The Buds Opening In Heaven
Heaven is greatly made up of little children, sweet buds that have never blown, or which death has plucked from a mother’s bosom to lay on his own cold breast, just when they were expanding, flower-like, from the sheath, and opening their engaging beauties in the budding time and spring of life. “Of such is the kingdom of heaven.” How sweet these words by the cradle of a dying infant! They fall like balm drops on our bleeding heart, when we watch the ebbing of that young life, as wave after wave breaks feebler, and the sinking breath gets lower and lower, till with a gentle sigh, and a passing quiver of the lip, our child now leaves its body, lying like an angel asleep, and ascends to the beatitudes of heaven and the bosom of God. Indeed it may be, that God does with his heavenly garden, as we do with our gardens. He may chiefly stock it from nurseries, and select for transplanting what is yet in its young and tender age–flowers before they have bloomed, and trees ere they begin to bear. Rev. Dr. Guthrie.
Martin Luther (10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German monk, priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God’s punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor.
Luther taught that salvation is not earned by good deeds but received only as a free gift of God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those who identify with Luther’s teachings are called Lutherans.
His translation of the Bible into the language of the people (instead of Latin) made it more accessible, causing a tremendous impact on the church and on German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the translation into English of the King James Bible. His hymns influenced the development of singing in churches. His marriage to Katharina von Bora set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant priests to marry.
- Luther: On the Proper Method of Teaching (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- Luther on the Content of Our Prayers to God (seanwhitenack.wordpress.com)
- A Prayer for Sunday (Martin Luther) (marccortez.com)
- Why Pray? To Remember How Much We Need God (seanwhitenack.wordpress.com)
- Forgotten influence of Martin Luther (savouringthegospel.wordpress.com)
William Tyndale (sometimes spelled Tynsdale Tindall, Tindill, Tyndall; c. 1492 – 1536) was an English scholar who became a leading figure in Protestant reform in the years leading up to his execution. He is remembered for his translation of the Bible into English. He was influenced by the work of Desiderius Erasmus, who made the Greek New Testament available in Europe, and by Martin Luther.
While a number of partial and complete translations had been made from the seventh century onward, the popularity of Wycliffe’s Bible in the 14th century resulted in a ban on the publication of the Bible in English; almost all vernacular Bibles were confiscated and burned. Tyndale’s illegal translation was the first of the new English Bibles of the Reformation, and the first to draw directly from Hebrew and Greek texts, and the first to take advantage of the new medium of the print, which allowed for wide distribution. This was taken to be a direct challenge to the hegemony of both the Roman Catholic Church and the English church and state. Tyndale also wrote, in 1530, The Practyse of Prelates, opposing Henry VIII’s divorce on the grounds that it contravened scriptural law.
In 1535, Tyndale was arrested and jailed in the castle of Vilvoorde outside Brussels for over a year. He was tried for heresy, choked, impaled and burnt on a stake in 1536. The Tyndale Bible, as it was known, continued to play a key role in spreading Reformation ideas across the English-speaking world. The fifty-four independent scholars who created the King James Version of the bible in 1611 drew significantly on Tyndale’s translations. One estimation suggests the New Testament in the King James Version is 83% Tyndale’s, and the Old Testament 76%.
- History of English Bible versions from Tyndale to the King James Version
- Works by William Tyndale at Project Gutenberg
- Look Higher ! – Download the 1530 Tyndale Bible in PDF format
- Find A Grave Entry
- Documentary about Tyndale, from Secrets of the Dead
- Downloadable cleartext of Tyndales translation
- William Tyndale, Bible Translator into Everyday English (samcivy.wordpress.com)
- Tyndale: The Man Who Gave God an English Voice by David Teems (fbjasper.wordpress.com)
- The Boleyns and the English Bible (mysteryworshipers.wordpress.com)
- Echoes from the Memory Hole–a Book that Set the World on Fire (longstreet.typepad.com)
- 7. King James Bible – Bible Wars (biblescienceguy.wordpress.com)
John Calvin (French: Jean Calvin, born Jehan Cauvin: 10 July 1509 – 27 May 1564) was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530. After religious tensions provoked a violent uprising against Protestants in France, Calvin fled to Basel, Switzerland, where he published the first edition of his seminal work The Institutes of the Christian Religion in 1536.
In that year, Calvin was recruited by William Farel to help reform the church in Geneva. The city council resisted the implementation of Calvin and Farel’s ideas, and both men were expelled. At the invitation of Martin Bucer, Calvin proceeded to Strasbourg, where he became the minister of a church of French refugees. He continued to support the reform movement in Geneva, and was eventually invited back to lead its church.
