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The Reform, in its very origin, was essentially democratic. Switzerland, where the Reform is developed, is an assembly of small nations in which the people are the sovereign. There the reformation comes from the people; and when the councils are opposed to it, (as for instance at Basle,) the people make it prevail. The political rights and liberties, which were trodden underfoot by the Papacy, and which Lutheranism gave up without reluctance, are zealously claimed by the Reform. They advance with it, and are established wherever it goes. The reformation of the Free Cities of Germany, now Lutheran, was the most striking act of their unfettered will; but in making this supreme effort they lost their energy and their freedom, and from that time they fell under the influence of their formidable neighbors.

But the Reform, on the contrary, wherever it goes, makes sacred the ancient liberties and bears new ones with it. Why is it that the fate of Geneva, a free imperial city, is at present very different from that of Augsburg, Nuremberg, and many other towns, which were once as free and independent as it is? History will answer. In 1559, when Geneva was in dread of a siege, Calvin himself helped on the work of raising another rampart. To the same spirit which animated Calvin, Geneva owes her capability of maintaining her independence against formidable enemies, for three centuries. Every where is this distinction between Lutheranism and the Reform apparent. In our own days, for instance, when, on the fall of Charles X. in 1830, the Christians of France and some other countries rejoiced, and the Christians of Germany were astounded and scandalized, perhaps the simple reason of this was that the former were Reformed and the latter Lutherans.

This has long furnished the Roman Catholics with a favorite subject for reproachful language toward the Reform. Well, be it so. Only let us remember the continual commotions of Popish countries, of Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Belgium, Ireland, France, and (but three days since) the battle of Trient, (Valais.) Let us remember the anxiety, the uneasiness, and

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the sad groans of the Lutheran states of Germany. Let us remember the mighty and fruitful liberties which are peaceably enjoyed by the Reformed countries at this time; by Scotland, Holland, England, America, and by some Swiss cantons. And if, in America, the quiet city of William Penn, once the city of Brotherly Love, is now defiled by bloody riots, whence is it? We do not say that the Protestants have been in no wise wrong. On the contrary, we grant that in this case probably the salt hath lost its savor. But it is perfectly evident that the disaster which has occurred in Philadelphia is an act by which Popery and Ireland signalize their invasion there.

As it regards political freedom, Popery is in a state of revolution, Lutheranism in a state of fermentation, and the Reform in a state of possession.

Let no one say, There are democratic sympathies in the Reform; it is therefore not suitable for monarchies. This would be a singular anachronism; it would be reasoning in the style of the age of Louis XIV. Do not the greatest minds of the day acknowledge that democracy, under one form or another, is a future state toward which all nations tend? Now, if the Reform, as Mr. De Tocqueville himself asserts, possesses the light and the strength necessary to lead and moderate democracy, is it not essential to the future interests of all states? To reject it now, would be to send off the seamen, to chase away the pilot, to throw overboard the compass and to break the rudder, at the very moment when the ship is about to set sail and go forth into the open sea. "Let us reform the morals of democracy by religion," says De Tocqueville. The Reform is the golden bit, powerful, yet easy, which a Divine hand has prepared for the mouth of liberty. True pacific democracy is the Reform. You will find it nowhere else.

But, if the Reformed church gives freedom to the state, it is because it possesses freedom itself. In the Reform, the government of the church does not proceed from certain individuals whose functions place them above all the rest, but from

the church as a body, from the vote of each believer, so that, if any are raised above the rest, it is only as instruments or delegates of the church. All necessary precautions are taken to hinder domination from entering it. "Let the moderator have the presidency," (say the ordinances of Schaffhausen,) "but nothing more, lest a monarchy should take the place of democracy."

The Reform does not establish a church of the clergy; it establishes, observe, a church of the people; not of a worldly people, but of the people of God; that is to say, a church essentially, though not exclusively, composed of those devout and holy men whose thoughts have been led captive to the obedience of Christ.

