That First Amendment and the Remnant

By Leonard Verduin



1. "Made in God's Image

2. A "Chosen" Tribe?

3. A Way-Preparer Appears

4. A Way-Preparer's Greater Follower

5. The Early Church

6. The "Ecclesia" Becomes "Catholic"

7. The Remnant

8. Martin Luther and the Remnant

9. Huldreich Zwiingli and the Remnant

10. John Calvin and the Remnant

11. Guido de Bres and the Remnant

12, The Remnant in the New World






Two centuries ago, on December 15, 1792, a novel piece of legislation, known as the First Amendment of the Federal Constitution of the USA, was ratified. It is with the Amendment that we will be dealing in this book, especially with its origin and its intended thrust.

All must agree that whenever this Amendment is mentioned nowadays the matter that comes to mind is the concept of "separation of Church and State." But, oddly enough, the clause "separation of Church and State" is not an integral part of the Amendment. According to a publication put out less than a decade ago by Warren E. Burger, chairman of the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution, the Amendment reads:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, of the press, or the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Plainly the intention of the Amendment is to lay a restraining hand on government, so guaranteeing to US citizens freedom, on six levels. Plainly the constantly-recited clause about "separation of church and state" was inserted into the text after the Amendment had been ratified.

We must conclude therefore that if the Amendment had not been tampered-with, a decade after it had been ratified, then there would be nothing to argue over, for no one has so much as suggested that Congress has done (or is planning to do) something the Amendment forbids it to do. All the noise in connection with the issue is the result of the clause that reads: "So building a wall of separation between church and state," inserted between the second and the third of the six items of which the Amendment consists. Outright calm would therefore ensue if the inserted phrase were deleted.

We do not know for sure who it was that had invented the inserted clause. We do know that a full decade after the Amendment had been ratified, Thomas Jefferson did, in a private communication, insert the clause. Why he did this he did not say, although (as we shall point out) the context in which he said it gives us a much-needed clue as to why he did so.

Yes, if the trouble-giving clause were put back, into the fogbank out of which it came, then the controversy about "separation of church and state" would cease. But, the matter is not as simple as it sounds, this in view of the fact that in the course of time the Supreme Court has recited the clause as an integral part of the Amendment. Since then the expression "wall of separation" has been heard constantly. It follows that the clause that had managed to sneak-in unofficially will have to be expelled officially, that although the essentially mongrel creature's birth is not recorded its demise will have to be recorded. And we predict that the very suggestion that it be deleted would stir up another heated and wide-spread controversy, as heated and as wide-spread as the on-going one.

We cannot say it too often, nor insist on it too strongly, that the inserted clause is out-of-place. It has been linked (although artificially) to the first two items of the six items listed, but it cannot be linked to the other four items in the single sentence. If we were to ask what "wall of separation" has to do with "freedom of speech", or with "freedom of the press", or with "the right to assemble peaceably", or with "petition the Government for redress of grievances", then the only answer possible would be "nothing-at-all!" The artificially inserted clause actually disturbs the argument of the First Amendment. It violates the rules of sentence-structure, which requires that "Each sentence must deal with a specific matter, not with two or more matters".

Nor is that our only quarrel with the sentence-structure in the Amendment as it was made to go. The Amendment is forward-looking, tells us citizens to look ahead, to keep an eye on the government, see that none of the six freedoms is violated. But with the insertion of the clause about "separation of church and state" we find ourselves suddenly looking back, find ourselves face to face with an allegedly finished task, with a piece-of-work already done and finished. We human beings were not intended to look in two opposite directions at the same time (he who tries it is likely to get dizzy) yet that is what the Amendment, as distorted by the inserted clause, requires of us.

We have still another linguistic problem brought about by insertion of "so building a wall of separation". As the First Amendment was made-to-read we are told a "wall" has been "built" -- without anyone stirring-a-finger. Everybody was reclining in an easy chair -- only to discover that while they were doing-nothing a wall has allegedly been built. No, the building of a wall calls for months or years of activity instead.

Although there are questions in connection with the insertion of the ill-fitting clause that we shall not even ask, we do want to ask the question as to why Jefferson saw fit to insert it in a personal letter, a non-official communication. And we think to be able to answer that question. As we shall see, we are about to learn something about the historic origin of the First Amendment. We find Jefferson saying, at least implying, that the First Amendment was not the fledgling of the French Revolution, with its motto "Ni dieu ni maitre" ("neither God nor master"), was not the fruitage of Catholicism, was not the result of the Reformation, was instead the offspring of a company with which most historians do not even deal, but with which we will be dealing constantly in the present study.

Let us listen carefully to what Jefferson was saying, a recital which then led him to insert the trouble-giving inserted clause. He is saying the following: "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his ' faith and his worship, that legislative powers of government reach actions only and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declares that their legislature shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibit the free exercise thereof" (at which point he inserts the inserted clause "so building a wall of separation between church and state.").

To whom was Jefferson saying all this? The question is important for Jefferson evidently sees a genetic-link between a thought-system and the thought-system that comes to expression in the First Amendment.

So we repeat the question as to the identity of the people addressed. They were the members of "The Baptist Association of Danbury Connecticut." Although we regret it that Jefferson dragged-in the out-of-place clause, we are grateful to him for the light he here throws on the origin of the First Amendment. We are grateful to Thomas Jefferson for saying that the thought-system behind the First Amendment is the thought-system to which the addressed Baptists are committed.

What we have just said about the officials of the Baptist Association must not be taken to mean that the First Amendment was born the same day a certain present-day denomination came into existence. No, as we shall seek to make apparent, the thought-system behind the First Amendment was older, much older, than were the churches that came to be called "Baptist" ones. To the "older" thing we shall give an appropriate name, as it comes-in-focus during the course of this our study. "Baptists" were among its progeny.

Thomas Jefferson was fully aware of it that a whole century (and much more) before the first rustlings of the French Revolution, or, of the Aufkldrung (as the movement was called in Germany), were heard in Europe, the thought-system of the First Amendment was already in the air in what was then known as "the New World". It seems that Jefferson had read the writings of a twice-baptized person named Roger Williams, who a century earlier had written, in what came to be known as his "Shipletter":

"There goes many a ship to sea, with many hundred souls in one ship, whose weal and woe is common, a true picture of a commonwealth or human combination of society. It hath fallen out sometimes that both papists, protestants, Jews, Turks, may be embarked in one ship, upon which assertion I affirm liberty of conscience ... turns upon these two hinges; that none of the papists, protestants, Jews, Turks, be forced to come to the ship's prayers or worship, nor compelled from their own particular prayers and worship, if they practice any. I further add ... that notwithstanding this liberty the commander of the ship ought to determine the ship's course, yes, also command that Justice, peace, and sobriety, be kept and practiced, both among the seaman and the passengers." That, so all must grant, was the First Amendment in-fetal-form, waiting to be born a century later.

Jefferson was also acquainted, so it seems, with the thought-system set forth in the following, likewise put in print by Williams: "Where find you one footstep, Print or Pattern, for a national holy covenant, or kingdom, converted to the faith, of Christ appointing a whole Nation, Country, or Kingdom, to walk in one way of religion?" That also is the First Amendment in-embryo.

Yes, Jefferson may also have read, and read again, the following, put out by Williams: "I shall humbly suggest..., as the greatest cause, foundation and taproot of all the indignation of the Most High against state and countrey (though unregenerate and unrepentant) to pretend and assume the name of Christ Jesus, which only belongs, according to the institution of the Lord Jesus, to truely regenerate and repenting soules, second that all others dissenting from them, whether Jews or Gentiles ... have not been permitted." That again is the First Amendment in-the-making.

Very insightfully, and correctly, has the monumental likeness of Roger Williams been included in the monument that adorns the city of Geneva today, in honor of some of the promoters-of-liberty, among whom he indeed deserves a prominent place. We must add, however, that although the likeness of Roger Williams and the likeness of John Calvin are close together in the monument, Williams said in his day that John Calvin tried to blow hot and cold simultaneously, or, as Williams put it "draw sweet water and bitter from one and the same spring". It is plain as day that (as will be shown in a chapter in the present book) that the mature Calvin would not have signed the First Amendment, would have opposed it, with rigor. Nor would the rest of the mainline Reformers have enforced it (except one of them, as we shall see).

Very insightfully, and correctly, has it been said, by Georg Jellinek (a recognized German scholar, an expert in the history of the United States in its early years) that "The idea of legally established and inalienable and sacred rights of the individual is not of political but of religious origin. What has at times been held to be the work of the Revolution was in reality a fruit of the Reformation and its struggles. Its first apostle was not Lafayette [a leader in the French Revolution] but Roger Williams, who, driven by a powerful and deep religious enthusiasm, went into the wilderness [reference is to the "New World" in its early years] in order to found there a government in which there is a religious liberty; and his name is uttered by Americans even today with deepest respect."

As the fashioners of the First Amendment were putting it together they realized full-well that they were striking-out in a new (although already-ancient, as we shall see) direction. For a millennium, and more, the general assumption had been that if a state is to hang-together it must-not, and can-not, be composite on the level of -ultimate loyalties, the level of religion. Now it was being assumed that such is not the case, that a society can hang-together nicely even if there is compositism on the level of religion.

Having used the word "compositism" we must make a distinction, lest confusion results. We must distinguish between what we shall call macro-compositism and micro-compositism. Macro is Greek for big and micro is Greek for tiny. In macro-compositism the units are big, are whole states, whole societies, whole nations ever against each other- whereas in micro-compositism the units are small, actually as small as they can be, a group of individuals. Jesus was thinking in terms of macro-compositism versus micro-compositism when He said, early in His career:

"Think not that I am come to bring peace to earth, I came not to bring peace ... " To understand what Jesus was saying as He said this, we must keep in mind that in those days the word "peace" stood for utter togetherness, so that unhewn stones were called "peaceful" ones. Realizing that what He was saying would sound odd, to the people of the times, He pointed out that micro-compositisrn would be so pronounced that dividedness could, and would, in extreme instances, come to expression even in a human family, with "a man against his father, a daughter against her mother ... a man's foes will be those of his own household" (Matthew 10:34). To make entirely plain what He was saying He added that He had instead come to bring a sword, a sword being in those times a tool whereby togetherness is terminated. In contrast with this we must say that in the rest of the world's religions we see macro-compositism, with nation lining-up against nation, each with its own religion, a religion adhered to by all member of the nation. The summary is that Jesus, as He said this, was reckoning with the fact that if human beings are left to their own devices then they carve-out a "common" faith, one to which all members subscribe (at least nominally). That is why Jesus began the essentially outlandish assertion with "Think not..." The conclusion is that the faith Jesus had come to establish, expects, and intends, to bring about micro-compositism,

They who put-together the First Amendment realized that they were breaking-step with the ethnic faiths (Webster defines "ethnic" as "neither Jewish nor Christian" and he equates it with "heathen"), such as the religion of Rome. It had the basic principle that Cuis regio eius religio ("whose the rule, his the religion"). The France of medieval times had a religion that was ethnic, so that the motto was "Un roi, une loi, une foi'' ("one ruler, one law, one faith"). The First Amendment was meant to make the generating of an ethnic faith impossible in the "New World". We can put the contrast, between the ethnic faiths and the faith Jesus came to establish, by saying that it is a matter of compositism or non-compositism, a matter of two divergent views as to the mode d'integration of two elements. (We ask the reader to adopt the expression "mode d'integration", for we will be using it often in the present study).

Since we are trying to get the reader to be "at-home" in and with the terms that go with the discussion of matters lying on the level of religion, we shall "feed" the reader another necessary distinction in the present study. Authentic Christianity works with the concept of two grace programs in operation in this sin-sick world. The one grace brings into being an agency that has the sword as its distinguishing symbol, although there is no room for a sword in the agency resulting from the other grace. The one grace has as its objective the controlling (somewhat) of the symptoms of the confessedly sick patient, while the other gracious program has as its objective to cure the patient of his malady. For many centuries theologians have called the one grace "common" and the other grace "special"; but the word "common" could be taken, and sometimes was taken, to imply that the difference was merely a matter of supply, a matter of quantity -- which was very far indeed from the intended distinction. It is therefore reason for rejoicing that the late Emil Brunner came out with good and adequate terms for the two programs, he referring to "common grace" as "erhaltende Gnade" (German for "preserving grace") and referring to the other grace as "erlosende Gnade" (German for "redeeming grace"). We ask the reader to adopt also these (German) terms about the two programs, for we will be using them freely in the rest of this discussion.

