaping
out of the hands of him who detains you, you should ask counsel from
God, so that by his Spirit he might teach you to take advantage of
it. As I am not thoroughly acquainted with the facts, nay, as I do
not even know your person nor your rank, I shall write upon the
report of the gentlemen who are the bearers of the present letter.
They have told me that as you were preparing to come hither, nay,
actually on your way, the thing being discovered, some priest who
is related to you, seized upon you, and now detains you as in a
prison, from whence you have no means of getting free, unless you
pretend to be willing for a while to live in that neighbourhood.
Now, they promise to harbour you in their house, where you will
be free to serve God purely, without mixing yourself up with the
idolatries which prevail throughout the country. Before giving you
any advice as to this, I protest that on no account would I induce
you to flinch, or to seek out any by-way which might turn you out of
the strait path which God points out to you in his word. Although I
have heard that God has endowed you with admirable constancy, for
which I bless and magnify his name, I would yet rather strive to
increase you still more in such courage than in any degree lessen
it. For when we are brought to such an extremity as to have no way
of deliverance from the tyranny of the enemies of the truth, save
by subterfuges which draw back and estrange us from the right path,
there is no doubt but that God calls us to seal with our blood the
confession of faith which we owe to him. For which reason if it
were a question as to declining either on one side or the other,
it were better to die. And in order that you may not be shaken by
threatenings or by anything whatsoever, look to the Son of God,
who did not spare his own life for the sake of our salvation, in
order that we might not reckon our life too precious when needed to
further his glory. Look to that heavenly crown which is prepared for
those who have fought courageously. And above all, beware of drawing
back, rather than which, we ought to use our utmost endeavours to
press forward to the mark which God sets before us. But if the means
be offered you of withdrawing with your brethren, who desire with
you to worship God with one accord, I do not think that you ought
to refuse. In conclusion, you have to pray God, as I shall also do,
that he would bestow on you a spirit of counsel and prudence, to
decide what is right and fit for you to do; a spirit of discretion,
that you may not be deceived and take evil for good; a spirit of
steadfastness to be constant in wholly conforming yourself to his
will.

  [_Copy._--_Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107.]



CCCXXIX.--TO THE BELIEVERS IN THE ISLES.[453]

  [453] "To the faithful dispersed in some isles of France." The
  peninsula of Arvert on the coast of Saintonge, peopled by fishermen
  and pirates, received the first seeds of the Gospel from some
  refugees driven away by persecution from the neighbouring towns.
  "The seed sown was afterwards fertilized by some monks preaching
  a kind of half truth, as regarded doctrine, and reproving vices;
  so that in a little time we saw (in that country) a strange
  alteration."--Beza, _Hist. Eccl._, tom. i. p. 101. From the point of
  Arvert, the Reformation spread into the adjoining islets, and there
  made numerous disciples, in spite of the rigours of the Parliament
  of Bourdeaux. A great missionary, Philibert Hamelin, regulated
  this movement. From Tours originally, he at first preached the
  Reformed doctrine with success at Saintes. Seized in that town, he
  miraculously escaped death, and sought an asylum at Geneva, where
  he followed the calling of a printer. But the ardour of his zeal
  soon led him to betake himself once more to the perilous apostolate,
  which was to close with martyrdom. He revisited La Saìntonge,
  visited his brethren dispersed among the islands, organized their
  churches, and taken a second time, he perished at the stake at
  Bourdeaux, the 18th April 1557. The journal of another glorious
  missionary of the Reformation, Bernard Palissy, may be consulted as
  to the ministry and death of Hamelin.

     Religious counsels, and announcement of the sending of a
     minister.


