Category Archives: Church History

#ICYMI – Peter Opitz on the Light Side and the Dark Side of the Reformation

This is a wonderful interview with an absolutely brilliant scholar.  It includes this Q and A-

Mit Zwingli und Calvin hatte die Schweiz ihre eigenen Reformatoren. Aber sie waren inspiriert von Luthers Vorarbeit.

Es gab viele wichtige Reformatoren, deren Namen heute leider oft vergessen sind. Heinrich Bullinger zum Beispiel war Mitte des 16. Jahrhunderts in ganz Europa die wichtigste Person für den reformierten Protestantismus, wichtiger als Calvin, der erst später relevant wurde. Zweifellos aber gab Luther den Startschuss und prägte mit seinen Schriften die Anfänge der Reformation. Viele seiner Gedanken wurden schon früher geäussert, aber während man manche seiner Vorgänger einfach als Ketzer verbrannt hat, war Luther zur richtigen Zeit am richtigen Ort und erhielt die nötige Unterstützung. Die Schweizer Reformatoren haben seine Schriften gelesen, sind aber ihre eigenen Wege gegangen.

Read the whole.

#ICYMI – Farel Has Died!

As today is the anniversary of his death I thought it proper to post this brief snippet of a bio once more.

In 1509 William Farel left his home at Gap in Dauphine to study in Paris. Under the influence of evangelical scholars Jacques Lefevre (J. Faber Stapulensis) and Cornelius Hoehn, he adopted Protestant views. In 1520 Farel joined other Lefevre pupils in reform efforts at the Meaux diocese outside Paris. Although removed from the circle of Parisian Catholic orthodoxy, increasing pressure from church authorities forced him to leave France in 1523.

In 1524 Farel began reform work in Basel with J. Hussgen (Oecolampadius). Farel’s impetuous championship of the evangelical cause provoked strong opposition. Chased from Basel in 1526, he undertook preaching tours in Switzerland. In 1528 he and Hussgen were successful in the Bern Disputation—a forum which decided that city’s religion.

Consequently, Bern sponsored Farel’s work in the Vaud, in Neuchatel (1530), and in Geneva (1523).

In 1534 Farel and French scholar Pierre Viret began holding regular Protestant worship services in Geneva. By 1535 a theological debate won the sympathetic populace to their side. In 1536 Farel added Calvin to his staff by threatening him with divine judgment should he resist. At this point Geneva was in a state of social and religious turmoil; thus, Farel fully supported Calvin’s new order and discipline. A series of confrontations with city magistrates led to ejection of the pastors in 1538. Unlike Calvin, Farel did not later return to Geneva but lived in Neuchatel. If he lacked the theological depth and consolidating powers of Calvin, Farel was nevertheless fervently dedicated to his evangelistic task.

Farel remained close friends with Calvin, officiating at the marriage of Calvin and Idelette de Bure (1540). Some tension developed when Farel at age sixty–nine married a young woman, a union Calvin strongly disapproved. The two were reconciled, however, before Calvin’s death in 1564. (G. Bromily in Who’s Who in Christian history).

A lot of people don’t care for Farel because of his fiery gruffness. But I like him. I like people who don’t abandon their principles just because it’s expedient to do so.

Fun Facts from Church History: The Day Calvin Returned To Geneva

Calvin, having arrived from Strasburg on September 13, went to the Town Hall, and was received by the syndics and Council. Some hearts had, no doubt, been beating high in anticipation of this interview; and the reformer himself did not set out to it without emotion. When he came to Geneva, in 1534, he was twenty-seven years of age, rather young for a reformer. He was now thirty-two, the age of our Saviour at the time of his ministry. He could already speak with authority; nevertheless, it might be said of him as of St. Paul—his bodily presence is weak. He was of middle stature, pale, with a dark complexion, a keen and piercing eye, betokening, says Beza, a penetrating mind. His dress was very simple, and at the same time perfectly neat. There was something noble in his whole appearance. His cultivated and elevated spirit was at once recognisable; and although his health was already feeble, he was about to devote himself to labours which a man of great strength might have shrunk from undertaking. Amiable in social intercourse, he had won all hearts in Germany; he was now to win many at Geneva.

