Page images
PDF
EPUB

PARAPHRASE.

human testimony, and in this rendered, the Word was a god, view they are often quoted. In that is, a kind of inferior deity, a former number of the Pano- as governors are called gods. plist,* was given Dr. Watts' See John x. 34, and I Cor. vjii. 5. opinion concerning the doctrine But it is impossible he should of the Trinity. I have taken the here be so called, as merely trouble to transcribe and trans- a governor, because he is spok. mit to you for publication in en of as existing before the your next number, the senti- production of any creatures, ments of Dr. Doddridge on the whom he could govern : and it same subject. The following is to me most incredible, that may be found in the first volume when the Jews were so exceed: of his Family Expositor, page 24. ingly averse to idolatry, and the “ In the beginning was the

Gentiles so unhappily prone to Word, and the Word was with it, such a plain writer, as this God, and the Word was God.” apostle, should lay so dangerous

a stumbling block on the very

threshold of his work, and repreIn the beginning, before the

sent it as the Christian doctrine, foundation of the world, or the

that in the beginning of all things first production of any created there were two Gods, one su: being, a glorious Person existed,

preme and the other subordinate: who (on account of the perfec

a difficulty, which, if possible, tions of his nature and his being would be yet farther increased by in time the medium of divine recollecting what so many ancient manifestations to us) may prop-writers assert, that this gospel erly be called the Word of God,

was written with a particular And the Word was originally with

view of opposing the Cerinthi: God the Father of all ; so that to him the words of Solomon might 1. c. 26 ; 3. c. 11. Euseb. Eccl.

ans and Ebionites (see Iren. 50. justly be applied, Prov. viii. 30; Hist. 50. 6. c. 14) on which ac* He was by him as one brought count a greater accuracy of exup with him, and was daily his pression must have been neces: delight." Nay, by a generation,

sary.

There are so many in. which none can declare, and an

stances in the writings of this union, which can fully conceive, the Word was himself (see ver. 6, 12, 13, 18) where

apostle, and even in this chapter, God, that is, possessed of a nature 9:05, without the article is used truly and properly divINE. His views are fully explained sense of the word, that it is some:

to signify God in the highest in the following Note:

thing surprising such a stress The Word was God.] I know should be said on the want of that how eagerly many have contend- article, as a proof that it is used ed, that the word oop is used in only in a subordinate sense.

On an inferior sense ; the necessary the other hand, to conceive of consequence of which is (as in- Christ as a distinct

and codeed some have expressly avow- ordinate God, would be equally ed it) that this clause should be inconsistent with the most ex:

press declarations of Scripture, See p. 354, rol. I.

and far more irreconcilcable with

none

reason, Nothing I have said leave it as far as I could in the above can by any means be just- "simplicity of scripture expresJy interpreted in such a sense : sions. I shall only add in the and I'here solemnly disclaim the 'words, or at least in the sense of leást intention of insinuating one Bishop Burnet, “ that had not thought of that kind by any thing St. John and the other apostles I have ever written here or else- thought it a doctrine of great imwhere. The order of the words 'portance in the gospel scheme, in the original (@dos no Loyos) they would have rather waved is such as that some have thought than asserted and insisted upon 'the clause might more exactly be it, considering the critical cir'translated, God was the Word. cumstances in which they wrote." But there are almost every (See Burnet on the Articles, p. where so many instances of such 40.) a construction, as our version This eminent divine, in his supposes, that I chose rather to Paraphrase on Phil. ii. 5, 6, fur'follow it, than to vary from it, ther declares his sentiments in unnecessarily, in this important unequivocal language on this passage. I am deeply sensible sublime subject, this " great of the sublime and mysterious foundation of our faith," as he nature of the doctrine of Christ's justly considers it, in which he deity, as here declared: but it speaks of Christ, as an "adorawould be quite foreign to my ble person," "possessed of dipurpose to enter into a large dis- vine perfections," as of right ap'cussion of that great FOUNDA- pearing “as God, assuming the TION of our faith ; it has often 'highest diviné' names, titles and been done by much abler hands. attributes, by which the Supreme It was, however, matter of con- Being has made himself known, 'science with me, on the one and receiving from his servants hand, thus strongly to declare my divine honours and adorations." 'belief of it: and on the other, to

T.

