HISTORY of the CHRISTIAN CHURCH*
§ 118. Calvin as a Controversialist.
Calvin was involved in several controversies, chiefly on account of his doctrine of predestination. He displayed a decided superiority over all his opponents, as a scholar and a reasoner. He was never at a loss for an argument. He had also the dangerous gift of wit, irony, and sarcasm, but not the more desirable gift of harmless humor, which sweetens the bitterness of controversy, and lightens the burden of daily toil. Like David, in the imprecatory Psalms, he looked upon the enemies of his doctrine as enemies of God. "Even a dog barks," he wrote to the queen of Navarre, "when his master is attacked; how could I be silent when the honor of my Lord is assailed?"872 He treated his opponents—Pighius, Bolsec, Castellio, and Servetus—with sovereign contempt, and called them "nebulones,873 nugatores, canes, porci, bestiae. Such epithets are like weeds in the garden of his chaste and elegant style. But they were freely used by the ancient fathers, with the exception of Chrysostom and Augustin, in dealing with heretics, and occur even in the Scriptures, but impersonally.874 His age saw nothing improper in them. Beza says that "no expression unworthy of a good man ever fell from the lips of Calvin." The taste of the sixteenth century differed widely from that of the nineteenth. The polemical writings of Protestants and Romanists alike abound in the most violent personalities and coarse abuse. Luther wielded the club of Hercules against Tetzel, Eck, Emser, Cochlaeus, Henry VIII., Duke Henry of Brunswick, and the Sacramentarians. Yet there were honorable exceptions even then, as Melanchthon and Bullinger. A fiery temper is a propelling force in history; nothing great can be done without enthusiasm; moral indignation against wrong is inseparable from devotion to what is right; hatred is the negative side of love. But temper must be controlled by reason, and truth should be spoken in love, "with malice to none, with charity for all." Opprobrious and abusive terms always hurt a good cause; self-restraint and moderation strengthen it. Understatement commands assent; overstatement provokes opposition.
§ 119. Calvin and Pighius.
I. Albertus Pighius: De libero hominis arbitrio et divina gratia libri decem. Coloniae, 1542, mense Augusto. Dedicated to Cardinal Sadolet. He wrote also Assertio hierarchiae ecclesiasticae, a complete defence of the Roman Church, dedicated to Pope Paul III., 1538.
Calvin: Defensio sanae et orthodoxae doctrinae de servitute et liberatione humani arbitrii adversus calumnias Alberti Pighii Campensis. With a preface to Melanchthon. Geneva, 1543. In Opera, VI. 225–404. (Amsterdam ed. t. VIII. 116 sqq.) The same in French, Geneva, 1560.
II. Bayle: Art. Pighius, in his "Dict. hist."—Henry, II. 285 sqq. (English trans. I. 492 sqq.).—Dyer (1850), pp. 158–165.—Schweizer: Die protest. Centraldogmen (1854), I. 180–200. Very satisfactory.—Werner (R. Cath.): Geschichte der apologetischen und polemischen Literatur der christl. Theologie (1865), IV. 272 sq. and 298. Superficial.—Stähelin, II. 281–287.—Prolegomena to Calvin’s Opera, VI. pp. XXIII.–XXV.
As Erasmus had attacked Luther’s doctrine on the slavery of the human will, and provoked Luther’s crushing reply, Albert Pighius attacked Luther and chiefly Calvin on the same vulnerable point.
Pighius (or Pigghe) of Campen in Holland, educated at Louvain and Cologne, and a pupil of Pope Adrian VI., whom he followed to Rome, was a learned and eloquent divine and deputed on various missions by Clement VII. and Paul III. He may have seen Calvin at the Colloquies in Worms and Ratisbon. He died as canon and archdeacon of Utrecht, Dec. 26, 1542, a few months after the publication of his book against Calvin and the other Reformers. Beza calls him the first sophist of the age, who, by gaining a victory over Calvin, hoped to attain to a cardinal’s hat. But it is wrong to judge of motives without evidence. His retirement to Utrecht could not promote such ambition.875
Pighius represents the dogma of the slavery of the human will, and of the absolute necessity of all that happens, as the cardinal error of the Reformation, and charges it with leading to complete moral indifference. He wrote ten books against it. In the first six books, he defends the doctrine of free-will; in the last four books, he discusses divine grace, foreknowledge, predestination, and providence, and, last, the Scripture passages on these subjects. He teaches the Semi-Pelagian theory with some Pelagian features, and declares that "our works are meritorious before God." After the Synod of Trent had more carefully guarded the doctrine of justification against Semi-Pelagianism, the Spanish Inquisition placed his book,—De libero arbitrio, and his tract, De peccato originali, on the Index, and Cardinal Bona recommended caution in reading them, since he did not always present the reliable orthodox doctrine. Pighius was not ashamed to copy, without acknowledgment, whole pages from Calvin’s Institutes, where it suited his purpose. Calvin calls him a plagiarist, and says, "With what right he publishes such sections as his own, I cannot see, unless he claims, as enemy, the privilege of plunder."
The arguments of Pighius against the doctrine of the slavery of the human will are these: It contradicts common sense; it is inconsistent with the admitted freedom of will in civil and secular matters; it destroys all morality and discipline, turns men into animals and monsters, makes God the author of sin, and perverts his justice into cruelty, and his wisdom into folly. He derives these heresies from the ancient Gnostics and Simon Magus, except that Luther surpassed them all in impiety.
Calvin’s answer was written in about two months, and amidst many interruptions. He felt the weight of the objections, but he always marched up to the cannon’s mouth. He admits, incidentally, that Luther often used hyperbolic expressions in order to rouse attention. He also allows the liberum arbitrium in the sense that man acts voluntarily and of his inner impulse.876 But he denies that man, without the assistance of the Holy Spirit, has the power to choose what is spiritually good, and quotes Rom. 6:17; 7:14, 23. "Man has arbitrium spontaneum, so that he willingly and by choice does evil, without compulsion from without, and, therefore, he incurs guilt. But, owing to native depravity, his will is so given to sin that it always chooses evil. Hence spontaneity and enslavement may exist together. The voluntas is spontanea, but not libera; it is not coacta, yet serva." This is an anticipation of the artificial distinction between natural ability and moral inability—a distinction which is practically useless. As regards the teaching of the early Church, he could not deny that the Fathers, especially Origen, exalt the freedom of the will; but he could claim Augustin in his later writings, in which he retracted his earlier advocacy of freedom. The objection that the slavery of the will nullifies the exhortations to repent, would be valid, if God did not make them effective by his Spirit.
The reply of Calvin to Pighius is more cautious and guarded than Luther’s reply to Erasmus, and more churchly than Zwingli’s tract on Providence. In defending himself, he defended what was then the common Protestant doctrine, in opposition to the then prevailing Pelagianism in the Roman Church. It had a good effect upon the Council of Trent, which distinctly disowned the Pelagian and Semi-Pelagian heresy.877
Calvin dedicated his book to Melanchthon, as a friend who had agreed with him and had advised him to write against Pighius, if he should attack the Reformation. But Melanchthon, who had taught the same doctrine, was at that time undergoing a change in his views on the freedom of the will, chiefly because he felt that the denial of it would make God the author of sin, and destroy man’s moral accountability.878 He was as competent to appreciate the logical argument in favor of necessity, but he was more open to the force of ethical and practical considerations. In his reply to Calvin’s dedication, May 11, 1543, he acknowledged the compliment paid to him, but modestly and delicately intimated his dissent and his desire that Protestants should unite in the defence of those more important doctrines, which commended themselves by their simplicity and practical usefulness. "I wish," he says, "you would transfer your eloquence to the adorning of these momentous subjects, by which our friends would be strengthened, our enemies terrified, and the weak encouraged; for who in these days possesses a more forcible or splendid style of disputation? ... I do not write this letter to dictate to you who are so learned a man, and so well versed in all the exercises of piety. I am persuaded, indeed, that it agrees with your sentiments, though less subtle and more adapted for use."879
Calvin intended to answer the second part of the work of Pighius, but as he learned that he had died shortly before, he did not wish "to insult a dead dog" (!), and applied himself "to other pursuits."880 But nine years afterwards he virtually answered it in the Consensus Genevensis (1552), which may be considered as the second part of his refutation of Pighius, although it was occasioned by the controversy with Bolsec.
§ 120. The Anti-Papal Writings. Criticism of the Council of Trent. 1547.
I. Most of Calvin’s anti-papal writings are printed in Opera, Tom. VI. (in the Amsterdam ed., Tom. IX. 37–90; 99–335 and 409–485.) An English translation in vols. I. and III. of Tracts relating the Reformation by John Calvin, translated from the original Latin by Henry Beveridge, Esq. Edinburgh (Calvin Translation Society), 1844 and 1851.
II. Acta Synodi Tridentinae elim antidoto. In Opera, VII. 305–506. Comp. Schweizer, I. 239–249; Dyer, p. 229 sq.; Stähelin, II. 255 sqq.
Calvin’s anti-papal writings are numerous. Among them his Answer to Cardinal Sadolet (1540), and his Plea for the Necessity of the Reformation, addressed to Emperor Charles V. (1544), deserve the first place. They are superior in ability and force to any similar works of the sixteenth century. They have been sufficiently noticed in previous sections.881 I will only add the manly conclusion of the Plea to the Emperor: —
"But be the issue what it may, we will never repent of having begun, and of having proceeded thus far. The Holy Spirit is a faithful and unerring witness to our doctrine. We know, I say, that it is the eternal truth of God that we preach. We are, indeed, desirous, as we ought to be, that our ministry may prove salutary to the world; but to give it this effect belongs to God, not to us. If, to punish, partly the ingratitude, and partly the stubbornness of those to whom we desire to do good, success must prove desperate, and all things go to worse, I will say what it befits a Christian man to say, and what all who are true to this holy profession will subscribe: We will die, but in death even be conquerors, not only because through it we shall have a sure passage to a better life, but because we know that our blood will be as seed to propagate the Divine truth, which men now despise."
Next to these books in importance is his criticism of the Council of Trent, published in November, 1547.
The Council of Trent, which was to heal the divisions of Western Christendom, convened after long delay, Dec. 13, 1545; then adjourned, convened again, and finally closed, Dec. 4, 1563, a few months before Calvin’s death. In the fourth, fifth, and sixth sessions (1546), it settled the burning questions of the rule of faith, original sin, and justification, in favor of the present Roman system and against the views of the Reformers. The Council avoided the ill-disguised Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism of Eck, Pighius, and other early champions of Rome, and worded its decrees with great caution and circumspection; but it decidedly condemned the Protestant doctrines of the supremacy of the Bible, the slavery of the natural will, and justification by faith alone.
Calvin was the first to take up the pen against these decisions. He subjected them to a searching criticism. He admits, in the introduction, that a Council might be of great use and restore the peace of Christendom, provided it be truly, oecumenical, impartial, and free. But he denies that the Council of Trent had these essential characteristics. The Greek and the Evangelical Churches were not represented at all. It was a purely Roman Council, and under the control of the pope, who was himself the chief offender, and far more disposed to perpetuate abuses than to abolish them. The members, only about forty, mostly Italians, were not distinguished for learning or piety, but were a set of wrangling monks and canonists and minions of the pope. They gave merely a nod of assent to the living oracle of the Vatican, and then issued the decrees as responses of the Holy Spirit., As soon as a decree is framed," he says, "couriers flee off to Rome, and beg pardon and peace at the feet of their idol. The holy father hands over what the couriers have brought to his private advisers for examination. They curtail, add, and change as they please. The couriers return, and a sederunt is appointed. The notary reads over what no one dares to disapprove, and the asses shake their ears in assent. Behold the oracle which imposes religious obligations on the whole world .... The proclamation of the Council is entitled to no more weight than the cry of an auctioneer."
Calvin dissects the decrees with his usual polemic skill. He first states them in the words of the Council, and then gives the antidote. He exposes the errors of the Vulgate, which the Council put on a par with the original Hebrew and Greek originals, and defends the supremacy of the Scriptures and the doctrine of justification by faith.
He wrote this work in two or three months, under constant interruption, while Chemnitz took ten years to complete his. He submitted the manuscript to Farel, who was delighted with it. He published also a French edition in a more popular form.
After the close of the Council of Trent, Martin Chemnitz, the leading divine of the Lutheran Church after the death of Melanchthon, wrote his more elaborate Examen Concilii Tridentini (1565–1573; second ed. 1585), which was for a long time a standard work in the Roman controversy.
§ 121. Against the German Interim. 1549.
Interim Adultero-Germanum: Cui adjecta est vera Christianae pacificationis et ecclesiae reformandae ratio, per Joannem Calvinum. Cavete a fermento Pharisaeorum, 1549. Opera, VII. 541–674.—It was reprinted in Germany, and translated into French (1549) and Italian (1561). See Henry, II. 369 sqq.; III. Beilage, 211 sq.; Dyer, 232 sq.
On the Interim, comp. the German Histories of Ranke, (V. 25 sqq.) and Janssen (III. 625 sqq.), and the monograph of Ludwig Pastor (Rom. Cath.): Die kirchlichen Reunionsbestrebungen während der Regierung Karls V. Freiburg, 1879, pp. 357 sqq.
Calvin’s tract on the false German Interim is closely connected with his criticism of the Council of Trent. After defeating the Smalkaldian League, the Emperor imposed on the Protestants in Germany a compromise confession of faith to be used till the final decision of the General Council. It was drawn up by two Roman Catholic bishops, Pflug (an Erasmian) and Helding, with the aid of John Agricola, the chaplain of Elector Joachim II. of Brandenburg. Agricola was a vain, ambitious, and unreliable man, who had once been a secretary and table companion of Luther, but fell out with him and Melanchthon in the Antinomian controversy. He was suspected of having been bribed by the Catholics.884
The agreement was laid before the Diet of Augsburg, and is called the Augsburg Interim. It was proclaimed, with an earnest exhortation, by the Emperor, May 15, 1548. It comprehended the whole Roman Catholic system of doctrine and discipline, but in a mild and conciliatory form, and without an express condemnation of the Protestant views. The doctrine of justification was stated in substantial agreement with that of the Council of Trent. The seven sacraments, transubstantiation, the mass, the invocation of the saints, the authority of the pope, and all the important ceremonies, were to be retained. The only concession made to the Protestants was the use of the cup by the laity in the holy communion, and the permission for married priests to retain their wives. The arrangement suited the views of the Emperor, who, as Ranke remarks, wished to uphold the Catholic hierarchy as the basis of his power, and yet to make it possible for Protestants to be reconciled to him. It is very evident that the adoption of such a confession was a virtual surrender of the cause of the Reformation and would have ended in a triumph of the papacy.
The Interim was received with great indignation by the Protestants, and was rejected in Hesse, ducal Saxony, and the Northern cities, especially in Madgeburg, which became the headquarters of the irreconcilable Lutherans under the lead of Flacius. In Southern Germany it was enforced with great rigor by Spanish soldiers. More than four hundred pastors in Swabia and on the Rhine were expelled from their benefices for refusing the Interim, and wandered about with their families in poverty and misery. Among them was Brenz, the Reformer of Würtemburg, who fled to Basel, where he received a consolitary letter from Calvin (Nov. 5, 1548). Martin Bucer, with all his zeal for Christian union, was unwilling to make a compromise at the expense of his conscience, and fled from Strassburg to England, where he was appointed professor of divinity in the University of Cambridge.
It was forbidden under pain of death to write against the Interim. Nevertheless, over thirty attacks appeared from the "Chancellery of God" at Magdeburg. Bullinger and Calvin wrote against it.
Calvin published the imperial proclamation and the text of the Interim in full, and then gave his reasons why it could never bring peace to the Church. He begins with a quotation from Hilary in the Arian controversy: "Specious indeed is the name of peace, and fair the idea of unity; but who doubts that the only peace of the Church is that which is of Christ?" This is the key-note of his own exposition on the true method of the pacification of Christendom.
Elector Maurice of Saxony, who stood between two fires,—his Lutheran subjects and the Emperor,—modified the Augsburg Interim, with the aid of Melanchthon and the other theologians of Wittenberg, and substituted for it the Leipzig Interim, Dec. 22, 1548. In this document the chief articles of faith are more cautiously worded so as to admit of an evangelical interpretation, but the Roman ceremonies are retained, as adiaphora, or things indifferent, which do not compromise the conscience nor endanger salvation. it gave rise to the Adiaphoristic Controversy between the strict and the moderate Lutherans. Melanchthon was placed in a most trying position in the midst of the contest. In the sincere wish to save Protestantism from utter overthrow and Saxony from invasion and desolation by imperial troops, he yielded to the pressure of the courtiers and accepted the Leipzig Interim in the hope of better times. For this conduct he was severely attacked by Flacius, his former pupil, and denounced as a traitor. When Calvin heard the news, he wrote an earnest letter of fraternal rebuke to Melanchthon, and reminded him of Paul’s unyielding firmness at the Synod of Jerusalem on the question of circumcision.885
Protestantism in Germany was brought to the brink of ruin, but was delivered from it by the treason of the Elector Maurice. This shrewd, selfish politician and master in the art of dissimulation, had first betrayed the Protestants, by aiding the Emperor in the defeat of the Smalkaldian League, whereby he gained the electorate; and then he rose in rebellion against the Emperor and drove him and the Fathers of Trent out of Tyrol (1551). He died in 1553 of a deadly wound which he received in a victorious battle against his old friend Albrecht of Brandenburg.886
The final result of the defeat of the Emperor was the Augsburg Treaty of Peace, 1555, which for the first time gave to the Lutherans a legal status in the empire, though with certain restrictions. This closes the period of the Lutheran Reformation.
§ 122. Against the Worship of Relics. 1543.
Advertissement tres-utile du grand proffit qui reviendroit à la Chrestienté, s’il se faisoit inventoire de tous les corps sainctz et reliques, qui sont tant en Italia qu’en France Allemaigne, Hespaigne, et autres Royaumes et Pays. Gen., 1543, 1544, 1551, 1563, 1579, 1599. Reprinted in Opera, VI. 405–452. A Latin edition by Nicolaus Gallasius (des Gallars) was published at Geneva, 1548. It appeared also in English (A very profitable treatise, etc.), London, 1561, and in two German translations (by Jakob Eysenberg of Wittenberg, 1557, etc., and by J. Fischart, 1584, or 1583, under the title Der heilig Brotkorb der h. Römischen Reliquien). See Henry, II. 333 and III., Appendix, 204–206. A new English translation by Beveridge in Calvin’s Tracts relating to the Reformation, Edinb., 1844, pp. 289–341.
In the same year in which Calvin answered Pighius, he published a French tract on Relics, which was repeatedly printed and translated. It was the most popular and effective of his anti-papal writings. He indulged here very freely in his power of ridicule and sarcasm, which reminds one almost of Voltaire, but the spirit is altogether different. He begins with the following judicious remarks, which best characterize the book: —
"Augustin, in his work, entitled On the Labor of Monks, complaining of certain itinerant impostors, who, as early as his day, plied a vile and sordid traffic, by carrying the relics of martyrs about from place to place, adds, ’If, indeed, they are relics of martyrs.’ By this expression he intimates the prevalence, even in his day, of abuses and impostures, by which the ignorant populace were cheated into the belief that bones gathered here and there were those of saints. While the origin of the imposture is thus ancient, there cannot be a doubt that in the long period which has since elapsed, it has exceedingly increased, considering, especially, that the world has since been strangely corrupted, and has never ceased to become worse, till it has reached the extreme wherein we now behold it.
"But the first abuse and, as it were, beginning of the evil was, that when Christ ought to have been sought in his Word, sacraments, and spiritual influences, the world, after its wont, clung to his garments, vests, and swaddling-clothes; and thus overlooking the principal matter, followed only its accessory. The same course was pursued in regard to apostles, martyrs, and other saints. For when the duty was to meditate diligently on their lives, and engage in imitating them, men made it their whole study to contemplate and lay up, as it were in a treasury, their bones, shirts, girdles, caps, and similar trifles.
"I am not unaware that in this there is a semblance of pious zeal, the allegation being, that the relics of Christ are kept on account of the reverence which is felt for himself, and in order that the remembrance of him may take a firmer hold of the mind. And the same thing is alleged with regard to the saints. But attention should be paid to what Paul says, viz., that all divine worship of man’s devising, having no better and surer foundation than his own opinion, be its semblance of wisdom what it may, is mere vanity and folly.
"Besides, any advantage, supposed to be derived from it, ought to be contrasted with the danger. In this way it would be discovered that the possession of such relics was of little use, or was altogether superfluous and frivolous, whereas, on the other hand, it was most difficult, or rather impossible, that men should not thereby degenerate into idolatry. For they cannot look upon them, or handle them, without veneration; and there being no limit to this, the honor due to Christ is forthwith paid to them. In short, a longing for relics is never free from superstition, nay, what is worse, it is the parent of idolatry, with which it is very generally conjoined.
