Collectif, Premier registre de la Compagnie des Pasteurs, Genève, 1546-1553. Détail d’une page avec la signature de Jean Calvin. © Eglise protestante de Genève. Exposé au MIR.
For more of these kinds of treasures visit the Museum of the Reformation in Geneva.
It addresses failed priests and a failed priesthood and Evangelicals today, in America, have failed just as miserably as their ancient counterparts. So, for your edification, here is the Book of Malachi. Read it. It’s all about you (theologically).
A message. The word of Yahweh to Israel through Malachi. 2 ‘I have loved you, says Yahweh. But you ask, “How have you shown your love?” Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? declares Yahweh; even so, I loved Jacob 3 but I hated Esau. I turned his mountains into a desert and his heritage into dwellings in the wastelands. 4 If Edom says, “We have been struck down but we shall rebuild our ruins,” Yahweh Sabaoth says this, “Let them build, but I shall pull down! They will be known as Land of Wickedness and Nation-with-which-Yahweh-is-angry-for-ever. 5 You will see this yourselves and you will say: Yahweh is mighty beyond the borders of Israel.” 6 ‘The son honours his father, the slave stands in awe of his master. But if I am indeed father, where is the honour due to me? And if I am indeed master, where is the awe due to me? says Yahweh Sabaoth to you priests who despise my name. You ask, “How have we despised your name?” 7 By putting polluted food on my altar. You ask, “How have we polluted you?” By saying, “The table of Yahweh deserves no respect.” 8 When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is this not wrong? When you bring the lame and the diseased, is this not wrong? If you offer them to your governor, see if he is pleased with them or receives you graciously, says Yahweh Sabaoth. 9 In that case, try pleading with God to take pity on us (that is what you have done), and will he take any notice? says Yahweh Sabaoth. 10 Why does one of you not close the doors and so stop the pointless lighting of fires on my altar? I am not pleased with you, says Yahweh Sabaoth; from your hands I find no offerings acceptable. 11 But from farthest east to farthest west my name is great among the nations, and everywhere incense and a pure gift are offered to my name, since my name is great among the nations, says Yahweh Sabaoth. 12 ‘But you have profaned it by saying, “The table of the Lord is polluted, hence the food offered on it deserves no respect.” 13 You say, “How tiresome it all is!” and sniff disdainfully at me, says Yahweh Sabaoth. You bring a stolen, lame or diseased animal, you bring that as an offering! Am I to accept this from you? says Yahweh Sabaoth. 14 Cursed be the rogue who has a male in his flock but pays his vow by sacrificing a blemished animal to me! For I am a great king, says Yahweh Sabaoth, and among the nations my name inspires awe.’
‘And now, priests, this commandment is for you. 2 If you will not listen, if you will not sincerely resolve to glorify my name, says Yahweh Sabaoth, I shall certainly lay a curse on you and I shall curse your blessing. Indeed I will lay a curse, for none of you makes this resolve. 3 Now, I am going to break your arm and throw offal in your faces — the offal of your solemn feasts — and sweep you away with it. 4 Then you will know that I sent this commandment to you, to affirm my intention to maintain my covenant with Levi, says Yahweh Sabaoth. 5 My covenant was with him — a covenant of life and peace, and these were what I gave him — a covenant of respect, and he respected me and held my name in awe. 6 The law of truth was in his mouth and guilt was not found on his lips; he walked in peace and justice with me and he converted many from sinning. 7 The priest’s lips ought to safeguard knowledge; his mouth is where the law should be sought, since he is Yahweh Sabaoth’s messenger. 8 But you yourselves have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to lapse by your teaching. Since you have destroyed the covenant of Levi, says Yahweh Sabaoth, 9 so I in my turn have made you contemptible and vile to the whole people, for not having kept my ways and for being partial in applying the law. 10 ‘Is there not one Father of us all? Did not one God create us? Why, then, do we break faith with one another, profaning the covenant of our ancestors? 11 Judah has broken faith; a detestable thing has been done in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned Yahweh’s beloved sanctuary; he has married the daughter of an alien god. 12 May Yahweh deprive such an offender of witness and advocate in the tents of Jacob among those who present offerings to Yahweh Sabaoth! 13 ‘And here is something else you do: you cover the altar of Yahweh with tears, with weeping and wailing, because he now refuses to consider the offering or to accept it from you. 14 And you ask, “Why?” Because Yahweh stands as witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have broken faith, even though she was your partner and your wife by covenant. 15 Did he not create a single being, having flesh and the breath of life? And what does this single being seek? God — given offspring! Have respect for your own life then, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. 16 For I hate divorce, says Yahweh, God of Israel, and people concealing their cruelty under a cloak, says Yahweh Sabaoth. Have respect for your own life then, and do not break faith. 17 ‘You have wearied Yahweh with your talk. You ask, “How have we wearied him?” When you say, “Any evil-doer is good as far as Yahweh is concerned; indeed he is delighted with them”; or when you say, “Where is the God of fair judgement now?”