We consider it needful to assert that although there are these two graces, each with its own equipment, as well as its own objective, the two must not be isolated from each other. Nor are they to be amalgamated or confused. It is a matter of mode d'integration. The program of erlosende Gnade was meant to influence the program of erhaltende Gnade, doing so by the way of osmosis (Webster defines "osmosis" as "diffusion through a semi-permeable membrane").

Having taken the reader on a short trip through a field of Christian theology, we shall now examine present-day conduct concerning the matter. We shall confine ourselves to the man who has been called the "father of American Education", John Dewey, as he declares war on the intention of the First Amendment and its implications as to mode d' integration. In Dewey's book, A Common Faith, he says: "Historic Christianity [it would be better if he had called it "authentic Christianity"] is given to the distinction of sheep and goats, the saved and the 10s1..." He adds that these distinctions must be abandoned "if the American dream is to come true". What Dewey is calling-for actually implies the repudiation of the First Amendment, for the Amendment seeks to discourage the development of a "common" religion. What the "father of education" was proposing was a return to things as they are in ethnic faiths, a return to a situation where the voice of authentic Christianity has not been heard or heeded. As we shall point out in the ensuing chapter of this book, we human beings were made for choice-making and John Dewey is closing the door on choice-making at the very heart of man, -- his religion. Take choice-making away from the creature "made in the image of God" and you, by so doing, de-humanize that creature. It was to preserve to that creature a chance to make-choice that the First Amendment was enacted.

Lest the reader gets the impression that we are dealing simply with speculation, with argument on the level of metaphysics, we call attention to an assertion we find in the writings of the poet Cicero as he says: "Every commonwealth has its religion and we have ours." Or we can quote from something that was said only a half century ago, by the Nazis: "A fellowship of the total people the church was meant to be, not a fellowship off-by-itself with its own structurization; concern for its own separate structure has at times deflected the church from its real and God-given task, and it is doing it today." That is the kind of thinking against which the First Amendment is directed.

In view of the fact that in the rest of this book we will be dealing with the conflict between these two views as to mode d'integration we will say no more about it here. But before we move on we must set forth the real meaning of a few important words in the First Amendment. The first of these words is the word "establish". This word is not simply a synonym of such words as "promote" or "sustain" or "encourage", or "aid" or "help-along". No, to establish is to give-official-status-to. It is the performance whereby a specific religion is given the right-of-way in the land. It is to give the green light to a specific religion throughout a total country, the while inflicting the red light on all the rest. The Amendment was intended to bring about the novel idea of outright pluralism on the level of ultimate loyalties, the level of religion. The First Amendment was meant to "feed" the idea of government-impartiality at the front of religion.

The First Amendment was drawn-up at a time, and in an area, in which there were rather widely diverse interpretations of Christianity, including "Catholic" and "Protestant" and the latter of various kinds. Then, when the idea of uniting the several colonies came up the question arose, and that automatically, as to which of the several candidates was to be the religion of the resulting United States. As this question was being discussed all the candidates for the honor knew no other religion but an "established" one. The very idea of a plurality of "established" religions was seen as a contradiction in terms (as it surely is). There was a way-out, that of doing battle with each other, and that long enough to declare one of the contestants to be the winner. However, this "solution" did not appeal to any of the parties present. It is reported that before trying to settle the ugly question there was time spent in prayer, by various delegates, in their homes. It is entirely possible, (although it can not be proved) that mention was made during the discussions of the fact that there was an old tradition, kept alive by the spiritual ancestors of people like the Baptist-community located at Danbury, in Connecticut, which saw human society as composite, with believers and not-believers living across the street from each other. Anyway, the problem was settled their way; and, as a result, the First Amendment began to loom on the horizon. It said that there was to be no "established" religion. Be it kept in mind that the solution was not by way of no-religion. No, it was by way of no-established-religion. The assumption was that there would be religions all right, of various complexions, each of them not to be denied the right of "free exercise thereof".

As the representatives of the various colonies in the "New World" were working at the problem that had come up, many of them had witnessed some' rather ridiculous scenes in "the-Old-Country" (as they called the area in Europe out of which they had come). The ethnic notion "Cuius regio eius religio" had led to some "crazy" happenings there. For instance in Germany people had witnessed it that in a dozen or so years there had been three instances of "establishment" and "dis-establishment", one after the other. And, as Roger Williams pointed-out, the same thing had happened in England at the time of "Bloody Mary" and her rivals. The orders to change one's religion, and after a few years change it again, was sure to "cheapen" the very thought of religion. To tell people to change their religious-flag upon-orders, was to cheapen the very concept of an ultimate loyalty. If change-of-religion is no different from change-of-shirt, then the whole thing has been trivialized. This weird experience may have made it thinkable to have a country in a "New World" in which there is no such thing as establishment; and this no doubt contributed liberally to the enactment of the Amendment.

In view of the fact that we are as yet in the "introduction" to this our study it will not be out-of-order to spend a little time on another word that appears in the First Amendment, the word "religion". Although the word "religion" did in the course of time begin to imply stance-assumed-toward-deity this is not by-definition implied in the word. Although the etymological origin of the word "religion" is more or less debatable the prevailing view is that the word "religion" is to be traced back to the Latin verb ligare, which translates "tie-together" (it is from this Latin ligare that we have our word "ligaments", the sinews by which a body is tied-together). It indeed the word "religion" if from this "ligare" then it follows that all human beings have religion -- for they all tie-together, so as to make-sense of the limitless pack-of-phenomena. All human beings are together-tiers, which implies that they are all religious. It is therefore a gross blunder to say that as the First Amendment denies establishment-status to a religion it is granting to it a-religion, this in view of the fact that there is no such thing as a-religion. Not only do all human beings have a religion, but they also peddle their specific religion, their way of putting-things-together. All human beings preach. Karl Marz was preaching when he enlarged upon the text "Religion is the opiate of the people". (It cannot be deplored enough that the Russia of the times did not have an equivalent of the First Amendment, for if the Russian people had been in possession of its equivalent they could have quoted it in criticism of government-policy).

No, we repeat it, in the light of the etymological meaning of the word "religion" there are no non-religious people. The woman who contributed heavily to the expulsion of religion, in the form of prayer, from our public schools, is a decidedly religious person. She not only engages in tying-together but she is also a missionary. Atheism is as much a religion as is theism, for both are attempts to tie-together the phenomena we encounter. Evolutionism is as much a religion as is creationism, for both seek to make sense of what we see, the one system (evolutionism) seeing history as a chain of events while the other system (creationism) sees history as a chain of deeds.

(This is carried-out so consistently that in the Bible "it" does not send rain, nor does an "it" "scatter the hoarfrost like ashes". Back of such happenings stands a person. We shall return, in Chapter One, to the matter of event versus deed).

Since we have set-straight some of the words that occur in the First Amendment we shall also throw a bit of needed light on the use of the word "church", in the dragged-in clause. Actually the importation of the word "church" was a violation of the First Amendment, for, by common consent, the word "church" is found only in a specific religion, the religion known as Christianity. The word "church" is derived from the Greek word kuriakon, which is from the noun kurios, which means "Lord", and stands for the person of Christ. (It is from this "kuriakon" that the English have their word "church", the Dutch their "kerk", the Germans their "Kirche", the Frisians their "tjerke", etc, etc). It follows that if the one and only religion that is told to watch-its-step as it enters public domain, the very religion that gave the world the concept of freedom of conscience, then we are witnessing a devil-inspired thing, the kind of thing that led wise men to say "Don't bite the hand that is feeding you!" Since it is authentic Christianity that gave birth to the freedom supplied by the First Amendment it should be the last faith to feel its bite. It is for all Americans to heed the wisdom contained in "Don't kill the goose that lays the golden eggs!"

If it is true (as it is) that no human being can be religion-less, then the question is in order whether a society of human beings can be that. This leads to the question whether our schools, here in America, have an established religion by now, a religion that has establishment status. We shall let the reader decide. But we shall also recite an instance. When the present writer was working toward his degree, in a rightly famous university, he took a course in Sociology, taught by the head of the department. The man insisted that "no human being has ever made-choice". He would take a student as example, a student wearing a red necktie. He would ask "How-come the red tie?". And the student would say something like, "I hadn't worn this tie for some time." Upon this the professor would say that if we had had all the data we could have predicted weeks ahead the wearing of the red tie on that day, such data as seeing a pretty girl hiking across the campus and wearing a red dress. The professor was preaching a religion as he said all this. The noteworthy thing is that he did not close the door of the room first, so as not to be reported. Was he violating the First Amendment? To us it seemed that he was, and that he was rather ardent about his faith.

Since that was quite a long time ago, things have changed radically since then. Now a head of the department of sociology will probably be teaching that all we do all day long is make-choices, adding that make-choice is all we do from mom to night. He will probably make it very plain as he is teaching this that as we human beings live a life full of choice-making, all day long, we do so in the absence of such a thing as a criterion. He too, no doubt, leaves the door of the classroom wide open, he being convinced that he is working in keeping with the law, -- is not violating.

Let us suppose that a professor would teach that we human beings do have the right to make choices all right, and do make them, but that there is a criterion, one that stays-put even if and when we turn our back on it, a criterion which can be recited. Such a professor, one teaching-that-way (or shall we say, "one preaching-that-way"?) will, if he is prudent, lower his voice after closing the door, lest a superior, or the public, recite the First Amendment for his instruction. Isn't the First Amendment being violated, at least in our classrooms, in our schools?

We conclude that if we are to understand the First Amendment and apply it correctly we must first know correctly the creature called "man", the creature whose rights are protected by the First Amendment. For that reason we shall begin the body of this book with a study of that creature.

There is nothing new, nothing "funny" about starting that way. It is at least interesting that the Bible starts out that way. We may add here that there also is an ancient Children's Catechism, one antedating the birth of Martin Luther (by how-many years or centuries is a thing we will never know), which starts with the question "What are you?" and the answer given is "A creature of body and mind". We contend that to start with that question is to give evidence of profound wisdom. To begin with that question is even to be preferred above the way such a Catechism as the Heidelberg one begins, as it starts with the question "What is your only comfort, in life as well as in death?"

Since human beings were "cut-out" to engage in choice-making, it follows that the First Amendment gives them the right climate to be what they were meant to be. It only gives them that right because it only is geared to the right view of man.

Chapter One

"Made in God's Image"


As we said, the Scriptures begin with the assertion that the creature known as "man" was "made in God's image". So radical, so unerhiirt, is the very idea of a creature made to resemble its creator that the account says there first was a conference to discuss the plan and that upon this the plan was carried out.

What is it to exist "in the image of God"? Wherein does this creature, the crown and capstone of the creative enterprise, resemble its Maker? The Bible gives the answer to that question, gives it at once. It says that to exist "in the image of God" is to be capable of "having-dominion". And what, pray, is that? It is to have the ability to run-things, be-"sovereign" (The word is from the Latin super, by way of Old French). To be-"sovereign" is to have say-so-as-how-to-go, a quality the Creator has in its archetypal form and the creature made in His image has in its ectypal form.

It is certainly significant that the concept of say-so-as-to-how-to-go, the ability to sit in the driver's seat and steer, has had tremendous effect on things. Out of it has come the expression "the protestant work ethic" and the achievements inherent in that concept. The only alternative there is for say-so-as-to-how-go is the way-of-life known as "the gathering society". In areas where say-so-as-to-how-go is unknown there we encounter what is rightly called "backwardness", the backwardness of the "gathering-society".

A useful word has been invented for the ability to be sovereign, be in-control, the word "heretic". Because the word did in the course of time pick up a different meaning we shall have it printed between quotation marks, this to remind the reader constantly that we are using the word not in its modern sense but in its original one. The word heretic, and the word heresy, are from the Greek verb hairein, which means "to-stand-before-alternatives-and -- make-choice-between-them ... ". It was when in the course of time choice-making was practiced on the level of religion (a development of which we must speak at length presently); it was when seen as the sin-oj-sins, that the word picked up its modem meaning. It is because choice-making is in the vision of authentic Christianity far from wrong (is, in fact, definitive-of-man) we shall leave virtually unused the words heretic and heresy in their modem meaning, as we use them in their original meaning, for which reason we shall, as we said, print the words between quotation marks.

