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  • JOHN CALVIN'S WRITINGS -
    LETTER 1.


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    BUCER TO CALVIN.

    Grace and peace be multiplied to you, my much esteemed brother, and fellow-laborer in the Lord. We have entreated the illustrious and truly noble Maurus Museus, personally at Basil, and now by letters, to obtain your consent to assist us in our controversial disputes on religious subjects. We must acknowledge, as it appears to us, that the Lord has destined you to be eminently useful to his churches, and will extensively bless your ministry. We are anxious that both we ourselves, our churches, and those who are preparing for the ministry with us or elsewhere, should be in harmony with your sentiments on every point of theology. You must be sensible, how extensively injurious it will be to the cause of the churches, if a difference of opinion is entertained, even on minor points, among the principal pastors. If we are faithful to ourselves, the Lord, I trust, will put it in our power to promote unanimity of opinion among the ministers and churches, especially if we can have your doctrines illustrated and enforced by yourself.

    We will cheerfully meet you, in any place you will appoint, for the purpose of a conference upon the whole administration of evangelical doctrines, preserving the highest respect for the truth of Christ, and a becoming regard for you in the Lord. This age has so advanced in the practice of calumniating whatever is judiciously said, or correctly written, and of judging with the most rigid severity whatever is of an opposite character, that it becomes us to use every means to render our ministry as influential, as its importance is dignified. We are under the strongest obligations, to bring all our exertions into unison, both to secure our writings and discourses from any unmerited reproach; and to exhibit the beauty of holiness in that simplicity of language which is adapted to the capacities of the very children in the church of Christ. You are sensible, my respected brother, and fellow-laborer in the Lord, how highly the apostle Paul estimated the meetings and conferences of holy men, as tending to promote knowledge and purity; how cheerfully he traveled over land and sea to animate those believers, whom he knew to be anxious for the edification of the church, to be frequent in their society. Appoint, therefore, a place, either at Basil, Bern, or even at Geneva, if the duties of your office confine you, that we may religiously confer upon subjects, which, although clearly apprehended by you, to our tardy understandings, require a more extensive illustration. The wise are debtors to the unwise, that they also may understand. It would afford us much pleasure, did our ecclesiastical duties, which we cannot neglect, allow us, even uninvited and transiently, to visit the Swiss churches. I cannot well express how much it grieves me not to have known and conversed with you, when you were here. Capito, however, communicates every thing to me. I know not what evil spirit made him so forgetful as not to introduce you to me, which omission he now very much regrets. Farewell, most learned and holy man.

    Strasburg, November 1, 1536.

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