Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Verbal Wars of Calvin vs. Westphal (and by Extension, Luther): The Wonderful Early Protestant Unity Based on the Bible / Calvin Flatly Denies Baptismal Regeneration

 Joachim Westphal

Joachim Westphal (1510 or 1511-1574) was a German "Gnesio-Lutheran" theologian. He ran afoul of John Calvin on the issue of the Eucharist (he being far closer to the Catholic position than Calvin), almost precisely as the "sacramentarians" had clashed bitterly with Martin Luther.

Thus all of Calvin's angst and ire and ruffled feathers directed towards Westphal applies in equal measure to Luther himself. Luther opposed Zwingli and Oecolampadius on the same issue and held that they were damned; Calvin says these guys are great and orthodox; ergo, Calvin is directly opposed to Luther, and quite possibly would have been classified by Luther as damned, too, had he still been alive, and informed of these developments. But he was safely dead. Even Melancthon's eucharistic views had basically departed from Luther's (and what the Lutheran Confessions would soon hold, after 1580), and were quite close to Calvin's "mystical presence."

All of this illustrates how marvelous and relentlessly charming and appealing was the brotherly unity of the newly-minted Protestants, out from under the yoke of Rome. Having broken free of apostolic tradition in many ways, the path was set for Christian Utopia to begin, and for all to readily agree on the perspicuous, clear Bible and what it teaches, right? Wrong! Wikipedia summarizes the controversy:

He is best known for his participation in the theological controversies of his time. He took part in that on the descent into hell, also in the discussion concerning the Leipzig Interim and in that over the Adiaphora. More important was that over the Lord's Supper. In 1552 he published Farrago confusanearum et inter se dissidentium opinionum de coena Domini, ex Sacramentariorum libris congesta, a warning against those who deny the presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper. He points out to the adherents of Luther the alarming progress which the sacramentarians had made and tries to prove the falsity of their doctrine by its diversity. In 1553 he issued Recta fides de coena Domini, an exegetical discussion of 1 Cor. 11 and the Words of Institution; in 1555 Collectanea sententiarum D. Aurelii Augustini de coena Domini and Fides Cyrilli episcopi Alexandriae de praesentia corporis et sanguinis Christi. Calvin answered in January 1555, with his Defensio sanae et orthodoxae doctrinae de sacramentis. Thus there was opened a controversy which involved on the side of the Reformed Lasco, Bullinger, Ochino, Valerandus Polanus, Beza, and Bibliander; on the side of the Lutherans Timann, Paul von Eitzen, Schnepff, E. Alberus, Gallus, Flacius, Judex, Brenz, and Andreä. Westphal replied to Calvin in Adversus cuiusdam sacramentarii falsam criminationem iusta defensio, in qua et eucharistiae causa agitur (1555), to which Calvin answered in Secunda defensio piae et orthodoxae de sacramentis fidei (1556), which was an attempt to draw to his side the Philippists of Saxony and Lower Germany.

Here is the documentation of what Calvin said about his esteemed Protestant brother (?) in Christ (?). Baptism sections are in blue, for ease of access:

1. GodRules.net: John Calvin Tracts and Letters: Letter to Pastors and Doctors: Calvin's Letter to the Pastors of  Zurich, Berne, Basle, etc. (28 November 1554):

For the hot-headed men to whom I refer, stirring up the contention which formerly existed in regard to the Sacraments, pretend to maintain the doctrine which is preached in Saxony and Lower Germany. Now when that is heard and believed, some are troubled because of the respect which they bear to those churches, others make a mock of all the teachers in that quarter, seeing they make use of such creatures to plead their cause, while several knowing well that the sounder part give them no countenance, inveigh against their excessive patience. Meanwhile the declared enemies of Jesus Christ are delighted at seeing us fighting together as if it were a kind of cock-fight. Now since it is perverse and unworthy dissimulation to give loose reins to evil, persons of letters and renown in those countries should consider well, in discharging their duty, whether it be possible to repress the impetuous rage of those who trouble the Church without cause.

As I am desirous to bring back to the good way all who are in any degree fit to be dealt with and have not yet exceeded all bounds, that they may have it in their power to return peacefully, I shall here refer to only one individual, and that without naming him.

