Curio’s works and correspondence. — Trechsel, I. 215 sqq., and Wagemann in Herzog,2 III. 396-400 (where the literature is given).
Celio Secundo Curione or Curio was the youngest of twenty-three children of a Piedmontese nobleman, studied history and law at Turin, became acquainted with the writings of Luther, Zwingli, and Melanchthon through an Augustinian monk, and labored zealously for the spread of Protestant doctrines in Pavia, Padua, Venice, Ferrara, and Lucca. He barely escaped death at the stake, and fled to Switzerland with letters of recommendation by the Duchess Renata, the friend of Calvin. He received an appointment as professor of eloquence in Lausanne (1543-1547) and afterwards in Basel. He was the father-in-law of Zanchius. He attracted students from abroad, declined several calls, kept up a lively correspondence with his countrymen and with the Reformers, and wrote a number of theological and literary works. He sided with the latitudinarians, and thereby lost the confidence of Calvin and Bullinger; but he maintained his ground in Basel, and became the ancestor of several famous theological families of that city (Buxtorf, Zwinger, Werenfels, Frey).
Curio sympathized with Zwingli’s favorable judgment of the noble heathen, and thought that they were as acceptable to God as the pious Israelites. Vergerio, formerly a friend of Curio, charged him with the Pelagian heresy and with teaching that men may be saved without the knowledge of Christ, though not without Christ.
Curio advanced also the hopeful view that the kingdom of heaven is much larger than the kingdom of Satan, and that the saved will far outnumber the lost.
Such opinions were disapproved by Peter Martyr, Zanchi, Bullinger, Brenz, John a Lasco, and all orthodox Protestants of that age, as paradoxical and tending to Universalism. But modern Calvinists go further than Curio, at least in regard to the large majority of the saved.
131. The Italian Antitrinitarians in Geneva. Gribaldo, Biandrata, Alciati, Gentile
See Lit. in § 127, and Sandius: Bibliotheca antitrinitaria. Trechsel (I. 277-390) is still the best authority on the early Antitrinitarians in Switzerland, and gives large extracts from the sources. Fock (I. 134) has only a few words on them. — Comp. in addition, Heberle: G. Blandrata, in the “Tuebinger Zeitschrift für Theologie,” for 1840, No. IV. Dorner: Hist. of Christology, German ed., II. 656 sqq.
The antitrinitarian leaven entered the Italian congregation at Geneva during and after the trial of Servetus, but was suppressed by the combined action of the Swiss Churches. This constitutes the last chapter of Antitrinitarianism in Switzerland.
Several Italian refugees denounced the execution of Servetus, adopted his views and tried to improve them, but were far inferior to him in genius and originality.
They circulated libels on Calvin, and ventilated their opinions in the weekly conference meetings of the Italian congregation, which were open to questions and free discussions.
1. Matteo Gribaldo, a noted professor of jurisprudence at Padua, bought the estate of Farges in the territory of Bern, near Geneva, and spent there a part of each year. He attended the Italian meetings on his visits to the town. During the trial of Servetus he openly expressed his disapproval of civil punishment for religious opinions, and maintained that everybody should be allowed to believe what he pleased. He at first concealed his views on the doctrine of Servetus, except among intimate friends. After an examination before the Council, he was ordered to leave the city on suspicion of heretical opinions on the Trinity (1559). These opinions were crude and undigested. He vacillated between dyotheism or tritheism and Arianism. He could not conceive of Father and Son except as two distinct beings or substances: the one begetting, the other begotten; the one sending, the other sent. He compared their relation to that between Paul and Apollos, who were two individuals, yet one in the abstract idea of the apostolate.
Before his dismission from Geneva he had, through the influence of Vergerio, received an appointment us professor of law in the University of Tübingen. Passing through Zürich he called on Bullinger, and complained bitterly of the conduct of Calvin. He gained the applause of the students in Tübingen, and was often consulted by Duke Christopher of Würtemberg on important matters.
But rumors of his heresies reached Tübingen, and inquiries were sent to Geneva. Calvin warned his old teacher, Melchior Volmar, against him, and Beza alarmed Vergerio by unfavorable reports. Vergerio informed the Duke of the charges.
Gribaldo was subjected to an examination before the academic senate in the presence of the Duke, and was pressed for a decided answer to the question, whether he agreed with the Athanasian Creed and the edict of Theodosius I. respecting the Trinity and the Catholic faith. He asked three weeks’ time for consideration, but escaped to his villa at Farges, where his family still resided.
There he was apprehended by the magistrates of Bern at the instance of the Duke of Würtemberg, in September, 1557. His papers were seized and found to contain antitrinitarian and other heresies. He was ordered to renounce his errors by a confession drawn up with his own hand, and banished from the territory of Bern; but on his promise to keep quiet, he was allowed to return the following year for the sake of his seven children. He died of the plague which visited Switzerland in 1564, and swept away thirty-eight thousand persons in the territory of Bern, besides seven thousand in Basel, and fourteen hundred at Coire. It was a fatal time for the Reformed Church, for between 1564 and 1566 several of the leaders died; as Calvin, Farel, Bibliander, Borrhaus, Blaurer, Fabricius, and Saluz.
2. Giorgio Biandrata (or Blandrata), an educated physician of a noble family of Saluzzo in Piedmont (born about 1515), escaped the inquisition by flight to Geneva in 1557. He agreed substantially with Gribaldo, but was more subtle and cautious. He called Calvin his reverend father, and consulted him on theological questions. He seemed to be satisfied, but returned again and again with new doubts. Calvin, overburdened with labor and care, patiently listened and spent whole hours with the sceptic. He also answered his objections in writing. At last he refused further discussion as useless. “He tried,” wrote Calvin to Lismann, “to circumvent me like a serpent, but God gave me strength to withstand his cunning.”
The spirit of doubt spread more and more in the Italian congregation. One of the principal sympathizers of Biandrata was Gianpaolo Alciati, a Piedmontese who had served in the army, and was not used to reverent language.
Martinengo, the worthy Italian pastor, shortly before his death, begged Calvin to take care of the little flock and to extirpate the dangerous heresy. Accordingly, a public meeting of the Italian congregation was held May 18, 1558, in the presence of Calvin and two members of the Council. Calvin, in the name of the Council, invited the malcontents to utter themselves freely, and assured them that they should not be punished. Biandrata appealed to certain expressions of Calvin, but was easily convicted of mistake. Alciati went so far as to declare that the orthodox party “worshipped three devils worse than all the idols of popery.” After a three hours’ discussion, it was resolved that all the members of the congregation should subscribe a confession of faith, which asserted the divinity of Christ and the Holy Spirit, as being consistent with the essential unity of the Godhead.
