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the age of Calvin and Knox. These refugees were the pioneers of the Puritans, and belong to the class of men who, during the evil days of the relapse into popery, under the persecuting Mary, sought an asylum in Switzerland and Germany. There, as Macaulay recites, they “had been hospitably received by their brethren in the faith, had sat at the feet of the great doctors of Strasburg, Zurich, and Geneva, and had been, during some years, accustomed to a more simple worship, and to a more democratical form of church government than England had yet seen. These men returned to their country, convinced that the reform which had been effected under king Edward had been far less searching and extensive than the interests of pure religion required. But it was in vain that they attempted to obtain any concession from Elizabeth. Indeed her system, wherever it differed from her brother's, seemed to them to differ for the worse. They were little disposed to submit, in matters of faith, to any human authority. They had recently, in reliance on their own interpretation of scripture, risen up against a church strong in immemorial antiquity and catholic consent. It was by no common exertion of intellectual energy that they had thrown off the yoke of that gorgeous and imperial superstition; and it was vain to expect that, immediately after such an emancipation, they would patiently submit to a new spiritual tyranny. Long accustomed, when the priest lifted up the host, to bow down with their faces to the earth, as before a present God,
' It is an incorrect opinion that this version was designed specially for the English community at Geneva, or for the English refugees generally on the Continent of Europe. The authors of it, in their letter of explanation, address themselves to a much wider public: To our beloved in the Lord, the brethren of England, Scotland, and Ireland. This Genevan version was for a long time a rival of the now current version, which displaced the former only by degrees. Nine editions of it appeared in seven years after 1611, and it continued to be printed at intervals (sometimes by the king's printer, cum privilegio regiae majestatis) until 1644, and possibly much later. Under Cromwell measures were taken by Parliament to revise it, as superior to any other translation, but the political troubles put an end to the design. See the tract by Philalethes, p.
It is understood that some of the earliest clergymen who emigrated to this country used the Genevan version along with the authorized one, and that some of the first churches established here were better acquainted with it than with the other.
they had learned to treat the mass as an idolatrous mummery ..... Since these men could not be convinced, it was determined that they should be persecuted. Persecution produced its natural effects on them. It found them a sect; it made theni a faction. To their hatred of the church was now added hatred of the crown. The two sentiments were intermingled, and each imbittered the other. The opinions of the Puritan concerning the relation of ruler and subject were widely different from those which were inculcated in the homilies. His favorite divines had, both by precept and by example, encouraged resistance to tyrants and persecutors. His fellow Calvinists in France, in Holland, and in Scotland, were in arms against idolatrous and cruel princes. His notions, too, respecting the government of the state, took a tinge from his notions respecting the government of the church. Some of the sarcasms which were popularly thrown on episcopacy, might, without much difficulty, be turned against royalty; and many of the arguments which were used to prove that spiritual power was best lodged in a synod, seemed to lead to the conclusion that temporal power was best lodged in a parliament."
FORTUNES OF THE Book. Any memorial, slight as it may be in itself, which derives dignity and interest from its connection with men who have acted such a part in their generation, whose influence recast, to some extent, the political and religjous institutions of England, and has shaped the destiny of the dominant race of our own continent, is worthy of attention, and should be treasured up by those who revere their principles, with pious care and homage. It seems that the company of these exiles who sojourned at Geneva kept a brief record of their history as the members of a religious community, and that this record, on their return to England, was left in that city, and is preserved there still, in one of the public libraries. What fortunes it has shared, in the long interval between that day and this, may not be easily known. The last persons of the company who went back to England,
gave the book to the magistrates of the city as a token of their regard and as a memorial of the friendship which had bound the strangers and their benefactors to each other. There is reason to believe that this manuscript is known to few comparatively, even at the present time. Still more, in former generations it must have been left to slumber in its hiding places, and have been there quite unnoticed, save as the eye of some antiquary may have chanced to light upon it. It appears to have been overlooked by most of the later writers on this branch of English history." It may not furnish any important additions to our knowledge; but it has some value, certainly, as a means of controlling dates, and of enabling us to trace the movements of some of the leaders of the Reformation during the earlier and more uncertain part of their lives.
