GALLICAN CONFESSION (Con/sasio Gallicana, French Confession of Faith, Confession of La Rochelle): A confession adopted by the first national synod of the Reformed Church of France in 1559. During the first period of the Protestant congregations in France, there was no official symbol. There existed, however, the so-called sommaires, short statements of the principal truths The Ear- of Holy Scripture which are found in tier"Sum- Protestant Bibles, the two oldest being maries." one in Latin in Robert Stephens' Bible (1532) and another in French in the Bible of Faber Stapulensis (1534). They are found also in Stephens' Latin New Testament (1552) and in the French New Testament of J. Gerard (1553) in a form revised and supplemented by Calvin. These original symbols of the French Protestant Church were prompted by apologetic reasons, being called for to refute the calumnies of Roman priests. Up to 1559 the Protestant oon gregstions of France were independent, each being at liberty to set up its own confession, and the "sum maries 11 were sufficient for all purposes.
The first impulse toward a general statement of the doctrine and discipline of all French Reformed congregations was given by a dispute over the doctrine of predestination which broke out in the congregation of Poitiers. As the preachers of that city could not
settle the difficulties, the congregation Origin of of Paris was called to aid. The aethe Con- sembled preachers came to the confession. elusion that only a common symbol The Synod and a common church order could of 1559; guard against the external and internal dangers of the Church, and it was resolved to convene a general assembly representative of the Reformed Church in France to provide what was needed. The congregation of Paris invited the other congregations to a national synod. Calvin disapproved of the doings of the Reformed congregations, and at his instigation the church council of Geneva sent three deputies to Paris, N. des Gallars, Arnauld, . and Gilbert, with the draft of a confession in thirty-five articles-and a personal letter from Calvin to Frsngois de Morel. In the mean time, the synod had begun its sessions on May 26, 1559, under the presidency of Morel. There were present probably about fourteen deputies, preachers or elders, but the number is variously given from eleven to seventy-two. During the final three days forty articles of church discipline were decided on. On May 28, the envoys from Geneva arrived. They submitted Calvin's draft and it was accepted with soma slight changes.
The arrangement is the same as in Calvin's "Institutes" and the Geneva catechism of 1540. The symbol contains forty articles and is divided into four parts, corresponding to the four chief dogmas--God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Church.. The word of God; as reviled in Holy Scripture,
is declared the only and infallible rule Cones of of faith. The Bible derives its author-the Con- ity from the testimony of the Holy feasioa. Spirit in the believing soul. The chief dogmas are as in the sommairea- Adam's tall, original sin, total depravity of human nature, redemption through the blood of Christ, free grace of God, justification by faith. Pre destination is taught with emphasis, but without supralapsarianism. In the doctrine of the Lord's Supper Calvin's conception of "being nourished from the substance of the flesh and blood of Christ" is retained.
The confession was unanimously accepted by the deputies and, according to Chandieu, was "read and proposed to the people and signed by all who could attend according to time and locality." Although it was intended to be kept secret, in the very same year it was published in Switzerlandand in Francs, under the title Cosfes Later His- lion de foy faicte dun common accord tort' of the par lea Prang ois~ui disinnvive aelon Confession. to purtE de 1 tgila de NSJC (I
Peter iii.). It was then printed at the beginning of the French Bible, in place of the summary (cf. the Geneva Bible of 1559). A preface addressed to the king was added, and with this addition the confession was handed to him in 1561 by eight deputies from s$ provInoas, chosen at
Bibliography: The Fiench text with Eng. transl. is in Schaff, Creeds, iii. 358-382. The original text is in T. de Beza6 Hint, ecci6siaatique des tplisea rtformfea, ii. 173-190, Antwerp, 1580, and in ZHT, 1875, pp. 508-544, with introduction by Hoppe. An early Eng. transl. is in J. Quick, Bynodicon in Gallia retormata, i., pp. vi.-xvi., London, 1692. Consult: Bess, Hist., ut cup., 3 vols.; J. Quick, ut sup., 2 vols.; Calvin, Opera, Strasburg ed., ix. 57 sq4.; G. de Felice, Hist. des Protestants en France, Toulouse, 1851, Eng. transl., London, 1851; H. Lutteroth, La Réformation en France, Paris, 1859; F. Chaponnibre, La Question des confessions de foi au sein du Protestantism contemporain, Geneva, 1867; H. Dieterlen, Ls Synods glm6'al de Paris en 1869, Paris, 1873; E. Bersier, JA Synods t)6niral de Paris en 1872, ib. 1873; N. Weiss and O. Douen, in Bulletin de la sociN d'hist. du Protestantism français, pp. 37, 449, Paris, 1894; Schaff, Creeds, i. 490-498.
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