On presenting himself before the Council, Calvin delivered to the syndics the letters from the senators and pastors of Strasburg and Basel. He then modestly apologised for the long delay which he had made. He had intended to vindicate his own conduct and that of his colleagues who were banished with him three years and a half before; but the very warm reception given him in the town, and by the magistrates, showed him that Geneva had quite got over the prejudices of that period. A vindication would have involved recalling to mind painful facts and ungracious sentiments; and this was not the business which he had to do at this moment. His Christian heart, his intelligent mind joined to counsel him otherwise, to forget. He therefore did not vindicate himself either before the Senate or before the people.*

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*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), 66–67.

Fun Facts From Church History: Luther Wasn’t a Fan of the Fathers

At Luther’s table

luther… there was talk about the writings of the church fathers on the Bible and how these left the reader in uncertainty. He [Martin Luther] responded, “I’m not allowed to make judgments about them because they’re writers of recognized authority and I’m compelled to be an apostate.

But let him who wishes read them, and Chrysostom in particular. He was the supreme orator, but how he digressed from the thing at hand to other matters! While I was lecturing on the letter to the Hebrews and consulted Chrysostom, [I found that] he wrote nothing about the contents of the letter.

I believe that as the greatest orator Chrysostom had plenty of hearers but that he taught without fruit. For it ought to be the primary and principal function of a preacher to reflect upon the substance, contents, and sum total of the matter and instruct his hearer accordingly. Once this is done the preacher can use rhetoric and exhort.”

In other words, stick to the text when you’re preaching it! And that, regrettably, the Father’s didn’t do.  The Father’s are useful only for the windows they open on the history of the Church.  Their exegesis is, frankly, rubbish.  And their theology is, for the most part, frankly, ridiculous.

Fun Facts From Church History: The Zurich Catechism of 1534

1534_zurich_catLeo Jud produced one of the earliest Reformed catechisms and he did so, unsurprisingly, in Zurich.  It’s known as the Zurich Catechism of 1534 and you can read it here.

If you’ll note the bottom of the title page you’ll see the Scripture which served as the motto or theme of the document.

I Like This Painting: I think my Great Grandpa is in It!

It shows Luther bowing to Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg and Melanchthon waiting at the foot of the steps.  But it also shows 3 very angry Catholic prelates.  The middle one is my favorite.  He won’t even look at Luther.

The middle prelate has exactly the same facial expression as I do when I read a dilettante’s tweet or post or essay.  It’s exactly the same!  Maybe he’s my great grandpa!!!!

Fun Facts from Church History: The Condemnation of Anabaptism

limmatOn September 9, 1527, Zurich, Bern, and St. Gall published an edict, in which for the first time the alleged errors and crimes of the Anabaptist party are set forth; viz.:

  • They seduce men from the congregations of the orthodox teachers and assail the public preachers with abuse; they babble in corners, woods, and fields;
  • contract spiritual marriages, thereby giving occasion for adulteries;
  • even command crime in the name of the Lord, e. g., the parricide at St. Gall;
  • glory in divine revelations and miracles;
  • teach that the Devil will be saved, and that in their church one could indulge lust without crime;
  • had other signs of the covenant aside from catabaptism;
  • would not carry swords;
  • pronounced usury and the lot wicked;
  • would have all external goods common and deposited in the midst of them, so that no one could use them as his own peculiar right;
  • forbade Christians to accept the magistracy or to say an oath was proper.

In order that this growth, dangerous to Christianity, wicked, harmful, turbulent, seditious, may be eradicated, we have thus decreed: if any one is suspected of catabaptism he is to be warned by the magistracy to leave off, under penalty of the designated punishment. Individuals as the civil contract obliges should inform upon those favourable to catabaptism. Whoever shall not fit his conduct to this dissuasion is liable to punishment according to the sentence of the magistracy and as special business; teachers, baptising preachers, itinerants and leaders of conventicles, or those previously released from prison and who have sworn to desist from such things, are to be drowned.

Foreigners, their faith being pledged, are to be driven out, if they return are to be drowned. No one is allowed to secede from the Church and absent himself from the Holy Supper. Men led into the error by fraud may receive a mitigation of their punishment in proportion to their property and standing. Whoever flees from one jurisdiction to another shall be banished or given up on demand.”*

Never was the power of execution ceded from the magistracy to the clergy.  Or, to put it another way, not one single heretic was executed by any member of the clergy (and that includes Calvin and Zwingli and Luther).  Ever.  Heretics were executed by the secular authorities and never did it happen otherwise.

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*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), 259–261.

