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THE influence of divine grace on the human heart is the effect of omnipotent agency. It would be as incorrect in philosophy, as unsound in theology, to use terms in describing its operations, which imply a greater or less degree of ex-, ertion in the agent. Its manifestations, however, are more evident, and its triumphs more conspicuous, in some cases, than in others.- Where vivacity of temper has been moderated, where temptations of ambition and sensuality have been withstood, where intellectual talent and literary attainment have laid down their honours at the foot of the cross, we perceive particular trophies of supernatural victory, and are warranted in exhibiting them as attractive models for human imitation.
Such was the case with Theodore, born the twenty-fourth of June, 1519, at Vezelay, a city of Burgundy, the son of Peter de Beze, and Mary Bourdelot, both of distinguished family. His father, who was mayor of Vezelay, had a brother named Nicholas, counsellor of the parliament of Paris, whom he charged with the education of his child, till 1528, when he was sent to Orleans, to study under Melchior Wolmar, a German, and professor of the Greek language; under whom he made such progress, that at the end of seven years he had read all the principal Greek and Latin classics, and perfected himself in the JAN. 1826.
liberal arts. His preceptor was attached to the principles of the Reformation, and, being a man of piety as well as erudition, spared no pains to impress on his pupil's mind the necessity of dedicating to the glory of God those talents which he discerned would, at some future day, be eminently influential to the corruption or amelioration of his fellowcreatures. But the good man returned to his native land, without having witnessed the desired effect of his religious instructions, and young De Beze, by desire of his parents, went to Orleans, to study the civil law. This employment being little suited to his natural dis position, he was tempted to spend the greater part of his time in the cultivation of polite literature, particularly in the composition of Latin verses; and, as Catullus and Ovid were his favourite authors, he was led to too great an imitation of their levities in his epigrams, and smaller poems. He had a cordial esteem for Wolmar, and dedicated these early productions, more gratefully than appropriately, to that grave and pious character. After his conversion he lamented the frivolity and pruriency of this publication, and endeavoured its entire suppression : he knew that an author was responsible to a holy God, for any inflammatory and demoralizing effect on youthful readers: but his bitter enemies, the papists, reprinted his verses, that they might indulge in
pletely did the subtle author of evil contrive to revenge himself on one, whose life was employed in pulling down his strong holds, that he not only stirred up some unprincipled men to this measure, but led others, by garbled extracts and misrepresentations, to aggravate the infamy.*
He took his licentiate's degree in 1539, when in his twentieth year, and went to Paris, where he met with the most flattering reception from his relations, and as his uncle the counsellor died in 1532, he was patronized by another uncle, abbot of Fremont, who resigned in his favour two benefices, of the annual value of seven hundred crowns (which, though only a civilian, he was suffered to enjoy by an abuse, too common in that day) and who, besides, regarded him as his successor in the abbacy, worth five thousand more. He had also a considerable accession of income by the decease of an elder brother, He had now every temptation which the world could offer to a votary of ambition, pleasure, or avarice; but the seeds of religious instruction which had been sown in his mind in early youth, were not only providential checks against sensual indulgencies, but also engaged his affections so far on the side of truth, that he felt uneasy at remaining in that communion, which he knew was not built on the right foundation.
ation shall be described in the language of an old writer, whose quaintness of style is amply compensated by the spirituality of his sentiment.
"Beza being, as it were, in an earthly paradise, and abounding with those things which might seem necessary for the prosecution of vice, wherewith, indeed, he was, for a time, detained, but not captivated : as who is he that liveth and sinneth
* Ant. Fayus de vitâ et ob. Th. Beza. Bayle v. ii. pp. 790, 791.-Beza Epist. ad Wolmar. Maimbourg, Hist. du Calv. Jurieu, Apol. p. 1.
not; nay, and falleth not sometimes into grievous sins? For the Lord had prepared him for better things, and, opening his eyes, gave him to understand, that these were but so many snares laid to entangle him, and to draw him into everlasting ruin and perdition: wherefore he fully resolved to forsake them all, and to adhere and stick fast unto that truth, whose sweetness he had tasted in his youth; which, that he might the better perform, he was fully determined to undergo any labour, and to remove any obstacle; and for that cause he vowed a vow, that he would never embrace nor countenance the errors of the church of Rome.
"And, purposing a constancy in his intended course, and that he might be the better fitted thereunto, he resolved to free himself from that affection which used to be predominate in his youth; and for that cause he betrothed himself unto a virtuous woman, acquainting only two of his intimate friends with the same action, and that for two causes; -First, that he might give no occasion of offence unto others;Secondly, because that money which he received for the discharging of his offices, could not handsomely be avoided: which, within short time after was by him performed; for his propounded honour and preferment was stiffly rejected, not without the great admiration and sharp reprehension of many of his friends, who, therefore, styled him after a scornful manner, philosophum novum, the new philosopher.
"These checks and reprehensions of his friends being seconded with the considerations of the great riches wherewith he was endowed, and these two being strengthened with the temptations of the devil, yielded too many doubts and oppositions unto Beza, notwithstanding his former resolutions, sometimes intending to embrace God and his truth,
sometimes casting an eye of love on his present preferments. Being