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then dragged thirty-six of them, tied with ropes, and covered with blood, through the streets of the city to prison. Beza wrote a flaming account of this victory of the Faith, as he called it, to Calvin.

70. At length the day of Divine vengeance for the wretched Calvin drew nigh; he died in Geneva, in 1564, on the 26th day of May, in the 54th year of his age. Beza says he died calmly'; but William Bolsec, the writer of his life, and others, quoted by Noel Alexander and Gotti (31), assert that he died calling on the devil, and cursing his life, his studies, his writings, and, at the same time, exhaling a horrible stench from his ulcers, and thus he appeared before Christ, the Judge, to answer for all the souls lost, or to be lost, through his means.

71. Varillas, in his account of Calvin's character and personal qualities, says (32) he was endowed by God with a prodigious memory, so that he never forgot what he once read, and that his intellect was so acute, especially in logical and theological subtleties, that he at once discovered the point on which everything hinged in the doubts proposed to him. He was indefatigable in studying, in preaching, 'in writing, and in teaching, and it is wonderful how any man could write so many works during the time he lived, and, besides, he preached almost every day, gave a theological lecture every week, on every Friday, held a long conference with his followers on doubts of faith, and almost all his remaining time was taken up in clearing up and answering the knotty questions of his friends. He was very temperate both in

. eating and drinking, not so much through any love of the virtue of abstinence, as from a weakness of stomach, so that he was sometimes two days without eating. He suffered also from hypochondria, and frequent headachs, and hence his delicate health made him melancholy. He was very emaciated, and his colour was so bad, that he appeared as if bronzed all over. He was fond of soli. tude, and spoke but little. He was graceless in his delivery, and frequently, in his sermons, used to break out in invectives against the Catholic Church and people. He was prompt in giving advice or answers, but proud and rash, and so rude and intractable, that he easily fell out with all who were obliged to have any communication with him (33). He was very vain of himself, and on that account affected extreme gravity. He was the slave of almost every vice, but especially hatred, anger, and vindictiveness, and on that account Bucer, though his friend, in a letter of admonition to him, says he is a mad dog, and as a writer inclined to speak badly of every one. He was addicted to immorality, at all events in his youth, and Spondanus says (34), he was charged even with

(31) Nat. Alex. sec. 1, n. 16; Gotti, ibid. n. 9. (32) Varillas, t. 1, 1. 10, p. 459. (33) Spondan. ad an. 1564; Nat. Alex. ar. 13, sec. n. 16; Gotti, loc. cit. sec. 3, n. 10; Varillas, l. 12, 6. 1, l. 10, p. 450. (31) Spondan. ad an. 1534.


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an unnameable offence, and Bolsec even says in his life of him, that he was condemned to death for it in Noyon, but that, through the intercession of the bishop, the punishment was changed to branding with a red-hot iron.

Varillas says (35), that in the registry of Noyon a leaf is marked with this condemnation, but without mentioning the offence: but Noel Alexander says (36) positively, that both the certificate of the condemnation and the offence was preserved in Noyon, and that it was shown to, and read by, Berteler, Secretary to the Republic of Geneva, sent on purpose to verify the fact. Cardinal Gotti says (37), that when he taught Greek in Angouleme the same charge was brought against him by his scholars, and that he was condemned there likewise. Such are the virtues attributed to the pretended Reformers of the Church (38)



72. Theodore Beza; his Character and Vices. 73. Iis Learning, Employments, and

Death. 74. Conference of St. Francis de Sales with Beza. 75. Continuation of the same Subject. 76, 77. Disorders of the Huguenots in France. 78. Horrors committed by them ; they are proscribed in France. 79. Their Disorders in Flanders. 80. And in Scotland. 81. Mary Stuart is married to Francis II. 82. She returns to Scotland and marries Darnley, next Bothwell; is driven by Violence to make a fatal Renunciation of her Crown in favour of her Son. 83. She takes Refuge in England, and is imprisoned by Elizabeth, and afterwards condemned to Death by her. 84. Edifying Death of Mary Stuart. 85. James I., the Son of Mary, succeeds Elizabeth; he is succeeded by his Son, Charles I., who was beheaded. 86. He is succeeded by his Son, Charles II., who is succeeded by his Brother, James II., a Catholic, who died in France.


