Letters of John Calvin, Volume I (of 4) Compiled from the Original Manuscripts and Edited with Historical Notes

Letters of John Calvin, Volume I (of 4) Compiled from the Original Manuscripts and Edited with Historical Notes

By Jules Bonnet
Book Description
Table of Contents
  • I.—To Nicolas Duchemin.[13]
    • Calvin at the University of Orleans—his early friendships—he is recalled to Noyon by the illness of his father.
  • II.—To Francis Daniel.[17]
    • Calvin in Paris—Nicolas Cop—the two friends visit a monastery.
  • III.—To Francis Daniel.
    • Thanks to Francis Daniel—salutations to Melchior Wolmar—various messages.
  • IV.—To Francis Daniel.
    • Domestic intelligence—departure to Italy of the brother of Francis Daniel.
  • V.—To Francis Daniel.
    • Calvin's first work—Commentary on Seneca's Treatise, "De Clementia."
  • VI.—To Francis Daniel.
    • Calvin despatches copies of the Treatise "De Clementia" to several persons—looks for lodgings in Paris.
  • VII.—To Dr. Martin Bucer.[25]
    • Recommendation of a French refugee in Strasbourg, who had been falsely accused of holding the doctrines of the Anabaptists.
  • VIII.—To Francis Daniel.[26]
    • Various communications—a new work put forth.
  • IX.—To Francis Daniel.[27]
    • The Reformation in Paris—rage of the Sorbonne—satirical Comedy directed against the Queen of Navarre—intervention of Francis I.—deliberation of the Four Faculties—revocation of the censure pronounced against the book entitled "The Mirror of the Sinful Soul."
  • X.—To Francis Daniel.[34]
    • Retirement of Calvin to Angoulême.
  • XI.—To Christopher Libertet.[35]
    • Calvin in Basle—revision of the Bible of Robert Olivetan—treatise on the Immortality of the Soul.
  • XII.—To Francis Daniel.[40]
    • Calvin in Geneva—translation into French of the "Christian Institutes"—disputation of Lausanne—establishment of the doctrines of the Reformation in the Pays de Vaud.
  • XIII.—To Megander.[45]
    • Calvin and Caroli encounter each other—prayers for the dead—the Genevese clergy accused of Arianism—need of a synod.
  • XIV.—To Viret.[49]
    • Preaching of the Gospel at Besançon—ecclesiastical intelligence—discouragement of Farel—necessity for the return of Viret to Geneva.
  • XV.—To Simon Grynee.[53]
    • The nature of the controversy between Calvin and Caroli clearly laid open—Synod of Lausanne—Caroli is condemned, and the teaching of Calvin and Farel solemnly approved.
  • XVI.—To the Ministers of the Church of Basle.
    • Persecution in France—request addressed to the Seigneury of Basle in favour of the faithful of the Church at Nismes.
  • XVII.—To Louis du Tillet.[62]
    • Departure of Louis du Tillet from Geneva—regret of Calvin—controversy between the two friends regarding the character of the Church of Jesus Christ.
  • XVIII.—To Henry Bullinger.[69]
    • State of the Church at Geneva—wish for the union of the Reformed Churches—mention of Luther.
  • XIX.—To Henry Bullinger.[71]
    • Synod of Zurich—attempt at reconciliation between the banished ministers and the town of Geneva.
  • XX.—To Peter Viret.
    • Arrival of Farel and Calvin at Basle.
  • XXI.—To Louis du Tillet.[76]
    • Journey of Calvin to Strasbourg—project of a new assembly at Zurich—policy of the Bernese—in his retirement Calvin breathes freely—news from France.
  • XXII.—To William Farel.[84]
    • Farel called as minister to the Church of Neuchatel—sad condition of the Church at Geneva—uncertainty of Calvin—Bucer's urgency to draw him to Strasbourg.
  • XXIII.—To Farel.
    • New efforts of the ministers of Strasbourg to attract Calvin thither—the plague at Basle—detail of the death of a nephew of Farel.
