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AN HISTORICAL ACCOUNT
of the Life and Trial of MICHAEL SERVETUS. In several Letters 10 **** By the Author of these
Letter VI *.
N Order to give you as complete an Account, as
I can, of every thing relating to Servetus, I must take Notice of some other Letters, besides those mentioned in my last. I begin with a Letter t of Calvin to Sulceruz, a Divine of Switzerland, written the 9th of September. Calvin tells him, That he has doubt
* The Fifth Letter may be seen above, Art. XLVI.
+ Calvin. Epift. p. 114. Genev: 1575:
Jess heard of Servetus ; that he is the same Person, of whom Bucer, tho' otherwise a moderate Man, said in the Pulpit, that he deserved to have his Entrails plucked out, and to be torn in Pieces.
“ Is est de quo fidelis Chrifti Minister, & fanctæ memoria “ Þ. Bucerus, cum alioqui mansuero effet ingenio, pro fuggefta pronunciavit
, dignum else qui avulfis “ visceribus discerpektur ": Calvin adds, that Ser vetus was apprehended and imprisoned by his means. “ Tandem huc malis aufpiciis appulsum, unus ex
Syndicis, me autore, in carcerem duci juffit. Neque enim diffimulo quin officii mei duxerim, hominem plusquam obftinatum & indomitum, quoad
in me erat, compefcere, ne longius manaret contagio”. Afterwards Calvin represents to Sulcerus, that the Prisoner is guilty of the most pernicious Errors, that can be thought of; and that far from expressing any Repentance, he maintains them with an intolerable Pride and Obstinacy. The Design of this Lecter does plainly appear
from the fol lowing Words.
“ Sed quia tibi curæ fore fpero, “ ut hominis impietas quibus meretur elogiis pinga.
tur, plura non addam. Tantum unius rei te ad.
monitum volo, Quæstorem urbis, qui tibi has lit“ teras redder, in hac causa recto esse animo, ut “ saltem exitum quem optamus, non fugiat. Uti:
nam veteres tui discipuli eodem modo animati
The 23d of August, Calvin writ a Letter * to the Ministers of the Church of Francfort, whereby he informed them, thar Servetus had printed at Vienne a Book full of Errors and Blasphemies; that many Copies had been sent to Francfort the last Easter-Fair; that the Printer's Factor, being a pious Man, had not been willing to expose them to Sale ; and that
Ubi supra, pag. 115.
the Bearer of that Letter would tell them in what's Warehouse they were to be found. Lastly, he de. fires those Divines to burn + all those Books. He acquaints them, that the Author is a close Prisoner and adds, that he hopes Servetus will be quickly, punished. “ Auctor iple tenetur in carcere a Ma.
giftratu nostro, & propediem, ut spero, daturus eft penas
Bullinger, another Divine of Switzerland, writ a Letter ** to Calvin, dated September 14. which conrains, a remarkable Paffage. The Lord ( fays he'). has given the Magistrates of Geneva a fair Opportunity of clearing themselves and the Church from Heresy by delivering Servetus into their Handset Therefore if they treat that Rascal, as he deserves, all the World, will see that the Genevois hate Blas. phemers that they prosecute, with the Sword of Justice those Hereticks, who are truly obstinate ; and that they maintain and indicate the Glory of God. “ Obtulit quidem Dominus materiam per occasio-,
nem accommodatissimam Ampliffimo Senatui Ge“ oevení se & Ecclefiam expurgandi a labe feu “ foeditate hærefeos, dum Servetum illum Hispanum “ in manus ejus dedit - Si ergo huic rependeret “ Ampliffimus Senatus, quod blasphemo nebuloni de“ berur, totus Orbis cernerer Genevenses blasphe
mos odisse ; hæreticos, qui vere sunt pertinaces hæretici, gladio justitiæ prosequi ; & gloriam Majeftatis divinæ vindicare
I find the following Words in a Letter of Calvin to Bullinger, dated October 25.