‘Look, I shall send my messenger to clear a way before me. And suddenly the Lord whom you seek will come to his Temple; yes, the angel of the covenant, for whom you long, is on his way, says Yahweh Sabaoth. 2 Who will be able to resist the day of his coming? Who will remain standing when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire, like fullers’ alkali. 3 He will take his seat as refiner and purifier; he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they can make the offering to Yahweh with uprightness. 4 The offering of Judah and Jerusalem will then be acceptable to Yahweh as in former days, as in the years of old. 5 I am coming to put you on trial and I shall be a ready witness against sorcerers, adulterers, perjurers, and against those who oppress the wage-earner, the widow and the orphan, and who rob the foreigner of his rights and do not respect me, says Yahweh Sabaoth. 6 ‘No; I, Yahweh, do not change; and you have not ceased to be children of Jacob! 7 Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have evaded my statutes and not observed them. Return to me and I will return to you, says Yahweh Sabaoth. You ask, “How are we to return? 8 Can a human being cheat God?” Yet you try to cheat me! You ask, “How do we try to cheat you?” Over tithes and contributions. 9 A curse lies on you because you, this whole nation, try to cheat me. 10 Bring the tithes in full to the treasury, so that there is food in my house; put me to the test now like this, says Yahweh Sabaoth, and see if I do not open the floodgates of heaven for you and pour out an abundant blessing for you. 11 For your sakes, I shall forbid the locust to destroy the produce of your soil or prevent the vine from bearing fruit in your field, says Yahweh Sabaoth, 12 and all the nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delights, says Yahweh Sabaoth. 13 ‘You have said harsh things about me, says Yahweh. And yet you say, “What have we said against you?” 14 You have said, “It is useless to serve God; what is the good of keeping his commands or of walking mournfully before Yahweh Sabaoth? 15 In fact, we now call the proud the happy ones; the evil-doers are the ones who prosper; they put God to the test, yet come to no harm!” ‘ 16 Then those who feared Yahweh talked to one another about this, and Yahweh took note and listened; and a book of remembrance was written in his presence recording those who feared him and kept his name in mind. 17 ‘On the day when I act, says Yahweh Sabaoth, they will be my most prized possession, and I shall spare them in the way a man spares the son who serves him. 18 Then once again you will see the difference between the upright person and the wicked one, between the one who serves God and the one who does not serve him. 19 ‘For look, the Day is coming, glowing like a furnace. All the proud and all the evil-doers will be the stubble, and the Day, when it comes, will set them ablaze, says Yahweh Sabaoth, leaving them neither root nor branch. 20 But for you who fear my name, the Sun of justice will rise with healing in his rays, and you will come out leaping like calves from the stall, 21 and trample on the wicked, who will be like ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act, says Yahweh Sabaoth. 22 ‘Remember the Law of my servant Moses to whom at Horeb I prescribed decrees and rulings for all Israel. 23 ‘Look, I shall send you the prophet Elijah before the great and awesome Day of Yahweh comes. 24 He will reconcile parents to their children and children to their parents, to forestall my putting the country under the curse of destruction.’
Read the rest here. You must.
Today marks the anniversary of the death of Philip Melanchthon. He once said
‘The catholic doctrine, say some, has a few trifling blemishes here and there; while we and our friends have been making a great noise without any cause … That is a mistake. Let not the pontiff and the great monarchs of christendom shut their eyes to the diseases of the Church. They ought, on the contrary, to acknowledge that these pretended trifling blemishes destroy the essential doctrines of the faith, and lead men into idolatry and manifest sin.’
‘As for the Roman pontiff’s claim to transfer kingdoms from one prince to another, that concerns neither the Gospel nor the Church; and it is the business of kings to combat that unjust pretension.’
‘Remission of sins ought to be accompanied by a change of life; but this remission is not given us because of this new life; it conies to us only through mercy, and is given to us solely because of Christ.’
‘We must teach the people that the saints are not more merciful than Jesus Christ, and that we must not transfer to them the confidence due to Christ alone.
‘The monasteries must be converted into schools.’
‘Celibacy must be abolished, for most of the priests live in open uncleanness.’
‘O that the Lord Jesus Christ would look down from heaven and restore the Church for which he suffered to a pious and perpetual union, which may cause his glory to shine afar!’
Read a bit more Melanchthon today.