  • XXIV.—To Farel.[89]
    • Calvin at Strasbourg—negotiations between Bucer and the magistrates of Geneva—first preaching of Calvin in the French Church—Anabaptists of Metz.
  • XXV.—To the Church of Geneva.[93]
    • Letter of consolation and advice addressed to the Church at Geneva, deprived of her faithful pastor—testimonies of his innocence—confidence in God—trust for the future.
  • XXVI.—To Farel.
    • Conferences of Basle—absence of the theologians of Zurich and of Berne—the minister Konzen—complaints against Bucer—a wish for the establishment of Ecclesiastical discipline—celebration of the Supper in the French Church of Strasbourg—the news of Germany and the Netherlands—question addressed to Melanchthon—domestic affairs.
  • XVII.—To Louis du Tillet.[99]
    • Reply to doubts as to the lawfulness of his call—inward assurance of his calling—declines the kind offer of Louis du Tillet—appeals to the tribunal of God from the accusation of schism charged on him by his friend.
  • XXVIII.—To Farel.
    • Death of Courault—Calvin's discouragement and trust in God—answers a question of Saunier regarding the Supper—the faithful at Geneva exhorted not to separate from the new preachers—affectionate advice given to Farel.
  • XXIX.—To Farel.
    • Second edition of the "Institution of a Christian"—death of Robert Olivetan—state of religion in Germany—first lectures of Calvin at Strasbourg.
  • XXX.—Farel.[111]
    • Fruitless efforts for the union of the two Churches—synod of Zurich—Bullinger's distrust of Bucer—parallel between Luther and Zuingli—Calvin thinks of marrying—news of Germany—policy of the ecclesiastical Electors—French Church of Strasbourg—conversion of two Anabaptists.
  • XXXI.—To Bullinger.[118]
    • Excuses his long silence—evidences of brotherly affection—justifies Bucer—his desire for the union of the Church of Zurich with that of Strasbourg.
  • XXXII.—To Farel.
    • Departure of Calvin for the Assembly of Frankfort—the question of Ecclesiastical property—news of Geneva—opening of the religious conferences at Frankfort—disposition of the Roman Catholic princes and Protestants in Germany—Policy of Charles V.—Reformation in England—remarkable judgment on Henry VIII.
  • XXXIII.—To Farel.
    • Conclusion of the Assembly at Frankfort—attitude of the Protestant princes—conversations between Calvin and Melanchthon on ecclesiastical discipline—opinion of the latter—of Capito—various details.
  • XXXIV.—To Farel.
    • Numerous occupations of Calvin—news of Germany—firmness of the Senate of Strasbourg.
  • XXXV.—To Farel.
    • Union of the Swiss Churches—first steps for the recall of Calvin to Geneva—some details concerning his ministry and his straitened circumstances—Lutheran ceremonies—the Church property—renewal of the League of Smalkald—constancy of the German Princes—example of fidelity to the cause of Christ on the part of the Town of Strasbourg.
  • XXXVI.—To Farel.
    • Ecclesiastical news of Switzerland—destitution of the minister Megander—complaints addressed to Bucer—further projects of marriage on the part of Calvin.
  • XXXVII.—To the Church of Geneva.[157]
    • Recommends anew the counsel of peace and brotherly agreement to the Church of Geneva.
  • XXXVIII.—To Farel.
    • Journey of Farel to Strasbourg—scanty remuneration of Calvin—sale of his books.
  • XXXIX.—To Farel.
    • Reconciliation of Farel with Caroli—intercession of the Senate of Strasbourg in favour of the French Protestants—answer of Calvin to the letter of Cardinal Sadolet.
  • XL.—To Farel.
    • Caroli at Strasbourg—Proceedings of Sturm and Bucer for the reconciliation with Calvin.
  • XLI.—To Farel.
    • Farther details of the reconciliation of Calvin with Caroli—the minister Alexandre—a lecture of Bucer—negotiations of the Protestant Princes of Germany—their answer to Henry VIII.—French translation of the Epistle to Sadolet.
  • XLII.—To Farel.