"All admit, without dispute, that God carried away the body of Moses from human sight, lest the Jewish nation should fall into the abuse of worshipping it. What was done in the case of one ought to be extended to all, since the reason equally applies. But not to speak of saints, let us see what Paul says of Christ himself. He declares, that after the resurrection of Christ he knew him no more after the flesh, intimating by these words that everything carnal which belonged to Christ should be consigned to oblivion and be discarded, in order that we may make it our whole study and endeavor to seek and possess him in spirit. Now, therefore, when men talk of it as a grand thing to possess some memorial of Christ and his saints, what else is it than to seek an empty cloak with which to hide some foolish desire that has no foundation in reason? But even should there seem to be a sufficient reason for it, yet, seeing it is so clearly repugnant to the mind of the Holy Spirit, as declared by the mouth of Paul, what more do we require?"
The following is a summary of this tract: —
What was at first a foolish curiosity for preserving relics has degenerated into abominable idolatry. The great majority of the relics are spurious. It could be shown by comparison that every apostle has more than four bodies and every saint two or three. The arm of St. Anthony, which was worshipped in Geneva, when brought out from the case, turned out to be a part of a stag. The body of Christ could not be obtained, but the monks of Charroux pretend to have, besides teeth and hair, the prepuce or pellicle cut off in his circumcision. But it is shown also in the Lateran church at Rome. The blood of Christ which Nicodemus is said to have received in a handkerchief or a bowl, is exhibited in Rochelle, in Mantua, in Rome, and many other places. The manger in which he laid at his birth, his cradle, together with the shirt which his mother made, the pillar on which he leaned when disputing in the Temple, the water-pots in which he turned water into wine, the nails, and pieces of the cross, are shown in Rome, Ravenna, Pisa, Cluny, Angers, and elsewhere.
The table of the last Supper is at Rome, in the church of St. John in the Lateran; some of the bread at St. Salvador in Spain; the knife with which the Paschal Lamb was cut up, is at Treves.887 What semblance of possibility is there that that table was found seven or eight hundred years after? Besides, tables were in those days different in shape from ours, for people used to recline at meals. Fragments of the cross found by St. Helena are scattered over many churches in Italy, France, Spain, etc., and would form a good shipload, which it would take three hundred men to carry instead of one. But they say that this wood never grows less! Some affirm that their fragments were carried by angels, others that they dropped down from heaven. Those of Poitiers say that their piece was stolen by a maid-servant of Helena and carried off to France. There is still a greater controversy as to the three nails of the cross: one of them was fixed in the crown of Constantine, the other two were fitted to his horse’s bridle, according to Theodoret, or one was kept by Helena herself, according to Ambrose. But now there are two nails at Rome, one at Siena, one at Milan, one at Carpentras, one at Venice, one at Cologne, one at Treves, two at Paris, one at Bourges, etc. All the claims are equally good, for the nails are all spurious. There is also more than one soldier’s spear, crown of thorns, purple robe, the seamless coat, and Veronica’s napkin (which at least six cities boast of having). A piece of broiled fish, which Peter offered to the risen Saviour on the seashore, must have been wondrously well salted if it has kept for these fifteen centuries! But, jesting apart, is it supposable that the apostles made relics of what they had actually prepared for dinner?
Calvin exposes with equal effect the absurdities and impieties of the wonder-working pictures of Christ; the relics of the hair and milk of the Virgin Mary, preserved in so many places, her combs, her wardrobe and baggage, and her house carried by angels across the sea to Loreto; the shoes of St. Joseph; the slippers of St. James; the head of John the Baptist, of which Rhodes, Malta, Lucca, Nevers, Amiens, Besançon, and Noyon claim to have portions; and his fingers, one of which is shown at Besançon, another at Toulouse, another at Lyons, another at Bourges, another at Florence. At Avignon they have the sword with which John was beheaded, at Aix-la-Chapelle the linen cloth placed under him by the kindness of the executioner, in Rome his girdle and the altar at which he said prayers in the desert. It is strange, adds Calvin, that they do not also make him perform mass.
The tract concludes with this remark: "So completely are the relics mixed up and huddled together, that it is impossible to have the bones of any martyr without running the risk of worshipping the bones of some thief or robber, or, it may be, the bones of a dog, or a horse, or an ass, or—Let every one, therefore, guard against this risk. Henceforth no man will be able to excuse himself by pretending ignorance."
§ 123. The Articles of the Sorbonne with an Antidote. 1544.
Articuli a facultate s. theol. Parisiensi determinati super materiis fidei nostrae hodie controversis. Cum Antidoto (1543), 1544. Opera, VII. 1–44. A French edition appeared in the same year. English translation by Beveridge, in Calvin’s Tracts, I. 72–122.
The theological faculty of the University of Paris published, March 10, 1542, a summary of the most obnoxious doctrines of the Roman Church, in twenty-five articles, which were sanctioned by an edict of the king of France, and were to be subscribed by all candidates of the priesthood.888
Calvin republished these articles, and accompanied each, first with an ironical defence, and then with a scriptural antidote. This reductio ad absurdum had probably more effect in Paris than a serious and sober mode of refutation. The following is a specimen: —
"Article VI. Of the Sacrifice of the Mass.
"The sacrifice of the Mass is, according to the institution of Christ, available for the living and the dead."
"Proof,—Because Christ says, ’This do.’ But to do is to sacrifice, according to the passage in Vergil: ’When I will do (make an offering) with a calf in place of produce, do you yourself come.’889 As to which signification, see Macrobius. But when the Lutherans deride that subtlety, because Christ spoke with the Apostles in the common Hebrew or Syriac tongue, and the Evangelists wrote in Greek, answer that the common Latin translation outweighs them. And it is well known that the sense of Scripture must be sought from the determination of the Church. But of the value of sacrifice for the living and the dead we have proof from experience. For many visions have appeared to certain holy monks when asleep, telling them that by means of masses souls had been delivered from Purgatory. Nay, St. Gregory redeemed the soul of Trajan from the infernal regions."890
"Antidote to Article VI.
"The institution of Christ is, ’Take and eat’ (Matt. 26:26; Mark 14:22; 1 Cor. 11:24), but not, offer. Therefore, sacrifice is not conformable to the institution of Christ, but is plainly repugnant to it. Besides, it is evident from Scripture that it is the peculiar and proper office of Christ to offer himself; as an apostle says, that by one offering he has forever perfected those that are sanctified (Heb. 10:14). Also, that ’once, in the end of the world, hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself’ (9:26). Also, that after this sanctification, ’there remains no more a sacrifice for sins’ (10:26). For to this end also was he consecrated a priest after the order of Melchisdec, without successor or colleague (Heb. 5:6; 7:21).
"Christ, therefore, is robbed of the honor of the priesthood, when the right of offering is transferred to others. Lastly, no man ought to assume this honor unless called by God, as an apostle testifies. But we read of none having been called but Christ. On the other hand, since the promise is destined for those only who communicate in the sacrament, by what right can it belong to the dead?"
§ 124. Calvin and the Nicodemites. 1544.
Calvin: Petit traicté monstrant que c’est que doit faire un homme fidele, cognoissant la verité de l’Evangile quand il est entre les papistes, 1543. Excuse de Iehan Calvin à Messieurs les Nico_ites, sur la complaincte qu’il font de so trop grand rigueur. Excusatio ad Pseudo-Nicodemitas.) 1544. Embodied in the tractsDe vitandis superstitionibus quae cum sincera fidei confessione pugnant. Genevae, 1549, 1550, and 1551. This collection contains also the opinions of Melanchthon, Bucer, and Peter Martyr on the question raised by the Nicodemites. Reprinted inOpera, VI. 537–644. A German translation appeared at Herborn, 1588; an English translation by R. Golding, London, 1548. See the bibliographical notes in Henry, III.; Beilage, 208 sq.; Proleg. toOpera, VI. pp. xxx–xxxiv; an La France Protest., III. 584 sq.Dyer, 187 sqq. Stähelin, I. 542 sqq.
A great practical difficulty presented itself to the Protestants in France, where they were in constant danger of persecution. They could not emigrate en masse, nor live in peace at home, without concealing or denying their convictions. A large number were Protestants at heart, but outwardly conformed to the Roman Church. They excused their conduct by the example of Nicodemus, the Jewish Rabbi, who came to Jesus by night.
Calvin, therefore, called them "Nicodemites," but with this difference, that Nicodemus only buried the body of Christ, after anointing it with precious aromatics; while they bury both his soul and body, his divinity and humanity, and that, too, without honor. Nicodemus interred Christ when dead, but the Nicodemites thrust him into the earth after he has risen. Nicodemus displayed a hundred times more courage at the death of Christ than all the Nicodemites after his resurrection. Calvin confronted them with the alternative of Elijah:, How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him: if Baal, then follow him "(1 Kings 18:21). He advised them either to leave their country for some place of liberty, or to absent themselves from idolatrous worship, even at the risk of their lives. The glory of God should be much dearer to us than this transitory life, which is only a shadow.
He distinguished several classes of Nicodemites: first, false preachers of the gospel, who adopt some evangelical doctrines (meaning probably Gérard le Roux or Roussel, for whom Margaret of Navarre had procured the bishopric of Oléron); next, worldly people, courtiers, and refined ladies, who are used to flattery and hate austerity; then, scholars and literary men, who love their ease and hope for gradual improvement with the spread of education and intelligence; lastly, merchants and citizens, who do not wish to be interrupted in their avocations. Yet he was far from disowning them as brethren because of their weakness. Owing to their great danger they could better expect pardon if they should fall, than he himself who lived in comparative security.
The Nicodemites charged Calvin with immoderate austerity. "Away with this Calvin! he is too impolite. He would reduce us to beggary, and lead us directly to the stake. Let him content himself with his own lot, and leave us in peace; or, let him come to us and show us how to behave. He resembles the leader of an army who incites the common soldiers to the attack, but himself keeps out of the reach of danger." To this charge he replied (in substance): "If you compare me with a captain, you should not blame me for doing my duty. The question is not, what I would do in your condition, but what is our present duty—yours and mine. If my life differs from my teaching, then woe to me. God is my witness that my heart bleeds when I think of your temptations and dangers, and that I cease not to pray with tears that you may be delivered. Nor do I condemn always the persons when I condemn the thing. I will not boast of superior courage, but it is not my fault, if I am not more frequently in danger. I am not far from the shot of the enemy. Secure to-day, I do not know what shall be to-morrow. I am prepared for every event, and I hope that God will give me grace to glorify him with my blood as well as with my tongue and pen. I shall lay down my life with no more sadness than I now write down these words."
The French Protestants were under the impression that Luther and Melanchthon had milder and more practicable views on this subject, and requested Calvin to proceed to Saxony for a personal conference. This he declined from want of time, since it would take at least forty days for the journey from Geneva to Wittenberg and back. Nor had he the means. "Even in favorable seasons," he wrote to an unknown friend in France,891 "my income barely suffices to meet expenses, and from the scarcity with which we had to struggle during the last two years, I was compelled to run into debt." He added that "the season was unfavorable for consulting Luther, who has hardly had time to cool from the heat of controversy." He thus missed the only opportunity of a personal interview with Luther, who died a year later. It is doubtful whether it would have been satisfactory. The old hero was then discontented with the state of the world and the Church, and longing for departure.
But Calvin prevailed on a young gentleman of tolerable learning to undertake the journey for him. He gave him a literal Latin translation of his tracts against the Nicodemites, together with letters to Luther and Melanchthon (Jan. 20, 1545). He asked the latter to act as mediator according to his best judgment. The letter to Luther is very respectful and modest. After explaining the case, and requesting him to give it a cursory examination and to return his opinion in a few words, Calvin thus concludes this, his only, letter to the great German Reformer: —
"I am unwilling to give you this trouble in the midst of so many weighty and various employments; but such is your sense of justice that you cannot suppose me to have done this unless compelled by the necessity of the case; I therefore trust that you will pardon me. Would that I could fly to you, that I might even for a few hours enjoy the happiness of your society; for I would prefer, and it would be far better, not only upon this question, but also about others, to converse personally with yourself; but seeing that it is not granted to us on earth, I hope that shortly it will come to pass in the kingdom of God. Adieu, most renowned sir, most distinguished minister of Christ, and my ever-honored father. The Lord himself rule and direct you by His own Spirit, that you may persevere even unto the end, for the common benefit and good of His own Church."
Luther was still so excited by his last eucharistic controversy with the Swiss, and so suspicious, that Melanchthon deemed it inexpedient to lay the documents before him.892
"I have not shown your letter to Dr. Martin," he replied to Calvin, April 17, 1545, "for he takes many things suspiciously, and does not like his answers to questions of the kind you have proposed to him, to be carried round and handed from one to another .... At present I am looking forward to exile and other sorrows. Farewell! On the day on which, thirty-eight hundred and forty-six years ago, Noah entered into the ark, by which God gave testimony of his purpose never to forsake his Church, even when she quivers under the shock of the billows of the great sea."
He gave, however, his own opinion; and this, as well as the opinions of Bucer and Peter Martyr, and Calvin’s conclusion, were published, as an appendix to the tracts on avoiding superstition, at Geneva in 1549.893 Melanchthon substantially agreed with Calvin; he asserts the duty of the Christian to worship God alone (Matt. 4:10), to flee from idols (1 John 5:21), and to profess Christ openly before men (Matt. 10:33); but he took a somewhat milder view as regards compliance with mere ceremonies and non-essentials. Bucer and Peter Martyr agreed with this opinion. The latter refers to the conduct of the early disciples, who, while holding worship in private houses, still continued to visit the temple until they were driven out.
We now proceed to Calvin’s controversies with Protestant opponents.
§ 125. Calvin and Bolsec.
I. Actes du procès intenté par Calvin et les autres ministres de Genève à Jérôme Bolsec de Paris (1551). Printed from the Register of the Venerable Company and the Archives of Geneva, in Opera, VIII. 141–248.—Calvin: De aeterna Dei Praedestinatione, etc., usually called Consensus Genevensis (1552)—chiefly an extract from the respective sections of his Institutes; reprinted in Opera, VIII. 249–366. It is the second part of his answer to Pighius ("the dead dog," as he calls him), but occasioned by the process of Bolsec, whose name he ignores in contempt.—Calvin’s letter to Libertetus (Fabri of Neuchâtel), January, 1552, in Opera, XIV. 278 sq.—The Letters of the Swiss Churches on the Bolsec affair, reprinted in vol. VIII. 229 sqq.—Beza: Vita Calv. ad ann. 1551.
II. Hierosme Hermes Bolsec, docteur Médecin à Lyon: Histoire de la vie, moeurs, actes, doctrine, constance et mort de Jean Calvin, jadis ministre de Genève, Lyon, 1577; Rééditée avec une introduction, des extraits de la vie de Th. de Bèze, par le même, et des notes à l’appuipar M. Louis-François Chastel, magistrat. Lyon, 1875 (xxxi and 328). On the character and different editions of this book, see La France Protest., II. 755 sqq.
III. Bayle: "Bolsec" in his "Diction. historique et critique."—F. Trechsel: Die Protest. Antitrinitarier (Heidelberg, 1844). Bd. I. 185–189 and 276–284.—Henry, III. 44 sqq., and the second Beilage to vol. III., which gives the documents (namely, the charges of the ministers of Geneva, Bolsec’s defence, his poem written in prison, the judgments of the Churches of Bern and Zürich—all of which are omitted in the English version, II. 130 sqq.).—Audin (favorable to Bolsec), ch. XXXIX.—Dyer, 265–283.—*Schweizer: Centraldogmen, I. 205–238.—Stähelin, I. 411–414; II. 287–292.—*La France Prot., sub, Bolsec," tom. II. 745–776 (second ed.). Against this article: Lettre d’un protestant Genevois aux lecteurs de la France Protestante, Genève, 1880. In defence of that article, Henri L. Bordier: L’école historique de Jérôme Bolsec, pour servir de supplement à l’article Bolsec de la France Protestante, Paris (Fischbacher), 1880.
Hieronymus (Hierosme) Hermes Bolsec, a native of Paris, was a Carmelite monk, but left the Roman Church, about 1545, and fled for protection to the Duchess of Ferrara, who admitted him to her house under the title of an almoner. There he married, and adopted the medical profession as a means of livelihood. Ever afterwards he called himself "Doctor of Medicine." He made himself odious by his turbulent character and conduct, and was expelled by the Duchess for some deception (as Beza reports).
In 1550 he settled at Geneva with his wife and a servant, and practised his profession. But he meddled in theology, and began to question Calvin’s doctrine of predestination. He denounced Calvin’s God as a hypocrite and liar, as a patron of criminals, and as worse than Satan. He was admonished, March 8, 1551, by the Venerable Company, and privately instructed by Calvin in that mystery, but without success. On a second offence he was summoned before the Consistory, and openly reprehended in the presence of fifteen ministers and other competent persons. He acknowledged that a certain number were elected by God to salvation, but he denied predestination to destruction; and, on closer examination, he extended election to all mankind, maintaining that grace efficacious to salvation is equally offered to all, and that the cause, why some receive and others reject it, lies in the free-will, with which all men were endowed. At the same time he abhorred the name of merits. This, in the eyes of Calvin, was a logical contradiction and an absurdity; for, he says, "if some were elected, it surely follows that others are not elected and left to perish. Unless we confess that those who come to Christ are drawn by the Father through the peculiar operation of the Holy Spirit on the elect, it follows either that all must be promiscuously elected, or that the cause of election lies in each man’s merit."
On the 16th of October, 1551, Bolsec attended the religious conference, which was held every Friday at St. Peter’s. John de St. André preached from John 8:47 on predestination, and inferred from the text that those who are not of God, oppose him to the last, because God grants the grace of obedience only to the elect. Bolsec suddenly interrupted the speaker, and argued that men are not saved because they are elected, but that they are elected because they have faith. He denounced, as false and godless, the notion that God decides the fate of man before his birth, consigning some to sin and punishment, others to virtue and eternal happiness. He loaded the clergy with abuse, and warned the congregation not to be led astray.
After he had finished this harangue, Calvin, who had entered the church unobserved, stepped up to him and so overwhelmed him, as Beza says, with arguments and with quotations from Scripture and Augustin, that "all felt exceedingly ashamed for the brazen-faced monk, except the monk himself." Farel also, who happened to be present, addressed the assembly. The lieutenant of police apprehended Bolsec for abusing the ministers and disturbing the public peace.
On the same afternoon the ministers drew up seventeen articles against Bolsec and presented them to the Council, with the request to call him to account. Bolsec, in his turn, proposed several questions to Calvin and asked a categorical answer (October 25). He asserted that Melanchthon, Bullinger, and Brenz shared his opinion.
The Consistory asked the Council to consult the Swiss Churches before passing judgment. Accordingly, the Council sent a list of Bolsec’s errors to Zürich, Bern, and Basel. They were five, as follows: —
1. That faith depends not on election, but election on faith.
2. That it is an insult to God to say that he abandons some to blindness, because it is his pleasure to do so.
3. That God leads to himself all rational creatures, and abandons only those who have often resisted him.
4. That God’s grace is universal, and some are not more predestinated to salvation than others.
5. That when St. Paul says (Eph. 1:5), that God has elected us through Christ, he does not mean election to salvation, but election to discipleship and apostleship.
At the same time Calvin and his colleagues addressed a circular letter to the Swiss Churches, which speaks in offensive and contemptuous terms of Bolsec, and charges him with cheating, deception, and impudence. Beza also wrote from Lausanne to Bullinger.
The replies of the Swiss Churches were very unsatisfactory to Calvin, although the verdict was, on the whole, in his favor. They reveal the difference between the German and the French Swiss on the subject of divine decrees and free-will. They assent to the doctrine of free election to salvation, but evade the impenetrable mystery of absolute and eternal reprobation, which was the most material point in the controversy.
The ministers of Zürich defended Zwingli against Bolsec’s charge, that in his work on Providence he made God the author of sin, and they referred to other works in which Zwingli traced sin to the corruption of the human will. Bullinger, in a private letter to Calvin, impressed upon him the necessity of moderation and mildness. "Believe me," he said, "many are displeased with what you say in your Institutes about predestination, and draw the same conclusions from it as Bolsec has drawn from Zwingli’s book on Providence." This affair caused a temporary alienation between Calvin and Bullinger. It was not till ten years afterwards that Bullinger decidedly embraced the Calvinistic dogma, and even then he laid no stress on reprobation.894
Myconius, in the name of the Church of Basel, answered evasively, and dwelt on what Calvin and Bolsec believed in common.