Perhaps the reader will be served by the giving of a few examples of the words heretic and heresy in their original and etymological (now antiquated) meaning. When the seventy scholars who, two centuries before the birth of Christ, were translating the Old Testament into Greek and came to the concept of the "freewill-offering" (a sacrificial offering an Israelite was permitted to choose between bringing-it or bringing-it-not ... ) the translators rendered it "the heretical offering". As an example of the word heresym still having its original meaning we quote I Corinthians 11:19, where Paul, fully aware of it that in Corinth the idea of a composite society was a completely novel idea, wrote: "There have to be heresies among you so that those who are genuine among you may become apparent". Here choice-making is still being called heresy. We may add here that it is because the word heresies in I Corinthians 11

19 is rendered "factions", or some such word, implying choice-making in the presence of two mentalities.

We point out here that the distinction of "clean" and "unclean" was erelong introduced as a sort of laboratory exercise in choice-making, a class-period in "heretic king" (we realize that we are here introducing another queer word; but the situation is such as to warrant the introduction. We ask our readers to adopt also that "queer" word "hereticking").

It is because creatures made in the likeness of God, are capable of say-so-as-to-how-go, that they can incur-guilt, guilt being a matter of having gone gee where one had been told to go haw (or vice versa). The very word "guilt" implies wrong-hereticking. It implies being-in-subject-role.

We point out here that we fallen humans have a way of attempting to deny having been in subject-role and say we are in object-role instead. We shall give a few examples of this "trick" on the part of guilty persons. When the Adam of Genesis was being "taken-in-hand" for wrong-opting he tried to get his Judge to believe that he had been in object-role instead, so that he said "The woman thou gavest me gave me of the fruit of the tree and I ate." And when Eve was also called-on-the-carpet for wrong-opting she likewise tried to get out of the scrape she was in, by saying that "The serpent beguiled me and I ate." So it goes over and over, constantly. If the matter were not as solemn and serious as it is, it would be good comedy to watch Aaron as he attempts to switch from subject-role to object-role. Although he had himself instructed the people to bring him their gold, and had himself ordered his workmen to cast it into the likeness of the golden-calf, (they had seen the Egyptians worship) we hear him say instead:

"I tossed the gold into the fire and out came this calf" (Exodus 32:24). So it goes, on and on, also in modern times. Who has not heard a child caught in doing a forbidden thing try to get out of the subject-role and into the object-role by saying "See what you made me do"?

Whether a human being has, or does not have, say-so-as-to-how-go, is a faith-matter, one that cannot be settled by statistics. We are prepared to say that the religion of atheistic-evolutionism "sells" as well as it does, is the fact that it provides an escape-route, whereby the concept of guilt evaporates. So long, and so enthusiastically, has the religion of atheistic-evolution been preached in our society that the things formerly called "penitentiaries" are called that no longer, are now given less guilt-implying names, such as "houses-of-correction". It is because human-behavior is seen as no different from cabbage-behavior that modem man has stopped calling it "murder", because that word implies that man is really another kind of creature than is a rabbit (which we shoot without any qualm) -- is on-a-par with response to any other kind of choice-making, one in which there is no such thing as a criterion.

So far has the religion of atheistic-evolutionism gone in "ditching" the very idea of guiltiness that we find a jurist, one committed to it, saying, during the so-called Scopes Trial, having to do with the religion of atheistic-evolutionism: "Behind the idea of capital punishment lie false training and crude views of human conduct. People do things, so say judges, lawyers, and preachers, because of depraved hearts. Human conduct, say they, is not determined by the causes which determine the conduct of animal and plant of the universe. For some mysterious reason, say they, human beings act as they please; and if they do not please to act in a certain way it is because, having the power of choice, they deliberately choose to act wrongly ... The simple fact is that every person starts life with a certain physical structure, more or less sensitive, stronger or weaker. He is played upon by everything that reaches him from without, and, in this he is like everything else in the universe, inorganic as well as organic. How a man will act depends upon the character of his human machine and the strength of the various stimuli ... The circumstances that lead to killing [notice that the man has abandoned the concept of murdering] are manifold, but in a particular individual the inducing cause is not so easily found. In one case homicide -- [note again that the man has dropped the word "murder"] may have been induced by indigestion in the killer [notice again the man's averseness to the word "murder"], in another it may be traceable to some weakness inherited from a remote ancestor; but that it results from something tangible and understandable if all the facts were known, must be plain to everyone who believes in cause and effect..." In the religion of this atheistic-evolutionist there is no such thing as say-so-as-to-how-go, no such thing as hereticking. But it is a religion that parades right in the open, with jurists and lawyers looking on. Is that not a violation of the First Amendment, a flagrant violation?

William James, another person who has embraced the religion of atheistic-evolutionism has written: "I feel that we are nature through and through, that we are wholly conditioned, so that not a wiggle of our will happens save as the result of physical laws." Is this not a flagrant case of violation of the First Amendment, done not off-in-a-corner but in the public-eye and in-print, and that in text-books used in our schools?

Sigmund Freud is another thinker who has decided in favor of the religion of atheistic-evolutionism and the view of man that goes with that religion. He was making-confession-of-faith when he said, in a sermon preached by him, to all who cared to listen, a sermon containing the following: "The deeply rooted belief in psychic freedom and choice is quite unscientific and must give ground before the claims of a determinism that governs mental life." Freud had his way of tying-together (a choice open to him under the terms of the First Amendment.)

Karl Marx also had his religion, one to which he was so firmly committed that he preached it. In a sermon done by him we read: "My stand-point [We thank Marx for confessing that he had taken-stand] ... can, less than any other, make the individual responsible for the relations whose creature he is and remains." Karl Marx was peddling a religion as he said all this.

Although we are not entirely happy with the word we are about to use, the word "whimsical", we shall use it nevertheless, for it is a word that can be taken to mean "not-at-all-predictable" or "not-subject-to-mathematics", terms which we must-have at our disposal if we are to understand the creature "made in God's image". There is something whimsical about the choice-making of the creature man; and there is something whimsical in the Creator that brought it into being. God is not mathematically predictable; neither, therefore, is the creature made-in-His-image. Of course not. As we shall discover in the next chapter, Jehovah chose a tribe, promising to be unusually "nice" to it. But, so we are told, this was a more or less whimsical choice, for we are told that it all started with a "call" that was decidedly whimsical. Was the Almighty saying that if choice-making has to be genuine it must be whimsical?

Another trait of the creature discussed in this chapter, the creature "made in God's image", is the ability to communicate-in-words, words done-in-sentences. Although there indeed are on the sub-human level such things as sounds, (some of them startlingly meaningful) there is on this level no such thing as "languaging" (to coin another weird, but needed, word). Attempts have been made, by persons addicted to the religion known as atheistic-evolutionism, to locate genetic-linkage between animal-sound-making and human languaging. But the attempts have been (meaningfully) futile, so that even a person otherwise rather closely committed to this religion (Naom Chomsky by name) has written: "Human language appears to be a unique phenomenon, without analogue in the animal world... There is no reason to suppose that the 'gaps' are bridgeable. There is no more basis for assuming an evolutionary development from 'lower' to 'higher' stages here than for assuming an evolutionary development from breathing to walking ... " (Language and Mind, p 6).

To realize how important languaging is in the life of this creature, we need but read of a prominent "mouth of the Lord" (the Hebrew word here is the same word used for the organ with which we eat) being told to "Go forth and stand on the mountain before the Lord." He obeys, stepping back a bit into a cave. While he is in the cave there comes "a strong wind that rent the mountain" -- but the sound of it does not tell the man a thing. Then comes an earthquake -- but it also says nothing. Then there comes a big fire -- at which the prophet merely glances. Then he hears "a still small voice" upon which he cocks his ears and wraps his mantle about his face as he takes position in the mouth of the cave, as if to say that what human beings get to hear is of more importance than what they get to see, upon which comes a lengthy announcement of an agenda for him to carry-out (see I Kings 19:11-18). The priority given in the account to Word-spoken has something to say to us on the level of the relationship of the spoken-word to the acted-out-ritual.

With that said, we call attention to the fact that authentic Christianity is again in a class by itself as to the mode-of-communication. In the ethnic faiths communication between human-beings and deity is done not in sentences -- uttered, but is done instead by omens-shown, by signs, by beholdings, by symbols, such as the birth of a two-headed, or six-legged calf (the present writer has seen an instance of each of these), the unusual chirping of a bird (the present writer has seen a man deeply disturbed by an unusual chirping), a strange cloud-formation (such as the one which caused Constantine to convert). In the pre-Christian world contact between God (or gods) and man was done by way of "monsters" (the word is genetically- related to our word "demonstrate" so that to this day a salesman's showpieces are in the Dutch language called his monsters). A well-known example of "revelation-done-by-omen" was the practice as Rome's armies were about to conquer a tribe, with its own religion (the deity of which would be put in a god-pool if the tribe were conquered) of first butchering a chicken and having a soothsayer (the word means "truth-proclaimer") examine the liver and then predict the outcome of the venture. Yes, the ethnic faiths expect revelation to come through the eye-gate while authentic Christianity expects it to come through the ear-gate (perhaps then endorsed by things coming through the eye-gate). It is significant that as the Belgic Confession is speaking of these two possibilities it puts them in the order we have just spelled-out, says that sacraments are meant to corroborate that which already has been said with words.

So unusual was the idea of revelation-done-in-sentences, and so firmly held was the idea of revelation-done-in-omens, that even the Jehovah-prophet (named Gideon) asked his God to repeat the already-given-message in omen, that of unusual dew-behavior. Gideon's God, being as patient as He is, did do-the-omen. This apparently was not enough in the eyes of the still semi-pagan Gideon, for he asked his God to do-the-omen-over, this time in reverse order. Once more we get to see how patient this God is, in that He not only did repeat the omen, but even seems to have forgiven Gideon for his malpractice.

Yes, we grant it that Islam also has its package of sentences, allegedly uttered to a "mouth", and reported by him. But it must not be overlooked that this was plainly a take-off, resorted-to in order to give Christianity (to the members of which Mohammed referred as "the people-of-the-Book") a more or less successful-rival. The same may be said mutatis mutandis of Joseph Smith and his Book of Mormon. It too is a "take-off", a matter of emulating.

Although we will be running ahead of ourselves a bit as we do it, we point out here that in the course of time Christianity virtually became estranged from the idea of communication-done-in-sentences. Its adherents stopped making-confession. That word, "confess", has been taken to be an adequate-translation of the word most commonly used in the New Testament for the performance, the word homologein, the "homo" of which means "same" and the logein of which means "say" or "pronounce", so that when joined together we get "say-the-same-as" i.e., repeat that which has been said, but "confess" is far from being an "adequate-translation".

When believers make-confession, engage in homologein, they are not breaking-silence. No indeed, what they are doing is repeat-after. The God of authentic Christianity is not interested in hearing assertions made by us human beings. What He is interested-in is to hear-an-echo of the things He has asserted in the first place. What He waits-for is reply, response-to-quotations.

It may be useful, and beneficial, to report here that authentic-Christianity's emphasis on Word-responded-to is no longer what it used to be, and was meant to be. Fact is that things have gone so far that in our times homologein is no longer translated with (the partially adequate word) "confess" but is being translated with "profess", a word that is completely diverse from homologein, for to profess is to break -the-silence.

There is still another feature in the creature made-in-God's-image that calls for recital as we deal with that creature. It is the fact that they are like individual building-blocks, waiting to be put-together, in and by the thing known as the "communion-of-the-saints". So much is believing a thing which we as human beings can only do one-by-one, that the very fact they can become a flock, or herd, had to be put in creedal form, for instance in the Apostles' Creed with its "I believe in the communion of the saints ".

To make-sure that we are getting-across here, as we say this, we shall copy the technique of the Christ, that is, speak-in-parables, as follows: When we fish we can do it in one of two ways, either with a pole or with a net. If we fish with a pole we are deeply interested in getting the individual fish's attention and cooperation. So we use bait, brightly colored objects, as attractive as possible, being extremely careful not to frighten the fish we are trying to "get". We lure. Not so when we fish with a net. Now we don't even think of luring. We could not care less whether the fishes we are after are either attracted or repelled. It makes no difference whether the fishes are headed this way or that way. It is not even important whether the fishes are moving or are lying still. As we engage in net-fishing the individual fish has no option, is not in subject-role but in object-role.

Now for the interpretation of the parable. During the first three centuries the church fished with a pole. It lured individual fish. It no doubt at times baptized people in large numbers, as at Pentecost... when there were "about-three-thousand" baptized (see Acts 2:41). But even the fact that it says "about-three-thousand" shows that no one had counted them one by one; and the fact that they are so many "souls" goes to prove that they were so many individuals, "souls" being things human beings do not have in company. (Manifestly it is this line-of- thought that gave us the First Amendment).

