It Will Never End… Until the End

Because nothing can change a human heart but authentic conversion and there isn’t enough of that these days.

When America did nothing after Columbine, and Parkland, and all the other school shootings, the jig was up.  The gun lobby has won.  You can lament it.  You can ignore it.  You can deny it.   But you can’t change it.  The fabric of this country is so soaked in the culture of the gun that it will never be anything but a culture loving guns.  Until, of course, it is a culture no more.  Until it ends.  Until America ends.  Probably at its own hands.

Calvin: As Equally Gifted as Luther and in Many Respects Moreso

I must patiently submit to this condition which providence has assigned me, that petulant, dishonest and furious men, as if in conspiracy, pour out their virulence chiefly upon me. Other most excellent men indeed they do not spare, assailing the living and wounding the names of the dead; but the only cause of the more violent assault they make on me is because the more Satan, whose slaves they are, sees my labours to be useful to the Church of Christ, the more he stimulates them violently to attack me. I say nothing of the old pettifoggers, whose calumnies are already obsolete. A horrible apostate of the name of Staphylus has lately started up, and without a word of provocation has uttered more calumnies against me than against all the others who had described his perfidy, bad morals, and depraved disposition. From another quarter one named Nicolas Le Coq, has begun to screech against me. At length from another sink comes forth Tileman Heshusius. Of him I would rather have the reader form a judgment from the facts and his own writings than express my own opinion.

And

I shall not quote the bitter words with which you have lately censured me. While you are indulgent to yourself, you represent me as by far too rigid; and yet if you fancy that the easy good nature which you aim at is commended by all, you are greatly mistaken. For there are grave and moderate men, who complain that you are weak and remiss, and are indignant that your other remarkable virtues should be tarnished by this blot. You grant, too, that since the natural temper of all is not alike, it is just that we should promote friendship by mutual forbearance. But here you furnish me with a just reason for expostulating with you, for whatever persons accuse my severity are sure without exception to gain their cause with you as if they were unblamable; and even though you perceive that the fault is on their side, yet am I without any distinction deprived of the advantages of your good word. You mention only three individuals, as if indeed there were not in your territory numberless enraged dogs, who cease not by all the ways in their power to snap at me. I am aware that sometimes you have refuted their calumnies, but you have always contrived to leave along with your refutation the sting of some unfavourable remark behind.

The Earliest Involvements of Calvin in Reform

It is the year 1523. Young Calvin had just arrived from Noyon. De Berquin had translated something of Luther into the French. Thoroughly ill at ease the Sorbonne had accused him before the Parlement. His books and papers had been seized, examined, condemned. He was locked up in the Square Tour of the Palace. At the moment when the sentence of death is expected, the Court intervenes. He is freed August 8, 1523.

The University students, elated over this, and more zealous than prudent, celebrate the occasion. They do so by staging “La Farce des théologastres.” The story of the play is evidence of the fact that by 1523 the name of Luther was generally known in Paris, and that it was associated with the progressive group over against the Nachtschule of the Sorbonne. Now since the Thirteenth Century the so-called morality plays had been presented on the stage. Out of twenty-one collected by M. Picot only one was found to have been written by an out and out loyal Catholic. The “Farce des théologastres” was one in line with the tradition of l’ancien théâtre français therefore. It was written by a friend of de Berquin. The title speaks for itself. The play itself heckles the reactionary spirit of the Sorbonne and the Collège de Montaigu. There are six characters: Théologastres, Fratrez, Foy, Raison, Le Texte de Saincte Escripture, Le Mercure d’Allemagne. Louis de Berquin is identified with the last, the messenger from Germany.*

These are the very kinds of things which worried the establishment about Reform. Was it a legitimate desire to reform Church life or was it an attempt to undermine authority? At this stage, no government could really tell.
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*John Calvin: a study in French humanism (p. 28).