Archive for the ‘Bullinger’ Category
It is required at the hands of wedded couples to be mindful of the faith which they give and take, that they do not falsely deceive one another, but holily keep the promise that they make and troth that they plight, and to keep it sincerely both in body and mind. Let neither of them lust after the body of a stranger, nor conceive an hatred or loathsomeness of their wedded spouse. And thy body, thou that art a married man, is not thy body, but thy wife’s; as also thy wife’s body is not thy wife’s, but thine.
Thou stealest and dost commit a robbery, if thou take away another body’s goods; and, when thou hast conveyed it from the proper owner, dost give it to another. Let the mind of wedded mates be unspotted, and the body untouched. Every one, when he first cometh to solemnize wedlock by the holy ceremony ordained for that purpose, doth promise with an oath in the name of the Lord before God and the church, that he will use the company of no woman but her, that he will cleave to, love, and cherish her alone without any other. This faith once given whosoever doth violate, he is falsely forsworn, and is a breaker of a godly promise and God’s holy truth.*
If you find one in ten that act in marital purity (before and during the marriage) you have found a rarity.
*The Decades of Henry Bullinger: The First and Second Decades, (p. 406).
In 1535 Bullinger published this tractate, along with others, against the Catabaptists. Take a little time today and give it a read. It’s Memoriam Bullinger Day.
The old saying goes something like ‘we can only see so far as we do because we stand on the shoulders of giants’. In theology that is certainly true and one of the giantest of the giants is Heinrich Bullinger.
Heinrich Bullinger died on the 17th of September, 1575, after having served as the Pastor of the Great Minster in Zurich for over 4 decades. He wrote over 10,000 letters (!) – corresponding with persons all across Europe, including Luther, Calvin, Melanchthon and hundreds and hundreds of others.
In his heyday, he was far more influential in Britain and Switzerland than Calvin, and he authored dozens of books. But he is probably most well known (when he is known at all) as the author of the Second Helvetic Confession. Of his final months and death, Philip Schaff writes
His last days were clouded, like those of many faithful servants of God. The excess of work and care undermined his health. In 1562 he wrote to Fabricius at Coire: “I almost sink under the load of business and care, and feel so tired that I would ask the Lord to give me rest if it were not against his will.”
The pestilence of 1564 and 1565 brought him to the brink of the grave, and deprived him of his wife, three daughters, and his brother-in-law. He bore these heavy strokes with Christian resignation. In the same two fatal years he lost his dearest friends, Calvin, Blaurer, Gessner, Froschauer, Bibliander, Fabricius, Farel. He recovered, and was allowed to spend several more years in the service of Christ. His youngest daughter, Dorothea, took faithful and tender care of his health. He felt lonely and homesick, but continued to preach and to write with the aid of pastor Lavater, his colleague and son-in-law.
He preached his last sermon on Pentecost, 1575. He assembled, Aug. 26, all the pastors of the city and professors of theology around his sick-bed, assured them of his perseverance in the true apostolic and orthodox doctrine, recited the Apostles’ Creed, and exhorted them to purity of life, harmony among themselves, and obedience to the magistrates. He warned them against intemperance, envy, and hatred, thanked them for their kindness, assured them of his love, and closed with a prayer of thanksgiving and some verses of the hymns of Prudentius. Then he took each by the hand and took leave of them with tears, as Paul did from the elders at Ephesus.
A few weeks afterwards he died, after reciting several Psalms (51, 16, and 42), the Lord’s Prayer, and other prayers, peacefully, in the presence of his family, Sept. 17, 1575. He was buried in the Great Minster, at the side of his beloved wife and his dear friend, Peter Martyr. According to his wish, Rudolph Gwalter, Zwingli’s son-in-law and his [that is, Bullinger's] adopted son, was unanimously elected his successor. Four of his successors were trained under his care and labored in his spirit.
There has been a revival of interest in Bullinger in the last decade or so, with many of his more important works being published in a modern German edition of 7 volumes (along with the massive complete edition of his works which is still underway).
Heinrich Bullinger Werke. Zweite Abteilung. Briefwechsel. Band 16. Briefe von Januar bis Mai 1546.
Heinrich Bullinger Werke, Band WA2 = BW16
hg. von/ed. by Reinhard Bodenmann, Alexandra Kess, Judith Steiniger
Theologischer Verlag Zürich, Zürich, 2014, 443 S./pp.
Zur Verlagsseite/publisher’s website:
Great news from a great, great project! Remember, you can acquire TVZ publications in North America from ISD.
