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Calvin’s Return to Geneva and the Preparations for His Arrival

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calvin4‘On Monday, August 26, thirty-six écus were voted by the Council to Eustace Vincent, equestrian herald, to go for Master Calvin, the preacher, at Strasburg.’ It was announced in the Council, August 29, that Master Calvin was to arrive one of these days.

They talked of the lodgings which must be assigned to him, and propositions rapidly succeeded each another. At first they thought of the house which was occupied by the pastor Bernard, whom they would remove to the house of la Chantrerie. Then, September 4, there was further discussion. ‘La Chantrerie, being opposite to St. Peter’s church, is most suitable,’ they said, ‘for the abode of Master Calvin, and some garden (curtil) will be provided for him.’ On the 9th it was announced in the Council that he was to arrive the same evening. The houses in question being, doubtless, in an unfit state, orders were given to Messieurs Jacques des Arts and Jean Chautemps to make ready for him the house of the Sieur de Fréneville, situated in the Rue des Chanoines, between the house of Bonivard, on the west, and that of the Abbé de Bonmont, on the east. But after all it was in another house, the fourth proposed, that he was to he received.

It does not appear that Calvin had himself announced to the Council the day of his arrival; nor are we acquainted with any document which in a clear and positive manner indicates this date, worthy of remark though it be. All that we know is that on the 13th he was there, and appeared before the Council. Instead of the 9th he may have arrived on the 10th, the 11th, or even the 12th. We may suppose that Calvin wished the Genevese not to know the day of his arrival, fearing lest they should give him a rather noisy reception.*

Calvin’s return was more stupendous than his earlier departure. And now he was here to stay, and to exert enormous influence.

*J. H. Merle D’aubigné D.D. and William L. R. Cates, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin (vol. 7; London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1876), 61–62.

Written by Jim

26/08/2016 at 11:34 am

Posted in Calvin, Church History

The Massacre

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St Bartholomew’s that is….

Before dawn on the morning of August 24, 1572, church bells tolled in the Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois quarter of Paris. Just moments earlier, soldiers under the command of Henri, duke of Guise, had overcome resistance and assassinated the admiral of France, Huguenot leader Gaspard de Coligny, in his bedroom. They threw the body from the window to the ground below, where angry crowds later mutilated it, cutting off the head and hands, and dragged it through the streets of Paris. As Guise walked away from Coligny’s lodging, he was overheard to say “it is the king’s command.”

The killing unleashed an explosion of popular hatred against Protestants throughout the city. In the terrible days that followed, some 3,000 Huguenots were killed in Paris, and perhaps another 8,000 in other provincial cities.

This season of blood—known as the Saint Bartholomew’s Day massacre—decisively ended Huguenot hopes to transform France into a Protestant kingdom. It remains one of the most horrifying episodes in the Reformation era.

Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard ### FREE Community Edition ### on 2016-03-16 19:47:19Z | |

Read the whole.

Written by Jim

24/08/2016 at 12:47 pm

Posted in Church History

From ‘Reformation Notes’

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The newsletter of the Pitts Theology Library and the Kessler Collection- which arrived today-


Written by Jim

18/08/2016 at 1:10 pm

And A Happy Anniversary to the Melanchthons

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melanchAugust 18, 1520: Philipp Melanchthon married Katharina Krapp in Wittenberg. Katharina was the daughter of Hans Krapp who was the highly esteemed mayor of Wittenberg.

Apparently, Philipp had been determined to live his life as a bachelor. He was fully dedicated to his work and was afraid that domestic life would hinder his teaching and research. His friends, including Martin Luther, totally disagreed. While Luther at this time was totally avoiding marriage for himself, he realized that a wife was exactly what his friend and colleague needed. He helped to arrange the marriage and was a strong supporter of it.

Philipp and Katharina’s marriage was a happy one. Katharina proved to be a strong support for her husband both emotionally and physically. She stood by him when he face opposition from the other reformers and nursed him when he was ill.

Philipp and Katharina had four children: Anna, Philipp, Georg, and Magdalene.

For reasons that remain unclear, Kathrina and Katie Luther never became good friends. It seems that the Melanchthons initially disapproved of Martin and Katie’s marriage. Speculation has also been raised as to whether Katharina, who was born in a higher social class than Katie, resented a former nun now rising above her socially. The rift was obviously mended between Philipp and the Luthers and the Melanchthon and Luther children were playmates. But the Katies never became close despite all that they had in common.

Katharina Melachthon died in 1557 while Philipp was in Heidelberg furthering the cause of the Reformation.