  _This 12th of October 1553._

VERY DEAR BRETHREN,--We have to praise God that in the captivity
wherein you are, he vouchsafes you the strength you ask, to worship
him in purity, fearing more the being deprived of his grace, than
exposing yourself to the dangers which may perhaps be about to
occur to you, owing to the malice of the adversaries; for the
brother who is bearer of the present letter,[454] has declared to
us that you have requested him to return to you whenever he could;
and that you desire to be by all means exhorted to what is right,
and confirmed in the faith of the Gospel; and, indeed, now-a-days,
there is greater need of this than ever. It remains that this holy
zeal of yours be firm, so that you may continue to advance in the
path of salvation. As for the man, you know him; and on our part,
seeing he has here approved himself a God-fearing man, has had
his conversation among us holy and without reproach, and has also
always followed good and wholesome teaching, we doubt not that he
will comport himself faithfully among you, and labour for your
edification. As to the advice which he has asked of us in your name,
this is the order which it appears to us you have to maintain, both
as to prayer to God in beginning, and as to being taught by him
and others that God shall give you, and to whom he has bestowed
grace to minister to you. Thereupon, see that you take courage to
separate yourselves from idolatries, from all superstitions, which
are contrary to the service of God, and to the acknowledgment and
confession which all Christians owe to him, for to that are we
called. When, in course of time, God has so prospered you, that
you are, as it were, an ecclesiastical body maintaining the order
already mentioned, and that there are some resolved to withdraw
themselves from prevailing pollutions, then you may have the use of
the sacraments. But we are nowise of opinion that you should begin
by them, or even that you should be in a hurry to partake of the
holy Supper, until you have some order established among you. And
indeed it is much better for you to abstain from it, so that thus
you may be led to seek the means which will render you capable of
receiving it. That is, as we have already said, that you may be
accustomed to meet together in God's name, being as it were one
body; and that you may be separated from the idolatries which it is
not lawful to mix up with things holy. Nay, it would not be lawful
for a man to administer the sacraments to you, unless he recognized
you as a flock of Jesus Christ, and found among you the form of a
church. Meanwhile, take courage and devote yourselves wholly to God,
who has purchased us so dearly by his own Son, and yield him the
homage of body and soul, showing that you account his glory more
precious than all besides; and that you set a higher value upon the
eternal salvation which is prepared for you in heaven, than you do
on this transitory life.

  [454] Philibert Hamelin.

Wherefore, very dear brethren, making an end for the present, we
shall pray this merciful God to complete what he has begun in you,
to increase you in all spiritual blessings, and to have you in his
holy protection.

  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE,
  As well in his own name, as in that of his brethren.

  [_Fr. copy._--_Arch. of the Company of Geneva._ Vol. A.]



CCCXXX.--TO FAREL.

     Acknowledgment of Farel's care for the Church of Geneva.


  GENEVA, _14th October 1553_.

I cannot find words, my dear Farel, in which to thank you for the
extraordinary interest you take in us, and for your equal regard
for this Church. I purposely abstained from, or at all events was
more sparing in writing you, as I was afraid to take horseback
immediately as you have done. Indeed I did not care for troubling
you until the very last, as you said that it would not be acceptable
to you if I should spare you. I certainly know well enough, and
indeed have experienced how you like, yea, desire to undertake
labour in behalf of the Church of God, and how prompt you are in
rendering us assistance. Of the present state of things here I
suppose you have been informed by Viret, or rather by my letter to
him, which I wrote with the intention that you should get a reading
of it. Our enemies are making general exertions to have some hasty
decree passed at the meeting of the greater Council, about the
middle of November. I was thinking that it would be well to have
Viret here about that time. Yourself, indeed, I am desirous to see
here sooner, viz., on occasion of the final sentence of Servetus.
This will take place, I hope, before the end of next week.[455]
As, however, the son of Claude Bernard has invited Viret to his
marriage on Sabbath next, I have no doubt whatever but that Viret
will accompany you if you come by Lausanne. Yet I am unwilling, when
there is no pressing necessity for it, that you should move a foot
unless it suit your convenience.[456] I have no doubt but that Viret
will write you his mind on the matter, if he can secure in time a
trustworthy messenger, for I asked him to do so. Earnest salutations
from all, especially our friend the Marquis,[457] Normandie, and my
restored friend. Adieu, most upright and very dear brother. Salute
earnestly your fellow-ministers, and your whole family. May the Lord
Christ ever guide, preserve, and bless you all.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. copy.--Library of Zurich. Coll. Simler_, tom. 80.]

  [455] See the letters, pp. 422, 427. They were then waiting at
  Geneva for the reply of the Swiss churches to the circular letters
  which had been addressed to them concerning the case of Servetus.

  [456] Farel arrived at Geneva a few days afterwards, where was
  reserved for him the melancholy mission of accompanying Servetus to
  the stake.

  [457] Galeazzo Caraccioli, Marquis de Vico.



CCCXXXI.--TO FAREL.[458]

