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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : CHAPTER VI SEBASTIAN CASTELLIO: A FORGOTTEN PROPHET

Spiritual Reformers In The 16th And 17th Centuries by Rufus M. Jones

CHAPTER VI SEBASTIAN CASTELLIO: A FORGOTTEN PROPHET

Reformation history has been far too closely confined to a few main highways of thought, and few persons therefore realize how rich in ideas and how complex in typical religious conceptions this spiritual upheaval really was. The types that prevailed and won their way to wide favour have naturally compelled attention and are adequately known. There were, however, very serious and impressive attempts made to give the Reformation a totally different course from the one it finally took in history, and these attempts, defeated by the sweep of the main current, became submerged, and their dedicated and heroic leaders became forgotten. Many of these spiritual ventures which for the moment failed and were submerged are in striking parallelism with currents of thought to-day, and our generation can perhaps appreciate at their real worth these solitary souls who were destined to see their cause defeated, to hear their names defamed, and to live in jeopardy among the very people whom they most longed to help.

Sebastian Castellio is one of these submerged venturers. While he lived he was so absolutely absorbed in the battle for truth that he took no pains at all to acquaint posterity with the details of his life, or to make his name quick and powerful in the ears of men. When he died {89} and laid down the weapons of his spiritual warfare his pious opponents thanked God for the relief and did what they could to consign him to oblivion. But after the long and silent flow of years the world has come up to his position and can appreciate a spirit who was too far in advance of the line of march to be comprehended in his lifetime. He was born in the little French village of St. Martin du Fresne -- not many miles west of Lake Geneva in the year 1515. The home was pinched with poverty, but somebody in the home or in the village discovered that little Bastian was endowed with unusual gifts and must be given the chance to realize the life which his youth forecast; and that ancient family sacrifice, which has glorified so many homes of poverty, was made here in St. Martin, and the boy, possessed with his eager passion for knowledge, was started on his course in the College de la Trinite in Lyons. He soon found himself bursting into a new world, the world of classic antiquity, which the Humanists were restoring to the youth of that period, and he experienced that emancipating leap of soul and thrill of joy which such a world of beauty can produce upon a lofty spirit that sees and appreciates it. Some time during the Lyons period he came also under a still greater and more emancipating influence, the divine and simple Christ of the Gospels, whom the most serious of the Humanists had rediscovered, and to whom Castellio now dedicated the central loyalty of his soul.

At twenty-five years of age, now a splendid classical scholar, radiant with faith and hope and the vision of a new age for humanity which the recovered gospel was to bring in, Castellio went to Strasbourg to share the task of the Reformers and to put his life into the new movement. Calvin, then living in Strasbourg, received the brilliant recruit with joy and took him into his own home. When the great Reformer returned to Geneva in 1541 to take up the mighty task of his life he summoned Castellio to help him, and made him Principal of the College of Geneva, which Calvin planned to make one of the {90} foremost seats of Greek learning and one of the most illuminating centres for the study of the Scriptures. The young scholar's career seemed assured. He had the friendship of Calvin, he was head of an important institution of learning, the opportunity for creative literary work was opening before him, and he was aspiring soon to fulfil the clearest call of his life -- to become a minister of the new gospel. His first contribution to religious literature was his volume of |Sacred Dialogues,| a series of vivid scenes out of the Old and New Testaments, told in dialogue fashion, both in Latin and French. They were to serve a double purpose: first, to teach French boys to read Latin, and secondly, to form in them a love for the great characters of the Bible and an appreciation of its lofty message of life. The stories were really good stories, simple enough for children, and yet freighted with a depth of meaning which made them suitable for mature minds. Their success was extraordinary, and their fine quality was almost universally recognized. They went through twenty-eight editions in their author's lifetime, and they were translated into many languages. His bent toward a religion of a deeply ethical and spiritual type already appears in this early work, and here he announces a principle that was to rule his later life and was to cost him much suffering: |The friend of Truth obeys not the multitude but the Truth.|

