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to comply with his desire, and He had not been long there, told him the Senate had forbid when the lord of that place per. them lo circumcise any body that ceived he never mentioned Jesus was not born a Jew. Anthoine, Christ in his prayers and sermons; longing to receive the seal of the that he took his text only out of Jewish covenant, went quickly to the Old Testament, and 'applied Padua, in hopes that the Jews of to some other persons all the pas. that place would be more favour. sages of the Old Testament, which able to him ; but they gave him the Christians understand of Jesus the same answer. The Jews of Christ. This raised great suspicions that city, and those of Venice, told against him. When he came to him, hat he might be saved, with. hear of it, he was very much perout making an outward profession plexed ; and being naturally of a of Judaism, provided he remained melancholy temper, he fell into a faithful to God in his heart. This fit of madness, in the month of made him resolve to return to February, 1632, which was looked Geneva, where he had more ac. upon as a manifest judgment of quaintances than any where else. God, because it happened the very M. Diodati, minister and professor next day after he had expounded of that city, took him into his the second Psalm, without applyhouse, to be tutor to his children. ing it to our Saviour. He grew so He pretended to go on with his distracted, that he moved upon his theological studies, and was for bands and feet in his chamber, some time teacher of the first class. publicly exclaimed against the Afterwards he disputed for the Christian religion, and particularly chair of philosophy, but without in the presence of some ministers any success. All that time he of Geneva, who went to see him. lived outwardly like a true Chris. He horribly inveighed against the tian; for he confessed at his trial, person of Christ, calling him an that he had constantly received idol, &c. and saying that the New the communion ; but, in private Testament was a mere. fable. he lived and performed bis devo. He called for a chaffing-dish full tions, like a Jew. At last, being of burning coals, and told the poor, and weary of ihe condition divines, who were in his chamber, he was in, and wanting a settle. that he would put his hand into ment, he desired a testimonial of the fire, to maintain his doctrine, the church of Geneva, which was bidding them do the like for their granted him, and went to the Synod Christ. His madness increased to of Burgundy, held at Gex, in such a degree, that he ran away order to be admitted into the in the night from those under ministry. He was admitted ac. whose custody be was, as far as cording to custom, promising to the gates of Geneva, where he was follow the doctrine of the Old and found the next morning, half na. New Testament, the discipline ked and lying in the dirt; and and confession of faith, of the re having pulled off his shoes in the formed churches of France, &c. name of the true God of Israel, and was appointed minister of the he worshipped him, barefooted, church of Divonne, in the country prostrated on the ground, and of Gex.
blaspheming against Christ. ..
The magistrates of Geneva or- to submit it to your censure. I dered bim to be carried into an have heard, with an unspeakable hospital, where the physiciaos grief, what has happened to that took care of him, and he was poor wretch, who is amongst you; visited by some divines. His mind and I beseech you to forgive my was composed by degrees, and freedom in writing to you about then he left off speaking injuriously it. I do not do it altogether with. of Christ and the Christian religion, out ihe request of others. Besides, but stoutly maintained Judaism, one must not expect a call to preBeing thus recovered from his serve an unfortunate man, who madness, he was committed to runs himself into destruction ; jail, where he remained a consi. since God and nature, and our derable tine before the magistrates ancient acquaintance and friend. took cognisance of that affair; ship, may be a sufficient motive being only visited by several die for me to do it. To which I add. vines, who used their utmost en- that having been instrumental in deavours to make him sensible of bringing him to salvation, I think the falsity of his doctrine, and the I have great reason to desire that enormity of his conduct, and to he may not undo himself, and to bring bim over to the Christian endeavour with your leave to prereligion ; but he persisted in his vent it. I thank God, since he opinions. M. Ferry*, a minister has thought fit to make him a new of Metz. who, as I have said be. example of human frailty, that he fore, had converted Anthoine to has brought him amongst you, the Protestant religion, hearing that you might prevent his doing of the sad condition, and the great mischief, and endeavour to redanger he was in, writ a letter claim him. I think, gentlemen. about him, the 30th of March, to that mildness and patience will be the ministers and professors of the the most proper means to succeed church and academy of Geneva. in it, I make no doubt that bis It contains several particulars re. illness proceeds from a black and lating to the history of that un- deep melancholy, to which I al. happy man; and therefore, I think ways perceived he was very much it necessary to insert it in this inclined; especially after he had place, and I hope no curious reader seduced a young man, whom he will blame me for it.-The letter brought hither from Sedan, in runs thus : isii
hopes to get something by teaching 16 Gentlemen and most honour. him philosophy, and ihen he priw ed Brethren. ,, , valely carried him farther, though
66 beg your pardon for the I had earnestly desired him to fault I am going to comunit, if send him back, and exhorted the you take it to be such; and, in. young man to return to Sedan, deed, I do not pretend to repre. which was, M. Du Moulin's dea sent any thing to you, but in order sire, to whom he had been recom.