  [458] The state messenger charged with the delivery of the documents
  relative to the trial of Servetus to the Swiss Churches, had visited
  in succession those of Berne, Zurich, Schaffhausen, and Bâle, and
  had now returned to Geneva with their replies. The churches were
  alike unanimous in their judgment of the theological culpability
  of Servetus, and in their testimonies of affection and confidence
  towards Calvin and his colleagues. Without giving expression to the
  nature of the punishment which should be inflicted on the accused,
  they were unanimous in advising them to rid the Church of a pest,
  which had already brought ruin to so great a number of souls. Their
  various replies will be found in _Calvini Opera_, tom. ix. p. 72,
  _et seq._ The magistrates of Berne, who had counselled toleration to
  Bolsec, manifested an inflexible rigour towards Servetus, exhorting
  those of Geneva not to act unworthily of Christian magistrates.
  The ministers of Zurich were still more decided: "We think," said
  they, "that you ought in this case to manifest much faith and
  zeal, inasmuch as our churches have abroad the bad reputation of
  being heretical, and of being particularly favourable to heresy.
  Holy Providence at this time affords you an opportunity of freeing
  yourselves and us from that injurious suspicion, if you know how
  to be vigilant and active in preventing the further spreading of
  that poison, and we have no doubt but that your Seigneurs will do
  so." After such replies the sentence against Servetus could not be
  long doubtful; and the magistrates, in condemning him to death,
  were only the interpreters of the stern thought of an age in which
  persecution, that sad legacy of the Middle Ages, was the avowed
  jurisprudence of all Christian communions. The day following that on
  which Calvin penned these lines addressed to Farel, (27th October
  1553,) Servetus was led forth to hear his doom pronounced at the
  gate of the Hotel de Ville, and mounted the fatal pile erected at
  Champel, bequeathing a mournful souvenir to the Reformation, and an
  eternal subject of accusation to the enemies of the Reformer. The
  error of Calvin in the death of Servetus was, we may say, altogether
  that of his age, inasmuch as men of the most conciliating and
  moderate dispositions, viz., Bucer, Œcolampadius, Melanchthon,
  and Bullinger, were at one in their approval of the condemnation of
  the unfortunate Spanish innovator. One may deeply deplore this error
  without insulting the Reformation, and combine in a just measure
  that pity which a great victim demands, with respect for those men
  whom an unhappy time made the accusers and the judges of Servetus.

     Deliverance by the Swiss Churches regarding Servetus--vain
     efforts of Calvin to obtain a mitigation of his punishment.


  GENEVA, _26th October 1553_.

Behold what will give you some gratification. Instead of an epistle,
here is a summary which will not occupy long time. The messenger
has returned from the Swiss Churches. They are unanimous in
pronouncing that Servetus has now renewed those impious errors with
which Satan formerly disturbed the Church, and that he is a monster
not to be borne. Those of Bâle were judicious. The Zurichers were
the most vehement of all; for they not only animadverted in severe
terms on the atrocity of his impieties, but also exhorted our Senate
to severity. They of Schaffhausen will agree. Also to an appropriate
letter from the Bernese is added one from the Senate, in which they
stimulate ours not a little. Caesar, the comedian, after feigning
illness for three days, at length went up to the assembly in order
to free that wretch from punishment. Nor was he ashamed to ask that
inquiry might be made at the [Council of the] Two Hundred. However,
he was without doubt condemned. He will be led forth to punishment
to-morrow. We endeavoured to alter the mode of his death, but in
vain. Why we did not succeed I defer for narration until I see you.
Adieu, most upright brother, and distinguished minister of Christ.
May God ever guide and preserve you. Much health to all friends.
Ours salute you again.

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 71.]



CCCXXXII.--TO MADAME DE PONS.

     He encourages her to come out of the spiritual bondage in which
     she is held.