The reply of the ministers of Bern anticipates the modern spirit of toleration. They applaud the zeal for truth and unity, but emphasize the equally important duty of charity and forbearance. The good Shepherd, they say, cares for the sheep that has gone astray. It is much easier to win a man back by gentleness than to compel him by severity. As to the awful mystery of divine predestination, they remind Calvin of the perplexity felt by many good men who cling to the Scripture texts of God’s universal grace and goodness.
The effect of these letters was a milder judgment on Bolsec. He was banished for life from the territory of Geneva for exciting sedition and for Pelagianism, under pain of being whipped if he should ever return. The judgment was announced Dec. 23, 1551, with the sound of the trumpet.895
Bolsec retired to Thonon, in Bern, but as he created new disturbances he was banished (1555). He left for France, and sought admission into the ministry of the Reformed Church, but returned at last to the Roman communion.896 He was classed by the national synod of Lyon among deposed ministers, and characterized as "an infamous liar" and "Apostate" (1563). He lived near Lyon and at Autun, and died at Annecy about 1584. Thirteen years after Calvin’s death he took mean and cowardly revenge by the publication of a libellous "Life of Calvin," which injured him much more than Calvin; and this was followed by a slanderous "Life of Beza," 1582. These books would long since have been forgotten, had not partisan zeal kept them alive.897
The dispute with Bolsec occasioned Calvin’s tract, "On the Eternal Predestination of God," which he dedicated to the Syndics and Council of Geneva, under the name of Consensus Genevensis, or Agreement of the Genevese Pastors, Jan. 1, 1552. But it was not approved by the other Swiss Churches.
Beza remarks of the result of this controversy: "All that Satan gained by these discussions was, that this article of the Christian religion, which was formerly most obscure, became clear and transparent to all not disposed to be contentious."
The quarrel with Bolsec caused the dissolution of the friendship between Calvin and Jacques de Bourgogne, Sieur de Falais et Bredam, a descendant of the dukes of Burgundy, who with his wife, Jolunde de Brederode, a descendant of the old counts of Holland, settled in Geneva, 1548, and lived for some time in Calvin’s house at his invitation, when the wife of the latter was still living. His cook, Nicolas, served Calvin as clerk. Calvin took the greatest interest in De Falais, comforted him over the confiscation of his goods by Charles V., at whose court he had been educated, and wrote a defence for him against the calumnies before the emperor.898 He also dedicated to him his Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians. His friendly correspondence from 1543 to 1852 is still extant, and does great credit to him.899 But De Falais could not penetrate the mysteries of theology, nor sympathize with the severity of discipline in Geneva. He was shocked at the treatment of Bolsec; he felt indebted to him as a physician who had cured one of his maid-servants of a cancer. He interceded for him with the magistrates of Geneva and of Bern. He wrote to Bullinger: "Not without tears am I forced to see and hear this tragedy of Calvin." He begged him to unite with Calvin for the restoration of peace in the Church.
He left Geneva after the banishment of Bolsec and moved to Bern, where he lost his wife (1557) and married again. Bayle asserts, without authority, that in disgust at the Protestant dissensions he returned to the Roman Church.900
Even Melanchthon was displeased with Calvin’s conduct in this unfortunate affair; but the alienation was only superficial and temporary. Judging from the imperfect information of Laelius Socinus, he was disposed to censure the Genevese for an excess of zeal in behalf of the "Stoic doctrine of necessity," as he called it, while he applauded the Zürichers for greater moderation. He expressed himself to this effect in private letters.901 Socinus appealed to the judgment of Melanchthon in a letter to Calvin, and Calvin, in his reply, could not entirely deny it. Yet, upon the whole, Melanchthon, like Bullinger, was more on the side of Calvin, and in the more important affair of Servetus, both unequivocally justified his conduct, which is now generally condemned by Protestants.
§ 126. Calvin and Castellio.
I. Castellio’s chief work is his Biblia sacra latina (Basil., 1551, 1554, 1555, 1556, 1572; the N. T. also at Amst., 1683, Leipz., 1760, Halle, 1776). His French version is less important. He defended both against the attacks of Beza (Defensio suarum translationum Bibliorum, Basil., 1562). After the execution of Servetus, 1553, Castellio wrote several anonymous or pseudonymous booklets against Calvin, and against the persecution of heretics, which provoked the replies of Calvin and Beza (see below). His views against predestination and the slavery of the will are best set forth in his four Dialogi de praedestinatione, de electione, de libero arbitrio, de fide, which were published after his death at Basel, 1578, 1613, 1619, and in English, 1679. See a chronological list of his numerous works in La France Protestante, vol. IV. 126–141. I have before me (from the Union Seminary Library) a rare volume: Sebastiani Castellionis Dialogi IV, printed at Gouda in Holland anno 1613, which contains the four Dialogues above mentioned (pp. 1–225); Castellio’s Defence against Calvin’s Adv. Nebulonem, his Annotations on the ninth ch. of Romans, and several other tracts.
Calvin: Brevis Responsio ad diluendas nebulonis cuiusdam calumnias quibus doctrinam de aeterna Dei praedestinatione foedare conatus est, Gen. (1554), 1557. In Opera, IX. 253–266. The unnamed nebulo (in the French ed. le broullion) is Castellio. Calumniae nebulonis cujusdam adversus doctrinam Joh. Calvini de occulta Dei providentia. Johannis Calvini ad easdem responsio, Gen., 1558. In Opera, IX. 269–318. In this book Castellio’s objections to Calvin’s predestinarian system are set forth in twenty-four theses, with a defence, and then answered by Calvin. The first thesis charges Calvin with teaching: "Deus maximam mundi partem nudo puroque voluntatis suae arbitric creavit ad perditionem." Thes. V.: "Nullum adulterium, furtum, homicidium committitur, quin Dei voluntas intercedat."
Beza: Ad Seb. Castellionis calumnias, quibus unicum salutis nostrae fundamentum, i.e. aeternam Dei praedestinationem evertere nititur, responsio, Gen., 1558. In his Tractat. theol. I. 337–423 (second ed. Geneva, 1582).
II. Bayle: Castalion in his "Dict. Hist. et crit."—Joh. C. Füsslin: Lebensge-schichte Seb. Castellio’s. Frankf. and Leipzig, 1776.—F. Trechsel: Die protest. Antitrinitarier, vol. I. (1839), pp. 208–214.—C. Rich. Brenner: Essai sur la vie et les écrits de Séb. Chatillon, 1853.—Henry: II. 383 sqq.; III. 88 sqq.; and Beilage, 28–42.—*Alex. Schweizer: Centraldogmen, I. 310–356; and Sebastian Castellio als Bekämpfer der Calvinischen Praedestinations-lehre, in Baur’s "Theol. Jahrbücher" for 1851.—Stähelin, I. 377–381; II. 302–308.—Jacob Maehly: Seb. Castellio, ein biographischer Versuch, Basel, 1862.—Jules Bonnet: Séb. Chatillion ou la tolérance ait XVIe siècle, in the, Bulletin de la Société de l’hist. du protest. français," Nos. XVI. and XVII., 1867 and 1868.—Em. Brossoux: Séb. Chasteillon, Strasbourg, 1867.—B. Riggenbach, in Herzog2, III. 160 sqq.—Lutteroth: Castallion in Lichten-berger, II. 672–677.—*La France Protestante (2d ed.): Chateillon, tom. IV. 122–142.—*Ferd. Buisson: Sébastien Castellion, Paris, 1892, 2 vols.
Castellio was far superior to Bolsec as a scholar and a man, and lived in peace with Calvin until differences of opinion on predestination, free-will, the Canticles, the descent into Hades, and religious toleration made them bitter enemies. In the beat of the controversy both forgot the dignity and moderation of a Christian scholar.
Sebastian Castellio or Castalio was born at Chatillon in Savoy, in 1515, six years after Calvin, of poor and bigoted parents.902 He acquired a classical and biblical education by hard study. He had a rare genius for languages, and mastered Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. In 1540 he taught Greek at Lyons, and conducted the studies of three noblemen. He published there a manual of biblical history under the title Dialogi sacri, which passed through several editions in Latin and French from 1540 to 1731. He wrote a Latin epic on the prophecies of Jonah; a Greek epic on John the Baptist, which greatly delighted Melanchthon; two versions of the Pentateuch, with a view to exhibit Moses as a master in all the arts and sciences; a translation of the Psalms, and other poetic portions of the Old Testament.
These works were preparatory to a complete Latin translation of the Bible, which he began at Geneva, 1542, and finished at Basel, 1551. It was dedicated to King Edward VI. of England, and often republished with various improvements. He showed some specimens in manuscript to Calvin, who disapproved of the style. His object was to present the Bible in classical Latinity according to the taste of the later humanists and the pedantic Ciceronianism of Cardinal Bembo. He substituted classical for biblical terms; as lotio for baptismus, genius for angelus, respublica for ecclesia, collegium for synagoge, senatus for presbyterium, furiosi for daemoniaci. He sacrificed the contents to style, obliterated the Hebraisms, and weakened the realistic force, the simplicity and grandeur of the biblical writers. His translation was severely criticised by Calvin and Beza as tending to secularize and profane the sacred book, but it was commended as a meritorious work by such competent judges as Melanchthon and Richard Simon. Castellio published also a French version of the Bible with notes (1555), but his French was not nearly as pure and elegant as his Latin, and was severely criticised by Beza. He translated portions of Homer, Xenophon, the Dialogues of Ochino, and also two mystical books, the Theologia Germanica (1557), and, in the last year of his life, the Imitatio Christi of Thomas à Kempis,—"e latino in latinum," that is, from monkish into classical Latin,—omitting, however, the fourth book.
Castellio was a philologist and critic, an orator and poet, but not a theologian, and unable to rise to the lofty height of Calvin’s views and mission. His controversial tracts are full of bitterness. He combined a mystical with a sceptical tendency.903 He was an anachronism; a rationalist before Rationalism, an advocate of religious toleration in an age of intolerance.
Castellio became acquainted with Calvin at Strassburg, and lived with him in the same house (1540). Calvin appreciated his genius, scholarship, and literary industry, and, on his return to Geneva, he secured for him a call as rector of the Latin school at a salary of four hundred and fifty florins (November, 1541), in the place of his old teacher, Maturin Cordier. He treated him at first with marked kindness and forbearance. In 1542, when the pestilence raged, Castellio offered to go to the hospital, but he was either rejected as not qualified, not being a minister, or he changed his mind when the lot fell on him.904
Early in the year 1544, Castellio took offence at some of Calvin’s theological opinions, especially his doctrine of predestination. He disliked his severe discipline and the one-man-power. He anticipated the rationalistic opinion on the Song of Solomon, and described it as an obscene, erotic poem, which should be stricken out of the canon.905 He also objected to the clause of Christ’s descent into Hades in the Apostles’ Creed, or rather to Calvin’s figurative explanation of it, as being a vicarious foretaste of eternal pain by Christ on the cross.906 For these reasons Calvin opposed his ordination, but recommended an increase of his salary, which the Council refused, with the direction that he should keep better discipline in the school.907 He also gave him an honorable public testimony when he wished to leave Geneva, and added private letters of recommendation to friends. Castellio went to Lausanne, but soon returned to Geneva. In April, 1544, he asked the Council to continue him in his position for April, May, and June, which was agreed to.908
In a public discussion on some Scripture text in the weekly congregation at which about sixty persons were present, May 30, 1544, he eulogized St. Paul and drew an unfavorable contrast between him and the ministers of Geneva, charging them with drunkenness, impurity, and intolerance. Calvin listened in silence, but complained to the Syndics of this conduct.909 Castellio was summoned before the Council, which, after a patient hearing, found him guilty of calumny, and banished him from the city.910
He went to Basel, where the liberal spirit of Erasmus had not yet died out. He lived there several years in great poverty till 1553, when he obtained a Greek professorship in the University. That University was the headquarters of opposition to Calvinism. Several sceptical Italians gathered there. Fr. Hotoman wrote to Bullinger: "Calvin is no better spoken of here than in Paris. If one wishes to scold another, he calls him a Calvinist. He is most unjustly and immoderately assailed from all quarters."911
In the summer of 1554, an anonymous letter was addressed to the Genevese with atrocious charges against Calvin, who suspected that it was written by Castellio, and complained of it to Antistes Sulzer of Basel; but Castellio denied the authorship before the Council of Basel. About the same time appeared from the same anonymous source a malignant tract against Calvin, which collected his most obnoxious utterances on predestination, and was sent to Paris for publication to fill the French Protestants, then struggling for existence, with distrust of the Reformer (1555). Calvin and Beza replied with much indignation and bitterness, and heaped upon the author such epithets as dog, slanderer, corrupter of Scripture, vagabond, blasphemer. Calvin, upon insufficient information, even charged him with theft. Castellio, in self-defence, informs us that, with a large family dependent on him, he was in the habit of gathering driftwood on the banks of the Rhine to keep himself warm, and to cook his food, while working at the completion of his translation of the Scriptures till midnight. He effectively replied to Calvin’s reproachful epithets: "It ill becomes so learned a man as yourself, the teacher of so many others, to degrade so excellent an intellect by such foul and sordid abuse."
Castellio incurred the suspicion of the Council of Basel by his translation of Ochino’s Dialogues, which contained opinions favorable to Unitarianism and polygamy (1563). He defended himself by alleging that he acted not as judge, but only as translator, for the support of his family. He was warned to cease meddling with theology and to stick to philology.
He died in poverty, Dec. 29, 1563, only forty-eight years old, leaving four sons and four daughters from two wives. Calvin saw in his death a judgment of God, but a few months afterwards he died himself. Even the mild Bullinger expressed satisfaction that the translator of Ochino’s dangerous books had left this world.912 Three Polish Socinians, who happened to pass through Basel, were more merciful than the orthodox, and erected to Castellio a monument in the cloister adjoining the minster. Faustus Socinus edited his posthumous works. The youngest of his children, Frederic Castellio, acquired some distinction as a philologist, orator, musician, and poet, and was appointed professor of Greek, and afterwards of rhetoric, in Basel.
Castellio left no school behind him, but his writings exerted considerable influence on the development of Socinian and Arminian opinions. He opposed Calvinism with the same arguments as Pighius and Bolsec, and charged it with destroying the foundations of morality and turning God into a tyrant and hypocrite. He essentially agreed with Pelagianism, and prepared the way for Socinianism.
He differed also from Calvin on the subject of persecution. Being himself persecuted, he was one of the very few advocates of religious toleration in opposition to the prevailing doctrine and practice of his age. In this point also he sympathized with the Unitarians. After the execution of Servetus and Calvin’s defence of the same, there appeared, under the false name of Martinus Bellius, a book against the theory of religious persecution, which was ascribed to Castellio.913 He denied the authorship. He had, however, contributed to it a part under the name of Basilius (Sebastian) Montfortius (Castellio). The pseudo-name of Martinus Bellius, the editor who wrote the dedicatory preface to Duke Christopher of Württemberg (the protector of Vergerius), has never been unmasked. The book is a collection of judgments of different writers against the capital punishment of heretics. Calvin and Beza were indignant, and correctly ascribed the book to a secret company of Italian "Academici,"—Laelius Socinus, Curio, and Castellio. They also suspected that Magdeburg, the alleged place of publication, was Basel, and the printer an Italian refugee, Pietro Perna.
Castellio wrote also a tract, during the Huguenot wars in France, 1562, in which he defended religious liberty as the only remedy against religious wars.914
§ 127. Calvinism and Unitarianism. The Italian Refugees.
Comp. §§ 38–40 (pp. 144–163).
I. Calvin: Ad questiones Georgii Blandatrae responsum (1558); Responsum ad Fratres Polonos quomodo mediator sit Christus ad refutandum Stancari errorem (1560); Impietas Valentini Gentilis detecta et palam traducta qui Christum non sine sacrilega blasphemia Deum essentiatum esse fingit (1561); Brevis admonitio ad Fratres Polonos ne triplicem in Deo essentiam pro tribus personis imaginando tres sibi Deos fabricent (1563); Epistola Jo. Calv. quo fidem Admonitionis ab eo nuper editae apud Polonos confirmat (1563). All in Opera, Tom. IX. 321 sqq. The correspondence of Calvin with Lelio Sozini and other Italians, see below. On the controversy with Servetus, see next chapter.
The Socinian writings are collected in the Bibliotheca fratrum Polonorum quos Unitarios vocant, Irenopoli (Amsterdam), 1656 sqq., 8 vols in 11 tomes fol. It contains the writings of the younger Socinus and his successors (Schlichting, Crell, etc.).
II. Trechsel: Die Protestantischen Antitrinitarier, Heidelberg, 1839 and 1844, 2 vols. The first volume treats chiefly of Servetus; the second, of the Italian Antitrinitarians.—Otto Fock: Der Socinianismus, Kiel, 1847. (The first part contains the history, the second and more valuable part the system, of Socinianism.)—Schweizer: Die Protest. Centraldogmen (Zürich, 1854), vol. I. 293 sqq.—Henry, III. 276 sqq.—Dyer, 446 sqq.—Stähelin, II. 319 sqq.—L. Coligny: L’Antitrinitarianism à Genève au temps de Calvin. Genève, 1873.—Harnack: Dogmengeschichte, III. (1890) 653–691. Comp. Sand: Bibliotheca Antitrinitariorum, 1684.
The Italian Protestants who were compelled to flee from the Inquisition, sought refuge in Switzerland, and organized congregations under native pastors in the Grisons, in Zürich, and Geneva. A few of them gathered also in Basel, and associated there with Castellio and the admirers of Erasmus.915 An Italian Church was organized at Geneva in 1542, and reorganized in 1551, under Galeazzo Caraccioli, Marquis of Vico. Its chief pastors were Ragnione, Count Martinengo (who died 1557), and Balbani.
Among the 279 fugitives who received the rights of citizenship in that city on one day of the year 1558, there were 200 Frenchmen, 50 Englishmen, 25 Italians, and 4 Spaniards.
The descendants of the refugees gradually merged into the native population. Some of the best families in Geneva, Zürich, and Basel still bear the names and cherish the memories of their foreign ancestors. In the valleys of Poschiavo and Bregaglia of the Grisons, several Protestant Italian congregations survive to this day.916
The Italian Protestants were mostly educated men, who had passed through the door of the Renaissance to the Reformation, or who had received the first impulse from the writings of Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin. We must distinguish among them two classes, as they were chiefly influenced either by religious or intellectual motives. Those who had experienced a severe moral struggle for peace of conscience, became strict Calvinists; those who were moved by a desire for freedom of thought from the bondage of an exclusive creed, sympathized more with Erasmus than with Luther and Calvin, and had a tendency to Unitarianism and Pelagianism. Zanchi warned Bullinger against recommending Italians for sound doctrine until he had ascertained their views on God and on original sin. The same national characteristics continue to this day among the Romanic races. If Italians, Frenchmen, or Spaniards cease to be Romanists, they are apt to become sceptics and agnostics. They rarely stop midway.
The ablest, most learned, and most worthy representatives of orthodox Calvinism among the converted Italians were Peter Martyr Vermigli of Florence (1500–1562), who became, successively, professor at Strassburg (1543), at Oxford (1547), and last at Zürich (1555), and his younger friend, Jerome Zanchi (1516–1590), who labored first in the Grisons, and then as professor at Strassburg (1553) and at Heidelberg (1568). Calvin made several ineffectual attempts to secure both for the Italian congregation in Geneva.917
The sceptical and antitrinitarian Italians were more numerous among the scholars. Calvin aptly called them "sceptical Academicians." They assembled chiefly at Basel, where they breathed the atmosphere of Erasmian humanism. They gave the Swiss Churches a great deal of trouble. They took offence at the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity, which they misconstrued into tritheism, or Sabellianism, at the orthodox Christology of two natures in one person, and at the Calvinistic doctrines of total depravity and divine predestination, which they charged with tending to immorality. They doubted the right of infant baptism, and denied the real presence in the Eucharist. They hated ecclesiastical disciplina. They admired Servetus, and disapproved of his burning. They advocated religious toleration, which threatened to throw everything into confusion.
To this class belong the two Sozini,—uncle and nephew, Curio, Ochino (in his latter years), Renato, Gribaldo, Biandrata, Alciati, and Gentile. Castellio is also counted with these Italian sceptics. He thoroughly sided with their anti-Calvinism, and translated from the Italian manuscripts into Latin the last books of Ochino.
Thus the seeds for a new and heretical type of Protestantism were abundantly sown by these Italian refugees in the soil of the Swiss Churches, which had received them with open-hearted hospitality.
