Reading Bullinger is always edifying. Here’s a snippet from the great man from one of his letters1-
Und warlichen so sind wir uss uns «von natur nüt anders dan kinder des zorns» [Eph 2,3], daruss aber gottes unergrüntliche barmherzigheit erglastet: «Dan wir nu uss genad selig werdend durch den glouben, und dasselb nitt uss uns, es ist gottes gab, nitt us den werchen, uff das sich neimandt [!] rüme» [Eph 2, 8f]. Die werch sind aber wir schuldig zuo thuon, ja die uns gott durch den glouben und schrifft leert, nitt selbs erdichte werch, die dan nie wol Sauli erschussend: 1. Reg. 15. [1 Sam 15,1 ff]. Solomon spricht darvon Proverb. 3: «Vertrüw dem herren uss gantzem dinem hertzen und verlass dich nitt uff din fürsichtigheit. In allen dinen wegen halt inn im hertzen, und er wirts wol machen» [Spr 3,5f].
We are not naturally good, we are naturally bad. Only the grace of God, imputed to us, makes up something other than we are. Absent the saving work of God in Christ, we remain bad and willfully so.
1BULLINGER AN MARX ROSEN Kappel, 5. Februar 1525, Abschrift 2 : Zürich StA, E II 441, 380-389
It is not the least part of felicity or happiness in earth, to will that God wills; it is the greatest unhappiness, not to will that which God wills. — Heinrich Bullinger
Heinrich Bullinger on Prophecy and the Prophetic Office (1523-1538), by Daniël Timmerman, Regular Price: $94.00 / Special Offer Price: $76.00
Description: It has often been noted that the Protestant Reformation of the early sixteenth century witnessed a revived interest in the scriptural notions of prophets and prophecy. Drawing from both late medieval apocalyptic expectations of the immanent end of the world and from a humanist revival of biblical studies, the prophet appeared to many as a suitable role model for the Protestant preacher. A prominent proponent of this prophetic model was the Swiss theologian and church leader Heinrich Bullinger (1504-1575). This study by Daniël Timmerman presents the first in-depth investigation of Bullinger’s concept of prophecy and his understanding of the prophetic office. It also engages with the history of the Zurich institute for the study of the Scriptures, which has become widely known as the “Prophezei”.
Patiently and skillfully compiled by Dr. Jim West, this booklet is the first ever attempt to have a collection of prayers and short texts of Huldrych Zwingli and Heinrich Bullinger as a tool to assist and deepen the prayer life in private and public worship throughout the whole year. It is a unique resource for unwrapping the riches of their teaching in simple, yet profound sentences. Nonetheless, at the end of the day, they are records of how the gospel has been rooted in the lives of the two reformers and as such provide to some extent models of how Christians can find words for their own prayers. The more that happens, the more the designed purpose of the booklet will be fulfilled. — Emidio Campi, professor emeritus of Church History and former director of the Institute of Swiss Reformation Studies, University of Zurich.
Reformed Spirituality is not an exercise in godly enthusiasm nor reserved for religious virtuosi. It is a Christ centered life, starting with a simple prayer every morning. We are thankful to Jim West for reminding us what the Fathers of Reformed Protestantism, Ulrich Zwingli and Heinrich Bullinger meant by “worshipping God in Spirit and Truth”. — Peter Opitz, Professor für Kirchen- und Dogmengeschichte von der Reformationszeit bis zur Gegenwart, University of Zurich
You’ll be able to acquire a copy for yourself by Summer. DV.
Titled Heinrich Bullinger: On Prophecy and the Prophetic Office (1523-1538). Dan sent a copy which arrived the other day with a bookmark!
Thanks Daniel. I love bookmarks and books.
We are too unthankful towards our God, unless we do willingly and cheerfully suffer calamities at his hand. And then such cheerfulness is not required of us, as should take away all sense and feeling of grief and bitterness: otherwise there should be no patience in the saints’ suffering of the cross of Christ, unless they were both pinched by the heart with grief, and vexed in body with outward troubles. If in poverty there were no sharpness, if in diseases no pain, if in infamy no sting, and in death no horror, what fortitude or temperancy were it to make small account of and set little by them? But since every one of them doth naturally nip the minds of us all with a certain bitterness engrafted in them, the valiant stomach of a faithful man doth therein show itself, if he, being pricked with the feeling of this bitterness, howsoever he is grievously pained therewith, doth notwithstanding by valiant resisting and continual struggling worthily vanquish and quite overcome it.
I’ve been working on this for a good while now and it’s almost ready to send off to the publisher. And I’m excited about it. I’ll have it to them in a month or so. Then I can return to the Commentary and finish off Samuel and Kings and it will all be over with. Yay! (And in the meanwhile I’ll work on my assigned portions of the critical edition of Melanchthon’s Opera Omnia and a Festschrift and a volume of essays on the Reformation and other sorts of projects).