Six members at first refused to subscribe, but yielded afterwards with the exception, it seems, of Biandrata and Alciati. They felt unsafe in Geneva, and went to Bern. There they found a sympathizer in Zurkinden, the secretary of the city, who engaged in an angry controversy with Calvin.
Biandrata left for Poland, gained the confidence of Prince Radziwill, propagated his Unitarian opinions, and justified himself before a synod at Pinczow (1561). In 1563 he accepted a call of Prince John Sigismund of Transylvania as his physician, and converted him and many others to his views, but was charged by Faustus Socinus to have in his last years favored the Jesuits from mercenary motives. It is possible that the old man, weary of theological strife, lost himself in the maze of scepticism, like Ochino. Tradition reports that he was robbed and murdered by his own nephew after 1585.
3. The peace of the Italian congregation was again disturbed by Giovanne Valenti Gentile of Calabria, a school-master of some learning and acuteness, who was attracted to Geneva by Calvin’s reputation, but soon imbibed the sentiments of Gribaldo and Biandrata. He was one of the six members who had at first refused to sign the Italian confession of faith. Soon after the departure of Biandrata and Alciati he openly professed their views, urged, as he said, by his conscience. He charged the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity with quaternity, — adding a general divine essence to the three divine essences of Father, Son, and Spirit, — and maintained that the Father was the only divine essence, the “essentiator.” Both these ideas he borrowed from Servetus. The Son is only an image and reflection of the Father.
Gentile was thrown into prison, July, 1557, by order of the Council, on the charge of violating the confession he had signed. He repeated his views and appealed to the ministers and the Council for protection against the tyranny of Calvin, but he was refuted by the ministers. At last he apologized for his severe language against Calvin, whom he had always revered as a great man, but he refused to recant his views. The Council asked the judgment of five lawyers, who decided that, according to the imperial laws (De summa Trinitate et fide catholica et de hereticis), Gentile deserved death by fire. The Council, instead, pronounced the milder sentence of death by the sword (Aug. 15). It seems that Calvin’s advice, which had been disregarded in the case of Servetus, now prevailed in the case of Gentile.
The fear of death induced Gentile to withdraw his charges against the orthodox doctrine, and to sign a brief confession of faith in three divine Persons in one Essence, and in the unity, coequality, and coeternity of the Son and Holy Spirit with the Father. He was released of the sentence of death; yet in view of his perjury, his heresies, and false accusations against the Church of Geneva, he was condemned by the magistrates to make an amende honorable, that is, in his shirt, bareheaded, and barefooted, with a lighted torch in his hand, to beg on his knees the judge’s pardon, to burn his writings with his own hand, and to walk through the principal streets under the sound of the trumpet. The sentence was carried out on the second of September. He submitted to it with surprising readiness, happy to escape death at such a cheap price. He also promised on oath not to leave the city without permission.
But he was hardly set at liberty when he escaped and joined his friends Gribaldo and Alciati at Farges. Soon afterwards he spent some time at Lyons. He studied the ante-Nicene Fathers, who confirmed his subordinationism, and wrote a book (Antidota) in defence of his views and against the chapter on the Trinity in Calvin’s Institutes. He declared that the orthodox terms of homoousia, person, substance, trinity, unity, were profane and monstrous, and obscured the true doctrine of the one God. He also attacked the doctrine of the two natures in Christ and the communication of attributes as idle speculations, which should be banished from the Church. He borrowed from Origen the distinction between the original God (αὐτοθεός), that is, the Father and the derived or secondary God (θεός, δευτερόθεος, ἑτερόθεος) that is, the Son. The Father alone is God in the strict sense of the term — the essentiator; the Son is essentiatus and subordinate. He spoke most disrespectfully and passionately of the orthodox views. Calvin refuted his opinions in a special book (1561).
Gentile roused the suspicion of the Catholic authorities in Lyons and was imprisoned, but was set free after fifty days on his declaration that his writings were only opposed to Calvinism, not to orthodoxy.
But he felt unsafe in France, and accepted, with Alciati, an invitation of Biandrata to Poland in the summer of 1563.
After the royal edict, which expelled all the Antitrinitarians, he returned to Switzerland, was apprehended by the authorities of Bern, convicted of heresies, deceits, and evasions, and beheaded on the tenth of September, 1566. On the way to the place of execution, he declared that he died a martyr for the honor of the supreme God, and charged the ministers who accompanied him with Sabellianism. He received the death-stroke with firmness, amid the exhortations of the clergy and the prayers of the multitude for God’s mercy. Benedict Aretius, a theologian of Bern, published in the following year the acts of the process with a refutation of Gentile’s objections to the orthodox doctrine.
The fate of Gentile was generally approved. No voice of complaint or protest was heard, except a feeble one from Basel. Calvin had died more than two years before, and now the city of Bern, which had opposed his doctrinal and disciplinary rigor, condemned to death a heretic less gifted and dangerous than Servetus. Gentile himself indirectly admitted that a teacher of false religion was deserving of death, but he considered his own views as true and scriptural.
The death of Gentile ends the history of Antitrinitarianism in Switzerland. In the same year the strictly orthodox Second Helvetic Confession of Bullinger was published and adopted in the Reformed Cantons.
132. The Eucharistic Controversies. Calvin and Westphal
I. The Sources are given in § 117. See especially Calvin’s Opera, vol. IX. 1-252, and the Prolegomena, pp. i-xxiv. The correspondence between Bullinger, à Lasco, Farel, Viret, and Calvin, on the controversy, in his Opera, vols. XV. and XVI. The letters of Melanchthon from this period in the Corpus Reform. vols. VII.-IX. The works of Westphal are quoted below.
II. Planck (neutral): Geschichte des Protest. Lehrbegriff’s (Leipzig, 1799), vol. V. Part II. 1-137. — Ebrard (Reformed): Das Dogma vom heil. Abendmahl, II. 525-744. — Nevin (Reformed), in the “Mercersburg Review” for 1850, pp. 486-510. — Moenckeberg (Lutheran): Joachim Westphal und Joh. Calvin, 1865. — Wagenmann in Herzog2, XVII. 1-6.
