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Group Title: True story library, No. 2 ;, 5
Title: John Calvin
CITATION PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055333/00001
 Material Information
Title: John Calvin
Series Title: True story library, No. 2
Physical Description: 64 p. : ill. ; 13 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Wright, Julia McNair, 1840-1903 ( Author, Primary )
Faber, Hermann ( Illustrator )
Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A -- Board of Publication ( Publisher )
Westcott & Thomson ( Stereotyper )
Publisher: Presbyterian Board of Publication
Place of Publication: Philadelphia
Manufacturer: Westcott & Thompson, stereotypers
Publication Date: c1870
 Subjects
Subject: Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Reformation -- History -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1870
Genre: novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Julia McNair Wright.
General Note: Illustrations by H. Faber (Hermann Faber).
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00055333
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002447402
notis - AMF2657
oclc - 10771644

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
        Page 1
    Frontispiece
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Content
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
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        Page 23
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        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
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        Page 50
        Page 51
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        Page 64
    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text





























T L Ba






The Baldwin Library

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John Calvin. i ee page 1.
2
/ ,ll








JOHN CALVIN






BY
MRs. JULIA McNAIR WRIGHT,
AUTHOR OF "ALMOST A NUN," ETC. ETC.












PHILADELPHIA:
PRESBYTERIAN BOARD OF PUBLICATION,
1334 CHESTNUT STREET.

























Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year
1870, by

WM. L. HILDEBURN, TeASURER,
in trust for the
PRESBYTERIAN PUBLICATION COMMITTEE,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania.






WESTCOTT & THOMSON,
Stereotypers, Philada.








JOHN CALVIN.



HE name of JOHN belonged
Sto many good men. From
John the Baptist-who
taught in the wilderness of
Judea, as you read in Mat-
thew and Luke-and John, the
beloved friend and disciple of
Jesus, who wrote the gospel,
three epistles, and the last
5





6 JOHN CALVIN.

book in the Bible also-onward
to these Johns, of whom I am
writing, and many more Johns,
I hope, who are now boys or
wee babies, but will grow up
to be holy and zealous men,
the name of John has been
great in the Church.
Of John Knox and John
Huss you have read. I shall
now tell you of JouN CALVIN,
called, next to Luther, the
great Reformer.





JOHN CALVIN. 7

And I will begin by telling
the end of my story. John
Calvin was one of the Reform-
ers whose life was not taken
away by his enemies, but who
lived to old age and died
quietly in his bed. He was
born in Picardy, a district of
France, in the year 1509, and
died in Geneva in 1564.
John Calvin's, father was a
Frenchman, an officer, in the
town where he lived, and also





8 JOHN CALVIN.

an officer of the Roman Catho-
lic Church. He was very zeal-
ous for his Church, and trusted
to it rather than to Jesus for
the salvation of his soul.
He was an educated man,
rich and proud, boasting much
of his honesty. He was very
fond of his children, and made
great plans about what they
should do, and how great they
should be, when they were
grown. There were three chil-





JOHN CALVIN. 9

dren-John, his brother and
his sister.
The father would say that
the girl should marry a rich
nobleman, John should enter
the Church and his brother
the army.
"John, you shall be a priest.
If you are zealous and learn-
ed you will become a bishop,
then an archbishop, then my
lord cardinal. And who knows,
son John, but you may be





10 JOHN CALVIN.

made pope? All things are
possible to the wise."
John thought learning a
royal road to greatness, for he
dearly loved study, and his
teacher said he was his bright-
est pupil.
As I have told you some-
thing of John's father, I will
say a few words of his mother.
She was a lovely, gentle, pious
woman, and a very tender
mother to her children. She





JOHN CALVIN. 11

talked with them much of
God, and went. with them to
pray.
In all John's life the mem-
ory of his mother was dear
and beautiful. It blessed his
early years and comforted his
manhood, and he looked for-
ward to joining her before
God's throne in heaven.
John had a cousin whom he
loved, named Robert. John's
father said to him,





12 JOHN CALVIN.

Your cousin Robert is a
fool. He is throwing away his
chance of greatness and wealth
for some nonsense he calls
'duty.' Son John, the Church
is duty. Stick to the Church,
and never mind 'duty.' "
"Robert reads the Bible,"
said John, "and is not that a
good thing to do ?"
"The Bible is a maker of
mischief," said his father.
"The Church says let it alone.