[ocr errors][merged small]

ACCOUNT OF CALVIN'S TREAT- asserted, that the Geneva reMENT OF SERVETUS. former long harboured an im

placable hatred of the unfortu[From Sennebier's Histoire Litera.

nate Spaniard, used every effort ire de Geneve, t. 1. Geneu. 1786. p. 204—227)

to gratify his malice, denounced

him to the Magistrates of VienThe tragical history of Sérve- 'ne, and caused seize him in the tus happened 1553. It has of. imorning after his arrival at ten been related, to blacken Cal. Geneva. Men easily believe vin's character, by' his bitter ene- what is so positively asserted, mies, and by those who had not and almost imagine it impossible seen the pieces in his justifica- that the tale can be false. Yet tion. It has been confidently “Bolzec, 'the cotemporary and

the mortal enemy of Calvin, who tention to his complaints, or rewrote his life only to tear his gard to his letters, from the Macharacter in pieces, and Maim- gistrates of Vienne ? Suppose burg, so celebrated for partiality Calvin as cruel as you please, .and misrepresentation, durst not why was he silent for sefen allege those pretended facts, years, why did he not in an ear which modern historians have lier period commence his perseadvanced. Bolzec says, that cution of Servetus, and why did Servetys's haughtiness, inso- he not send to every place where lence, and dangerous projects, the heretic resided, the letters he making him bated and dreaded had received from him, and his at Lyons, he left it for Charlieu; Restitutio ? It is evident, from yet afterwards returned to Ly- a letter of Calvin, dated Februaons, and communicated his ideas ry, 1546, that Calvin, convinced to Calvin, who keenly opposed of the punishment Servetus dethem; and, on Servetus' send served, would not encourage him ing him his Restitutio Christian- to come to Geneva, but intimatismi, broke off all intercourse ed to him what he had to fear, with him. Calvin however did should he venture it. He wish. not betray his secrets, or cause ed, therefore, by keeping him at seize him at Vienne ; for be a distance from Geneva, that he wrote to Viretus and Farel, that might escape the punishment if Servetus came to Geneva, the with which he threatened him, consequence would be, the loss if he came there. So far was he of his life. Calvin naturally from contriving to subject him concluded this from the spirit of to punishment in another place. 'the laws and government at Indeed, Calvin's writing the Geneva, and from the ideas of Magistrates of Vienne, and sendall sects at that time. Indeed, ing them the Restitutio, could 'he bore with Servetus as long as answer no purpose. It would there was any hope of his recov- have been ridiculous for him to ery; and it was the Spaniard send them a copy of a book printwho first introduced personal. ed in France under their eyes, abuse into their controversy. or to point out what was ex• . Bucer, Oecolampadius, Farel, . ceptionable in it, which the readBeza, and even the gentle Me- ing it would sufficiently do. AClancthon, approved the sentence cordingly, the sentence passed at passed against him. As it Vienne, gives no insinuation that would be unjust on that account Calvin had interposed in the proto accuse these celebrated men, It is true, that the Magisit is equally unjust to accuse trates of Vienne, knowing that Calvio of hatred to Servetus. Servetus had corresponded with

But Calvin ábused his confi- Calvin, applied to the council at elence, and sent to Vienne the lei. Geneva for his letters. But it is dere he had received from him, equally true, that their sentence and the Restitutio Christianismi was founded on the errors in his wi:h which he had presented him. book, and his own confessions;

-That accusation is absurd. not on these letters. Could Calvin, whose name was But Calvin, informed of Serveexecrated by Papists, expect at- Jus's escape from the prison of

cess.