  _The 20th of November 1553._

MADAME AND GOOD SISTER,--If God had given you a husband who had been
loyal to you, and had lived in concord with you, there would be need
to comfort you at present, and to exhort you to patience. But since
he who ought to have considered you as dear to him as the half of
himself, has been, while he lived, a very severe scourge, you have
occasion rather to acknowledge that in removing him our gracious
God has acted in mercy towards you. Furthermore, the annoyances
which you have undergone ought to teach you to humble yourself
under the hand of Him who has thought fit thus to try you, in order
to make you feel the value of his help, and how his faithfulness
never fails his people. But all the ill-treatment under which you
have pined away, has been nothing at all compared to that wretched
captivity by which you were kept back from the worship of God, and
kept away from the Son of God, so as to be unable to keep faith in
the holy and sacred marriage which he has contracted with you; and
now you must all the more consider, to what end he has set you so
much at liberty. Call to mind, I beseech you, the continual sighs
you have been heaving for so long a time. Although you had many
kinds of grief, I doubt not that your chief regret was that of not
being permitted to devote yourself entirely to the service of God.
Consider well, whether you have not vowed daily before God, that you
wished for nothing but the means of getting rid of the servitude
in which you were held. Now that your wish is granted, rely upon
it that God holds you to your promise. It is for you to anticipate
him, even as your conscience prompts you, without incitements from
without. And yet further, call to remembrance that Saint Paul, in
saying that married persons are as it were divided, but that widows
have nothing to do but to apply themselves entirely to God, takes
away from you the excuse which hitherto you could have alleged.
It is certain that nothing whatever ought to hinder us from the
discharge of what is due to our heavenly Father, and to that kind
Redeemer whom he has sent to us; but the better the opportunity of
each, so much the more guilty does he become if he does not the more
readily discharge his duty. I am well aware that you have regard to
your children, and I do not say but that this is right, provided
that the sovereign Father of both you and them be not left out. But
consider that the greatest benefit which you can confer upon them,
is to shew them the way to follow God. However that may be, it will
no longer be permitted you to allege that you are under compulsion,
and forced to offend, seeing that God has opened a door to you
which might have been shut. What remains for you then but to take
courage, yea even so as to strive to the very utmost to surmount
all the difficulties which keep you back: for I know very well that
you cannot without great opposition dedicate yourself fully to
our Lord Jesus. But to come to the point, make a right use of the
knowledge which he has for a long time past vouchsafed you; and do
not allow the zeal which he has at one time imprinted by the Holy
Spirit upon your heart to die away; and do not knowingly quench the
holy desire which has burned within you in bygone times. Behold how
God allows those to slip away who grow careless little by little,
and how easily he permits them to be so utterly depraved that they
go to perdition; and it is just that the Lord should thus avenge
himself upon those who have preferred the vanities of the world to
the treasure of his Gospel. Now, while many allow themselves to
be seduced by such examples, let this serve as a warning to you,
to keep all the more closely fenced about in fear and solicitude.
Finally, let the adversity which you have passed through, during a
part of your life, make you ponder all the more seriously that true
happiness and perfect glory which is prepared for us in heaven,
that we may not beguile ourselves with worldly repose, which can
only be fleeting and highly seasoned with never-ceasing care and
troubles, and, worse than all, which makes us unmindful of that
soul-rest which alone is blessed. But that I may not seem to
distrust your good-will, I shall conclude for the present, after
having affectionately commended me to your kind favour and prayers,
and having besought our merciful God that if, in times past, he has
poured forth upon you the graces and virtues of his Holy Spirit,
he would not only continue them, but would increase you therein,
and never allow you to decline from the straight path, but advance
you therein still more and more, while in the meantime he holds you
under his protection. I do not know whereabouts your brother is, or
if I should give him pleasure by writing to him, which withholds me
from doing so. Nevertheless, I desire that God would hold him with
a strong hand, so that he may not be estranged from him.[459] From
what I hear, he is a little gone out of the way in some things, and
has much need to be brought back into the straight path; but as I do
not know how to effect this, I reserve it for a better opportunity.
Once more I commit you to the love of our merciful God.--Your humble
brother and servant,

  CHARLES D'ESPEVILLE.

  [_Fr. copy.--Impl. Library. Coll. Dupuy_, Vol. 102.]

  [459] May not the personage in question be Antoine de Pons, Lord
  of Maremme? He had taken for his first wife Anne de Parthenay,
  daughter of M. de Soubise, and had embraced the Reformed faith
  at the Court of Ferrara. Having afterwards married the lady of
  Montebenu, he fell away from Protestantism, and even became one of
  its persecutors.--Bèze, _Hist. Eccl._, tom. i. p. 199.



CCCXXXIII.--TO VIRET.[460]

  [460] After the accession of Queen Mary to the throne of England,
  the Continent was filled with religious exiles, who did not hesitate
  to sacrifice their country for the free profession of their faith
  in a strange land. A great many English Churches were established
  in Germany and Switzerland. Those of Frankfort and Geneva were the
  most important.--See on the origin and history of the latter, the
  Memoir published by a Genevese savant, M. Heyer, in the _Recueil de
  la Société d'Histoire et d'Archéologie de Genève_. 1854.

     Recommendation of several English refugees in Switzerland.


  GENEVA, _20th November 1553_.

Those Englishmen, on leaving this place to resort to you, requested
me to give them an introduction, in order that by your assistance
they might secure suitable lodgings. Indeed they were anxious
to live with yourself or M. Beza, but they will not urge this,
especially as they were informed that they could scarcely expect
it. You will, however, receive them as a good and kind host should;
for I understand that they are pious and honourable men, and am
confident that they will be easily accommodated. The elder, the
father of the young man, is a person of good birth, and was wealthy
in his own country. The son merits higher praise for piety and
holy zeal; for, under the reign of King Edward, seeing that the
Church suffered from want of pastors, he undertook voluntarily the
labours of that office. Add to this, that they, with a generous
liberality assisted with their entire property our French brethren,
who, on account of the Gospel, had crossed over to England. We must
on no account, therefore, deny to these exiles at least a similar
friendship. You will also inform our friend Beza of the intended
visit of a friend, who will, I expect, be with him to-morrow or
soon afterwards. He is brother to Luzarch, whom he had formerly at
his house--older than he, however, although not the eldest of the
family. Our bold leaders have dined together several times since you
left.[461] I have not as yet witnessed any proof of that intrepidity
of which they were boasting. Adieu, very worthy brother. Salute
M. Beza and the rest of the brethren, also your wife, and little
daughters at home. May the Lord guide and watch over you.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN

  [_Lat. orig. autogr.--Library of Geneva._ Vol. 107, _a_.]