Henry, III. 298-357. — Dyer, 401-412. — Staehelin, II. 112 sqq., 189 sqq. — Gieseler, III. Part II. 280 sqq. — Dorner: Geschichte der protest. Theol., 400 sqq. — Schaff, Creeds, I. 279 sqq.
The sacramental controversy between Luther and Zwingli was apparently solved by the middle theory of Calvin, Bullinger, and Melanchthon, and had found a symbolical expression in the Zürich Consensus of 1549, for Switzerland, and even before that, in the Wittenberg Concordia of 1536 and in Melanchthon’s irenical restatement of the 10th article of the Altered Augsburg Confession of 1540, for Germany. Luther’s renewed attack upon the Swiss in 1544 was isolated, and not supported by any of his followers; while Calvin, from respect for Luther, kept silent.
But in 1552 a second sacramental war was opened by Westphal in the interest of the high Lutheran theory, and gradually spread over all Germany and Switzerland.
We may well “lament,” with Calvin in his letter to Schalling (March, 1557), that those who professed the same gospel of Christ were distracted on the subject of his Last Supper, which should have been the chief bond of union among them.
The Westphal-Calvin controversy did not concern the fact of the real presence, which was conceded by Calvin in all his previous writings on the subject, but the subordinate questions of the mode of the presence, of the ubiquity of Christ’s body, and the effect of the sacrament on unworthy communicants, whether they received the very body and blood of Christ, or only bread and wine, to their condemnation. Calvin clearly states the points of difference in the preface to his, Second Defence”: —
“That I have written reverently of the legitimate use, dignity, and efficacy, of the sacraments, even he himself [Westphal] does not deny. How skilfully or learnedly in his judgment, I care not, since it is enough to be commended for piety by an enemy. The contest remaining with him embraces three articles:
“First, he insists that the bread of the Supper is substantially (substantialiter) the body of Christ. Secondly, in order that Christ may exhibit himself present to believers, he insists that his body is immense (immensum), and exists everywhere, though without place (ubique esse, extra locum). Thirdly, he insists that no figure is to be admitted in the words of Christ, whatever agreement there may be as to the thing. Of such importance does he deem it to stick doggedly to the words, that he would sooner see the whole globe convulsed than admit any exposition.
“We maintain that the body and blood of Christ are truly offered (vere offerri) to us in the Supper in order to give life to our souls; and we explain, without ambiguity, that our souls are invigorated by this spiritual aliment (spirituali alimento), which is offered to us in the Supper, just as our bodies are nourished by daily bread. Therefore we hold, that in the Supper there is a true partaking (vera participatio) of the flesh and blood of Christ. Should any one raise a dispute as to the word ‘substance,’ we assert that Christ, from the substance of his flesh, breathes life into our souls; nay, infuses his own life into us (propriam in nos vitam diffundere), provided always that no transfusion of substance be imagined.”
The Swiss had in this controversy the best of the argument and showed a more Christian spirit. The result was disastrous to Lutheranism. The Palatinate, in part also Hesse, Bremen, Anhalt, and, at a later period, the reigning dynasty of Prussia, passed over into the Reformed Church. Hereafter there were two distinct and separate Confessions in Protestant Germany, the Lutheran and the Reformed, which in the Westphalia Treaty were formally recognized on a basis of legal equality. The Lutheran Church might have sustained still greater loss if Melanchthon had openly professed his essential agreement with Calvin. But the magnetic power of Luther’s name and personality, and of his great work saved his doctrine of the Eucharist and the ubiquity of Christ’s body, which was finally formulated and fixed in the Formula of Concord (1577).
Joachim Westphal (1510-1574), a rigid Lutheran minister and afterwards superintendent at Hamburg, who inherited the intolerance and violent temper, but none of the genius and generosity of Luther, wrote, without provocation, a tract against the “Zürich Consensus,” and against Calvin and Peter Martyr, in 1552. He aimed indirectly at the Philippists (Melanchthonians), who agreed with the Calvinistic theory of the Eucharist without openly confessing it, and who for this reason were afterwards called Crypto-Calvinists. He had previously attacked Melanchthon, his teacher and benefactor, and compared his conduct in the Interim controversy with Aaron’s worship of the golden calf. He taught that the very body of Christ was in the bread substantially, that it was ubiquitous, though illocal (extra locum), and that it was partaken by Judas no less than by Peter. He made no distinction between Calvin and Zwingli. He treats as “sacramentarians” and heretics all those who denied the corporal presence, the oral manducation, and the literal eating of Christ’s body with the teeth, even by unbelievers. He charges them with holding no less than twenty-eight conflicting opinions on the words of institution, quoting extracts from Carlstadt, Zwingli, Oecolampadius, Bucer, à Lasco, Bullinger, Peter Martyr, Schwenkfeld, and chiefly from Calvin. But nearly all these opinions are essentially the same, and that of Carlstadt was never adopted by any Church or any Reformed theologian. He speaks of their godless perversion of the Scriptures, and even their “satanic blasphemies.” He declared that they ought to be refuted by the rod of the magistrates rather than by the pen.
As his first attack was ignored by the Swiss, he wrote another and larger tract in 1553, in which he proved the Lutheran view chiefly from 1Co_11:29, 1Co_11:30, and urged the Lutherans to resist the progress of the Zwinglian or, as it was now called, Calvinistic heresy.
The style and taste of his polemic may be inferred from his calling Bullinger “the bull of Zürich,” Calvin “the calf of Geneva,” and à Lasco “the Polish bear.”
About the same time, in the autumn and winter of 1553, John à Lasco, a Polish nobleman, a friend of Calvin, and minister of a foreign Reformed congregation in London, fled with one hundred and seventy-five Protestants from persecution under the bloody Mary, and sought shelter on Danish and German shores; but was refused even a temporary refuge in cold winter at Helsingoer, Copenhagen, Rostock, Luebeck, and Hamburg (though they found it at last in East Friesland). Westphal denounced these noble men as martyrs of the devil, enraged the people against them, and gloried in the inhuman cruelty as an act of faith.
