Page images
PDF
[ocr errors]

always cleaves to us; as we also find
this witness of thy grace in us, that
it is our full purpose heartily to for-
give our neighbor.

Question 127.
What is the sixth petition?

Answer.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. That is: Since we arc 60 weak in ourselves that we can not stand a moment, while onr deadly enemies—the devil, the world, and our own flesh—assail us without ceasing, be pleased to preserve and strengthen us by the power of tinHoly Spirit, that we may make firm stand against them, and not sink in this spiritual war, until we come off at last with complete victory.

Question 128.
How do you close this Prayer?

Answer.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. That is: All this we ask of thee, because as our King, having power over all things, thon art both willing and able to give us all good, and that thereby not we but thy holy name may be glorified forever.

[ocr errors][merged small]

1 The first edition of 1563 (pp. 84-94), as also the third (Niemeyer, p. 424), conclude with a 'List of such important proof-texts as have been explained in the preceding Catechism.' The List contains the summary of the divine law in the words of our Lord, Matt. xxii. .'57-40, as a mirror of repentance, with the threat, Deut. xxvii. 26; then the Apostles' Creed, the words of institution for Holy Baptism and the Lord's Supper, the Ten Commandments, and the Lord's Prayer. The large and fine pulpit edition in the 'Kurpfiilzischm Kirchenoniuag' of 1724 adds to it 'A Short Summary of the Catechism,' and a number of Scripture passages for all sorts and conditions of men. The second and third editions of 1563 close with a remark already noticed with reference to the 80th Question, which was wanting in the first edition. Most editions are fortified with Scripture proofs, a careful selection of which has been made for my German tercentenary edition.

The French Confession Of Faith. A.D. 1559.

[This Confession was prepared by Calvin and bts pnpil, De Cuakdieu, revised and approved by a synod at Paris, 1SB9, delivered by Beza to Cbarles IX. at Poissy, 1501, adopted by the Synod of La Bochclle, 15T1 (hence also called the 'Confession of Rochelle'), and solemnly sanctioned by Henry IV.

The French original, with the old spelling, is printed in Beza's Bistoire eecUmastique des igtises re. fornUes, in Niemeyer's Collcctio (pp. 313-326), and by Dr. Heppe, In the Zeitschrift fur die historUehe Theologie, Gothn, 1S75, pp. 524 sqq., from a MS. copy in Geneva. A Latin version of 1560 in the Corpus tt Sjmtagma Con/em., and in Niemeyer (pp. 329-839). A German translation, Heidelberg, 1509, and in BSckel.

We give the authoritative text. In modern spelling, from the edition published by the Sociile da liens religieux, at Tonlouse, 1604: Confession de foi et discipline ecdtsiastiqu* des iglises riformies de France. The Preface we have Bnpplled in its original form, as reprinted by Niemeyer, and in Calvin's Opera, Vol. IX. p. 73T. The Bhortcr French recension, which has only thirty-flve Articles, Is repriuted In Calvin's Opera, Vol. IX. pp. 73S-753, with the changes of the later edition.

The English translation was kindly prepared for this work by Miss Emily O. Butlek, of New York.
An older version is in Quick's Synodieon, 1092, Vol. I.]

LE8 FRANCOI8 QUI DESIRENT VIVRE j THE FRENCH 8UBJECTS WHO WISH TO
SELON LA PURETE DE L'EVANGILE
DE NOSTKE SKIGNEUK IESUS CHRIST.

Am Roy.

Sire, nous rtmlons grat es a Dieu, de ce que riayans eu iusques ivy uucun accis a vostre Maieste, pour luy faire entendre la rif/ueur des persecutions que nous avons endure"es, et endurons iournellement />our vou/oir suyure la purett de V Evangile, et le repos de nostre conscience: maintenant ilnousfait cet heur de veoir qu'avez la volonte de connoitre le nitrite de nostre cause, suyvant tEdit dernier donne a Amboise au moys de Mars, I'An present L559, qu'il a pleu a vostre Maiesti faire publier. Qui est la cause quit present nous osoits ouvrir la bouche: laquellc nous a estt parcidevant ferrate par Viniustice et violence de /dusieurs voz ojficiers, estans plustost incitez de haine contre nous, que de bonne affection a vostre service. Et a Jin, Sire, que nous puissions pleinetnent in~ former vostre Maiesti de ce qui conceme cette cause, nous vous tupjtlions trhs-humblement de voir et entendre noitre Confession de Foy, laquellc nous vous pre'sentons: esptrans quelle nous sera defence suffisante contre tous les blasmes et o/t/trobres, dont iusques icy avons eslf chargez a grand tort par ceuz qui ont tousiours fait mestier de nous condamner, premier que nostre cause leur fust connevS. En la

LIVE IN THE PURITY OF THE GOS-
PEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.