  [461] "The whole of the Lesser Council, the gentlemen of justice,
  M. Calvin, and a great number of the more eminent men of the town,
  dine together, in order to cement the peace, and it has been
  decided upon that if any one violate it all the others may oppose
  him."--_Registers of the Council_ for 1553.



CCCXXXIV.--TO BULLINGER.[462]

  [462] See the letter to Viret, p. 423. After having solemnly refused
  the Supper to Philibert Berthelier, Calvin presented himself before
  the Council, and demanded a general assembly of the people. The
  Council could not, he said, annul a discipline which the entire
  people had sanctioned. Intimidated by this step, the Council
  adopted the course which it had already followed in the case of
  Servetus, and expressed the intention of consulting the other
  Reformed Cantons. Charged with a secret mission by the Reformer, his
  friend John de Budé set out for Zurich, to solicit in that place, a
  decision favourable to the views of Calvin. Bullinger was active in
  his exertions to gain over the magistrates of his country, as well
  as in giving Calvin wise counsels of moderation:--"We have laboured
  with all our might," he wrote to him, "to prevent our Seigneurs from
  acting in any way derogatory to the excellent laws of your Church;
  we have besides exhorted you to continue faithful, using moderation
  in all things, lest you lose those whose salvation is desired by the
  Lord, who does not break the bruised reed nor quench the smoking
  flax."--_Bullinger to Calvin._ 12th December 1553.

     Appeal to the Magistrates of Zurich in reference to
     ecclesiastical discipline--thanks for the aid afforded by the
     ministers of that Church in the affair of Servetus.


  GENEVA, _26th November 1553_.

Here is another new labour for you. Those desirous of living a
life of licentiousness, have not ceased for the past seven years
to oppose the discipline of the Church, which is in a tolerable
state of efficiency here. We would not, however, have been so much
annoyed by loose-living men among the common people, if there had
not been leaders who wished to convert this license into a means
of power. It has now come to this, that whatever church order has
hitherto flourished will be rooted up if you cannot afford us a
remedy. And it is on this account that our very excellent brother,
M. de Budé, has not scrupled to undertake a journey to you, at this
trying season of the year, in order to acquaint you with the whole
business. However, the main point is in brief this: that your most
illustrious Senate give as their reply, that the form which we have
hitherto employed is agreeable to the word of God; in the next
place, that it discountenance innovation. You will learn the rest
from the circular letter which I have written; on this condition,
however, that should you not deem it expedient to circulate it more
widely, you communicate it expressly to M. Gualter. I leave it
entirely to your judgment. Should I obtain through you those two
chief points, viz., unambiguous confirmation of our regulations by
the suffrages of your Senate, and a discountenancing in our men of
their desire for innovation, it will bring peace to this Church for
a long time to come. I hope you have received the letter which I
sent you lately, in which I thanked you all in my own name and that
of my brethren, for the faithful and pious response which you gave
in the case of Servetus. The very brilliant commendation with which
you honoured us, had its own weight with good men.[463] It has not
as yet, as you may perceive, put a check upon the lawless and the
abandoned. However, things will be better in a short time, I trust,
if you will come to our assistance. A citizen of yours has conveyed
to you the book of Servetus and that farrago which you asked for.
Of the sad desolation of England you know too much; I shall stop
therefore. Adieu, most distinguished sir, and venerable brother.
Salute earnestly M. Gualter, your wife, your relatives, and the
faithful. May the Lord shield you all by his protection, and guide
you by his Spirit.

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Calvin's Lat. Corresp._ Opera, tom. ix. p. 75.]

  [463] While giving an energetic deliverance against the errors of
  Servetus, the ministers of Zurich had paid, in their reply to the
  Seigneurie of Geneva, a very beautiful tribute to Calvin:--"We trust
  that the faith and zeal--in a word, the distinguished services among
  the exiles and the pious--of our brother, your pastor, Calvin, is
  too illustrious to be obscured by such very disgraceful calumnies,
  whether in the estimation of your honourable Council, or in that of
  other good men."--_Calv. Opera_, tom. ix. p. 74.



CCCXXXV.--TO THE PASTORS AND DOCTORS OF THE CHURCH OF ZURICH.[464]

  [464] See the preceding letter. The Council of Zurich having
  received the letter of that of Geneva, and having consulted
  Bullinger and his colleagues regarding the reply which they would
  require to make, did not hesitate to give a deliverance in favour
  of Calvin, and against the demands of the _Libertines_. They
  accordingly exhorted the magistrates of Geneva to maintain their
  ecclesiastical laws, "as good and conformable to the prescriptions
  of the Divine word, and as particularly necessary in an age in which
  men are becoming more and more wicked." Although the discipline then
  in operation at Zurich differed essentially from that of Geneva, in
  being less rigorous, yet the Seigneurs of Zurich pronounced a eulogy
  upon that of the latter, "inasmuch as it was framed in a manner
  adapting it to the time, the place, and the persons; and that every
  Church ought to persevere in those usages which she has received
  and holily established, according to the word of God."--Ruchat,
  _Hist. de la Reformation_, tom. vi. pp. 67, 68. The reply of the
  Seigneurs of Berne was less explicit. They limited themselves to the
  declaration, that excommunication was not in force among them, but
  that they had certain regulations, of which they forwarded them a
  copy.

