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AN HISTORICAL ACCOUNT,
never before publish'd, of the Life and Trial of MichAEL SERVETUS. In several Letters to * * * *. "By the Au. ihor of these Memoirs.
SIR I Have already informed you, that the Magistrates
of Geneva ordered Calvin to extract several Propositions out of Servetus's Book, enrituled Christianismi Reftitutio. Pursuant to that Order Calvin went im. mediately about it, and reduced those Propositions to XXXVIII Articles, The Title prefixed to them
“ Sententiæ, vel Propofitiones, excerptæ “ ex Libris Michaelis Serveri, quas Ministri Ecclefiae “ Genevenfis partim impias, & in Deum blasphe
mas; partim profanis erroribus & deliriis refertas “ elle asserunt ; omnes vero a Verbo Dei & Ortho
doxæ Ecclesiæ consensu prorsus alienas
Those Propositions have been printed among Calvin's Theological Tracts; and therefore, Sir, I need not give you an Account of them. I shall only ob
The Fourtb Letter may be seen above, Art. XXXVI.
. serve thar Calvin might have left out fome, that are far from being so heretical as others.
Servetus answered those Articles; and his Answer may be seen likewise among the Tracts above-mentioned. It begins thus.“ Eam fibi jam authorita
tem arrogat Calvinus, ut inftar Magiftrorum Sora
bonicorum Articulos scribat, & quidem pro sua ” libidine damnet, nullam penitus ex Sacris addu
cens rationem. Mentem meam ipse aut plane non
intelligit, aut callide alio detorquet. Unde cogor “ fcopum meum totum hic paucis proponere, ac pro
me rationes adducere, antequam fingulis ejus Arti, & culis respondeam.
Scopus meus totus fuit quod nomen hoc Filius “ in facris literis proprie tribuatur homini filio, id
que semper, ficut eidem proprie semper tribuitur
nomen fesus, & noinen Christus. Ad hujus .pro “ barionem adduxi omnes Scripturæ locos, in quibus GO
ponitur ea vox Filius, quæ femper fumitur pro “ homine filio. Nullum dico in Evangeliis poffe in, “ veniri locum, in quo ponatur ea vox Filius, quæ
non accipiatur pro homine filio. Si igitur Scrip. tura ita femper accipit, ita & nos semper accipere oportet.
“ Secundam Personam in Deitate dixi olim dictam 4 Personam, eo quod effet Personalis Repræsentatio is
hominis. Jesu Christi, hypostatice jam olim in Deo " "fubfiftentis, ac in ipsa Deitate visibiliter relucentis, “ Quia vero hæc Perfonæ ratio eft Calvino incognita, " & quia inde res fere tota pender, locos hic ex antiquis “ Eccletiæ Doctoribus adducam".
Here Serveţus quotes several Passages out of Tertul. lian, St. Ireneus, and the Recognitions fallly ascribed to St. Clement, and then adds :
Jam ad fingulos Calvini Articulos respondere 1 fupereft.
5.4. In ipfo cum primis titulo mirati Yubit hominis
impudentiam, qui fe Orthodoxum prædicet, cum “ für Simonis. Magi discipulus (Serverus meant that $ Calvin was a zealous Affertor of the Doctrine of * Predestination) ur in Apologia mea jatn evidenter * ostendi. Quis Orthodoxum dicar Ministrum Ec.
clesiæ, accufatorem criminalem & homicidam?
I should have been guilty of a grear Omiffion, had I not inferred this Passage of Servetus, since it concains the Substance of his Heresy, delivered 'in his own Words. He proceeds, in the next place, to an fwer the several Articles of Calvin ; for which I re fer you, Sir, to the Book abovementioned.
Servetus's Answer was very short. Calvin made a Reply *, confisting of twenty four Pages in Folio, written in a pretty large Lerter, and intituled : Bre vis Refutatio errorum & impietatum Michaelis Serveti
Ministris Ecclefie Genevensis magnifico Senatui, ficuti juli fuerant, oblata.
