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is heard in England, in Holland, in present at these evening services ; but Germany, in France; and has even could they without impropriety have reached the astonished ears of the in- sanctioned them by their presence, habitants of the new world. Why and have gone to receive instruction this outcry? Why this tumult? Be- from the mouth of a young man just cause the people of Geneva have not commencing his theological career, consented, and will not consent, to whose studies they were appointed to become Methodists.
conduct, and whose improvement they First Symptoms of Perturbation.
were to report? They were aware
also that pains were taken to inspire In the month of March 1810, a doubts respecting the purity of their period at which a vigorous arm gave faith and to prejudice young catechu. equal protection to every form of mens against them. The consistorial worship throughout the vast empire of commission did not consider it right France, the Consistory of the Gene- to lay any restraint on the persons vese Church received an anonymous frequenting these assemblies, but they ivriting proposing the re-establishinent thought it necessary to attend to the of some religious ceremonies suppress- conduct of the theological students, ed by the Reformation, and complain. who were subjected to their immediing of the extreme simplicity of the ate inspection, and destined to become Protestant worship. About the same the instructors of the church; those time it was known that a small num- young men could not be at once miber of congregations existed in the nisters of the Church of Geneva and city, wbose leaders were connected of another church dissenting from it. with the Moravians, and who had al- M. Empaytar had several conversaways holden exclusive opinions ; it tions with his pastor, to whom he was known likewise that some theolo- gave a promise of not attaching himgical students occasionally attended. self to any sect; and as he seemed It was thought proper to look on in resolved to continue the religious sersilence.
vices he was in the habit of conductOn the 13th of December, however, ing, he was required to attend in the in the same year, the Consistory ap- Salle des Séances of the body of the pointed a comuission to inquire whe- clergy, that he might give some acther the Protestant religion were not count of his proceedings and unfold incurring danger, and to watch over his motives. Arguments were then those theological students who occa- pressed on his attention to convince sioned uneasiness, and who met se- hiin of the bad consequences which cretly at the house of one of the pas- night result from his meetings, and tors,' (never the friend of his clerical some weeks subsequently, on the 19th brethren,) who instilled into their of November 1813, when he was minds prejudices against his col- again sent for, he declared that the leagues, and taught them obscure and considerations enforced upon him had puerile dogmas. It was decided that inade him resolve to separate himself no public notice should be taken of from those religious assemblies, which these proceedings, and that there was he now considered likely to endanger no cause for apprehension.
unity and peace of the Church. Stronger alarm was again excited The Consistory was informed of the in the year 1813: Madame de Krude- precautions taken by the pastors, and ner came to Geneva, collected assem- learning that the petit Conseil at Bale, blies, and placed at their head M. had, under similar circumstances, preEmpaytar, a young student who had pared a formulary by which the clergy frequented the former meetings. It bound themselves to avoid all sectawas, indeed, asserted that the object rianism, to occasion no schism, and of these assemblies was merely to to frequent no religious assembly subworship God and to afford opportuni- ject to foreign direction, they made ties of attending divine service in the the following regulation, for the guievening to those persons who, occu- dance of all the theological students : pied throughout the day, were unable (Dec. 24, 1813:) to frequent the public religious assem- Ist. Any student who, after being blies; invitations were given, like- dehorted by the pastors from attendwise, to 'some of the pastors to be ing a religious meeting not established
by the Consistory, persists in frequent- teously addressed to the same stuing it, cannot be ordained to the mi- dents, and professedly a sequel to nistry in our Church.
the former production. Every mem2ndly. The following expression ber of a reformed church who attacks shall be inserted in the formulary of the reformed clergy may reckon on erdination : “ You promise to abstain the support of the Romish priests. from all sectarianism, and to avoid The Abbé enforced tlre accusations of whatever would be the occasion of M. Empaytar, in the ardour of his schism, or interrupt the unity of the zeal talked of Calvin himself as a Church.”
Socinian, and gave a ludicrous proof Notwithstanding this regulation and of his own ignorance; for he praised these promises, M. Empaytar conti- the style of his co-operator in that nued to preside at his own house, part of his publication which is coover unauthorized assemblies; the pied word for word from Massillon, moderator announced to him, in June in these terms: “The latter pages 1814, on the day on which he ap- are admirable, though they have not peared with his companions at the the force of Massillon's treatise on annual examination, that by his op- the same subject,” &c. Hence we position to the proposed regulation, may logically infer that our Abbé was he had excluded himself from ordina- better acquainted with Empaytar than tion to the ministry in our Church. with Massillon.