72. Ar Calvin's death, he left the direction of the unfortunate city of Geneva to Theodore Beza, a worthy successor of his, both in life and doctrines. He was born on the 24th of June, 1519, in Vezelais, in Burgundy, of a noble family, and was educated by his uncle, who sent him to Paris to study humanity, and afterwards to Orleans to learn Greek under Melchior Wolmar, Calvin's master, first in Greek and next in heresy. His appearance was agreeable, his manners polished, and he was a great favourite with all his ac. quaintance. "He led, when young, an immoral life, and wrote several amatory poems; he had an intrigue with a tailor's wife in Paris, of the name of Claudia, and he has been charged with even more abominable crimes. His uncle resigned a priorate, which he held, in his favour, and likewise made him his heir; but he spent not only that and his paternal property, but even stole the chalices and ornaments of a church belonging to the natives of Burgundy, in Orleans, of which he was procurator. For this he was imprisoned,

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(35) Varillas, loc. cit. (36) Nat. Alex. cit. n. 16, in fin. (38) Remundus, l. 1, c. 9, n. 3.

(37) Gotti, sec. 1, n. 6. 307

but soon liberated, and soon after he published in Paris a shocking epigram regarding a person named Audabert, which induced the Court of Paris to order his imprisonment. This terrified him, for if convicted of the crime he was charged with, the penalty was burning alive. He was reduced to the greatest poverty, for he not only ran through his property, but also sold his priorate for twelve hundred crowns, and even in this transaction he was guilty of dishonesty, for he prevailed on the agents of his benefice to pay him the revenue of it before it came due. Covered with infamy, he changed his name to Theobald May, and fled to Geneva, taking Claudia with him, whom he then married, though her husband was still living. He presented himself to Calvin, who, finding he studied under Wolmar, received him, and procured him a professorship of Greek, and from that he was promoted to a professorship of Theology in Lausanne. The ministers of that city, though apostates, yet having a knowledge of the crimes already committed by Beza, and seeing the debauched life he led, refused to admit him to the ministry, but he was sustained by Calvin, whom he venerated almost to adoration, so that he was called Calvinolator, the adorer of Calvin (1).

73. In his teaching he surpassed even Calvin in impiety, for the one admitted, though obscurely, the body of Christ in the Eucharist, but the other said, in the Conference of Poissy, that the body of Christ was as far from the Eucharist as heaven is from the earth ; and although he was obliged to retract, nevertheless, in a letter of his, he again repeats the same sentiment (2); and one of his companions, as Spondanus tells us, said, what wonder is it that Beza does not believe that, when he scarcely believes in the existence of God (3)? On the occasion of the outbreak of the Calvinists against the priests of the Church of St. Medard (N. 69), he boasted not only of the insult to the Church and the priests, but especially of the horrible profanation of the Holy Eucharist. He wrote a letter of congratulation to the Queen of England, praising her for assisting to plant the Faith in France by blood and slaughter; and when he went to the Congress of Worms, where Calvin sent him to try and gain friends for his sect, and Melancthon asked him, “Why the French caused so many disasters in France ?" He said, " They only did what the Apostles had done before them.” Why, then," said Melancthon, do you not suffer stripes as the Apostles did ?" Beza made him no answer, but turned his back on him. Although nearly seventy years old when his wife Claudia died, he married a very young widow, of whom we shall have occasion to speak hereafter. Florimund (4) says that a nobleman of Guienne returning from Rome in the year 1600, called on Beza, and found him a venerable



(2) Berti, Brev. Hist. (4) Florimund, Remund.

(1) Gotti, c. 114, sec. 4, n. 1, 6; Varillas, t. 2, 1 18, 137.
t. 2, sec. 16, c. 1. (3) Spondan. ad An. 1561, n. 19.
1. 8, c. 17, n. 6.



old man, with a long white beard, and in his hand a beautifully bound little volume. When the gentleman asked him what it contained, he showed him that it was a book of sonnets, and said: “Sic tempus fallo"-"I thus cheat time.” “Oh,” said the gentleman to a friend of his, " is it thus this holy man, with one foot already in Charon's bark, passes his time?" Beza continued for forty-one years after Calvin's death to govern the Church of Geneva, or rather to poison it by his bad example and doctrine; he was, however, called to account for all before God, in the year 1605, the eightyfifth of his age (5) Let not the reader wonder that I have said so much about the vices of Luther, Calvin, and Beza. I have done so on purpose,


every one may understand that God did not send such men to reform his Church, but rather the devil to destroy it. In this, however, no heresiarch ever can or ever has succeeded, for our Lord has promised to protect it to the end of the world, “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

