תמונות בעמוד
[ocr errors]

we do not pretend to justify. Once on a procession.day, he pulled out of the priest's hand the image of St Anthony, and threw it from a bridge into the river : It is a wonder he was not torn to pieces by the mob. Erasmus did by no means like Farel's temper, as appears from what he wrote of him to the official of Berançon. You have

(says he,) in your neighbourhood the new evangelist • Farel; than whom I never saw a man more false, more

virulent, more seditious. He has given a frightful character of him elsewhere, and even descended to the meanness of giving him a nick name. But he thought Farel had abused him in some of his writings, and therefore, is not to be altogether believed in every thing he says of him. Farel was blunt ; but Erasmus could trim and walk in so fine a line between error and truth, that it required a considerable share of penetration to discern sometimes to which he belonged.

In the year 1528, he had the same success in promoting the Reformation in the city of Aigle, and soon after in the bailiwick of Morat. He went afterwards to Neufchatel, in the year 1529, and disputed against the Roman catholic party with so much power, that this city embraced the Reformed religion, and established it entirely on the fourth of November, 1530. He was sent a deputy to the synod of Waldenses, held in the valley of Angrogne. Hence he went to Geneva, where he and 'Viret laboured against popery : But the grand vicar, and the other clergy resisted him with so much fury, that he was obliged to Tetire. He was called back in the year 1534, by the inhabitants, who had then renounced the Roman catholic religion: And he was the chief person that procured the perfect abolition of popery in the next year.

Added to this, he was the great means of fixing Calvin at Geneva, where neither of them met with that gratitude and affection which they both deserved; for,

In the year 1538, he was banished with his great friend Calvin from Geneva, and retired to Basil, and afterwards to Neufchatel, where there was great probability of a large evangelical harvest. From thence he went to Metz, but had a thousand difficulties to struggle with, and at length was obliged to retire into the abbey of Gorze, where the count of Furstemberg protected him and the new converts. But they could not continue there long; for they were presently besieged in the abbey, and obliged at last to surrender, upon a capitulation. Farel very happily escaped, though strict search was made after him, having been put

in a cart among the sick and infirm. He took


him his former functions of a minister at Neufchatel, whence he took now and then a journey to Geneva. . He went to Geneva in the year 1564, to take his last leave of Calvin, who was dangerously ill. He took a second journey to Metz in the year 1565, being invited by his ancient flock, to come and see the fruits of the seed, which he had sown in their hearts. He returned to Neufchatel, and died there the thirteenth of September in the same year, and in the seventy-sixth of his age, having survived his good friend Calvin not more, (say some,) than eleven months, but, according to Melchior Adam, one year, three months, and fourteen days.

He married at the age of sixty-nine, and left a son, who was then but one year old, and who survived him but three years. Though he was far better qualified to preach than to write books, yet he was the author of some few pieces. The difficulties this minister underwent in

promoting the Reformation, and the courage he shewed in surmounting them all, are almost incredible. He was.to be bent by no difficulties, affrighted by no threats, and overcome by no malice, that men or devils could give him. Yet with all this invincible courage, he was not only remarkable for his piety, learning and innocency of life, but the most exemplary and unassuming modesty. He had an extraordinary presence of mind, great ardour and force of expression, insomuch that, says Melchior Adam, he seemed rather to thunder, than to speak.' And he possessed such a wonderful gift of prayer, that he not only appeared wrapt up himself with the life of heaven, but lifted up the hearts of his audience thither. He was often surrounded with drawn swords : Bells were rung to prevent his being heard ; but in vain : They could neither interrupt nor terrify the preacher. And when they haled him before the magistrates, and it was inquired of him, by whose command and desire he preo sumed to preach ;' he answered, with his usual intrepidity,---by the command of Christ, and the desire of his mem

and then went to defend himself in a manner, they could answer in no better form than by persecution. His marriage was thought very strange, and out of season, by his friends : But he was not at a loss for arguments, to make them approve of it. He married, as it is said, for the sake of an help-mate in his old age : He married to shew, that a state of celibacy is neither meritorious nor satisfactory, as they of the Romish church assert: And


bers ;

[ocr errors]

From/ aDrawing in the Possession of D Gifford..

he married to prove, that the grace of a perpetual continency is neither given to all, nor for ever.

He published only some disputations, which he had held at Basil and Bern; being, as we observed before, much more considerable as a preacher than a writer.



'THIS pious Reformer was born in Yorkshire, in the

reign of Henry VIII. and being educated in the Romish religion, became an Augustine monk. He took his doctor's degree at Tubingen in Germany, and was admitted ad eundem at Cambridge. By GOD's grace embracing the Reformation, he entered into holy orders; and, as Bale tells us, he was one of the first, who, upon the delivery of the church of England from the see of Rome, together with Dr Robert Barnes, taught the purity of the gospel, and dedicated himself wholly to the service of the Reformed religion. He assisted Tindale and Rogers in the English version of the Bible, published in the years 1532 and 1537, which he afterwards revised and corrected for another edition in a larger volume, with notes, which was printed in or about the year 1540. Dr Coverdale succeeded Dr John Harman, alias Voysey, in the see of Exeter, August the fourteenth, in the year 1551, being promoted propter singularem sacrarum literarum doctrinan, inoresque probatissimos ; i. e. on account of his extraor

dinary knowledge in divinity, and his unblemished cha"racter. The patent for conferring this bishopric on him, though a married man, is dated August 14th, 1551, at Westminster. Upon the accession of Q. Mary to the throne, bishop Coverdale was ejected from his see, and thrown into prison ; out of which he was released at the earnest request of the King of Denmark, and, as a very great favour, permitted to go into banishment. In his confinement, he was one of those who signed the famous confession of faith, which we have given our Readers in the first volume, under the article of Ferrar. Upon this ejection, Harman was reinstated. Soon after Q. Elizabeth's



« הקודםהמשך »