    • Caroli—encounter between William du Bellay and the Constable de Montmorency—preparation for an approaching Assembly in Germany—negotiations with the King of England—salutations addressed by Luther to Calvin—hope of an accommodation between the Swiss and German Churches.
  • XLIII.—To Farel.
    • Persecutions in France—policy of Francis I. and Charles V.—ecclesiastical discipline—University regulations at Strasbourg—illness of Farel.
  • XLIV.—To Farel.
    • Further mention of Caroli—discussion with Hermann the Anabaptist—good understanding of Charles V. and Francis I.—alarm of the German Princes—some detail of the propositions addressed to Calvin.
  • XLV.—To Farel.
    • Impressions of Calvin on his recall to Geneva—rigorous application of discipline in his church—news of Germany, of France, and of England.
  • XLVI.—To Farel.
    • Reconciliation of parties at Geneva—insufficiency of the ministers of that Church—Policy of Charles V.—courageous attitude of the Protestant Princes—favourable news from England—cruel persecutions in France—Ecclesiastical discipline in the French Church at Strasbourg.
  • XLVII.—To Peter Viret.
    • Excuses for his silence—sad news from France—repugnance of Calvin to return to Geneva—his comparative estimate of Capito, Zuingli, Luther, and Œcolampadius.
  • XLVIII.—To Farel.
    • Preparations for the Assembly of Haguenau—symptoms of misunderstanding between Charles V. and Francis I.—severe judgment of Henry VIII.—evils produced in the Church by the absence of discipline—various details.
  • XLIX.—To Monsieur du Tailly.[213]
    • Review of the Conferences of Haguenau—the state of parties in Germany.
  • L.—To Peter Caroli.[218]
    • Answer to the complaints of Caroli—refuses to grant to him the professorial chair unless he repents of his past offences.
  • LI.—To Viret.
    • Deputations sent to France and into England—the Edict of Fontainbleau.
  • LII.—To Farel.
    • Sickness of Calvin—preparation for departure to the Diet at Worms—letter to the Queen of Navarre on behalf of the faithful persecuted in France.
  • LIII.—To the Seigneury of Geneva.[225]
    • Excuses himself from returning to Geneva by the necessity of his attendance at the Diet of Worms.
  • LIV.—To Farel.
    • Exposition of the motives which prevent him from returning to Geneva.
  • LV.—To the Seigneury of Geneva.[227]
    • Calvin at Worms—he excuses himself to the magistrates of Geneva for his inability to comply with their request, on account of the mission with which he had been charged into Germany in the general interest of the Church.
  • LVI.—To Farel.
    • Details of the interview of Calvin with the Deputies from Geneva.
  • LVII.—To Nicolas Parent.[229]
    • Testimony rendered to the French Church at Strasbourg and to the pastor in charge of it during the absence of Calvin—matters of advice.
  • LVIII.—To Nicolas Parent.[232]
    • Instructions regarding the Supper, and on various points of Ecclesiastical Discipline.
  • LIX.—To the Seigneury of Geneva.
    • Calvin sent to the Diet of Ratisbon—he excuses himself on that account from returning at that moment to Geneva—advices addressed to the magistrates of that town.
  • LX.—To Farel.
    • Anxiety on account of the Swiss Churches—approaching departure for Ratisbon—disputes between Berne and Geneva—calumnies directed against the Vaudois of Provence.
  • LXI.—To Viret.[239]
    • New expression of the repugnances and terrors which Calvin feels in prospect of his returning to Geneva.
  • LXII.—To James Bernard.[240]
    • Protests his devotedness to the Church of Geneva—oblivion of past injury.
  • LXIII.—To Farel.[243]
    • Calvin at Ratisbon—the plague at Strasbourg—grief of the Reformer—Preliminaries of the Diet—the German princes—the Italian prelates—Hungary—the Turk—Poland—state of opinion—inclinations of Charles V.—stayedness upon God.
  • LXIV.—To Monsieur de Richebourg.[256]
    • Consolatory letter on the death of his son.
  • LX.—To Farel.
    • Affliction of Calvin—news of the Diet of Ratisbon—appointment of the theologians charged with the representation of the two parties—their reception by the Emperor—portrait of Julius Pflug, of Gropper, and of Eck.