JOHN CALVIN. 13

I never want you to have any-
thing to do with it."
John Calvin's father be-
lieved that the soul of his son
was safe. So long as he was
sure of that, he gave all his
time and labor to promoting
John's interest in this world.
He would talk to the boy by
the hour of the great honor
and power and riches he would
have when he was a man.
As John grew older more





14 JOHN CALVIN.

money was needed for his edu-
cation, and his father hit upon
a very odd way of getting it-
at least, it seems odd to us,
though he thought it all right.
John was twelve years old,
and his father said he should
be made a priest and given a
place in a village some fifty
miles from his home. In
those days this was often
done. A boy was made a
priest, and received the pay or





JOHN CALVIN. 15

salary of some parish without
doing any work in it, maybe
without ever going near it.
John Calvin was brought
before the bishop and made a
priest. His hair was tonsured,
or cut round in a circle, and
he was given a long black
gown. It was thought very
important that John's hair
and dress should be all right,
but it was no matter whether
there was anybody to marry,





16 JOHN CALVIN.

bury or baptize the poor peo-
ple of the parish, which he
never visited.
John did not know that
there was any harm in this
state of affairs. Like most
children, he believed that
whatever his father thought
and did was right.
He got the money from the
parish, and this kept him at
school. His teacher loved
him, and said he had good





JOHN CALVIN. 17

principles. Now it is curious
to notice that whenever he
told his companions about
what was right and wrong he
fell back on his mother's
teachings.
"You must not waste your
time," he would say; "it is
wrong-my mother says so."
Do not think you can es-
cape from God's sight; God's
eye is ever on us-my mother
says so."
2





18 JOHN CALVIN.

His mother's teachings had
a firm place in his heart.
When he was still quite
young his father sent him to
study in a very famous school
in Paris. Of this school we are
told that most of the students
were poor. The teachers were
also poor, getting very little
pay for teaching, but feeling it
a great honor to be at so noted
a school. The priests had full
control, and if any one dis-





JOHN CALVIN. 19

pleased them, read the Bible
or thought even what the
priests did not like, they were
at liberty to imprison or even
to burn him. You may think
John Calvin would be afraid
to say a word these powerful
and cruel men would not like.
In spite of such hard rule
and such oppression, there
were to be found at the Paris
school young men who dared
to study the word of God, and




20 JOHN CALVIN.

do as it taught them. Among
these was John Calvin's cousin
Robert.
God said of Saul of Tarsus,
as you have read in the Bible,
that he was a chosen vessel to
bear his name. So was John
Calvin a chosen vessel to hold
and make known the truth of
God-to explain and enforce
the holy truth which Rome
had been doing her best dur-
ing many years to destroy.





JOHN CALVIN. 21

Between them we find much
resemblance. Saul was brought
up among the strictest sect of
the Pharisees, and John among
the strictest sect of the Ro-
manists. Both were famous
scholars, and expected to fill a
high place in the world; and
both were taken by God to do
a great work in his kingdom.
Both went to the capital city
of their country to be edu-
cated; both were brave and





22 JOHN CALVIN.

fearless. God taught them,
and called them to do his
will.
Among the first teachers of
the truth whom God sent to
John Calvin was his cousin
Robert. This good young man
would bring his Bible and read
it, and when John would say,
"Take away your book my
father says it is bad," Robert
would weep and pray aloud.
John was so moved by his





JOHN CALVIN. 23

cousin's earnestness and sin-
cerity that he thought he
would read the Bible himself.
Among the professors in
Paris was one who taught
Greek, a famous scholar and
secretly a lover of the Bible.
He asked John Calvin to study
Greek, and told him he could
then read the New Testament
in the very language in which
it was written.
Years after, when Calvin




24 JOHN CALVIN.

had become a famous teacher
and preacher, this professor
of Greek went to Geneva to
learn from him the way of God
more perfectly, and thus the
teacher became the pupil.
It is pleasant to us to know
that when Calvin was a boy
and a young man he led a
quiet, honest and orderly life.
Among all the temptations to
wickedness in the city of Paris,
far from his home and friends,





JOHN CALVIN. 25

and left to do as he pleased,
John neither rioted, drank,
fought nor swore like many of
his fellow-students, but even
his worst enemies are forced
to hold him blameless.
Boys and girls little think
how great need there is of do-
ing exactly right when they
are young.
How does the reader know
but some day all the world
will be searching his history