“ 'Tis not “known
† All the Copies of the Christianisini Restitutio, except fome femo, were burnt at Vienne, and at Francfort ; which is the reason why that Book is fo scarce.
** Ubi fupra, pag. 127. 1 Ibid.
* known yer 'what will be the Fare of that Man 64(Servetus). However, as far as I can guess, the
Judges will condemn him_To-morrow, and he “ will be executed the next Day ". Quid de homi. ze futurum fcit, nondum fcitur. Quantum tamen conje&turis asequor, cras feretur in Curia judicium, petendie vero ad fupplicium ducetur.
It appears to me, that the 23d of Oxtober the Judges were resolved to condemn Servetis to be burnt alive. I infer it from a Passage relating to that Day, which I fhall insert in the Margin *
Accordingly on the 26th of the same Month, that unfortunate Hererick was actually condemned to undergo that Punishment. Beză did not scruple to say,
That he was condemned ex omnium etiam Helveti. Carun Ecclefiarum fententia t.??
On the fame Day (O&tober 26.) Calvin acquaint: ed Farel, how Servetus's Cafe stood. That Letter being very Curious, I shall tranfcribe the greatest Part of it. “ The It Messenger (Says he) that was
*. Après avoir entendu les responces avant mises, * & l'arrest aujourdhuy faict, ensemble t'advis des • Sieurs Ministres des Eglises, I'on a remis ledic Inqays • Michel Servec à ouir la bonne volonté de Meli. " euis, & a dire droict de jour à jour".
Ste my last Letter. + Rediit ab Helvetiis nuncius. Uno confenfu pronunciant omnes, Servecum impios errores, quibus olim turbavit Satan Ecclefiam, nunc tenovafle, & monstrum effe non ferendum. Cordati Bafilienfes. Tigurini omnium vehemer ciflimi. Nam & impietatum atrocitas graviter ab illis exprimicur, & hor. tantur Senatum noftium ad feveritasem. Subscribunt
“ fent to the Swiss, is come back. They all unanje
mously declare, that Servetus has revived the im
pious Errors, with which Satan did formerly, “ disturb the Church, and that he is an intole“ ble Monster. Those of Bafil are right. Those “ of Zurich are the most violent, (Tigurini omni“ 'um vehementisimi); for they exprels the Hei“ nousness of his Impiery in very emphatical Words;
and exhort our Magistrates to use him_severely. “ Those of Schafhausen subscribe to their Judgments “ The Letter of the Divines of Berne, which is also “ to the Purpose, is attended with that of their Se“nate, whereby our Magiftrates have been very “ much animated. Cæsar, a comical Man, who “ pretended to be fick for Three Days, came to os
Court at last, to acquit that profligate Fellow; " for he was not ashamed to propose, that the
Cause should be removed to the Council of Two 6 Hundred.
Nevertheless he has been condemn“ed without any Dispute. He will be executed
We have endeavoured to commure that sort of Death ; but it was in vain. I will “ tell you when I see you, why the Judges have not
granted our Request". Tis observable, that this Letter was written to Farel at Noufchatel the 26th' of O&tober ; and that he arrived at Geneva the next Day, and consequently before he could receive it. I believe he came to Geneva of his own Motion, to' be present at Servetus's Execution : He had a mind
Schaphufiani. Bernensium literis etiam appofitis accedunt & Senatus literæ, quibus non parum ftimulaci funt noftri. Cæsar comicus fimulaco per triduum morbo, in Curiam tandem afcendit, ut fceleratum iftum pæna eximeret. Neque enim erubuit petere ut cognitio ad Ducencos venirer : sine controversia tamen damnatus eft. Cras ad fupplicium ducetur. Genus morcis conati fumus mutare, fed fruftra. Cur nihil profecerimus, coram narrandum differo. Vbi fupra, pag. 11S.