This conduct roused the Swiss to self-defence. Bullinger vindicated the orthodoxy of the Zürich ministry with his usual moderation. Calvin heard of the treatment of the refugees through a letter of Peter Martyr, then at Strassburg, in May, 1554, and took up his sharp and racy pen in three successive pamphlets. He at first wished to issue a joint remonstrance of the Swiss Churches, and sent a hasty draft to Bullinger. But Zürich, Basel, and Bern found it too severe, and refused to sign it. He corrected the draft, and published it in his own name under the title “Defence of the Sound and Orthodox Doctrine on the Sacraments,” as laid down in the Consensus Tigurinus (Geneva, 1555). He treated Westphal with sovereign contempt, without naming him. Westphal replied in a tract thrice as large, complaining of the unworthy treatment, denying the intention of disturbing the peace of the Church, but repeating his charges against the Sacramentarians. Calvin, after some hesitation, prepared a “Second Defence,” now openly directed “contra Westphali calumnias,” and published it, with a preface to the Churches of Germany, in January, 1556. Westphal replied in two writings, one against Calvin and one against à Lasco, and sent letters to the leading cities of North Germany, urging them to unite in an orthodox Lutheran Confession against the Zürich Consensus. He received twenty-five responses, and issued them at Magdeburg, 1557. He also reprinted Melanchthon’s former opinions on the real presence (Hamburg, 1557). To meet these different assaults Calvin issued his “Last Admonition to Westphal” (1557). Westphal continued the controversy, but Calvin kept silent and handed him over to Beza.
Besides these main contestants several others took part in the fight: on the Lutheran side, Timan, Schnepf, Alberus, Gallus, Judex, Brenz, Andreae, etc.; on the Reformed side, à Lasco, Ochino, Polanus, Bibliander, and Beza.
Calvin indignantly rebuked the “rude and barbarous insults” to persecuted members of Christ, and characterized the ultra-Lutherans as men who would rather have peace with the Turks and Papists than with Swiss Christians. He called them “apes of Luther.” He triumphantly vindicated against misrepresentations and objections his doctrine of the spiritual real presence of Christ, and the sealing communication of the life-giving virtue of his body in heaven to the believer through the power of the Holy Spirit.
He might have defended his doctrine even more effectually if he had restrained his wrath and followed the brotherly advice of Bullinger, and even Farel, who exhorted him not to imitate the violence of his opponent, to confine himself to the thing, and to spare the person. But he wrote to Farel (August, 1557): “With regard to Westphal and the rest it was difficult for me to control my temper and to follow your advice. You call those ‘brethren’ who, if that name be offered to them by us, do not only reject, but execrate it. And how ridiculous should we appear in bandying the name of brother with those who look upon us as the worst of heretics.”
133. Calvin and the Augsburg Confession. Melanchthon’s Position in the Second Eucharistic Controversy
Comp. Henry, III. 335-339 and Beilage, pp. 102-110; the works on the Augsburg Confession, and the biographies of Melanchthon.
During the progress of this controversy both parties frequently appealed to the Augsburg Confession and to Melanchthon. They were both right and both wrong; for there are two editions of the Confession, representing the earlier and the later theories of its author on the Lord’s Supper. The original Augsburg Confession of 1530, in the tenth article, teaches Luther’s doctrine of the real presence so clearly and strongly that even the Roman opponents did not object to it. But from the time of the Wittenberg Concordia in 1536, or even earlier, Melanchthon began to change his view on the real presence as well as his view on predestination and free-will; in the former he approached Calvin, in the latter he departed from him. He embodied the former change in the Altered Confession of 1540, without official authority, yet in good faith, as the author of the document, and in the conviction that he represented public sentiment, since Luther himself had moderated his opposition to the Swiss by assenting to the Wittenberg Concordia. The altered edition was made the basis of negotiations with the Romanists at the Colloquies of Worms and Ratisbon in 1541, and at the later Colloquies in 1546 and 1557. It was printed (with the title and preface of the Invariata) in the first collection of the symbolical books of the Lutheran Church (Corpus Doctrinae Philippicum) in 1559; it was expressly approved by the Lutheran princes at the Convention of Naumburg in 1561, after Melanchthon’s death, as an improved modification and authentic interpretation of the Confession, and was adhered to by the Melanchthonians and the Reformed even after the adoption of the Book of Concord (1580).
The text in the two editions is as follows: —
Ed. 1530. Ed. 1540.
“De Coena Domini docent, quod corpus et sanguis Christi vere adsint [the German text adds: unter der Gestalt des Brots und Weins], et distribuantur vescentibus in Coena Domini, et improbant secus docentes.” [In the German text: “Derhalben wird auch die Gegenlehre verworfen.”] “De Coena Domini docent, quod cum pane et vino vere exhibeantur corpus et sanguis Christi vescentibus in Coena Domini.”
Ed 1530. Ed 1540.
“Concerning the Lord’s Supper, they teach that the body find blood of Christ are truly present [under the form of bread and wine], and are distributed to those that eat in the Lord’s Supper. And they disapprove of those who teach otherwise.” [In the German text: “Wherefore also the opposite doctrine is rejected.”] “Concerning the Lord’s Supper, they teach that with bread and wine are truly exhibited the body and blood of Christ to those who eat in the Lord’s Supper.” [Disapproval of dissenting views is omitted.]
It is to this revised edition of the document, and to its still living author, that Calvin confidently appealed.
“In regard to the Confession of Augsburg,” he says in his Last Admonition to Westphal, “my answer is, that, as it was published at Ratisbon (1541), it does not contain a word contrary to our doctrine. If there is any ambiguity in its meaning, there cannot be a more competent interpreter than its author, to whom, as his due, all pious and learned men will readily pay this honor. To him I boldly appeal; and thus Westphal with his vile garrulity lies prostrate …. If Joachim wishes once for all to rid himself of all trouble and put an end to controversy, let him extract one word in his favor from Philip’s lips. The means of access are open, and the journey is not so very laborious, to visit one of whose consent he boasts so loftily, and with whom he may thus have familiar intercourse. If I shall be found to have used Philip’s name rashly, there is no stamp of ignominy to which I am not willing to submit.
“The passage which Westphal quotes, it is not mine to refute, nor do I regard what, during the first conflict, before the matter was clearly and lucidly explained, the importunity of some may have extorted from one who was then too backward in giving a denial. It were too harsh to lay it down as a law on literary men, that after they have given a specimen of their talent and learning, they are never after to go beyond it in the course of their lives. Assuredly, whosoever shall say that Philip has added nothing by the labor of forty years, does great wrong to him individually, and to the whole Church.