This foolish man, after boasting loudly of his great zeal for the Catholic faith, prays on the learned and renowned (persons whom I love and honor, he calls his masters) to join in assisting him. The high honor which he pays them, is to arm them against us. These excellent doctors are to follow the rash course of their scholar as archers do a man-at-arms. But on whom does he wish war to be made? He answers in a single word, on the “Sacramentarians.” . . .

Is not this to act like a mad dog who bites straightforward at all the stones in his way? . . .

This good zealot saw clearly that all whom he styles Sacramentarians have one same faith and confess it as with one same mouth, and even if the two excellent doctors, Zuinglius and Oecolompadius, who were known to be faithful servants of Jesus Christ, were still alive, they would not change one word in our doctrine. For our good brother of blessed memory, Martin Bucer, after seeing our Agreement, wrote me that it was an inestimable blessing for the whole Church. Wherefore there is the more malice in this new corrector thus stirring up odium on account of it. On my part, not to pay him back in kind, but to repel the foolish calumny with which he has been pleased to assail us, I will reply in three sentences — first, it is characteristic of the devil to be a calumniator, as it is his name; secondly, it is also his characteristic to obscure what is clear, to stir up noise and discord by disturbing the peace; and, finally, it is his characteristic to break and destroy the unity of the faith. Since all these three meet in this man, I have no need to pronounce him a son of the devil, since the thing shows to great and small what he is.

2. "Calvin's Controversies," Richard Gamble (PDF):

Although I long not for the praise of eloquence, I am not so devoid of the gift of speaking as to [be] obliged to be eloquent by barking . . .  it is plain how very jejune a rhetorician he is, while his intemperance sounds more of the Cyclops than anything human. One thing I deny not: I am not less alert in pursuing the sacrilegious than the faithful dog in hunting off thieves.

(Second Confessio, 1556, from Calvin's Selected Works, Vol. 2, p.311)

. . . all see it to be your purpose completely to destroy the reputation of Oecolampadius, Zuinglius, Bucer, Peter Martyr, Bullinger, John a Lasco, do you think there is any pious and impartial man in the world who does not feel indignant at your malicious detraction?

(from footnote 45; Second Confessio, 1556, from Calvin's Selected Works, Vol. 2, p. 262)

After our Agreement was published, and Westphal had full liberty to correct any thing that was faulty, calumniously searching in all quarters for an appearance of repugnance, he in savage mood lashed the living and the dead. I, in repelling this savage attack, refrained from giving his name, in order that if he was of a temper that admitted of cure his ignominy might be buried . . . Considering that this obstinate intemperance was not to be cured by gentle remedies, I took the liberty to sharpen my pen.

(from footnote 48; Calvin's Selected Works, Vol. 2, p. 350)

Joachim insists that anything is lawful to him against us, because, as he says, he is defending true doctrine against impious error.

(from footnote 49; Calvin's Selected Works, Vol. 2, p. 352)

Since his ferocity has proved intractable, it is easy to see the frivolousness and childishness of all his declamation. As if lions and bears, after rushing madly at every one in their way, should complain that they do not meet with soothing treatment, this delicate little man, after atrociously attacking the doctrine of Christ and his ministers, regards it as a great crime that he is not treated like a brother.

(Calvin's Selected Works, Vol. 2, p. 351)

One would say, that we have here Julian the apostate, while he cruelly rages against the whole Christian name, discoursing in mockery about bearing the cross.

(Calvin's Selected Works, Vol. 2, p. 347)


3. Thomas Henry Dyer, The Life of John Calvin (Harper, 1850):

It is, indeed, to be lamented, that we who profess the same gospel should be distracted by different opinions on the subject of the Lord's Supper, which ought to be the chief bond of union among us. But what is by far more atrocious, we contend with as much hostility as if we had no christian connection; and the greater part of those who differ from us, I know not from what impulse, boil over as intemperately against us as if our religion were wholly different. As there was at first so much discrepancy on this subject, I do not wonder that Luther, who was of a vehement temper, was somewhat warmer than he ought to have been. But now when we are agreed as to the chief points, namely, for what purpose the Lord instituted sacraments; what is their proper use, efficacy, and dignity; and what the advantages they procure for us; the remaining articles of controversy might surely have been treated with more moderation. With regard to myself, after I had faithfully endeavoured for fifteen years to frame my doctrine so as to avoid discord as much as an ingenuous profession of the truth would allow, the importunity of your countryman, Westphal, dragged me into an odious dispute. Yet I have diligently restrained whatever bitterness he extorted from me, lest he should involve others besides himself: and I will always take care that the churches shall not be torn and divided through my fault, nor that any one shall be injured by me, unless he professedly attacks me.