Fausto Sozini (1539–1604) formulated the loose heterodox opinions of this school of sceptics into a theological system, and organized an ecclesiastical society in Poland, where they enjoyed toleration till the Jesuitical reaction drove them away. Poland was the Northern home of the Italian Renaissance. Italian architects built the great churches and palaces in Cracow, Warsaw, and other cities, and gave them an Italian aspect. Fausto Sozini spent some time in Lyons, Zürich (where he collected the papers of his uncle), and Basel, but labored chiefly in Poland, and acquired great influence with the upper classes by his polished manners, amiability, and marriage with the daughter of a nobleman. Yet he was once mobbed by fanatical students and priests it Cracow, who dragged him through the streets and destroyed his library. He bore the persecution like a philosopher. His writings were published by his nephew, Wiszowaty, in the first two volumes of the Bibliotheca fratrum Polonorum, 1656.
This is not the place for a full history of Socinianism. We have only to do with its initiatory movements in Switzerland, and its connection with Calvin. But a few general remarks will facilitate an understanding.
Socinianism, as a system of theology, has largely affected the theology of orthodox Protestantism on the Continent during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and was succeeded by modern Unitarianism, which has exerted considerable influence on the thought and literature of England and America in the nineteenth century. It forms the extreme left wing of Protestantism, and the antipode to Calvinism. The Socinians admitted that Calvinism is the only logical system on the basis of universal depravity and absolute foreknowledge and foreordination; but they denied these premises, and taught moral ability, free-will, and, strange to say, a limitation of divine foreknowledge. God foreknows and foreordains only the necessary future, but not the contingent future, which depends on the free-will of man. The two systems are therefore directly opposed in their theology and anthropology.
And yet there is a certain intellectual and moral affinity between them; as there is between Lutheranism and Rationalism. It is a remarkable fact that modern Unitarianism has grown up in the Calvinistic (Presbyterian and Independent) Churches of Geneva, France, Holland, England, and New England, while Rationalism has been chiefly developed in Lutheran Germany. But the reaction is also found in those countries.
The Italian and Polish Socinians took substantially the same ground as the English and American Unitarians. They were opposed alike to Romanism and Calvinism; they claimed intellectual freedom of dissent and investigation as a right; they elevated the ethical spirit of Christianity above the dogmas, and they had much zeal for higher liberal education. But they differ on an important point. The Socinians had a theological system, and a catechism; the modern Unitarians refuse to be bound by a fixed creed, and are independent in church polity. They allow more liberty for new departures, either in the direction of rationalism and humanitarianism, or in the opposite direction of supernaturalism and trinitarianism.
Calvin was in his early ministry charged with Arianism by a theological quack (Caroli), because he objected to the damnatory clauses of the pseudo-Athanasian creed, and expressed once an unfavorable opinion on the Nicene Creed.918 But his difficulty was only with the scholastic or metaphysical terminology,919 not with the doctrine itself; and as to the divinity of Christ and of the Holy Spirit, he was most emphatic.
It is chiefly due to Calvin’s and Bullinger’s influence that Unitarianism, which began to undermine orthodoxy, and to unsettle the Churches, was banished from Switzerland. It received its death-blow in the execution of Servetus, who was a Spaniard, but the ablest and most dangerous antitrinitarian. His case will be discussed in a special chapter.
§ 128. Calvin and Laelius Socinus.
F. Trechsel (pastor at Vechingen, near Bern): Die protest. Antitrinitarier vor Faustus Socinus nach den Quellen und Urkunden geschichtlich dargestellt. Heidelberg, 1839, 1844. The first part of this learned work, drawn in part from manuscript sources, is devoted to Michael Servetus and his predecessors; the second part to Lelio Sozini and his sympathizing contemporaries. The third section of vol. II. 137–201, with documents in the Appendix, pp. 431–459, treats of Lelio Sozini.—Henry, II. 484 sqq.; III. 440, Beilage, 128.—Dyer, 251 (very brief).
Laelius Socinus, or Lelio Sozini, of Siena (1525–1562), son of an eminent professor of law, was well educated, and carried away by the reform movement in his early youth. He voluntarily separated from the Roman Church, in 1546, at the sacrifice of home and fortune. He removed to Chiavenna in 1547, travelled in Switzerland, France, England, Germany, and Poland, leading an independent life as a student, without public office, supported by the ample means of his father. He studied Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic with Pellican and Bibliander at Zürich and with Foster at Wittenberg, that he might reach "the fountain of the divine law" in the Bible. He made Zürich his second home, and died there in the prime of early manhood, leaving his unripe doubts and crude opinions as a legacy to his more gifted and famous nephew, who gave them definite shape and form.
Laelius was learned, acute, polite, amiable, and prepossessing. He was a man of affairs, better fitted for law or diplomacy than for theology. He was constitutionally a sceptic, of the type of Thomas: an honest seeker after truth; too independent to submit blindly to authority, and yet too religious to run into infidelity. His scepticism stumbled first at the Roman Catholic, than at the Protestant orthodoxy, and gradually spread over the doctrines of the resurrection, predestination, original sin, the trinity, the atonement, and the sacraments. Yet he remained in respectful connection with the Reformers, and communed with the congregation at Zürich, although he thought that the Consensus Tigurinus attributed too much power to the sacrament. He enjoyed the confidence of Bullinger and Melanchthon, who treated him with fatherly kindness, but regarded him better fitted for a secular calling than for the service of the Church. Calvin also was favorably impressed with his talents and personal character, but displeased with his excessive "inquisitiveness."920
L. Socinus came to Geneva in 1548 or 1549, seeking instruction from the greatest divine of the age. He opened his doubts to Calvin with the modesty of a disciple. Soon afterwards he addressed to him a letter from Zürich, asking for advice on the questions, whether it was lawful for a Protestant to marry a Roman Catholic; whether popish baptism was efficacious; and how the doctrine of the resurrection of the body could be explained.
Calvin answered in an elaborate letter (June 26, 1549),921 to the effect that marriage with Romanists was to be condemned; that popish baptism was valid and efficacious, and should be resorted to when no other can be had, since the Roman communion, though corrupt, still retained marks of the true Church as well as a scattered number of elect individuals, and since baptism was not a popish invention but a divine institution and gift of God who fulfils his promises; that the question on the mode of the resurrection, and its relation to the changing states of our mortal body, was one of curiosity rather than utility.
Before receiving this answer, Socinus wrote to Calvin again from Basel (July 25, 1549) on the same subjects, especially the resurrection, which troubled his mind very much.922 To this Calvin returned another answer (December, 1549), and warned him against the dangers of his sceptical bent of mind.923
Socinus was not discouraged by the earnest rebuke, nor shaken in his veneration for Calvin. During the Bolsec troubles, when at Wittenberg, he laid before him his scruples about predestination and free-will, and appealed to the testimony of Melanchthon, whom he had informed about the harsh treatment of Bolsec. Calvin answered briefly and not without some degree of bitterness.924
Socinus visited Geneva a second time in 1554, after his return from a journey to Italy, and before making Zürich his final home. He was then, apparently, still in friendly relations to Calvin and Caraccioli.925 Soon afterwards he opened to Calvin, in four questions, his objections to the doctrine of the vicarious atonement. Calvin went to the trouble to answer them at length, with solid arguments, June, 1555.926
But Socinus was not satisfied. His scepticism extended further to the doctrine of the sacraments and of the Trinity. He doubted first the personality of the Holy Spirit, and then the eternal divinity of Christ. He disapproved the execution of Servetus, and advocated toleration.
Various complaints against Socinus reached Bullinger. Calvin requested him to restrain the restless curiosity of the sceptic. Vergerio, then at Tübingen, Saluz of Coire, and other ministers, sent warnings. Bullinger instituted a private inquiry in a kindly spirit, and was satisfied with a verbal and written declaration of Socinus (July 15, 1555) to the effect that he fully agreed with the Scriptures and the Apostles’ Creed, that he disapproved the doctrines of the Anabaptists and Servetus, and that he would not teach any errors, but live in quiet retirement. Bullinger protected him against further attacks.
Socinus ceased to trouble the Reformers with questions. He devoted himself to the congregation of refugees from Locarno, and secured for them Ochino as pastor, but exerted a bad influence upon him. Fortified with letters of recommendation he made another journey to Italy,—via Germany and Poland, to recover his property from the Inquisition. Calvin gave him a letter to Prince Radziwill of Poland, dated June, 1558, to further his object.927 But Socinus was bitterly disappointed in his wishes, and returned to Zürich in August, 1559. The last few years of his short life he spent in quiet retirement. His nephew visited him several times, and revered him as a divinely illuminated man to whom he owed his most fruitful ideas.
The personal relation of Calvin and the elder Socinus is one of curious mutual attraction and repulsion, like the two systems which they represent.928
The younger Socinus, the real founder of the system called after him, did not come into personal contact with Calvin, and labored among the scattered Unitarians and Anabaptists in Poland.
Calvin took a deep interest in the progress of the Reformation in Poland, and wrote several letters to the king, to Prince Radziwill, and some of the Polish nobility. But when the writings of Servetus and antitrinitarian opinions spread in that kingdom, he warned the Polish brethren, in one of his last writings, against the danger of this heresy.
§ 129. Bernardino Ochino. 1487–1565.
Comp. § 40, p. 162. Ochino’s Sermons, Tragedy, Catechism, Labyrinths, and Dialogues. His works are very rare; one of the best collections is in the library of Wolfenbüttel; copious extracts in Schelhorn, Trechsel, Schweizer, and Benrath. A full list in Benrath’s monograph, Appendix II. 374–382. His letters (Italian and Latin), ibid. AppendixI1. 337–373. Ochino is often mentioned in Calvin’s and Bullinger’s correspondence.
Zaccaria Boverio (Rom. Cath.) in the Chronicle of the Order of the Capuchins, 1630 (inaccurate and hostile). Bayle’s "Dict."—Schelhorn: Ergötzlich-keiten aus der Kirchenhistorie, Ulm and Leipzig, 1764, vol. III. (with several documents in Latin and Italian).—Trechsel: Antitrinitarier, II. 202–270.—Schweizer: Centraldogmen, I. 297–309.—Cesare Cantu (Rom. Cath.): Gli Eretici d’Italia, Turin, 1565–1567, 3vols. —Büchsenschütz: Vie et écrits de B. O., Strasbourg, 1872.—*Karl Benrath: Bernardino Ochino von Siena. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Reformation, Leipzig, 1875 (384 pp.; 2d ed. 1892; transl. by Helen Zimmern, with preface by William Arthur, London, 1876, 304 pp.; the letters of Ochino are omitted).—Comp. C. Schmidt in his Peter Martyr Vermigli (1858), pp. 21 sqq., and art. in Herzog2 X. 680–683. (This article is unsatisfactory and shows no knowledge of Benrath, although he is mentioned in the lit.)
Mi sara facile tutto in Christo per el qual vivo et spero di morire.
(From Ochino’s letter to the Council of Siena, Sept. 5, 1540; reproduced from Benrath’s monograph.)
The Capuchin Monk.
Bernardino Ochino929 is one of the most striking and picturesque characters among the Italian Protestants of the Reformation period. He was an oratorical genius and monkish saint who shone with meteoric brilliancy on the sky of Italy, but disappeared at last under a cloud of scepticism in the far North.
He reminds one of three other eloquent monks: Savonarola, who was burnt in Florence at the stake; Father Gavazzi, who became a Calvinist and died peacefully in Rome; and Père Hyacinthe, who left the Carmelite order and the pulpit of Notre Dame in Paris without joining any Protestant Church.
Ochino was born in the fair Tuscan city of Siena, which is adorned by a Gothic marble dome and gave birth to six popes, fifty cardinals, and a number of canonized saints, among them the famous Caterina of Siena; but also to Protestant heretics, like Lelio and Fausto Sozini. He joined the Franciscans, and afterwards the severe order of the Capuchins, which had recently been founded by Fra Matteo Bassi in 1525. He hoped to gain heaven by self-denial and good works. He far surpassed his brethren in ability and learning,930 although his education was defective (he did not know the original languages of the Bible). He was twice elected Vicar-General of the Order. He was revered by many as a saint for his severe asceticism and mortification of the flesh. Vittoria Colonna, the most gifted woman of Italy, and the Duchess Renata of Ferrara were among his ardent admirers. Pope Paul III. intended to create him a cardinal.931
Ochino as an Orator.
Ochino was the most popular preacher of Italy in his time. No such orator had appeared since the death of Savonarola in 1498. He was in general demand for the course of sermons during Lent, and everywhere—in Siena, Naples, Rome, Florence, Venice—he attracted crowds of people who listened to him as to a prophet sent from God.
We can hardly understand from his printed sermons the extravagant laudations of his contemporaries. But good preachers were rare in Italy, and the effect of popular oratory depends upon action as much as on diction. We must take into account the magnetism of his personality, the force of dramatic delivery, the lively gestures, the fame of his monastic sanctity, his emaciated face, his gleaming eyes, his tall stature and imposing figure. The portrait prefixed to his "Nine Sermons," published at Venice, 1539, shows him to us as he was at the time: a typical Capuchin monk, with the head bent, the gaze upturned, the eyes deeply sunk under the brows, the nose aquiline, the mouth half open, the head shaved on top, the beard reaching down to his breast.
Cardinal Sadolet compared him to the orators of antiquity. One of his hearers in Naples said, This man could make the very stones weep.932
Cardinal Bembo933 secured him for Lent at Venice through Vittoria Colonna, and wrote to her (Feb. 23, 1539): "I have heard him all through Lent with such pleasure that I cannot praise him enough. I have never heard more useful and edifying sermons than his, and I no longer wonder that you esteem him so highly. He preaches in a far more Christian manner than other preachers, with more real sympathy and love, and utters more soothing and elevating thoughts. Every one is delighted with him." A few months later (April 4, 1539) he wrote to the same lady: "Our Fra Bernardino is literally adored here. There is no one who does not praise him to the skies. How deeply his words penetrate, how elevating and comforting his discourses!" He begged him to eat meat and to restrain from excessive abstinence lest he should break down.
Even Pietro Aretino, the most frivolous and immoral poet of that time, was superficially converted for a brief season by Ochino’s preaching, and wrote to Paul III. (April 21, 1539): "Bembo has won a thousand souls for Paradise by bringing to Venice Fra Bernardino, whose modesty is equal to his virtue. I have myself begun to believe in the exhortations trumpeted forth from the mouth of this apostolic monk."
Cardinal Commendone, afterwards Bishop of Amelia, an enemy of Ochino, gives this description of him: "Every thing about Ochino contributed to make the admiration of the multitude almost overstep all human bounds,—the fame of his eloquence; his prepossessing, ingratiating manner; his advancing years; his mode of life; the rough Capuchin garb; the long beard reaching to his breast; the gray hair; the pale, thin face; the artificial aspect of bodily weakness; finally, the reputation of a holy life. Wherever he was to speak the citizens might be seen in crowds; no church was large enough to contain the multitude of listeners. Men flocked as numerously as women. When he went elsewhere the crowd followed after to hear him. He was honored not only by the common people, but also by princes and kings. Wherever he came he was offered hospitality; he was met at his arrival, and escorted at his departure, by the dignitaries of the place. He himself knew how to increase the desire to hear him, and the reverence shown him. Obedient to the rule of his order, he only travelled on foot; he was never seen to ride, although his health was delicate and his age advanced. Even when Ochino was the guest of nobles—an honor he could not always refuse—he could never be induced, by the splendor of palaces, dress, and ornament, to forsake his mode of life. When invited to table, he ate of only one very simple dish, and he drank little wine; if a soft bed had been prepared for him, he begged permission to rest on a more comfortable pallet, spread his cloak on the ground, and laid down to rest. These practices gain him incredible honor throughout all Italy."
Conversion to Protestantism.
Ochino was already past fifty when he began to lose faith in the Roman Church. The first traces of the change are found in his "Nine Sermons" and "Seven Dialogues," which were published at Venice in 1539 and 1541. He seems to have passed through an experience similar to that of Luther in the convent at Erfurt, only less deep and lasting. The vain monastic struggle after righteousness led him to despair of himself, and to find peace in the assurance of justification by faith in the merits of Christ. As long as he was a monk, so he informs us, he went even beyond the requirements of his order in reading masses, praying the Pater Noster and Ave Maria, reciting Psalms and prayers, confessing trifling sins once or twice a day, fasting and mortifying his body. But he came gradually to the conviction that Christ has fully satisfied for his elect, and conquered Paradise for them; that monastic vows were not obligatory, and were even immoral; and that the Roman Church, though brilliant in outward appearance, was thoroughly corrupt and an abomination in the eyes of God.
In this transition state he was much influenced by his personal intercourse with Jean de Valdés and Peter Martyr. Valdés, a Spanish nobleman who lived at Rome and Naples, was an evangelical mystic, and the real author of that remarkable book, "On the Benefit of Christ’s Death" (published at Venice, 1540). It was formerly attributed to Aonio Paleario (a friend of Ochino), and had a wide circulation in Italy till it was suppressed and publicly burnt at Naples in 1553.
During the Lent season of 1542, Ochino preached his last course of sermons at Venice. The papal agents watched him closely and reported some expressions as heretical. He was forbidden to preach, and cited to Rome.
Caraffa had persuaded Pope Paul III. to use violent measures for the suppression of the Protestant heresy. In Rome, Peter had conquered Simon Magus, the patriarch of all heretics; in Rome’ the successor of Peter must conquer all successors of the arch-heretic. The Roman Inquisition was established by the bull Licet ab initio, July 21, 1542, under the direction of six cardinals. with plenary power to arrest and imprison persons suspected of heresy, and to confiscate their property. The famous General of the Capuchins was to be the first victim of the "Holy Office."
Ochino departed for Rome in August. Passing through Bologna, he called on the noble Cardinal Contarini, who in the previous year had met Melanchthon and Calvin at the Colloquy of Ratisbon, and was suspected of having a leaning to the Lutheran doctrine of justification, and to a moderate reformation. The cardinal was sick, and died soon after (August 24). The interview was brief, but left upon Ochino the impression that there was no chance for him in Rome. He continued his journey to Florence, met Peter Martyr in a similar condition, and was warned of the danger awaiting both. He felt that he must choose between Rome or Christ, between silence or death, and that flight was the only escape from this alternative. He resolved to save his life for future usefulness, though he was already fifty-six years old, gray-haired, and enfeebled by his ascetic life. If I remain in Italy, he said, my mouth is sealed; if I leave, I may by my writings continue to labor for the truth with some prospect of success.
He proved by his conduct the sincerity of his conversion to Protestantism. He risked every thing by secession from the papacy. An orator has no chance in a foreign land with a foreign tongue.934
Ochino in Switzerland.
In August, 1542, he left Florence; Peter Martyr followed two days later. He was provided with a servant and a horse by Ascanio Colonna, a brother of Vittoria, his friend.935 At Ferrara, the Duchess Renata furnished him with clothing and other necessaries, and probably also with a letter to her friend Calvin. According to Boverius, the annalist of the Capuchins, who deplores his apostasy as a great calamity for the order, he was accompanied by three lay brethren from Florence.
He proceeded through the Grisons to Zürich, and stopped there two days. He was kindly received by Bullinger, who speaks of him in a letter to Vadian (Dec. 19, 1542) as a venerable man, famous for sanctity of life and eloquence.
He arrived at Geneva about September, 1542, and remained there three years. He preached to the small Italian congregation, but devoted himself chiefly to literary work by which he hoped to reach a larger public in his native land. He was deeply impressed with the moral and religious prosperity of Geneva, the like of which he had never seen before, and gave a favorable description of it in one of his Italian sermons.936
"In Geneva, where I am now residing," he wrote in October, 1542, "excellent Christians are daily preaching the pure word of God. The Holy Scriptures are constantly read and openly discussed, and every one is at liberty to propound what the Holy Spirit suggests to him, just as, according to the testimony of Paul, was the case in the primitive Church. Every day there is a public service of devotion. Every Sunday there is catechetical instruction of the young, the simple, and the ignorant. Cursing and swearing, unchastity, sacrilege, adultery, and impure living, such as prevail in many places where I have lived, are unknown here. There are no pimps and harlots. The people do not know what rouge is, and they are all clad in a seemly fashion. Games of chance are not customary. Benevolence is so great that the poor need not beg. The people admonish each other in brotherly fashion, as Christ prescribes. Lawsuits are banished from the city; nor is there any simony, murder, or party spirit, but only peace and charity. On the other hand, there are no organs here, no noise of bells, no showy songs, no burning candles and lamps, no relics, pictures, statues, canopies, or splendid robes, no farces, or cold ceremonies. The churches are quite free from all idolatry."937
Ochino wrote at Geneva a justification of his flight, in a letter to Girolamo Muzio (April 7, 1543). In a letter to the magistrates of Siena, he gave a full confession of his faith based chiefly on the eighth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans (Nov. 3, 1543). He published, in rapid succession, seven volumes of Italian sermons or theological essays.938
He says in the Preface to these sermons: "Now, my dear Italy, I can no more speak to you from mouth to mouth; but I will write to you in thine own language, that everybody may understand me. My comfort is that Christ so willed it, that, laying aside all earthly considerations, I may regard only the truth. And as the justification of the sinner by Christ is the beginning of the Christian life, let us begin with it in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." His sermons are evangelical, and show a mystical tendency, as we might expect from a disciple of Valdes. He lays much stress on the vital union of the soul with Christ by faith and love. He teaches a free salvation by the sole merits of Christ, and the Calvinistic doctrine of sovereign election, but without the negative inference of reprobation. He wrote also a popular, paraphrastic commentary on his favorite Epistle to the Romans (1545), which was translated into Latin and German. Afterwards, he published sermons on the Epistle to the Galatians, which were printed at Augsburg, 1546.