“The only thing I said, and, if need be, a hundred times repeat, is, that in this matter Philip can no more be torn from me than he can from his own bowels. But although fearing the thunder which threatened to burst from violent men (those who know the boisterous blasts of Luther understand what I mean), he did not always speak out openly as I could have wished, there is no reason why Westphal, while pretending differently, should indirectly charge him with having begun to incline to us only after Luther was dead. For when more than seventeen years ago we conferred together on this point of doctrine, at our first meeting, not a syllable required to be changed. Nor should I omit to mention Gaspar Cruciger, who, from his excellent talents and learning, stood, next after Philip, highest in Luther’s estimation, and far beyond all others. He so cordially embraced what Westphal now impugns, that nothing can be imagined more perfectly accordant than our opinions. But if there is still any doubt as to Philip, do I not make a sufficient offer when I wait silent and confident for his answer, assured that it will make manifest the dishonesty which has falsely sheltered itself under the venerable name of that most excellent man?”
Calvin urged Melanchthon repeatedly to declare openly his view on the points in controversy. In a letter of March 5, 1555, after thanking him for his approval of the condemnation of Servetus, he says: “About ‘the bread-worship’ (περὶ τῆς ἀρτολατρείας), your most intimate opinion has long since been known to me, which you do not even dissemble in your letter. But your too great slowness displeases me, by which the madness of those whom you see rushing on to the destruction of the Church, is not only kept up, but from day to day increased.” Melanchthon answered, May 12, 1555:
I have determined to reply simply and without ambiguity, and I judge that I owe that work to God and the Church, nor at the age to which I have arrived, do I fear either exile or other dangers.” On August 23 of the same year, Calvin expressed his gratification with this answer and wrote: “I entreat you to discharge, as soon as you can, the debt which you acknowledge you owe to God and the Church.” He adds with undue severity: “If this warning, like a cock crowing rather late and out of season, do not awaken you, all will cry out with justice that you are a sluggard. Farewell, most distinguished sir, whom I venerate from the heart.” In another letter of Aug. 3, 1557, he complains of the silence of three years and apologizes for the severity of his last letter, but urges him again to come out, like a man, and to refute the charge of slavish timidity. “I do not think,” he says, “you need to be reminded by many words, how necessary it is for you to hasten to wipe out this blot from your character.” He proposes that Melanchthon should induce the Lutheran princes to convene a peaceful conference of both parties at Strassburg, or Tübingen, or Heidelberg, or Frankfurt, and attend the conference in person with some pious, upright, and moderate men. “If you class me,” he concludes, “in the number of such men, no necessity, however pressing, will prevent me from putting up this as my chief vow, that before the Lord gather us into his heavenly kingdom I may yet be permitted to enjoy on earth, a most delightful interview with you, and feel some alleviation of my grief by deploring along with you the evils which we cannot remedy.” In his last extant letter to Melanchthon, dated Nov. 19, 1558, Calvin alludes once more to the eucharistic controversy, but in a very gentle spirit, assuring him that he will never allow anything to alienate his mind “from that holy friendship and respect which I have vowed to you …. Whatever may happen, let us cultivate with sincerity a fraternal affection towards each other, the ties of which no wiles of Satan shall ever burst asunder.”
Melanchthon would have done better for his own fame if, instead of approving the execution of Servetus, he had openly supported Calvin in the conflict with Westphal. But he was weary of the rabies theologorum, and declined to take an active part in the bitter strife on “bread-worship,” as he called the notion of those who were not contented with the presence of the body of Christ in the sacramental use, but insisted upon its presence in and under the bread. He knew what kind of men he had to deal with. He knew that the court of Saxony, from a sense of honor, would not allow an open departure from Luther’s doctrine. Prudence, timidity, and respect for the memory of Luther were the mingled motives of his silence. He was aware of his natural weakness, and confessed in a letter to Christopher von Carlowitz, in 1548: “I am, perhaps, by nature of a somewhat servile disposition, and I have before endured an altogether unseemly servitude; as Luther more frequently obeyed his temperament, in which was no little contentiousness, than he regarded his own dignity and the common good.”
But in his private correspondence he did not conceal his real sentiments, his disapproval of “bread-worship” and of the doctrine of the ubiquity of Christ’s body. His last utterance on the subject was in answer to the request of Elector Frederick III. of the Palatinate, who tried to conciliate the parties in the fierce eucharistic controversy at Heidelberg. Melanchthon warned against scholastic subtleties and commended moderation, peace, biblical simplicity, and the use of Paul’s words that “the bread which we break is the communion of the body of Christ” (1Co_10:16), not “changed into,” nor the “substantial,” nor the “true” body. He gave this counsel on the first of November, 1559. A few months afterwards he died (April 17, 1560).
The result was that the Elector deposed the leaders of both parties, Heshusius and Klebitz, called distinguished foreign divines to the University, and entrusted Zacharias Ursinus (a pupil of Melanchthon) and Caspar Olevianus (a pupil of Calvin) with the task of composing the Heidelberg or Palatinate Catechism, which was published Jan. 19, 1563. It became the principal symbolical book of the German and Dutch branches of the Reformed Church. It gives clear and strong expression to the Calvinistic-Melanchthonian theory of the spiritual real presence, and teaches the doctrine of election, but without a word on reprobation and preterition. In both respects it is the best expression of the genius and final doctrinal position of Melanchthon, who was himself a native of the Palatinate.
Notes. Melanchthon’s Last Words on the Eucharist
Letter to Calvin, Oct. 14, 1554. Melanchthon approves of the execution of Servetus and continues: “Quod in proximis literas me hortaris, ut reprimam ineruditos clamores illorum, qui renovant certamen περὶ ἀρτολατρείας scito, quosdam praecipue odio mei eam disputationem movere, ut habeant plausibilem causam ad me opprimendum.” He expresses the hope to discuss this subject with him once more before his death. (Mel’s Opera in the Corp. Reform. VIII. 362 sq.)
To Hardenberg, pastor in Bremen, who was persecuted for resisting the doctrine of ubiquity, he wrote, May 9, 1557 (ibid. IX. 154) Crescit, ut vides, non modo certamen, sed etiam rabies in scriptoribus, qui ἀρτολατρείαν stabiliunt.”
Letter to Mordeisen, counsellor of the Elector of Saxony, Nov. 15, 1557 (ibid. IX. 374): “Si mihi concedetis, ut in alia loco vivam, respondebo illis indoctis sycophantis et vere et graviter, et dicam utilia ecclesiae.”
