Today With Calvin: In Which He Describes a Truly Perfidious Wretch

23 Jul

In his preface to the commentary on Jeremiah, dedicated to a certain German Prince, Calvin writes, on 23 July, 1563,

calvino-1All know how basely you have been deceived by that most audacious and unprincipled man, at the same time vile, proud, and perfidious—in short, a monster, made up of a mass of filthy materials, even Francis Baldwin, and yet a skilful collector of the Civil Law.

For having been in THE NETHERLANDS, and having, under the pretext of the Gospel, been received under your patronage, and being made a Professor of the Civil Law through your liberality in THE UNIVERSITY OF HEIDELBERG, he ought to have considered himself as altogether bound by kindness to so munificent a Prince; but he regarded his elevation as advantageous to him to seek, after his own manner, a new situation. Hence, as soon as hope appeared, he deserted his station, having despised the honourable office which he had fraudulently attained, and passed over to the enemies of true and pure Religion, the name of which he had assumed.

And first indeed (as though he retained some portion of shame) he went on stealthily in a clandestine manner, he discussed some secret treacheries with The Cardinal of Lorraine, into whose favour he had insinuated himself. The object of the whole was to subvert the CHURCHES OF FRANCE by means of a spurious doctrine and a mixture of ceremonies.

calvin_bookBut as there appeared no reward for masked and hidden perfidy, he not only rushed headlong into open defection, but so insolently boasted of his wickedness, that he has surpassed similar apostates in canine wantonness.

It is however well, that the perfidy of one unprincipled man does not stop the course of your kindness towards others; and you have some recompense for your perseverance, for among the ornaments of your University are to be found some foreigners well known for their high character, whom it is unnecessary for me to name.

Now THAT’S how you name names and call a thing what it is.

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Posted by on 23 Jul 2017 in Calvin, Church History


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