(pp. 407-408; Letter to Pastor Schaling of Ratisbon, April 1557)

With regard to Westphal and the rest, it was difficult to follow your advice and be calm. You call those 'brothers,' who, if that name be offered to them by us, do not only reject, but execrate it. And how ridiculous should we appear in bandying the name of brother with those who look upon us as the worst of heretics!

(p. 407; Letter to William Farel, August 1557)

You shall judge how dexterously I have treated the Saxons. I have sent the book before it was complete rather than hold you in suspense. Though I know that I shall excite the hatred of them all, it will be no small consolation to me if, in the discharge of my duty, I shall at least gain your approbation. I have, indeed, not hesitated cheerfully and fearlessly to provoke the fury of those beasts against me, because I am confident that it will be pleasing to God!

(p. 407; Letter to Heinrich Bullinger, around August 1557)

4. Tracts Relating to the Reformation, Volume 2; Jean Calvin, Théodore de Bèze, Henry Beveridge (Calvin Translation Society, 1849):

A. From: Second Defense of the Pious and Orthodox Faith Concerning the Sacraments, in Answer to the Calumnies of Joachim Westphal (5 January 1556) [p. 245 ff.]

. . . I have thought it of importance, venerable and beloved brethren, to protest to you at the outset that this book has been extorted from me if I were not by my silence to betray the truth of Christ, in oppressing which certain ferocious men exceed the barbarism of the Papacy. . . .

About two years after arose one Joachim Westphal, who, so far from being softened to concord by that temperate simplicity of doctrine, seized upon the name of Agreement as a kind of Furies' torch to rekindle the flame. For he avowedly collected from all quarters opinions which he would have to be thought adverse to each other, that he might thus destroy our Agreement; and showed himself to be inflamed with such a hatred of peace, that he vented his peculiar venom against us, for no other reason but because he was annoyed by our thinking and speaking the same thing. . . .

. . . nothing has impelled him but a wish to. furnish a new defence to the inflexible pertinacity of some persons in. not yielding to the plain truth.

The perverse attack of this man I was forced to repel in a short treatise. He, as if an inexpiable crime had been committed, has flamed forth with much greater impetuosity. It has now become necessary for me to repress his insolence. Should I inveigh rather vehemently against him, be pleased of your prudence and equity to consider what provocation I have had. Heresies and heretics, diabolical blasphemies, impious denial of Scripture, subversion of all that is sacred, and similar opprobrious epithets, are the words ever in his mouth. In short, his book has no other apparent object than to precipitate us by the thunderbolts of anathemas to the lower regions. What was left for me but to apply a hard wedge to a bad knot, and not allow him to have too much complacency in his savage temper? Were there any hope of mollifying those men, I would not refuse to humble myself, and by supplicating them, purchase the peace of the Church. But to what lengths they are borne by their violence is notorious to all. Therefore my austerity in rebuking their hard-heartedness has the sanction of God himself, who not only declares (Ps. xviii.) that to the froward he will show himself without mercy, but will treat them frowardly. . . .

The cause of the implacable wrath of Westphal is this. While we confess that the flesh of Christ gives life, and that we are truly made partakers of it in the Supper, he, not contented with this simplicity, urges and contends that the bread is substantially the body. . . .

Into my tract I confess that I put a sprinkling of salt. I did so, because it grieved me that one who calls himself a preacher of the gospel was so savourless. I now see that I lost my labour in attempting to cure an incurable disease. But where does he find my bitter and wanton invective? He is not ashamed falsely to assert, that all imaginable vituperation has been heaped by me into a few pages, when the fact is, that I have there inserted without any contention much more pure doctrine than he and those like him give in large volumes. . . .

As Westphal was debating with a Frenchman, he has produced one of my countrymen to cover me with odium. He says that we have revived the heresy of Berengarius. If you hold him to be a heretic, why do you not take up your banner and go over to the camp of the Pope? It is not indeed of much consequence where you settle, as you insinuate yourself among the band of Antichrist. An hundred and fourteen horned bishops, with Pope Nicolas for president, force Berengarius to recant. You, without hesitation, give your assent to their tyranny, as if they had justly condemned a heresy. And what was the confession extorted from the unhappy man? (De Conse. Distinct. 2 cap. Ego Berengarius.) That after consecration, the true body and blood of Christ is sensibly and in truth handled and broken by the hands of the priests, and chewed by the teeth of the faithful . Such, verbatim, are the terms of the form of recantation dictated by the Council.