At the very time this book was appearing, an opportunity offered for testing the mettle of his courage. One of those ever-recurrent plagues that harassed former ages, before microbes were discovered, fell upon Geneva. The minister, who had volunteered to give spiritual comfort to those who were suffering with the plague in the hospital, was stricken with the dread disease, and a new volunteer was asked for. The records of the city show that Castellio, though not yet ordained, and under no obligation to take such risk, offered himself for the {91} hazardous service when the ministers of the city declined it. The ordination through human hands was, however, never to come to him, and a harder test of courage than the plague was before him. In the course of his studies he found himself compelled to take the position that the |Song of Solomon| was an ancient love poem, and that the traditional interpretation of it as a revelation of the true relation between Christ and the Church was a strained and unnatural interpretation. He also felt that as a scholar he could not with intellectual honesty agree with the statement in the Catechism that |Christ descended into Hell.| Calvin challenged both these positions of Castellio, but his opposition to him was clearly far deeper than a difference of opinion on these two points. Calvin instinctively felt that the bold and independent spirit of this young scholar, his qualities of leadership, and his literary genius marked him out as a man who could not long be an easy-minded and supple subordinate. A letter which Calvin wrote at this time to his friend Viret shows where the real tension lay. |Castellio has got it into his head,| he writes, |that I want to rule!| The great Reformer may not have been conscious yet of such a purpose, but there can be no question that Castellio read the signs correctly, and he was to be the first, as Buisson has said, to discover that |to resist Calvin was in the mind of the latter, to resist the Holy Ghost.| Calvin successfully opposed his ordination, and made it impossible for him to continue in Geneva his work as an honest scholar. To remain meant that he must surrender his right of independent judgment, he must cease to follow the line of emancipated scholarship, he must adjust his conscience to fit the ideas that were coming to be counted orthodox in the circle of the Reformed faith. That surrender he could no more make than Luther could surrender to the demands of his opponents at Worms. He quietly closed up his work in the College of Geneva and went into voluntary exile, to seek a sphere of life where he might think and speak as {92} he saw the truth and where he could keep his conscience a pure virgin.

He settled in Basle, where Erasmus had found a refuge, and where, two years before, the exiled and hunted Sebastian Franck, the spiritual forerunner of Castellio, had died in peace. For ten years (1545-1555) he lived with his large family in pitiable poverty. He read proof for the Humanist printer Oporin, he fished with a boat-hook for drift-wood along the shores of the Rhine, -- |rude labour no doubt,| he says, |but honest, and I do not blush for having done it,| -- and he did whatever honest work he could find that would help keep body and soul together. Through all these years, every moment of the day that could be saved from bread-winning toil, and much of his night-time, went into the herculean task to which he had dedicated himself -- the complete translation of the Bible from its original languages into both Latin and French. Being himself one of the common people he always had the interests and needs of the common people in view, and he put the Bible into current sixteenth-century speech. His French translation has the marked characteristics of the Renaissance period. He makes patriarchs, prophets, and the persons of the New Testament live again in his vivid word-pictures, as the great contemporary painters were making them live on their canvases. But that which gave his translation its great human merit and popular interest was a serious defect in the eyes of the theologians. It was vivid, full of the native Oriental colour, true in the main to the original, and strong in its appeal to religious imagination, but painfully weak in its support of the dogmas and doctrines around which the theological battles of the Reformation were centring. Still less were the theologians pleased with the Preface of his Latin Bible, dedicated to the boy-king of England, Edward VI. Here he boldly insists that the Reformation, {93} wherever it spreads, shall champion the principle of free conscience, and shall wage its battles with spiritual weapons alone. The only enemies of our faith, he says, are vices, and vices can be conquered only by virtues. The Christ who said if they strike you on one cheek turn the other, has called us to the spiritual task of instructing men in the truth, and that work can never be put into the hands of an executioner! |I address you, O king,| he concludes, |not as a prophet sent from God, but as a man of the people who abhors quarrels and hatred, and who wishes to see religion spread by love rather than by fierce controversy, by purity of heart rather than by external methods. . . . Read these sacred writings with a pious and religious heart, and prepare yourself to reign as a mortal man who must give an account to immortal God. I desire that you may have the meekness of Moses, the piety of David, and the wisdom of Solomon.|

