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Church of England Magazine.
NOVEMBER 1, 1823.
MEMOIRS OF THE REFORMERS.
Gallen, in Switzerland, on the 29th J. VADIANUS, M. D.
day of November, 1481. His faThe charge of infidelity has been ther, Leonard, was of senatorial too indiscriminately alleged against dignity, and esteemed by his felthe medical profession. That some low-citizens for his prudence and physicians should countenance ma- talents. His mother, Magdalen, terialism or infidelity will not ex- was of the respectable family of cite much surprize, if reference is Tallmann. made to the boldness of specula- He received the first rudiments tion of which the human mind is of education under learned capable, and the circumstances in schoolmaster named Simon, who which this
class of society is usually was a striet disciplinarian. While placed. Many, however, of this at home, he was accustomed to beprofession have been eminently hold in his parents examples of redistinguished for piety as well as ligious profession, decorous habits, erudition, and so remarkably was and domestic regularity. His fathis the case at the revival of let- ther, observing in him at that early ters, and the reform of religion, period a promising aptitude to the that the practitioners of the healing acquisition of knowledge, with art occupy a considerable portion much ingenuousness of disposition, of the biographical labours of Mel- resolved to send him to Vienna, chior Adam; and are there de where he would have opportunities scribed as indirect, and not un- of improvement under characters frequently direct, promoters of that patronized by the house of Austria, grand moral and religious im- and yielding to few men of their provement which has rendered the day for attainment in mathematical, sixteenth century, next to the apos- theological, and legal science. At tolic age, the most interesting pe- this university, however, young riod in the history of our species. Joachim, removed from the saluAmong these highly-gifted cha- tary guardianship of the parental racters were many prototypes of eye, soon became intimate with the Boerhaaves, the Heberdens, some careless and dissolute stuand the Heys of more modern dents, whose society tended to eftime; none of whom is more wor- face those decent and virtuous imthy of particular notice than the pressions, which had been acHelvetic Vadianus.
quired in the hall of his fathers; Joachim Von Watt, or as he is and the Helvetian stranger, stout named by the ecclesiastical histo- of limb as well as acute in intellect, rians Vadianus, was born at St. became a powerful rival to the
Austrian youth in the various gym- ation several pieces both in prose nastic exercises.
and verse; and on the 12th of Kobler, a citizen and merchant May, 1514, was honoured with of St. Gallen, had settled at Vien- the laurel by the Emperor Maxina; and, as a man of grave cha- milian, at Linz, a town on the racter and known integrity, had Danube; on which occasion he been commissioned by Leonard wrote some lines in praise of his Von Watt to discharge the ex- patron and his imperial father, pense which would be incurred in Frederick the Third. The versatithe education of his son, and to lity of his talents was discovered watch over his moral conduct. He in the readiness with which he apobserved with pain the peril to plied to different branches of sciwhich the child of his friend was ence; while, on most public interexposed; and happening one day views between the University and to meet him in the street ready great personages, he sustained the armed for some expected affray, post of Orator. It is worthy of he seriously admonished him on remark, that, although a foreigner, the course which he was pursuing, he was selected to address the Emand on the disgrace and danger of peror and three Kings at the Conmixing in academic broils, so con- gress of Vienna, on the 16th of trary to the peaceful lessons incul- July, 1515; when Lewis of Huncated at the sober hearth of St. gary and the Archduchess Mary, Gallen; advising him to apply di- with Anne of Hungary and the ligently to his studies, and endea- Archduke Ferdinand, contracted vour to fulfil the bigh hope which that double marriage which was so had been formed of him by his af- important an event in the Austrian fectionate parents. His sensibility annals *. He also made an hawas awakened by this appeal. He rangue before Sigismond, King of returned to his apartment, sat Poland, about the same time, in down to his books, prosecuted his the name of the scholastic body, task with ardour, and was wont to and obtained the dignity of Rector. make a large copy of Virgil serve To improve the geography of Pomhim for a pillow.
ponius Mela, the text-book of the After a while he began to medi- day, he took several long journies. tate expedients for lessening the bur- Afterwards he paid particular atden of expense hitherto borne by his tention to law; and at length fixed parents in his education, and went on medicine as his profession, in to Villach, in the duchy of Carin- which he was admitted Doctor on thia, where he instructed youth un- the 13th of November, 1518. der the patronage of the magistracy. When he had completed his But he felt so strongly the contrast tenth year in the University of Vibetween this insignificant town and enna, he began to think that bis the seat of the muses which he had
native country bad a prior claim to quitted, and desired so earnestly his services, and returned to St. a further intercourse with well- Gallen. The Council hailed with cultivated minds, that he was con- pleasure the arrival of one who strained to return to Vienna. Here had shed such a lustre on their he became at length so distinguish- name, and granted him an annual ed for his genius, erudition, and stipend, which he accepted in prereasoning, as well as for fluent and ference to more considerable offers methodical eloquence, that he was from other members of the Helunanimously chosen public Lectu- vetic confederacy, fixing his resirer of liberal Arts in the University. Respected by his learned col
* Cuspiniani Diarium de Congr. Maxim. leagues, he composed in this situ
et trium Regum, Freyher, Script. Rer. Germ.. knowledged. the Melch. Adam. Vita Germ. Medicor.
