Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][graphic][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

BEZA. The influence of divine grace on

liberal arts. His preceptor was the human heart is the effect of attached to the principles of the omnipotent agency.

It would be Reformation, and, being a man of as incorrect in philosophy, as un- piety as well as erudition, spared no sound in theology, to use terms in pains to impress on his pupil's mind describing its operations, which im- the necessity of dedicating to the ply a greater or less degree of ex-, glory of God those talents which he ertion in the agent. Its manifesta- discerned would, at some future day, tions, however, are more evident, be eminently influential to the corand its triumphs more conspicuous, ruption or amelioration of his fellowin some cases, than in others. creatures. But the good man reWhere vivacity of temper has been turned to his native land, without moderated, where temptations of having witnessed the desired effect ambition and sensuality have been of his religious instructions, and withstood, where intellectual talent young De Beze, by desire of his and literary attainment have laid parents, went to Orleans, to study down their honours at the foot of the civil law. This employment the cross, we perceive particular being little suited to his natural dis. trophies of supernatural victory, and position, he was tempted to spend are warranted in exhibiting them the greater part of his time in the as attractive models for human cultivation of polite literature, parimitation.

ticularly in the composition of Latin Such was the case with Theo- verses; and, as Catullus and Ovid dore, born the twenty-fourth of were his favourite authors, he was June, 1519, at Vezelay, a city of led to too great an imitation of their Burgundy, the son of Peter de levities in his epigrams, and smaller Beze, and Mary Bourdelot, both of poems. He had a cordial esteem distinguished family. His father, for Wolmar, and dedicated these who was mayor of Vezelay, had a early productions, more gratefully brother named Nicholas, counsel- than appropriately, to that grave lor of the parliament of Paris, whom and pious character. After his conhe charged with the education of his version he lamented the frivolity and child, till 1528, when he was sent pruriency of this publication, and to Orleans, to study under Melchior endeavoured its entire suppression: Wolmar, a German, and professor he knew that an author was responof the Greek language; under whom sible to a holy God, for any inflamhe made such progress, that at the matory and demoralizing effect on end of seven years he had read all youthful readers : but his bitter enethe principal Greek and Latin clas- mies, the papists, reprinted his sics, and perfected himself in the verses, that they might indulge in

JAN, 1826.

B

accusations against him. So com- not; nay, and falleth not sometimes pletely did the subtle author of evil into grievous sins ? For the Lord contrive to revenge himself on one, had prepared him for better things, whose life was employed in pulling and, opening his eyes, gave him to down his strong holds, that he not understand, that these were but so only stirred up some unprincipled many snares laid to entangle him, men to this measure, but led others, and to draw him into everlasting by garbled extracts and misrepre- ruin and perdition: wherefore he sentations, to aggravate the in- fully resolved to forsake them all, famy.*

and to adhere and stick fast unto He took his licentiate's degree in that truth, whose sweetness he 1539, when in his twentieth year, had tasted in his youth; which, and went to Paris, where he met that he might the better perform, with the most flattering reception he was fully determined to undergo from his relations, and as his uncle any labour, and to remove any obthe counsellor died in 1532, he stacle; and for that cause he vowed was patronized by another uncle, a vow, that he would never embrace abbot of Fremont, who resigned in nor countenance the errors of the his favour two benefices, of the an- church of Rome. nual value of seven hundred crowns “ And, purposing a constancy in (which, though only a civilian, he his intended course, and that he was suffered to enjoy by an abuse, might be the better fitted thereuntoo common in that day) and who, to, he resolved to free himself from besides, regarded him as his suc- that affection which used to be precessor in the abbacy, worth five dominate in his youth; and for that thousand more. He had also a con- cause he betrothed himself unto a siderable accession of income by the virtuous woman, acquainting only decease of an elder brother. He two of his intimate friends with the had now every temptation which the same action, and that for two causes; world could offer to a votary of ambi- - First, that he might give no tion, pleasure, or avarice; but the occasion of offence unto others;seeds of religious instruction which Secondly, because that money which had been sown in his mind in early he received for the discharging of youth, were not only providential his offices, could not handsomely be checks against sensual indulgencies, avoided : which, within short time but also engaged his affections so after was by him performed; for far on the side of truth, that he felt his propounded honour and preferuneasy at remaining in that commu- ment was stiffly rejected, not withnion, which he knew was not built out the great admiration and sharp on the right foundation. His situ- reprehension of many of his friends, ation shall be described in the lan- who, therefore, styled him after a guage of an old writer, whose quaint scornful manner, philosophum noness of style is amply compensated vum, the new philosopher. by the spirituality of his sentiment. “These checks and reprehensions

“ Beza being, as it were, in an of his friends being seconded with earthly paradise, and abounding with the considerations of the great riches those things which might seem ne- wherewith he was endowed, and. cessary for the prosecution of vice, these two being strengthened with wherewith, indeed, he was, for a the temptations of the devil, yielded time, detained, but not captivated : too many doubts and oppositions as who is he that liveth and sinneth unto Beza, notwithstanding his for

mer resolutions, sometimes intend* Ant. Fayus de vità et ob. Th. Bezæ. -Bayle v. ii. pp. 790, 791.-Beza Epist. ing to embrace God and his truth, ad Wolmar. - Maimbourg, Hist. du

sometimes casting an eye of love Calv.Jurieu, Apol. p. 1.

on his present preferments. Being

« AnteriorContinuar »