Two years after this appeal to the new Protestantism to make the great venture of spreading its truth by love and persuasion, there came from Geneva the decisive answer in the burning of Servetus, followed by the famous Defence before the world, written mainly by Calvin, of the course that had been taken. One month later, a brief Latin work appeared from the press with the title, De haereticis, an sint persequendi, etc. (Magdeburgi, 1554), followed in very short time by a French edition (Rouen, 1554). The body of the work contained impressive passages in favour of toleration from Church Fathers, from Luther, Erasmus, Sebastian Franck, and others, concluding with a passage from |Basil Montfort,| a name which thinly veils Bastian Castellio himself. The Preface was addressed to the Duke of Wurtemberg, bore the name of |Martinus Bellius,| and was beyond doubt written by Castellio, who inspired and directed the entire work, in which he was assisted by a very small group of refugees in Basle of similar ideas on this subject to his {94} own. This Preface is one of the mother documents on freedom of conscience, from which in time came a large offspring, and it is, furthermore, an interesting interpretation of a type of Christianity then somewhat new in the world. Its simplicity, its human appeal, its restrained emotional power, its prophetic tone, its sincerity and depth of earnestness mark it as a distinct work of genius, almost in the class with Pascal's Provincial Letters.

|If thou, illustrious Prince, had informed thy subjects that thou wert coming to visit them at an unnamed time and had requested them to be prepared in white garments to meet thee on thy coming; what wouldst thou do, if, on arrival, thou shouldst find that instead of robing themselves in white they had occupied themselves in violent debate about thy person -- some insisting that thou wert in France, others that thou wert in Spain; some declaring that thou would come on horseback, others that thou would come by chariot; some holding that thou would come with great pomp, others that thou would come without train or following? And what especially wouldst thou say if they debated not only with words but with blows of fist and strokes of sword, and if some succeeded in killing and destroying others who differed from them? 'He will come on horseback.' 'No, he won't; he will come by chariot.' 'You lie.' 'No, I do not; you are the liar.' 'Take that' -- a blow with the fist. 'You take that' -- a sword-thrust through the body. O Prince, what would you think of such citizens? Christ asked us to put on the white robes of a pure and holy life, but what occupies our thought? We dispute not only of the way to Christ, but of His relation to God the Father, of the Trinity, of predestination, of free will, of the nature of God, of angels, of the condition of the soul after death, -- of a multitude of matters that are not essential for salvation, and matters, in fact, which never can be known until our hearts are pure, for they are things which must be spiritually perceived.|

With a striking boldness, but with beautiful simplicity of spirit, he describes |an honest follower of Christ| -- and {95} it is himself whom he is describing -- |who believes in God the Father and in His Son Jesus Christ, and who wants to do His will, but cannot see that will just as others about him see it, in matters of intellectual formulation and in matters of external practice.| |I cannot,| he adds, |do violence to my conscience for fear of disobeying Christ. I must be saved or lost by my own personal faith, not by that of another. I ask you, whether Christ, who forgave those who went astray, and commanded His followers to forgive until seventy times seven, Christ who is the final Judge of us all, if He were here, would command a person like that to be killed! . . . O Christ, Creator and King of the world,| he cries out, |dost Thou see and approve these things? Hast Thou become a totally different person from what Thou wert? When Thou wert on earth, nothing could be more gentle and kind, more ready to suffer injuries. Thou wert like a sheep dumb before the shearers. Beaten, spit upon, mocked, crowned with thorns, crucified between thieves, Thou didst pray for those who injured Thee. Hast Thou changed to this? Art Thou now so cruel and contrary to Thyself? Dost Thou command that those who do not understand Thy ordinances and commandments as those over us require, should be drowned, or drawn and quartered, and burned at the stake!|