A Conversation With Diarmaid MacCulloch

Robert Estienne

Le 7 septembre 1559 mourait à Genève Robert Estienne, l’un des plus grands imprimeurs français, aussi lexicographe. Voici sa grammaire française, à l’origine en latin, une « Grammatica Gallica ». Savoureux à lire en ces temps de rentrée!

Via Fred Manfrin

The Journey from Zurich to Marburg

The [first stage of the trip to Marburg for the Colloquy with Luther was the] journey to Basel [which] was made on horseback, the distance from Zurich being about sixty miles, and Zwingli and his friend arrived there safely, September 5. Thence, in company with Œcolampadius and others, he proceeded by boat to Strasburg, where he arrived the next day, September 6.  Here he tarried eleven days to confer with his friends and lay plans for the coming conference and also to await the arrival of Ulrich Funk, Zurich’s official delegate. Leaving Strasburg September 18, the company, consisting of Zwingli, Collin, and Funk, of Zurich; Œcolampadius, of Basel; Butzer and Hedio, of Strasburg; and delegates of the last named cities, was conducted overland by a strong escort of Hessian cavalry, through dense forests and dangerous mountain passes, to Marburg, where they arrived September 27. Luther, in company with his Wittenberg friends, Philip Melanchthon, Caspar Cruciger, and Justus Jonas, entered the city the day following.*

map

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*Samuel Simpson, Life of Ulrich Zwingli: The Swiss Patriot and Reformer (New York: Baker & Taylor Co., 1902), 187–188.

The Swiss Idiotikon is the Translator of 16th Century Swiss German Text’s Best Friend

It provides definitions that no modern German dictionary can.

Today With Zwingli: A Letter from Oecolampadius

Pax Christi tecum, mi frater.

Non est, quod nos perturbet obsistentium nobis ferocia. Annon pacem, ut pręcepit dominus [Luc. 10. 5. 6], pręfati sumus? Nonne de gloria domini agitur? Quos parentes? quos amicos? quos doctores? quam creaturam agnoscemus? Nequaquam essemus veri nepotes Phinees.

Si vindicari cum mansuetudine poterit gloria patris, non patiemur, ut immites iure arguamur. Sin zelum docebit unctio, relinquemus spiritui suum impetum. Expectabimus tamen, quidnam scripturus sit Martinus, orabimusque, ne genio suo indulgeat.

Mitto hic, quę calumniis Fabri Capito noster feliciter respondit. Nescio, an Germanica legeris, quę multo feliciora sunt. Xylotectus hinc migravit post festum assumptionis die quarto, Christiane quidem, sed magno cum cruciatu.

Sępe illum invisi ęgrotantem, sed confuso sermone balbutientem ęgre intelligebam; imo plane  intelligebam, Christum in pectore ipsius inter dolores summos regnare.

Accepi tuos libellos, pro quibus gratiam habeo. In Petri Gynorii, quem Albanensem hic dicebamus, fasciculo nihil inveni pręter libellum Eccii, qui, qualis sit, statim et ego cognoscam. At nihil ille  dabit, quod non ipsissimum referat Eccium.

Vale.

3. Septembris.
Tuus Ęcolampadius.
Hic tibi commendari cupit, qui literas reddit.
Hulrico Zwinglio, euangelii fidelissimo ministro apud Tigurinos,  suo dulcissimo in Christo fratri.

oecolampadius_zwingli

A Look At One of Zwingli’s Letters

Here’s a photo of one of Zwingli’s letters, written 3 Sept., 1528.

Here’s the transcription-

Gratiam et pacem a deo.  Misissem nunc, tabellionem nactus, responsiones nostras ad Luterum, nisi nihil dubius essem ad vos dudum perlatas esse. Aliud est, quod nunc volo. Agunt privati homines Milhusani, quamvis non privata autoritate, sed eorum iussu, quorum maxime refert, ut in civitatem Tigurobernam recipiantur; id autem obscure adhuc, hoc est: caute et clam. Nos, a secretis, et ego, rem nondum retulimus, hanc potissimum ob causam, quod et vestram petitionem expectamus et nullo negocio confectam [!] iri speramus. Atque interim illis bona pollicemur, quodque ad proxima trium urbium comitia, si eis videatur, velimus referre, et quicquid e re sua putaverint fore, summa fide facturos. Hęc nolui, ut vos laterent. Rescierunt enim Milhusani, vos in hoc esse, ut in civitatem coeatis, sed non ex perfidis, verum ex fidelibus, qui sciunt, foedera urbium vestrarum, Sanctogalli et Milhusii dico, ferme esse simillima. Vos igitur, quicquid consultissimum credetis, sequamini.