mended. From that time he i A large account of that eminent!
could not bear the light, in any divine may be seen in the Historical room of a gentleman's house. and Critical Dictionary, lately publish- where I had placed him, being ed in English
always uneasy, restless and silent.
Nay, he had much ado to express in which the physicians acknow. himself, and it was a hard matter ledge SELOVT), which is neither a to make him speak, though I ear- crime nor a divine punishment, aestly desired him to be more but a great misfortune. Certainly, free, and sent for him, and made that which he lies under is very him dine with me now and then, deplorable ; but, genilemem, I and took all possible care of him, think I may say thai, though naWhich we ascribed to the ill suc. ture is the instrument of God's cess he had in a Synod of the Isle providence, yet all accidents ought of France, whither he had been not to be looked upon as punishsent with a testimonial and recom. ments, or signs of a wicked life, mendation of the church and aca. nor the madness of that poor demy of Sedan, notwithstanding wretch, as a formal chastisement which, he did not appear sufficient for his error ; there being so many ly qualifid for the ministry, Afer reasons to believe that it proceeds he had enticed away that young from the disorder of the brain, man, he writ several letters to me, and from melancholy. His mad. wherein he expressed a great grief noss seems to be only an exorbifor it; and in all of them he used tant fit of melancholy, which many words, which shewed his being allayed by remedies, he apmind was very much djected, peals now in his former state : being above all things sensible of and, though he errs only in the the reproofs he had received for single puint, for which he is pro. it. So tlat I thought myself secuted, there is no reason to inobliged to write to bim now and fer from it, that he speaks in cold then, to clear his mind of ibose blood, and with a sound mind. needless scruples, and of such an For it is the property of that sort unreasonable and dangerous vex- of melancholy, to have but one ation, and to exhort him to apply object, leaving the mind free in him af to study with cheartulness, all other things, as you know bet. and a resolution to do better for ter than I. There are some who the time to come. It is, therefore, speak upon any subject, with great highly probable that his melan. learning and sedaleness, and have choly has been heightened by ibose but one grain of madness, which cloudy thoughts, and likewise by they discover only by intervals, to the poverty and want of many those who hit upon it. I am the things, into which he fell soon more willing to compare that unafter, and whereof be complained fortunate man to them, because, to me in his letters, so far as io men. in that very thing wherein he pretion the templations, under which tends to be wise, he appears most his mind was almost ready to sink. ridiculous; for he says what he To this, I may adil, the nature of would be ashamed of out of his fit, his studies bent upon the Old though he were no Christian ; Testament, on which he writ to since he denies, as I hear, what me, that he was drawing up a con. the very Heathens and Jews ace cordance. However, though those knowlege. And, therefore, it is. things were not the true cause of not a heresy, but a blasphemy, his illness, you know, gentlemen, which proceeds from a miod rather. that there is a sort of melancholy, distempered than perverted. His. usual frights and horrors are, in God will give you comfort after my opinion, a certain sign of it; your labour and patience. To and there is no reason to ascribe ihat end, I wish none may them to a divine judgment, and to have access to him, but such as infer from thence that he is a re. are familiarly acquainted with probate. After all, gerilemen, him, or for whom he has a parti, it is certain he imposes upon you, cular respect and veneration, and when he tells you, that he be by whom he may be gently used; hieved, eight or ten years ago, lest his mind be exasperated by what he believes now : for, since too many visitants, or by an un. that time, he has not only given seassinable, though just, severity. all manner of proofs of his Chris. " Gentleinen,-Give me leave tianity, but also brought over to to tell you, that it seems highly the Rotormed religion his eldest necessary, for the edification of brother, who lives bonestiy aincng the Church, that this affair should us; and he lias endeavoured to be managed with great prue work the same effect upon his fa. dence. It you make an example ther, to whom he has writ mally of hun, it will Joubiless prove ex. letters, several of which I have tremely prejudicial. I entreat you opened, wherein he expressed a to consider the great scandal it great zeal, and a wonderful love will occasion, far and near, and for Jesus Christ and the Christian what might