Search      Hot    Newest Novel
HOME > Classical Novels > History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin > CHAPTER IV.
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】 Add Bookmark  
(June 1535.)
Sunday, the 30th of May and the feast of Pentecost, the day on which the discussion was to begin, came at last. A year had passed away since the Reformation had made its public entrance into Geneva; it was now about to take another step—one that would secure its triumph. The day of Pentecost, so important for the establishment of Christianity, was to be important also for the Reformation. The same Spirit which had begun the Church, is also that which will renew it when it has fallen. Friends and enemies crowded that day to the convent of Rive, animated with the liveliest and most opposite emotions. Nothing had been spared so that the debate should take place with solemnity. 'A theatre,' that is to say, a platform, had been erected in the great hall. The eight commissioners took their seats, and an immense concourse of Genevans and foreigners filled the vast auditory. A table had been placed in the arena for the combatants. Jacques Bernard appeared first: he was followed by Farel, Viret, and Froment; but the places set apart for the champions
of the Roman Church remained unoccupied, and people began to ask if Rome would fail to appear. At last two ecclesiastics came forward: one was Chapuis, prior of the Dominican convent, the most learned man at that time in Geneva; the other was Caroli, the Sorbonne doctor.
Bernard spoke first. He undertook to prove that, in the Romish Church, men did not look to Christ for justification from their sins, and for that purpose put in the rules of his order, and showed how the monks claimed to be saved by their vain practices, and gave themselves up to pride, avarice, and even to great impurity. He spoke from personal knowledge. A man of upright heart, quick, a little violent even, he repelled with energy the disorders in which he had once taken part. Standing in the great hall of his own convent, the guardian pulled down what he had worshipped and worshipped what he had pulled down. This made the father-confessor of Ste. Claire exclaim: 'How that accursed Jacques Bernard despises the frock he once wore.' Chapuis, the Dominican, came forward resolutely in defence of the monastic orders, and reproved the guardian severely. Farel rose in support of Bernard, but Chapuis, who feared such an adversary, maintained that nobody but Bernard ought to answer him.[531] The next day Bernard and Chapuis, the heads of the two great convents of Geneva, met again; but Chapuis received orders from his Provincial to leave the city immediately.
This vexed the magistrates exceedingly: they remembered Furbity, and the excessive zeal which had caused his imprisonment: they had no doubt that he would joyfully seize the opportunity of defending the faith of Rome. Having sent for the jailer's wife, they
ordered her to place the articles under dispute in the reverend father's hands. As she was a zealous Roman-catholic, and on good terms with Furbity, they thought that he would receive them more willingly from her than from her husband, who was ardent for the reform. The woman, a timid soul, was afraid of everybody: of her husband, whom she did not wish to displease by neglecting the commission, and of the reverend father, whom she feared to offend by giving him the heretical propositions; so she sent them by one of the turnkeys. 'Alas!' exclaimed Furbity, 'even my poor hostess is trying to seduce me.' He tossed the paper out of his cell. The jaileress sent it back to him by her little girl; but the latter, who was harshly received, brought it back to her mother, who, frightened at the probability of displeasing their worships, slipped the theses into the cell by the window. The reverend father, seeing the paper which he had cursed falling at his feet, picked it up, tore it to pieces, and trampled it under foot.[532] All hope of seeing him defend popery had to be given up.
The disputation began again without him. Bernard and Farel, having Caroli for respondent, showed by Scripture that Jesus Christ alone saves men from sin. Caroli was very weak, but hinted to his partisans that he reserved his hardest blows till the last, and would then pound his adversaries to powder. He did not speak up for either side. The honest Viret, indignant at such trickery, attacked him so skilfully, that he was constrained to pronounce for or against the truth. The Sorbonnist took the side of the reformers. 'All the efforts of man are in vain,' he said. 'Without the grace of Christ, he can neither begin what is good, nor pursue it, nor persevere.'[533] 'Very good,' exclaimed Farel; 'thank you, doctor. The glory of God and the edification
of the people, is all we desire.' Caroli was quite proud of having spoken so well.
The reformers were again without antagonists, Caroli appearing to agree with them. The magistrates returned to their notion about Furbity, and as Caroli had been his theological tutor in Paris, the Council asked him to invite his old pupil to come and defend his doctrine, or to disavow his errors as he himself had done. 'Willingly,' said the vainglorious doctor. After dinner, the four syndics, the great Parisian doctor, that Satan William Farel (as Sister Jeanne calls him), Pierre Viret, and several of their friends, went to the prison. The Dominican appeared: he was thin, weak, debilitated, and his feet tottered, so that when he saw the Sorbonne doctor in the company of all those heretics, he fell fainting to the ground.'[534] They lifted him up, and when he had recovered his senses, Caroli, addressing him in a doctoral tone, said: 'How is this, brother Guy; will you die in your obstinacy—in your errors, now that we have arrived at the truth? Acknowledge that you have been deceived, and return to God.' Furbity, divided between respect for his old teacher and fidelity to the pope, exclaimed: 'God forbid that I should quarrel with my master.... I desire to die in the truth as I learnt i............
Join or Log In! You need to log in to continue reading

Login into Your Account

  Remember me on this computer.

All The Data From The Network AND User Upload, If Infringement, Please Contact Us To Delete! Contact Us
About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Tag List | Recent Search  
©2010-2018, All Rights Reserved