If Westphal cannot be appeased unless we confess that Christ is sensibly chewed by the teeth, were not an hundred deaths to be chosen sooner than implicate ourselves in such monstrous sacrilege? The Canonists themselves were so much ashamed of it, that they confessed there was a greater heresy in the words, unless they referred to the species of bread and wine, than in saying that the bread and wine are bare signs. See why our Westphal behoved to borrow the name of Berengarius to fill us with dismay. It is not strange that the new satellites of the Pope, who are ever and anon venting mere anathemas at us, lay hold at hazard of weapons from his tyrannical forge. . . .

Need I call angels to witness, when the very devils expose the dishonesty of Westphal? If sectaries be inquired after, it will be found that they approach nearer to himself. Servetus, who was both an Anabaptist and the worst of heretics, agreed entirely with Westphal; and on this article of doctrine annoyed (Ecolompadius and Zuinglius with his writings, just as if he had hired himself out to Westphal. . . .

But when he comes to the point, he, along with his masters, admits of this exposition—that the body of Christ is contained under the bread, is held forth in the bread, and is received with the bread. For what could be more monstrous than to deny that the bread is a symbol of the body, and not distinguish the earthly sign from its heavenly mystery? The words cannot be taken in an absolutely literal sense without holding that the bread is converted into the body, so that the visible bread is the invisible body; without holding, in short, that the two propositions are equally literal—Christ is the beloved Son of God, and the bread is the body of Christ. . . .

Here, then, the reader perceives by what glosses he obscures my doctrine, or rather, how he manifests his own impurity, and employs it in foully bespattering the clearest truth. . . .

He could not say this through ignorance, after being so carefully warned by me. Merely to make the ignorant think he was gaining a victory, he, without any reverence or modesty, has tried to darken what is clear as day. . . .

Were I disposed to amass heresies with that rashness with which Westphal, who makes stupidity the director of our faith, has introduced them, how much more copiously might I be supplied? . . .

He labours in vain to prove the same thing by the words of Oecolompadius. That holy man wisely and appropriately urged against his opponents, when they would not admit the bread to be a sign of the body, the inevitable consequence, that the bread is substantially the body, that he might horrify them at the gross absurdity, and thus bring them to a sounder mind. . . .

How came it that to other dogmas Satan only opposed the Papists, but on this article engaged Luther in a quarrel with excellent men and right-hearted teachers, who, but for this, would have been his faithful coadjutors, unless because he saw that every extremity was to be tried to prevent the world from returning from mad superstition? I confess that under the Papacy men were miserably infatuated in innumerable ways, but the most fearful and monstrous fascination was that of stupidly adoring the bread in place of God. When Westphal invidiously says, that Zuinglius left nothing in respect of substance but bread and wine, it is easy to answer, that he was only contending against a carnal presence, which we are determined to oppose with our last breath. . . .

Westphal pronounces us heretics, of whom no account is to be taken. . . .

It grieves you that we omit what you observe :- as if we had not the same ground for expostulation. For why are we not angry at your neglect of our ceremonies, while you would imperiously bind us to the observance of yours, unless it be that from fraternal meekness, we tolerate faults which cannot be corrected, while you and yours cannot lie still in the mud without dragging others in along with you?

Who sees not that the tapers savour of Judaism? We may add, that no man inveighed more harshly against those follies than Luther, though he retained them because of the weakness of the times. Why did he censure them so severely, but just because he saw that they were the offspring of absurd superstition, and noxious from abuse; and not only so, but that the world was so infatuated that the error could not easily be rooted out of their minds? The use of such vehemence is laudable when necessity so demands. His not immediately removing them we pardon; you, not contented with such equity, hold us criminal for having allowed them to fall into desuetude. . . .

The thing that offends him he immediately after discloses. It is because we give hopes that infants may obtain salvation without baptism, because we hold, that baptism, instead of regenerating or saving them, only seals the salvation of which they were previously partakers. . . . If the salvation of infants is included in the element of water, then the covenant, by which the Lord adopts them, is made void. . . .