Vale.

Tiguri 3. die Septembris 1528. Claronensis populus in fide verbi perstat. Huldricus Zuinglius tuus. Dem ersamen, wysen etc. herren von Watt, burgermeister zuo Santgallen.

And here’s the translation, courtesy S. Jackson

GRACE AND PEACE FROM GOD. I should have already sent you our replies to Luther, since I have gotten hold of a letter carrier, if I had not been suspicious that they had been long ago delivered to you. My present business is somewhat different. Private citizens of Muthausen urge, not of their individual authority, but rather by command of those particularly concerned, that they should he received into the alliance between Zurich and Bern. But this has been done in the dark, that is, cautiously and secretly. We, the Town clerk and I, have not yet brought up the matter, chiefly for the reason that we are awaiting your petition; and we hope that it will go thro without difficulty. Meanwhile we are making good offers to them to the effect, that if it seems good to them we are willing to refer it to the next Did of the three cities and with the greatest fidelity to do anything which they believe will be to their advantage. I was unwilling that you should remain ignorant of these matters. For the Multhausers have learned that you have under consideration joining this alliance yourself, and they have heared it not from traitors but from faithful ones who know that the alliance of your cities, I mean St. Gall and Mulhausen, are almost identical. We will follow out what you consider for your best interests. Farewell.

ZURICH, September 3, 1528.

The Glareans remain faithful to the Word.
Yours,
H. ZWINGLI.

I think it would be a lot of fun, and very instructive, to have Zwingli’s handwriting subjected to ‘handwriting analysis’.

Keeping the Preacher to a Sensible Sermon Length

In Reformed churches pulpits included an hourglass so that long winded preachers knew when to stop.

Fun huh!

Fun Facts From Church History: Pious Teens Don’t Get on Swings

James Walter Douglas was born in Virginia in November 1797. After completing his primary education Douglass moved to the village of Christiana, Delaware, after obtaining a position as a trainee clerk. The teenaged Douglass also became a pious member of the local church. The extent of his faith is evident in Douglass’s personal diary, where he explains his reasons for not using a rope swing erected by other young men in Christiana:

“A very high and quite expensive swing was put up in the village by the young men [and has become] a great resort for the young people of the town. I was very much in doubt whether I ought to attend it, and at length determined that I ought not, for these reasons:

1. It takes time, and we must account for our time.
2. It is setting an example of levity.
3. The Lord Jesus would not attend such a place.
4. Nor [would] his apostles.
5. Nor [would] our minister, Mr Latta…
6. Please when carried to excess is criminal. Is this not excess?
7. What good can I get [from the swing]. Will I be more virtuous? Wiser? Better tempered? More full of grace? No, no I will not…”

Now that’s a pious teen….

De convitiis Eckii: Zwingli Drops the Hammer on Johannes Eck

Huldrych Zwingli and Johannes Eck didn’t get along.  Obviously.  So when Zwingli published his ‘Reasonable Faith‘ Eck couldn’t control himself.  He had to lash out.  The present booklet, Zwingli’s response to Eck’s response to Fidei ratio lets Mr Eck have it both barrels (as we say down here).  De convitiis Eckii is addressed, however, not TO Eck but to the the German Princes at Augsburg.

Illustrissimis Germaniae principibus in comitiis Augustanis
congregatis Huldrychus Zuinglius gratiam
et pacem optat a deo patre
et Jesu Christo, filio eius, redemptore nostro.

As Zwingli proceeds it becomes apparent that he has clearly grown annoyed and asserts quite straightforwardly that Eck is nothing more than a heretic and that he, like all heretics, state their errors as though they were truths.

Not that Zwingli knew that Eck had attacked him again.  If it hadn’t been for Vadian’s passing along Eck’s rubbish Zwingli would have paid him no mind.   But Vadian urged him to respond, for the sake of the Germans.  And so he, as a ‘second David’ went out to the Philistine Eck with sling and stones to slay him.

Zwingli’s work lays Eck’s motives bare: he wishes to deceive the Princes and under the guise of ‘peace’ he urges them to remain in the Roman camp.  Zwingli counters that the Princes should in fact embrace Reform.  He concludes

Dangers threaten on all sides, but the Lord will dissipate them all, if you lay hold of the truth and of righteousness.  To take a stand against the truth is destruction itself whereas to yield to it is the first necessity of safety.  God Almighty grant that we may revere it and see it through a glass in this world but see it face to face and embrace it in the world to come!