be said against the truths that are taught in our office and profession of a man conchurcbes. And in order to bring verted from Popery, who has over his relations to our religion, learned to judaize among us, in the he writ to them, that he was ready most famous academies, convers. to die for it, if God r'quired it ing every day with several pastors, of him. Nay, when he was ad. Besides, Judaism being no dana mitted into the ministry, be ac- gerous sect, it does not seem nee quainted me with it, in a letter cessary to prevent the ill consefrom Geneva, dated the twenty. quences of it by a public puwih. ninth of November, being used to ment; nay, perhaps every body call me, as he did then, his dear would not approve of it. There ghostly father, whom God had are some extraordinary crimes, for been plased to make use of, in which, when the guilty person is, order to bring him to the know- to be punished, it is not done in ledge of the true religion. And public; and the proceedings are he desired me to acquaint bis rela. suppressed, to clear the present tions with it, being fully resolved, age from such an infamy, and to for the future, to lead a better life leave no marks of it to posterity. and to perform bis duty to the ut. However, there is no need of be. most of his power. And therefore, ing too hasty in a thing, that may gentlemen and most honoured bre- be done as well in tims, and when thren, I think lie ought not to be a delay cannot be prejudicial, but believed in what he says, during rather useful. Servetus had a such a disorder of his mind; and long time allowed him for his I hope, that, if you allow him amendment, though he had dogsome time to recover from his matised above twenty years in cold. phrenzy, as I understand you do, blood; and in several places, both he will no longer blaspheme, and by word of mouth and in written and printed books, about things "I am troubled for you (says much more subtle and dangerous; he, in that letter,) about your and yet, gentlemen, you know the Anti-Trinitarian. The writings various discourses that were occa. of our predecessors, de puniendis sioned by his execution. I do not hæreticis, have not been very edi. say this because I find fault with fying, and prove very prejudicial it; on the contrary, I think such to us, in the countries where the pernicious errors could not be bet. magistrates are our enemies. It ter suppressed than by committing is true, the enormity of that man, the author to the Aames. But his blasphemies, his profession of this man cannot be compared to Christianity, and his ministry, ag. Servetus. I pray God to give him gravate his crime. May God a better end. And I beseech you, Almighty direct your magistrates gentlemen and most honoured bre. in the matter! If every body had tbren, not to grow weary in this the same thoughts of monks as I work of your great charity, wherc. have, none of them should ever in he will direct you to use such be admitted into the holy ministry. remedies as are necessary to re. I pray God to remove, by the ef. claim that unfortunate man, and ficacy of his word, the scandal to preserve the church from such occasioned by that profligate man, an infamy. This is the design of and to keep you under his protec. this letter, which I humbly be. tion." secch you not to be offended with; The second letter of M. Mesotherwise I should be sorry to trezat is only dated March 30, have writ it, excepting the wishes 1632, but it was likewise written I have just now made, and my fur. from Paris. The following pas. ther prayers to God, that he would sage is to be found in it: plentifully bless you and your ho. "As to what concerns your ly labours, increase your church, Jewish monk and revolted minis. and ever keep you under his pro. ter, the most judicious persons in tection. I beg of you the conti- this town wish he may be confined nuance of your benevolence, be. to a perpetual imprisonment, and ing, with great sincerity, gen- not be allowed to see any body, tlemen, your most humble, most but such as are qualified to re. obedient, and most affectionate claim him. They are very much servant,
afraid of the consequences of a
“ FERRY. public execution, lest it should be * Metz, March 30, 1632.". inferred from it, by our adversa.
M. Mestrezat, a learned divine, ries in these parts, that words. of the church of Paris, writ two spoken against the Pope (the preletters to M. Chabrey, his bro- tended Vicar of Jesus Christ) or ther-in-law, and minister of Ge. against the host of the mass, are neva, wherein I find two passages likewise blasphemies against Christ, that deserve likewise to be im. and ought to be punished in the parted to the public. . M. Mes- same manner; for they talk in the trezat thought Anthoine had been same strain, and all supreme ma. à monk. His first letter is dated gistrales are judges of consequenecs. from Paris, March 12, 1632.' in their jurisdiction.”