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follow, from the dictates of common sense, that in that case the fish itself must either die, or be prompted by its feelings to get rid of its load; and this it perhaps might do more readily near the shore, than in the midst of waters; and in that case, such person would certainly be recovered again, by degrees, and escape. I acknowledge, there must have been a miraculous divine interposition in causing all the circumstances of the presence of the fish, of the formation of Jonah, and of the nearness of the shore at the time of his being thrown up, to concur rightly, to effect his deliverance; and how much the miraculous interposition might extend, we cannot, and ought not to presume to ascertain : but solely to show the fact to be philosophically possible, according to the experience we are permitted to be acquainted with, is sufficient to remove, and fully to answer, the objections of scoffers.
The Papal authority was ābolished at Geneva , and the Reformation proclaimed, A. D. 1535. The celebrated John Calvin, passing through the city on a journey, the following year, was induced to make it bis permanent abodo. With various vicissitudes, especially during the early part of his ministry, he remained here till his death, in 1566. His counsel and aid were often bought and iinparted in modelling the reformed churches in other places; but Geneva was the centre of his immediate infinence. Here, as has been well ohserved " he was the light of the church, the oracle of the laws, the supporter of liberty, the restorer of morals, and the fountain of literature and the sciences. To him, thc Genevese owe the establishment of their University and schools, which have enabled them to furnish to every country in Europe so many instructors and men of science."
We propose to offer the testimony of distir.guished men, eye-witnesses, as to the moral and religious state of Geneva at different periods. The first is that of John Knox, in 1557, after a residence in that city of about two years. “So much was be pleased with the purity of religion established" there," that he warı.ly recommended it to his religious acquaintances in England, as the best Christian asylum to which they could flee.”
“In my heart,” says he to a Mr. Locke, “ I could have wished, yea, and cannot cease to wish, that it might please God to guide and conduct yourself to this place, where I neither fear nor eshaine to say, is the most perfect school of Christ that ever was in the earth, since the days of the Apostles. In other places, I confess Christ to be truly preached; but MANNERS AND RELIGION SO SINCERELY REFORMED, I have not yet seen in any other place beside."'*
In 1685, after the lapse of more than a hundred years, in which time the doctrine and discipline of Calvin might be expected to produce their legitimate effects, the celebrated Bishop Burnet visited Geneva. The following is his account of the place.
* Letters, p. 377.
Geneva is too well known to be much insisted on. It is a little State ; but it has so many good constitutions in it, that the greatest may justly learn of it. The chamber of the corp has always two years' provision for the city in store, and forces none but bakers to buy it at a taxed price ; and so it is both necessary against any extremities under which the State may fall, and is likewise of great advantage ; for it gives a good yearly income, that has helped the State to pay nearly a million of debts contracted during the wars : and the citizens are not oppressed by it; for every inhabitant may buy his own corn as he pleases, only public houses must buy from the chamber. And if one will compare the faith of Rome and Geneva together in this particular, he would be forced to prefer the latter : for if good works are a strong presumption, if not a sure indication, of a good faith, then justic: being a good work of the first form, Geneva will certainly carry it. If the public makes a moderate gain on the corn, that, and all the other revenues of this small commonwealth, are so well employed, that there is no cause of complaint given in the administration of the public purse, which, with the advantages that arise out of the chamber of the corn, is about one hundred thousand crowns revenue. But there is much to go out of this : three hundred soldiers are paid, an arsenal is maintained, that in proportion to the State is the greatest in the world, for it contains arms for more men than are in the State : there is a great number of ministers and professors, in all twenty-four, paid out of it, besides all the public charges and officers of the Government. The salary for the professors and ministers is indeed small, not above two hundred crowns; but to balance this (which was a more competent provision when it was first set off a hundred and fifty years ago, the price of all things and the way of living being now much heightened) those employments are held in their due reputation, and the richest Citizens in the town breed up their children so as to qualify them for those places. And a minister that is suitable to his character is thought so good a match, that generally they have such estates, either by succession or marriage, as support them suitably to the rank they hold. And in Geneva there is so great a regulation upon expenses of all surts, that a small sum goes a great way. It is a surprizing thing to see so much learning as one fix,ds in Geneva, not only among those whose profession obliges them to study, but among the magistrates and citizens; and if there are not many men of the first form of learning among them, yet almost everybody here has a good tincture of a learned education, inasmuch that they are masters of the Latin, they know history and the controversies of religion, and are generally men of good sense.