Further information about this episode can be found in Hans Georg Rott’s Martin Brucer und die Schweiz: Drei unbekannte Briefe von Zwingli, Brucer und Vadian (1530, 1531, 1536) (Zwingliana, 14/9 (1978).

Opus arduum valde: A Wycliffite Commentary on the Book of Revelation

The Opus arduum valde is a Latin commentary on the Book of Revelation, written in England by an unknown scholarly author in the years 1389–1390. The book originated from the early Wycliffite movement and reflects its experience of persecution in apocalyptic terms. In England it soon fell into oblivion, but was adopted by radical exponents of the fifteenth-century Bohemian Hussites.

In the sixteenth century Luther obtained a copy of theOpus arduum valde which he had printed in Wittenberg with his own preface in 1528. This remarkable document of religious dissent in late medieval Europe, highly regarded in Lollard and Hussite studies, is now for the first time made available in a critical edition.

This carefully assembled work brings to scholars and researchers a remarkably influential commentary on the Book of Revelation that predates the Reformation by centuries, and which nonetheless sounds very ‘Reformed’.

The editors introduce the work in a careful and meticulous way, discussing the title, the author, the situation in which it was written, the sources used, the central themes included in the volume, the theological profile of the work, and of course the many attempts to identify the works author.   Though it may not have come from Wycliffe’s pen, it is certainly Wycliffite.

Next a description of the various manuscripts of the book along with its transmission history.  And, interestingly, the edition associated with the name of Martin Luther is treated.

That’s an overview of the first 86 pages of the volume.  The bulk of the work, naturally, is the commentary itself.  It is in Latin, and no translation of the text is provided.  Your Latin will need to be adequate in order for you to enjoy the contents of the work (though the introduction and other materials are in English).

The commentary stretches from page 87 through page 643, so it is self evidently a massive work.  The text of Revelation (in Latin) is offered in bold print.  Text references are provided in parentheses.  And the text is commented on line by line and phrase by phrase.  Half the page is comprised of the text of the commentary and the other half of the page is occupied by textual notes and explanatory notes where necessary (in English), along with bibliographic entries.

The commentary itself is pre-critical, and yet it is driven by critical interests; i.e., the who and what of those things and events described.  The pope features regularly as the figure behind the beast and the Church of Rome as the harlotrous woman.  This, no doubt, being one of the reasons Luther liked the commentary as much as he did.

Luther’s preface attributed the Opus arduum valde to Nicholas Hereford (or at least that was what Luther suggested).  He may have been right, but of course there’s no way of knowing.  At any rate, Luther’s brief preface is worth including, as it opens to readers his own understanding of the text of this impressive work:

GRACE and peace to you in Christ.   First of all, I beg you, the reader of this commentary, whoever you are, not to believe that we have published something fabricated by ourselves. I testify (if my word is worth anything) that this volume was sent to me by way of most estimable men, from the farthest borders of Germany, namely, from the regions of Sarmatia and Livonia, in poor condition, with the letters and syllables in particular testifying to its age, so that I could not deny that it had been copied about seventy years before our time. And it can be readily discerned from the volume itself that the author of this commentary lived at that time when that unequalled monstrosity of the most recent “schism” (as they call it) still persisted, which was appeased and ended at last at the false Council of Constance through the blood of John Hus and Jerome of Prague, as if by a kind of sacrifice. For the histories testify that during that schism, for forty successive years, three papacies existed in one and the same body of the church (that is to say, of the “derivative church”). By this, as by a most certain portent of discord, God doubtless wanted to give a sign that the end of the Antichrist would come very soon. Since no one at that time understood this, it pleased God, along with such an extraordinary and remarkable sign, to add a clear and evident word as well: that is to say, the author of this book and many other men like him, of outstanding holiness and learning. For He is not in the habit of forsaking or rejecting the church and His people without sending several Elijahs and Elishas, or other prophets, to them, though even then the godless do not understand or pay attention to what God threatens or promises (which is the very blindness of Pharaoh [cf. Exod. 7:4, etc.])—as both what happened at the Council of Constance and its outcome made sufficiently manifest.