26 JOHN CALVIN.

as it now searches the history
of Calvin, to find a flaw?
How beautiful to hold fast
one's integrity !-to live before
God and men an honest life,
as did our example, the holy
child Jesus, and as did those
other faithful children, Sam-
uel, Jeremiah, Timothy and
John the Baptist.
Besides his Cousin Robert
and the professor of Greek,
Calvin found a teacher in a





JOHN CALVIN. 27

poor and pious old man who
lived alone in the woods. This
old man had been forced to fly
from the priests, but in the
hut in the woods, or in the old
ruins where he hid himself, he
was not idle, for he studied the
Bible and taught all who came
to him.
This old man met John and
the Greek teacher one day,
and so pleased them by his
good talk that they went often





28 JOHN CALVIN.

to, visit him, and each time
they came back richer than
they went, not in money, but
in wisdom- the wisdom of
God.
From Paris, Calvin some-
times went home to Noyon,"
his native place, to visit his
parents, and as the cost of liv-
ing and of books was ever get-
ting greater his father secured
for him another church with a
larger salary. This was when





JOHN CALVIN. 29

he was eighteen, and still he
did not feel that he had any
duty to perform to his people,
and thought all his business
was to take their money.
When he was a boy his
playmates had a queer name
for him; they called him the
"Accusative," from a case in
Latin. They called him this
because he continually accused
them of their sins, and would
not do wrong with them.





30 JOHN CALVIN.

Calvin remained in the "ac-
cusative case" all his life. He
spent his best years in accus-
ing a wicked Church and a
wicked world of their crimes
against God.
At the age of twenty, Calvin
began to feel that he had a
work to do, and that if he were
a priest he had a duty to per-
form-he should preach. He
exchanged his new parish for
another called in French, Pont









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I I I I i i I 'Il l
I l Ji l I !,, II iI II' I ,
I ,' IL *' rll|IbII "i" l.



A i".
,' .. .... l l' ,,,,:'
, 1,^.-,:.:., ,' '1 ,





Calvin at Geneva.
John Calvin. See page 44.
31




32 JOHN CALVIN.

1'Eveque, or the Bishop's
Bridge.
In this town his grand-
father-by trade a cooper, a
maker of wine casks had
lived and his own father had
been born. The people came
out in crowds to hear the ser-
mons of the old cooper's grand-
son, John Calvin.
Calvin had short sermons,
right to the point, and "did
not count that fit to be called





JOHN CALVIN. 33

a sermon whose aim was not
to make men better."
His father did not like him
to preach.
"Never mind the people-
study and become great," he
said to John.
"The people have souls to
be saved," replied Calvin.
One day his father said to
him, "I have changed my
mind -you shall not be a
priest, but a lawyer."
3





34 JOHN CALVIN.

-"Why is that?" asked his
son.
"' You will make more money
by law, and I am afraid you
will get into trouble preach-
ing."
"It is my duty to obey my
father. I will study law, but
I caa still preach," said Calvin.
Calvin seemed to take no
rest. By day he studied law
at Or1,linz and by night he
studied the Bible, and in the





JOHN CALVIN. 35

evenings he went to secret
meetings for preaching and
prayer.
God led me," he says,
"from darkness to light by his
own right hand."
It was his custom after a
plain tea to study until mid-
night, and then after a few
hours' sleep to rise early in the
morning and study hard all
day.
I would not advise any





36 JOHN CALVIN.

young person to follow this
example, for by such hard
study Calvin hurt his health,
and all his life he was hinder-
ed in his work by ill-health.
However, young people are
,generally too idle, and not too
industrious.
About this time Calvin's
good and beautiful mother,
Jeanne Laufranc, died. She
was of noble family, but of
nobler soul.





JOHN CALVIN. 37

Shortly after this his father
was struck by paralysis, and
Calvin left his studies and
went home to take care of
him. This care of a sick pa-
rent lasted some time. When
his father was dead and Cal-
vin went back to Paris to
study, he was a strong-heart-
ed, honest Protestant.
At Paris he had a friend
called Cop, who was a preach-
er at the Sorbonne. Cop be-





38 JOHN CALVIN.

lived as Calvin did, and Cal-
vin wrote a sermon which Cop
preached. The sermon was on
"Faith," and said that men
are not saved by good works,
but by faith in Jesus. This
is true Bible doctrine, but it
made the priests so angry that
they wanted to kill Cop and
Calvin, and the two were
forced to fly from Paris. Some
writers tell us that, like Saul,
the two friends were let down