There is a universal civility, not only towards strangers, but towards one another, that reigns all the town over, and leans to an excess : so that in them one sees a mixture of a French openness and an Italian exactness; there is indeed a little too much of the last.
The public justice of the city is quick and good, and is more commended than the private justice of those who deal in trade. There is no public lewdness tolerated, and the disorders of that sort are managed with great address. Notwithstanding their neighborhood to the Switzers, drinking is very little known among them. One of the best parts of their law is the way of selling estates. A man that is to buy an estate agrees with the owner, and then intimates it to the government, who order three several proclamations to be made, six weeks one after another, of the intended sale, that is to take place on such a day : when the day comes, the creditors of the seller, if they apprehend that the estate is sold at an under-value, may out-bid the buyer; but if they do not interpose, the buyer delivers the money to the State, who upon that give him his title to the estate, which can never be so much as brought under a debate in law; and the price is paid into the State, and is by them given either to the creditors of the seller, if he owes money, or to the seller himself. This custom prevails likewise in Swisse, where also twelve years' possession gives a prescription ; so that in no place in the world are the titles of estates so secure as here.
I passed the winter at Geneva with more satisfaction than I had thought it was possible for me to have found anywhere out of England. I ought to make the most public acknowledgements possible for the extraordinary civilities that I met with in my own particular; but that is too low a subject to entertain you with. That which pleased me most was of a more public nature : before I left Geneva, the number of the English there was such, that I found we could make a small congregation, for we were twelve or fourteen; so I addressed myself to the council of twenty-five, for liberty to have our own worship in our own language, according to the best English liturgy. This was immediately granted in so obliging a manner, that as there was not one person that made any exception to it, so they sent one of their body to me, to let me know, that in case our number should grow to be so great that it were fit for us to assemble in a church, they would grant us one which had been done in Queen Mary's reign.; but till then, we might hold our assembly as we thought fit : so after that time, during the rest of my stay there, we had every Sunday our devotions according to the cominon prayer morning and evening ; and at the eveniny prayer I preached in a room that was indeed too large for our small company : but there being a considerable number in Geneva that understand English. and in particular some of the professors and ministers, we had a great number of strangers that met with us; and the last Sunday. I gave the sacrament according to the way of the church of England. I shall name to you only two of their professors, that, as they are men of great distinction, so they were the persons with whom I conversed the most : the one is Mr. Turretin,* a man of great learning, that by his indefatigable study and labor has much worn out and wasted his strength, amidst all the affluence of a great plenty of fırtune to which he was born : one discerns in him all the modesty of an humble and mortified temper, and of an active and fervent charity, proportioned to his abundance, or rather beyond it; and there is in him such a melting zeal for religion, as the present con
* This must have been the second Turretin.
juncture calls for, with all the seriousness of piety and devotion, which shows itself both in private conversation and in his most edifying sermons, by which he enters deep into the consciences of his hearers. The other is Mr. Tronchin, a man of a strong head, and of a clear and correct judgement, who has all his thoughts well digested : his .conversation has an engaging charm in it, that cannot be resisted : he is a man of extraordinary virtue, and of a readiness to oblige and serve all persons, that has scarce any measures : his sermons have a sublimity in them that strikes the hearer, as well as edifies him ; his thoughts are noble, and his eloquence is masculine and exact, and has all the majesty of the chair in it, tempered with all the softness of persuasion ; so that he not only convinces his hearers, but subdues them, and triumphs over them. In such company it was no wonder if time seemed to go off too fast, so that I left Gencva with a concern that I could not have felt in leaving any place out of the Isle of Britain.