Westphal next makes me a deceiver, because I professed it to be my care not to deceive the simple; and he compares me to the Jews, who said the same thing of Christ before Pilate. Let him, then, show himself to be like Christ, if he wishes to thrust me among that crew. That there is no deception in the word of God, I confess no less sincerely and from the heart, than Westphal does windily with the tongue. But where is the expression for which he has so reproachfully assailed me? Just as if he were some comic Jupiter carrying a Minerva in his skull, he boldly masks all his fictions with the word of God. Had it not of old been the ordinary practice for false prophets to make louder pretence of the name of God the more they were estranged from him, he might perhaps gain something by his airs; but now, when devoid of all evidence, he argues as if it were after proof, who is to be moved by his futile trifling? The word of God he has constantly in his mouth, but it is only in word, just as Marcion, when assigning a heavenly body to Christ, denounced all as enemies of the word who believed that he was born of the seed of Abraham, because it is written, The second Adam is heavenly from heaven. . . .

Let him have done, then, with his unseasonable garrulity, from which it is apparent that the only thing he is hunting after is to delude the unskilful, and prevent them from knowing the fact . . . Were he not intoxicated with inconceivable pride, he would not, in comparison with himself, despise all others who do not humbly yield to his obstinacy.

The same pride dictates his querulous assertion, that to charge him with insanity is to blaspheme God. If it is so, it is clear that he is not animated by any zeal for the glory of God, as he shows no desire to return to sanity; but until he be joined to God by a more sacred tie, there is no reason at all to fear that any thing deservedly said of him can offer contumely to God. The Apostles were derided on the day of Pentecost as being intoxicated. This Westphal transfers to himself with no better right than sibyls and bacchanalians might. He certainly could not offer a greater affront to the Apostles than by introducing himself into their order; until imbued with a new spirit, and transformed to other manners, he has ceased to be like himself. As it was sacrilegious scorn to regard the inspiration of the Spirit as drunkenness, so to use the name of God as a pretext for intemperate raving is a worse evil than drunkenness. . . .

Why does he now complain that his calumnies have met with their just reward? His boast of zeal for the house of God must be classed among the other boasts by which he foully profanes all that is sacred. . . . There is great truth in the words he quotes from Nanzianzen, that the soldiers of Christ, though meek in other things, must be pugnacious for the faith. But not only common experience, but this man's intemperance, shows it to be equally true that the servants of the devil are more than pugnacious against the faith. Therefore if he would escape the charge of perverse violence, let him not deck himself in another's feathers, but begin to show himself the servant of God, instead of continuing as hitherto to be too strenuous a soldier of the father of discord. . . .

Although just indignation was then wrung from me by the pity with which, if I am not of iron, I behoved to be touched at the sad calamities of my brethren, still I now see and confess that I was deceived. I thought that Westphal and his fellows had had some cause or other for being more than ordinarily exasperated. Now I see that to exercise unbounded severity against all of us indiscriminately, it is enough for them that we do not subscribe at their dictation. With such virulent hatred do they inveigh against us, that they would sooner make peace with the Turks, and fraternize with Papists, than keep truce with us. If this indignity stirs my bile, no man need wonder. If I have exceeded bounds, the goodness of the cause will, I trust, procure my pardon with equitable judges. . . .

We know how gross the errors on the sacraments are which prevail in the Papacy, how the minds of all, being fascinated by a kind of magical enchantments, pass by Christ, and fix their confidence of salvation on the elements. We know, that so far from applying the sacraments to their proper end, they rather make them the cause of grace. Nothing of all this does Westphal allow to be touched, without crying out that he is hurt: as if to please him, so many vile corruptions were to be fostered; whereas, had he one particle of true piety in his mind, he would use his utmost endeavour to purge them away. But it is obvious, that under the influence of some incredible perversity, he would sooner immerse himself in the deepest pools of the Papacy than make any approach to us.

. . . he adds shortly after, that they are always truly regenerated and sanctified in baptism, though afterwards, from want of due training, they relapse into the defilements of sin. In these words he insinuates something too gross to be tolerated by the ordinance of God.
. . .

Baptism becomes at last effectual, though it does not work effectually at the same moment at which it is performed. Westphal objects, that its virtue is not to be put off to distant years, as if God did not regenerate infants when they are baptized. Granting this, he has still to prove that they are always regenerated. For as I do not hold it to be a universal rule, so the exception which I adduce is manifest, that the nature of baptism or the Supper must not be tied down to an instant of time. God, whenever he sees meet, fulfils and exhibits in immediate effect that which he figures in the sacrament. But no necessity must be imagined so as to prevent his grace from sometimes preceding, sometimes following, the use of the sign. . . .

