Daily Archives: 2 Apr 2019

No One…

No one who talks about forgiveness who doesn’t also talk about repentance understands either what forgiveness or repentance are.

Luther’s View of Diets and the Advice of Doctors

On April 2 he [Martin Luther] sat at home and mentioned the rigid diet prescribed by physicians as a consequence of which many men are debilitated. “It’s true [he said] that a good diet is the best medicine when it suits the individual, but to live medically is to live wretchedly.”

Then he related some examples of deceased persons who starved themselves to death on the advice of their physicians. “I eat what I like and will die when God wills it. The times fade away, and we grow old with the silent years. When I now think of my contemporaries who are fifty years old, oh, how few they are. About every thirty years a new generation arises. We all belong in the ground; there’s no way around it.”  — Martin Luther

Preach it, Martin.

Quote of the Day: Calvin – on Those Who Exalt Themselves

calvin

The foolish woman [Miriam], puffed up with pride, had coveted more than was lawful; and her ignominy was the just reward of her arrogance, according to the declaration of Christ, “Every one that exalteth himself shall be abased.” (Luke 18:14.) Let us understand, then, that in proportion as the proud are led away by their ambition to long for unlawful honours, they bring upon themselves nothing but disgrace; and although they may gloriously triumph for a season, still, it cannot be but that their glory will at length be turned into disgrace.

For inasmuch as all who exalt themselves wage war with God, He must needs encounter them with the awful power of His hand, in order to restrain their madness. Now, whosoever are moved by envy to enter into contention with His servants, endeavour, as far as in them lies, to over-throw His glory by obscuring the gifts of the Spirit. No wonder, then, that God should avenge the insult offered to Himself, and should repay them with the infamy they deserve; as it is written, “Them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” (1 Sam. 2:30.)  — John Calvin

Staring Over Zwingli’s Shoulder, April 2, 1520…

If you had been in Zurich on this date in 1520 and you were at Zwingli’s house, staring over his shoulder as he stood (yes, he stood) at his desk, you could have watched him write this letter to his friend Myconius-

Myconio Zuinglius S.

Accepi, optime Myconi, cum Hedionis tuas quoque literas, plenas earum, quas ad te quoque scripsit, rerum. Hoc autem die, quo has ad te damus, a Zasio, quas etiam ad te mittimus, accepimus literas (nam grandis omnino mihi cum isto viro intercessit amicicia). Velis itaque iuxta illa, quę pro Dorpio scribit, tu etiam epistolam ad illum scribere nobisque transmittere, ut, cum Vadiani quoque acceperimus, simul omnes dirigantur, ut homo, quemadmodum Zasius inquit, laudis cupidus videat Helvetios etiam sibi gratulari, quod ad partes meliores secessionem fecerit.

Ne vero hoc te consilium lateat, quod sibi a nobis datum tantopere commendat Zasius, scito in nupera quandoque illum epistola ad nos scripsisse, ita se animatum, ut adversus Lutherum de potestate pontificia non possit non scribere, quod is sacrorum canonum maiestatem (en tibi iurisperitum in factionem suam iuratum) floccifacere sit ausus etc.

Ego hominem non tantum dehortatus sum, verum, cum quadam tamen modestia, deterrui, iubens, ut vel hoc unicum spectaret, Lutherum, et si modestiam ipse quandoque desyderem in illo, pontifices tamen, si perpetuo pergant esse mali, sua traductione suorumque scelerum libera censura olim absterriturum ab illis verecundiamque incussurum. Huius, inquam, consilii gratiam habet Zasius.

Literas eius mox remittito, ut et ad Vadianum transeant. Quid tibi consultum volueris post Hedionis literas lectas, haud capio. Vale et gratiam habe filio missę ad nos papyri.

Salvus etiam sit cum parente, tua coniuge. Salvi pręterea sint Xilotectus, provisor, omnes tui.

Vale. Ex Tiguro 2da Aprilis anno MCCCCCXX.
Zasius sępe antehac ad nos scripsit et semper te cum Vadiano*
salutavit.
Myconio suo, amico carissimo.

And after watching him write the note, you could have seen him sign it-

zwingli_signatureReading the correspondence of the Reformers is the best, the very best, way to learn who they were.  Zwingli, Calvin, Melanchthon, Luther, Oecolampadius, Bullinger… they’re all revealed in their letters.

____________________
* Unfortunately the correspondence with Zasius is lost.

“Listen to Me”

“Listen to me”.

Ok, what do you want to say.

“Listen to me!”

Ok I’m listening, what do you want to say.

“I want you to listen to what I have to say.”

Ok I have been and you haven’t said anything.

“Why won’t you listen?????”

Ok well we aren’t really getting anywhere.

“Listen to ME.”

Good lord……..

Martin Luther: On Adultery

What Luther noted seems especially needed to be heard these days-

Adultery includes all unchastity. …

And especially needed nowadays-

Married life is not a subject for jest, but an excellent estate. God bestowed upon it all the goods of the earth, as is written in Gen. 1 [:28]. He honored it so highly that he reposed everything in it; for what he is concerned with here is that people should be raised up. Therefore, let each one see to it that he remains with his wife and vice versa, and that both keep their bodies pure, not only outwardly but also that you may not set your heart upon another. They shall “become one flesh,” it is said [Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:6], and this they do on account of the first commandment: Fear God! What you must say is: Even though I do have chances to kick over the traces, nevertheless, since God says, Fear me! I will not do it. Even though the emperor will not find it out, God who is above me will. Therefore say, O my God, grant me grace that I may not fall and that I may keep my marriage pure.

Luther sums up-

This means that you are to live chastely in your marriage, in body, words, gestures, and heart. That’s why God gave to each his wife.

People need to pay attention.  Luther’s right.