Monday, March 16, 2009

Calvin: on the visible Church and apostasy – part 1

Recently, a new site (Called to Communion – Reformation meets Rome), featuring contributors who are converts to the Catholic Church, made its Internet debut. The site has a “Library”, podcasts and a blog; it was via this last feature that I ‘discovered’ the site—more specifically, via the thread: Does Calvin teach that the Church ceased to exist on account of the Eucharist?.

Though I am certainly not a Calvin scholar, I have read the majority of his works (including the Institutes—twice), and numerous books on his life and theology. In the opening post, Taylor Marshall, posted the following:

In Institutes IV, 18, 7 Calvin writes:

I come now to the crowning point, viz., that the sacred Supper, on which the Lord left the memorial of his passion formed and engraved, was taken away, hidden and destroyed when the mass was erected.

Now, something just did not seem ‘right’ with the quote, so I checked the two English editions (Allen and Battles) I have in my library, and immediately confirmed my suspicions. I then tracked down the translation that Taylor had used (Beveridge) and a Latin edition (Tholuck). The following is the ‘fruit’ of my labor:

I come now to the crowning point, viz., that the sacred Supper, on which the Lord left the memorial of his passion formed and engraved, was taken away, hidden and destroyed when the mass was erected. (John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 4.18.7, trans. Henry Beveridge, Edinburgh 1845 ed., p. 3.465)

Now I come to the end: namely, that the Sacred Supper (in which the Lord had left graven and inscribed the remembrance of his Passion) has been taken away, destroyed, and abolished by the raising up of the Mass. (John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 4.18.7, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, The Westminster Press ed., p. 1435.)

I come now to the concluding observation; that the sacred supper, in which our Lord had left us the memorial of his passion impressed and engraven, has, by the erection of the mass, been removed, abolished, and destroyed. (John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 4.18.7, trans. John Allen, 7th American ed., 2.719.)

is by the fetting [setting] up the Maffe [Mass], taken away, defaced, and deftroyed [destroyed]. (John Calvin, Institution of the Christian Religion, 4.18.7, trans. Thomas Norton, 1634 ed., p. 707.)

Ad coronidem nunc nunc venio, nempe sacram Coenam, in qua Dominus passionis suae memoriam insculptam formatamque reliquerat, erecta Missa e medio sublatum, inductam et deperditam…(Ioannis Calvini, INSTITUTIO CHRISTIANAE RELIGIONIS, 1834 ed., p. 446.)


So, as the careful reader can readily discern, Beveridge has added the word “hidden” in his translation of the passage. In my next thread (Lord willing), I am going to explore some possible reasons as to why he may have done so.


Grace and peace,

David

2 comments:

Mike Burgess said...

David,
You may find this link informative if you haven't already seen it.

David Waltz said...

Hi Mike,

Thanks much for the link; it was new to me, and indeed, informative.


Grace and peace,

David