The Christian world holds this view now. It is a part of the necessary air we breathe. But at this crisis in modern history it was unforgivably new. One man's soul had the vision, one man's entire moral fibre throbbed with passion for it, and his rich intellectual nature pleaded for it as the only course of reason: |To burn a man is not to defend a doctrine, it is to burn a man!| But it was a voice crying in a wilderness, and from henceforth Castellio was a marked and dangerous man in the eyes of all who were opposed to |Bellianism | -- as the principle of toleration was nicknamed in honour of Martinus Bellius -- and that included almost all the world. But to the end of his life, and in almost every one of his multitudinous {96} tracts he continued to announce the principle of religious liberty, and to work for a type of Christianity which depended for its conquering power solely on its inherent truth and on its moral dynamic.

Calvin, who recognized the hand of Castellio in this powerful defence of freedom of thought, called his opponent |a monster full of poison and madness,| and proceeded to demolish him in a Reply. In his Contra libellum Calvini, which is an answer to this Reply, Castellio declares that Calvin's act in burning Servetus was a bloody act, and that now his book is a direct menace to honest, pious people. |I,| he adds, |who have a horror of blood, propose to examine the book. I do not defend Servetus. I have never read his books. Calvin burned them together with their author. I do not want to burn Calvin or to burn his book. I am only going to answer it.| He notes that Calvin complains of |novelties and innovations,| a strange complaint, he thinks, from a man who |has introduced more innovations in ten years than the entire Church had introduced in six centuries!| All the sects, he reminds the great Reformer, claim to be founded on the Word of God. They all believe that their religion is true. Calvin says that his is the only true one. Each of the others says that his is the only true one. Calvin says that they are wrong. He makes himself (by what right I do not know) the judge and sovereign arbiter. He claims that he has on his side the sure evidence of the Word of God. Then why does he write so many books to prove what is evident? The truth is surely not evident to those who die denying that it is truth! Calvin asks how doctrine is to be guarded if heretics are not to be punished. |Doctrine,| cries Castellio, |Christ's doctrine means loving one's enemies, returning good for evil, having a pure heart and a hunger and thirst for righteousness. You may return to Moses if you will, but for us others Christ has come.|

Love, he constantly insists, is the supreme badge of any true Christianity, and the traits of the beatitudes in a person's life are a surer evidence that he belongs in {97} Christ's family, than is the fact that he holds current opinions on obscure questions of belief. |Before God,| he writes in his Defensio, a work of the year 1562, to those who wish to hunt him off the face of the earth, |and from the bottom of my heart, I call you to the spirit of love.| |By the bowels of Christ, I ask and implore you to leave me in peace, to stop persecuting me. Let me have the liberty of my faith as you have of yours. At the heart of religion I am one with you. It is in reality the same religion; only on certain points of interpretation I see differently from you. But however we differ in opinion, why cannot we love one another?|

He was, however, never to have the peace for which he pleaded, and he was never to experience the love and brotherly kindness for which he longed. Whole sheaves of fiery arrows were shot at him, and in tract after tract he had to see himself called |monster,| |wretch,| |dog,| |pest,| |fog-bank,| and finally to see himself proclaimed to the world as a petty thief |who was supporting himself by stealing wood from his neighbours|! With beautiful dignity Castellio tells the story of how he fished for public drift-wood on the shores of the Rhine, and how he kept his family alive by honest toil, when he was living in pitiable poverty, |to which,| he says to Calvin, |everybody knows that thy attacks had brought me.| |I cannot conceive how thou of all persons, thou who knowest me, can have believed a tale of theft about me, and in any case have told it to others.|

