More Sad News: Lawrence Stager has Died

Via Peter Machinist <> as well as other colleagues came the saddest news about Lawrence (Larry) Stager, who died at home yesterday (Friday), apparently after a fall. He would have been 75 this coming Tuesday. Funeral arrangements and plans for a memorial are not complete as of this writing.

So Jack Sasson.  Sad indeed.

Sad News

REVELL, Ernest John — Born April 15th, 1934, died Dec. 15, 2017 in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Predeceased by his beloved wife of 52 years,

Ann Margaret, (née Morgan). Loving father of John and Bridget, fond father-in-law of Stephen Marmura, proud grandfather of Hana and Alex Marmura and devoted brother of Elizabeth Revell.

John was a scholar in the field of Biblical Hebrew and he remained active, publishing as recently as 2016. He served the University of Toronto as a professor, chair and professor emeritus in the Department of Near Eastern Studies which later became the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations. He was also a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

Beyond his work, John was a talented botanical watercolour artist and an avid gardener. He delighted in taking long walks and when he retired to England, he took great pleasure in being a bell ringer for his local church. Cremation followed by a funeral service took place at St. Paul”s Anglican Church, Antigonish, Wednesday December 20, 11:00. His wish was that his ashes be returned to England to be interred near his father”s grave in the cemetery close to his childhood home. Family flowers only. 

Via Jack Sasson

Fun Facts From Church History: When Luther Wrote a Preface For a Book He Hadn’t Read

The editor of Luther’s Prefaces writes

It is hard to imagine these “sermons” being preached in the length at which they were printed: even without the given title pages and Luther’s brief prefaces their span is formidable. Otto Clemen questions whether Luther even read the whole of both sermons. Nonetheless, he used the opportunity to address some of the pressing issues brought to the fore by the Diet of Augsburg.

Clemen remarks-

“[T]he great Christian teacher Dr. Martin Luther of godly erudition” would hardly have approved of himself being referred to (without irony) as the “pope, sovereign head of them all” (i.e., the ministers of the church), “servant and chief” in the “Evangelical Church,” or of the notion that all Christians might undertake to administer the Supper in an emergency

In the Preface Luther writes

[I]t must be confessed that the Church neither became nor can become the holy Church through works or merit. Otherwise, what good would Christ and His death be for us? So, too, the holy Church cannot be without error and sin with respect to life. Otherwise, it would be lying and mocking God when it prayed in the Our Father: “Forgive us our debts” [Matt. 6:12]. And Christ would Himself have to be lying when He refers to His dear apostles, who were holy, saying, “You are evil and without understanding,” etc. [cf. Mark 7:18ff.; Matt. 7:11; 15:16].

It seems that Luther couldn’t help himself when it came to having something to say about the papacy. Even if that meant writing a preface for a book he hadn’t really read (in the same way that some today write reviews of books they have never opened).

Gregory was One Of Zwingli’s Dearest Friends

In 1487, Bartholomew Zwingli [Huldrych’s uncle] removed from Wildhaus to Wesen, a town on the western end of the now little visited but grand and striking Lake of Walenstadt. It was only a matter of a dozen miles to the south-west of Wildhaus, but the bristling Churfirsten came between.

Wesen was the market-town of the district, and Bartholomew had scarcely been inducted into his rectory before he was promoted to be dekan, or superintendent, which made him a person of considerable importance and influence. In the rectory at Wesen Zwingli lived with his uncle, and in the parish school under his uncle’s direction he made his first acquaintance with learning.

But as it was soon evident that he had the making of a scholar in him his uncle sent him in 1494 to Basel, or rather to Klein Basel, which is that part of the city on the east bank of the Rhine, to the school of St. Theodore’s Church, kept by that gentle and wise master, Gregory Buenzli, in whom Zwingli found a fatherly friend.

Master and pupil afterwards carried on an intimate correspondence, but only three letters of it remain. Two are from Buenzli (vii., 111 and 567), dated February 3, 1520, and December 1, 1526, respectively; the first of which shows that Buenzli, who in 1507 (Egli, Analecta, i., 2) succeeded Bartholomew Zwingli as pastor at Wesen, was still there in 1520, the latter having died in 1513; the second, that Buenzli was in 1526 failing mentally. The one from Zwingli (vii., 257), dated December 30, 1522, alludes to the length and intimacy of their friendship and shows quite characteristic interest in promoting the affairs of one of Buenzli’s friends. Zwingli acknowledges Buenzli’s activity in the cause of the Reformation in his “Instructions for Walenstadt,” dated December 13, 1530 (ii., 3, 86)(S.M. Jackson).


Zwingli’s Letter to Gregor Bünzli


Recte sentis, carissime Gregori, cum putas tibi licere a me, quęcunque usus requirat, petere; nam ego tuis respondere votis ita cupio, ut non possim magis, cum ob summam, qua praeditus es, pietatem, tum ob inveteratam longis annis amiciciam, quibus factum est, ut communi amico nostro Laurentio Moero, viro iuxta pio atque docto, ex animi mei sententia cnsilium dederim, nihil veritus quorundam insidiosas suspiciones. Malui enim ipse me malorum calumniis obiicere, quam virum tam probe de Christi doctrina sentientem in rerum suarum naufragium pertrahere; nam sacerdotium istuc, pro quo ad nos venit, ita extenuatum est, ut vix Euclionem aliquem vel Chremilum enutrire possit; taceo, quod pręstantior vir sit, quam qui rei tantum domesticę curam gerere debeat et non potius magni gregis esse dux.

Adde, quod Rhetiorum Curię docendo Christum longe plus boni parare potest, quam Tiguro tacendo ac ad sarcinas sedendo et nos expectando. Quod certe cogeretur; nam verbi ministerium a senatu nobis commendatum est, a quo munere citra sęnatus voluntatem sine tumultu deiici non possem. Quid facerem, qum is me per fidem eliceret, ut consulerem, et tu per amiciciam iuberes? Consului itaque, ut ad suos redeat nec deserat, nisi dei spiritus iubeat ex una civitate in aliam fugere [Matth. 10. 23], Rhetos Christo lucrifaciat.

Sic enim apud nos comparatum est, ut, si cum quibusdam canonicis sentiret, hostem haberet plebem; si contra eos, multum decederet rei; nam ea, quę promisimus, haud diserte expressimus. Ex quibus obiter id expiscari potes, quid de Christo sentiant quidam sacerdotes, atque hoc in urbe tam unanimi consensu recte credente. Sed fuerunt sacerdotum principes longe infestiores Christo et scribę, quam Herodes et Pilatus.

Quamobrem nihil inconstantię homini velim imputes: servasset, hercle, cum rerum dispendio fidem, nisi nos eum hac opinione liberavissemus. Vehementer enim dolebat Curiam suo euangelista privari, quę unde similem nactura esset, non occurrebat. Prudentes esse iussit Christus [Matth. 10. 16]. Vale et pauca, quę cum illo de sanctorum, hoc est divorum intercessione coram contulimus, hominem memorare iube.  Vale iterum.

Ex Tiguro, 3. Kalendas Ianuarias MCCCCCxxiij.
Huldrichus Zuinglius.