Soon after this he set off to rejoin Immediately after the publication of Madame de Krudener. During his this work, the theological students journey to Bale, it was inserted in a requested admittance to the body of newspaper, that in a dream he had the clergy, to give assurance that seen Religion under the form of a de- nothing could diminish their confisolate woman, and after listening to dence, respect and attachment to them. her lamentation on the state to which Messrs. Guers and Gonchier, intimate she was reduced, he had protested his friends of M. Empaytar, who afterzeal and devotedness to her service. wards seceded from the Church of In a short time he received orders Geneva, were the only individuals who from the police, in various situations, did not join in this act. to quit the places in which he carried At the beginning of 1815 had been on his religious services. We read in circulated in the city an anonymous the Journal des Debats, under the writing, brought by the courier from date of Carlsruhe, February 4, 1816: Lyons, consigned to a Sæur de la Cha“ The sermons preached during some rite, and then sent to the Curé of Geweeks past by a minister (M. Em- neva, who, on being interrogated by paytar) in the balcony of the house the police, affirmed that he had not inhabited by Madame de Krudener, distributed any copies, but that he and the awful prophecies which he had allowed his servants to carry the attered, attracted an immense number parcels to the persons to whom they of auditors. The police of the grand were addressed. Each subsequent atDuchy of Baden, a few days since, tack on the clergy has been little more conducted this new apostle to Lor- than an amplification of this, and the rach, on the frontiers of Switzerland, imprudence of the Protestants has together with all the discased in mind led them to become auxiliaries of the or body whose cure he had under- Roman Catholics. taken."
It was shortly after this period that · Not long after this time M. Ein- individuals arrived at Geneva from paytar published his Considerations on amongst a people that had become the Divinity of Jesus Christ, address- respectable in our eyes, during the ed to his former companions, the troubles of former tiines, by the de. theological students of Geneva ; in fence of liberty and the diffusion of which he attacked the faith of the those glorious sentiments which preclergy of that city, transcribing into serve the existence of nations. Enhis work, without acknowledgment, glish gentlemen arrived under the part of Massillon's Sermon on the cloak of religion, and bearing the ho. Divinity of Jesus Christ. This gavenourable and pacific appellation of rise to a scurrilous publication by a members of the Bible-Society, to French Abbé, M. Labouderie, cour- fructify the widely-scattered seeds of division, to add fuel to the fire of many words, that the mantnost discord, to malign the characters of deeply stained with crimes and the the Genevån pastors, whom they knew man who has performed the greatest only through the suspicious medium number of good works are perfectly of accounts given by declared adver- equal in the sight of God! saries ; and all this was for the glory Scarcely had this champion ceased of God, and the triumph of their bis warfare when he was succeeded favourite opinions. The clergy were by another, of less' skill but greater in an extraordinary situation: at- impetuosity-Mr. Henry Drummond. tacked froin withont by foreigners, The latter kept no terms; he openly froin within by some of their own urged those who united with him to members, partizans of the new sect, secede from the Genevan Church; he they found their conduct and senti- collected assemblies in which he disments misrepresented and caricatured. tributed both instruction and money, Assailed on every side by the unre- he even addressed the pastors distrained enmity of their opponents, rectly in a most audacious letter, in they were themselves morally fettered, which, after giving his opinions ju condemned to silence by magistrates the most dogmatical way and uttering who, although their friends, were (to his decrees like a pope, this banker say the truth, without violating the taunted the clergy as impious blasrespect we are anxious to shew them) phemers. He was called before the under the influence of unwarrantable Syndics, and reprehended by them timidity. What was the result for his conduct. He quitted Geneva, Charges repeated again and again and his discourses and articles which were listened to and believed, whilst be published in the journals did much the silence of the accused passed for in exciting prejudice against the city: a confession of guilt with men who The impetus was given ; every week were either unthinking or malevolent, new pamphlets came out in which with those who had not the means or the clergy were insulted, in which the desire of obtaining information on common sense, virtne and religion the subject.