He lived on good terms with Calvin, who distrusted the Italians, but after careful inquiry was favorably impressed with Ochino’s "eminent learning and exemplary life."939 He mentions him first in a letter to Viret (September, 1542) as a venerable refugee, who lived in Geneva at his own expense, and promised to be of great service if he could learn French.940 In a letter to Melanchthon (Feb. 14, 1543), he calls him an "eminent and excellent man, who has occasioned no little stir in Italy by his departure."941 Two years afterwards (Aug. 15, 1545), he recommended him to Myconius of Basel as "deserving of high esteem everywhere."942
Ochino associated at Basel with Castellio, and employed him in the translation of his works from the Italian. This connection may have shaken his confidence in the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination and free-will.
Ochino in Germany.
He labored for some time as preacher and author in Strassburg, where he met his old friend Peter Martyr, and in Augsburg, where he received from the city council a regular salary of two hundred guilders as preacher among the foreigners. This was his first regular settlement after he had left Italy. At Augsburg he lived with his brother-in-law and sister. He seems to have married at that time, if not earlier.943
Ochino in England.
After his victory over the Smalkaldian League, the Emperor Charles V. held a triumphant entry in Augsburg, Jan. 23, 1547, and demanded the surrender of the Apostate monk, whose powerful voice he had heard from the pulpit at Naples eleven years before. The magistrates enabled Ochino to escape in the night. He fled to Zürich, where he accidentally met Calvin, who arrived there on the same day. From Zürich he went to Basel.
Here he received, in 1547, a call to England from Archbishop Cranmer, who needed foreign aid in the work of the Reformation under the favorable auspices of the young King Edward VI. At the same time he called Peter Martyr, then professor at Strassburg, to a theological professorship at Oxford, and two years afterwards he invited Bucer and Fagius of Strassburg, who refused to sign the Augsburg Interim, to professorial chairs in the University of Cambridge (1549). Ochino and Peter Martyr made the journey together in company with an English knight, who provided the outfit and the travelling expenses.
Ochino labored six years in London, from 1547 to 1554, probably the happiest of his troubled life,—as evangelist among the Italian merchants and refugees, and as a writer in aid of the Reformation. His family followed him. He enjoyed the confidence of Cranmer, who appointed him canon of Canterbury (though he never resided there), and received a competent salary from the private purse of the king.
His chief work of that period is a theological drama against the papacy under the title "A Tragedy or a Dialogue of the unjust, usurped primacy of the Bishop of Rome," with a flattering dedication to Edward VI. He takes the ground of all the Reformers, that the pope is the predicted Antichrist, seated in the temple of God; and traces, in a series of nine conversations, with considerable dramatic skill but imperfect historical information, the gradual growth of the papacy from Boniface III. and Emperor Phocas (607) to its downfall in England under Henry VIII. and Edward VI.944
Ochino again in Switzerland.
After the accession of Queen Mary, Ochino had to flee, and went a second time to Geneva. He arrived there a day after the burning of Servetus (Oct. 28, 1553), which he disapproved, but he did not lose his respect for Calvin, whom he called, in a letter of Dec. 4, 1555, the first divine and the ornament of the century.945
He accepted a call as pastor of the Italian congregation at Zürich. Here he associated freely with Peter Martyr, but more, it would seem, with Laelius Socinus, who was also a native of Siena, and who by his sceptical opinions exerted an unsettling influence on his mind.
He wrote a catechism for his congregation (published at Basel, 1561) in the form of a dialogue between "Illuminato" (the catechumen) and "Ministro." He explains the usual five parts—the Decalogue (which fills one-half of the book), the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper, with an appendix of prayers.
His last works were his "Labyrinths" (1561) and "Thirty Dialogues" (1563), translated by Castellio into Latin, and published by an Italian printer at Basel. In these books Ochino discusses the doctrines of predestination, free-will, the Trinity, and monogamy, in a latitudinarian and sceptical way, which made the heretical view appear stronger in the argument than the orthodox.
The most objectionable is the dialogue on polygamy (Dial. XXI.), which he seemed to shield by the example of the patriarchs and kings of the Old Testament; while monogamy was not sufficiently defended, although it is declared to be the only moral form of marriage.946 The subject was much ventilated in that age, especially in connection with the bigamy of Philip of Hesse and the deplorable connivance of the Lutheran Reformers. A dialogue in favor of polygamy appeared in 1541, under the fictitious name of "Huldericus Neobulus," in the interest of Philip of Hesse. From this dialogue Ochino borrowed some of his strongest arguments.947 This accounts for his theoretical error. He certainly could have had no personal motive, for he was then in his seventy-seventh year, a widower with four children.948 His moral life had always been unblemished, as his congregation and Bullinger testified.
The dialogue on polygamy caused the unceremonious deposition and expulsion of the old man from Zürich by the Council, in December, 1563. In vain did he protest against misinterpreta-tion, and beg to be allowed to remain during the cold winter with his four children. He was ordered to quit the city within three weeks. Even the mild Bullinger did not protect him. He went to Basel, but the magistrates of that city were even more intolerant than the clergy, and would not permit him to remain during the winter. Castellio, the translator of the obnoxious books, was also called to account, but was soon summoned to a higher judgment (December 23). The printer, Perna, who had sold all the copies, was threatened with punishment, but seems to have escaped it.
Ochino found a temporary hiding-place in Nürnberg, and sent from there in self-defence an ill-tempered attack upon Zürich, to which the ministers of that city replied.949
Being obliged to leave Nürnberg, he turned his weary steps to Poland, and was allowed to preach to his countrymen at Cracow. But Cardinal Hosius and the papal nuncio denounced him as an atheist, and induced the king to issue an edict by which all non-Catholic foreigners were expelled from Poland (Aug. 6, 1564).
Ochino entered upon his last weary journey. At Pinczow he was seized by the pestilence and lost three of his children; nothing is known of the fourth. He himself survived, but a few weeks afterwards he took sick again and ended his lonely life at the end of December, 1564, at Schlackau in Moravia: a victim of his sceptical speculations and the intolerance of his age. A veil is thrown over his last days: no monument, no inscription marks his grave. What a sad contrast between the bright morning and noon-day, and the gloomy evening, of his public life!
A false rumor was spread that before his journey to Poland he met at Schaffhausen the cardinal of Lorraine on his return from the Council of Trent, and offered to prove twenty-four errors against the Reformed Church. The offer was declined with the remark: "Four errors are enough." The rumor was investigated, but could not be verified. He himself denied it, and one of his last known utterances was: "I wish to be neither a Bullingerite, nor a Calvinist, nor a Papist, but simply a Christian."950
His sceptical views on the person of Christ and the atonement disturbed and nearly broke up the Italian congregation in Zürich. No new pastor was elected; the members coalesced with the German population, and the antitrinitarian influences disappeared.
§ 130. Caelius Secundus Curio. 1503–1569.
Curio’s works and correspondence.—Trechsel, I. 215 sqq., and Wagemann in Herzog,2 III. 396–400 (where the literature is given).
Celio Secundo Curione or Curio was the youngest of twenty-three children of a Piedmontese nobleman, studied history and law at Turin, became acquainted with the writings of Luther, Zwingli, and Melanchthon through an Augustinian monk, and labored zealously for the spread of Protestant doctrines in Pavia, Padua, Venice, Ferrara, and Lucca. He barely escaped death at the stake, and fled to Switzerland with letters of recommendation by the Duchess Renata, the friend of Calvin. He received an appointment as professor of eloquence in Lausanne (1543–1547) and afterwards in Basel. He was the father-in-law of Zanchius. He attracted students from abroad, declined several calls, kept up a lively correspondence with his countrymen and with the Reformers, and wrote a number of theological and literary works. He sided with the latitudinarians, and thereby lost the confidence of Calvin and Bullinger; but he maintained his ground in Basel, and became the ancestor of several famous theological families of that city (Buxtorf, Zwinger, Werenfels, Frey).
Curio sympathized with Zwingli’s favorable judgment of the noble heathen, and thought that they were as acceptable to God as the pious Israelites. Vergerio, formerly a friend of Curio, charged him with the Pelagian heresy and with teaching that men may be saved without the knowledge of Christ, though not without Christ.951
Curio advanced also the hopeful view that the kingdom of heaven is much larger than the kingdom of Satan, and that the saved will far outnumber the lost.952
Such opinions were disapproved by Peter Martyr, Zanchi, Bullinger, Brenz, John a Lasco, and all orthodox Protestants of that age, as paradoxical and tending to Universalism. But modern Calvinists go further than Curio, at least in regard to the large majority of the saved.953
§ 131. The Italian Antitrinitarians in Geneva. Gribaldo, Biandrata, Alciati, Gentile.
See Lit. in § 127, and Sandius: Bibliotheca antitrinitaria. Trechsel (I. 277–390) is still the best authority on the early Antitrinitarians in Switzerland, and gives large extracts from the sources. Fock (I. 134) has only a few words on them.—Comp. in addition, Heberle: G. Blandrata, in the "Tübinger Zeitschrift für Theologie," for 1840, No. IV. Dorner: Hist. of Christology, German ed., II. 656 sqq.
The antitrinitarian leaven entered the Italian congregation at Geneva during and after the trial of Servetus, but was suppressed by the combined action of the Swiss Churches. This constitutes the last chapter of Antitrinitarianism in Switzerland.
Several Italian refugees denounced the execution of Servetus, adopted his views and tried to improve them, but were far inferior to him in genius and originality.
They circulated libels on Calvin, and ventilated their opinions in the weekly conference meetings of the Italian congregation, which were open to questions and free discussions.
1. Matteo Gribaldo, a noted professor of jurisprudence at Padua, bought the estate of Farges in the territory of Bern, near Geneva, and spent there a part of each year. He attended the Italian meetings on his visits to the town. During the trial of Servetus he openly expressed his disapproval of civil punishment for religious opinions, and maintained that everybody should be allowed to believe what he pleased. He at first concealed his views on the doctrine of Servetus, except among intimate friends. After an examination before the Council, he was ordered to leave the city on suspicion of heretical opinions on the Trinity (1559). These opinions were crude and undigested. He vacillated between dyotheism or tritheism and Arianism. He could not conceive of Father and Son except as two distinct beings or substances: the one begetting, the other begotten; the one sending, the other sent. He compared their relation to that between Paul and Apollos, who were two individuals, yet one in the abstract idea of the apostolate.
Before his dismission from Geneva he had, through the influence of Vergerio, received an appointment us professor of law in the University of Tübingen. Passing through Zürich he called on Bullinger, and complained bitterly of the conduct of Calvin. He gained the applause of the students in Tübingen, and was often consulted by Duke Christopher of Würtemberg on important matters.
But rumors of his heresies reached Tübingen, and inquiries were sent to Geneva. Calvin warned his old teacher, Melchior Volmar, against him, and Beza alarmed Vergerio by unfavorable reports. Vergerio informed the Duke of the charges.
Gribaldo was subjected to an examination before the academic senate in the presence of the Duke, and was pressed for a decided answer to the question, whether he agreed with the Athanasian Creed and the edict of Theodosius I. respecting the Trinity and the Catholic faith. He asked three weeks’ time for consideration, but escaped to his villa at Farges, where his family still resided.
There he was apprehended by the magistrates of Bern at the instance of the Duke of Würtemberg, in September, 1557. His papers were seized and found to contain antitrinitarian and other heresies. He was ordered to renounce his errors by a confession drawn up with his own hand, and banished from the territory of Bern; but on his promise to keep quiet, he was allowed to return the following year for the sake of his seven children. He died of the plague which visited Switzerland in 1564, and swept away thirty-eight thousand persons in the territory of Bern, besides seven thousand in Basel, and fourteen hundred at Coire. It was a fatal time for the Reformed Church, for between 1564 and 1566 several of the leaders died; as Calvin, Farel, Bibliander, Borrhaus, Blaurer, Fabricius, and Saluz.954
2. Giorgio Biandrata (or Blandrata), an educated physician of a noble family of Saluzzo in Piedmont (born about 1515), escaped the inquisition by flight to Geneva in 1557. He agreed substantially with Gribaldo, but was more subtle and cautious. He called Calvin his reverend father, and consulted him on theological questions. He seemed to be satisfied, but returned again and again with new doubts. Calvin, overburdened with labor and care, patiently listened and spent whole hours with the sceptic. He also answered his objections in writing.955 At last he refused further discussion as useless. "He tried," wrote Calvin to Lismann, "to circumvent me like a serpent, but God gave me strength to withstand his cunning."
The spirit of doubt spread more and more in the Italian congregation. One of the principal sympathizers of Biandrata was Gianpaolo Alciati, a Piedmontese who had served in the army, and was not used to reverent language.
Martinengo, the worthy Italian pastor, shortly before his death, begged Calvin to take care of the little flock and to extirpate the dangerous heresy. Accordingly, a public meeting of the Italian congregation was held May 18, 1558, in the presence of Calvin and two members of the Council. Calvin, in the name of the Council, invited the malcontents to utter themselves freely, and assured them that they should not be punished. Biandrata appealed to certain expressions of Calvin, but was easily convicted of mistake. Alciati went so far as to declare that the orthodox party "worshipped three devils worse than all the idols of popery." After a three hours’ discussion, it was resolved that all the members of the congregation should subscribe a confession of faith, which asserted the divinity of Christ and the Holy Spirit, as being consistent with the essential unity of the Godhead.
Six members at first refused to subscribe, but yielded afterwards with the exception, it seems, of Biandrata and Alciati. They felt unsafe in Geneva, and went to Bern. There they found a sympathizer in Zurkinden, the secretary of the city, who engaged in an angry controversy with Calvin.
Biandrata left for Poland, gained the confidence of Prince Radziwill, propagated his Unitarian opinions, and justified himself before a synod at Pinczow (1561). In 1563 he accepted a call of Prince John Sigismund of Transylvania as his physician, and converted him and many others to his views, but was charged by Faustus Socinus to have in his last years favored the Jesuits from mercenary motives. It is possible that the old man, weary of theological strife, lost himself in the maze of scepticism, like Ochino. Tradition reports that he was robbed and murdered by his own nephew after 1585.
3. The peace of the Italian congregation was again disturbed by Giovanne Valenti Gentile of Calabria, a school-master of some learning and acuteness, who was attracted to Geneva by Calvin’s reputation, but soon imbibed the sentiments of Gribaldo and Biandrata. He was one of the six members who had at first refused to sign the Italian confession of faith. Soon after the departure of Biandrata and Alciati he openly professed their views, urged, as he said, by his conscience. He charged the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity with quaternity,—adding a general divine essence to the three divine essences of Father, Son, and Spirit,—and maintained that the Father was the only divine essence, the "essentiator." Both these ideas he borrowed from Servetus. The Son is only an image and reflection of the Father.
Gentile was thrown into prison, July, 1557, by order of the Council, on the charge of violating the confession he had signed. He repeated his views and appealed to the ministers and the Council for protection against the tyranny of Calvin, but he was refuted by the ministers. At last he apologized for his severe language against Calvin, whom he had always revered as a great man, but he refused to recant his views. The Council asked the judgment of five lawyers, who decided that, according to the imperial laws (De summa Trinitate et fide catholica et de hereticis), Gentile deserved death by fire. The Council, instead, pronounced the milder sentence of death by the sword (Aug. 15). It seems that Calvin’s advice, which had been disregarded in the case of Servetus, now prevailed in the case of Gentile.
The fear of death induced Gentile to withdraw his charges against the orthodox doctrine, and to sign a brief confession of faith in three divine Persons in one Essence, and in the unity, coequality, and coeternity of the Son and Holy Spirit with the Father. He was released of the sentence of death; yet in view of his perjury, his heresies, and false accusations against the Church of Geneva, he was condemned by the magistrates to make an amende honorable, that is, in his shirt, bareheaded, and barefooted, with a lighted torch in his hand, to beg on his knees the judge’s pardon, to burn his writings with his own hand, and to walk through the principal streets under the sound of the trumpet. The sentence was carried out on the second of September. He submitted to it with surprising readiness, happy to escape death at such a cheap price. He also promised on oath not to leave the city without permission.
But he was hardly set at liberty when he escaped and joined his friends Gribaldo and Alciati at Farges. Soon afterwards he spent some time at Lyons. He studied the ante-Nicene Fathers, who confirmed his subordinationism, and wrote a book (Antidota) in defence of his views and against the chapter on the Trinity in Calvin’s Institutes. He declared that the orthodox terms of homoousia, person, substance, trinity, unity, were profane and monstrous, and obscured the true doctrine of the one God. He also attacked the doctrine of the two natures in Christ and the communication of attributes as idle speculations, which should be banished from the Church. He borrowed from Origen the distinction between the original God (aujtoqeov"), that is, the Father and the derived or secondary God (qeov", deuterovqeo", eJterovqeo") that is, the Son. The Father alone is God in the strict sense of the term—the essentiator; the Son is essentiatus and subordinate. He spoke most disrespectfully and passionately of the orthodox views. Calvin refuted his opinions in a special book (1561).
Gentile roused the suspicion of the Catholic authorities in Lyons and was imprisoned, but was set free after fifty days on his declaration that his writings were only opposed to Calvinism, not to orthodoxy.
But he felt unsafe in France, and accepted, with Alciati, an invitation of Biandrata to Poland in the summer of 1563.
After the royal edict, which expelled all the Antitrinitarians, he returned to Switzerland, was apprehended by the authorities of Bern, convicted of heresies, deceits, and evasions, and beheaded on the tenth of September, 1566. On the way to the place of execution, he declared that he died a martyr for the honor of the supreme God, and charged the ministers who accompanied him with Sabellianism. He received the death-stroke with firmness, amid the exhortations of the clergy and the prayers of the multitude for God’s mercy. Benedict Aretius, a theologian of Bern, published in the following year the acts of the process with a refutation of Gentile’s objections to the orthodox doctrine.
The fate of Gentile was generally approved. No voice of complaint or protest was heard, except a feeble one from Basel. Calvin had died more than two years before, and now the city of Bern, which had opposed his doctrinal and disciplinary rigor, condemned to death a heretic less gifted and dangerous than Servetus. Gentile himself indirectly admitted that a teacher of false religion was deserving of death, but he considered his own views as true and scriptural.956
The death of Gentile ends the history of Antitrinitarianism in Switzerland. In the same year the strictly orthodox Second Helvetic Confession of Bullinger was published and adopted in the Reformed Cantons.
§ 132. The Eucharistic Controversies. Calvin and Westphal.
I. The Sources are given in § 117. See especially Calvin’s Opera, vol. IX. 1–252, and the Prolegomena, pp. i-xxiv. The correspondence between Bullinger, à Lasco, Farel, Viret, and Calvin, on the controversy, in his Opera, vols. XV. and XVI. The letters of Melanchthon from this period in the Corpus Reform. vols. VII.–IX. The works of Westphal are quoted below.
II. Planck (neutral): Geschichte des Protest. Lehrbegriff’s (Leipzig, 1799), vol. V. Part II. 1–137.—Ebrard (Reformed): Das Dogma vom heil. Abendmahl, II. 525–744.—Nevin (Reformed), in the "Mercersburg Review" for 1850, pp. 486–510.—Mönckeberg (Lutheran): Joachim Westphal und Joh. Calvin, 1865.—Wagenmann in Herzog2, XVII. 1–6.
Henry, III. 298–357.—Dyer, 401–412.—Stähelin, II. 112 sqq., 189 sqq.—Gieseler, III. Part II. 280 sqq.—Dorner: Geschichte der protest. Theol., 400 sqq.—Schaff, Creeds, I. 279 sqq.