Looking some three centuries ahead of Pentecost we find that fishing-with-a-pole has gone out-of-style. Although during the first ten generations of Christians anterior-relationships, or preceding-togethernesses, did not determine one's status as a Christian, these prior relationships became determinative. Net-fishing had taken-over. The micro-compositism of earlier times was abandoned as macro-compositism was put in its place. The ethnic way-of- belonging had pushed-aside the original way-of-belonging. As will become evident later in our account, the ethnic way-of-belonging was not repudiated by "Christendom", not even by what is known as the Reformation. To see how the ethnic way-of- belonging managed to stay-in-business we need but quote an assertion we find repeated in Nazi propaganda, the saying "Es gibt iiberhaupt keine Privatsache!" ("There are no such things, no how, as private affairs!"). It would have been good if the "deutsche Christen" had been as insightful in this matter as was the Englishman, D. R. Davies, who, in his book The -Two Humanities (written while the Nazi threat was still strong) says that in the ethnic faiths "there is a common and undifferentiated consciousness of the mystery of life. It is one single, social, activity. Sacrifice, the outstanding activity of tribal religions was on behalf of the community as a whole. It was the tribe's sacrifice. No member of the tribe sacrificed for himself. As a distinct being he did not exist. The gods were equally tribal. The gods did not have to do with individuals, only with the community." Earlier in the book Davies had said: "The individual, therefore, must be sufficiently conscious of himself as a unity, a reality distinct from the nation or community within which he lives, before he can accept Christ" and toward the end of his book he says: "The first task, indeed, the only task, of the Church, is to bring individual men and women out of the old humanity into the new. That defines its essential practice." (We may say here, in passing, that all through medieval times there was an element, one of which we will hear plenty, the members of which continued to fish with a pole, wanted nothing to do with the substitution of net-fishing for pole-fishing).

Perhaps we should add here again that authentic Christianity's accent on the individual does not imply secession-from-society. The early Christians knew the formula "in-the-world-but-not-of-the-world". And they had no quarrel with the idea of being the "salt" that was to keep the tissues of human society from spoiling. And they realized that if salt is to do-its-job it must be in close-contact with the to-be-salted, must be rubbed-in. But the early Christians had their own convictions as to the mode d'integration of church and society.

The early Christians saw themselves as a cell-group; and, as has been proved over and over, cell-groups are surprisingly effective, so effective that it has been said that all significant movements in history began in-and-with a cell-group. The classical case is that of the twelve apostles. They were a cell-group, and before long it was said that "all the world has gone after them." As long as the church sees itself as a cell-group it stays-healthy, but when it stops seeing itself that way, sees itself as fitting the pattern of the ethnic faiths, then it gets-sick, sadly sick, sick-unto-death.

People who are committed to Christianity as a dialogue-causing faith do not need to apologize for it. We are prepared to say that all the forward-movements made by man in the course-of-history, occurred in the context of such dialoguing. We shall recite a few instances that prove this. The progress made in ancient times in the Tigris-Euphrates valley resulted from collision between Sumerians and Akkadians. And the progress for which Greece is rightly famous resulted from collision between Ionians and Dravidians. The northern end of Africa has a long record of achievement, the pyramids being examples thereof; .but this north end of Africa is bound together by a big sea, with a lot of navigable rivers leading up to it, so that contact between "them" and "us" was an every-day-experience. The southern end of Africa is altogether different in regard to progress-made, and although this backwardness has been traced-back to racial differences we think it is to be ascribed instead to the fact that this southern half-continent has rapids at the mouths of all its rivers (this because the area does not have a continental divide, is instead a big plateau) so sealing it against contact of the natives with persons-from-abroad. We may add here that of late this part of the world is giving evidence of forward-movement, and it seems that the forward-movement began with the production of a "ship" that pays no attention to the rapids at the mouths of the rivers, that "ship" being the airship. It is not incidental that all the languages of Europe have words for foreigners living-in-the-presence of natives. China also has a long and significant civilization, but it also has its wall, built long ago to keep would-be-immigrants out (not too successfully we may add). No, members of authentic Christianity do not need to apologize for it that their faith creates dialogue, puts an end to monologue. The sad thing is that ever since the early fourth century dialogue ceased and monologue took its place. Small wonder that centuries that followed came to be called "the Dark Ages". (The pastor in the person who is writing the present book urges him to say that as soon as the church of Christ stops dialoguing, begins to chime-in instead, it gets sick. Adaptation-to-environment is one thing the church must not allow).

There is a passage in the Old Testament that deserves to be looked-at as we face the question whether the idea of "us"-versus-"them" is good in the sight of God (or is good in the sight of the devil). It is the passage known as the "tower-of-Babel-tale". We feel the need to look at it closely because it is ordinarily given a meaning that is at right-angles with what we are convinced is its intended meaning. The writer of the "tower-of-Babel-tale" had been putting-in-writing a tedious list of names-of-persons standing in a long genealogy. He seems to be ready to begin to yawn as he writes, for he stops composing the list, begins to relate the tower-of-Babel-tale, after which he goes-back to reciting names. The inserted tale goes as follows. A collection of people are migrating out of a mountainous area. They come to an open plain, such as they had never seen before, known as the Plains-of-Shinar. They decide to settle there, and they "dig-in". As they are doing so a new problem comes to focus, something they had not encountered in the mountainous native country, the possibility, the probability, of elements of their groups going-off freely and in various directions, with the result of losing-track of each other. What to do about this new problem? They have discovered that the area has a clay out of which excellent bricks can be made. So they make a big pile of bricks, with which to build a tower, visible from a great distance, a sort of rallying-place to which they come now and then so as to share-ideas with their relatives, and keep a common name. Upon this the Almighty turns-on binoculars so as to see what is "cooking" out there on the plains. He, of course, was aware of the motive behind the erection of the lofty tower. He does not like what He sees, likes it so little that He makes a plan. That plan is to confuse the language of the oneness-wanting settlers. He does so, with the result that going-in-various-direction takes place after all. Could it be possible to enact a scene saying in clearer terms that God likes diversity, dislikes sameness?

We must take the time it takes to correct also the all-too-common interpretation of the scene at Pentecost. It is usually assumed that Pentecost was meant to be a correction of Babel, a reversal thereof -- although it was meant to be an endorsement thereof. At Pentecost there was a flock of people of Jewish blood, back at Jerusalem from the dispersion (as it was called), back from far-away lands in which they had grown up. They were all conversant, especially in matter of the faith, with temple-hebrew. They get so excited at what they are seeing, and hearing, that they begin to respond enthusiastically, each in the language of the land of his birth, "Parthians and Medes and etc., etc ... both Jews and proselytes" (Acts 2:9). No, Pentecost was not correcting Babel, it was endorsing it instead.

The Word of God is constantly advertising non-sameness.

The moment diversity has become possible, the moment that there are two human beings, we find the one named Abel going into the sheep-raising-business while his brother takes-up-farming. Comes a moment in which both brothers think it is time to "bring-an-offering". Cain brought an "offering" of the "fruit-of-his-acres" while Abel brought one consisting of the "firstlings-of-his-flock". Upon this we read that the Creator "had-regard" for Abel's offering but "had-no-regard" for Cain's. Why (we cannot but ask) the diverse responses? Here, once more, we feel the need to correct. Theologians (at least those of Reformed hue) have said that the reason God liked Abel's offering but disliked Cain's was the fact that Abel's was bloody and Cain's was not. This was a convenient way for putting-across the concept of "blood-bought-atonement". But the Bible does not say that it was this that had led to the diverse responses. So we suggest that the diverse-responses were meant instead to open the way to awareness of choice-making, to what we have called "whimsicality". The Creator's choice-making was resented by Cain, was resented so fiercely that he coaxed Abel to follow him to his farm -- where he then put Abel to death. Could it be said in clearer terms that we must think in terms of compositism?

Lest we leave the impression that it was whimsicality on the part of God that lay behind the diversity, that with-no-more-said, we recite the fact that as Cain was getting angry about the matter, the Almighty asked him: "Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not well, sin is crouching at the door; its desire being for you -- you had better master it" (see Genesis 4). God was telling Cain to make-choice, exercise his humanness.

We take the liberty of pointing out here that theologians have been tempted to build an entire theology either about the whimsicality of God (so constructing what is known as Decretalism) or about the whimsicality of man (so giving shape to what is known as Arminianism). To us it seems that the very story of Genesis 4 instructs us not to "put our eggs all in the same basket", make room in our thinking for choice-making-in-archetypal-form (in the Creator) and for choice-making-in-ectypal-form (in the creature "made-in-His-image").

We shall terminate this chapter by repeating what we said, that God has two graces at work in this "fallen" world, the one grace being known as erhaltende Gnade and the other as erlosende Gnade. Having seen that God is a diversity-liker it follows that He does not want the two-graces to be confused (the word is from the Latin and means "pour-together"). Each of the two graces has its own king and its own kingdom, the one being secular and the other being sacred. (Which implies that God approved, and approves, of the First Amendment). We shall reserve the word "rex" (Latin for "king") for the ruler on the level of erhaltende Gnade, reserving the word "king" for the ruler on the level of erlosende Gnade.

Strikingly little (we had almost said "startlingly" little) is said in the Word-of-God about the rex and his regime (the two words are from the same Latin root-word). We get the impression that rex and his regime was an after-thought, intended to handle a situation that had developed, one not on the original blue-print. All there was at first was private vengeance, a sample of which we have in Genesis 4:23, where we read of a brute of a man (named Lamech) telling his wives to behave-themselves and reminding them: "Hear me, wives of Lamech, I killed a man for wounding me and a young man for striking me. If Cain was avenged sevenfold then Lamech will be avenged seventy-seven times over." Manifestly there was not as yet a rex to whom such threatenings were to be reported and the threatener punished according to the seriousness of his crime. Just when it was that this terrible situation ceased is something the Scriptures do not relate (significantly enough).

We are told, in Romans 13, that the state (as the realm of the rex came to be called) owes its origin and existence to the Almighty; and we are told to obey the rex (sometimes referred-to as the "magistrates"). And, as will be pointed out in a later chapter of this book, Jesus had no objection to living under the rule of such a rex, a pagan one. It is true that at the end of his career Jesus did have dealings with the Romans' rex -- but that was not his doing, was instead the doing of a people allegedly held together on the level of religion, the level of erlosende Gnade.

No, the Bible does not say much about rexes and their affairs. Is this because the Bible has another "kingdom" in mind, other than the one seated in a country's capital city? We are led to see the "earthly kingdom" (as it is constantly called) as a postlapsarian thing, an after-the-fall one (The rightly respected, theologian, Abraham Kuyper, has said that "Civil government is a later divine innovation ... because of the outcome of sin in the world" -- which is not to say that Kuyper's theology always conforms to this insight). If indeed the state is postlapsarian then it is not taken-up in the program of erlosende Gnade, for only that which was on-hand at the outset will be redeemed and given a place in the hereafter. As the Scriptures portray the hereafter they do not make-mention of rexes on the scene. Why is this? Is so little said about the rex and his place on earth in order to keep us from the mixing-of-realms, from confusio-regnorum as it carne to be called?

(As will become evident, later in this study, there were a people who insisted on separation of church and state, because of which they were accused (falsely) of being "mutins", that is "people-who-want-no-government".)

It therefore is not at all surprising to learn that the Almighty was not at all happy about the request on the part of Israel to "be like all the nations and have a rex to govern us and go out before us to fight our battles" (I Samuel 8:20). This seems to imply that in the "here-after" there will not be rexes still wearing the garments and the crowns by which they were known in the "here".

Although the Word of God did allow a rex to be installed (as we shall see) and even worked-along with such rexes, the fact does have something to say to us that when such a rex, this one known as David, carne up with the idea of building-a-temple for to house the program of erlosende Gnade he was told to "lay-off", this because he had been deeply involved, too deeply and too constantly, in sword-manipulation, the sword being the emblem that goes with erhaltende Gnade.

Prior to the time in which said stricture was laid on King David the Almighty had given evidence of displeasure with the on-going confusion-of-realms. It was during the regime of Saul, the first rex. He had gone into the sanctuary and had there performed the rituals that were housed in the temple. So serious an infraction was this in the eyes of Jehovah that the Jehovah-prophet, named Samuel, lambasted him for it vehemently. So serious was this realm-mixing that when its perpetrator died his remains were put in a "vulgar" grave, rather than a royal one.