Its PRESERVATION AT GENEVA. It was an ample reward for a distracting search of nearly two days (I had nothing but a vague rumor to guide me at first) to discover at length the object of my pursuit in the archives of the Hôtel de Ville. Three centuries have rolled away since the fingers which wrote the pages of that book have mouldered back to dust. Some of the brightest names in the annals of human courage and self-sacrifice are recorded in it. It was no common gratification assuredly to be able to take into one's own hands so interesting a relic of that distant and eventful age. The librarian granted readily my request to see the volume, and to be allowed to make some memoranda of its appearance and contents. Before proceeding far in this examination, I was informed that a member of the Society of History and Archaeology in Geneva had read a dissertation upon this very subject before that body, which had been printed in one of their annual publications. The librarian showed me the Article; and on looking it over I saw at once that it was much more
1 Mr. Hopkins, author of the History of the Puritans, informs the writer that he has met with no reference to this manuseript in the works which he has consulted.
* Société d'Histoire et d'Archéologie de Genève. The Article was presented on the 24th of March, 1853. Ten volumes of the “Mémoirs et Documents” of the Society had been published in 1854.
complete than any description which I could prepare myself
Some paragraphs have been omitted and others abridged
1 This could be done the more easily, as the Latin letters of Calvin, for instance, accompany the original Article. The limits of this mode of publication make it impossible to print them here.
2 The main reliance has been on the publications of the Parker Society, relating to the Fathers and early writers of the reformed English Church. The contents of this · Book of the English,' with a fac-simile of the chirography, might well form the subject of a tract by this Society, or at least of an appendix to one of the volumes.
rents of the reformation came upon the Continent to seek a place where they might freely profess their faith. Some of them repaired at first to France, others to different States of the North, and finally, about the middle of 1554, a small company of them arrived at Frankfort. Having found in this city a French church, recently established, the English easily obtained of the magistrates the same favor: They were allowed to celebrate their worship in the temple pro. vided for the French, on condition, however, that they should not innovate too much in their ceremonies.
Thus situated, the English here entered into correspondence with their compatriots established in Strasbourg, Zurich and other places. They sought to organize themselves, and ere long received additions to their number. John Knox, Richard Cox, and other distinguished men joined them. But if they were all agreed to repudiate the Rornish faith, they were not all agreed for a long time on certain points of doctrine, and especially on forms of worship. Hence, arose discussions more or less violent, in which their brethren elsewhere in Germany and in Switzerland were led to take part. The circumstances of this controversy are related at great length in a curious work 3 which appeared for the first time in 1575, and which has been reprinted as late as 1846.
This means, as we learn from the Narrative of the Frankfort Troubles, that they should follow the worship of the French Protestants as their model.
*“The exiles," says Neale, in his History of the Puritans, numerous at Frankfort, where that contest and division began which gave rise to the Puritans, and to that separation from the Church of England which continues to this day.” One of the parties insisted that they should adhere to the liturgy and form of worship established under Edward VI., and the other, that they ought to recede further from the Romish usages, in imitation of the reformed churches on the Continent. Knox belonged to the progressive party, and, among other arguments, urged that when Providence affords us a time and place for reforming abuses, we are guilty of treason against God if we neglect the opportunity.
8 A brief Discourse of the Troubles begun at Frankfort in the Year 1555. This narrative has been ascribed to Whittingham, whose name occurs so often in this account of the Church-Book. No one can read the narrative with a knowledge of the facts of Whittingham's history, without perceiving in itsmany indi cations which favor strongly that opinion of its authorship. The edition of the * Discourse' which I have used is that in the Phænix' (Vol. I. p. 44, sq), printed at London iu 1708.