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blameable lives. If then sanctity I shall rather suffer myself to be of life is the very end of election, slain, than that this hand shall this doctrine ought rather to administer the holy bread of our awaken and urge us to the attain- Lord to condemned contemners ment of holiness, than serve as of God.” Berthelier, with his a plea for indolence." Bolsee associates, absented themselves was imprisoned by authority of from the Lord's supper ; but the Senate, and afterwards with Calvin urged this point with the approbation of the Swiss such vehemence, threatening to churches, banished from Geneva leave Geneva, yea, taking his for sedition and pelagianism. farewell from his congregation,
The contentions about predes. that he obtained from the council tinations were renewed after of two hundred the suspension Bolsec's exile. Calvin had op- of this obnoxious decree, till ponents among the Roman the opinion of the four Helvetic Catholics, and among the Pro- cantons upon this subject was testants. Even Melancthon was obtained. When after the vio. one. Many of them invidiously lent death of Michael Servetus, repeated the suggestion, that the question arose, in 1554, how Calvin made God the author of heretics were to be punished, sin, and introduced a stoic faith. some being of opinion, that the Berthelier, a man of consum- cause of heresy ought to be left mate impudence, and a principal exclusively to God ; Calvin publeader of the faction against Cal- lished his refutation of the doce vin, being removed from the trine of Servetus, with his reaeldership for misconduct, raised sons why and how far heretics a hue and cry in his complaints ought to be punished by the to the Senate, which were soon magistrate. He was answered followed by the clamours of ma- under the fictitious name of Marny others. They pretended tin Bell, by either Castalio or that the presbytery assumed the Lælius Socinus, to which a reply authority of the magistrates. was written by Beza. Upon which the council of two It must be acknowledged, canhundred decreed, that the final dour being our guide, that both act of excommunication proper- erred with sincerity, and that ly belonged to the Senate. This Beza, in particular, was induced act incensed Calvin to such a de- by his warm attachment to Cal. gree, that after inveighing a- vin, to patronize his cause. If gainst those who partook of the such misteps were not so many Lord's supper unworthily, he warnings to us, we might wish broke forth, with uplifted hand that Beza had remained silent, and voice, in these words ; “ but and that this fact might be blot
ted out of Calvin's history. But In hunc finem electos esse nos Paulos admonet, ut sanctam ac incul. notwithstanding his accomplishpatam vitam traducamus. Si elec- ments,
ments, gigantic learning, and tionis scopus cst vitæ sanctimonia, solid piety, Calvin was a man. magis ad cam alacriter meditandam He could not brook opposition, expergefascere et stimulare debet, quam ad desidiæ prætextum
and many of his antagonists were valere. Intitut. lib. iji. cap. 23. haughty and violent: while to his objec. 4.
favourers the purity of his life
seemed nearly a justification of however, passed upon him, his severity. It ought besides “that naked, in his shirt, barenever to be forgotten, that at Ge- footed, his head uncovered, with neva there was a continued strug- a burning torch in his hand, he gle between the aristocratic and should, on his knees, implore democratic factions, and that the mercy of his judges, ac many of their ecclesiastical con- knowledge and detest his herettentions were so blended with ical opinions, burn his write political, that it is often difficult ings with his own hands, and to discriminate between them. lastly, that he, with a trumpet Moreover Calvin's temper was before him, should be carried constitutionally irascible, and be- through the principal streets of came more so by his continued Geneva, forbidden to leave that struggles and undeserved re- city :” all which being punctuproaches. There is abundant ally performed, he was enlarged reason to believe that ardent from prison by the Senate of zeal for the reformation and love Geneva, Sept. 2, 1558. All this to his divine Master constituted shows, that the inquisition had his principal motive, although not been divested of its terrors that motive might receive fresh in reformed Geneva. But if we vigour from his natural temper- look at the reverse of the medal, ament.