Compelled, as he was, to see the Reformation take what seemed to him the false course -- the course of defending itself by persecution, of buttressing itself on election, of elevating, through a new scholasticism, doctrine above life, -- he turned more and more, as time went on, toward interior religion, the cultivation of an inner sanctuary, the deepening of the mystical roots of his life, and the perfection of a religion of inner and spiritual life. |I have never taken holy things lightly,| {98} he once wrote, and in the later years of what proved to be his brief as well as stormy life, he drew nearer to Christ as the Life of his life, and laboured with deepening passion to practise and present a religion of veracity, of reality and of transforming power. |It is certain,| he says in his Contra libellum Calvini, |that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and there is furthermore no doubt about the worth of love -- love to God and love to man. There is no doubt, again, of the worth of forgiveness, of patience, of pity, of kindness, and of obedience to duty. Why leave these sure things and quarrel over inscrutable mysteries?|

This point that the things which are essential to salvation are clear and luminous is a frequently occurring one in his writings. Impenetrable mysteries do not interest him, and he declares with reiteration that controversies and divisions are occasioned mainly by the proclamation of dogma on these inscrutable things. In a remarkable work, which remains still in manuscript -- his De arte dubitandi et confidendi, sciendi et ignorandi, -- he pleads for a religion that fits the facts of life and for the use of intelligence even in these lofty matters of spiritual experience where most astonishing miracles occur. He returns, in this writing, to his old position that the truths which concern salvation are clear and appeal powerfully to human reason. |There are, I know,| he says, |persons who insist that we should believe even against reason. It is, however, the worst of all errors, and it is laid upon me to fight it. I may not be able to exterminate the monster, but I hope to give it such a blow that it will know that it has been hit. Let no one think that he is doing wrong in using his mental faculties. It is our proper way of arriving at the truth.|

Without entering in detail into the bottomless controversy of those times, let us endeavour to get an adequate view of Castellio's type of Christianity, and then we shall be able to form an estimate of the man who in the {99} strong power of his faith stood almost alone as the great battle of words raged around him.

Those on the other side of the controversy began always from the opposite end of the spiritual universe to his point of departure. They were fascinated with the mysteries of the Eternal Will, and used all the keys of their logic to unlock the mysteries of foreknowledge, predestination, and grace which has wrought the miracle of salvation for the elect. Castellio, on the other hand, in true modern fashion, starts always with the concrete, the near and the known, to work upward to the nature of the unknown. We must, he says, try to discover the Divine attributes and the Divine Character by first finding out what our own deepest nature implies. If God is to speak to us it must be in terms of our nature. Before undertaking to fathom with the plummet of logic the unsoundable mystery of foreknowledge, let us see what we can know through a return to the real nature of man as he is, and especially to the real nature of the new Adam who is Christ, the Son of God. Man, as both Scripture and his own inner self testify, is made in the image of God, is dowered with freedom to determine his own destiny, may go upward into light, or downward into darkness. Man thus made, when put to trial, failed, followed lower instincts instead of higher, and experienced the awful penalty of sin, namely its cumulative power, the tendency of sin to beget sin, and to make higher choices ever more difficult. Christ, however, the new Adam, has succeeded. He has completely revealed the way of obedience, the way in which spirit conquers flesh. He is the new kind of Person who lives from above and who exhibits the cumulative power of goodness. His victory, which was won by His own free choice, inspires all men who see it with faith and hope in man's spiritual possibilities. Castellio declines to discuss Christ's metaphysical nature, except in so far as His life has revealed {100} it to us. He sees in Him the Heart and Character of God, the certainty of Divine love and forgiveness, and the way of life for all who desire to be spiritually saved, which means, for him, the formation of a new inward self, a purified nature, a morally transformed man, a will which no longer loves or wills sin. |Christ alone,| he says, |can heal the malady of the soul, but He can heal it.| |There is,| he says again, |no other way of salvation for any man than the way of self-denial. He must put off his old man and put on Christ -- however much blood and sweat the struggle may cost.| Man, he insists, is always wrong when he represents God as angry. Christ showed that God needed no appeasing, but rather that man needed to be brought back to God by the drawing of Love, and be reconciled to Him.