  • LXVI.—To Farel.
    • Request addressed by the ministers of the Church of Zurich to those of Strasbourg—Calvin promises to return to Geneva—message to Viret.
  • LXVII.—To Farel.
    • Results of the Diet of Ratisbon—conferences of the theologians—original sin—free-will—justification—impossibility of agreement in the sacrament of the Supper.
  • LXVIII.—To Farel.
    • Efforts of Bucer and of Melanchthon to effect a connection between the two Churches—formula of concord—feeling of Calvin on the subject.
  • LXIX.—To the Pastors of the Church of Zurich.[276]
    • The expression of his sentiments in reference to the Church of Geneva—ready to return to that town if the magistrates of Strasbourg consent to it, and if the Seigneury of Berne promise their support—testimony of respect for the Church of Zurich.
  • LXX.—To Farel.[279]
    • Return of Calvin to Strasbourg—news of the Diet of Ratisbon—contradictory formulæ presented to the Emperor—reply of Charles V.—letter to the King of France in favour of his persecuted Protestant subjects.
  • LXXI.—To Farel and Viret.[284]
    • Communication of a letter received from Bucer—news of Germany—Church of Metz—assurance given to Viret of his approaching departure for Geneva,—recommendation of two young men.
  • To Viret.
  • LXXII.—To Viret.
    • Excuses for his delay in leaving Strasbourg—conclusion of the Diet at Ratisbon.
  • LXXIII.—To Farel.[292]
    • Prepares to depart for Geneva—self-denial of Calvin—absolute submission to the will of God.
  • LXXIV.—To the Seigneury of Geneva.[293]
    • Arrival of Calvin at Neuchatel—purpose of his going to that town.
  • LXXV.—To Farel.[295]
    • Calvin at Berne—his interview with one of the principal magistrates, and with the ministers of that town.
  • LXXVI.—To Farel.[297]
    • Arrival of Calvin at Geneva—his interview with the magistrates—draws up a form of Ecclesiastical Discipline—advises Farel to moderation.
  • LXXVII.—To the Seigneury of Neuchatel.[299]
    • Efforts to pacify the Church of Neuchatel—instructions given to Viret.
  • LXXVIII.—To Bucer.[300]
    • New details regarding the troubles in the Church of Neuchatel—proceedings of Viret—sentence pronounced by the Bernese—the Ecclesiastical Statutes of Geneva—request for prolongation of leave for Viret—testimony of respect and affection for Bucer—approach of the pestilence.
  • LXXIX.—To Madame the Duchess of Ferrara.[310]
    • Instructions on the subject of the Mass, and on the necessity of avoiding scandal.
  • LXXX.—To Farel.
    • Brotherly exhortations—efforts of Calvin to draw Viret to Geneva—news of that Church.
  • LXXXI.—To Farel.
    • The Vaudois of Provence—appeal addressed to Mathurin Cordier—the Reformation at Paris and Lyons.
  • LXXXII.—To Farel.[325]
    • Healing of the troubles of the Church at Neuchatel—wise counsel given to Farel.
  • LXXXIII.—To Oswald Myconius.[326]
    • Restoration of the Church of Geneva—wise and moderate behaviour of Calvin—obstacles to the establishment of ecclesiastical discipline—duty of the magistrates—information regarding an adventurer named Alberg.
  • LXXXIV. To Oswald Myconius.[329]
    • The Reformation at Cologne—some details on the condition of Germany—efforts of Calvin to retain Viret at Geneva.
  • LXXXV.—To the Brethren of Lyons.[335]
    • Stay of a Carmelite monk at Geneva—declaration of motives for refusing to admit him to the ministry of the Gospel.
  • LXXXVI.—To Farel.[338]
    • Detail of the edifying death of the first Syndic, Amy Porral.
  • LXXXVII.—To Viret.[341]
    • Sickness of Idelette de Bure—the beginnings of the new ministers of the Church of Geneva.
  • LXXXVIII.—To Benedict Textor.[344]
    • Divers recommendations.