dence at St. Gallen, and uniting guments used by the latter, that himself in marriage in the following the majority of the Council of St. year
with Martha Grebel, a lady Gallen were brought to correct of Zurich *
views of Christian faith and pracThe theological discussions which tice; and an unanimous vote passprevailed at this period attracting ed that body in favour of a change Iris observation, and the necessity in their religious profession. Burof a right understanding in religion gaver and Wetter, the pastor and affecting his mind, he joined a dili- curate of the church of St. Lawgent study of the Holy Scriptures rence, after a perusal of the dispuwith the duties of his profession. tations of Luther on the subject of He cultivated the acquaintance of indulgences, and other works of the reforming divines, and sided antipapal character, preached the with the evangelical pastors in op- Gospel with much energy and afposition to the papistical theolo- fection, and were instruments of gians.
evangelic illumination to many of The former found the benefit of their fellow-citizens, se early as the assistance of so able a coad- in the year 1520 * ; while Vadianus jutor. Not only did he introduce attended and frequently presided the writings of Luther into Swit
over religious conferences and zerland, but promoted an Expo- church synods, held at St. Gallen, sition of the Acts of the Apostles, Constance, Frauenfeld, Stein, and that the clergy might be directed other places, where the friends of by scriptural information both as to the Reformation were assisted by tenets and ceremonies. He also the presence or advice of Zuingassisted in laying the foundation of lius of Zurich, and Haller of Berne. what he considered a purer eccle- In particular, he was associated siastical communion. He published with Sebastian Hoffmann and about the same time an useful Christopher Schappeler, two men work, for which he was qualified distinguished for their wisdom and by previous geographical studies, erudition, in the superintendance of illustrative of such places as had an important convention at Zurich, been the scenes of apostolic la- on the 26th of September, 1523, bours.
held on account of some acts of But the aid which he had hither- violence and tumult, in which the to tendered to the cause of Refor- populace had thrown down and mation more immediately trampled on the crucifixes erected from his scientific character. He in the public ways.
To this aswas now called to serve the same sembly the Bishops of Constance, cause as a person of influence and Coire, and Basle had been invited; authority. Advanced to senato- but they thought proper neither to torial rank, his first care was to attend themselves nor send their provide for the interests of true re- representatives. Zuinglius, Enligion in the state, of which a share gelhart, and Leo Judæ, bore here in the government had been allotted a manly testimony in behalf of the him by Providence; and it was new doctrines, particularly on chiefly through the eloquent and image-worship, and the sacrifice of powerful addresses which he made the mass, for three days against to his countrymen, unfolding the any opponents who might choose grounds of dispute between the Ro- to present themselves. The piety manists and the Reformers, and and impartiality of Vadianus on giving a lucid statement of the ar- this occasion were generally ac
* Hist. de Reform. Sangall. Seultet. Dec. 1. p. 131.
The esteem entertained for the deed in presence of their common Senator of St. Gallen, by the great parents, but was immediately apReformer of Switzerland, is on re- prehended, and put to death in a cord. He calls him u
a very ce
similar manner*. lebrated and most faithful physi- The same anxiety for the credit cian both.of souls and bodies, and of the reformed doctrine, which a chief ornament of his state of St. made him regret the schism of the Gallen, of all Helvetia, and of the Anabaptists, prompted him to aim universal Christian church *." He at promoting concord between the is mentioned by Martin Bucer, and disputants on the question of the Henry Bullinger, in terms of simi- Sacrament. He composed a trealar respect. His economic and pa- tise, entitled, “ Aphorisms," in triotic virtues were appreciated by six books, on the consideration the Government, in 1526; when of the Eucharist-on the controby general consent he was exalted versial sentiments regarding it-to the Consulship.
on the old and new SacramentsHe beheld with much concern on the consecration of the elethe proceedings of the Anabaptists; ments--on the one partaking of the fearing lest the Reformation, which Lord's body-and on the dogma of was as yet a tender plant,” and transubstantiation : besides an in
a lily among thorns," might suf- quiry into the mode of celebration fer through the turbulence of the by the primitive Christians, as well storms, which these infatuated re
as into the persons by whom an acligionists were raising in every di- cession or change of ceremonies rection. He thought, with Luther, had been introduced, and into the that though some of this sect might time and manner of the introducbe pious and well-meaning, yet tion. That the candour of this that they were deluded by the more work was as amiable as its research fanatical and seditious; and that by was creditable, may be gathered affording a handle to the enemies from the description given by the of the truth of maligning its sacred author, in his preface, of the state character, religion would be wound- of mind in which it was written, ed in the house of her friends.
“ From the period in which, by the When some of their preachers gifts and graces of a few individuals, came to St. Gallen, and zealously the light of Christian doctrine was endeavoured to propagate their te drawn forth from the lurking-places nets, he was averse from using vio- of ignorance, or as it were from a lence against them, and preferred gloomy dungeon, whatever leisure the more spiritual opposition of I could afford from public and priScriptural argument and quotation, vate duties, I bestowed with real without compromising the safety of delight on those studies, which in the Republic. He used to say, the multiplicity of merely secular that “ he bad often read of heresy, investigations might increase my acbut had never fully understood its quaintance with divine truths, connature till engaged in that contro- firm my conscientiousness, and versy.” In one instance, indeed, especially discover and prescribe he found it necessary to depart a rule of piety which I might receive from this forbearance. A sectary, and cherish. I do not pretend to who boasted, like many of that calculate the value of that leisure, class, of visions and revelations whether successfully or otherwise from the Lord, declared that he bestowed. But I thank the Lord was commissioned to cut off his that he hath given me such an inbrother's head, and executed the clination, that I desire to promote
* Sleidan, ad ann. 1527.
* Zuinglius in Pastore suo. Opp. i. 283.