The sacramental controversy between Luther and Zwingli was apparently solved by the middle theory of Calvin, Bullinger, and Melanchthon, and had found a symbolical expression in the Zürich Consensus of 1549, for Switzerland, and even before that, in the Wittenberg Concordia of 1536 and in Melanchthon’s irenical restatement of the 10th article of the Altered Augsburg Confession of 1540, for Germany. Luther’s renewed attack upon the Swiss in 1544 was isolated, and not supported by any of his followers; while Calvin, from respect for Luther, kept silent.
But in 1552 a second sacramental war was opened by Westphal in the interest of the high Lutheran theory, and gradually spread over all Germany and Switzerland.
We may well "lament," with Calvin in his letter to Schalling (March, 1557), that those who professed the same gospel of Christ were distracted on the subject of his Last Supper, which should have been the chief bond of union among them.957
The Westphal-Calvin controversy did not concern the fact of the real presence, which was conceded by Calvin in all his previous writings on the subject, but the subordinate questions of the mode of the presence, of the ubiquity of Christ’s body, and the effect of the sacrament on unworthy communicants, whether they received the very body and blood of Christ, or only bread and wine, to their condemnation. Calvin clearly states the points of difference in the preface to his, Second Defence" : —
"That I have written reverently of the legitimate use, dignity, and efficacy, of the sacraments, even he himself [Westphal] does not deny. How skilfully or learnedly in his judgment, I care not, since it is enough to be commended for piety by an enemy. The contest remaining with him embraces three articles:
"First, he insists that the bread of the Supper is substantially (substantialiter) the body of Christ. Secondly, in order that Christ may exhibit himself present to believers, he insists that his body is immense (immensum), and exists everywhere, though without place (ubique esse, extra locum). Thirdly, he insists that no figure is to be admitted in the words of Christ, whatever agreement there may be as to the thing. Of such importance does he deem it to stick doggedly to the words, that he would sooner see the whole globe convulsed than admit any exposition.
"We maintain that the body and blood of Christ are truly offered (vere offerri) to us in the Supper in order to give life to our souls; and we explain, without ambiguity, that our souls are invigorated by this spiritual aliment (spirituali alimento), which is offered to us in the Supper, just as our bodies are nourished by daily bread. Therefore we hold, that in the Supper there is a true partaking (vera participatio) of the flesh and blood of Christ. Should any one raise a dispute as to the word ’substance,’ we assert that Christ, from the substance of his flesh, breathes life into our souls; nay, infuses his own life into us (propriam in nos vitam diffundere), provided always that no transfusion of substance be imagined."958
The Swiss had in this controversy the best of the argument and showed a more Christian spirit. The result was disastrous to Lutheranism. The Palatinate, in part also Hesse, Bremen, Anhalt, and, at a later period, the reigning dynasty of Prussia, passed over into the Reformed Church. Hereafter there were two distinct and separate Confessions in Protestant Germany, the Lutheran and the Reformed, which in the Westphalia Treaty were formally recog-nized on a basis of legal equality. The Lutheran Church might have sustained still greater loss if Melanchthon had openly professed his essential agreement with Calvin. But the magnetic power of Luther’s name and personality, and of his great work saved his doctrine of the Eucharist and the ubiquity of Christ’s body, which was finally formulated and fixed in the Formula of Concord (1577).
Joachim Westphal (1510–1574), a rigid Lutheran minister and afterwards superintendent at Hamburg, who inherited the intolerance and violent temper, but none of the genius and generosity of Luther, wrote, without provocation, a tract against the "Zürich Consensus," and against Calvin and Peter Martyr, in 1552. He aimed indirectly at the Philippists (Melanchthonians), who agreed with the Calvinistic theory of the Eucharist without openly confessing it, and who for this reason were afterwards called Crypto-Calvinists. He had previously attacked Melanchthon, his teacher and benefactor, and compared his conduct in the Interim controversy with Aaron’s worship of the golden calf.959 He taught that the very body of Christ was in the bread substantially, that it was ubiquitous, though illocal (extra locum), and that it was partaken by Judas no less than by Peter. He made no distinction between Calvin and Zwingli. He treats as "sacramentarians" and heretics all those who denied the corporal presence, the oral manducation, and the literal eating of Christ’s body with the teeth, even by unbelievers. He charges them with holding no less than twenty-eight conflicting opinions on the words of institution, quoting extracts from Carlstadt, Zwingli, Oecolampadius, Bucer, à Lasco, Bullinger, Peter Martyr, Schwenkfeld, and chiefly from Calvin. But nearly all these opinions are essentially the same, and that of Carlstadt was never adopted by any Church or any Reformed theologian.960 He speaks of their godless perversion of the Scriptures, and even their "satanic blasphemies." He declared that they ought to be refuted by the rod of the magistrates rather than by the pen.961
As his first attack was ignored by the Swiss, he wrote another and larger tract in 1553, in which he proved the Lutheran view chiefly from 1 Cor. 11:29, 30, and urged the Lutherans to resist the progress of the Zwinglian or, as it was now called, Calvinistic heresy.962
The style and taste of his polemic may be inferred from his calling Bullinger "the bull of Zürich," Calvin "the calf of Geneva," and à Lasco "the Polish bear."
About the same time, in the autumn and winter of 1553, John à Lasco, a Polish nobleman, a friend of Calvin, and minister of a foreign Reformed congregation in London, fled with one hundred and seventy-five Protestants from persecution under the bloody Mary, and sought shelter on Danish and German shores; but was refused even a temporary refuge in cold winter at Helsingör, Copenhagen, Rostock, Lübeck, and Hamburg (though they found it at last in East Friesland). Westphal denounced these noble men as martyrs of the devil, enraged the people against them, and gloried in the inhuman cruelty as an act of faith.963
This conduct roused the Swiss to self-defence. Bullinger vindicated the orthodoxy of the Zürich ministry with his usual moderation. Calvin heard of the treatment of the refugees through a letter of Peter Martyr, then at Strassburg, in May, 1554, and took up his sharp and racy pen in three successive pamphlets. He at first wished to issue a joint remonstrance of the Swiss Churches, and sent a hasty draft to Bullinger. But Zürich, Basel, and Bern found it too severe, and refused to sign it. He corrected the draft, and published it in his own name under the title "Defence of the Sound and Orthodox Doctrine on the Sacraments," as laid down in the Consensus Tigurinus (Geneva, 1555). He treated Westphal with sovereign contempt, without naming him. Westphal replied in a tract thrice as large, complaining of the unworthy treatment, denying the intention of disturbing the peace of the Church, but repeating his charges against the Sacramentarians.964 Calvin, after some hesitation, prepared a "Second Defence," now openly directed "contra Westphali calumnias," and published it, with a preface to the Churches of Germany, in January, 1556. Westphal replied in two writings, one against Calvin and one against à Lasco, and sent letters to the leading cities of North Germany, urging them to unite in an orthodox Lutheran Confession against the Zürich Consensus. He received twenty-five responses, and issued them at Magdeburg, 1557. He also reprinted Melanchthon’s former opinions on the real presence (Hamburg, 1557). To meet these different assaults Calvin issued his "Last Admonition to Westphal" (1557). Westphal continued the controversy, but Calvin kept silent and handed him over to Beza.
Besides these main contestants several others took part in the fight: on the Lutheran side, Timan, Schnepf, Alberus, Gallus, Judex, Brenz, Andreae, etc.; on the Reformed side, à Lasco, Ochino, Polanus, Bibliander, and Beza.
Calvin indignantly rebuked the "rude and barbarous insults" to persecuted members of Christ, and characterized the ultra-Lutherans as men who would rather have peace with the Turks and Papists than with Swiss Christians. He called them "apes of Luther." He triumphantly vindicated against misrepresentations and objections his doctrine of the spiritual real presence of Christ, and the sealing communication of the life-giving virtue of his body in heaven to the believer through the power of the Holy Spirit.
He might have defended his doctrine even more effectually if he had restrained his wrath and followed the brotherly advice of Bullinger, and even Farel, who exhorted him not to imitate the violence of his opponent, to confine himself to the thing, and to spare the person. But he wrote to Farel (August, 1557): "With regard to Westphal and the rest it was difficult for me to control my temper and to follow your advice. You call those ’brethren’ who, if that name be offered to them by us, do not only reject, but execrate it. And how ridiculous should we appear in bandying the name of brother with those who look upon us as the worst of heretics."965
§ 133. Calvin and the Augsburg Confession. Melanchthon’s Position in the Second Eucharistic Controversy.
Comp. Henry, III. 335–339 and Beilage, pp. 102–110; the works on the Augsburg Confession, and the biographies of Melanchthon.
During the progress of this controversy both parties frequently appealed to the Augsburg Confession and to Melanchthon. They were both right and both wrong; for there are two editions of the Confession, representing the earlier and the later theories of its author on the Lord’s Supper. The original Augsburg Confession of 1530, in the tenth article, teaches Luther’s doctrine of the real presence so clearly and strongly that even the Roman opponents did not object to it.966 But from the time of the Wittenberg Concordia in 1536, or even earlier,967 Melanchthon began to change his view on the real presence as well as his view on predestination and free-will; in the former he approached Calvin, in the latter he departed from him. He embodied the former change in the Altered Confession of 1540, without official authority, yet in good faith, as the author of the document, and in the conviction that he represented public sentiment, since Luther himself had moderated his opposition to the Swiss by assenting to the Wittenberg Concordia.968 The altered edition was made the basis of negotiations with the Romanists at the Colloquies of Worms and Ratisbon in 1541, and at the later Colloquies in 1546 and 1557. It was printed (with the title and preface of the Invariata) in the first collection of the symbolical books of the Lutheran Church (Corpus Doctrinae Philippicum) in 1559; it was expressly approved by the Lutheran princes at the Convention of Naumburg in 1561, after Melanchthon’s death, as an improved modification and authentic interpretation of the Confession, and was adhered to by the Melanchthonians and the Reformed even after the adoption of the Book of Concord (1580).
The text in the two editions is as follows:—
"De Coena Domini docent, quod corpus et sanguis Christi vere adsint [the German text adds: unter der Gestalt des Brots und Weins], et distribuantur vescentibus in Coena Domini, et improbant secus docentes." [In the German text: "Derhalben wird auch die Gegenlehre verworfen."]
"De Coena Domini docent, quod cum pane et vino vere exhibeantur corpus et sanguis Christi vescentibus in Coena Domini."
"Concerning the Lord’s Supper, they teach that the body find blood of Christ are truly present [under the form of bread and wine], and are distributed to those that eat in the Lord’s Supper. And they disapprove of those who teach otherwise." [In the German text: "Wherefore also the opposite doctrine is rejected."]
"Concerning the Lord’s Supper, they teach that with bread and wine are truly exhibited the body and blood of Christ to those who eat in the Lord's Supper."
[Disapproval of dissenting views is omitted.]
It is to this revised edition of the document, and to its still living author, that Calvin confidently appealed.
"In regard to the Confession of Augsburg," he says in his Last Admonition to Westphal, "my answer is, that, as it was published at Ratisbon (1541), it does not contain a word contrary to our doctrine.969 If there is any ambiguity in its meaning, there cannot be a more competent interpreter than its author, to whom, as his due, all pious and learned men will readily pay this honor. To him I boldly appeal; and thus Westphal with his vile garrulity lies prostrate .... If Joachim wishes once for all to rid himself of all trouble and put an end to controversy, let him extract one word in his favor from Philip’s lips. The means of access are open, and the journey is not so very laborious, to visit one of whose consent he boasts so loftily, and with whom he may thus have familiar intercourse. If I shall be found to have used Philip’s name rashly, there is no stamp of ignominy to which I am not willing to submit.
"The passage which Westphal quotes, it is not mine to refute, nor do I regard what, during the first conflict, before the matter was clearly and lucidly explained, the importunity of some may have extorted from one who was then too backward in giving a denial. It were too harsh to lay it down as a law on literary men, that after they have given a specimen of their talent and learning, they are never after to go beyond it in the course of their lives. Assuredly, whosoever shall say that Philip has added nothing by the labor of forty years, does great wrong to him individually, and to the whole Church.
"The only thing I said, and, if need be, a hundred times repeat, is, that in this matter Philip can no more be torn from me than he can from his own bowels.970 But although fearing the thunder which threatened to burst from violent men (those who know the boisterous blasts of Luther understand what I mean), he did not always speak out openly as I could have wished, there is no reason why Westphal, while pretending differently, should indirectly charge him with having begun to incline to us only after Luther was dead. For when more than seventeen years ago we conferred together on this point of doctrine, at our first meeting, not a syllable required to be changed.971 Nor should I omit to mention Gaspar Cruciger, who, from his excellent talents and learning, stood, next after Philip, highest in Luther’s estimation, and far beyond all others. He so cordially embraced what Westphal now impugns, that nothing can be imagined more perfectly accordant than our opinions. But if there is still any doubt as to Philip, do I not make a sufficient offer when I wait silent and confident for his answer, assured that it will make manifest the dishonesty which has falsely sheltered itself under the venerable name of that most excellent man?"
Calvin urged Melanchthon repeatedly to declare openly his view on the points in controversy. In a letter of March 5, 1555, after thanking him for his approval of the condemnation of Servetus, he says: "About ’the bread-worship’ (peri; th'" ajrtolatreiva"), your most intimate opinion has long since been known to me, which you do not even dissemble in your letter. But your too great slowness displeases me, by which the madness of those whom you see rushing on to the destruction of the Church, is not only kept up, but from day to day increased." Melanchthon answered, May 12, 1555:
I have determined to reply simply and without ambiguity, and I judge that I owe that work to God and the Church, nor at the age to which I have arrived, do I fear either exile or other dangers." On August 23 of the same year, Calvin expressed his gratification with this answer and wrote: "I entreat you to discharge, as soon as you can, the debt which you acknowledge you owe to God and the Church." He adds with undue severity: "If this warning, like a cock crowing rather late and out of season, do not awaken you, all will cry out with justice that you are a sluggard. Farewell, most distinguished sir, whom I venerate from the heart." In another letter of Aug. 3, 1557, he complains of the silence of three years and apologizes for the severity of his last letter, but urges him again to come out, like a man, and to refute the charge of slavish timidity. "I do not think," he says, "you need to be reminded by many words, how necessary it is for you to hasten to wipe out this blot from your character." He proposes that Melanchthon should induce the Lutheran princes to convene a peaceful conference of both parties at Strassburg, or Tübingen, or Heidelberg, or Frankfurt, and attend the conference in person with some pious, upright, and moderate men. "If you class me," he concludes, "in the number of such men, no necessity, however pressing, will prevent me from putting up this as my chief vow, that before the Lord gather us into his heavenly kingdom I may yet be permitted to enjoy on earth, a most delightful interview with you, and feel some alleviation of my grief by deploring along with you the evils which we cannot remedy." In his last extant letter to Melanchthon, dated Nov. 19, 1558, Calvin alludes once more to the eucharistic controversy, but in a very gentle spirit, assuring him that he will never allow anything to alienate his mind "from that holy friendship and respect which I have vowed to you .... Whatever may happen, let us cultivate with sincerity a fraternal affection towards each other, the ties of which no wiles of Satan shall ever burst asunder."
Melanchthon would have done better for his own fame if, instead of approving the execution of Servetus, he had openly supported Calvin in the conflict with Westphal. But he was weary of the rabies theologorum, and declined to take an active part in the bitter strife on "bread-worship," as he called the notion of those who were not contented with the presence of the body of Christ in the sacramental use, but insisted upon its presence in and under the bread. He knew what kind of men he had to deal with. He knew that the court of Saxony, from a sense of honor, would not allow an open departure from Luther’s doctrine. Prudence, timidity, and respect for the memory of Luther were the mingled motives of his silence. He was aware of his natural weakness, and confessed in a letter to Christopher von Carlowitz, in 1548: "I am, perhaps, by nature of a somewhat servile disposition, and I have before endured an altogether unseemly servitude; as Luther more frequently obeyed his temperament, in which was no little contentiousness, than he regarded his own dignity and the common good."
But in his private correspondence he did not conceal his real sentiments, his disapproval of "bread-worship" and of the doctrine of the ubiquity of Christ’s body. His last utterance on the subject was in answer to the request of Elector Frederick III. of the Palatinate, who tried to conciliate the parties in the fierce eucharistic controversy at Heidelberg. Melanchthon warned against scholastic subtleties and commended moderation, peace, biblical simplicity, and the use of Paul’s words that "the bread which we break is the communion of the body of Christ " (1 Cor. 10:16), not "changed into," nor the "substantial," nor the "true" body. He gave this counsel on the first of November, 1559. A few months afterwards he died (April 17, 1560).
The result was that the Elector deposed the leaders of both parties, Heshusius and Klebitz, called distinguished foreign divines to the University, and entrusted Zacharias Ursinus (a pupil of Melanchthon) and Caspar Olevianus (a pupil of Calvin) with the task of composing the Heidelberg or Palatinate Catechism, which was published Jan. 19, 1563. It became the principal symbolical book of the German and Dutch branches of the Reformed Church. It gives clear and strong expression to the Calvinistic-Melanchthonian theory of the spiritual real presence, and teaches the doctrine of election, but without a word on reprobation and preterition. In both respects it is the best expression of the genius and final doctrinal position of Melanchthon, who was himself a native of the Palatinate.
NOTES. MELANCHTHON’S LAST WORDS ON THE EUCHARIST.
Letter to Calvin, Oct. 14, 1554. Melanchthon approves of the execution of Servetus and continues: "Quod in proximis literas me hortaris, ut reprimam ineruditos clamores illorum, qui renovant certamen peri; ajrtolatreiva" scito, quosdam praecipue odio mei eam disputationem movere, ut habeant plausibilem causam ad me opprimendum." He expresses the hope to discuss this subject with him once more before his death. (Mel’s Opera in the Corp. Reform. VIII. 362 sq.)
To Hardenberg, pastor in Bremen, who was persecuted for resisting the doctrine of ubiquity, he wrote, May 9, 1557 (ibid. IX. 154) Crescit, ut vides, non modo certamen, sed etiam rabies in scriptoribus, qui ajrtolatreivan stabiliunt."
Letter to Mordeisen, counsellor of the Elector of Saxony, Nov. 15, 1557 (ibid. IX. 374): "Si mihi concedetis, ut in alia loco vivam, respondebo illis indoctis sycophantis et vere et graviter, et dicam utilia ecclesiae."
One of his last utterances is reported by Peucer, his son-in-law, "ex arcanis sermonibus Dom. Philippi," in an autograph of Jan. 3, 1561 (vol. IX. 1088–1090). Here Melanchthon asserts the real presence, but declines to describe the mode, and rejects the ubiquity of Christ’s body. He also admits the figurative sense of the words of institution, which Luther so persistently denied. "Consideranda est," he says, "interpretatio verborum Christi, quae ab aliis kata; to; rJhtovn, ab aliis kata; trovpon accipiuntur. Nec sunt plures interpretationes quam duae. Posterior Pauli est sine omni dubio, qui vocat koivwvian corporis panem, et aperte testatur, oujk ejxistavnai th'" fuvsew" ta; oJrwvmena suvmbola. Ergo Necesse Est Admitti trovpon. Cum hac consentit vetustas Graeca et Latina. Graeci suvmbola ajntivtupa, Latini ’signa’ et ’figuras’ vocant res externas et in usu corpus et sanguinem, ut discernant hunc sacrum et mysticum cibum a profano, et admoneant Ecclesiam de re signata, quae vere exhibetur et applicatur credentibus, et dicunt esse symbola tou' o[ntw" swvmato", contra Entychem, ut sciat Ecclesia, non esse inania symbola aut notas tantum professionis, sed symbola rerum praesentium Christi vere praesentis et efficacis et impertientis atque applicantis credentibus promissa beneficia."
From Melanchthon’s Judicium de controversia coenae Domini ad illustr. Principem ac D. D. Fridericum, Comitem Palatinum Rheni, Electorem, dated Nov. 1, 1559 (IX. 960 sqq.): "Non difficile, sed periculosum est respondere. Dicam tamen, quae nunc de controversia illius loci monere possum: et oro Filium Dei, ut et consilia et eventus gubernet. Non dubium est de controversia Coenae igentia certamina et bella in toto orbe terrarun secutura esse: quia mundus dat poenas idololatriae, et aliorum peccatorum. Ideo petamus, ut Filius Dei nos doceat et gubernet. Cum autem ubique multi sint infirmi, et nondum instituti in doctrina Ecclesia, imo confirmati in erroribus: necesse est initio habere rationem infirmorum.
