PICTET, pîc"tę', BENEDICT: Swiss Reformed; b. at Geneva May 30, 1655; d. there June 10, 1724. After receiving his education in the university of his native city, he made an extensive tour of Europe, after which he assumed pastoral duties at Geneva, and in 1686 was appointed professor of theology. In the domain of systematic theology, Pictet published two great works: Theologia Christiana (3 vols., Geneva, 1696; Eng. transl., Christian Theology, London, 1834) and Morale chrétienne (2 vols., 1692), in which he sought to revive the old and somewhat stagnating orthodox theology, though he was unable to prevent the Genevan "Company of


Pastors" from adopting a new formula of subscription in 1706. Pictet also distinguished himself as Christian poet, his hymns soon becoming popular conjointly with the Psalms, and some of them still being found in French hymnals. Mention should likewise be made of Pictet's Huit sermons sur l'examen des religions (3d ed., Geneva, 1716; Eng. transl., True and False Religion examined; the Christian Religion defended; and the Protestant Reformation vindicated, Edinburgh, 1797) and of his Dialogue entre un catholique et un protestant (1713; Eng. transl., Romanist Conversations, London, 1826).


BIBLIOGRAPHY: E. de Budč, Vie de Benedict Pictet, Lausanne, 1874; J. Gabriel, Hist. de 1'église de Genéve, vol. iii., Geneva, 1882; C. Borgeaud, Hist. de l'univsrite de Genéve, ib. 1900; Lichtenberger, ESR, x. 599-600.

PICTURES, MIRACULOUS: Certain pictures or images believed by the Roman Catholic Church to confer special graces upon those who look at them, on the intercession of the saint represented in them, and on condition of more or less subjective Bus! on the part of the beholder. Among these graces are recovery from illness, discovery of secrets, inspiration to good works, and the like. The popular notion ascribes miraculous powers to the pictures themselves; but theologians take pains to explain that God alone is the wonder-worker, and the picture only the locality and occasion of the miracle, by means of the intercession of the saint, or sometimes the means by which the miracle is worked, as in cases where the image is supposed to speak, to weep, or to open and close its eyes.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Council of Trent, session XXV., Latin and English in Schaff, Creeds, ii. 199-205; M. Chemnits, Examinis concilii O Tridentini ... Opus, Frankfort, 1585-1573, reprint, ed. Preuse, Berlin, 1881, Eng. transl., London, 1582; J. Marx, Das Wallfahren in der katholischen Kirche, Tréves, 1842.


CCEL home page
This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at
Calvin College. Last modified on 06/03/04. Contact the CCEL.
Calvin seal: My heart I offer you O Lord, promptly and sincerely