  • LXXXIX.—To Farel.
    • Excuses his silence—estimate of the new ministers—works and literary productions of Calvin.
  • XC.—To Viret.
    • Proceedings of Castalio—school of Geneva—criticism on the new ministers—tidings of France—domestic sorrow.
  • XCI.—To Viret.[363]
    • Instructions given to Viret for the Synod of Berne—need of maintaining the spiritual independence of the Church—various directions.
  • XCII.—To Viret.[364]
    • Disquietude of Calvin on occasion of the acts of the Synod of Berne.
  • XCIII.—To Farel.[368]
    • Wishes for the success of the journey undertaken by Farel to Metz—calumnies of James de Morges.
  • XCIV.—To Viret.[369]
    • Origin of the disputes between Calvin and Castalio.
  • XCV.—To Viret.
    • Invitation to Viret to come to Geneva—nomination of a principal of the College of that town.
  • XCVI.—To Viret.
    • Approval of a letter of Viret to the Seigneuries of Berne—the ecclesiastical property—Italian emigrants at Geneva—troubles caused by the differences of that town with Berne.
  • XCVII.—To Viret.
  • The plague at Geneva—conduct of the ministers in these circumstances—Italian refugees—the question of the ecclesiastical property examined.
  • XCVIII.—To Bullinger.
    • Numerous occupations of Calvin—death of Leo Juda—ravages of the plague in Switzerland.
  • XCIX.—To Michael Varod.[390]
    • Recommendation of a sick person.
  • C.—To Monsieur le Curé de Cernex.[391]
    • Religious controversy occasioned by the plague at Geneva—apologizes for the Reformation.
  • CI.—To Philip Melanchthon.[392]
    • Testimony of respect and of fraternal affection—his homage in one of his books—details of his labours at Geneva—survey of the state of Germany and of Italy.
  • CII.—To Viret.
    • Ecclesiastical particularities—struggles to maintain the right of excommunication over the ministers.
  • CIII.—To Conrad Pellican.[400]
    • Offer of his services—answers the accusations directed against Farel—justification of Ochino—introduces two young men.
  • CIV.—To the Seigneury of Geneva.[404]
    • Calvin at Strasbourg—exposé of his proceedings with the magistrates of that town for preaching the Evangel at Metz—the news.
  • CV.—To the Pastors of the Church of Geneva.[407]
    • The preaching of the Gospel encounters difficulty at Metz—intrigues of Caroli—fraternal exhortations.
  • CVI.—To VIRET.
    • Relation of his proceedings at Strasbourg, and the state of things at Metz.
  • CVII.—To the Seigneury of Geneva.
    • Answer from the Assembly at Smalkald—prolongation of the stay of Calvin and of Farel at Strasbourg—preaching of the Evangel at Cologne—warlike preparations in the Netherlands.
  • CVIII.—To the Ambassadors of Geneva.[414]
    • Exposé of the motives which prevent immediate return to Geneva—Cologne news and of the Netherlands.
  • CIX.—To the Seigneury of Geneva.[416]
    • New delay in conclusion of the affair of Metz—Calvin makes arrangements for his return to Geneva.
  • CX.—To Monsieur de Falais.[417]
    • Exhorts him to quit his native country and to retire where he can make free profession of the Gospel.
  • CXI.—To Madame de Falais.[419]
    • Christian counsel and exhortations.
  • CXII.—To Monsieur de Falais.[420]
    • Further exhortation to decide him on quitting his country.
  • CXIII.—To Viret.[421]
    • The ministerial office refused to Castalio—The marriage of Bonnivard, Abbot of St. Victor.
  • CXIV.—To Bullinger.
    • Conclusion of an arrangement between Berne and Geneva.
  • CXV.—To Viret.
  • Farther details of the arrangements with the Bernese—recall of the refugees—preparation of several works—disagreements with Castalio.
  • CXVI.—To the Ministers of Neuchatel.[431]
    • Controversy with Chaponneau regarding the Divinity of Christ.