Nor was that the one and only time the Almighty frowned at on-going realm-confusing. No, there was a rex who was doing unusually well so that he "was marvelously helped till he was strong" (II Chronicles 26

15) but who saw fit to "enter the temple to burn incense on the altar of incense", a matter so serious that he was "struck with leprosy" for it. So serious was the infraction that he was made to resign- and he died of his leprosy. (Apparently Jehovah must have c1apped-His-hands as the First Amendment was being drawn-up).

All told, the creature that was "made in God's image" was meant to be a "heretic", a chooser, a choice-maker. This implies that if the creature carries on in keeping with his way-of-existing then society becomes composite, made up of diverse elements. The question whether the framers of the First Amendment had gotten their ideas from the Scriptures is one that needs not to detain us just now. The important thing is that the First Amendment serves the concept of the composite-society. Fact is that Roger Williams had the Scriptures on his side as he was preparing the way for the First Amendment. Fact is also that there was a fellowship in the "New World" with a thought-system in which church and state are not the same thing simply looked-at from different corners of the room. And the important thing is that Thomas Jefferson saw the genetic relationship there was between the Baptist Fellowship and the thought-system behind the First Amendment. With that said we are in position to deal with the idea of a "chosen" tribe, a concept that seems to be at right-angles with the idea of a composite-society set forth in the chapter we have just now finished. We shall ask (and seek to answer) the question whether the religion depicted in the Old Testament actually was like the ethnic ones.


Chapter Two

A "Chosen" Tribe?


The question-mark at the end of the title of this chapter is meaningful. We have seen that the religion (the way of tying-together) set forth in the Scriptures is geared to societal-compositism; and we have pointed-out that in this matter authentic Christianity and the ethnic faiths pull in opposite directions. Are we now, in the present chapter, being told that there came a time in which the compositism-causing religion went ethnic, began to go the way of the rest of religions?

In an effort to "clinch" the matter said in the foregoing chapter, by giving further evidence of stark individualism in the Old Testament, we point-out that in the Old Testament it all begins with individual believers, with a man named Enoch who "walked with God", that is, went hand-in-hand with the Creator, so that he "was not", because God had "taken-him" (Genesis 5:24). We read also of another such sporadic and loose-standing saint-of-God, named Seth. Still another such was Melchizedec, a saint "without father, without mother, without descent" (as saint that is, not as person). There is good reason to believe that the man named Job also lived in this early age, an age in which there was not as yet such a thing as a family committed to a specific religion; we at least read that "his sons used to gather for feasting in the house of each on his day and they had the practice of inviting their three sisters, to eat and drink with them. And when the days of the feasting were over [a "feasting" at which neither the father or the mother were present, so it seems] Job would send for them, he rising up early in the morning to bring the morning sacrifice and the burnt offering according to their number, for Job said that it could be that they have sinned, have cursed God in their hearts -- thus did Job constantly" (Job 1). We get the impression that this Job had a religion in which his offspring did not-as-yet take part, a "family" consisting of two kinds of persons.

However, there came a time in which a "call of Abram" occurred. Along with that "call" a togetherness not-on-hand-thus-far came on the scene. As we shall seek to make-clear, it was not, however, a typical togetherness, such as we witness in a typical ethnic-faith. It was an approximation of such an ethnic-faith, for there were at all times "Israelites-after-the- flesh" bumping-into "Israelites-after-the-spirit". With the call of Abram a tribally-delineated Volk Gottes did come on the scene -- but it was never an aisle-less society. We add here that this approximation of an ethnic-faith did not last, for (as we shall see) it came to a rather sudden termination.

The "call-of-Abram" had two thrusts. One of the thrusts was "Come out from among them and be ye separate" and the other thrust was "and in thee and thy seed shall all the families of men be blest" (In this "call-of Abram" we have another ellipse, the ellipse of "in-the-world" but not "of-the-world"). However, it is a matter of record that (as is the case of all too commonly) "circularization-of-the-ellipse" occurred, in that although the "children of Abraham" heeded the call to "come-away", the call to "be-separate", they neglected to heed the call to be "a blessing for all peoples". To "sample" this case of ellipse-circularizing we need but read the Book of Jonah of the Old Testament. In it we read of a "prophet of the 'chosen race' sent on a mission to the mass of people residing in the mammoth city called Nineveh. Jonah was given the text on which he was to preach, a text which said that in view of the city's intolerable behavior it would be destroyed. Interestingly enough, the prophet Jonah, the Jehovah-mouth, smelled-an-odor he did not like, an odor that then kept him from going to Ninevah, an odor that had in it at least a smell of possible pardon for Gentiles. If the man had been able to dismiss the smell of "forgiving" he would have gone to Nineveh at once and that in high gear, for he was not at all against the idea of Nineveh going-to-smash. He saw folded in the text given-him, a sort of parenthesis, perhaps a footnote, that spoke of pardon-in-response-to-penitence.

So the sent-one went-to-sea, not to the "sea-of-humanity" as it was called in the world of the times (as in Psalms 98:7) but to the literal-sea -- which got close to swallowing the unwilling prophet alive. He was jerked-out-of said "sea". So his sender sent him a second time, with the same text. Upon this he did go. And things went the way Jonah had suspected; Ninevah repented, went through a litany of compunction, one in which even the domesticated animals were made to take part, such as the cows and goats (which shows how consistently the idea of inclusion went in the ethnic faiths of the times). Jehovah had retracted the threat. To see how far Jonah was from acting in accordance with the second thrust of the ellipse expressed in the "call of Abraham" he not only stopped preaching but sat down to cry as he said "Didn't I tell you, as ready-to-forgive as you are, that this would happen?" We are tempted to ask whether it was because of the circularization of the ellipse that the "experiment" that had begun with the "call-of-Abraham" was terminated (as we try to prove it was, in the ensuing chapter.)

We feel the need of saying, in connection with the word "experiment" that the word is hardly in-place in connection with the doings of the Almighty -- although, we do find a highly respectful theologian in the Netherlands saying that "In view of the big blunder that it turned-out 'to be, the experiment ought not to be repeated". As we shall see (when we are well-into the present book) the concept of an "elect-people" did come back into history. And (as we shall show) it was the intention of the First Amendment not to allow it be repeated in the "New World".

As we speak of "approximation" of the ethnic-faiths, there are two facts that must be kept in mind. One is that the resulting Volk never was of-one-mind as to tying-together the phenomena encountered. There never was monologue. There always was dialogue instead, dialogue that regularly became controversy, and that in heated form. Hardly were there descendants of Abraham on-the-scene (the one named Ishmael, and the other named Isaac) but we find them far from having their-heads-in-one-sack. And not long after this we find a man named Jacob at-loggerheads with a blood-brother named Esau.

Fact is that the idea of "ins" and "outs" became so pronounced that erelong we find a solitary "in" saying "I only am left and they are seeking my life to destroy it," (I Kings 19

10). It is true that upon this lament the Lord told His prophet to change the "one" into a "seven" and then add three zeros -- but this prescribed-broadening did not at all put an end to the compositism as such. It left the approximation intact and unmodified.

The fact (that in and with the Volk that had come out of the "call-of-Abraham" societal-compositism was not terminated, is especially evident in the Psalms. Although there also is reference in the Psalms now and then to an "enemy" residing far away (such as Moabites and Philistines), an "enemy" residing much closer to home is depicted constantly. For example, in Psalm 55 with its "It is not an enemy that taunts me (then I could hide from him), but it is you, my equal, my familiar friend; we used to hold sweet converse together as in God's house we walked in fellowship." Could it be said in plainer (and stronger) language that among the "people-of-the-promise" there was deep-seated diversity on the level of religion, that there were "Israelites-after-the-flesh" as well as "Israelites-after-the-spirit", the former outnumbering the latter, and that by-far and at all times? (As we shall see, later in this study, the idea of "ins" and "outs" on the level of religion, was in the fourth century carried into the church of "Christendom", the "ins" being known as Corpus Christi and the "outs" being known as Corpus Christianum, the "christened" society, as things went ethnic).

We cannot say it too often that during the "experiment" that had begun with the "call-of-Abram" the danger of confusion of the two graces was at all times very real. To prevent this confusion from happening Abram was told to take-to-the-road, with all that he had, and go to a "strange land", one already heavily populated, one in which a pagan rex was already ruling. This implied that Abram and his kin were to be sojourners, be a people-within-a-people. This was a set-up in which there was likely to be an apartheid, consisting of natives and immigrants.

After spending considerable time there, enough time to make the "people of the promise" rather numerous, a famine came over the land into which Abraham had gone; and he was told to move to Egypt (where irrigation, made possible by the Nile river, prevented the development of famine). Here the children-of-Israel thereupon resided for some four centuries, they being allowed to have their own religion there, this because they were a collection-of-slaves. They did continue to practice that religion -- although, as became evident, they did also watch the Egyptians as they were practicing theirs. It is apparent that this watching was likely to become more than a mere looking-at.

Because the watching was becoming more than that therefore, so it seems, the Almighty gave order for another migration, this time back to Palestine where they had resided long ago. In this connection it is surely pertinent that as soon as the children-of- Israel could no longer look-back at the Egypt which they had left behind, were off in the desert by themselves, then one of their leaders, Aaron, (who was in-charge because the other leader, Moses, had gone up a high mountain) had the people bring him such golden trinkets as they had, and he told the ones who had in Egypt worked at the trade of making-idols, to cast the trinkets into the form of a calf then to be worshiped. Of course Aaron was rebuked for copying the Egyptians, a rebuke from which he tried to come-clear by saying (lying as he did so) that he had not been in subject-role, had been in object-role instead (a misrepresentation if ever there was one!).

After spending some centuries in the promised-land, the people of Israel tore-apart. Now there were two peoples, still having the same religion, but each of the two living under its own rex, they even fighting with each other rather frequently.

Upon this the people-of-Israel were led-captive, to Babylon. Here they refused to pray for the rex under whose rule they now had to live. They even appointed "prophets" to teach the captive people of Israel not to pray for said rex, -- upon which Jehovah sent His prophet to instruct the people indeed to offer prayers in support of the rex, even though he did not worship the God-of-Israel (see Jeremiah 29:7).

Whether these instructions were obeyed, and to what extent, is something we cannot hope to say for-sure -- but this we do know, that ere long the prayed-for rex came-up with the suggestion that the band-of-captives go free, pack-up and go-back to their native-land. Had there been massive osmosis? Had the rex been moved by the experience of being prayed-for by people to whom he, and his predecessors, had been "mean", so "mean" as to lead them captive?

After the captives had acted upon the unexpected suggestion of the rex, had gone back to Canaan, the first thing they undertook to do was to restore somewhat the temple that had been the headquarters of the religion of their ancestors. This shows that they had "missed" the meeting-place greatly. Although on-lookers accused the repairers-of-the-temple of intending to replace the native rex with an imported one, a rex committed to the religion of the returned captives, they said that such was not the case, that the accusation was invented. With the returned captives the first thing, seemingly the only thing, was to give their religion a needed "boost". A hollowness had come into their lives while far-away in-captivity, and they therefore had at the top of their agenda the plan to give to that hollowness the needed filler. The returned captives did not suffer as yet from what we shall call confusio regnorum, the mixing-of-realms.

However, as could have been predicted, the concept of

two gracious programs (born of the concept of two graces, the one erhaltend and the other erlosend, being as unique as it is) that in time realm-confusing would come back. As indeed it did. As a result of this return to confusio regnorum, a series of wars, known as the Maccabean Wars, were launched. These wars had at their center the desire, and the intention, of unseating the existing government and its rex, and then put a ruler addicted to the Israelites' religion in the place left-empty. Since that was the objective of these Maccabean Wars it comes as no surprise that they were unsuccessful, completely so.

Since a man by the name of David had been the rex who had ruled, but was also closely committed to the religion preached by the faithful prophets, he began to pick up a halo. This led to the creation of what came to be called the "King-David-myth", the myth which contained the prediction that at some time in the future a ruler would come up out of the Israelitish people, one who would wage-war against the rex, unseat him, and, put himself in his place.

As will become apparent, in future sections of this book, the entire life of Jesus was lived in the midst of tensions which the "King-David-myth" was bound to raise. No sooner was the report "out" that a possible successor of King David had been born when the child Jesus, as well as His mother and her husband, fled to Egypt because the rex had issued order not only to find the candidate and put him into the hands of the law, but the plan was devised to "get" the candidate, by having all male-children born during a specified time put to death. From then on, up to the posting of the motto, on the cross to which Jesus had been nailed, Jesus was caught-up in the "King-David-myth". We shall give the needed time to a review of the Saviour's career in connection with the "King-David-myth".