JOHN CALVIN. 39)

over the wall of Paris in a.
basket.
Calvin went to Nerac, where,
the pious queen Margaret was
his true friend.
While he was here, a good
and venerable man foretold
that he would "restore the
Church of Christ in France."
He went back to Paris and
preached at much risk. He
then went to Noyon and visit-
ed the graves of his father





40 JOHN CALVIN.

and mother, and received what
property belonged to him. He
next went to the city of Fer-
rara, in Italy, where Renee-
another pious queen-was his
friend, and where he preached
in her court.
At twenty-five years of age,
Calvin was known as one of
the wisest men of his time
and one of the most earnest
Reformers.
At this age he wrote his





JOHN CALVIN. 41

book called "The Institutes,"
one of the most famous ever
written.
The epistles of Paul in the
New Testament and the
Psalms of David in the Old
were his favorite studies, and
you know the Bible makes
men wise. It is a fountain
of learning.
Calvin had more of the
stern, firm, decided nature of
his father than of the gentle





42 JOHN CALVIN.

beauty of his mother's charac-
ter. He is called by his ene-
mies a cruel man, a hard man,
but he was neither hard nor
cruel. He was an earnest man.
He lived in trying times, and
had no hours for rest or soft-
ness. His life was a sharp
struggle with the errors of his
Church, but he had a warm
and loving heart.
He married a lady named
Idelette, and he loved her very





JOHN CALVIN. 43

much. He says she was a
"grave, honest and well-be-
loved woman." They lived
together nine years; then she
died, and he mourned her very
much. He lived for a number
of years longer, but he said
he was always lonely without
her.
Calvin and Idelette had one
little son. This dear child
died quite young. Of him
Calvin writes to a dear friend,




44 JOHN CALVIN.

"God gave to us a precious
son. He took him away."
Calvin was called to be pas-
tor and teacher at the city of
Geneva, in Switzerland. Like
Paul, he was abused and driv-
en away by those who first
seemed to love him, but they
afterward begged him to return.
Calvin went back to Geneva,
where he preached, taught and
made laws; and under his rule
it became the wisest and most





JOHN CALVIN. 45

moral town in all Europe and
the refuge of good men from
every part of the world.
When he went back to Ge-
neva the people were so glad
to see him that they gave him
a "plain house," and also a
"piece of cloth for a coat," as
somebody says.
Calvin was not at all fond
of money. He took very little
pay for his labors, and he gave
nearly all he got to the poor.





46 JOHN CALVIN.

Though he was not rich as to
this world, he was rich toward
God.
The people grew so fond of
him that they showed their
love in very queer ways. Once
they fined a man because he
laughed when Calvin was
preaching.
Calvin complained much of
himself, and would say that he
had a bad temper, which made
him hate himself. He would




JOHN CALVIN. 47

say of it, Oh, it is so hard for
me to control this wild beast!"
Children should take great
care to govern their tempers
when they are young, or when
they grow up their bad tem-
pers will govern them.
Calvin had for friends the
best men of his day. He could
" grasp with warmth the hand
of Luther," and all the tender-
est and holiest of the pastors
loved him well. They would




48 JOHN CALVIN.

not have loved a bad or cruel
man.
Melanchthon, called often
"the gentle," from his sweet-
ness of disposition, said of
Calvin, I am tired of the
world and its strifes! Oh, if
I could only lay my weary
head on Calvin's faithful heart
and die!"
Over all the world went the
influence of John Calvin. He
did not become rich and high





JOHN CALVIN. 49

in station, as his proud father
had hoped, but he became
famous for wisdom and piety,
and made himself felt in every
land and in every year that
has gone since his conversion.
Many people have written
his life. His printed books
are numerous. He is one of
those who being dead yet
speak.
As I told you, he injured his
health in his youth by hard
4





50 JOHN CALVIN.

study, which brought upon
him many diseases, and a life
of constant care and labor in-
creased them.
At one time he had six hun-
dred young men at Geneva to
teach from the word of God.
I told you in another book
that John Knox went to visit
Calvin.
John Calvin is turning the
world mad," said the pope,
just as the heathen said Paul





JOHN CALVIN. 51

and his companions were turn-
ing the world upside down.
Another writer says this no-
ble thing of him, "In all his
life Calvin was never idle or
faithless for a single day!"
Every Sunday he preached
twice, and every other week
he preached each day. He
did not use notes, and his
sermons were remarkable for
three very important s's -
short, simple and solemn.