This painting of Philipp Melanchthon is by Lucas Cranach the Elder

-Rebecca DeGarmeaux

And yes, she would have married anyone to rid herself of her maiden name.  #TragicGermanNames

Written by Jim

18/08/2016 at 10:26 am

Christliche Antwort Burgermeisters und Rats zu Zürich an Bischof Hugo

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On 18 August in 1524 (a Thursday that year) Zwingli published, at the behest of the Zurich city council, their answer to the Bishop of Constance for the reformatory undertakings of their clergy.  In sum it asserts that the City will insist that its pastors preach Scripture and not papist tradition and will no longer celebrate the papist Mass or tolerate idolatrous images in city churches.  Written in German, its full title is

Christenlich antwurt burgermeisters und radtes zuo Zürich, dem hochwirdigen etc. herren Hugen,  byschoffe zuo Costantz, über die underricht  beyder articklen: der bilder und mesß, inen zuogeschickt.  Also in götlicher warheit gründt,  das mencklich ersehen mag, was davon under  christenem volck billich sölle gehalten werden.

The section on the Supper is interesting as it demonstrates where Zwingli’s thinking is on that critical topic long before any dispute with Luther commenced:

Summa. Das nüw testament, das ewig ist, muoß mit dem ewigen bluet Christi gemacht und ufgericht werden.

  • 1. Das bluot Christi nimpt unser sünd hin; dann die sünd wirdt nit on bluot hyngenommen.
  • 2. Nun wirt das bluot Christi nitt me denn einist ufgeopferet; denn es ist ein ewig bluot.
  • 3. So volgt, das das einist ufgeopferet bluot Christi in die ewigheyt wäret unser sünd ze bezalen.

Zum andren:

  • 1. Christus wirdt allein ufgeopfret, da er stirbt, lydet, sin bluot vergüßt. Ist alles eins.
  • 2. Christus mag nümmen sterben, lyden, sin bluot vergiessen.
  • 3. So volgt, das Christus nümmer me mag ufgeopferet werdenn, sunder er wäret, einist ufgeopferet, in die ewigheit, aller mentschen sünd zuo bezalen.

Ist alles vormals rychlich bewäret. Diß sind die gründ des lydens und opfers Christi, die Paulus in diser epistel ußgestrychen hat.

From hence there would never be any path back to the papacy for the Zurichers.

Written by Jim

18/08/2016 at 6:17 am

Posted in Church History, Zwingli

Luther Exhibitions in the United States

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New York City: “Word and Image”
October 7, 2016 to January 22, 2017

The Morgan Library & Museum will present an exhibition called ‘Word and Image,’ which displays rare paper samples and also selected art works about Martin Luther’s life. As a highlight, the exhibition features one of only five still existing printed copies of the 95 theses Luther posted onto the church in Wittenberg. Also on view is the letter Luther wrote to Pope Karl V., which was later bought by American entrepreneur John P. Morgan, who gifted it to German Emperor Wilhelm II in 1911. In 2015, it was accepted into the index of the UNESCO Memory of the World program and is ordinarily shown at the Luther House in Wittenberg.  For more information see:


Minneapolis: “Martin Luther: Art and the Reformation”
October 30, 2016 to January 15, 2017

The most comprehensive exhibition will take place at the Minneapolis Institute of Art: ‘Martin Luther: Art and the Reformation’ will show major original samples such as books, graphics and paintings (including some by Lucas Cranach) to give visitors a detailed overview of Martin Luther’s role in the Reformation. Moreover, the exhibition paints a picture of the cultural and historical environment of the Reformation in the 16th century as well as Martin Luther’s family life by archaeological findings at his parental home and the Luther house in Wittenberg.  More information can be found at:


Atlanta: “Martin Luther, Lucas Cranach and the Promise of Salvation”
October 11, 2016 to January 16, 2017

The cabinet exhibition ‘Law and Grace: Martin Luther, Lucas Cranach and the Promise of Salvation’ will focus on Lucas Cranach’s painting “Gesetz und Gnade“(Law and Grace). This painting displays the main concern of Martin Luther’s reform: The perception of the salvation of humans only through the mercy of God. Also part of the exhibition will be many printed works from the Kessler Reformation Collection as well as selected exhibits from the four cooperating German museums. More information can be found here:


Los Angeles
“Renaissance and Reformation: German Art in the Age of Dürer and Cranach”
November 20, 2016 – March 26, 2017

The LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) will be displaying great objects from the period between 1460 and 1580, which was marked by immense changes in not only thought and philosophy but also science and religion, in a special exhibition named “Renaissance and Reformation.” Approximately 100 objects from this period of conflicts and civil wars by Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach and many more will be shown to highlight how these events influenced the artists of the time and their works. More information can be found here:

Via Christian History Institute.

Written by Jim

17/08/2016 at 12:05 pm

Erasmus at Pitts

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Written by Jim

16/08/2016 at 3:48 pm

Posted in Books, Church History


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