One of his last utterances is reported by Peucer, his son-in-law, “ex arcanis sermonibus Dom. Philippi,” in an autograph of Jan. 3, 1561 (vol. IX. 1088-1090). Here Melanchthon asserts the real presence, but declines to describe the mode, and rejects the ubiquity of Christ’s body. He also admits the figurative sense of the words of institution, which Luther so persistently denied. “Consideranda est,” he says, “interpretatio verborum Christi, quae ab aliis κατὰ τὸ ῥητόν, ab aliis κατὰ τρόπον accipiuntur. Nec sunt plures interpretationes quam duae. Posterior Pauli est sine omni dubio, qui vocat κοινωνίαν corporis panem, et aperte testatur, οὐκ ἐξιστάναι τῆς φύσεως τὰ ὁρώμενα σύμβολα. Ergo Necesse Est Admitti τρόπον. Cum hac consentit vetustas Graeca et Latina. Graeci σύμβολα ἀντίτυπα, Latini ‘signa’ et ‘figuras’ vocant res externas et in usu corpus et sanguinem, ut discernant hunc sacrum et mysticum cibum a profano, et admoneant Ecclesiam de re signata, quae vere exhibetur et applicatur credentibus, et dicunt esse symbola τοῦ ὄντως σώματος, contra Entychem, ut sciat Ecclesia, non esse inania symbola aut notas tantum professionis, sed symbola rerum praesentium Christi vere praesentis et efficacis et impertientis atque applicantis credentibus promissa beneficia.”
From Melanchthon’s Judicium de controversia coenae Domini ad illustr. Principem ac D. D. Fridericum, Comitem Palatinum Rheni, Electorem, dated Nov. 1, 1559 (IX. 960 sqq.): “Non difficile, sed periculosum est respondere. Dicam tamen, quae nunc de controversia illius loci monere possum: et oro Filium Dei, ut et consilia et eventus gubernet. Non dubium est de controversia Coenae igentia certamina et bella in toto orbe terrarun secutura esse: quia mundus dat poenas idololatriae, et aliorum peccatorum. Ideo petamus, ut Filius Dei nos doceat et gubernet. Cum autem ubique multi sint infirmi, et nondum instituti in doctrina Ecclesia, imo confirmati in erroribus: necesse est initio habere rationem infirmorum.
“Probo igitur consilium Illustrissimi Electoris, quod rixantibus utrinque mandavit silentium ne distractio fiat in tenera Ecclesia, et infirmi turbentur in illo loco, et vicinia: et optarim rixatores in utraque parte abesse. Secundo, remotis contentiosis, prodest reliquos de una forma verborum convenire. Et in hac controversia optimum esset retinere verba Pauli: ‘Panis quem frangimus, κοινωνία ἐστὶ τοῦ σώματος.’ Et copiose de fructu coenae dicendum est, ut invitentur homines ad amorem hujus pignoris, et crebrum usum. Et vocabulum κοινωνία declarandum est.
“Non Dicit [Paulus], mutari naturam panis, at Papistae dicunt: non dicit, ut Bremenses, panem esse substantiale corpus Christi. Non dicit, ut Heshusius, panem esse verum corpus Christi: sed esse κοινωνίαν, id est, hoc, quo fit consociatio cum corpore Christi: quae fit in usu, et quidem non sine cogitatione, ut cum mures panem rodunt ….
“Sed hanc veram et simplicem doctrinam de fructu, nominant quidam cothurnos: et postulant dici, an sit corpus in pane, aut speciebus panis? Quasi vero Sacramentum propter panem et illam Papisticam adorationem institutum sit. Postea fingunt, quomodo includant pani: alii conversionem, alii transubstantiationem, alii ubiquitatem excogitarunt. Haec portentosa omnia ignota sunt eruditae vetustati ….
“Ac maneo in hac sententia: Contentiones utrinque prohibendas esse, et forma verborum una et simili utendum esse. Si quibus haec non placent, nec volunt ad communionem accedere, his permittatur, ut suo judicio utantur, modo non fiant distractiones in populo.
“Oro autem filium Dei, Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum sedentem ad dextram aeterni patris, et colligentem aeternam Ecclesiam voce Evangelii, ut nos doceat, gubernet, et protegat. Opta etiam, ut aliquando in pia Synodo de omnibus contraversiis harum temporum deliberetur.”
134. Calvin and Heshusius
I. Heshusius: De Praesentia Corporis Christi in Coena Domini contra Sacramentarios. Written in 1569, first published at Jena, 1560 (and also at Magdeburg and Nürnberg, 1561). Defensio verae et sacrae confessionis de vera Praesentia Corporis Christi in Coena Domini adversus calumnias Calvini, Boquini, Bezae, et Clebitii. Magdeburg, 1562.
II. Calvinus: Dilucida Explicatio sanae Doctrina de vera Participatione Carnis et Sanguinis Christi in Sacra Coena ad discutiendas Heshusii nebulas. Genevae, 1561. Also in French. Opera, IX. 457-524. Comp. Proleg. xli-xliii. — Beza wrote two tracts against Heshusius: κρεωφαγία, etc., and Abstersio calumniarum quibus Calvinus aspersus est ab Heshusio. Gen., 1561. Boquin and Klebitz likewise opposed him.
III. J. G. Leuckfeld: Historia Heshusiana. Quedlinburg, 1716. — T. H. Wilkens: Tilemann Hesshusen, ein Streittheologe der Lutherskirche. Leipzig, 1860. — C. Schmidt: Philipp Melanchthon. Elberfeld, 1861, pp. 639 sqq. — Hackenschmidt, Art. “Hesshusen” in Herzog2, VI. 75-79. Henry, III. 339-344, and Beilage, 221. Comp. also Planck, Heppe, G. Frank, and the extensive literature on the Reformation in the Palatinate and the history of the Heidelberg Catechism (noticed in Schaff’s Creeds of Christendom, I. 529-531).