52 JOHN CALVIN.

He wrote once to a friend
that his duties were so many
that they kept him busy day
and night, and so many letters
did he have to answer that he
had "no time to look up to
the blessed sun."
Even kings and noblemen
were among his correspond-
ents, and thought themselves
much honored by a letter from
him. Here we see the force
of a steady adherence to the





JOHN CALVIN. 53

cause of truth. Kings and
philosophers revered and loved
the grandson of the plain coop-
er, the maker of wine casks at
Pont l'Eveque.
Calvin was fifty-five years
old when he died, after having
suffered long from many dis-
eases. He was quite ill for
nearly four months. His
friends, his pupils, the officers
of the church and the town
council of Geneva visited him





54 JOHN CALVIN.

often. All the ministers of
the city came likewise. He
gave them good advice, asked
their forgiveness if he had of-
fended any, and told them of
his glad hope of heaven.
Though so ill, he kept on
with the books he was writing,
telling a friend what to write
down for him.
He had very little money to
leave, and what he had he or-
dered to be divided among





JOHN CALVIN. 55

poor foreigners who had come
to Geneva to worship God in
peace.
The college offered him the
salary for the four months
while he was sick, but that he
would not take, saying he had
no need for money now; he was
going where God would supply
all his need and make him
priest and king for ever
through Jesus his Lord.
Calvin forbade the people





56 JOHN CALVIN.

of Geneva to put up any
gravestone for him, and no
one now knows in what spot
of the cemetery his grave was
made.
In two points Calvin's life
should be a warning to young
people. First, his passion for
study led him to neglect the
needs of his body in food, ex-
ercise and sleep; and thus he
became weak, and was not
able to do his life-work with





JOHN CALVIN. 57

that cheerfulness and comfort
which he desired.
A strong, active mind should
live in a healthy, hearty body,
and we should not wear out
the body while we push the
mind to overwork.
Again, Calvin tells us that
his temper was a wild beast
which it was hard for him to
conquer." This wild beast
called temper is born in near-
ly all of us, and we should





58 JOHN CALVIN.

conquer this wild beast while
it is young. Begin while you
are children to make your
temper your servant and not
your master. You had better
be a slave to almost anything
except a bad temper.
Now I wish you for a mo-
ment to consider Calvin's nick-
name among his young mates
and why he got it. They call-
ed him the "Accusative" be-
cause he accused sin so boldly





JOHN CALVIN. 59

-and you must remember
that he accused sin in himself
just as readily as in others.
Such a name for such a cause
was an honor. Wherever we
see sin we should not be afraid
to accuse and condemn it.
Calvin was brave; he had
moral courage, the best cour-
age of all. He was not afraid
to do right for fear he should
be laughed at. He was afraid
to sin, afraid to offend God,





60 JOHN CALVIN.

and he was not afraid to say
so to any one.
Another very beautiful point
in the character of Calvin was
the love and honor he gave his
parents. He obeyed the fifth
commandment; the law of his
father and his mother he kept
in his heart, and God blesses
every obedient child.
So full of truth and wisdom
were John Calvin's books
about religion that they went




JOHN CALVIN. 61

all over the world. He stud-
ied the Bible and he taught
out of the Bible, and multi-
tudes followed his teachings.
They were thence called Cal-
vinists," and now Calvinism"
is the name given to the doc-
trines which he held.
In all your lives you will
often hear the names of the
great Reformers mentioned.
When you grow up you can
read large books about them,




62 JOHN CALVIN.

which will interest you much;
and you will be more likely to
read these large books when
you have as children read
some small books on the same
subject.
When you read or hear the
names of Calvin, of Huss or
of Luther, how nice it is to
feel that you know who they
were, where they were born
and a little of what they
did !




JOHN CALVIN. 63

There is one comfort, too, in
reading about real people: you
do not feel when you get done
that all is make-believe and
you cannot tell any of it to
any one as real true, "Indeed
and double," as small boys
often say. But when you get
through a tiny book about one
of the Reformers, you can say,
"Ah ha! I do know a little
more than I did before I be-
gun it-a little more of the





64 JOHN CALVIN.

history of the world and the
great and good people who
have been in it."
Now you had better get a
map and ask your mother to
point you out Noyon, Paris,
Orleans and Geneva, the towns
where Calvin was born, lived,
studied and died.




V~S1 '73~


















. ....




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