“Be hardened now as much as ye wish to be, as I see that you are stupid, yea, senseless, and attend not to the word of the Lord; but the time of visitation will come, and then the Lord will constrain you to be ashamed, for he will really show you to be such as ye are; and he will not then contend with you in words as he does now; but the announced punishment will divest you of all your false pretences; and he will also remove that waywardness which now hardens you against wholesome doctrine and all admonitions.” — John Calvin
“Nicholas Cop, the son of a distinguished royal physician (William Cop of Basel), and a friend of Calvin was elected Rector of the University, Oct. 10, 1533, and delivered the usual inaugural oration on All Saints’ Day, Nov. 1, before a large assembly in the Church of the Mathurins. This oration, at the request of the new Rector, had been prepared by Calvin. It was a plea for a reformation on the basis of the New Testament, and a bold attack on the scholastic theologians of the day, who were represented as a set of sophists, ignorant of the Gospel.…
The Sorbonne and the Parliament regarded this academic oration as a manifesto of war upon the Catholic Church, and condemned it to the flames. Cop was warned and fled to his relatives in Basel. (Three hundred crowns were offered for his capture, dead or alive.) Calvin, the real author of the mischief, is said to have descended from a window by means of sheets, and escaped from Paris in the garb of a vine-dresser with a hoe upon his shoulder. His rooms were searched and his books and papers were seized by the police.…
Twenty-four innocent Protestants were burned alive in public places of the city from Nov. 10, 1534, till May 5, 1535.… Many more were fined, imprisoned, and tortured, and a considerable number, among them Calvin and Du Tillet, fled to Strassburg … For nearly three years Calvin wandered as a fugitive evangelist under assumed names from place to place in southern France, Switzerland, and Italy, till he reached Geneva as his final destination.” – P. Schaff.
“When our Merlin came yesterday, he found me in bed: I was suffering from a headache; for three days I had struggled against it, but the disorder at last conquered. Nevertheless I got up and went to the messenger from Bern. Soon after seven I returned; but I felt that the unpleasant motion of the horse, and my having been too long without food, had done me harm. The pain returned, and more sharply than before. I preached with great difficulty: this done, I went immediately to bed. I have told you all this, that you might excuse my too long delay.” – John Calvin
„Einheit in Vielfalt“ war nicht nur der thematische rote Faden, der die Referate aus fast allen theologischen Disziplinen prägte, Einheit in Vielfalt war erlebbar unter den Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftlern reformierter Traditionen aus fünf Kontinenten. Es ist kein Zufall, dass die Theologische Universität Debrecen zu einer Konferenz unter diesem Titel einlud: Seit dem 16 Jahrhundert pflegt Debrecen intensive Beziehungen zur reformierten Welt. Seit dem ungarischen Befreiungskampf gegen die Habsburger in den Jahren 1848-1849, als im Reformierten Kollegium Debrecen die Unabhängigkeit Ungarns von der Habsburger Monarchie proklamiert wurde, gilt einigen Magyaren die reformierte Kirche gar als „Ungarische Religion“, und Debrecen als „Calvinistisches Rom“. Wenn auch zum Ausdruck kam, dass mit diesen Begriffen durchaus politische Interessen und die „Erfindung von Tradition“ verbunden sind, so darf doch mit Recht Debrecen als eines der wichtigen Zentren des ost-mitteleuropäischen Calvinismus gelten.
On April 28, 1564, less than a month before his death,
… all the ministers under the jurisdiction of Geneva came to him, and he addressed them to the following effect:
“Stand fast, my brethren, after my decease, in the work on which you have entered, and let not your hearts fail you, for the Lord will preserve this church and republic against all its enemies. Far from you be all discords among yourselves: embrace one another in mutual charity. Think what you owe to this church, in which the Lord hath stationed you, and desert it not.…
When first I came to this city, the gospel indeed was preached, but every thing was in disorder—as if Christianity had consisted in nothing else than the overturning of images. Not a few wicked men were found in the church, from whom I suffered much shameful treatment: but the Lord our God so strengthened me, even me who am by nature far from bold, (I here speak what is the fact,) that I yielded to none of their attempts.
I afterwards returned hither from Strasburg, in obedience to a call which was against my inclination because I thought it tended not to usefulness: for I knew not what the Lord had appointed; and the situation was full of the most serious difficulties. But, proceeding in my work, I found at length that the Lord had really blessed my labours.
Do yon therefore also persist in your vocation: uphold the established order: and see that the people be at the same time retained in obedience to the doctrine delivered to them: for some are yet wicked and contumacious. Things, as you see, are now not ill settled: on which account you will be the more criminal before God if by your neglect they are suffered to go to decay.
—I avow that I have lived united with you, brethren, in the strictest bonds of true and sincere affection: and I take my leave of you with the same feelings. If you have at any time found me harsh or peevish under my affliction, I entreat your forgiveness.”
He then returned them his warmest thanks for having taken upon them the burden of his duties, while he was unable to discharge them; shook hands with them all; and “we took leave of him,” says Beza, “with sad hearts, and by no means with dry eyes.”*
*Calvin and the Swiss reformation (pp. 394–395).
[This means] that men left nothing undone for the purpose of giving unbridled liberty to their sinful propensities; for having taken away all distinction between good and evil, they approved in themselves and in others those things which they knew displeased God, and would be condemned by his righteous judgment.
For it is the summit of all evils, when the sinner is so void of shame, that he is pleased with his own vices, and will not bear them to be reproved, and also cherishes them in others by his consent and approbation. This desperate wickedness is thus described in Scripture: “They boast when they do evil,” (Prov. 2:14.) “She has spread out her feet, and gloried in her wickedness,” (Ezek. 16:25.)
For he who is ashamed is as yet healable; but when such an impudence is contracted through a sinful habit, that vices, and not virtues, please us, and are approved, there is no more any hope of reformation.
Let him who has ears to hear, hear.