     Account of the struggles at Geneva for the maintenance of
     ecclesiastical discipline--appeal to the Pastors of Zurich for
     their influence with the magistrates of that town.


  GENEVA, _26th November 1553_.

I feel indeed ashamed, very excellent and sincerely respected
brethren, at bringing before you again a new topic of consideration,
inasmuch as our Council troubled you lately with the case of
Servetus. There is, however, good grounds for excuse in the present
instance: for, as the wickedness of certain parties is vaunting
itself with a headstrong insolence not to be resisted, the pious
and upright are forced to apply to you for aid; and while I am
assuredly anxious above all things to avoid giving you trouble, I
have, nevertheless, from the necessity of the case, thought it my
duty not to spare you. From the time of my return to this Church,
discipline has at least made tolerable advancement, if it has not
been perfect, or such as could have been wished. The Consistory was
instituted, and charged with the regulation of morals. It possessed
no civil jurisdiction, but simply the administration of rebuke
from the word of God; its ultimate punishment was excommunication.
Among the other disputes which Satan has been continually stirring
up during the past three years, the present one has been a source
of extreme vexation to us; for a certain wretch, of abandoned
effrontery, having attempted, contrary to the decision of the
Church, to force his way to the Holy Table, when he saw that we
were prepared to offer a determined resistance to his madness,
filled the city with a great tumult. Nor, indeed, had he much
difficulty in doing so, seeing that he could make choice of the
irreligious faction to act the drama. And because he was not only
patronized by those men, who were not ashamed to make a noise in
defence of Servetus, but also aided and abetted by them, he, by
their assistance, succeeded, after an intense struggle, and by very
outrageous behaviour, in prevailing upon the Greater Council rashly
to break through the established and hitherto observed order of the
Church. We again opposed them. Those who had fallen into the error
have resolved upon consulting the Swiss Churches. And although
they have not yet written you, yet because it is certain that
the reply of your most illustrious Council will be in accordance
with your mind, I have thought that you should be apprised and
solicited regarding it in time. Accordingly, a very excellent and
eminently judicious man, and my dearly beloved brother, has gladly
undertaken a journey to you, in the name of the Church, at the cost
of great toil and trouble at this severe season of the year. Let me
earnestly beseech you, therefore, in the first place, to reflect,
that it should not be treated by you as some ordinary matter; but,
that the case proposed for decision concerns the entire welfare of
this Church. And because I consider that it would be perfidious
cowardice in me, so long as I occupy my present position, not
to contend keenly, even to the utmost, in behalf of a holy and
lawful discipline, I have resolved that I should a hundred times
rather leave this life--not to say this place--than suffer to be
overthrown, that which I am confident is taken from the word of God.
All are not agreed at the present time regarding excommunication.
Nor am I ignorant that there are pious and learned men who do not
consider excommunication to be necessary under Christian princes.
And yet I am confident that there is no person of sound mind, and
unbiassed disposition, who would discountenance the employment of
it. To me it is clearly the doctrine of Christ. If on any occasion
people cannot be got to come under this yoke of Christ, after
pastors have exerted themselves to the utmost respecting it, it is
their business then, not ours; but it would be exceedingly base for
us to stand by and look on, while an edifice which Christ committed
to our defence, was being overthrown, and utterly razed to the
ground. Nor have I any fear that you will censure my zeal for its
pertinacity, when once you have got a thorough understanding of the
plan which we have followed up to the present time, and of which
godless men are endeavouring forcibly to deprive us. And now, if it
shall appear to you to contain nothing but what is consonant with
the pure doctrine of Christ, I solemnly beseech you to use your
influence, so that your most illustrious Council may bear a similar
testimony. For this is of especial importance, in order that our
men may understand that they cannot compass that innovation which
they desire, without abandoning the example of Christ, or, if this
seem too strong, without swerving from it. As for whatever is not
sufficiently set forth in this letter, M. de Budé will explain
it in your presence. The Lord will be a witness to myself and my
colleagues, that for four years wicked men have done all in their
power, to accomplish the gradual overthrow of this Church in its
present tolerable condition. I saw through their secret machinations
from the first; but I did not know what to make of it, unless
that the Lord was preparing whips before our eyes, in order that
by inspiring us with fear, he might win us back to himself. For
the past two years, we have been precisely as if living among the
professed enemies of Christ. The last act is now played; for after
many victories, the enemy meditates a splendid triumph over Christ,
his doctrine, his ministers, and in a word, over all his members.
I shall not speak of how inhumanly, insolently, and barbarously,
they have tortured those exiles of Christ who had embraced his
faith. And, indeed the very perpetrators of those wrongs will not be
able to deny, with what mildness, modesty, and patience, those who
found a ready asylum here, have borne all their indignities. Their
profligacy has now reached such a pitch, that having shaken off all
shame, they obstinately desire to convert the House of the Lord into
a brothel. And, in order that you may know how foully dishonourable
they are, they lately, when our brother Farel was here,--to whom
they are, as you know, under so great obligations,--and who gave
them a free and independent advice, were so inflamed with rage, that
they made bold to threaten him with a criminal prosecution.[465]

