|About the Book|
Originally Published in 1851The title of PSYCHOPANNYCHIA derived from Greek words which signify the sleep of the soul- the object of the Tract being to show, partly from reason, but more especially from Scripture, that there is no such sleep. It was published in 1534, when CALVIN was twenty-five years of age, and is, consequently, with the exception of the Commentary on the Clementia of Seneca, published in 1532, the earliest of all his writings, and two years earlier than the Institutes, the first known edition of which appeared in 1536. It thus possesses, especially to those who delight to trace the progress of a master mind, an interest additional to that which its merit gives it.The figment which it refutes is said by CALVIN to be of Arabian origin, but was first brought prominently into notice by some of the wildest fanatics among the ANABAPTISTS, for whom everything new and monstrous appears to have had an irresistible attraction. In more modern times, attempts have been made to give it a philosophical shape, as a necessary corollary from the dogma of Materialism advocated by Priestley and others.It would seem that the figment, wild and irrational though it is, had made considerable progress at an early period of the Reformation, and counted numerous converts, not merely among the fanatics who had revived it, but in more respectable quarters, where better things might have been expected.