Therefore, you should understand, worthy reader, that we have composed this preface to make known to the world that we were not the first to interpret the papacy as the kingdom of the Antichrist, since so many years before us, so many and such great men (whose number is great and their memory eternal as well) tried so clearly and openly to do the same, and did so with such great spirit and courage that they were driven out to the farthest ends of the earth by the fury of the papistic tyranny and endured the cruelest forms of torture. Nonetheless, they persevered bravely and faithfully in the confession of the truth, so that, although in this age we are far more learned and free than they, we should nevertheless be ashamed, because they were bolder and braver than we, with such great spirit and courage, even though they were held back in such great ignorance and captivity. For though this author (in my judgment) would have been eminent in his own age among those who ardently sought after erudition and holiness of life, nevertheless, held back by the vices of the time and by the kingdom of darkness, he could neither say these things so purely nor perceive them so fully as we say and perceive them in our own age. In spite of this, he correctly and truly declares that the pope is the Antichrist (as he is), and he does this with an unwavering faith and conscience and with the most trustworthy arguments. That is to say, he is a witness foreordained by God so many years before us for the confirmation of our doctrine, which now those miserable dregs (the last exhalation of the Antichrist, as it were) want to destroy in their counsel, which is lofty and long-winded, but useless and vain. For those bodies of the saints are rising again for us along with the resurrected Gospel of Christ and give us great confidence that those so-called bishops, the latest enemies of Christ (even if in utter desperation they rely on their Herods and Pilates), will accomplish nothing with their pompous and frightful threats. With these they have begun, in desperation, to salve their unbelief and evil conscience as with a final and futile medicine. Christ, who through His Word struck that body of abomination and then through the sword of Caesar wounded the head, will neither cease nor desist until He utterly crushes and destroys the dead and vainly swollen members as well. Only let us pray that He who has begun His work may bring it to completion for His glory and our salvation [cf. Phil 1:6]. Amen. Let whoever loves Christ say, “Amen.” Amen.*

*Rady Roldán-Figueroa, “Preface to [Nicholas Hereford?], Commentary on the Apocalypse, Published One Hundred Years Ago [ca. 1400](1528),” in Luther’s Works, ed. Christopher Boyd Brown, trans. Duane Ernest Peters, vol. 59 (Saint Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2012), 205–207.

This work is impressive.  It should be widely consulted.  The editors and publisher are to be thanked for bringing this incredibly valuable work to a wider public.

Fun Facts from Church History: Zwingli’s Description of the Catabaptists

drowning_anabaptistsThey are mostly a class of rabble, homeless from the want of means, who make it their business to win old women by pompous discourses upon divine things to extract from them the wherewithal to support themselves, or to gather in considerable alms. In general, they make pretense of the same holiness of which Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons writes in connection with the Valentinians and Nazianzenus [Gregory of Nazianzus] in connection with the Eunomians.

Then, in reliance upon this, they teach that a Christian cannot be a magistrate; that it is not lawful for a Christian to put even a guilty man to death even by process of law; that we must not go to war even if tyrants or godless persons and robbers resort to force and plunder, slay, and destroy every day; that an oath must not be taken; that a Christian should not exact duties or taxes; that all things should be held in common; that the souls sleep with the bodies; that a man can have several wives “in the spirit” (having, however, carnal intercourse with them); that tithes and revenues should not be paid, and hundreds of other things.

Nay, they daily scatter new errors like tares amid the righteous seed of God.*

Small wonder Zwingli and the rest of the Reformers and the civic authorities had little time for such anarchists.
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*The Latin Works of Huldreich Zwingli, Volume 2. (W. J. Hinke, Ed.) (pp. 272–273).

The Moment of Death in Early Modern Europe

The conference is ongoing today and tomorrow.  The papers I was able to sit in on today were really thoughtful and thought provoking.  I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s sessions (that I’m able to make).

The full program is here.

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The best thing, indeed the only good thing, about conference lockdown this past year is the ability to join conferences via zoom.

My Favorite 17th Century Title

Wholesome Severity reconciled with Christian Liberty, or the true Resolution of a present Controversie concerning Liberty of Conscience. Here you have the question stated, the middle way between Popish tyrannie and Schismatizing Liberty approved, and also confirmed from Scripture, and the testimonies of Divines, yea, of whole churches … And in conclusion a Paraenetick to the five Apologists for choosing Accommodation rather than Toleration. London, 1645

We don’t have cool titles like that these days.  #Sad.  #Lame.