were so far violated, that in one of A Scotchman, Mr. Haldane, a ri- them it was asserted, that of all illum gid Calvinist, whose theological prin- sions remorse was the most dangerous, ciples are to be found in print, ese because it betrayed mistrust in the pecially in his Commentary on the efficacy of redemption. Thus was disEpistle to the Romans, in which those union occasioned by foreigners in a who have the courage to undertake city which had shewed them hospitality the task may judge of his doctrines ; and welcomed them with joy. Mr. Haldane invited to his house some students and ministers, occupied Regulution of the 3rd of May, 1817. their minds with the mysterious points The necessity had been felt of havof the Christian religion, and inocu- ing recourse to some regulation to lated them with his own exclusive restrain the imprudence of young and intolerant spirit. He insisted so preachers, when from the pulpit had strongly on the contempt with which been taught not the insufficiency of reason, proud reason, ought to be good works for procuring salvation, regarded, that one of his hearers in an evangelical doctrine professed by going out of his house once cried out, all Christian ministers, but the absoYes, I see plainly that in the affairs lute inutility of good works, a docof religion, reason ought to be trodden trine which, if stated without precauunder foot!". Mr. Haldane waged tion, tends to produce discouragement war so indiscreetly against good works, and to disorganize society. In the that they were spoken of with disdain Christmas holy-days of 1816, an aged in the discourses of his adherents, and pastor, a man deservedly honoured in the pamphlets circulated to per- and till then pointed out as a model petuate his influence after his depar- of wisdom and moderation, went into ture. In so licentious a manner was the pulpit, and, to the amazement of it common to treat this subject, that his hearers, openly attacked those who a young ecclesiastic did not blush to did not hold the opinions he esteemed translate into French and to publish orthodox: he treated as a fatal system The Refuge, in which we read in so the ideas of those instructors and members of the church who disbe of loving and of cherishing peace. Ja lieved the consubstantiality of the this temper, and with the consent of Wordk A few days afterwards, .a all parties, was drawn up the regula preacher in allusion to this attack, tion of the 3rd of May, 1817, of which preached on the Mysteries, blaming the preliminary remark, giving the those ministers who insisted on ab- cause of the act, is in truth the inost struse and incomprehensible doctrines important part. We subjoin it enand represented them as fundamental tire : and the belief of them essential to “ The pastors of the Church of salvation. This occasioned great un- Geneva, imbued with a spirit of hueasiness; it was felt how injurious and mility, peace and Christian charity; dangerous it would be if pulpit dis- and convinced that the existing circourses became controversial and were cumstances of the Church entrusted constantly filled with disputed dog- to their care demand, on their part mas.
wise and prudent measures, have reIt was therefore proposed (with all solved, without giving any judgment due respeet, however, to the inde. on the following questions or restrainpendence of the preachers, to freedoming in any degree the liberty of opiof thought and to the principles es- nion, to require the students who desential to the Reformation) to prevent sire to be set apart for the gospelthe pulpit from becoming an arena, ministry, and the ministers who aswhilst the minds of men were in a pire to exercise the pastoral functions, state of agitation; to prevent those to enter into the following engage public dissensions of the spiritual ment :- We promise, as long as we teachers on articles of faith, which reside and preach in the Canton of would render the people uncertain Geneva, to abstain from discussing, what they ought to believe, and throw either in whole discourses or in parts them into a state of perplexity on of our discourses, the subjoined to the most important subjects, which pics :would lead some to dejection and “Ist. The manner in which the others to scepticism, or at least to Divine Nature is united to the person indifference.