Bullinger wrote a LOT of letters- and received even more- from all over Europe. Few Reformers had a larger ‘network’ than Bullinger (and perhaps none of them did). On 3 September 1544 he wrote this one to Matthias Erb-
Hat Erbs frommen, pflichteifrigen Brief [Nr. 1953] erhalten; segnet Erb. Teilt mit, dass bereits Johannes Fries das 12. Buch seines Matthäuskommentars ins Deutsche übersetzte, und schickt ein Exemplar, doch stellt er es Erb frei, eine lateinische Ausgabe drucken zu lassen, was sicher auch [Christoph] Froschauer billigen wird. Ein Student [Diethelm Keller] übersetzte Bullingers “Apodixis” [,,Der alte Glaube"] vom Deutschen ins Lateinische, von der sich ein Exemplar bei Hans Vogler [d.J.] befindet. Hörte, dass Erb in andere Kirchen berufen werde, wünscht sich aber, dass Erb in seiner Kirche bleibe; andererseits sähe er ihn auch gerne bei sich in der Eidgenossenschaft; erbittet Nachricht über sein Vorhaben. Grüße; [Konrad] Pellikan lobte die brüderliche Liebe der [Elsässer] zu [den Zürchern]. Der junge, begabte Gerold Meyer [d.J.], Sohn von Gerold Meyer [d.Ä.], dem Zwingli seine Schrift “Quo pacto ingenui adolescentes formandi sint” gewidmet hatte, würde gern [in Reichenweier] als Stadtschreiber ausgebildet werden; Bullinger bittet Erb, sich bei [Oswald Fürstenlob], der auch schon Hans Vogler [als Lehrling] annahm, für Meyer zu verwenden; dieser lebt zur Zeit bei seinem Verwandten Johannes Escher, dem Unterschreiber von Zürich; Grüße.
Gratiam et vitae innocentiam a domino.
Accepi literas tuas et legi cum voluptate, Erbi charissime, cum quod pietatem spirant, tum quod testantur, quali in me sis animo praeditus, mei amantissimo studiosissimoque. Dominus, qui charitas est, complectatur et te et benefaciat tibi. Amen.
Praevertit te in vertenda parte libri 12. in Matth. a d. Ioannes Frisius, qui id operis perficiendi suscepit, quod tu eras pietatis gratia promovendae suscepturus. Eius exemplum ad te hic mitto. Video autem in utroque eiusdem spiritus consonantiam. Utinam multo cum fructu legatur a multis! Liberum autem sit tibi, si ita studiosis conducere videtur, separatim Latina imprimendi. Non male consulet Froschouerus, opinor, quod ad eruditionem multorum pertinere videtur.
Vertit modo studiosus quidam e Germanico in Latinum Apodixim, quod fides Christiana mox ab orbe condito incoeperit atque ad nostra usque tempora duravit. Nam eam Germanice scripsi ante septennium. Exemplum dedi Voglero meo, apud quem invenies.
Audio te vocari ad alias ecclesias curandas; an vero tu illam sis deserturus, quam nunc spiritu Christi et verbo veritatis gubernas, nescio. Quid si ad nos in Helvetios revocareris, si omnino eo in loco haerere nolis, in quo nunc es? Vellem te manere in ecclesia, in qua nunc es; sed rursus cuperem te esse nostrum, ubi discedere instituisti. Fac sciam animi tui sententiam.
Salutant te fratres omnes, imprimis Megander. Salutabis tu fratres omnes, imprimis Regium.
|| Dominus Pellicanus multis praedicavit nobis vestram erga nos fidem et charitatem. Pro quibus magnas vobis agimus gratias orantes dominum Iesum, ut confirmet vos in omni bono. Orate pro nobis dominum. Vale una cum omnibus tuis.
Tiguri, 3. septembris anno 1544. H. Bullingerus tuus.
Bullinger and Calvin were the topic discussed by Pierrick Hildebrand, or more precisely, their interpretations of Genesis 17. Pierrick did a very fine job with his paper and it was immensely instructive. His work is very promising and his larger project (on Bullinger and Covenant theology) sounds really fascinating. The only way I could have been more pleased with his paper is if it had been on Zwingli. But, alas…
Pierrick is a PhD student here in Zurich and he’s one of those super bright, exceptionally insightful young (rising) scholars you should know- and keep your eye on.
If, in the future, you see his name on an article or book, do avail yourself of reading it. You shan’t be disappointed.