But first we must spend the needed time on the man who was meant to be the "fore-runner" of Jesus, His "way-preparer", on John the Baptist, as he came to be called. We shall see that as a result of his mission the "experiment" came to its end.

Chapter Three

A Way-Preparer Appears


We are convinced that there is no item in the record of God's redemptive enterprise that calls for an in-depth study more urgently today than does the person and the career of John the Baptist, this for the following two reasons, the fact that he is immensely important, and, that he has been, and is, virtually ignored by theologians who see Christianity as alike-as-to-structure with the rest of religions as to mode d'integration. They ignore him because he cannot be made to fit the notion that the church of Christ and the world-that-lies-around-it are "of-a-piece", that Christianity is similar to ethnic faiths. '

To show how important John the Baptist actually is in God's redemptive enterprise we point out that both Mark and Luke begin their gospels with the account of the man's birth and his mission, and, that although Matthew begins his gospel with the account of the birth of Jesus he interrupts himself to relate the birth of John the Baptist, and, that although the writer of the fourth gospel begins with the account of the birth of the Christ (to which he refers as "Word-made- flesh") he too interrupts himself to say "There was a man sent by God whose name was John." All four gospel-writers therefore agree that the career of John the Baptist is so important that they either begin the account with him or correct themselves and their representation.

John the Baptist was the fore-runner of Jesus, the Saviour's way-preparer. Small wonder therefore that the evangelists felt the need of beginning with him and his mission, for to really know and understand a follower we must first know the leader. The New Testament therefore begins not with Jesus and His mission but with John the Baptist and his mission.

Jesus submitted to John's baptism before starting His own agenda. We are informed that this baptism was unique, was done so as to "fulfill all righteousness" (Matthew 3

15), that is, so as to do-things-correctly, seeing that a leader must bear the same label as do the led. It is not surprising, therefore, that as Jesus submits to John's baptism heaven applauds, this in celebration of the fact that something big was starting.

The importance of John the Baptist is apparent also from the fact that his prospective-mother was in the sixth month of her pregnancy when Mary, the prospective mother of Jesus, was informed of the role she was to play in the incarnation. The sequence of these two announcements shows that the Revealing Spirit saw a close linkage between the earlier pregnancy and the later one.

Yes, John was the way-preparer, the leader, in the redemptive undertaking of the Almighty, and Jesus was the follower. John was indeed the way-preparer, was that in many respects. For instance, John was rejected for the same reason for which his "Greater-Follower" was rejected, namely a startling minimization of inclusion in an "elect-race", membership in a "covenant-people". John began stroking the fur the wrong way, in the eyes of the on-lookers, as he warned "Do not even begin to say to yourselves 'we have Abraham as our father' for I am telling you that God is able of these stones to raise-up such children of Abraham" (Luke 3:7-10); and Jesus continued this minimization of "covenant-status" as He said, "There were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah ... , but Elijah was sent to none of them save only Zarepath [a Gentile] in the land of Sidon; and there were lots of lepers in Israel in the days of the prophet Elijah ... but not one of them was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian [a Gentile]" (Luke 4:25-27). It was this deprecation-of-covenant-status that made the doters-of-covenant-status lose all interest in John the Baptist, as well as in his "Greater-Follower". And it was this same depreciation that led to an effort to push Jesus over the edge of a cliff so as to get rid of Him (see Luke 4:25-30). It was far-from-trivial, was nothing short of serious -- but that fact only makes the matter more noteworthy, this minimization of covenant-status.

To the prediction of the coming of John the Baptist, given in the last verse of the Old Testament, a final note is added, reading: "And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." Although this final sentence has remained virtually unexplained and un-applied, we are of the opinion that it has an important message. We suggest that the word "fathers" refers here to Israelites as they were prior to the confusio regnorum that caused them to demand "a king such as the other nations have" and that the word "children" refers to the first ten generations of Christians, who managed to keep-clear of it, the Volk Gottes that began with Pentecost and was composed of individuals out of "every nation, clime, and tongue". If this our interpretation of this final declaration is correct then the Constantinian-synthesis (of which we have yet to speak at some length) was the beginning of a curse-regime. If this is what the final Old Testament verse means then the First Amendment (which was the product of a thought-system in which confusion regnorum is precluded) was a move in the right direction, was curse-terminating.

So startling was John the Baptist (and his thought-system) that people of the time asked whether he was perhaps the Messiah (Luke 3

15). So important was the terminator of the old era that the message concerning him caused his father to compose a veritable oratorio about it (Luke 1 :67 -79).

It was not until John had concluded his assignment (and had been beheaded) that Jesus "came to Galilee preaching the gospel". Jesus started where John had left-off.

When hostile people, folk that had opted negatively concerning the Christ, asked Jesus about the source of His "authority", He simply shifted the question (and therefore the answer) to His way-preparer. Both were under the same authority.

The execution of His way-preparer made such a deep impression on Jesus that He "withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely spot apart." The beheading of the way-preparer had reminded Jesus of it that a rejection very much like John's awaited Him, both examples of the kind of reception awaiting people who were messengers-from-the-beyond. So Jesus sought-out a lonely place, there to think about His own rejection, there to pray about it.

Jesus borrowed from His fore-runner the text of His inaugural sermon; and, as everybody knows, when a preacher does such borrowing he, by so doing, is showing deep admiration for the earlier preacher. That is what Jesus was doing as He took for His inaugural sermon the text "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.", John the Baptist having preached on it before and that repeatedly.

In our attempt to bring John the Baptist out of the oblivion into which the fashioners of "Christendom" had intentionally shoved him, as we seek to show how important the go-before really was, we (quoting Acts 18:24-26) listen as we hear of "an eloquent man, well-versed in the Scriptures ... , instructed in the way of the Lord ... , fervent in spirit, speaking accurately the things concerning salvation" although "knowing only the baptism of John". Here we find it asserted that the entire gospel can be known and preached if and when we understand correctly the baptism for which Jesus' way-preparer was named. What therefore are we to think of a construction of the message of the gospel in which the career of John the Baptist is virtually "snowed-under"? The baptism of the church of Christ is to be traced-back to John the Baptist, not to circumcision (as is too commonly contended). Nor was Christian baptism instituted in and with Pentecost (as even the Heidelberg Catechism seems to imply). Circumcision tied an entire tribe together, whereas the baptism begun in and with the baptism of the fore-runner; ties together individual believers "drawn from every kindred, clime, and tongue".

Yes, the career of John the Baptist is important, very important. This because it provides the formula whereby confusio regnorum can be, and will be, terminated. It produced the climate of the First Amendment (and, then provided, by the First Amendment).

If still more evidence is needed to show that John the Baptist should not have been taken to the attic, we remind ourselves of it that Jesus said of him: "of all those born of women he is the greatest", an assertion which puts John above Abraham, above Moses, above David, above Elijah, etc, etc. Surely it is a mistake to brush-aside "the greatest one born of women", that is, the greatest of human beings.

The assertion just heard, that John the Baptist was "the greatest of those born of women" is startling. Just as startling is the added assertion that "the least in the kingdom of God is greater that he". How are we to harmonize the two, startling assertions? Were they perhaps born of the fact that citizens of the kingdom of heaven are "heretics" (even "the least of these"), are what-they-are by way of choice-making on their part, John the Baptist however being what he was by way of divine choice-making? Is the "least one in the kingdom of God" great because he is a "voluntary" whereas John the Baptist and his kind were "drafted"? In any case, with the career of John the Baptist membership-by-choice moved into the center of the stage while membership-by-election was pushed to the perimeter thereof (Again we are given to see how important the act of choice-making is in the life of the creature made in the likeness of God).

We must by all means have a close-look at the ritual for which John the Baptist is named. The Scriptures do not say that it was by special-revelation that John had come-in-possession of the ritual known as baptism. Nor are we told that John put-the-thing-together. As the writers of the New Testament began to speak of John's baptism they (significantly) did not feel the need to say what the ritual was, nor whence it had come, nor what it meant. From this we may conclude that the people of the times were already acquainted with the technique and the meaning of baptizings. As John began to baptize no one felt the need of an explanation. Surely this implies that lustration-with-water was already going-on. As it was, as we shall make apparent.

John the Baptist was a fore-runner, a go-before; and his baptism also had its antecedent, that antecedent being what was known as "proselyte-baptism". The word "proselyte" is from Greek, and translates: "let-to" or "brought-to". The proselytes (and there were a great many of them at the time) were individuals not of Jewish ancestry who had, as it were, peeked over the fence as the Hebrews were practicing the rituals of their religion, whether in the temple at Jerusalem or in a synagogue. And, the proselytes had been attracted to what they saw and heard, attracted to it so strongly that-they had asked to be admitted to the fellowship. Whether the leaders of the synagogues realized it, we do not know, but it was apparent that the second thrust of the covenant made with Abram was then coming to expression, the item "and in thee shall all the families of men be blest". Anyway, the request-for-admittance was granted, and a suitable procedure was devised, one that included rather lengthy instruction, followed by baptism, upon graduation. These proselytes therefore were "heretics", people who had stood before alternatives and had made-choice between them.

Proselyte-baptism symbolized two things, namely change-of-status and change-of-condition. It symbolized both pardon and renewal. (Although, as we shall see, these two thrusts stand in an elliptical relationship to each other, history is the record of persistent and recurring attempts to circularize-the-ellipse). The baptized-proselyte was expected to enjoy change-of-status as well as change-of-condition, being-pardoned and being-renewed.

Proselyte baptism, which John the Baptist had taken-over, reminds of pole-fishing (Circumcision reminds of net-fishing). Running ahead of ourselves a bit, we point out that although the early church had a baptism that reminds of pole-fishing it was in the early fourth century transformed into net-fishing. In the light of the distinction it comes as no surprise that although baptism had later become a matter of net-fishing there was at all times an element in which baptisms were done in pole-fishing-fashion. In the light of this it comes as no surprise that there were cases in which the thing known as "se-baptism" occurred (the "se" in "se-baptism" is Latin for "self", so that "se-baptism" is "self-baptism"), this so as to make doubly sure that choice-making had taken place.

It was because John the Baptist had realized that the proselyte way-of-belonging was indicative of striking-out in a chosen direction that he had been led to bring-into-being a fellowship consisting of such changed persons.

There was something highly unusual going on just then, the influx-of-proselytes. Although the covenant-with Abram included "and in thee shall all families of men be blest" it was ordinarily rather entirely absent (Compare the frame-of-mind coming to expression in the Jonah of the Old Testament). Now it was in action, not sparingly, so it seems. But it went into eclipse again, not long afterward. Are we to see in this coming and going another instance of divine manipulation, such as is so regularly present as the Almighty works out the program of erlosende Gnade? Anyway, it is evident that John the Baptist was a sacrament-scrapper, sacrament being rituals whereby a total Volk is held together. The baptizings of John the Baptist were not only non-sacramental but were even anti-sacramental.

Of course, John the Baptist kept clear of confusio regnorum. He did not, for instance, make trips to Rome, the place where the rex of the times had his office. He seems not to have had even a feeble desire to start another Maccabean War. There is no evidence that he was being animated by the "King-David-myth". He did not evince a desire to unseat the rex at Rome, and then put himself (or someone-else) in the place left empty. He seems to have already gone-to-his-reward when the so-called "triumphal-entry" was going on, but we may be sure that he would have spoken against it if he had been alive and present.

Yes, John the Baptist did at one time involve himself in the affairs of a person high in the program of the rex, as he told the man that it was not "lawful" for him to live-in-incest, a declaration that cost John his life (he was executed because of it). But -- in saying what he said, about the "big-shot" living-in-incest, John the Baptist was involving himself in the program of erlosende Gnade, not in that of erhaltende Gnade. For John the Baptist, his "calling" lay on the level of religion, rather than on the level of politics.

The first generation of Christians did not lose-sight of the importance of John the Baptist. As Peter was about to baptize the proselyte named Cornelius he saw baptism as a ritual that had originated with the activity of John the Baptist (see Acts 10:37).

It is significant that as the disciples take-action to fill the vacancy resulting from the suicide of Judas they insist that the candidate must be fully acquainted-with, and enamored-of, the baptism of John (see Acts 1:22).

All told, we must conclude that it was a big blunder into which the church fell as it put John the Baptist in "file-thirteen". (He will certainly have to be brought-back if we are to live-in-peace with the First Amendment).