To the King.

Sire, we thank God that hitherto having had no access to your Majesty to make known the rigor of the persecutions that we have suffered, and suffer daily, for wishing to live in the purity of the Gospel and in peace with our own consciences, he now permits us to see that yon wish to know the worthiness of our cause, as is shown by the last Edict given at Amboise in the month of March of this present year, 15.r>9, which it has pleased your Majesty to cause to be published. This emboldens us to speak, which we have been prevented from doing hitherto through the injustice and violence of some of your officers, incited rather by hatred of ns than by love of your service. And to the end, Sire, that we may fully inform your Majesty of what concerns this cause, we humbly beseech that you will see and hear our Confession of Faith, which we present to you, hoping that it will prove a sufficient answer to the blame and opprobrium unjustly laid upon us by those who have always made n point of condemning us without having any knowledge of our cause. In the which, Sire, we can affirm that there is nothing contrary to

quelle, Sirt, nous /murons protester quit n'y a aucune chose qui répugne à la parole de Dieu, ne qui contrevienne à Vhommage que nous vous devons.

Car les articles de nostre Foy qui sont deserits assez au long en nostre Confession, reviennent tous à ce poind, que puisque Dieu nous a suffisamment déclaré .sa volonté par sa Prophètes et Aposlres, et mesmes par la bouche de sou Jils nostre Seigneur lésus Christ nous devons cet honneur et révérence à la parole de Dieu de n'y rien aioutter du nostre: mais de nous conformer entièrement à la relaie qui nous y est prescritte. El pour ce que rjEglise Romaine, laissant l'usage et coustume de la primitive Eglise, a introduit nouveaux commandemens et nouvelle forme du service de Dieu: nous estimons estre très-raisonnable de préférrr les commandemens de Dieu, qui est la vérité mesme, aux commandemens des hommes: qui de leur nature sont enclins à mensonge et vanité. Et quoy que noz adversaires prétendent à tencontre de nous, si jxmvons nous dire devant Dieu et les hommes, que nous ne souffrons pour autre raison que pour maintenir notre Seigneur lésus Christ estre nostre Seul Sauveur et Rédempteur, et sa doctrine seule doctrine de vie et de salut.

Et cette est la seule cause, Sire, pour laquelle les bourreaux ont en tant de fois les mains souillées du sang de voz poures suiets, lesquels n'esjiargnent point leurs vies pour maintenir cette mesme confession de Foy, ont bien peu faire entendre à tous qu'Us estoyent poussez d'autre esprit que de celuy des hommes, qui naturellement ont plus de soucy de leurs repos et couimoditez, que de Thonneur et gloire de Dieu.

Et partant. Sire, suyvant, la bonté et douceur de laquelle promettez user envers voz poures suiets, nous sujiplions très-humblement rostre Maiesté nous faire cette miséricorde, que de prendre en main la connoissance de la cause, pour laquelle estons poursvyvis à toute heure on de mort, ou de bannissement, nous perdons

the Word of God, or to the homage which we owe to you.

For the articles of our faith, which are all declared at some length in our Confession, all come to this: that since God has sufficiently declared his will to us through his Prophets and Apostles, and even by the mouth of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, we owe such respect and reverence to the Word of God as shall prevent us from adding to it any thing of our own, but shall make us conform entirely to the rules it prescribes. And inasmuch as the Roman Church, forsaking the use and customs of the primitive Church, has introduced new commandments and a new form of worship of God, we esteem it but reasonable to prefer the commandments of God, who is himself truth, to the commandments of men, who by their nature are inclined to deceit and vanity. And whatever our enemies may say against us, we can declare this before God and men, that we suffer for no other reason than for maintaining our Lord Jesus Christ to be our only Saviour and Redeemer, and his doctrine to be the only doctrine of life and salvation.