we shall see Calvin often abused, The case of Valentinus Gen- slandered and vilified, not only tilis cannot be passed by, as it by his political, but by his religshows us more fully the spirit of ious antagonists. His faith was those times which ought to be ridiculed, libels were posted up kept in view in a discussion of every where, and even his perCalvin's character. Gentilis was sonal safety was often in danger. an antitrinitarian. Through fear Who of us would dare to affirm of the fate of Servetus he made that, if placed in his situation, a recantation. Though his pen- with that authority with which itence was feigned,* he implored he was encircled, he would have mercy, detested his errors, and acted with more moderation? eulogized Calvin. The minis
The minis- While his faults remain to us as ters of Geneva, says Calvin, a hand on the wall, let us admire though they did not expect any his uncommon talents and his thing of his sincerity and con- indefatigable industry. stancy, would not interrupt an revere his disinterestedness, his act of mercy, and while they re- piety, and his exemplary life, mained silent, his sentence was and pay to his memory the just so far mitigated, that he obtained tribute of our gratitude and es his life. This sentence was, teem.
To be continued.
penitentiæ simulativ, are Calvin's words.
It is a characteristic of the di- stumbled at the stumbling stone, vine government, that every and rock of offence, which was event, which takes place under laid in Zion. Therefore the it, however melancholy in itself apostle spake of them as having considered, is made to issue in “ fallen,” as being “ broken off,' some important good. The and as being for a season cast Most High will, in the end, away” by God. Having given a make it appear to all intelligent fair statement of beings, that he has, at no time, which in itself was melancholy, given up the reins of govern- the apostle laboured to show that ment, and that he has never been the obstinacy and rejection of the unwise in any of his purposes. Jews were overruled by the “ The wrath of man shall praise" great Head of the church, to him, “and the remainder of subserve most important and wrath” he will « restrain.”
glorious purposes ; that their reNo event which has taken jection was not final; but that place in the church has made a the time would come, when, to more bright and glorious display the unspeakable joy of the whole of God's character, as Governor Christian world, the Jews should of the world, than the rejection again be grafted into their own of the Jews and the calling of the olive tree, and partake, with the Gentiles. Like all other great Gentiles, of its root and fatness. and interesting events, relating On this subject he addressed the to the Redeemer's kingdom, it church at Rome, who were Genwas a subject of prophecy; and, tiles, in the following, impressive when it took place, the astonish- language : “ Behold, therefore, ment of the world was excited. the goodness and severity of As many as had faith, saw in it God; on them, which fell, sethe unsearchable judgments of verity ; but towards thee, goodGod. The apostle Paul viewed ness, if thou continue in his the matter of so great impor- goodness ; otherwise thou also tance, that he improved a con- shalt be cut off. And they also, siderable part of his epistle to if they abide not still in unbelief, the Romans in stating and ex- shall be grafted in ; for God is plaining it. While he appeared able to graft them in again. For, to venerate the nation of the if thou wert cut out of the olive Jews, as being his own kindred tree, which is wild by nature, according to the flesh, and as and wert grafted contrary 10 02having long stood in a covenant ture into a good olive tree ; how relation to God; he signified much more shall these, which that God had given them “the are the natural branches, be graftspirit of slumber, eyes that they ed into their own olive tree? For should not see, and ears that I would not, brethren, thut ye they should not hear.” They should be ignorant of this in ys. tery, (lest ye should be wise in his name, and preserve his your own conceits) that blindness church. With this faithful serin part is happened to Israel, un- vant he entered into covenant, til the fulness of the Gentiles be pledging his word, that on cercome in. And so all Israel shall tain conditions he would be a be saved; as it is written, there God to him, and to his seed after shall come out of Sion the De- him. In this covenant provision liverer, and shall turn away un- was evidently made for the godliness from Jacob. For this church to be continued and peris my covenant unto them, when petuated in the posterity of A. I shall take away their sins. As braham. ' If the posterity of this concerning the gospel, they are faithful man had persisted in obeenemies for your sakes ; but, as dience, God would never have touching the election, they are failed to have had respect unto beloved for the fathers' sakes.” this covenant. If this had been It is here expressly intimated, the case, the children of Israel, that the unbelief and rejection of with respect to privileges, would the Jews stood connected, in the have been distinguished from all divine counsels, with an impor- other nations to this day. They tant good to the Gentiles. The would not have experienced the former are represented, as being seventy years captivity in Babyenemies to the gospel for the lon, which they did in the days sake of the latter.