Faith -- which for every prophet of human redemption is the key that unlocks all doors for the soul -- is for Castellio the supreme moral force by which man turns God's revelations of Himself into spiritual victories and into personal conquests of character. It is never something forensic, something magical. It is, as little, mere belief of historical facts and events. It is, on the contrary, a moral power that moves mountains of difficulty, works miracles of transformation, and enables the person who has it to participate in the life of God. It is a passionate leap (|elan|) of the soul of the creature toward the Creator; it is a way of renewing strength in Him and of becoming a participator in His divine nature. It is a return of the soul to its source. It is a persistent will, which multiplies one's strength a hundredfold, makes Pentecost possible again, and enables us to achieve the goal which the vision of our heart sees. The only obstacle to this all-conquering faith is selfishness, the only mortal enemy is self-will.

There have been, Castellio holds, progressive stages in the Divine education of the race, and in man's apprehension of God. The mark of advance is always found in the progress from law and letter to spirit, and from {101} outward practices and ceremonies to inward experience. Divine revelations can always be taken at different levels. They can be seen in a literal, pictorial, temporal way, or they can be read deeper -- by those who are purified by faith and love, and made partakers of the self-giving Life of God -- as eternal and spiritual realities. The written word of God is the garment of the Divine Thought which is the real Word of God. It takes more than eyes of flesh to see through the temporal garment to the inner Life and Spirit beneath. Only the person who has in himself the illumination of the same Spirit that gave the original revelation can see through the garment of the letter to the eternal message, the ever-living Word hidden within. In the Christianity of the full-grown spiritual man, sacraments and everything external must be used only as pictorial helps and symbolic suggestions for the furtherance of spiritual life. Within us, as direct offspring of God, as image of God, there is a Divine Reason, which existed before books, before rites, before the foundation of the world, and will exist after books and rites have vanished, and the world has gone to wreck. It can no more be abolished than God Himself can be. It was by this that Jesus Christ, the Son of God -- called, in fact, Logos of God -- lived and taught us how to live. It was in the Light of this that He transcended books and rites and declared, without quoting text, |God is Spirit and thou shalt worship God in spirit and in truth.| This Reason is in all ages the right investigator and interpreter of Truth, even though time changes outward things and written texts grow corrupt.

As his life was drawing to a close, he sent forth anonymously another powerful prophet-call for the complete liberation of mind and conscience. Ten years before the awful deeds of St. Bartholomew's Day, he issued his little French book with the title Conseil a la France desolee -- Counsel {102} to France in her Distress. It is a calm and penetrating diagnosis of the evils which are destroying the life of France and working her desolation. It throbs with noble patriotism and is full of real prophetic insight, though he spoke to deaf ears and wrote for blind eyes. The woes of France -- her torn and distracted condition -- are mainly due to the blind and foolish method of attempting to force intelligent men to accept a form of religion which in their hearts they do not believe is true. There can be no united people, strong and happy, until the blunder of compelling conscience entirely ceases. He pleads in tenderness and love with both religious parties, Catholics and Evangelicals, to leave the outgrown legalism of Moses and go to the Gospels for a religion which leads into truth and freedom. |O France, France,| he cries -- as formerly a greater One had said, |O Jerusalem, Jerusalem| -- |my counsel is that thou cease to compel men's consciences, that thou cease to kill and to persecute, that thou grant to men who believe in Jesus Christ the privilege of serving God according to their own innermost faith and not according to some one else's faith. And you, that are private people, do not be so ready to follow those who lead you astray and push you to take up arms and kill your brothers. And Thou, O Lord our Saviour, wilt Thou give to us all grace to awake and come to our senses before it is forever too late. I, at least, have now done my duty and spoken my word of truth.| St. Bartholomew's Day was the answer to this searching appeal, and the land, deaf to the call of its prophet, was to become more |desolate| still.

