Calvin Day Post 13

And finally, a letter from Farel to Calvin:

william_farelDoctissimo et vigilantissimo pastori ecclesiae Genevensis Ioanni Calvino fratri et symmystae quam carissimo Genevae. S.

Scripsit huc aliquis ad amicum, diem Bernae dictam esse ad diem Iovis quartam huius mensis, in qua agetur de causa eucharistiae. Quis exitus sit exspectandus non video. Nisi Dominus sui verbi rationem habeat, ne male audiat, et pro vindicta quam meremur omnes misericordiam et opem ferat, plane cum ecclesia misere agetur. Nam sincerum pietatis studium non video in multis, sed affectus plene humanos. Res est pessimi exempli et mire avocat a verbo, facitque ut quam plurimi haereant et nutent super doctrina quae proponitur. Si dissidium pastorum in una ecclesia tantum potest, quid incendium illud quod flagrat? Existimo Satanam ab irato Deo hoc permissionis habere, ut passim scindat eos qui omnium coniunctissimi esse deberent, et contra Pilatos et Herodes reddat amicos ut Christum perdant.

Cuperem ex te rescire quid consilii captum fuerit super iis quae perditus nebulo ad Morgiensem classem scripsit de missa et aliis, ubi tui meminit, et te in certamen vocat cum aliis, ut fucum faciat miseris seductis. Quod non videtur esse ne-gligendum: quamvis tam scelestus nebulo indignus sit colloquio. Sed aliorum aedificatio nobis cordi esse debet. Si palam posset agi cum illo de iis quae se scripsit tuiturum, non parum faceret ad aedificationem multorum. Dispicies si iam non feceris.

De fratribus meiss non nihil angor, quum nihil prorsus audiam et ii a multo tempore iam ab-sint. Si quid audieris, fac resciam, et precibus eos adiuva. Ego alterum eorum tantum volebam omnia expedire, sed impetrare non potui. Is cui literas ad Myconium dedisti accepit tuas ad Bucerum: nam diutius apud inardum reservari non visum fuit expedire. Hodie ad Sultzerum alteras misi.

Vale et omnes salvere iube, uxorem, Davidem, non praesente Bernardino. 1. Decembris 1544.

Farellus tuus.

Calvin Day Post 10

A bit of exposition- of Genesis 1:5

The first day. Here the error of those is manifestly refuted, who maintain that the world was made in a moment. For it is too violent a cavil to contend that Moses distributes the work which God perfected at once into six days, for the mere purpose of conveying instruction. Let us rather conclude that God himself took the space of six days, for the purpose of accommodating his works to the capacity of men.

We slightingly pass over the infinite glory of God, which here shines forth; whence arises this but from our excessive dulness in considering his greatness? In the meantime, the vanity of our minds carries us away elsewhere. For the correction of this fault, God applied the most suitable remedy when he distributed the creation of the world into successive portions, that he might fix our attention, and compel us, as if he had laid his hand upon us, to pause and to reflect.

For the confirmation of the gloss above alluded to, a passage from Ecclesiasticus is unskilfully cited. ‘He who liveth for ever created all things at once,’ (Ecclus. 18:1.) For the Greek adverb κοινῇ, which the writer uses, means no such thing, nor does it refer to time, but to all things universally.

Calvin Day Post 8

A bit longer than the others, but very much worth the time to read:


NOYON, 4th September 1532.

The grace and peace of the Lord be with you by the mercy of God and the victory of Christ.

Leisure to write would not have weighed as an argument to persuade me, any more than good advice, unless it had seemed right to deplore in a few words the unhappy lot of this excellent brother, which some friends of undoubted faith and credit have represented to me by letter. For whether you bear with me in my grief and sympathy, or whether I further him in his suit, I could not refrain from writing. The disposition and manners of the man I had known while he lived with us in France. He so conducted himself as to be beloved among the men of our profession, if any one was. Esteemed as such among men who were endowed with some degree of authority, and so as to be neither a shame nor a disgrace to them. At length, when he could no longer bow the neck to that voluntary bondage which even yet we bear, he departed to take up his residence with you, having no prospect of return. But, as the matter stands, it fell out, contrary to his expectation, like the shifting scene of a play, and he could find no settled abode whither he might betake himself. Thither, also, as I hear, he had hastened on account of his straitened means and household matters, that he might have the benefit of the assistance of friends whom himself had formerly assisted, until better times should come. Now, observe how far more powerful is calumny than truth. Some inconsiderate person, I know not who, among your people, whom I certainly do not presume to suspect of malevolence, had so prepossessed the ears of every one with his invectives, that they were shut to all explanation.

There was, therefore, not a single person from whom he could extract a penny. Probably it was not intended by the person, whoever he was, who kindled the sparks of this tragedy, to destroy the character of a harmless individual. Nevertheless, however that may be, I can neither excuse him nor apologize to him, and do not hesitate to assert that he has been in error, to the great hardship and calamity of this individual. They cast upon him these reproaches, as is said, because he had fallen under suspicion of Anabaptism. Strange, indeed, unless the person was outrageously suspicious who spun out this conjecture from so slender evidence. In conversation I drew him intentionally to speak of this sacrament. He agreed in express terms so entirely with myself, that never have I met with any one who professed the truth upon this point more frankly. Meanwhile he suffers notwithstanding, nor does there appear any probability that these sinister rumours, which have already obtained a certain degree of credit, will soon be suppressed.

I intreat of you, Master Bucer, if my prayers—if my tears, are of any avail, that you would compassionate and help him in his wretchedness. The poor are left in a special manner to your care—you are the helper of the orphan. Suffer him not to be reduced to such necessity as to be driven to extremity. You can help him, if you choose, in some one way or other, but rather do so yourself, according to your own discretion. I could not, however, hold my hand from going even beyond the bounds of ordinary restraint in supporting the cause of this individual. These for the present.

—Most learned sir, farewell.

Thine from my heart,