  [465] Farel, while preaching at Geneva, had addressed severe
  language to the youths of that city; and he said they were "worse
  than brigands, murderers, thieves, plunderers, atheists." A crowd of
  young men presenting themselves before the Council, menaced it to
  its face, and demanded that Farel should be summoned from Neuchatel
  to give an account of his insolent language. A great tumult followed
  this proposition. Some made bold to stand up and call to their
  recollection the services Farel had rendered to the republic, and
  the shame of an accusation directed against the _spiritual father_
  of the city. Meanwhile, Farel arrived, calm as usual. The cry got up
  of Justice! Justice! and the citizens leaving their shops, hastened
  to rally round the venerable pastor, and preserve him from all
  disgrace. He had little difficulty in justifying himself and even
  Perrin was compelled to proclaim his innocence.--_Registers of the
  Council_, Nov. 1553; Roset, tom. v. p. 53; and _Hist. de la Suisse_,
  tom. xi. p. 381.

I am indeed well enough aware, that it is nothing new for factious
men, in a free city, to stir up mobs. Yet our Council have been
deplorably left to themselves, for they demanded of the people of
Neuchatel that they should deliver up to them the father of their
liberty, yea, the father of this Church, as accused of a capital
offence. I feel constrained to proclaim the infamy of this city,
although I could desire to wipe it off with my blood. Farel came:
before he entered the city, the officer of the Council delivered
an official intimation at my house, that he was not to enter the
pulpit. I shall not dwell upon the rest; for it is sufficient to
let you have a taste of this ingratitude, which will stir the
just indignation of all good and honest men. And as I have many
reasons for not making an open lament over our evils, so, of this
be convinced, and that briefly, that unless Satan receive a check
through you, he will fling the reins loose altogether. It becomes
you, therefore, to make as great exertions, as if the welfare of
this Church was entirely in your hands. Nor let it be ascribed to
peevishness in us, if we would rather yield up our position than
sacrifice our opinions. For all good men know, that we have been
hitherto over-accommodating, in order to obviate troubles, even when
there could be no doubt at all, that our patience was tried by the
wicked. But we must not yield them this victory; nay, we must not
knowingly and wilfully surrender the entire liberty of the Church;
not only because the authority of our ministry would fall to the
ground, but because the name of Christ would be subjected to any the
foulest disgrace: an unbridled license for all vices would increase
with more and more effrontery: the condition of the pious would not
only become exposed to all manner of wrongs, but utterly cast down
by suffering,--they would lie in sad prostration. This makes me all
the more confident, that you will do your endeavour to assist, by
your support, the faithful of this place, so that they may worship
God with a little more peace. Adieu, my very excellent and truly
revered brethren. May the Lord be present with you, and guide you
by his Spirit; may he supply you with an abundance of wisdom,
sufficient, not only for maintaining your own Church, but also for
upholding that of others. Fare ye well, my very excellent and truly
revered brethren. May the Lord be ever present with you, to guide
and watch over you.

My colleagues salute you earnestly, and commend this Church, with
all possible zeal, to your faithfulness and wisdom.--Yours,

  JOHN CALVIN.

It will be desirable to conceal this letter, lest our men hear of
it.[466]

  [_Lat. orig. autogr.--Archives of Zurich._ Gest. vi. 105, p. 515.]

  [466] In Calvin's own hand.



CCCXXXVI.--TO BULLINGER.

     Fresh details regarding ecclesiastical discipline--hope of
     speedy realization--announcement of the publication of a book
     against the errors of Servetus.


  GENEVA, _30th December 1553_.

