Archive for the ‘Reformation’ Category

God’s freedom to save, not justification by faith, was the crucial question in the Reformation

April 3, 2010

It is wrong to suppose that the doctrine of justification by faith alone, that storm center of the Reformation, was the crucial question in the minds of such theologians as Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, Martin Bucer, and John Calvin. This doctrine was important to the Reformers because it helped to express and to safeguard their answer to another, more vital, question, namely, whether sinners are wholly helpless in their sin, and whether God is to be thought of as saving them by free, unconditional, invincible grace, not only justifying them for Christ’s sake when they come to faith, but also raising them from the death of sin by His quickening Spirit in order to bring them to faith.

Michael Haykin

We might say, then, that to assert men choose God is the pathway to Rome. It is the potter, not the clay who has freedom.

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The greatest preacher of the English Reformation was Hugh Latimer, and often he was called to preach before King Henry VIII

November 17, 2009

The greatest preacher of the English Reformation was Hugh Latimer, and often he was called to preach before King Henry VIII. When he was made a king’s chaplain a courtier said to him, “Beware of contradicting the king. Speak as he speaks, and instead of presuming to lead him, strive to follow him.” “Away with your counsel !” replied Latimer. He took his calling seriously, and all he read confirmed his need to be faithful. One day he picked up Augustine’s writings and read there, “He who for fear of any power hides the truth, provokes the wrath of God to come upon him, for he fears men more than God.” Another day he picked up Chrysostom’s writings and read, “He is not only a traitor to the truth who openly for truth teaches a lie, but he also who does not pronounce and show the truth he knows.” Latimer said that those two sentences made him afraid and he vowed, “I had rather suffer extreme punishment than be a traitor unto the truth.” He met many obstacles in speaking to the king, some even in his own impetuous make-up, but he wrote a letter one day to Henry VIII, “Your Grace, I must show forth such things as I have learned in Scripture, or else deny Jesus Christ. The which denying ought more to be dreaded than the loss of all temporal goods, honour, promotion, fame, prison, slander, hurts, banishment, and all manner of torments and cruelties, yea, and death itself, be it never so shameful and painful … There is as great distance between you and me as between God and man; for you are here to me and to all your subjects in God’s stead; and so I should quake to speak of your Grace. But as you are a mortal man having in you the corrupt nature of man, so you have no less need of the merits of Christ’s passion for your salvation than I and others of your subjects have”

(The Reformation in England, D’Aubigne, Vol.2, p.42).

The king was not offended by the letter and continued to appreciate his chaplain Hugh Latimer.

To the Reformation Englishmen owe an English Bible, and liberty for every man to read it

September 26, 2009

To the Reformation Englishmen owe an English Bible, and liberty for every man to read it. To the Reformation they owe the knowledge of the way of peace with God, and of the right of every sinner to go straight to Christ by faith, without bishop, priest, or minister standing in his way. To the Reformation they owe a Scriptural standard of morality and holiness, such as our ancestors never dreamed of. For ever let us be thankful for these inestimable mercies ! For ever let us grasp them firmly, and refuse to let them go ! For my part, I hold that- he who would rob us of these privileges, and draw us back to pre-Reformation ignorance, superstition, and unholiness, is an enemy to England, and ought to be firmly opposed.

J.C.Ryle, Five English Reformers, Banner, 1994, p.43

Latimer’s last words to Ridley

September 9, 2009

Then they brought a faggot, kindled with fire, and laid it down at Dr. Ridley’s feet. Master Latimer spake to him in this manner: ‘Be of good comfort, master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.’ And so the fire being given unto them, when Dr. Ridley saw the fire flaming up towards him, he cried, several times, with a wonderful loud voice, ‘Into thy hands, Lord, I commend my spirit. Lord, receive my spirit.’

John Foxe

English Protestant preacher, Bishop of Worcester, Hugh Latimer, burned with Ridley, October 16, 1555 at Oxford.

Martyrdom of a Lollard

September 9, 2009

William Sawtry, a priest at St Margaret’s King’s Lynn, said: “Instead of adoring the cross on which Christ suffered, I adore Christ who suffered on it.” He preached against images and pilgrimages and rejected transubstantiation. In 1399 he was arrested and then recanted. But he went back on this until rearrest and interrogation in 1401 by Bishop Arundel. He stood firm on Scripture. His vestments and clerical clothes were torn off, hi head shaved to remove the tonsure and a layman’s cap placeed on his head. He was burned at the stake at Smithfield.

Douglas C.Wood, Evangelical Doctor, EP, 1984, pp.125-6