There is a difficulty which we encounter as we attempt to put John the Baptist back-in-business. It is the fact that Jesus seemingly hesitated somewhat from going the full-length of John's progressive vision and practice. This hesitation came to expression more than once. For example in the advice given very early in Jesus' career, as He was sending His disciples on their first assignment, the instruction... "Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter not into any town of the Samaritans, but go the rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Here we find Jesus holding-back somewhat. The same hesitation came to expression in the reply of Jesus to the request of the Canaanite woman asking for help in connection with her demon-possessed daughter (as recorded in Matthew 15:21-28), His "it is not right to take the children's bread [by which He meant the benefits associated with the "covenant-with-Abraham"] and throw it to the dogs [by which Jesus meant Gentiles, such as the woman was]".

Upon this the woman granted that the "children" did have prior-rights -- but added that it was nevertheless right and permissible to let "puppies pick up the crumbs" (a remark that brings-to-mind the second item in the ellipse of the Abrahamic covenant, that "in thee shall then all nations be blessed as things fall from the table of the privileged children"). This unusual (and surprisingly insightful) remark by the woman seems to have disarmed Jesus somewhat, so that He informed the woman that her request had been granted, although granting-it was at the moment still something of an anachronism in His sight.

It seems that John the Baptist was himself embarrassed somewhat by Jesus' reluctance to go the full-length of John's novel vision, for we find him asking Jesus: "Are you the one that was to come or must we look for another?" (Luke 7:19). To this (more or less melancholic) question Jesus replied by reciting a list of items in the program of erlosende Gnade, such as "the blind are receiving their sight, the lame walk, lepers are being cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised-up, the poor are having the gospel preached to them", all of them items taken-up-in-prophecy about the coming Messiah. Jesus added to the recital "And blessed are they who do not take offence at me."

Did Jesus, as He was speaking of "not-taking-offence", have John the Baptist in mind? The fact that upon it Jesus began to recite the many virtues of His fore-runner seems to imply that Jesus did indeed have John in mind as He spoke of "not-taking-offence".

How are we to explain the reluctance of Jesus to go the full length John's novel teaching? We suggest that the answer to that question is to be found in the fact that John was basically a theoretician (although he was also a performer), was a proclaimer-of-ideas, and announcer-of-new-policy, where as Jesus was a doer, one who has an agenda to achieve (the Latin word "agenda" is to be translated: "things-that-have-to-be-done"), an agenda that contained the list of performances just recited to John in reply to his question "Are you the one ... ?" Jesus was mindful of the fact that there were still several items in the prophecies about the Messiah that still had to be fulfilled, and it was the concept of as-yet-unfulfilled-prophecy that kept Jesus from going-the-full-length of John's teaching. It is surely to-the-point here that when all the items on the agenda-list had been carried-out, including the crucifixion as well as the resurrection, then Jesus put in place of "Go not into a Samaritan village" the instruction "Go therefore and make disciples of all nationalities ... "

We say, in passing, that there came a time when it was taught (for instance by Theodor Beza) that with the birth of "Christendom", in the fourth century, the Great Commission had been carried-out, was no longer going-on. It was that kind of teaching that produced the situation which the First Amendment was meant to rectify.

A final question needs to be asked, and answered if possible. It is the question why a fore-runner was even needed. Could not Jesus Himself have introduced the circumcision-terminating baptism ritual? Could not He Himself have broken the silence with "Repent and believe the Gospel"? Could not Jesus Himself have started a fellowship of believing individuals? Of course He could-have. Why then didn't He? The answer seems to be that in the program of erlosende Gnade there are two matters, two thrusts, that are not to be separated the one from the other, nor may they be scrambled. To these two things theologians have given the names "Verba Dei" (which means "Words-of-God") and "gesta Dei" (which means "deeds-of-God"). The two elements are another ellipse, two related strokes in God's redemptive enterprise, that must not be pulled-apart nor boiled-together, the one dealing with "Word-incarnate" and the other with "Word-in-scripturate". For instance, the incarnation of the Son-of-God was a stroke in "Gesta Dei" while the Song-of-the-angels was a stroke in the "Verba Dei". It seems that if there had not been a fore-runner to supply the needed "Verba Dei" then the two strokes in the redemptive program would have been in danger of being confused, poured-together.

It is part of the record that the disciples of Jesus did also at the first hang-back somewhat from going consistently the full-length of John the Baptist's doctrine. We at least hear the reproachful question asked by one disciple of the other:

"Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?" (Acts 15 :5). Fact is that it required an inspired speech at a gathering of leaders (held in the hope of preventing schism concerning the matter) to get the early church to see that, as it put so neatly in Kittels Worterbuch:

"With the conversion of a proselyte named Cornelius God made a beginning by calling-into-being a Volk Gottes quite apart from any of the things that go to make a Volk a Volk". It was with Cornelius and his kind that the early church began. A new and different mode d'integration had been devised and put-to-practice.

Such was the thought-system which, thanks to the fore-runner of Jesus, was put-in-place-of the thought-system of the Old Testament. We have said that John the Baptist must be brought back from the oblivion into which they of "Christendom" had shoved him. We hope we have succeeded somewhat in this. He will have to be brought-back if we are to understand (and live-with) the First Amendment.

We should have said some pages back that proselytes were also required to submit to circumcision. But this was not for religious reasons but for social considerations, this in view of the fact that no Jew would sit-next-to an uncircumcised man.

Chapter Four

The Way-Preparer's Greater Follower


Having pointed-out that the function of Jesus' "way-preparer" was very important we shall now have a close look at his "Greater-Follower".

Whenever Jesus spoke of "kingdom" He used an adjective with it. Adjectives are used whenever there are two-of-a-kind, and they serve to keep-them-apart, keep them from being-confused. By using an adjective with "kingdom", such as the adjective "of-heaven", and the adjective "of-earth", Jesus was keeping erhaltende Gnade and erlosende Gnade from being melted-together. The Master avoided confusio regnorum.

Jesus also preached two kinds of sermons (even as He moved-around among the "covenant-people", the "chosen-race"), the one kind of sermon being for "ins" and the other kind being for as-yet-"outs", one kind of sermon being for "believers" and the other kind for "not-yet-believers". As Jesus was addressing a collection of already-in persons He said "Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but for the others they are done in parables so that seeing they may not see and hearing they may not understand" (Luke 8

10). That reminds closely of the "fore-runner", who restricted his baptism to individuals who were giving evidence of being "ins". He refused to baptize "outs", and that even though they asked to be baptized (see Matthew 3:7).

In connection with the fact that the Jewish leaders of the times (caught as they were in confusio regnorum) had scruples against paying taxes into the coffers of a rex who had another religion, they tried to get Jesus "stuck" in the same "rut". So they asked Him "whether it was lawful to pay tribute to Caesar". They had anticipated that Jesus would squirm at the question, for if He were to say "yes" to it then He would offend people who were very serious about "right" and "wrong", and that if He were to say "no" it could put Jesus in trouble with the rex and his employees. Jesus sliced His way through the trap by simply saying "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:21). They who had set the trap were up their ears in confusio regnorum and the Jesus who escaped the trap kept completely clear of it, did so by avoiding grace-mixing.

The fact that Jesus Himself kept clear of confusio regno rum , the mixing of graces, did not mean that He did not get-hurt by the on-going mixing. No, indeed! From the first moment of the Master's career to His last breath on the cross He was hurt by it. Hardly had the umbilical cord been cut when He was whisked off to Egypt to escape it, where He stayed until the "scare" of the birth of a possible replacement of the Roman rex with another "David" had died-down. And at the very end Jesus was crucified in the context of rabid confusio regnorum. So "sick-and-tired" was the Roman-rex-official of the results of the confusion, that he had a motto made in which it was said mockingly, in three languages, "King-of-the-Jews". Upon this the "people-of-the-promise" came to Pilate with the request that the motto be put-in-quotation-marks so as to make it not theirs but somebody else's. Upon this Pilate said, impatiently: "Quod scripsi scripsi", "what I have written I have written", which probably had the force of "I have had enough of this -- get out of here!".

Satan tried hard to get Jesus entangled in confusio regnorum. He dangled before Jesus the bait of "all the kingdoms of the earth, wrapped together" -- in exchange for a single genuflection to the evil-one. Of course Jesus threw at Satan a reply something like "Nothing-doing, beat it!". And of course the angels "came to minister unto Him", that is, to pat Him on the back for the way He had dealt with confusio-regnorum in action (see Matthew 4


In connection with the temptation-scene (just described) the question comes at us why Jesus did not instead say something like this to Satan: "Prince of darkness, let me remind you that all these kingdoms are mine already." (as they of the "Christendom" that was born of the early fourth century would have expected Him to say, they being up-to-their-ears in confusio regnorum).

In connection with this whole matter we raise the question whether the Son-of-man did, as He was going on the assignment that gave Him this name, take with Him His entire portfolio as Son-of-God or took with Him only those pages that had to do with erlosende Gnade. Any theologian who deals with the question we have just put must keep in mind that Jesus of Nazareth did not make a trip to Rome, nor to the servants of Rome living near-by. No, the "Son-of-man" was instead at the end dragged-into the political capital of the area.

The temptation to which Jesus was exposed in the desert by the devil is not the only instance in which He was required to say something like "Nothing-doing". No, the mixed-up people of the times had begun a movement to "take Him by force to make Him king" (John 6

15), this because they had been "fed" the "King-David-myth". This time Jesus managed to escape as He "withdrew again to the hills all by Himself" (John 6

15). It was because Jesus had supplied the crowds with sandwiches that they wanted Him to be their king. (This throws an interesting light on what people are inclined to think is the primary service a ruler, or president, is supposed to perform). We are inclined to think that as Jesus was saying "No" the angels came again to pat Him on the back.

For Jesus it posed no problem at all to live under the rule of a pagan rex functioning in the program of erhaltende Gnade. Since the implications of the matter are regularly ignored, we shall spend a moment on the episode. A "nosey" tax-collector had asked Peter whether his master, Jesus, had the custom of paying a specific tax, one of which we read already in Exodus 30, a tax originally intended for the up-keep of the temple. After, of course, falling into oblivion during the captivity this tax was restored upon the return from captivity (see Nehemiah 10

12). It seems that the Roman government had by now taken-over the collecting of this Jewish tax, no doubt because by letting Jews collect it the door would be opened for unreported collecting of moneys meant for the support of another "Maccabean War", this one "run" by Zealots. To the "nosey" question Peter replied with a weak affirmative -- and the matter would have ended there were it not for the fact that when Jesus and Peter were off-by-themselves, a little later, Jesus asked Peter to identify the element on whom this tax was levied, whether on "sojourners" (the term referred to Jews living under the rule of the Roman rex) or on "sons" (which referred to Gentile Roman citizens). To this question Peter replied that it was levied not on the latter element but on the former. To this reply Jesus replied that then the "sons" ought not to be billed for the tax -- He was saying thereby that He and Peter were to be seen as such "sons".

By saying what He said, Jesus was saying that He and Peter (as well as the rest of the Jews) were Roman citizens on the tax-paying level. Of course Jesus realized that this would be resented and would lead to offence-giving. So, to prevent such offence, Jesus told Peter to go-fishing (with a pole) and take the coin found in the fish's mouth and with it pay the tax for the two of them. It would be hard to say in clearer terms that the Savior had no objection to living under a ruler not of the "right" faith, as He, the Savior, carried on the program of erlosende Gnade. From this episode in the life of Christ, this little dialogue between Jesus and Peter, we learn two very important things. One is that Jesus did not see a secular ruler as by definition demonic. The second is that Jesus was firmly committed to the idea of grace-in-two-senses, on two levels. To us it seems implied that if a given person says that he cannot live in peace under the First Amendment he evaluates things differently than did Jesus. Jesus would have endorsed the First Amendment, it being in line with His thought-system.

We find ourselves agreeing with Henry Hart Milham as he wrote: "Since Christ there were on earth two levels of sovereignty, the one autonomous with its laws, its police, its power of physical constraint over those who commit social wrongs ... and a spiritual autonomous sovereignty directed toward the salvation of mankind, with its laws and disciplines but provided with spiritual means only. Both sovereignties derive from God, but each has its own mission .... " (There would have been no need for the First Amendment if human beings had kept as clear of confusio regnorum as Milham did).

During His entire earthly ministry Jesus was confronted with a new kind of "Maccabean Wars", new attempts to get-rid of the Rome-seated-rex, and then put, in the place left-empty, a "right-believing" one. The new version of the Maccabean Wars was promoted by folk known as "Zealots". In view of the fact that there were among the disciples of Jesus several such "Zealots" we must spend some time on them, and on Jesus' relationships with them (as we do so we acknowledge much indebtedness to two works done by Jewish scholars, to Jewish Wars and to Antiquities).

