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one of the chief reformers of the church, was born at Noyon in Picardy,

, one of the chief reformers of the church, was born at Noyon in Picardy, July 10, 1509. He was instructed in grammar at Paris under Maturinus Corderius, to whom he afterwards dedicated his Commentary on the first epistle of the Thessalonians, and studied philosophy in the college of Montaigu under a Spanish professor. His father, uho discovered many marks of hitf early piety, particularly in his reprehensions of the vices of his companions, designed him for the church, and got him presented, May 21, 1521, to the chapel of Notre Dame de la Gesine, in the church of Noyon. In 1527 he was presented to the rectory of Marteville, which he exchanged in 1529 fortlie rectory of Pont I‘Eveque near Noyon. His father afterwards changed his resolution, and would have him study law; to which Calvin, who, by reading the scriptures, had conceived a dislike to the superstitions of popery, readily consented, and resigned the chapel of Gesine and the rectory of Pont l’Eveque in 1534. He had never, it must here be observed, been in priest’s orders, and belonged to the church only by having received the tonsure. He was sent to study the law first under Peter de l'Etoile (Petrus Stella) at Orleans, and afterwards under Andrew Alciat at Bourges, and while he made a great progress in that science, he improved no less in the knowledge of divinity by his private studies. At Bourges he applied to the Greek tongue, under the direction of professor Wolmar. His father’s death having called him back to Noyon, he staid there a short time, and then went to Paris, where he wrote a commentary on Seneca’s treatise “De dementia,” being at this time about twenty- four years of age. Having put his name in Latin to this piece, he laid aside his surname Cauvin, for that of Calvin, styling himself in the title-page “Lucius Calvinus civis Romanus.” He soon made himself known at Paris to such as had privately embraced the reformation, and by frequent intercourse with them became more confirmed in his principles. A speech of Nicholas Cop, rector of the university of Paris, of which Calvin furnished the materials, having greatly displeased the Sorbonne and the parliament, gave rise to a persecu^ tion against the protestants; and Calvin, who narrowly escaped being taken in the college of Forteret, was forced to retire to Xaintonge, after having had the honour to be introduced to the queen of Navarre, who allayed this first storm raised against the protestants. Calvin returned to Paris in 1534. This year the reformed met with severe treatment, which determined him to leave France, after publishing a treatise against those who believe that departed souls are in a kind of sleep. He retired to Basil, where he studied Hebrew; at this time he published his “Institutions of the Christian Religion,” a work well adapted to spread his fame, though he himself was desirous of living in obscurity. It is dedicated to the French king, Francis I. This prince being solicitous, according to Beza, to gain the friendship of the Protestants in Germany, and knowing that they were highly incensed by the cruel persecutions which their brethren suffered in France, he, by advice of William de Bellay, represented to them that he had only punished certain enthusiasts, who substituted their own imaginations in the place of God’s word, and despised the civil magistrate. Calvin, stung with indignation at this wicked evasion, wrote this work as an apology for the Protestants who were burnt for their religion in France. The dedication to Francis I. is one of the three that have been highly admired: that of Thuanus to his history, and Casaubon’s to Polybius, are the two others. But this treatise, when first published in 1555, was only a sketch of a larger work. The complete editions, both in Latin and in French, with the author’s last additions and corrections, did not appear till 1558. After the publication of this work, Calvin went to Italy to pay a visit to the duchess of Ferrara, a lady of eminent piety, by whom he was very kindly received. Prom Italy he came back to France, and having settled his private affairs, he purposed to go to Strasbourg, or Basil, in company with his sole surviving brother Antony Calvin; but as the roads were not safe on account of the war, except through the duke of Savoy’s territories, he chose that road. “This was a particular direction of Providence,” says Bayle; “it was his destiny that he should settle at Geneva, and when he was wholly intent on going farther, he found himself detained by an order from heaven, if I may so speak.” William Farel, a man of a warm enthusiastic temper, who had in vain used many entreaties to prevail with Calvin to be his fellow-labourer in that part of the Lord’s vineyard, at last solemnly declared to him, in the name of God, that if he would not stay, the curse of God would attend him wherever he went, as seeking himself and not Christ. Calvin therefore was obliged to comply with the choice which the consistory and magistrates of Geneva made of him, with the consent of the, people, to be one of their ministers, and professor of divinity. It was his own wish to undertake only this last office, but he was gbliged to take both upon him in August 1536. The year following he made all the people declare, upon oath, their assent to a confession of faith, which contained a renunciation of Popery: and because this reformation in doctrine did not put an entire stop to the immoralities that prevailed at Geneva, nor banish that spirit of faction which had set the principal families at variance, Calvin, in concert with his colleagues, declared that they could not celebrate the sacrament whilst they kept up their animosities, and trampled on the discipline of the church. He also intimated, that he could not submit to the regulation which the synod of the canton of Berne had lately made *. On this, the syndics of Geneva summoned an assembly of the people; and it was ordered that Calvin, Farel, and another minister, should leave the town in two days, for refusing to administer the sacrament. Calvin' retired to Strasbourg, and established a French church in that city, of which he was the first minister; he was also appointed to be professor of divinity there* During his stay at Strasbourg, he continued to give many marks of his affection for the church of Geneva; as appears, amongst other things, by the answer which he wrote in 1539, to the beautiful but artful letter of cardinal Sadolet, bishop of Carpentras, inviting the people of Geneva to return into the bosom of the Romish church. Two years after, the divines of Strasbourg being very desirous that he should assist at the diet which the emperor had appointed to be held at Worms and at Ratisbon, for accommodating religious differences, he went thither with Bucer, and had a conference with Melancthon. In the mean time the people of Geneva (the syndics who promoted his banishment being now some of them executed, and others forced to fly their country for their crimes), entreated him so earnestly to return to them, that at last he consented. He arrived at Geneva, Sept. 13, 1541, to the great satisfaction both of the people and the magistrates; and the first measure ha adopted after his arrival, was to establish a form of church, discipline, and a consistorial jurisdiction, invested with, the power of inflicting censures and canonical punishments,