Tilemann Heshusius (in German Hesshus or Hesshusen) was born in 1527 at Niederwesel in the duchy of Cleves, and died at Helmstaedt in 1588. He was one of the most energetic and pugnacious champions of scholastic orthodoxy who outluthered Luther and outpoped the pope. He identified piety with orthodoxy, and orthodoxy with illocal con-insubstantiation, or “bread-worship,” to use Melanchthon’s expression. He occupied influential positions at Gosslar, Rostock, Heidelberg, Bremen, Magdeburg, Zweibruecken, Jena, and Prussia; but with his turbulent disposition he stirred up strife everywhere, used the power of excommunication very freely, and was himself no less than seven times deposed from office and expelled. He quarrelled also with his friends Flacius, Wigand, and Chemnitz. But while he tenaciously defended the literal eating of Christ’s body by unbelievers as well as believers, he dissented from Westphal’s coarse and revolting notion of a chewing of Christ’s body with the teeth, and confined himself to the manducatio oralis. He rejected also the doctrine of ubiquity, and found fault with its introduction into the Formula of Concord.
Heshusius was originally a pupil and table-companion of Melanchthon, and agreed with his moderate opinions, but, like Westphal and Flacius, he became an ungrateful enemy of his benefactor. He was recommended by him to a professorship at Heidelberg and the general superintendency of the Lutheran Church in the Palatinate on the Rhine (1558). Here he first appeared as a champion of the strict Lutheran theory of the substantial presence, and attacked “the Sacramentarians” in a book, On the Presence of the Body of Christ in the Lord’s Supper.” He quarrelled with his colleagues, especially with Deacon Klebitz, who was a Melanchthonian, but no less violent and pugnacious. He even tried to wrest the eucharistic cup from him at the altar. He excommunicated him because he would not admit the in and sub, but only the cum (pane et vino), in the scholastic formula of the Lutheran doctrine of the real presence. Elector Frederick III., called the Pious, restored peace by dismissing both Heshusius and Klebitz (Sept. 16, 1559), with the approval of Melanchthon. He afterwards ordered the preparation of the Heidelberg Catechism, and introduced the Reformed Church into the Palatinate, 1563.
On the other hand, the Lutheran clergy of Würtemberg, under the lead of Brenz, in a synod at Stuttgart, gave the doctrine of the ubiquity of Christ’s body, which Luther had taught, but which Melanchthon had rejected, symbolical authority for Würtemberg (Dec. 19, 1559).
Calvin received the book of Heshusius from Bullinger, who advised him to answer the arguments, but to avoid personalities. He hesitated for a while, and wrote to Olevianus (November, 1660): “The loquacity of that brawler is too absurd to excite my anger, and I have not yet decided whether I shall answer him, I am weary of so many pamphlets, and shall certainly not think his follies worthy of many days’ labor. But I have composed a brief analysis of this controversy, which will, perhaps, be shortly published.” It was one of his last controversial pamphlets and appeared in 1561.
In the beginning of his response he made that most touching allusion to his departed friend Melanchthon, which we have noticed in another connection. What a contrast between this noble tribute of unbroken friendship and the mean ingratitude of Heshusius, who most violently attacked Melanchthon’s memory immediately after his death.
Calvin reiterates and vindicates the several points brought out in the controversy with Westphal, and refutes the arguments of Heshusius from the Scripture and the Fathers with his wonted intellectual vigor and learning, seasoned with pepper and salt. He compares him to an ape clothed in purple, and to an ass in a lion’s skin. The following are the chief passages: —
“Heshusius bewails the vast barbarism which appears to be impending, as if any greater or worse barbarism were to be feared than that from him and his fellows. To go no further for proof, let the reader consider how fiercely he sneers and tears at his master, Philip Melanchthon, whose memory he ought sacredly to revere …. Such is the pious gratitude of the scholar, not only towards the teacher to whom he owes whatever little learning he may possess, but towards a man who has deserved so highly of the whole Church ….
“Though there is some show about him, he does nothing more by his magniloquence than vend the old follies and frivolities of Westphal and his fellows. He harangues loftily on the omnipotence of God, on putting implicit faith in his word, and subduing human reason, in terms he may have learned from other sources, of which I believe myself also to be one. I have no doubt, from his childish stolidity of glorying, that he imagines himself to combine the qualities of Melanchthon and Luther. From the one he ineptly borrows flowers, and having no better way of rivalling the vehemence of the other, he substitutes bombast and sound ….
“Westphal boldly affirms that the body of Christ is chewed by the teeth, and confirms it by quoting with approbation the recantation of Berengar, as given by Gratian. This does not please Heshusius, who insists that it is eaten by the mouth but not touched by the teeth, and greatly disproves those gross modes of eating ….
“Heshusius argues that if the body of Christ is in heaven, it is not in the Supper, and that instead of him we have only a symbol. As if, forsooth, the Supper were not, to the true worshippers of God, a heavenly action, or, as it were, a vehicle which carries them above the world. But what is this to Heshusius, who not only halts on the earth, but drives his nose as far as he can into the mud? Paul teaches that in baptism we put on Christ (Gal_3:27). How acutely will Heshusius argue that this cannot be if Christ remain in heaven? When Paul spoke thus it never occurred to him that Christ must be brought down from heaven, because he knew that he is united to us in a different manner, and that his blood is not less present to cleanse our souls than water to cleanse our bodies …. Of a similar nature is his objection that the body is not received truly if it is received symbolically; as if by a true symbol we excluded the exhibition of the reality.
“Some are suspicious of the term faith, as if it overthrew the reality and the effect. But we ought to view it far otherwise, viz. that the only way in which we are conjoined to Christ is by raising our minds above the world. Accordingly, the bond of our union with Christ is faith, which raises us upwards, and casts its anchor in heaven, so that instead of subjecting Christ to the figments of our reason, we seek him above in his glory.
“This furnishes the best method of settling a dispute to which I adverted, viz. whether believers alone receive Christ, or all, without exception, to whom the symbols of bread and wine are distributed, receive him? Correct and clear is the solution which I have given: Christ offers his body and blood to all in general; but as unbelievers bar the entrance of his liberality, they do not receive what is offered. It must not, however, he inferred from this that when they reject what is given, they either make void the grace of Christ, or detract in any respect from the efficacy of the sacrament. The Supper does not, through their ingratitude, change its nature, nor does the bread, considered as an earnest or pledge given by Christ, become profane, so as not to differ at all from common bread, but it still truly, testifies communion with The Flesh and Blood of Christ.”
This is the conclusion of Calvin’s last deliverance on the vexed subject of the sacrament. For the rest he handed his opponent over to Beza, who answered the “Defence” of Heshusius with two sharp and learned tracts.