Finally, as to the independence of the church,—we do not say entire separation from the state, for we shall not enter upon that subject in this discourse,-as to the independence of the church, that is not less essential in the Reform. Zwingle, to be sure, who never met with any opposition from the state, and who, on the contrary, received all kind of help from it, regarded the church as a society embraced in the state, protected, cared for, and even, in some measure, governed by the state. But had Zwingle been living in a day when the state attacks Christian truth, for the benefit of Popery or Socinianism, do you suppose that he would have given up the church to its rule? No! he would have separated from it.

Even before Calvin asserted this, the Synod of Berne, in 1532, declared that the state ought not to interfere with religious matters except in respect to external order. "But as to the work of grace, it is not in the power of man, and is dependent on no magistrate. The state should not meddle with the conscience; Jesus Christ our Lord is the only Master. If the magistrate meddles with the Gospel, he will only make hypocrites."

But it was especially Calvin, the head of the Reform, who reclaimed the autonomy, autocracy and independence of the church. He was not, like Zwingle, a citizen by birth of a republic, but a subject of a monarchy, and as such he felt,

less than the former, that he was an integral part of the state. The organization of a monarchy, moreover, gave place, much less than that of a republic, to that confusion of church and state which Zwingle realized.

Luther was a German, Zwingle was a Swiss; but nationality found but a secondary place in the great mind of Calvin; Christ and the church were every thing to him. He was neither French, nor Swiss, nor Genevese; he was of the city of God. On leaving France he sacrificed all that was most precious to him; he did not build up new idols to replace his old ones. Doubtless he loved Geneva, it was his adopted country; but the remembrance of his great nationality was above that of all lesser ones. Nothing was so insupportable to him as national egotism. Turning away from those narrow places in which others chose to remain, his eagle eye was continually fixed on the church as a whole. His colleagues in the cantons endeavored to form a Swiss national church; but this scheme seemed too paltry for his lofty genius; and, passing over rivers and mountains, he constantly aspired to the universal church. He knew none other than the holy nation, none other than the ransomed people.

His very principle, which bound him to biblical and apostolical antiquity, led him back to the church of the first three centuries, and made him view the independence of the church as his normal state. And how could Calvin, at the sight of the state united in France to the Romish hierarchy, and roaring like a wild beast at the humble followers of the Man of Galilee, resist the desire of sheltering the church from its attacks? Nor was it merely the oppression of Francis I. or of Henry II. which he rejected, but the protection of Reformed magistrates also gave him much uneasiness. He viewed the relation which existed between the church and the state in Zurich and Berne as something servile, which hindered the free movements of the church, and was encroaching on its holy liberty. "I do not believe that we are so

slavishly fettered," he writes in 1557, to Bullinger,' who insisted on the authority of the magistrate.,

Calvin, therefore, entirely rejected the idea of having the state govern the church, even though the state might have become evangelical. He wanted it to form a community sui generis, of which each member would have a certain share in the government. He made of each church a small democracy, and of the union of these churches a confederation.

Nowhere, perhaps, was the spirit of Calvin so strongly manifested, with regard to the independence of the church, as in the canton of Vaud. The church in that fine country stood between Geneva and Berne as between two conflicting forces. The spirit of independence and liberty seemed wasted to it from the walls of Geneva by the mighty breath of Calvin; whilst the military republic of Berne, desirous of preserving that power of the state, which for several centuries contributed to its greatness, endeavored, with a strong arm, to draw tighter the bonds and forms by which the state was attempting to restrain the church. Berne could not permit any part whatsoever of the public power to be withdrawn from the mighty hands of the state, not even in religious matAnd thus, when the Vaudois church claimed the free exercise of ecclesiastical discipline, the state feared lest, if this power were granted, its independence might thereby be acknowledged, in some degree. It was willing to allow discipline, but it wanted to exercise it by means of its own officers.3


Nevertheless, Viret, Theodore Beza, and a number of other ministers maintained the principles of independence in the canton of Vaud. The ties uniting it to Berne were daily slackening, and all turned their eyes to Geneva. These two

1 Non puto tam serviliter nos constrictos teneri.

Vaud is a Swiss canton; the term Vaudois must not be confounded here with the French name of the Waldenses, which is spelt in the same way. TRANS.

* Ordonnance de réformation des seigneurs de Berne. Voir Ruchat, 1837, tom. iv., p. 522. Pièces Justificatives.

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