  • CXVII.—To Farel.[434]
    • Struggles and difficulties of Calvin at Geneva—quarrels of the ministers—violent attacks of Castalio—dissatisfaction of the deputies from Berne—reappearance of the plague—dangers of the Church.
  • CXVIII.—To Oswald Myconius.[441]
    • Political and military intelligence from France and Germany.
  • CXIX.—To Monsieur de Falais.[443]
    • Arrival of Monsieur de Falais at Cologne—the sending of a minister—pious counsels.
  • CXX.—To Madame de Falais.
    • Christian congratulations—hope of a speedy meeting.
  • CXXI.—To Farel.[446]
    • Renewal of the controversy regarding the Sacraments between the German and Swiss Churches.
  • CXXII.—To Bullinger.
    • New appeal to the Seigneurs of Zurich, in favour of the Waldenses of Provence—Luther's invectives against the Swiss Reformer—remarkable judgment in regard to his character—his injustice pardoned in consideration of the eminent services rendered by him to the cause of Christ.
  • CXXIII.—To Melanchthon.[451]
    • Explanations relative to the publication of the book "Against the Nicodemites"—appeal to the authority of Melanchthon and Luther—troubles arising from ecclesiastical discords—announcement of the Council of Trent—policy of Charles V. and of Francis I.—convocation of a Synod at Melun.
  • CXXIV.—To Luther.[464]
    • Calvin submits to Luther several of his writings, of which he desires to obtain his approbation.
  • CXXV.—To an unknown Personage.[465]
    • Difficulties in the way of a reunion, and doubts of the efficacy of a General Council under present circumstances—deplorable state of the Church—motives which prevented him from going to confer in person with the German Reformers—his proposals to them.
  • CXXVI.—To Viret.
    • Intelligence of France and Germany—Synod of Melun.
  • CXXVII.—To Viret.[477]
    • Election of new magistrates at Geneva—struggles of Calvin.
  • CXXVIII.—To Viret.
    • Mention of Clement Marot's metrical versions of the Psalms—persecutions in France.
  • CXXIX.—To Oswald Myconius.[480]
    • Discovery of a conspiracy for the spreading of the Plague at Geneva.—punishment of the conspirators.
  • CXXX.—To the Queen of Navarre.[485]
    • Calvin vindicates himself from the charge of having intended to attack her in his book against the Libertines.
  • CXXXI.—To Farel.[488]
    • Massacre of the Waldenses of Provence—Calvin entreats the sympathy of the Swiss Churches in their behalf.
  • CXXXII.—To Viret.[490]
    • Journey of Calvin in Switzerland—resolutions of the Diet of Arau in favour of the persecuted brethren of France.
  • CXXXIII.—To Monsieur de Falais.[491]
    • Directions for his conduct towards the Emperor Charles V.
  • CXXXIV.—To John Cavent.[494]
    • Consolations on the death of his wife and mother.
  • CXXXV.—To Monsieur de Falais.
    • Information regarding a house to be sold at Geneva.
  • CXXXVI.—To Melanchthon.[500]
    • He complains of Luther's tyranny, and affectionately exhorts Melanchthon to manifest greater decision and firmness.
  • CXXXVII.—To Bullinger.[502]
    • Defence of the Waldenses of Provence—artifices of their enemies—oppression of that unfortunate people.
  • CXXXVIII.—To the Pastors of Schaffhausen.[506]
    • Calvin exhorts them to redoubled efforts for the deliverance of their persecuted brethren.
  • CXXXIX.—To Oswald Myconius.[507]
    • Pressing entreaty in behalf of the Waldenses of Provence.
  • CXL.—To Joachim Wadian.[508]
    • Excuses for the long silence which he had observed towards Wadian—allusion to the controversy regarding the Sacraments—lively entreaties in behalf of the Provençal brethren.
  • CXLI.—To Monsieur de Falais.
    • Report of the near arrival of M. de Falais at Geneva—details relative to the acquiring of a house in that town.
  • CXLII.—To Oswald Myconius.
    • Letter of recommendation for Ochino.
  • CXLIII.—To Madam de Falais.
    • Use of affliction—preparation for the arrival of M. de Falais at Geneva.
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