of Jesus Christ. The basis of the pacific plan was * 2dly. Original Sin. laid, the right spirit of action pointed 3dly. The operation of Grace, out, the feelings of all were regarded, or Effectual Calling. every one was listened to, the advice " 4thly. Predestination. of each taken into consideration; the « • We engage also not to oppose two preachers who had censured each in our public discourses the sentiother were consulted, and mutual ments of any minister or pastor on concessions were made by all parties. these subjects. Lastly, we promise
Each one of the pastors confessed that if we should be led to inention that Jesus was a Divine Being, that these topics, we will do so without all men were sinners, that the grace expatiating on our own views, or den of God was necessary for salvation, parting more than is unavoidable from that man was free, and that there the words of the Holy Scriptures.)" was no limit to the Divine knowledge. What now took place? This reguThey all confessed likewise, that, from lation, which was in no wise injurious the origin of Christianity no one had to freedom of opinion, which did not been able to comprehend the manner oppose the publication of theological in which the Son had proceeded from doctrines, either in writing, without the Father; the inputation of Adam's any reserve, or in the pulpit, if there sin to his posterity, the way in which explained briefly and mildly and when God infinences the human mind; and the subject led to them, was every the means of reconciling the presci- where represented as an instrument ence of the Almighty with the unde- of tyranny; it was declared to be imniable liberty of man. All were, at posed by force, and signatures to it the same time, equally convinced of exacted; the clergy of Geneva were the necessity of banishing these dis- reproached with it as a demonstration puted topics from the Christian puls of their heresy. In order to cause pit; of giving importance not to the division and excite animosity, it was words but to the spirit of the gospel; sent to various places, detached from the preliminary considerations which meant nothing and served no purposc explained its object and spirit. It is but to shew the inclination of the remarkable that the first copies of it Genevan Clergy to get rid of orthowhich were spread abroad were the doxy. Now I would ask every sinfirst draught of the committee by ceré man who has attentively perused whom it was composed, not contain that writing, whether he does not ing the corrections made by the body clearly see that the object of the Rewhen it was adopted by them :: this gulation of the 3rd of May was to circumstance clearly proves the quar- prevent the renewal of disputes in the ter whence proceeded this indiscretion, Christian pulpit? It may be added, since none but the persons appointed this object it attained. to deliberate on the subject saw the regulation before it was inodified and
Successive Attacks on the Pastors of finally decreed.
Geneva. All the theological students submit- These attacks were so multiplied ted to it, with the exception of M. that I shall do little more than enuGuers ;, as he had not attained the merate, without entering into the deage required by law for ordination, no tails of them. I shall pass over in dispensation was asked from the ma- silence the covert intrigues, the stabs gistrate, and he was allowed a twelve- given in the dark ; I sball say nothing month for reflection. A few days of false brethren and concealed enesubsequently the pastors enjoined the mies; I shall mention only open atrule on all their own members, and tacks. on the young ministers. The wish- If the gospel forbid doing evil that es of the enemies of the pastors were, good may come, how: inuch more however, realized and their efforts strongly does it forbid doing evil for successful : the regulation ill-under- the attainment of a bad object! Yet stood and unexplained occasioned a such has been the conduct of the anviolent outcry.
At this time. Mr. tagonists of the Genevan pastors; John Owen, one of the Secretaries of every means has appeared to thein the British and Foreign Bible Society, justitiable, the most daring. imputacame to Geneva; as he sought for tions, the most odious calumnies have truth and was desirous of hearing all been lavished to blacken the characparties, I had the honour of conversing ters of the clergy, to deprive them of with him during some hours; at the the confidence of their parishioners commencement of our interview he and of the esteem of Europe. acknowledged to me that the regula- It is needless, I think, to remark tion of the 3rd of May was the true that we are far froin classing all these cause of complaint against the Gene- assailants together, or considering van Church. He had received false their intentions and means of attack impressions on the subject, and the equally bad. We have seen that M. opponents of the clergy with whom Empaytar was the first among the he had conversed had carefully pre- Reformed to enter the lists. vented him from viewing it in its just Secondly, the Counsellor Jaques light; but after I had explained to Grenus, with the vehemence peculiar him the origin, spirit, tendency and to him, followed in the steps of M. limits of the regulation, he expressed Empaytar and soon went beyond him. his satisfaction at having his opinions He was reckless what language, what rectified, and promised to give just accusations, what insults he vented ; information on the subject whenever aged, infirm, on the point of going an opportunity occurred. This inter- to render an account of his contemptiview took place in the presence of a ble and turbulent life, he laughed trimagistrate, a man of respectability, umphantly in his bed of sickness, who would doubtless feel no objection when informed of the scandal occa to confirm my testimony.
sioned by his attacks; these he reOur opponents then pretended that newed three several times-in his the regulation was so obscure, so Fragments of Ecclesiastical History, ambiguous, that even its framers at- at the commencement of the 19th tributed various meanings to it; that century; in a Sequel to those Frag. it was susceptible of thirty different ments, and in his correspondence with interpretations, that it consequently a Genevan Professor. Suffice it to