But we are
of the kings, when they hung not to suppose the calling of the their harps upon the willows; Gentiles prejudiced the Jews they would not have fallen into against the gospel, and was the the hands of the Romans, as was ground of their opposition ; be their case before the advent of cause they generally rejected it, Christ ; nor would they have before the Gentiles were called. been dispersed among the naNeither are we to suppose that tions of the earth, as they now the Jews became enemies to the are, and as they have been alcross of Christ, with an inten- most eighteen hundred years. tion of having favour shown to Their present unhappy condition the Gentiles ; for the supposition is no evidence of breach of covewould be absurd. The obvious, nant on the part of God; for he and the only rational idea then is never suffers his faithfulness to this ; that God, who is wonder- fail. They are now experiencful in counsel, overruled the re- ing the peculiar displeasure of jection of the Jews, so that this God, because they rejected, not great event turned in favour of only his prophets, but his Son. the Gentiles.
While the posterity of AbraWhile the Jews remained ham visibly walked with God, God's covenant people, they they were distinguished, with stood in the way of the descent respect to their privileges and of any peculiar and distinguish- blessings, from all other nations. ing blessings on any other na- To them solely pertained “ the tion. God was pleased to single adoption, and the glory, and the out the family of Abraham from covenants, and the giving of the all the families of the earth, as law, and the service of God, and one in which he designed to place the promises."
the promises.” Individuals of
other nations, it is true, enjoyed minishing of them the riches of these privileges; but they did the Gentiles.” not enjoy them, without becoin- The great and interesting ing incorporated with the Jews, event of the rejection of the Jews the seed of Abraham. Of course did not take place, until the pathey enjoyed these privileges on tience and long suffering of God the ground of adoption. He, towards them were fully and unwho so often declared himself to questionably manifested. While be the God of Abraham, was they retained their standing in bound by his own covenant to his vineyard, and experienced his distinguish the seed of this faith- cultivation, they received a treatful servant, and to own them for ment from God, which perfecta his peculiar people as long as ly corresponded with the promthey walked in his command- ise to Abraham. The Gentiles ments. Obedience to his laws were left uninstructed. Being would have prevented their re- joined to idols, God let them jection; and then they would alone. Accordingly, when the have stood in the way of the great Saviour sent out his twelve disand distinguishing privileges, ciples to preach his gospel," he which have come upon the Gen- commanded them, saying, Go not tile world. But the holy Sove- into the way of the Gentiles, reign of the universe had im- and into any city of the Samariportant purposes to answer, by tans enter ye not : But go rathsuffering the Jews to fall into er to the lost sheep of the house great obstinacy and unbelief, and of Israel.” From this charge to by casting them off from being his disciples it appears, that the his people. That he gave them divine Saviour had not, at the a fair opportunity to secure his time of delivering it, visibly refavour and to perpetuate their jected the Jews, because proof privileges must be acknowledg- was not fully exhibited, that they ed; yet it was according to his were determined, at all hazards, eternal counsel, that they should to reject him.
On this ground be given up to blindness of mind he confined his own ministry to and hardness of heart. He de- them, as appears from what he signed that their history, which said, when the woman of Canaan is a part of the sacred oracles, cried unto him in behalf of her should be to all succeeding ages afflicted daughter; “I am not a faithful record of the nature sent, but unto the lost sheep of and depth of human depravity. the house of Israel. It is not That people were left to break meet to take the children's bread, covenant with God, that he, by and to cast it to dogs.” The cutting them off, might display, woman, willing to acknowledge in this world, his hatred of ini. herself a Gentile, an outcast, and quity. On account of their ob- fitly represented by a dog, said, stinate rejection of the gospel, “ Truth, Lord ; yet the dogs eat God, in righteous judgment, hath of the crumbs, which fall from rejected them ; and he hath their master's table. Then Je. done it in favour of the Gentiles. sus answered, and said unto her, He caused their fall to be “the () woman, great is thy faith ; riches of the world, and the di- be it unto thee, even as thou wilt. Vol. III. No. 9.