And this is the only reason, Sire, why the executioners' hands have been stained so often with the blood of your poor subjects, who, sparing not their lives to maintain this same Confession of Faith, have shown to all that they were moved by some other spirit than that of men, who naturally care more for their own peace and comfort than for the honor and glory of God.

And therefore, Sire, in accordance with your promises of goodness and mercy toward your poor subjects, we humbly beseech your Majesty graciously to examine the cause for which, being threatened at all times with death or exile, we thus lose the power of rendering the humble service that we owe you. May it par ce moyen la puissance de vous faire le Iris-humble service que nous vous devons. Qu'il plaise donq à rostre Maieslé, Sire, à lieu des feus et glaives dont on a uséparcidevant, faire décider nostre confession de Foy par la parole de Dieu: donnant permission et sevreté pour ce faire. Et nous espérons que vous-mesmes serez iuge de nostre innocence, connaissant qu'il n'y a en nous ny hérésie, ny rébellion aucune': mais que nous tendons seulement à ce but, de pouvoir vhre en saine conscience, servons à Dieu selon ses commandemens, et honorons vostre Maiesté en toute obéissance et servitude.

[ocr errors]

Et par ce que nous avons nécessairement besoin a"estre, par la prédication de la parole de Dieu, retenus en nostre devoir et office tant envers luy: qu'envers vous: nous vous supplions très-humblement, Sire, qu'il nous soit permis d'estre quelquefois assemblez tant pour estre exhortez par la parole de Dieu à sa crainte, que pour estre conformez par l'administration des Sacremens que nostre Seigneur Iésus Christ a instituez en son Eglise. Et s'il plaist à vostre Maiesté nous donner lieu, auquel un chacun puisse voir ce qui se fait eu noz assemblées, la seule veue nous absoudra de l'accusation de tant de crimes énormes, dont nosdittes assemblées ont esté diffamées parcidevant. Car on n'y pourra veoir que toute modestie et chasteté, et on n'y pourra ovyr que louanges de Dieu, exhortations à son service, et prières pour la conservation de vostre Maiesté et de vostre Royaume. Que s'il ne vous plaist nous faire tant de grâce, au moins qu'il nous soit permis de jioursvyvre particulièrement entre nous avec repos tordre qui y est estably.

Vous supplions très-humblement, Sire, de croyre, que oyant lire cette supplication qui vous est maintenant présentée, vous oyez les cris et gémissemens d'une infinité de voz poures sulets qui implorent vostre miséricorde: à ce qu'elle esteigne les feus que la cruanté de voz inges a allumez en vostre Royaume. Et ainsi qu'il nous soit loisible, servons à vostre Maiesté

please your Majesty, then, instead of the fire and sword which have been used hitherto, to have our Confession of Faith decided by the Word of God: giving permission and security for this. And we hope that you yourself will be the judge of our innocence, knowing that there is in us no rebellion or heresy whatsoever, but that our only endeavor is to live in peace of conscience, serving God according to his commandments, and honoring your Majesty by all obedience and submission.

And because we have great need, by the preaching of the Word of God, to be kept in our duty to him, as well as to yourself, we humbly beg, Sire, that we may sometimes be permitted to gather together, to be exhorted to the fear of God by his Word, as well as to be confirmed by the administration of the Sacraments which the Lord Jesus Christ instituted in bis Church. And if it should please your Majesty to give us a place where any one may see what passes in our assemblies, we shall thereby be absolved from the charge of the enormous crimes with which these same assemblies have been defamed. For nothing will be seen but what is decent and well-ordered, and nothing will be henrd but the praise of God, exhortations to his service, and prayers for the preservation of your Majesty and of your kingdom. And if it do not please you to grant us this favor, at least let it be permitted us to follow the established order in private among oarselves.

We beseech you most humbly, Sire, to believe that in listening to this supplication which is now presented to you, you listen to the cries and groans of nn infinite number of your poor subjects, who implore of your mercy that you extinguish the fires which the cruelty of your judges has lighted in your kingdom. And that we may thus be permitted, in

« PreviousContinue »