It began to be manifest, near the beginning of the last century, that the doctrine and discipline of the Genevese church, which had produced such happy effects, were likely soon to be abandoned. A repeal of the rule of the church, " by which candidates for ordination were required to subscribe to the Helvetick confession, and the decrees of the Synod of Dort, was procured in 1705." “ Professor Vernet," who flourished about the middle of the last century,“ published his disbelief in the Trinity, and the imputation of Adam's sin to his descendants. In 1757, the clergy of Geneva were represented by the French Encyclopedists, as generally rejecting these doctrines.” Here then we enter on a new order of things, and the result of it we shall presently witness.- The following testimony is from “ Meiner's Letters on Switzerland," published in “Dr. Seiler of Erlangen’s German Literary Journal,” for 1785.
The buildings are large and expensive, the inhabitants wealthy, and an incredible number of beautiful country-seats surround it on all sides. The civil war was less owing to a defective legislation, than to growing depravity of manners, both among high and low : * for even to the lower ranks has this corruption spread. The works of Voltaire and Rousseau are read in shops, manufactories, and work houses. Perhaps the wealth which has flowed upon Geneva from her fine artists since 1738, when corporations were dissolved. and every artist allowed to follow what art he pleased, has accelerated her corruption. The strict church discipline, which Calvin introduced immediately after the Reformation, is now gone, and with it the authority of the clergy. Ladies of distinction give no signs of devotion in their church. They laugh, they talk, they adjust their dress, they futter with their fans, as if they were in a jovial meeting. This indecent levity continued, when the young clergy
* Here Dr. Seiler remarks : “ I have had certain accounts, by private letters, that in many families of distinction, in thal cily, Christianity is almost entirely neglected : and, by modisb and excessive refinement, the children are formed to levity, and rendered inca. pable of serious religions reflection. Hence solid and edifving preachers are depised by thus race of men. Only they who bring to the pulpit master-pieces of eloquence are sometimes attended; whose discourses are blained or praised, just as dramatic performance would be; and hence can have little or no influence on the heart."
man went up to the pulpit, and I suppose read prayers and directions relating to the approaching communion; for through the noise I could not hear distinctly. They became more quiet and grave, when the young preacher appeared, and took occasion, from the mournful state of the town, to exhort all ranks, and especially the youth, to unity and reverence for law. Probably, however, this was more to be ascribed to the curiosity, than to the devotion of the hearers : for when the sermon was ended, in the moment immediately before communicating, the former noise and dissipation returned. Even when communicating, they could not so far govern themselves, as to suppress the appearances of prophanity and scoffing, which their former conversation had impressed on their countenances; or to avoid giving offence by assuming airs of seriousness. Formerly, adultery was considered at Geneva as a most shocking crime, and divorce was rendered as difficult as possible. Now the first is laughed at, and the second more easily and frequently obtained, than at London or Paris. Their old sumptuary laws are fallen into desuetude, and luxury grows incredibly. In twenty four families, they daily eat on silver plate ; and in between three and four hundred, the turins and large dishes, though not the trenchers, are silver. The lowest ranks are mad on pomp and magnificence. Labourers will half starve themselves through the week, that they inay appear genteelly dressed and travel in coach on the Sabbath. The wives of manufacturers are as elegantly attired, as ladies in Germany, when going to an assembly. An insatiable desire of making a grand appearance, is accompanied with a sordid covetousness, perhaps partly owing to the dearness of the necessaries of life, much increased by the multitude of strangers who resort to Geneva.
To this account, the translator, the late Dr. Erskine, adds,
So far as the translator knows, many of the clergy in Geneva are men of distinguished abilities, amiable characters, excellent writers on the Deistical controversy and moral subjects; and though perhaps allied to some pretended German Reformers in their Socinian and Arian tenets, yet no way tinctured with their scepticism and contempt of the Bible. Yet what a contrast between Meiner's character of the people, and that given thein by Bishop Burnet in his travels, Letter from Zurich, 1695! May not this be owing to the opposing, or at least omitting in their sermons, those peculiar truths of the Gospel, by faith in which the heart is purified ?"
1. Natural History of Enthusiasm. Boston : Crocker and Brewster. New York ; J. Leavitt. pp. 302.
This is one of the most interesting and instructive volumes which have recently been published. The style is elegant, the subjects treated important, and the work altogether worthy the attention of the religious public. Unlike