WOBO: Search for words and phrases in the texts here...

Enter either the ID of an entry, or one or more words to find. The first match in each paragraph is shown; click on the line of text to see the full paragraph.

Currently only Chalmers’ Biographical Dictionary is indexed, terms are not stemmed, and diacritical marks are retained.

a famous Anti-trinitarian, and the great martyr of the Socinian

, a famous Anti-trinitarian, and the great martyr of the Socinian sect, was born in 1509, at Villaneuva in Arragon, or at Tudela in Navarre, in 1511. His father, who was a notary, sent him to the university of Toulouse, to study the civil law: and there, or as some say, when in Italy, he imbibed his peculiar notions respecting the doctrine of the Trinity. After he had been two or three years at Toulouse he resolved to remove into Germany, and propagate his opinions. He went to Basil, by way of Lyons and Geneva; and, having had some conferences at Basil with Oecolampadius, set out for Strasburg, to converse with Bucer and Capito, two celebrated reformers of that city., At his departure from Basil he left a manuscript, entitled “De Trinitatis Erroribus,” in the bands of a bookseller, who sent it afterwards to Haguenau, whither Servetus went, and had it printed in 1531. The next year, he printed likewise at Haguenau another book, with this title, “Dialogorum de Trinitate libri duo:” in an advertisement to which he retracts v/hat he had written in his former book against the Trinity, not as it was false, but because it was written imperfectly and confusedly^ He then resolved to return to France, because he was poor, and did not understandthe German language; as he alleged upon his trial to the judges, when they asked him why he left Germany. He went accordingly to Basil, thence to Lyons, where he lived two or three years, and afterwards to Paris, where, having studied physic under Sylvius, Fernelius., and other professors, he took his degree of master of arts, and was admitted doctor of physic in the university. He now settled as a practitioner for two or three years in a town near Lyons, and then at Vienne in Dauphiny, for the space of ten or twelve. In the mean time, his writings against the Trinity had excited the indignation of the German divines, and spread his name throughout all Europe. In 1533, before he had left Lyons, Melancthon wrote a letter to Camerarius, in which he allowed that Servetus was evidently an acute and crafty disputant, but confused and indigested in his thoughts, and certainly wanting in point of gravity. While Servetus was at Paris, his books being dispersed in Italy, were very much approved by many who had thoughts of forsaking the church of Rome: which, in 1539, excited Melancthon to write a letter to the senate of Venice, importing, that “a book of Servetus, who had revived the error of Paulus Samosatenus, was handed about in their country, and beseeching them to take care, that the impious error of that man may be avoided, rejected, and abhorred.” Servetus was at Lyons in 1542, before he settled in Vienne; and corrected the proofs of a Latin Bible that was printing there, to which he added a preface and some marginal notes, under the name of Villanovanus, from the town where he was born.