Just as the storm of persecution that had been gathering around him for years was about to burst pitilessly upon him in 1563, he quietly died, worn out in body, and |passed to where beyond these voices there is peace.| His students in the University of Basle, where, in spite of the opposition from Geneva, he had been Professor of Greek for ten years, bore his coffin in honour on their shoulders to his grave, and his little band of disciples devoted themselves to spreading, in Holland and wherever {103} they could find soil for it, the precious seed of his truth, which had in later years a very wide harvest.

He was not a theologian of the Reformation type. He did not think the thoughts nor speak the dialect of his contemporaries. They need not be blamed for thanking God at his death nor for seeing in him an arch-enemy of their work. They were honestly working for one goal, and he was as honestly living by the light of a far different ideal. The spiritual discipline of the modern world was to come through their laborious systems, but he, anticipating the results of the travail and the slow spiral progress, and seeing in clear vision the triumph of man's liberated spirit, with exuberant optimism believed that the religion of the Spirit could be had for the taking -- and he stretched out his hand for it!

|I am,| he cried out beneath the bludgeons, |a poor little man, more than simple, humble and peaceable, with no desire for glory, only affirming what in my heart I believe; why cannot I live and say my honest word and have your love?| The time was not ready for him, but he did his day's work with loyalty, sincerity, and bravery, and seen in perspective is worthy to be honoured as a hero and a saint.

F. Buisson, Sebastien Castellion, sa vie et son oeuvre (Paris, 1892), 2 vols.; Charles Jarrin, Deux Oublies (Bourg, 1889); Emile Broussoux, Sebastien Castellion, sa vie, ses oeuvres, et sa theologie (Strasbourg, 1867); A. Schweizer, Die protestantischen Centraldogmen (Zuerich, 1854), pp.311-373.

Dialogi sacri, latino-gallici, ad linguas moresque puerorum formandos. Liber primus. Geneve, 1543.

There were at least three English translations -- 1610, 1715, and 1743.

Buisson, op. cit. i. p.205.

His Latin Bible appeared in 1551 and the French Bible in 1555. During this period he also brought out a new edition of his |Sacred Dialogues,| an edition of Xenophon, a translation of the Sibylline Oracles, a Latin poem on Jonah, and a Greek poem on John the Baptist, the Forerunner.

Calvin, in striking contrast, had written to the same boy-king in 1548: |Under the cover of the Gospel, foolish people would throw everything into confusion. Others cling to the superstitions of the Antichrist at Rome. They all deserve to be repressed by the sword which is committed to you.|

Beza called it |diabolical doctrine.|

He selected as the title of this book the opprobrious word which Calvin had used in the charge -- Harpago, i.e. |Boat-hook.|

This MS. is in the Bibliotheque de l'Eglise des Remontrants in Rotterdam. I have used only the extracts given from it in Buisson and Jarrin.

The main lines of Castellio's Christianity can be found in his Dialogi quatuor: (i.) De praedestinatione, (ii.) De electione, (iii.) De libero arbitrio, (iv.) De fide (Gouda, 1613) and in his Scripta selecta. (1596).

For Faith see De fide and De arts dub. ii.212.

This idea comes out in his Preface to the Bible, in his Moses latinus, and in his manuscript work, De arte dubitandi.

De arte dubitandi.

Under the nom-de-plume of John Theophilus, Castellio translated the Theologia Germanica into Latin, and published it with an Introduction. His translation carried this |golden book| of mystical religion into very wide circulation, and became a powerful influence, especially in England, as we shall see, in reproducing a similar type of religious thought.

The Quaker William Caton, who spent the latter part of his life in Holland, cites Castellio seven times in his Tract, The Testimony of a Cloud of Witnesses, who in their Generation have testified against that horrible Evil of Forcing of Conscience and Persecution about Matters of Religion (1662), and he seems very familiar with his writings. He also cites Schwenckfeld and Franck on pp.37 and 17 respectively.

Castellio's plea for toleration, Traite des Heretiques a savoir, si on les doit persecuter (Rouen, 1554), has just been reissued in attractive form in Geneva, edited by Olivet and Choisy.

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