"Probo igitur consilium Illustrissimi Electoris, quod rixantibus utrinque mandavit silentium ne distractio fiat in tenera Ecclesia, et infirmi turbentur in illo loco, et vicinia: et optarim rixatores in utraque parte abesse. Secundo, remotis contentiosis, prodest reliquos de una forma verborum convenire. Et in hac controversia optimum esset retinere verba Pauli: ’Panis quem frangimus, koinwniva ejsti; tou' swvmato".’ Et copiose de fructu coenae dicendum est, ut invitentur homines ad amorem hujus pignoris, et crebrum usum. Et vocabulum koinwvnia declarandum est.
"Non Dicit [Paulus], mutari naturam panis, at Papistae dicunt: non dicit, ut Bremenses, panem esse substantiale corpus Christi. Non dicit, ut Heshusius, panem esse verum corpus Christi: sed esse koinwnivan, id est, hoc, quo fit consociatio cum corpore Christi: quae fit in usu, et quidem non sine cogitatione, ut cum mures panem rodunt ....
"Sed hanc veram et simplicem doctrinam de fructu, nominant quidam cothurnos: et postulant dici, an sit corpus in pane, aut speciebus panis? Quasi vero Sacramentum propter panem et illam Papisticam adorationem institutum sit. Postea fingunt, quomodo includant pani: alii conversionem, alii transubstantiationem, alii ubiquitatem excogitarunt. Haec portentosa omnia ignota sunt eruditae vetustati ....
"Ac maneo in hac sententia: Contentiones utrinque prohibendas esse, et forma verborum una et simili utendum esse. Si quibus haec non placent, nec volunt ad communionem accedere, his permittatur, ut suo judicio utantur, modo non fiant distractiones in populo.
"Oro autem filium Dei, Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum sedentem ad dextram aeterni patris, et colligentem aeternam Ecclesiam voce Evangelii, ut nos doceat, gubernet, et protegat. Opta etiam, ut aliquando in pia Synodo de omnibus contraversiis harum temporum deliberetur."
§ 134. Calvin and Heshusius.
I. Heshusius: De Praesentia Corporis Christi in Coena Domini contra Sacramentarios. Written in 1569, first published at Jena, 1560 (and also at Magdeburg and Nürnberg, 1561). Defensio verae et sacrae confessionis de vera Praesentia Corporis Christi in Coena Domini adversus calumnias Calvini, Boquini, Bezae, et Clebitii. Magdeburg, 1562.
II. Calvinus: Dilucida Explicatio sanae Doctrina de vera Participatione Carnis et Sanguinis Christi in Sacra Coena ad discutiendas Heshusii nebulas. Genevae, 1561. Also in French. Opera, IX. 457–524. Comp. Proleg. xli–xliii.—Beza wrote two tracts against Heshusius: kreofagiva, etc., and Abstersio calumniarum quibus Calvinus aspersus est ab Heshusio. Gen., 1561. Boquin and Klebitz likewise opposed him.
III. J. G. Leuckfeld: Historia Heshusiana. Quedlinburg, 1716.—T. H. Wilkens: Tilemann Hesshusen, ein Streittheologe der Lutherskirche. Leipzig, 1860.—C. Schmidt: Philipp Melanchthon. Elberfeld, 1861, pp. 639 sqq.—Hackenschmidt, Art. "Hesshusen" in Herzog2, VI. 75–79. Henry, III. 339–344, and Beilage, 221. Comp. also Planck, Heppe, G. Frank, and the extensive literature on the Reformation in the Palatinate and the history of the Heidelberg Catechism (noticed in Schaff’s Creeds of Christendom, I. 529–531).
Tilemann Heshusius (in German Hesshus or Hesshusen) was born in 1527 at Niederwesel in the duchy of Cleves, and died at Helmstädt in 1588. He was one of the most energetic and pugnacious champions of scholastic orthodoxy who outluthered Luther and outpoped the pope.972 He identified piety with orthodoxy, and orthodoxy with illocal con-insubstantiation,973 or "bread-worship," to use Melanchthon’s expression. He occupied influential positions at Gosslar, Rostock, Heidelberg, Bremen, Magdeburg, Zweibrücken, Jena, and Prussia; but with his turbulent disposition he stirred up strife everywhere, used the power of excommunication very freely, and was himself no less than seven times deposed from office and expelled. He quarrelled also with his friends Flacius, Wigand, and Chemnitz. But while he tenaciously defended the literal eating of Christ’s body by unbelievers as well as believers, he dissented from Westphal’s coarse and revolting notion of a chewing of Christ’s body with the teeth, and confined himself to the manducatio oralis. He rejected also the doctrine of ubiquity, and found fault with its introduction into the Formula of Concord.974
Heshusius was originally a pupil and table-companion of Melanchthon, and agreed with his moderate opinions, but, like Westphal and Flacius, he became an ungrateful enemy of his benefactor. He was recommended by him to a professorship at Heidelberg and the general superintendency of the Lutheran Church in the Palatinate on the Rhine (1558). Here he first appeared as a champion of the strict Lutheran theory of the substantial presence, and attacked "the Sacramentarians" in a book, On the Presence of the Body of Christ in the Lord’s Supper." He quarrelled with his colleagues, especially with Deacon Klebitz, who was a Melanchthonian, but no less violent and pugnacious. He even tried to wrest the eucharistic cup from him at the altar. He excommunicated him because he would not admit the in and sub, but only the cum (pane et vino), in the scholastic formula of the Lutheran doctrine of the real presence. Elector Frederick III., called the Pious, restored peace by dismissing both Heshusius and Klebitz (Sept. 16, 1559), with the approval of Melanchthon. He afterwards ordered the preparation of the Heidelberg Catechism, and introduced the Reformed Church into the Palatinate, 1563.975
On the other hand, the Lutheran clergy of Würtemberg, under the lead of Brenz, in a synod at Stuttgart, gave the doctrine of the ubiquity of Christ’s body, which Luther had taught, but which Melanchthon had rejected, symbolical authority for Würtemberg (Dec. 19, 1559).976
Calvin received the book of Heshusius from Bullinger, who advised him to answer the arguments, but to avoid personalities.977 He hesitated for a while, and wrote to Olevianus (November, 1660): "The loquacity of that brawler is too absurd to excite my anger, and I have not yet decided whether I shall answer him, I am weary of so many pamphlets, and shall certainly not think his follies worthy of many days’ labor. But I have composed a brief analysis of this controversy, which will, perhaps, be shortly published." It was one of his last controversial pamphlets and appeared in 1561.
In the beginning of his response he made that most touching allusion to his departed friend Melanchthon, which we have noticed in another connection.978 What a contrast between this noble tribute of unbroken friendship and the mean ingratitude of Heshusius, who most violently attacked Melanchthon’s memory immediately after his death.979
Calvin reiterates and vindicates the several points brought out in the controversy with Westphal, and refutes the arguments of Heshusius from the Scripture and the Fathers with his wonted intellectual vigor and learning, seasoned with pepper and salt. He compares him to an ape clothed in purple, and to an ass in a lion’s skin. The following are the chief passages: —
"Heshusius bewails the vast barbarism which appears to be impending, as if any greater or worse barbarism were to be feared than that from him and his fellows. To go no further for proof, let the reader consider how fiercely he sneers and tears at his master, Philip Melanchthon, whose memory he ought sacredly to revere .... Such is the pious gratitude of the scholar, not only towards the teacher to whom he owes whatever little learning he may possess, but towards a man who has deserved so highly of the whole Church ....
"Though there is some show about him, he does nothing more by his magniloquence than vend the old follies and frivolities of Westphal and his fellows. He harangues loftily on the omnipotence of God, on putting implicit faith in his word, and subduing human reason, in terms he may have learned from other sources, of which I believe myself also to be one. I have no doubt, from his childish stolidity of glorying, that he imagines himself to combine the qualities of Melanchthon and Luther. From the one he ineptly borrows flowers, and having no better way of rivalling the vehemence of the other, he substitutes bombast and sound ....
"Westphal boldly affirms that the body of Christ is chewed by the teeth, and confirms it by quoting with approbation the recantation of Berengar, as given by Gratian. This does not please Heshusius, who insists that it is eaten by the mouth but not touched by the teeth, and greatly disproves those gross modes of eating ....
"Heshusius argues that if the body of Christ is in heaven, it is not in the Supper, and that instead of him we have only a symbol. As if, forsooth, the Supper were not, to the true worshippers of God, a heavenly action, or, as it were, a vehicle which carries them above the world. But what is this to Heshusius, who not only halts on the earth, but drives his nose as far as he can into the mud? Paul teaches that in baptism we put on Christ (Gal. 3:27). How acutely will Heshusius argue that this cannot be if Christ remain in heaven? When Paul spoke thus it never occurred to him that Christ must be brought down from heaven, because he knew that he is united to us in a different manner, and that his blood is not less present to cleanse our souls than water to cleanse our bodies .... Of a similar nature is his objection that the body is not received truly if it is received symbolically; as if by a true symbol we excluded the exhibition of the reality.
"Some are suspicious of the term faith, as if it overthrew the reality and the effect. But we ought to view it far otherwise, viz. that the only way in which we are conjoined to Christ is by raising our minds above the world. Accordingly, the bond of our union with Christ is faith, which raises us upwards, and casts its anchor in heaven, so that instead of subjecting Christ to the figments of our reason, we seek him above in his glory.
"This furnishes the best method of settling a dispute to which I adverted, viz. whether believers alone receive Christ, or all, without exception, to whom the symbols of bread and wine are distributed, receive him? Correct and clear is the solution which I have given: Christ offers his body and blood to all in general; but as unbelievers bar the entrance of his liberality, they do not receive what is offered. It must not, however, he inferred from this that when they reject what is given, they either make void the grace of Christ, or detract in any respect from the efficacy of the sacrament. The Supper does not, through their ingratitude, change its nature, nor does the bread, considered as an earnest or pledge given by Christ, become profane, so as not to differ at all from common bread, but it still truly, testifies communion with The Flesh and Blood of Christ."
This is the conclusion of Calvin’s last deliverance on the vexed subject of the sacrament. For the rest he handed his opponent over to Beza, who answered the "Defence" of Heshusius with two sharp and learned tracts.
The eucharistic controversy kindled by Westphal and Klebitz was conducted in different parts of Germany with incredible bigotry, passion, and superstition. In Bremen, John Timann fought for the carnal presence, and insisted upon the ubiquity of Christ’s body as a settled dogma (1555); while Albert Hardenberg, a friend of Melanchthon, opposed it, and was banished (1560); but a reaction took place afterwards, and Bremen became a stronghold of the Reformed Confession in Northern Germany.
§ 135. Calvin and the Astrologers.
Calvin: Advertissement contre l’astrologie qu’on appelle justiciaire: et autres curiosités qui régnent aujourdhuis dans le monde. Genève, 1549 (56 pp.). The French text is reprinted in Opera, vol. VII. 509–542. Admonitio adversus astrologiam quam judiciariam vocant; aliasque praeterea curiositates nonnullas, quae hodie in universam fere orbem grassantur, 1549. The Latin translation is by Fr. Hottman, sieur de Villiers, at that time secretary of Calvin, who dictated to him the work in French. The Latin text is reprinted in the Amsterdam ed., vol. IX. 500–509. An English translation: An Admonition against Astrology, Judiciall and other curiosities that reigne now in the world, by Goddred Gylby, appeared in London without date, and is mentioned by Henry, III. Beil. 212. Comp. Henry, II. 391 sq.
Calvin’s clear, acute, and independent intellect was in advance of the crude superstitions of his age. He wrote a warning against judicial astrology980 or divination, which presumes to pronounce judgment upon a man’s character or destiny as written in the stars. This spurious science, which had wandered from Babylon981 to ancient Rome and from heathen Rome to the Christian Church, flourished especially in Italy and France at the very time when other superstitions were shaken to the base. Several popes of the Renaissance—Sixtus IV., Julius II., Leo X., Paul III. were addicted to it, but Pico della Mirandola wrote a book against it. King Francis I. dismissed his physician because he was not sufficiently skilled in this science. The Duchess Renata of Ferrara consulted, even in her later years, the astrologer Luc Guaric. The court of Catherine de Medici made extensive use of this and other black arts, so that the Church and the State had to interfere.
But more remarkable is the fact that such an enlightened scholar as Melanchthon should have anxiously watched the constellations for their supposed bearing upon human events. Lelio Sozini was at a loss to know whether Melanchthon depended most on the stars, or on their Maker and Ruler.982 In this respect Luther, notwithstanding his strong belief in witchcraft and personal encounters with the devil, was in advance of his more learned friend, and refuted his astrological calculation of the nativity of Cicero with the Scripture fact of Esau’s and Jacob’s birth in the same hour. Yet he regarded the comets, or "harlot stars," as he called them, as tokens of God’s wrath, or as works of the devil. Zwingli saw in Halley’s comet, which appeared a few weeks before the disaster of Cappel, a sign of war and of his own death. The independent and heretical Servetus believed and practised astrology and wrote a defence of it (Apologetica Disceptatio pro Astrologia).
Nothing of this kind is found in Calvin. He denounced the attempt to reveal what God has hidden, and to seek him outside of his revealed will, as an impious presumption and a satanic delusion. It is right and proper, he maintains, to study the laws and motions of the heavenly bodies.983 True astronomy leads to the praise of God’s wisdom and majesty; but astrology upsets the moral order. God is sovereign in his gifts and not bound to any necessity of nature. He has foreordained all things by his eternal decree. Sometimes sixty thousand men fall in one battle; are they therefore born under the same star? It is true the sun works upon the earth, and heat and dearth, rain and storm come down from the skies, but the wickedness of man proceeds from his will. The astrologers appealed to the first chapter of Genesis and to the prophet Jeremiah, who calls the stars signs, but Calvin met them by quoting Isa. 44:25: "who frustrateth the tokens of the liars and maketh diviners mad." In conclusion he rejects the whole theory and practice of astrology as not only superfluous and useless, but even pernicious.984
In the same tract he ridicules the alchemists, and incidentally exhibits a considerable amount of secular learning.
Calvin discredited also the ingenious speculations of Pseudo-Dionysius on the Celestial Hierarchy, as "mere babbling," adding that the author of that book, which was sanctioned by Thomas Aquinas and Dante, spoke like a man descended from heaven and giving an account of things he had seen with his own eyes; while Paul, who was caught up to the third heaven, did not deem it lawful for man to utter the secret things he had seen and heard.985
Calvin might have made his task easier if he had accepted the heliocentric theory of Copernicus, which was known in his time, though only as a hypothesis.986
But in this matter Calvin was no more in advance of his age than any other divine. He believed that "the whole heaven moves around the earth," and declared it preposterous to set the conjecture of a man against the authority of God, who in the first chapter of Genesis had pointed out the relation of the sun and moon to the earth. Luther speaks with contempt of that upstart astronomer who wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy and the sacred Scripture, which tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth. Melanchthon condemned the system in his treatise on the "Elements of Physics," published six years after the death of Copernicus, and cited against it the witness of the eyes, which inform us that the heavens revolve in the space of twenty-four hours; and passages from the Psalms and Ecclesiastes, which assert that the earth stands fast and that the sun moves around it. He suggests severe measures to restrain such impious teaching as that of Copernicus.
But we must remember that the Copernican theory was opposed by philosophers as well as theologians of all creeds for nearly a hundred years, under the notion that it contradicts the testimony of the senses and the geocentric teaching of the Bible. When towards the close of the sixteenth century Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) became a convert to the Copernican theory, and with his rude telescope discovered the satellites of Jupiter and the phases of Venus, he was denounced as a heretic, summoned before the Inquisition at Rome and commanded by Bellarmin, the standard theologian of the papacy, to abandon his error, and to teach that the earth is the immovable centre of the universe (Feb. 26, 1616). The Congregation of the Index, moved by Pope Paul V., rendered the decree that "the doctrine of the double motion of the earth about its axis and about the sun is false, and entirely contrary to the Holy Scripture," and condemned the works of Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo, which affirm the motion of the earth. They remained on the Index Purgatorius till the time of Benedict XIV. Even after the triumph of the Copernican system in the scientific world, there were respectable theologians, like John Owen and John Wesley, who found it inconsistent with their theory of inspiration, and rejected it as a delusive and arbitrary hypothesis tending towards infidelity. "E pur si muove," the earth does move for all that!
There can be no contradiction between the Bible and science; for the Bible is not a book of astronomy or geology or science; but a book of religion, teaching the relation of the world and man to God; and when it touches upon the heavenly bodies, it uses the phenomenal popular language without pronouncing judgment for or against any scientific theory.
* Schaff, Philip, History of the Christian Church, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1997. This material has been carefully compared, corrected¸ and emended (according to the 1910 edition of Charles Scribner's Sons) by The Electronic Bible Society, Dallas, TX, 1998.
872 This characteristic expression he uses repeatedly; for instance, in the work on the Necessity of Reforming the Church, in Opera, VI. 503: "Canis, si quam suo domino violentiam inferri viderit, protinus latrabit: nos tot sacrilegiis violari sacrum Dei nomen taciti aspiceremus? Et ubi esset illud: Opprobria exprobantium tibi ceciderunt super me (Ps. 69:9)?" And, again in the same book (fol. 507), with the addition, that a dog would rather risk his life than be silent.
873 In applying the epithet nebulo to Castellio, he translates it by the French un brouillon, which means a confused and turbulent fellow (not a scamp). Schweizer renders it Wirrkopf (I. 212).
874 Isa. 56:10; Matt. 7:6; Phil. 3:2; Rev. 22:15.
875 Henry says (II. 289) that Pighius was converted by Calvin’s argument, but be died (December, 1542) before Calvin’s reply was published (February, 1543). The story rests on the authority of Crakanthorpe, who asserts, in his Defensio Ecclesiae Anglicanae, that Pighius by reading Calvin’s Institutes for the purpose of refuting them, became himself a Calvinist in one of the chief articles of faith (he does not say which). The story has been long ago rejected by Gerdesius, Hist. Evang. Renovati, III. § 60. Comp. Dyer, p. 160.
876 Sponte et libenter, interiore electionis motu.
877 See the remarks of Schweizer on the value of this controversy, l.c., I. 198.
878 The successive changes are marked in the editions of his Loci Theologici, 1525, 1535, 1544, 1548. See above, p. 548.
879 "Et quidem scio, haec cum tuis congruere, sed sunt pacuvtera, et ad usum accommodata." He also refers to Basil’s saying: movnonqevlhson, kai; qeo;" proapanta'. Calvin’s Opera, XI. 539-542. Melanchthon’s letters are usually interspersed with Greek words and sentences.
880 Cons. Genev.: "Paulo post librum editum, moritur Pighius. Ergo ne cani mortuo insultarem, ad alias lucubrationes me converti." He characterizes Pighius as a "homo phrenetica plane audacia praeditus," because he attempted to establish the freedom of man, and to overthrow the secret counsel of God, by which he elects some to salvation and others to eternal ruin (alios aeterno exitio destinat). It is no excuse for Calvin’s insulting language on a dead enemy that St. Jerome said of his former friend Rufinus: "The scorpion now lies under ground!" Among Polemic theologians charity is a great rarity.
881 See pp. 398-413; 452-466.
882 Apologia Calvini contra Cochlaeum.
883 Brevis et utilis zoographia Joh. Cochlaei, 1549. Reprinted in Baum’s Beza, I. 357-363.
884 The Emperor presented him with fifty crowns; King Ferdinand, with five hund-red thaler. Janssen, III. 625. Comp. G. Kawerau (a specialist in the history of the Lutheran Reformation), Johann Agricola von Eisleben, Berlin, 1881.
885 Letter of July 18, 1550, quoted in § 90, pp. 395 sq. Dyer decidedly defends Melanchthon in this adiaphoristic controversy, and makes the following remark (p. 240): "What a prospect do these squabbles hold out for the future union of the Protestant Church! A silly and scandalous, we had almost said, a childish, quarrel about a surplice and a few minor ceremonies divides the Protestants into hostile factions at the moment of their most eminent peril! With such feelings, how should they hope in quieter times to arrange those more serious questions, which turned on really important points of doctrine?"
886 For a description of the character of Moritz, see Ranke, Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der Reformation, vol. V. 160 sqq. (6th ed. 1881).
887 The holy coat is still at Treves, and was worshipped by many thousands of devout pilgrims in the year of our Lord 1891!
888 Bulaeus, Historia Univ. Paris., VI. 384, and the French text in Opera, vol, VII., Proleg., pp. ix-xii.
889 " ’Hoc facite.’ Facere autem est sacrificare, justa illud Vergilii: Quum faciam vitulâpro frugibus, ipse venito.’ " (Verg.E. III. 77.)
