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new principles, and sought for religious or literary instruction. From Germany, France, Italy, England, and Scotland, numbers crowded to the new academy, and returned from it to their respective countries, saturated with the theological lore of Geneva, and burning with zeal to propagate its creed.
In five articles it materially differs from the creed of Zuingle. 1st. In the eucharist, Zuingle supposed only a symbolical or figurative presence of the body and blood of Christ. Calvin maintained, that when the true christian received the sacrament with a lively faith, he was united indescribably, but really, to Jesus Christ incarnate; and that, to him, Jesus Christ was therefore really, though not corporeally, present in the Sacrament. Thus, when he advocated the reality of the presence, he seemed to hold the language of Luther; when he denied the corporeal presence, he seemed to hold the language of Zuingle: this gained him proselytes from both. 2dly. With the abstruse doctrines of fate and freewill, Zuingle had not meddled. Less wise than Zuingle, Calvin plunged into the abyss. The absolute decree of God, with respect to the future and everlasting condition of the human race, was an essential tenet in his creed. without any qualification, that God, in predestinating from all eternity one part of mankind to everlasting happiness, and the other to everlasting
motive than his own good pleasure and free-will, 3dly. Zuingle subjected the clergy to the control of the magistrate; Calvin made the clergy almost independent. 4thly. Zuingle admitted a considerable degree of subordination in the hierarchy; Calvin admitted none in theory, and little in practice; and, in direct opposition to Zuingle, held, that all ministers of the church were perfectly equal. This gave his form or ecclesiastical government its own appellation of Presbyterian.
From the circumstances which have been mentioned, Geneva soon acquired the first rank among the reformed churches. The second place was formerly assigned to the reformed church of the palatinate. In 1560, Frederick, the third elector palatine of that name, established the reformed religion in his territories. His son substituted the lutheran in its stead; but John Casimer, who succeeded the son of Frederick, restored, in 1583, the discipline of the reformed church; and it acquired so much consideration, that the "Form of Instruction," which was composed for the use of John Casimer, under the title of "The Catechism of Heidelburgh," was almost universally adopted by the calvinists. The first edition of it was published in 1563, and holds its place in the Sylloge Confessionum, printed at the Clarendon
The Gallic Confession of Faith.
THE doctrines of Luther soon penetrated into France. But, after the Institutions of Calvin had obtained a legal settlement at Geneva, his creed and discipline, insensibly made their way into that kingdom; and were adopted, almost universally, by. those French, who separated from the communion of the see of Rome. The first synod of the reformed in France was held in 1559; there, a confession of faith was adopted. It was printed in the same year; and this edition is in great request among the curious, as none of the translations, or subsequent editions, express it with perfect accuracy. At the memorable conference of Poissi, in 1551, the celebrated Theodore Beza presented this confession of faith to Charles the ninth. Being afterwards presented, in great form, to that monarch by the queen dowager of Navarre, Henry the fourth, then king of Navarre, Henry prince of Condé, Lewis count of Nassau, admiral Coligni, and several other persons of distinction, it acquired the character and importance of a symbolic book.
The Belgic Confession of Faith.
AT an early period of the reformation, the new
favoured them, adopted the principles of Zuingle; others, those of the reformed churches of France. At the meeting of the states in 1571, for renewing their federation, the system of Calvin was publicly received, and the Belgic confession of faith approved. It is observable, that the lutherans were considered, by the government of Spain, to be better subjects than the calvinists. On this account, the Dutch protestants, as long as they were subject to Spain, avoided the title of Reformed, and styled themselves "Associates of the Brethren of the Confession of Augsburgh." But, at the time of their federation, they assumed the title of Reformed, and generally signed the Belgic Confession of Faith. It has been translated into most of the languages of Europe, and even into the Arabic. It was composed in French, and first published in 1561. A translation of it into the Flemish language was printed in 1579. A Latin translation is published by the editors of the Sylloge Confessionum, printed at the Clarendon press.
The Canons of the Synod of Dort.
THE Synod of Dort was convened to compose the troubles occasioned by the celebrated Arminian controversy.
Arminius, professor of Divinity at Leyden, had received his theological education at Geneva.
After much profound meditation on the abstruse subject of predestination, he became dissatisfied with Calvin's doctrine of the absolute decrees of God, in respect to the salvation and perdition of man; and, while he admitted the eternal prescience of the Deity, he held, with the roman-catholic church, that no mortal is rendered finally unhappy, by an eternal and invincible decree; and that the misery of those who perish comes from themselves. Many, who were eminent for their talents and learning, and some, who filled high situations in Holland, embraced his opinions; but, apparently, at least, a great majority sided against them. The most active of these was Gomar, the colleague of Arminius in the professorship. Unfortunately, politics entered into the controversy. Most of the friends of Arminius were of the party which opposed the politics of the prince of Orange; while, generally, the adversaries of Arminius were favourable to the views of that prince. Barneveldt and Grotius, two of the most respectable partizans of Arminius, were thrown into prison for their supposed practices against the state. The former perished on the scaffold; the latter, by his wife's address, escaped from prison. While these disturbances were at the highest, Arminius died.
On his decease, the superintendance of the party devolved to Episcopius, who was, at that time, professor of theology at Leyden, and universally