Vienne, caused seize him two or erted every mean for persuada ihree days after his arrival at ing Servetus to retract; and, Geneva.-Facts do not quadrate when all proved in vain, asked with this charge. Servetus es: the advice of the Swiss Cantons, caped from Vienne before the who unanimously exhorted them execution of the sentence, which to punish the wicked person, and condemned him to be burned, put him out of a condition of 17th June. If he took fifteen spreading heresy. The intoledays in his flight, he would have rance therefore of the age, not been at Geneva the beginning of the cruelty of Calvin, dictated July, and yet he was not seized the sentence 27th October, that there till 13th August. Think Servetus should be burnt alive. not that he was concealed till Castalio alone had the courage then somewhere else. A little to write a dissertation against prudence would prevent his tar: the punishment of heretics, rying where popery was estab- which, though he was at Basil, lished, lest the clamours of Vis he thought it necessary for his enne should overtake him ; and own safety to publish under the Geneva was the first place where feigned name of Bellius. There he could expect shelter. Prob- have been both former and later ably, therefore, he was seized, instances at Geneva, of similar not in two or three days, but violent proceedings against herDear six weeks after his arrival. etics. In 1536, all were deprivThe accusations against him ed of the right of citizenship, were, 1. His saying, in his com- who did not admit the received mentary on Ptolemy, that the doctrine. In 1558, Gentilis esBible vain-gloriously celebrated caped death only by retracting. the fertility of Canaan, though Calvin says, in a letter written indeed an uncultivated and bar at that time, that Servetus, if he ren country. 2. His calling one had not been mad, would have God in three persons a three- escaped punishment, by reheaded Cerberus. 3. His as- nouncing his errors, or even by serting, that God was every a more modest behaviour. But thing, and that every thing was Servetus persisted to defend his God. He did not deny the opinions in blasphemous lancharges, but pled the necessity guage : the laws of the times of toleration. The council of could not be violated : and, Vienne demanded that he should therefore, the endeavours of be sent back to them ; but it be- some to satisfy themselves with ing left to his choice, he prefer- his banishment, and of Calvin to red the chance of a more fa- render his punishment less cruvourable sentence at Geneva, to el, had no effect. It is certain, the certainty of capital punish- Calvin deplored Servetus's fate; ment at Vienne.

and the disputes in prison were While we blame the princi- managed with much greater ples of jurisprudence, which moderation on his side, than on conducted this process, it should that of the panel. In a period be acknowledged, that the coun- when the principles of toleracil at Geneva neglected nothing tion were not understood, zeal for discovering the truth; ex- against opinions subvorsive both Vol. II. No. 4.

Z

of natural and revealed religion, child's eye, till he has swallowed drove men to cruel and un- his bit. warrantable extremes. Calvin's 7. Look to your affections situation was peculiarly delicate. most carefully, that they be not, Roman Catholics accused him of (1.) feigned, nor, (2.) forcedly dangerous theological

theological errors. let loose to have their full scope; Their eyes were fixed upon him; for then they will either overand had he remained an indiffer- run your judgment, or be a ent spectator of the process temptation to vain glory. against Servetus, they would 8. Preach speaking or talking have pronounced him a favourer to the people ; look on the peoof his opinions. Add to this, had ple, not on roofs or walls, and Servetus escaped, his gross and look on the most mortified faces abusive charges against Calvin in the assembly ; let them know would have appeared well-found- your preaching is real talking ed; and Calvin's adversaries with them, whereby they may would have availed themselves of be provoked (as it were) to an that advantage for ruining his in- swer you again. fluence.

9. Take heed of over-wording any thing

10. Be sure you have made RULES FOR PREACHING.

the people understand thorough Eound among the papers of a de- ly what is the good you export

ceased minister, signed W.C.- them to, or the evil you dehors the author unknown.

them from, before you bring

your motives and means; and, [From the Biblical Magazine.) 11. Touch no Scripture slight

1. Discover no more of ly ; trouble not many, but open your method than needs must. the metaphors, and let one Scrip

2. Pass not any thing, till ture point out the other, the one You have bolted it to the bran. a key to the other.

3. Use the mother speech 12. Let the Scripture teach and tone, without affectation or you, and not you it. imitation of any man, that you 13. Be sure you feed yourself may not seem to act a comedy, upon every pause with the peoinstead of preaching a sermon. ple, before you pass it, else that • 4. Clog not your memory will do them little good, and you too much : it will exceedingly none at all : oh taste every bit. hinder invention, and mar de- 14. Take these four candles to livery

find out what to say to the peo5. Be sure you eye God, his ple: (1) The Scripture unbiasglory, the good of souls, having sed. (2) The thoughts and exthe day before mastered self and periences of good men. (3) Your man-pleasing ague. This must own experience. (4) The conbe renewed toties quoties. dition of the people.

6. Let your words be soft, 15. Break off any where, few, and slow; and see they rather than run upon any of come no faster than the weakest these two inconveniences ; (1) hearer can digest each morsel ; Either to huddle or tumble topause a while, and look in the gether spiritual things ; OF,

« PreviousContinue »