Bucer to Bullinger (9): On a Council

Below is the rest of the section on the possibility of a council from Martin Bucer’s 1535 letter to Bullinger and Leo Jud. The new material begins with “If the Lord has accomplished such things…”.

Bucer on a Council

Concerning a council: A long time ago, under the godly princes Constantine and his successors, the Lord used the deliberations of sacred synods to establish his church and repress the madness of heretics who had previously grown strong. What if the Lord should grant this favor to us too? As things now stand as of very recently, all the princes of Germany who are in the north have allowed the public preaching of the gospel, and it is no distant prospect that all the kingdom of Denmark will submit to Christian the Younger,[1] a most godly prince; for recently he he nearly wiped out an entire army of his enemies. If the Lord gives him peace, he will consecrate his whole kingdom to Christ. This the ruler of Sweden did a long time ago; now the rulers of England and Scotland, kings of no mean power, do as well. If the Lord has accomplished such things largely within a period of two years–namely, the addition of the two very noble kingdoms of England and Scotland, as well as the two chief duchies of Pomerania and Württemberg, we absolutely ought to hope for more noble things than is indicated by worrying about the kingdom of Christ only in our own little corners. At present France runs with the blood of Christians; in Italy the truth finds inroads everywhere; the Spanish, too, are beginning to perceive it. We daily proclaim how easy it already is for God to smash hostile tyrants. Hence it rightly seems to me in no way unsuitable for us to prepare for all the ways by which an increase can somehow be made for the kingdom of Christ. And yet the Lord has given us such a nature that we are already being led from what we know to what we do not know and are being freed from errors by the light of the truth–as has, in fact, happened to us. Luther, from the very beginning of the cause, was of no little profit to the truth, when he refuted the public perversion of the teaching of Christ by the arguments that could be known at that time. And I judge these things to belong to a prudent frankness and a steadfast faith.


1 Christian III.


Related Articles


Other Articles by

Join our Community
Subscribe to receive access to our members-only articles as well as 4 annual print publications.
Share This