That Reply is written with great Art, and plainly Thews that Calvin' was à Man of excellent Paris. He concludes thar Piece with these Words. Quisquis
ergo vere & prudenter reputabit, hunc illi (Serveto)
scopum. fuisse, agnoscet, ut luce fanæ doctrinæ ex" tincta toram religionem everteret". This Accufation appears to me altogether groundless. Whoever undertakes to overthrow all Religion, has no Religi; on at all; but the reading of Seruetus's Works, and his whole Conduct, are sufficient to convince any one, that he was fully, persuaded of the Truth of the Revelation. He was an Heretick, extremely fond of his new Doctrine; he maintained his Opinions with great Heat ;. he was very imprudent, and used
It has been inserted among Calvin's Works. See his Confutation of Serveçus.
: ART, 46. of LITERATURE, the most offensive Words; he behaved himself like a Madman in his Confinement. Such was the Character of Servetus; but I think it cannot be said with any shew' of Reason, that he designed to destroy all Religion.
That Physician' made no Answer to Calvin's Reply, being contented to write some Notes in the Margin of that Writing, and to intert several injurious' Words between the Lines, viz. Mentiris * Impostor. Sycophanta. Nebulo. Perfidus. Impudens Ridiculus mus. Cacodic mon, &c. One of the marginal Notes was expressed in thele Words 'In caufa tam jufta fum conftans, & mortem nihil formido.
? Calvin's Reply was signed by him, and Thirteent Other Divines which moved Serverus to write the following Words next to their Subscriptions. * &tenus. † eft fatis conclamatum, & magna fubscri 4
Beatlum hic turba. Sed quos locos ifti adducunt ad Le ftatuendum invisibileln illum, & realiter diftinctum “Filium, quem afferunt? Nullos fane adducunt, nec
adducent unquam. Hoc decebat : taptos eloquii * divini miniftros, qui & ubique jactant fe nihil * velle docere, quod non fit folidis Scripturæ locis 3 demonftratum. * At nulli tales loci nunc inveniun, moribus, ratione vero nulla, authoritate nulla ”.
Valentinus Gentilis was more prudent iban Servetus; for being imprisoned at Geneva, ini is$$. for his Heretical Doctring and profecuted by Calvin, be called thai Reformer Eximium Dei Miniftrum & fummum Theologum. Explicat. Perfid. Val. Gencil. Among Calvin's Theological Traits, pag. 923. Ed. Genev. 1576.
This Passage was never before pripted.
At the very same time Scrvetus, sent a Latin Let:
to Calvin, (I think they are the last Lines he writ
, ), wherein he accuses him of not knowing the Principles of Things, of being ignorant of this great Principle, Omnis actio fit per cantaétum. Lastly, he says that Calvin maintains without any Reason, that the Law of the Decalogue'is ftill in force.
Tho' Servetus was a Man of a 'fiery Temper, I can hardly believe he would have been so imprudent as to abuse Calvin in the most shameful man: ner, whilst he was under Confinement, had he not been advised to it by some Enemies of thar Re former, The Thing appears to me undeniable; and I shall quote Three Pallages, that will put it our of all doubt.
1. I find these words in a Letter of Calvin ro William Farel, dated Ollaberor 36., Cælar +
comicus lope of the Magistrates, whom he calls 50) fimulato per triduum morbo, in Curiam tan“ dem alçendit, ,, ut sceleratum iftum (Serverum)
poena eximeret. Neque enim erubuit petere, ut cognitio ad ducentos veniret : fine controversia ta. men damnatus eft ”. It appears from this Pal
: sage that the Magistrate, called Cesar Comicus by Calvin, was a Friend of Servetus, and used his his utmost Endeavours to save his Life. 'Tis not improbable than the Council of Two Hundred would have acquitted that Heretick,
* I have negle&ted to transcribe that Letter.
+ This Letter, and orbers of Calvin, which I shall guest kereafter, have been printed.