Following his return, Calvin introduced new forms of church government and liturgy, despite the opposition of several powerful families in the city who tried to curb his authority. During this time, the trial of Michael Servetus was extended by libertines in an attempt to harass Calvin. However, since Servetus was also condemned and wanted by the Inquisition, outside pressure from all over Europe forced the trial to continue. Following an influx of supportive refugees and new elections to the city council, Calvin’s opponents were forced out. Calvin spent his final years promoting the Reformation both in Geneva and throughout Europe.
Calvin was a tireless polemic and apologetic writer who generated much controversy. He also exchanged cordial and supportive letters with many reformers, including Philipp Melanchthon and Heinrich Bullinger. In addition to the Institutes, he wrote commentaries on most books of the Bible, as well as theological treatises and confessional documents. He regularly preached sermons throughout the week in Geneva. Calvin was influenced by the Augustinian tradition, which led him to expound the doctrine of predestination and the absolute sovereignty of God in salvation of the human soul from death and eternal damnation.
Calvin’s writing and preachings provided the seeds for the branch of theology that bears his name. The Reformed and Presbyterian churches, which look to Calvin as a chief expositor of their beliefs, have spread throughout the world.
- John Calvin on In Our Time at the BBC. (listen now)
- Works by John Calvin at Project Gutenberg
- Writings of Calvin at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library
- Writings and lectures by and about John Calvin at the SWRB
- Sermons by Calvin
- The Life of John Calvin by Theodore Beza
- Life of John Calvin, by Theodore Beza (another version)
- Opera Omnia and other works at the Post-Reformation Digital Library
- Catholic Encyclopedia
- Calvin Painting Discovered and Identified
- John Calvin – Against the Fear of Death! (theoldguys.org)
- What is the best Latin lexicon for translating theological works, especially John Calvin? (ask.metafilter.com)
- Calvin the preacher (eardstapa.wordpress.com)
- Common Misconceptions About Calvinism (via Crossway Blog) (garyware.me)
Jan Hus (Czech pronunciation: [ˈjan ˈɦus] ( listen); c. 1369 – 6 July 1415), often referred to in English as John Hus or John Huss, was a Czech priest, philosopher, reformer, and master at Charles University in Prague. After John Wycliffe, the theorist of ecclesiastical Reformation, Hus is considered the first Church reformer (living prior to Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli).
He is famed for having been burned at the stake for heresy against the doctrines of the Catholic Church, including those on ecclesiology, the Eucharist, and other theological topics. Hus was a key predecessor to the Protestant movement of the sixteenth century, and his teachings had a strong influence on the states of Europe, most immediately in the approval for the existence of a reformist Bohemian religious denomination, and, more than a century later, on Martin Luther himself.
Between 1420 and 1431, the Hussite forces defeated five consecutive papal crusades against followers of Hus. Their defense and rebellion against Roman Catholics became known as the Hussite Wars. A century later, as many as 90% of inhabitants of the Czech lands were non-Catholic and followed the teachings of Hus and his successors.
- Hussitism and the heritage of Jan Hus – Official Website of the Czech Republic
- Final Declaration written on 1 July 1415 – Modern History Sourcebook, Fordham University
- Letters of John Huss Written During His Exile and Imprisonment, with a preface by Martin Luther, by Jan Hus, François Paul Émile Boisnormand de Bonnechose, tr. Campbell Mackenzie, Edinburgh, William Whyte & Co., 1846
- The life and times of John Huss “btm” format
- Bohemian Reformation and Religious Practice – online translation of a Czech academic journal
- Outline of Christian Historical Theology (compasschurchamman.wordpress.com)
William of Ockham (play /ˈɒkəm/; also Occam, Hockham, or several other spellings; c. 1288 – c. 1348) was an English Franciscan friar and scholastic philosopher, who is believed to have been born in Ockham, a small village in Surrey. He is considered to be one of the major figures of medieval thought and was at the centre of the major intellectual and political controversies of the fourteenth century. Although he is commonly known for Occam’s razor, the methodological principle that bears his name, William of Ockham also produced significant works on logic, physics, and theology. In the Church of England, his day of commemoration is 10 April.
- William of Ockham on Pictorial Resemblance (theologiansinc.wordpress.com)
- Does Morality Inhibit Freedom? (Aquinas vs. Ockham) (insightscoop.typepad.com)