The messenger arrived six days after I had received your letter.
The people of Schaffhausen give a pious and judicious reply; those
of Bâle give a very meagre response; they offer us almost no
advice, sending us simply a copy of their edicts, without, however,
pronouncing any judgment. Our brother, Sulzer, earnestly apologizes
for not having been able to accomplish more. And I can perceive,
in various ways, indeed, most upright and respected brother, how
strenuously you have exerted yourself in our behalf; nor do I doubt
but that our friend Gualter performed his part also. Whatever may
have happened, I feel that I owe more to your singular faithfulness
and remarkable zeal, than I am able to express. But the Lord, in
whose cause you have made such endeavours, will give you his reward.
Assuredly my affection for you will not be found wanting. Nothing
has as yet been done in the Senate, the letters being still in the
hand of the translator. Seeing that we have to do with very base
calumniators, they will get up various quarrels with us. I expect,
however, either victory, or a satisfactory winding up of the matter.
As soon as anything has been effected, I shall see to it that you be
informed of it. For it will be a matter of common gratulation to us,
if the event turn out according to our wishes. The pamphlet against
Servetus, in which I have set forth that argument which you wished
me to employ, was published at the late Frankfort Fair.[467] With
respect to those matters which the men at Bâle are making a clamour
about, and of which I complained to you, I resolved to spare their
reputation, and have done so, lest the disgrace of a few men should
bring dishonour on the whole Church;[468] and certainly they deserve
to be overwhelmed in eternal oblivion. The progress of events
convinced me of what had not previously occurred to me, viz., that
your letter concerning Servetus, should be inserted in the book;
and trusting to your kindness, I took the liberty of inserting it.
Should you not approve of my plan, however, I shall endeavour to
remedy it. Adieu, very distinguished sir, illustrious minister of
Christ, and revered brother. May the Lord continue to guide you by
the spirit of wisdom and fortitude, and to protect your Church.

  [467] This is the book against the errors of Michael
  Servetus.--_Opera_, tom. viii.; and _Opuscules_, p. 230. The
  Registers of Council contain the following intimation on the subject
  of this work:--"Calvin has represented to the Council, that at
  the request of the Swiss Churches, he is about to publish a book,
  containing an account of the opinions of Servetus: and that he has
  not been so bold as to commit it to the press without the permission
  of the Council, assuring it that this book contains nothing not
  conformable to the word of God, or dishonourable to the city. Agreed
  to permit Calvin to print it; 11th December 1553." This book, as
  establishing the right of magistrates to punish heresy by the sword,
  has given occasion to the most violent controversies.

  [468] Calvin had written, what he then suppressed: _De Curione et
  Similibus_. The condemnation of Servetus was disapproved of by
  certain of the professors of the Academy of Bâle, among whom is to
  be found the celebrated Italian refugee, Celio Secondo Curione, and
  Sebastian Castalio.

Salute earnestly in my name your colleagues, and your family. My
colleagues, MM. Celso Martinengo and Budé, and the other brethren,
respectfully salute you.--Yours truly,

  JOHN CALVIN.

  [_Lat. Copy.--Library of Zurich. Coll. Simler_, tom. 80.]



CCCXXXVII.--TO FAREL.[469]

  [469] Whilst the number of refugees was increasing at Geneva and the
  other towns of Switzerland, their wants were provided for by liberal
  charitable donations. This was the origin of the _Bourse Etrangère_
  founded at Geneva, and whose revenues are applied, even in our own
  day, to the support of poor students, or to the establishing of new
  schools.

     Assistance afforded to the faithful refugees in
     Switzerland--reply of the Churches on the subject of
     ecclesiastical discipline.


  GENEVA, _30th December 1553_.

Good men have indeed sent money to be laid out on the banished
brethren and the exiles. They have ordered one part to be
distributed among us, and they have designed the other two parts
for the poor of Lausanne and your own city. Our friend Beza caused
twenty-five gold pieces to be handed over to them. However, as
but few exiles have hitherto gone among you, so far as I know,
especially of that sort which is so numerous here, might you not, if
you are not in immediate need, expend at your own discretion what
would relieve the necessity of others? I do not ask you, certainly,
to make a remission to us, but I wished to advise you on the matter,
that if it should seem proper to you, you might transmit a certain
sum to those who are in urgent need of money. Nevertheless, I do not
dictate any course to you, but fearing, as I did, that you might
be troubled with some doubts about how to act, I thought it better
to anticipate them. The messenger has at length returned from the
Helvetian Churches. Our Council will meet with a disappointment
to-morrow in their replies. I expect a great deal of quarrelling,
the issue of which, however, will perhaps turn out more fortunately
than the wicked, who are now beginning to get crestfallen, had
previously calculated upon. But there is in the other respect no
cordiality. When we shall have completed the contests which are in
store for us, I shall write you the whole more fully. Adieu, most
upright brother, assist us with your prayers.

The men of Zurich prudently dissuade from making any change. Those
of Bâle, without interposing any judgment, send a written copy of
their own edicts. The people of Schaffhausen are the most judicious
of all. Our neighbours push it coldly aside; a thing which I
expected from the first. Salute your brethren and friends earnestly
in my na