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  • JOHN CALVIN'S WRITINGS -
    LETTER 16.


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    THOMAS CRANMER TO CALVIN.

    SALUTEM PRECATUR.

    As nothing tends more to separate the churches of God than heresies and differences about the doctrines of religion, so nothing more effectually unites them, and fortifies more powerfully the fold of Christ, than the uncorrupted doctrine of the gospel, and union in received opinions. I have often wished, and now wish, that those learned and pious men, who excel others in erudition and judgment, would assemble in some convenient place, where holding a mutual consultation, and comparing their opinions, they might discuss all the heads of ecclesiastical doctrine, and agree not only concerning the things themselves, but the forms of expression, and deliver to posterity some work, with the weight of their authority. Our adversaries are now holding their council at Trent, that they may establish their errors. And shall we neglect to call together a pious synod, that we may be able to refute their errors, and to purify and propagate the true doctrines? They, as I hear, are making decrees [peri thv ], about the worship of the bread. We ought therefore to make every effort, not only to fortify others against this idolatry, but that we also ourselves might agree on the doctrine of this sacrament. How much the dissensions and variety of opinions, about this sacrament of union, weaken the church of God, cannot escape your prudence. Although these differences may, in some places, be removed, yet I wish an agreement in this doctrine, not only about the things themselves, but also about the words and forms of expression. You have my ardent wishes, concerning which I have written to Melancthon and Bullinger, and I beg you to deliberate among yourselves, in what manner this synod can most conveniently be assembled. Farewell, Your most beloved brother in Christ,

    THOMAS, of Canterbury.

    Lambeth, March 20, 1552.

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