Daily Archives: 1 Nov 2019
The new rector of the university [of Paris] was Nicholas Cop, the son of a distinguished physician, and a warm friend of Calvin. All Saints’ Day brought with it the duty of delivering the annual oration, and a month after his election, November 1, 1533, before a large audience in the Church of the Mathurins, the new rector spoke after a fashion to injure himself and his friend, John Calvin. Cop had asked Calvin to write the address or to make substantial contributions to it, and the result was, as Beza tells the incident, “Very different kind of oration from the ordinary one, for he spoke of religious matters with great freedom.”
In the speech Calvin made a plea for the New Testament kind of reformation, and boldly attacked the musty theologians of the day as a set of sophists, ignorant of the true Gospel. “They teach nothing of faith, nothing of the love of God, nothing of the remission of grace, nothing of Justification, or if they do so, they pervert and undermine it all by their laws and sophistries. I beg of you, who are here present, not to tolerate any longer these heresies and abuses.”
The word was out and could not be recalled. It was sufficient to rouse against Cop all the ire of the conservatives. The Sorbonne interpreted the address as a manifesto against the Holy Church, and condemned it to the flames. The rector of a month fled to Basel. Calvin fell into their accusation also, so we judge his share in the speech was not a secret. He took temporary refuge in the dwelling of a vine-dresser in the Fauburg St. Victor, changed his clothing, was let down from a window, Pauline fashion, and escaped from Paris carrying a hoe upon his shoulder to perfect his disguise. The police were quick upon his heels, yet found nothing save his books and papers.
And so it began- the career of Calvin the Reformer.
The real celebration of Halloween takes place on Sunday mornings when ‘Christians’ put on the mask of the world and live in the world and as the world by ignoring God, worship, fellowship, and discipleship. Halloween, accordingly, is a weekly holiday observed and celebrated by more Christians than not.
The Church services were held on Sundays from seven to eight o’clock in the morning and between three and four in the afternoon. In the Great Minster there was a service for children and servants from eleven to twelve o’clock. During the week there was also a preaching service in the morning at five and at eight, which took the place of the early masses.
On Friday, which was the market day, Zwingli preached especially for the country people. At the end of 1525 certain ministers were set apart for visitation of the sick, inasmuch as this was no part of the duties of the people’s priest.
Of the holy days were retained Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter; also St. Stephen’s, All Saints’, Candlemas, St. John the Baptist’s, Mary Magdalene’s, and more strangely the Annunciation and Ascension of the Virgin Mary, together with the day of the city patron saints, Felix and Regula. On these days, as on Sunday, public business and all work were forbidden, except necessary work, as harvesting.*
The only Holy Days I observe, on the other hand, are Christmas and Good Friday and Easter. All the rest are just papist vestiges. Oh, and Zwingli’s birthday (1 January) and the anniversary of his murder at the hands of the papist troops at Kappel am Albis (11 October).
*Samuel Macauley Jackson, Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (Heroes of the Reformation; New York; London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons; Knickerbocker Press, 1901), 291–292.
It’s Don McKim’s new book and it’s titled ‘Everyday Prayer with John Calvin‘. And it’s now available.
Drawing from the Institutes and Calvin’s Old and New Testament commentaries, Donald K. McKim comments on Calvin’s biblical insights on prayer and intersperses his short readings with Calvin’s own prayers. Reflection questions and prayer points help you to meditate on Scripture, understand Calvin’s teaching, and strengthen your own prayer life.
This is a good one:
I had a wonderful week with these wonderful students.