B. From: Last Admonition of John Calvin to Joachim Westphal, Who, if He Heeds it Not, Must Henceforth be Treated in the Way Which Paul Prescribes for Obstinate Heretics (1557) [p. 346 ff.]

. . . he mournfully deplores that I have treated him more harshly than the Anabaptists, Libertines, and Papists. Were I to grant this, (though he here shamefully exposes his vanity,) why does he not sit down calmly and consider with himself, what he has deserved both by his atrocious attacks on sound doctrine, and his barbarous cruelty towards pious and unoffending individuals? . . . As if he had been brought up in the Roman court during his whole life, and learned nothing but anathema, he surpasses all the scribes and clerks of the Pope, by fulminating against us in almost every sentence. When argument fails him, he overwhelms the best cause, by damnatory sentences and reproaches. Nay, as in comedies wicked slaves, driven to despair, throw every thing into confusion, so he by his clamour mingles light and darkness. Why should I not give this insanity its proper name? Nay, as I had to do with a hard and stubborn head, why should I not be permitted to use a hard wedge for a bad knot? Unless, indeed, he can show that he is protected by some new privilege, which entitles him petulantly to employ his bad tongue on others, without hearing a harsh word in reply. . . .

The character which God gave me, I, by his grace, so bear, that the sincerity of my faith is abundantly manifest. I wish the integrity of Westphal and his fellows were half as well proved by similar fruit. I do not envy others, though they should surpass me an hundredfold, but it is intolerable to hear lazy drones crying down the industry which they cannot imitate. . . .

He who has hitherto allowed himself a thousand times to vociferate, without measure or restraint, against the faithful servants of Christ, ever and anon calling them heretical, impious, blasphemous, crafty, forgers, plagues, and devils, cannot bear to have one word of condemnation uttered against his presumption. If, in rebuking the Galatians for fickleness and thoughtlessness in being too easy and credulous, Paul did not hesitate to employ the term madness, with what vehemence should not the presumption of one who, with [frenzied] impetus, attacks the doctrine of Christ and his true worshippers, be repressed? . . . Thus unworthily treated, not in the heat of passion, as he falsely imagines, but to curb the excessive ferocity in which he was indulging, I applied the remedy somewhat more sharply than I could desire. I wish the pain had stung him to repentance. But since he is so much exasperated, and has, in no degree, laid aside his perverse conduct, I console myself with another good result, viz., that others will understand how insipidly he has defended his error against the clear light of sound doctrine. Meanwhile, if from blind hatred he is unable to perceive my intention, Christ the common Judge recognises it, . . .

But, perhaps, the unworthy conduct of the man, while indulging his proud moroseness, required that he should be made to feel that the defenders of the truth were not without sharp weapons. It is easy for Joachim to attribute to me the black salt of absurd scurrility and sycophantish mendacity; but it is equally easy for me in one word to dispose of the calumny, by defying him to find any thing that can justify his hateful charge. Though I should be silent, the candid reader will alike detest his impudence and deride his folly. With the same modesty he alleges, that I hunt in words and syllables for absurd and insipid squibs, while it is plain that so far from being on the watch for bitter terms, I have purposely omitted those which spontaneously presented themselves. In short, if the reader will consider to what derision Westphal has exposed himself, and how much subject for irony his stupidity affords, none will be so unjust or prejudiced as not to say, that in this matter I have spared him and used restraint. . . .

That bitter reproaches and scurrilous witticisms are unbecoming in Christians, both sides agree. But as the Prophets did not refrain from derision, and our Saviour himself speaks in cutting terms of perverse and deceitful teachers, and the Holy Spirit everywhere inveighs with full freedom against this class of men, it is thoughtless and foolish to raise the question, whether it be lawful gravely and sternly to rebuke those who expose themselves to shame and disgrace . . .

. . . if the whole aim of my vehemence was to prevent a good cause, even the sacred truth of Christ, from being overwhelmed by the loud clamours of Westphal, why should it be imputed to me as a fault?

. . . if he wishes reconciliation, though he has so often injured me, I decline not. I appeal to Christ as Judge, and call all angels to witness, that the moment Westphal shall turn from his perverseness there will be no delay in me in maintaining brotherly good-will with him. Nay, if he can now put on the mind of a brother, I in my turn am prepared to embrace him as a brother. But the iniquitous condition is imposed, that I shall renounce the confession of true and holy doctrine—a price for which I would not purchase the peace even of the whole world.

