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preach his word holily and purely, as well in sermons, as in commentaries, and other writings; and interpret his holy Scripture faithfully.
“But, alas! that study and zeal of mine (if worthy so to be called) have been so remiss and languishing, that, I confess, innumerable things have been wanting in me to the well performing of my duty. And, unless the immeasurable bounty of God had been present, my studies had been vain and vanishing. For which causes, I witness and declare, that I hope for no other help for salvation than this only; that seeing God is the Father of mercy, I trust he hath showed himself a Father to me, who acknowledge myself a miserable sinner.
“As for other things, after my departure out of this life, I would have my body committed to the earth, in that order and manner which is usual in this church and city, till the blessed day of resurrection cometh, &c.” He died May 27, 1564, aged 54 years.
THEODORE BEZA. He was born at Veselia, in the year 1519. His father, Peter Beza, and his mother, Mary Burdolet, were both of them nobly descended.
Beza became very learned in early life, and writ and published some pieces of poetry before he was twenty years of age. But as they were compositions of a loose and wanton turn, he endeavoured, after his conversion, to suppress them: when the Papists, hating him for his religion, often printed them in order to disgrace him.
He had two uncles of considerable note; one of whom dying, left him a handsome income; and the
other, who was Abbot of Frigidmont, designed him for his successor; the revenue of the Abbey being above five thousand crowns a year, besides two benefices annexed to it, worth seven hundred crowns more. These things puffed him up not a little.
But it pleased God to work, in the midst of these temptations, so powerfully by his grace on Beza's heart, that discerning his danger, and the snares of Satan, he made a vow to renounce the errors of Popery; and lest he should be overcome by temptation of another kind, he privately married, making only two of his fast friends witnesses of the ceremony: and then engaging that within a limited time he would break through all impediments, have his wife to the true church of God, and there publicly confirm the marriage. But delaying to perform this engagement, the Lord struck him with & sore disease, which lay so long and grievously on him, that almost despairing of life, and being deeply humbled, with many tears he begged pardon of God, saying, "Lord, bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: * and the Lord heard, and restored him.
Being thus recovered, without farther delay he took his wife, and leaving friends, honours, riches, and country, conducted her to Geneva, and there publicly solemnized his marriage. He was afterwards called to be Greek Professor in the University of Lausanne ; and when he had passed ten years there in that cha racter, with the leave of the senate of Berne he re turned to Geneva, and lived with Calvin, and was from that time his great assistant both in matters of doctrine and discipline.
Soon after his return to Geneva, at the request of certain noblemen of France, he went to Anthony, King of Navarre ; to the end that, through the divine bless ing, he might confirm that Prince in the true religion. Neither did this want effect; for A. D. 1561, the King of France dying at Orleans, the King of Navarre supporting the Prince of Conde, the Admiral Coligni, and other noblemen, prevailed with the Popish party to cease from the executions and butcheries on the faithful servants of Christ.
Charles IX, of France, being come to the crown, published an edict for the preservation of the common quiet, while the Papists and Protestants held a dispute on religion. Hereupon the King of Navarre wrote to the senate of Geneva, requesting that Beza might be sent to assist at the debate; and the Queen-Mother wrote for the same purpose to the senate of Zurick, to send Peter Martyr to her; and both were accordingly sent.
There went also to this dispute many Ministers of the reformed churches in France; as they had the public faith given them, that they might, with all safety, stay and return at their pleasure.
The chief disputants on the side of the Pontificians repaired to this meeting, which was held at St. Germains.
Beza was the very chief on the Protestant side, and defended the principles of the reformed churches by such solid arguments, as threw shame and confusion on the Popish party, and gave the highest satisfaction to many great persons present. There were four of these meetings for disputation: in all which Beza acquitted himself as an able and faithful champion for the truth.
In one of the debates, one of the Sorbonne Doctors pointing with his finger to Beza, in a threatening, manner, said," If we could but once catch thee within the walls of the Sorbonne, thou shouldst not get out again.”
A form of reconciliation was drawn up at the last
iples of hrew Sa highest pere to Beza
meeting by the Protestants, but entirely rejected by the Pontificians. The civil wars broke out again in France in 1567. And in 1572, the massacre was perpetrated at Paris, which caused great bleedings of heart in this good man. By letters he sent into Germany and England, he obtained relief for the Pastors of fifty churches, who, being driven from their home, had fled to him; and they were, by his means comfortably sup. ported for three years.
By great labours and sufferings his strength was greatly weakened; but he did not wholly desist from preaching till January, in the year 1600, when he was eighty-one years old; and his last sermon was on the third petition of the Lord's prayer,—“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
In his last illness he was afflicted with tedious watchings, lying awake in the nights; but he endeavoured to sweeten the time by holy meditations. And speaking to his friends of it, he used the words of the Psalmist :-"My reins also instruct me in the night season. I have set the Lord always before me. In his favour is life. My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, when I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches."
He often used the words of the Apostle, “ We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good words." Likewise those of St. Augustine, “I have lived long, I have sinned long ; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
He often repeated the following prayer :-“ Lord, perfect that which thou hast begun, that I suffer not shipwreck in the haven !” and often said, “ Lord, we follow thee, by thee, to thee. We follow thee, because thou art the Truth; by thee, because thou art the Way ; to thee, because thou art the Life.”
On Lord's Day morning, October 13, he rose, and
prired with his family; and then desiring to go to bed again. be sat down on the side of his bed, and asked * zil sengs vere quiet in the city. He was 22SWERS, - They were; - and being perceived to be near his end, a Minister vas immediately sent for, and immediately came; and while he was praying with him. Bens, without the least pain or groan, quietly yielded up his spirit to God, A. D. 1605, aged 86.
Ben yis a thick set men, and of a strong constitution. He used to say, that he never knew what it was to have the head-sche. He was a person of such wit, judgment, and memory, so eloquent, affable, and courteous, that he was called the Phenix of his time.
In his last will he expressed his thankfulness " That God had called him to the knowledge of the truth at sisteen years of age, though he walked not answerably to it, till the Lord in mercy brought him home, and carried him to Genera; where, under that great man, Calvin, he learned Christ more fully.
“That being infected with the plague at Lausanne, and aspersed with grievous calumny, the Lord had delivered him from the one and the other:
6 That being returned to Geneva, he was there chosen Pastor, while he deserved not to be one of the sheep:
“ That not long after, he was made colleague with that excellent man, John Calvin, in reading divinity:
“ That being called into France in the first civil war, and tossed there up and down for twenty-two months, God had preserved him from six hundred dangers,” &c.
A Papist objecting to him the loose poems of his youth, he answered," This man vexeth himself, because Christ hath vouchsafed me his grace."