74. I will here relate a conference St. Francis de Sales had with Beza, about the year 1597, as we find it in the saint's life (6). Clement VIII. desired St. Francis to see Beza and try could be convert him. The saint made his way into Geneva, at the risk of his life, and called on Beza, whom he found alone. He commenced by begging Beza not to believe all he heard of him from his enemies. Beza answered that he always considered St. Francis a man of learning and merit, but that he regretted seeing him devote his energies to prop up anything so weak as the Catholic religion. St. Francis then asked him if it was his opinion that a man could be saved in the Catholic Church? Beza demanded a little time before he would give his answer; he went into his study, remained walking about for a quarter of an hour, and then coming out said: “ Yes; I believe that a man may be saved in the Catholic Church.” “Why, then," said St. Francis, " have

you established


Reformation with so much bloodshed and destruction, since, without

any danger, a man may be saved, and never leave the Catholic Church " “ You have put obstacles in the way of salvation," said Beza, “in the Catholic Church, by inculcating the necessity of good works; but we, by teaching salvation by faith alone, have smoothened the way to heaven.” “But you,” said St. Francis, " by denying the necessity of good works, destroy all human and divine laws, which threaten punishment to the wicked, and promise rewards to the good; and Christ says, in the Gospel, that not only those who do evil, but, likewise, those who omit to do the good commanded to be done, shall suffer eternal punishment. It is necessary, also,” said he,“ in order to know the true Faith, that there should be some judge from whom there is no appeal, and to whose judgment all


(5) Gotti, loc. cit. n. 7, 10. 1, 2, c. 21, 22.

(6) Vita di St. Francesco di Sales, da Pietro Gallo,

should submit; for otherwise disputes never would have an end, and the truth never could be found.” Beza then began talking about the Council of Trent, and said that the only rule of Faith was the Scriptures, and that the Council did not follow them. St. Francis answered that the Scriptures had different meanings, and that it was necessary that their true sense should be decided by the Church. “But,” said Beza, “ the Scriptures are clear, and the Holy Ghost gives to every one the internal understanding of their true sense.” How, then, does it happen,” said St. Francis, “ if the Scripture be clear, and the Holy Ghost inspires the true sense of it to every one, that Luther and Calvin, both, in the opinion of the Reformers, inspired by God, held the most opposite opinions in the most important questions of religion. Luther says that the real body of Christ is in the Eucharist; Calvin, on the other hand, that it is only the virtue of Christ. How, then, can we know, when so great a difference exists, to which of the two, Luther or Calvin, the Holy Ghost has revealed the truth ? Besides, Luther denies the Canonicity of the Epistle of St. James, and of some other books of the Holy Scriptures; Calvin admits it. Whom are we to believe ?! They had now been disputing for three hours, and when Beza saw himself thus hemmed up in a corner, he lost his temper, and only answered the saint's arguments by abuse. St. Francis then, with his accustomed meekness, said he did not come to give him any annoyance, and took his leave.

75. Some time after, again at the request of the Pope, St. Francis paid him a second visit, and, among many things then discussed, they argued specially concerning Free Will, for Calvin blasphemously asserted, that whatever man does, he does through necessity -that if he is predestined he does what is good—if he is not, he does what is evil. The saint proved the doctrine of Free Will so clearly, both from the Old and the New Testament, that Beza was convinced of its truth, and, cordially taking St. Francis by the hand, said that he daily prayed to God, that if he was not in the right way, he might lead him to it. This shows the doubts he entertained of his new Faith; for those who are certain that they profess the true Faith, never pray to God to enlighten them to adopt another, but to confirm and preserve them in the Faith they profess. Finally, St. Francis, thinking him now better disposed after this acknowledgment, spoke to him plainly, and told him, that now his years should lead him to reflect whether he was not letting the time of mercy pass by, and preparing himself for the day of justicethat, as he was now near the close of life, he should defer his conversion no longer, but return immediately to the Church he had forsaken—that if he feared the persecution he would suffer from the Calvinists, he should remember he ought to suffer everything for his eternal salvation; but as Luther himself remarked, it is hard to expect that the head of any sect will forsake the doctrines he has

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