890 This refers to the mediaeval legend which has found its way into Dante’s Divina Comedia (Purg. X. 75; Par. XX. 109-111), that the Emperor Trajan, nearly five hundred years after his death, was disinterred, and his soul translated from hell to heaven by the prayers of Pope Gregory I., who had learned that he was a just emperor, although he persecuted the Christians. But the pope was punished for his interest in a heathen, and warned by an angel never to make a similar request. Trajan is the only pagan in Dante’s Paradise.
891 Bonnet (I. 418, note) conjectures that it was Louis du Chemin, or Francois Daniel.
892 Opera, XII. 61.
893 Opera, VI. 617-644.
894 On Bullinger’s views see above, pp. 210 sq., and Schweizer, I. 225, 255 sqq.
895 Beza: "Senatus ... illum tum ut seditiosum, tum ut mere Pelagianum XXIII. Dec. publice damnatum urbe expulit, fustuariam poenam minatus, si vel in urbe vel in urbis territorio esset deprehensus." Reg. of the Ven. Comp. in Annal. 498: "MeIerosme fut banni àson de trompe des terres de Genève."
896 According to Beza, Bolsec forsook his wife and allowed her to become a prostitute to the canons of Autun.
897 Bayle said in his day: "Bolsec seroit un homme tout-à-fait plongédans les ténèbres de l’oubli, s’il ne s’était rendu fameux par certains ouvrages satiriques [meaning his attacks on Calvin and Beza], que les moines et les missionnaires citent encore." In recent times Galiffe and Audin have come up to the defence of Bolsec, but have been refuted by Henri L. Bordier in La France Protestante, II. 766 sqq., and in L’ecole historique de Jérôme Bolsec, Paris, 1880. Schweizer (I. 207) calls those libels "ersonnene Verleumdungen, wie rechtschaffene Katholiken laengst zugeben, anderen aber gut genug zum Wiederabdrucken."
898 Apologia illustris D. Jacobi a Burgundia Fallesii Bredanique domini, qua apud Imperatoriam Majestatem inustas sibi criminationes diluit fideique suae confessionem edit. In Opera, X. Pt. I. 269-294.
899 It was published at Amsterdam in a separate volume, 1774, and is reprinted in the Opera and in the collection of Bonnet. Comp. on Calvin’s friendship with De Falais, Henry, III. 64-69; Stähelin, II. 293-302.
900 Bolsec, in his life of Calvin, invented, among other slanders, the story that the real cause of De Falais’ leaving Geneva was an attempt of Calvin on the chastity of his wife!
901 He wrote to Caspar Peucer, his son-in-law, Feb. 1, 1552: "Lelius mihi scribit, tanta esse Genevae certamina de Stoica necessitate, ut carceri inclusus sit quidam [Bolsec] a Zenone [Calvino] dissentiens. O rem miseram! Doctrina salutaris obscuratur peregrinis disputationibus." Mel.’s Opera (Corp. Ref.), vol. VII. 932. To his friend Camerarius he wrote, under the same date, Feb. 1, 1552 (VII. 930): "Hic Polonus a Lelio accepit literas .... Ac vide seculi furores, certamina Allobrogica [Genevensia] de Stoica necessitate tanta sunt, ut carceri inclusus sit quidam, qui a Zenone dissentit. Lelius narrat, se korufaivw/cuidam [Calvino] scripsisse, ne tam vehementer pugnet. Et mitiores sunt Tigurini."
902 His French name is Bastien de Chatillon or Chateillon. He assumed, not without vanity, the classical name Castalio with allusion to the Castalian fountain at the foot of Parnassus. The usual spelling is Castellio. His precise origin is uncertain. He was either a Frenchman or a Savoyard. He was numbered with the liberal anti-calvinistic Italians, and charged with using a corrupt French dialect. See Bayle, l.c., and Schweizer, I. 311.
903 Stähelin (II. 303) calls him "ein rationalistischer Gefühlstheologe mit ausgeprägt aesthetischem Anstrich."
904 The latter is Beza’s explanation, Vita Calv. in Annal., Opera, XXI. 134.
905 "Carmen obscoenum et lascivum, quo Salomo impudicos suos amores descripserit." Comp. Reg. du Conseil, Jan. 28, 1544, in Annal. 329.
906 Calvin, in his catechism, explains the descensus ad inferos to mean the suffering of the "dolores mortis" (Acts 2:24) or "horribiles angustias" on the cross in behalf of the elect. This unhistorical exposition passed into the Heidelberg Catechism, Quaest. 44: "Christ, my Lord, by his inexpressible anguish, pains, and terrors, which he suffered in his soul on the cross and before, has redeemed me from the anguish and torment of hell." The true meaning of the clause is, that the descent was an event which took place between the death and the resurrection of Christ. Comp. 1 Pet. 3:19; 4:6; Eph. 4:9.
907 See Reg. du Conseil, Jan. 14, 1544, quoted in Annal. 328.
908 Extract from Reg. du Conseil, April 12, 1544, in Annal. 333.
909 May 31, Annal. 336.
910 This is the report of Beza: "ex urbe excedere jussus est;" but Castellio seems to have remained in Geneva till July 14. See Reg. du Conseil, in Annal, 340.
911 Trechsel, Antitrinitarier, I. 219; Stähelin, II. 304.
912 He wrote to Zanchi at Chiavenna, March 17, 1564: "Optime factum, quod Basileae mortuus est Castellio." Quoted by Trechsel, I. 214, from the Simler Collection in Zürich.
913 De haereticis an sint persequendi, et omnino quomodo sit cum eis agendum, doctorum virorum tum veterum tum recentiorum sententiae. Liber hoc tam turbulento tempore pernecessarius. Magdeburgi, per Georg. Rausch, 1554, mense martio, 173 pp. 80. I copy the title of the book (which I have not seen) from La France Prot., IV. 130. The writer of this article and Baum attribute the book to Castellio, but Schweizer, I. 315 sq., shows that he wrote only a part of it. Comp. Buisson, l.c., I. 358 sqq., and II. 1 sqq.
914 "Conseil àla France désolée, auquel est montrée la cause de la guerre présente et le remède qui y pourroit être mis, et principalement est avisési on doit forcer les consciences." The writer in La France Prot., IV. 135-138, gives large extracts from this exceedingly rare tract. See also Buisson, II. 225 sqq.
915 Henry, II. 422; Schweizer, I. 293.
916 On the Italian refugees in the Grisons, and in Zürich, see above, §§ 38, 39, and 40; and Trechsel, l.c., II. 64 sqq.
917 See above, pp. 156 and 162, and C. Schmidt, Peter MartyrVermigli. Leben und ausgewählte Schriften, Elberfeld, 1858 (p. 296). Vergerio, the former bishop of Capo d’Istria and papal nuncio, is also numbered among the orthodox Italians, but he had no settled opinions, and was no theologian in the proper sense. See above, § 38, pp. 144 sqq. E. Tremellio, a converted Jew of Ferrara (1510-1580), one of the most learned Orientalists, was a Calvinist.
918 As a "carmen cantillando magis aptum, quam confessionis formula." In his tract De vera Ecclesiae reformatione. Comp. § 82, pp. 351 sq.
919 oujsiva, uJpovstasi", provswpon, essentia, substantia, persona, etc., and other terms of the Nicene age.
920 "Inexplicabilis curiositas," as he called it, adding: "Utinam non simul accederet phrenetica quaedam protervia." Letter to Bullinger, Aug. 7, 1554 (Opera, XV. 208).
921 Ep. 1212 in Opera, VIII. 307-311. We have in all four letters of Calvin to the elder Socinus, and one from Socinus to Calvin.
922 Opera, XIII. 337 sq.
923 Ep. 1323 in Opera, XIII. 484-487.
924 Opera, XIV. 228. The answer of Calvin in the Geneva library is without date. Bonnet, who first published it (II. 315), puts it at the end of 1551; but it probably belongs to the beginning of 1552. See Melanchthon’s letters of Feb. 1, 1552, in which he mentions Laelio’s reports about Bolsec’s treatment, quoted p. 621, note.
925 As may be inferred from a postscript to his letter to Bullinger, dated Geneva, April 19, 1554, in Trechsel, II. 437.
926 Responsio ad aliquot Laelii Socini Senensis quaestiones, printed among the Consilia theologica, in Opera, vol. X. 160-165. Comp. vol. XV. 642.
927 Ep. 2876 in Opera, XVII. 181 sq. Henry, III. Beilage, 128 sq., first published this letter of recommendation, but misdated it, June, 1553. Laelius did not start on his last journey to Italy before 1558.
928 Trechsel, II. 166, thus describes the personal relationship: "So manche Erfahrung von Calvin’s Schroffheit Lelio sowohl an sich selbst als an andern gemacht hatte, so war doch nichts im Stande, sein achtungsvolles Zutrauen zu dem ausserordentlichen Manne zu schwächen. Gerade wie ein Pol den entgegensetzten anzieht, so wurde Lelio’s negative Natur von der positiven Calvin’s unaufhörlich angezogen, so konnte der Mann des Zweifels aus einer Art von Instinkt nicht umhin, bei dem Felsenmann des Glaubens, der mit beispielloser Kühnheit und Consequenz die Tiefen der Gottheit erforschte, gleichsam seine Ergänzung zu suchen, ohne dass die totale Divergenz beider Naturen eine Uebereinstimmung des Denkens und der Ansichten jemals erwarten liess."
929 Also spelled Occhino, in Latin Ocellus.
930 Boverius (ad ann. 1535): "Bernardinus divinis et humanis literas non mediocriter imbutus."
931 Sand, Seckendorf, C. Schmidt (in Herzog), and others, state that the pope made Ochino his confessor; but this is without support, and intrinsically improbable. See Benrath, 33 sq. (German ed.).
932 "Predicava con ispirito grande che faceva piagnere i sassi." Some wrongly attribute this saying of Rosso to the Emperor Charles V., who heard Ochino at Naples. Benrath, 24, note.
933 He was then the historiographer of Venice, but was soon afterwards created cardinal by Paul III., March 24, 1539.
934 Caraffa, the restorer of the Inquisition, ascribed his conversion to impure motives, but without evidence. On these calumnies see Benrath, pp. 170 sq. Audin (ch. XLV.), drawing on his imagination, says that Ochino, tempted by the demon of doubt and pride, fled to Geneva with a young girl whom he had seduced!
935 Colonna sent him afterwards through a messenger some means of support to Switzerland, as we learn from a letter of Bullinger.
936 Quoted in Italian by Trechsel, II. 203, in German by Benrath, p. 169.
937 "Le chiese sono purgatissime da ogni idolatria." This testimony is confirmed by Vergerio, Farel, Knox, and others. See § 110, pp. 516 sqq.
938 Prediche, Geneva, 1542-1544, several editions also in Latin, French, German, and English. See Benrath, pp. 374 sq., and his summary of the contents, pp. 175 sqq.
939 He wrote to Pellican, April 19, 1543: "Quoniam Italicis plerisque ingeniis non multum fido ..., contuli cum eo diligenter .... Hoc testimonium pio et sancto viro visum est .... Est enim praestanti et ingenio et doctrina et sanctitate." Opera, XI. 528.
940 Opera, XI. 447 sq. Comp. letter to Viret, October, 1542, ibid. 458: "Bernardus noster miris machinis impetitus est, ut nobis abduceretur: constanter tamen perstat."
941 "Magnum et praeclarum virum, qui suo discessu non parum Italiam commovit." Opera, XI. 517.
942 "Bern. Senensis, vir nuper in Italia magni nominis, dignus certe qui habeatur ubique in pretio." Opera, XII. 135. Benrath (192) gives the wrong date of this letter, viz. 1542,—probably a typographical error.
943 Benrath, p. 194. We know nothing of his wife and children, not even their names. An old monk is not well fitted for a happy family life.
944 The book was translated from Latin into English by Dr. John Ponnet, afterwards bishop of Winchester, and published in London, 1549. Benrath gives a good summary, pp. 215 sqq.
945 "Seculi nostri decus." Benrath, 364 sq.
946 I learn from Schelhorn (III. 2152), that this dialogue appeared in an English translation, "by a Person of Quality," in London, 1657.
947 The correspondence of the two books has been proven by Schelhorn, l.c., III. 2140 sqq., and I. 631 sqq. Bucer was suspected of being concealed under the Neobulus, but he denied it. See Schelhorn, I. 634.
948 His wife died in consequence of an accident shortly before the Dialogues were published. Benrath, p. 307.
949 Spongia adversus aspergines Bernardini Ochini, etc., printed in Hottinger’s Historia Eccles. N. Ti., and in Schelhorn, III. 2157-2194.
950 From a letter of Knibb to Bullinger, Easter, 1564, in the Simler Collection in Zürich. Trechsel, II. 265; Benrath, 315.
951 "Absque Christi cognitions, licet non sine Christo, aliquos salutem adipisci." Letter of Vergerio to Bullinger (Tübingen, Sept. 6, 1554), quoted by Trechsel, I. 217. Vergerio denounced Curio to the Swiss Churches. See his letters to Amerbach, in Trechsel, II. 463-465.
952 De amplitudine beati regni Dei dialogi II. Printed at Poschiavo in the Grisons, 1554.
953 Dr. Charles Hodge (Syst. Theol. III. 879 sq.) says: "We have reason to believe, as urged in the first volume of this work, and as often urged elsewhere, that the number of the finally lost in comparison with the whole number of the saved will be very inconsiderable."
954 Trechsel, II. 356.
955 Ad questiones Blandratae responsum, 1558. See Lit. in § 127.
956 See on this last chapter in the history of Gentile, Trechsel, II. 355-380.
957 "Dolendum est quum nos pauci numero idem profiteamur evangelium, sacrae coenae occasione, quam praecipuum inter nos unitatis vinculum esse decebat, in varios sententias distrahi. Sed hoc longe atrocius, non minus hostiliter confligere quam si nihil esset nobis eum Christo commune." Opera, XVI, 429. Planck, the impartial Lutheran historian, calls the sacramental controversy "die aergerlichste aller Streitigkeiten" (l.c., V. I. p. 1).
958 Opera, IX. 47.
959 Historia vituli aurei Aaronis Exod. 32 ad nostra tempora et controversias accommodata, Magdeburg, 1549.
960 See the remarks of the Strassburg editors in vol. IX. Proleg. p. x. There are really only two Reformed theories on the Eucharist—the Zwinglian and the Calvinistic, and the latter was embodied in all the Reformed Confessions. A Lutheran polemic of the seventeenth century conclusively proved to his own satisfaction that "the cursed Calvinistic heretics hold six hundred and sixty-six theses in common with the Turks!"
961 Farrago confusanearum et inter se dissidentium opinionum de Coena Domini ex Sacramentariorum libris congesta. Magdeburg, 1552 (a small pamphlet, with a preface).
962 Recta fides de Coena Domini, Magdeburg, 1553. This was followed by Collectanea sententiarum Aurelii Augustini de Coena Domini, Ratisbon, 1555 (the preface is dated September, 1554), and Fides Cyrilli de praesentia corporis et sanguinis Christi, Frankfort, 1555.
963 A full account in Joh. Utenhoven (who accompanied à Lasco), Simplex et fidelis narratio, etc. Basil., 1560. The spirit of this rare book may be judged from the concluding sentence (quoted by Dalton who examined a copy in Cracow): "In conclusion let us pray all the pious for Christ’s sake not to harbor any hatred against those who have thus persecuted us in our affliction, and not to call fire from heaven as James and John did for the refusal of hospitality, but rather to pray for them that they may repent and be saved." See extracts in Planck, l.c., 36 sqq., and H. Dalton, Johannes àLasco (Gotha, 1881), 427 sqq. Mönckeberg attempts to apologize for Westphal, but without effect. Dorner says (l.c., 401, note): "Westphal wird zum Selbstankläger in der Vorrede zu der Collectanea aus Augustin, rühmt die That der Unbarmherzigkeit als eine gute That, und stellt Nebuchadnezzar als Vorbild für solche Fälle auf."
964 Adversus cujusdam Sacramentarii falsam criminationem justa defensio, Frankfort, 1555.
965 Opera, XVI. 552.
966 The Catholica Refutatio Augustanae Confessionis of Drs. Eck, Faber, and Cochlaeus says: "Decimus articulus [of the Augsburg Confession] in verbis nihil offendit si modo credant [the Lutheran signers], sub qualibet specie integrum Christum esse."
967 Comp. his letters to Schnepf, Agricola, and Brenz, from the years 1534 and 1535; Matthes, Leben Melanchthons, p. 349; C. Schmidt, Philipp Melanchthon, pp. 680 sqq.
968 Luther did not object to the change. When he broke out more fiercely than ever against the Swiss, in his "Short Confession on the Holy Sacrament" (1544), Melanchthon, in a letter to Bullinger, called this book not unjustly "atrocissimum scriptum." See vol. VI. 654 sq.
969 "De Confessione Augustana sic respondeo, verbulum in ea, qualis Ratisponae edita fuit, non exstare doctrinae nostrae contrarium." Opera, IX. 148. Comp. his letter to Schalling at Ratisbon, March, 1557, quoted on p. 377, note (Opera, XVI. 430).
970 "Solum quod dixi et quidem centies si opus sit, confirmo, non magis a me Philippum quam a propriis visceribus in hac causa posse divelli." Opera, IX. 149.
971 He refers to their meeting at Frankfurt, which took place in 1539, seven years before Luther’s death and five years before his last book against the Sacramentarians. See above, § 90, pp. 388 sq.
972 The other leaders of the anti-Melanchthonian ultra-Lutheranism were Amsdorf (d. 1565), Westphal (d. 1574), Flacius (d. 1575), Judex (d. 1574), Jimann (d. 1557), Gallus (d. 1570), and Wigand (d. 1587). The chief pupils of Melanchthon were Eber (d. 1569), Cruciger (d. 1548) and his son (d. 1575), Camerarius (d. 1574), Peucer, Krell, Pezel, Pfeffinger, Hardenberg, Major, Menius. One of the noblest traits of Luther was his hearty appreciation of Melanchthon to the end of his life, notwithstanding the marked difference. His narrow followers entirely lacked this element of liberality and generosity. Comp. Dorner, Geschichte der protest. Theologie, pp. 330 sqq.
973 I coin this word from the Lutheran formula cum, in, and sub pane et vino. The usual designation "consubstantiation" is repudiated by Lutherans in the sense of impanation or local inclusion.
974 Planck and Heppe give him a bad character, and charge him with inordinate ambition and avarice. According to Heppe he was, einer der widerwärtigsten lutherischen Pfaffen seiner Zeit." Hackenschmidt judges him more mildly as a consistent advocate of the tendency which makes no distinction between religion and theology, church authority and police force. The Strassburg editors (Opera, IX. Prol. p. xii.) call him a "vir imperiosus et filoneikovtato"." Bullinger compared him to the Homeric Thersites, who was despised for scurrility.
975 See § 133, p. 669.
976 Planck, vol. V. Part II. 383 sqq.
977 He wrote to him: "Oro, si statuisti respondere, respondeas ad argumenta, diligenter preterita persona illa Thersitis homerici."
978 See § 90, p. 398.
979 · Responsio ad praejudicium Philippi Melanchthonis, 1560.
980 Astrologia judiciaria as distinct from astrologia naturalis, or simply astrologia.
981 Hence "Chaldaei," "mathematici," "astrologi," were identical terms.
982 He wrote to Bullinger from Wittenberg, Aug. 20, 1550: "Omnes ab uno Melanchthone [pendent], qui Astrologiae judiciariae fuit addictus, et unus ille ab astrisne magis, an ab astrorum conditore ac domino pendeat, ignoro." Quoted by, Trechsel, Antitrin. II. 164, note 4.
983 Comp. Inst. I. ch. V. §§ 2 and 5, where he speaks highly of astronomy.
984 "Curiositas non modo supervacanea et ad nullam rem utilis, verum etiam exitiosa."
985 Inst. Bk. I. ch. XIV. § 4.
986 Copernicus finished his work De Orbium colestium Revolutionibus in 1530, and dedicated it to the pope; but it was not published till 1543, by Osiander of Nürnberg, to whom he had given the manuscript, and who announced the discovery in the preface as a mere hypothesis. He received a copy on his death-bed at Frauenburg on the borders of Prussia and Poland. He was probably a devout man, and is often credited with the prayer graven on his tombstone: "I ask not the grace accorded to Paul; not that given to Peter; give me only the favor which thou didst show to the thief on the cross" ("non parem Pauli gratiam requiro," etc.); but this inscription is taken from a poem of Aeneas Sylvius De Passione Domini, and was put upon the monument of Copernicus at Thorn by Dr. Melchior Pyrnesius (1589). Copernicus is there represented with folded hands before a crucifix. See Prowe’s work on Coper-nicus, and Luthardt in the "Theol. Literaturblatt" for April 22, 1892 (p. 188).
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