Erasmus Was Disgruntled When Basel Removed the Idols

melanchthon_erasmusOn May 9, 1529 Erasmus wrote a friend:

“The smiths and workmen removed the pictures from the churches, and heaped such insults on the images of the saints and the crucifix itself, that it is quite surprising there was no miracle, seeing how many there always used to occur whenever the saints were even slightly offended. Not a statue was left either in the churches, or the vestibules, or the porches, or the monasteries. The frescoes were obliterated by means of a coating of lime; whatever would burn was thrown into the fire, and the rest pounded into fragments. Nothing was spared for either love or money. Before long the mass was totally abolished, so that it was forbidden either to celebrate it in one’s own house or to attend it in the neighboring villages.”

Hooray!  Erasmus talked a good game about the need for change but he never really wanted it.