. . . Here it is worth while in passing to notice the combined stupidity and impudence of the man. . . .

I have to deal with a man of no modesty, but of the greatest loquacity, . . .

Westphal with his vile garrulity . . .

I come to Augustine, whom, though all his writings proclaim him to be wholly ours, Westphal, not content with wresting from us, obtrudes as an adversary, not hesitating to claim him for himself with the same audacity with which he uniformly turns light into darkness.. . .

From this the reader may infer what reverence these men show in handling Scripture, which they so impurely and presumptuously lacerate.

. . . he is driven much further by his desperate impudence, . . . I cannot doubt that all good men would detest his blind rage.. . .

But who is not horrified at the monstrous blindness of Westphal, who seeks a colour for his doctrine from suffrages which might rather cover the sun with darkness? Since he has chosen this vile pig-stye for his school, let him regale himself on the husks which are fit for him: only let the reader remember the proof he gives of his shameful poverty when he is forced to bring his judges from the lowest dregs of the Papacy. . . . 


As it will here be easy for any reader, however little versed in Scripture, to detect the wild raving of the man, I feel at liberty to contemn it.. . .

But just as the hungry dog catches at the shadow instead of the flesh, so Westphal feeds on his own imagination. Let him not attempt to carry readers of sense along with him in his deception.. . . candid readers may the more thoroughly scorn his vile impudence . . .


. . . it is not safe to trust to the quotations of a man whose shameless audacity makes him capable of any fiction. . . .

. . . Westphal seeks a frivolous subterfuge, . . . it is not strange that he cavils so frigidly about that matter, as he is not ashamed with more pertness to elude the words of St. Paul. . . .

Though these words do not awaken Westphal, it is no wonder, as he has no shame. . . .

It would be easy to appease the man were his rage sincere, but when he maliciously stirs up fictitious disturbance about nothing, what kind of treatment does he deserve?. . .

It is of no use to go farther in pursuit of the follies of this man, which vanish of their own accord.. . . After twisting himself about with the tortuosity of a snake, he endeavours to cloak his absurdity;. . . I will therefore leave all his vain boastings, because they disappear with the same idle wind which brought them.



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3 comments:

Maroun said...

Hi Dave.
I dont know if u ever heard of Vittorio Messori ? He is a very well known Italian writer and journalist.
Anyway,i was reading one of his books lately , it`s called (Emporio cattolico)and i read something very frustrating but very interesting and important too .
He mentioned that after the so called reformation , if anyone wonders,how come , the protestants didnt go to preach the good news around the world ?Now the protestants of course would try to justify themselves by saying that they didnt have access to the sea.But Vittorio said that this isnt true,because after the destruction of the invinsible armada(Spanish fleet) only the British and the Dutch had complete control over the sea`s .
Why am i telling you these things ?well,because both the British and the Dutch were Calvinist , and because of their teaching abd beliefs concerning predestination , they did not allow anyone to preach the good news,and they believed that they were better than the others.And they also believed that those which were not christians,were chosen by God as vessels of damnation...That`s why for more than two centuries,only a few so called pastors did evangelise,and that was even illegal.
Now everyone of course can see the terrible results of Calvin`s teachings wherever the calvinists went . (North America ) a good indian was a dead Indian . Australia with the Aborigens , South Africa with Apertheid , India,China with opium and so on.
How come no one speaks about these things?They only want to falsify history and keep talking about the crusades,the inquisition (in an exagerated and false way) of course,just to attack the Catholic Church.But they never mention their own terrible impact on the world,and the terrible disasters which they have caused because of their teachings.
GBU and i really hope to have a reply from you (even a short one ) about these things .

Dave Armstrong said...

This is true. Good observation. Early Protestantism did little missionary work. They tried to promulgate their beliefs by taking over territories and imposing their religion on the people by force of law (England being the classic example of that).

They did get into evangelism a few centuries later, with Whitefield and Spurgeon and Jonathan Edwards (all Calvinists).

In recent times, ironically, it has flipped, with Protestants dominating missionary attempts (The two Great Awakenings, Moody, Billy Graham et al), so we need to get back to that emphasis, too.

Maroun said...

Thanks Dave. Very true . In fact for them , there has been a reformation inside their own reformation,and as you said we shouldnt stay behind.
GBU