Church-Book Of The Puritans At Geneva, From 1555 To 1560. -- By: Horatio B. Hackett

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 019:75 (Jul 1862)
Article: Church-Book Of The Puritans At Geneva, From 1555 To 1560.
Author: Horatio B. Hackett

Church-Book Of The Puritans At Geneva, From 1555 To 1560.1

Horatio B. Hackett

(Preserved in the Archives of the Hotel de Ville, Geneva.)2

Who The Refuges Were

The existence of this document became known to the writer during a recent visit to Geneva, in the course of some investigations relating to the translation of the Scriptures into English known as the Genevan Version, and prepared under the auspices of the English refugees in that city, in

the age of Calvin and Knox.3 These refugees were the pioneers of the Puritans, and belong to the class of men who, during the evil days of the relapse into popery, under the persecuting Mary, sought an asylum in Switzerland and Germany. There, as Macaulay recites, they “had been hospitably received by their brethren in the faith, had sat at the feet of the great doctors of Strasburg, Zurich, and Geneva, and had been, during some years, accustomed to a more simple worship, and to a more democratical form of church government than England had yet seen. These men returned to their country, convinced that the reform which had been effected under king Edward had been far less searching and extensive than the interests of pure religion required. But it was in vain that they attempted to obtain any concession from Elizabeth. Indeed her system, wherever it differed from her brother’s, seemed to them to differ for the worse. They were little disposed to submit, in matters of faith, to any human authority. They had recently, in reliance on their own interpretation of scripture, risen up against a church strong in immemorial antiquity and catholic consent. It was by no common exertion of intellectual energy that they had thrown off the yoke of that gorgeous and imperial superstition; and it was vain to expect that, immediately after such an emancipation, they would patiently submit to a new spiritual tyranny. Long accustomed, when the priest lifted up the host, to bow down with their faces to the earth, as before a present God,

they had learned to treat the mass as an idolatrous mummery ….Since these men could not be convinced, it was

determined that they should be persecuted. Persecution produced its natural effects on them. It found them a sect; it made them a faction. To their hatred of the church was now added hatred of the crown. The two sentiments were intermingled, and each imbittered the other. The opinions of the Puritan concerning the relation of ruler and su...

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