The eucharistic controversy kindled by Westphal and Klebitz was conducted in different parts of Germany with incredible bigotry, passion, and superstition. In Bremen, John Timann fought for the carnal presence, and insisted upon the ubiquity of Christ’s body as a settled dogma (1555); while Albert Hardenberg, a friend of Melanchthon, opposed it, and was banished (1560); but a reaction took place afterwards, and Bremen became a stronghold of the Reformed Confession in Northern Germany.
135. Calvin and the Astrologers
Calvin: Advertissement contre l’astrologie qu’on appelle justiciaire: et autres curiosités qui régnent aujourdhuis dans le monde. Genève, 1549 (56 pp.). The French text is reprinted in Opera, vol. VII. 509-542. Admonitio adversus astrologiam quam judiciariam vocant; aliasque praeterea curiositates nonnullas, quae hodie in universam fere orbem grassantur, 1549. The Latin translation is by Fr. Hottman, sieur de Villiers, at that time secretary of Calvin, who dictated to him the work in French. The Latin text is reprinted in the Amsterdam ed., vol. IX. 500-509. An English translation: An Admonition against Astrology, Judiciall and other curiosities that reigne now in the world, by Goddred Gylby, appeared in London without date, and is mentioned by Henry, III. Beil. 212. Comp. Henry, II. 391 sq.
Calvin’s clear, acute, and independent intellect was in advance of the crude superstitions of his age. He wrote a warning against judicial astrology or divination, which presumes to pronounce judgment upon a man’s character or destiny as written in the stars. This spurious science, which had wandered from Babylon to ancient Rome and from heathen Rome to the Christian Church, flourished especially in Italy and France at the very time when other superstitions were shaken to the base. Several popes of the Renaissance — Sixtus IV., Julius II., Leo X., Paul III. were addicted to it, but Pico della Mirandola wrote a book against it. King Francis I. dismissed his physician because he was not sufficiently skilled in this science. The Duchess Renata of Ferrara consulted, even in her later years, the astrologer Luc Guaric. The court of Catherine de Medici made extensive use of this and other black arts, so that the Church and the State had to interfere.
But more remarkable is the fact that such an enlightened scholar as Melanchthon should have anxiously watched the constellations for their supposed bearing upon human events. Lelio Sozini was at a loss to know whether Melanchthon depended most on the stars, or on their Maker and Ruler. In this respect Luther, notwithstanding his strong belief in witchcraft and personal encounters with the devil, was in advance of his more learned friend, and refuted his astrological calculation of the nativity of Cicero with the Scripture fact of Esau’s and Jacob’s birth in the same hour. Yet he regarded the comets, or “harlot stars,” as he called them, as tokens of God’s wrath, or as works of the devil. Zwingli saw in Halley’s comet, which appeared a few weeks before the disaster of Cappel, a sign of war and of his own death. The independent and heretical Servetus believed and practised astrology and wrote a defence of it (Apologetica Disceptatio pro Astrologia).
Nothing of this kind is found in Calvin. He denounced the attempt to reveal what God has hidden, and to seek him outside of his revealed will, as an impious presumption and a satanic delusion. It is right and proper, he maintains, to study the laws and motions of the heavenly bodies. True astronomy leads to the praise of God’s wisdom and majesty; but astrology upsets the moral order. God is sovereign in his gifts and not bound to any necessity of nature. He has foreordained all things by his eternal decree. Sometimes sixty thousand men fall in one battle; are they therefore born under the same star? It is true the sun works upon the earth, and heat and dearth, rain and storm come down from the skies, but the wickedness of man proceeds from his will. The astrologers appealed to the first chapter of Genesis and to the prophet Jeremiah, who calls the stars signs, but Calvin met them by quoting Isa_44:25: “who frustrateth the tokens of the liars and maketh diviners mad.” In conclusion he rejects the whole theory and practice of astrology as not only superfluous and useless, but even pernicious.
In the same tract he ridicules the alchemists, and incidentally exhibits a considerable amount of secular learning.
Calvin discredited also the ingenious speculations of Pseudo-Dionysius on the Celestial Hierarchy, as “mere babbling,” adding that the author of that book, which was sanctioned by Thomas Aquinas and Dante, spoke like a man descended from heaven and giving an account of things he had seen with his own eyes; while Paul, who was caught up to the third heaven, did not deem it lawful for man to utter the secret things he had seen and heard.
Calvin might have made his task easier if he had accepted the heliocentric theory of Copernicus, which was known in his time, though only as a hypothesis.
But in this matter Calvin was no more in advance of his age than any other divine. He believed that “the whole heaven moves around the earth,” and declared it preposterous to set the conjecture of a man against the authority of God, who in the first chapter of Genesis had pointed out the relation of the sun and moon to the earth. Luther speaks with contempt of that upstart astronomer who wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy and the sacred Scripture, which tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth. Melanchthon condemned the system in his treatise on the “Elements of Physics,” published six years after the death of Copernicus, and cited against it the witness of the eyes, which inform us that the heavens revolve in the space of twenty-four hours; and passages from the Psalms and Ecclesiastes, which assert that the earth stands fast and that the sun moves around it. He suggests severe measures to restrain such impious teaching as that of Copernicus.
But we must remember that the Copernican theory was opposed by philosophers as well as theologians of all creeds for nearly a hundred years, under the notion that it contradicts the testimony of the senses and the geocentric teaching of the Bible. When towards the close of the sixteenth century Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) became a convert to the Copernican theory, and with his rude telescope discovered the satellites of Jupiter and the phases of Venus, he was denounced as a heretic, summoned before the Inquisition at Rome and commanded by Bellarmin, the standard theologian of the papacy, to abandon his error, and to teach that the earth is the immovable centre of the universe (Feb. 26, 1616). The Congregation of the Index, moved by Pope Paul V., rendered the decree that “the doctrine of the double motion of the earth about its axis and about the sun is false, and entirely contrary to the Holy Scripture,” and condemned the works of Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo, which affirm the motion of the earth. They remained on the Index Purgatorius till the time of Benedict XIV. Even after the triumph of the Copernican system in the scientific world, there were respectable theologians, like John Owen and John Wesley, who found it inconsistent with their theory of inspiration, and rejected it as a delusive and arbitrary hypothesis tending towards infidelity. “E pur si muove,” the earth does move for all that!
There can be no contradiction between the Bible and science; for the Bible is not a book of astronomy or geology or science; but a book of religion, teaching the relation of the world and man to God; and when it touches upon the heavenly bodies, it uses the phenomenal popular language without pronouncing judgment for or against any scientific theory.