One such Zealot was Peter, whose nickname was "Barjona", Although this "Barjona" has been taken to be a proper-noun we point out that instead it was a common-noun at the time; a common-noun connoting persons with Zealot convictions and practices, so that we read of a Jewish leader being unable to keep an appointment with a government-figure "because the barjona among us permitted it not." Yes, the noun "barjona " was a common-noun, not a proper-noun. We are being told by it that Peter was a Zealot.

And there was among the disciples of Jesus a man named "Simon Zelotes". He is also known as "Simon the Cananaean" (see Matthew 10:4) and it is assumed that this word, "Cananaean", refers to the land-of-Canaan. But this is not only meaningless (in a land in which all were "Canaanites") but this is also quite certainly erroneous, seeing that the Aramaic word for "zeal" is "kana". It turns-out that Simon Zelotes was a Zealot before he became one of the disciples of Christ.

And there were among Christ's disciples the two "sons-of-Zebedee", who asked Jesus to let them sit at His right-side and left-side when His "kingdom" had come. By asking for these favors the two men were giving-evidence of being still thinking in terms of an earthly kingdom, one that would replace the "kingdom" centered in Rome. Manifestly the two brothers had not as yet come-clear of the "King-David-myth", were still trapped in confusio regno rum, were still mistaken as to mode d'integration. It was this fact, this failure on the part of the two brothers, that led Jesus to say, for their benefit: "you do not know the spirit you are of" (Luke 9:55), that "spirit" being the thought -system-of- Zealotry.

And there was Judas-Iscariot, a Jewish person caught-up in the Zealot vision, one from which he seems not to have even begun to come-free. Although the man's name has been taken to mean "Man-from-Kerioth", it is virtually certain that instead it was derived from the Greek word "sikarioon", a word related to the Greek word for "sword". In this connection it is instructive that Josephus speaks of "four thousand sikarioon", referring to the same band that is called "four thousand Zealots" elsewhere. It also is not without significance that we do not know of a place called "Kerioth". It is surely significant that in one of the oldest copies of the New Testament the word "Skarioth" stands in the place of "Ishkarioth", so cancelling out the word "man". And it is good to know that in the Tepler Codex, an ancient copy of the New Testament, a translation of the Greek New Testament, quite certainly done in and by that body of believers to which we will give the label "Remnant" (when we get that far) we find "Skarioth" instead of "Ishkarioth".

Now that we know this Judas for what he was, an unconverted-Zealot, a Jew who had not come-loose from the Zealot-dream, new light falls on his performance in the arrest of Jesus. It was when Jesus announced to His disciples that His end was at-hand that this unconverted-Zealot concluded that it did not make-sense to wait any longer for Jesus to "get-going" in the "King-David-myth". So he decided to take the necessary steps, "pull the necessary strings", to get Christ to feel-the-bite of the sword of a rex whom He was apparently not going to replace. So Judas decided to "betray" Jesus, put Him in the hands of the local underlings of the rex at Rome (the word "betray" originally meant "hand-over"). He decided that the best way to do this was to put Jesus in the hands of the Jewish body known as the Sanhedrin they then giving Him into the hands of the rex. So he sneaked-over to the Sanhedrin officers with the offer to "betray" Jesus, with the understanding that they would hand Him to the rex. Of course they were ready to make-a-deal, one involving the handing-over of a suitable sum of money. Judas was quite convinced that they of the Sanhedrin would try Jesus, find Him guilty, condemn Him to death, upon which they would then put Him in the hands of the Roman rex to inflict the punishment, hopefully capital. It must be kept in mind that at this very time the right to punish capitally was in process of being taken-away from the Sanhedrin, due to agitation led by a Jew-hater. So Judas concluded that Jesus would indeed get to feel-the-bite of the sword of the Roman rex, which He evidently was not going to replace.

But it was beginning to look as though the Sanhedrin was going to do the executing themselves (Keep in mind that the matter had not as yet been settled and decided) so that Judas, overcome by the thought that the Sanhedrin was going to do the executing, and, that therefore Jesus was not even going to feel-the-bite of the sword of the Roman rex, he threw the money back and went and hanged himself, in despair, convinced that his plot had miscarried. However-the Sanhedrin decided not to do the executing but to let the local representative of the rex do it, lest it be counted against them for ignoring the on-going debate as to whether the right-to-punish-capitally should be taken-away from the Sanhedrin.

We find ourselves wondering whether Judas turned-over in his hastily-dug grave as the decision was being carried-out to let the representative of the Roman rex do the executing after all.

From the sequences as they went, it becomes apparent that if the arrest, the trial, the sentence, had taken place a little earlier, or a little later, then the suicide of Judas would not have occurred. Are we to see the hand of God in this remarkable timing? Was it planned the way it went in order to show us how desperately erroneous it is to get involved in confusio-regnorum? As we seek to answer that question let it be recalled that after it was all over, and the disciples were gathered, with "about one hundred and twenty" besides, Peter "stood up among the brethren ... and said 'Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David, concerning Judas who was guide to those who arrested Jesus'."

We are not informed as to why it was that Jesus chose so many Zealots to be His early disciples. Was it because it was virtually impossible at the time to locate people of some talent but clear of the Zealot ambition? Or was it because Jesus was reckoning with the fact (for fact it is) that converts, from one view-of- things to another, ordinarily make the best promoters of the cause converted-to? -- a fact that comes to expression all too commonly in that first-generation-Christians, persons converted to the Christian cause, are more ardent in promoting that cause than are later-generations? Be this as it may, there were among the disciples several one-time Zealots. It is also a fact that the disciples of Jesus, as well as their followers, were slow in shedding-completely the mode d'integration that went with the inherited confusio-regnorum, Fact is that the dream of the Zealots did not come-to-an-end until Pentecost, with its "Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, etc, etc." For some centuries after Pentecost there was no evidence of a mixing of the program of erlosende Gnade with the program of erhaltende, or vice versa.

As will become apparent later there was a massive return to realm-mixing, one that was rampant -- except in the fellowship which we have called the Remnant.

We are convinced that there is an item in the account of the career of Jesus that calls for a close examination. this for two reasons. One reason is the fact that it is a very important item in the account of the career of Jesus. The other reason is that it is all too commonly misinterpreted. We are referring to what has come to be called the "triumphal-entry".

When the Son-of-man appeared on the scene there was the "King-David-myth" of which we spoke already. It had been predicted, foretold, that an unusual king was destined to appear, unusual in that He would be mounted not on a prancing war-horse (as kings were usually mounted) but on a little donkey, an immature one at that, on "a colt, a foal of an ass" (Zechariah 9:9). Jesus, of course well-acquainted with this ancient prophecy, tells His disciples that the time has come for fulfillment of this prophecy. He tells them how to proceed as they go to find the colt. They do as they were told. Jesus thereupon takes position on the tiny beast, His feet perhaps dragging along. At the sight of it the populace, brought-up on the "King-David-myth", applauds; it being at least a start. To get Jesus to move on they shout "Blessed be the king that is coming in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" (Luke 19:38). We pause a moment as we are reading the description to say that the cry "Peace in heaven" seems to be a departure from the text of the myth, done by an element in the massive crowd, for the myth had "peace on earth." Was this deviation-from-the-text of the old myth the contribution of the element in the crowd that was beginning to see that the promised Messiah was not meant to be an earthly king, a rex? However, the bulk of the crowd was still thinking in terms of an earthly king, and this element tried to out-do the other element, even told it to "hush-up" _ upon which Jesus threw in the remark that if this (insightful) element were to stop shouting (about "peace-in-heaven" rather than "peace-on-earth") then the very rocks of the desert would begin to cry-out this insight.

Meanwhile the show goes on, as branches are chopped and laid down, are walked-over and picked-up and carried forward to be tossed-again and marched-on-again. So it goes until the crowd reaches the top of the hill and the city of Jerusalem comes in sight. Upon the sight of it Jesus begins to weep. So grieved is He at the evident blindness of the crowd as a whole as to the implications of His coming, the failure to understand, that Jesus sobs: "Would that you knew the things that make for peace, but it is hidden from your eyes. The day is coming on which your enemies will cast a bank around you on every side and dash you to the ground, you and your children inside of you, not leaving a stone on a stone -- this because you did not recognize the arrival of your visitation" (Luke 19:41-43). That solemn scene was about as far from a "triumphal entry" as can be construed. The whole march would be better-named if it were called Via Dolorosa, the "Road-of-Grief".

So great in the soul of Jesus was the gloom which the parade had brought about that it lingered there, continued on in His soul, so that upon it Jesus performed the only negative miracle recorded, the cursing of the fig-tree (that symbol of the "people-of-the-promise"), so that it withered. There is reason to believe that it was the recollection of the Via Dolorosa that also made Jesus perform the only recorded act-of-violence on the part of the Savior, as He chased-out of the holy-place the defamers thereof, He telling them to go peddle-their-wares somewhere else.

Jesus had seen-it-coming. He had started to worry about the "King-David-myth" (which later led to the Via Dolorosa) long ago, had taken action in an attempt to set it straight before it took place. This is apparent from the little dialogue which began with "What think ye of the Christ? Whose son is He?", a question which was of course answered with "David's, of course!" To this reply Jesus added: "How is it then that David himself, inspired by the Spirit, calls Him Lord ... If David calls Him Lord then how is He his son?" But, confusio-regnorum was too deeply etched in the minds of the people addressed to let them get-the-point Jesus was making. If they had gotten-the-point then the "King-David-myth" would have ended then and there. Then the "big blunder" would not have taken place some centuries later. And then the First Amendment would not have been needed.

We must, before we move on, spend some time examining the trial of Jesus, for it has much to tell us concerning realm-mixing, the thing that made the First Amendment necessary.

After Jesus had been arrested and after His disciples had run-for-cover He was taken to the Jewish court, known as the Sanhedrin, for trial, as required. Here Annas was asked to preside, although this was a bit irregular, for Caiaphas was legally the presiding officer of the Sanhedrin at that time. The task of presiding was instead given to Annas, so it seems, because Caiaphas had mumbled something awhile back about it being "expedient that one man die for the people" (see John 11 :50), a remark that could be taken to imply that Caiaphas had come somewhat under the spell of the thought-system of erlosende Gnade -- which would probably keep him from being sufficiently "rough" with Jesus as the trial was going-on. (Fact is, that the inspired writer says that the remark made by Caiaphas earlier had the dimensions of "mystery", a "mystery" being a God-given bit of light on the workings of erlosende Gnade). It is significant that as soon as the trial of Jesus had been concluded, and Jesus had been declared guilty, and sentence had been pronounced, in and with a kind of tying, then the gavel was put back in the hands of Caiaphas, this because the matter had been "clinched", in and with the tying, so that the sentence could not be reversed by Caiaphas, even if he were to wish to reverse it.

Of course, the charges made at the Sanhedrin were on the level of religion, on Jesus' claim of being "the Christ, the Son of the Blessed" (Mark 14:61), Jesus' claim of being "the Christ, the Son of God" (Matthew 26:63), His claim of being "the Son of Man presently to be seated at the right hand of God" (Luke 22:69). These were charges lying on the level of erlosende Gnade and they of the Sanhedrin realized that if the case were to be taken-up in the civil court of the rex then other, and different, charges would have to be made, charges lying on the level of erhaltende Gnade. So they of the Sanhedrin drew up the charge: "we have found this man perverting our nation, forbidding the giving of tribute unto Caesar, He saying that He is Christ, a king."

The charge having to do with the paying-of- tribute was of course palpably false, seeing that Jesus had advised "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's ... " The trumped-up charge was palpably false, was so "fishy", that Pilate must have grabbed-hold of his earlobe at the sound of it. So Pilate proposed that the case be brought-back to the Sanhedrin, where it belonged. He even suggested that they of the Sanhedrin then do the punishing as required by Jewish law.

For some (hitherto unexplained) reason this proposal made by Pilate was rejected. One would expect a reply going like this: "Thanks, Your Honor! You are being thoughtful and generous and fair! We will take the culprit back with us and see to it that he gets what he deserves!" _ but instead they of the Sanhedrin reply: "It is not lawful for us to punish capitally" -- and that in spite of the fact that the official who could give them this right had just given it. They to whom the right to punish-capitally had been given declined to take-over the case. This was indeed a strange reaction on their part, a wholly unexpected one.

So odd was the "No, thanks" on the part of the Sanhedrin that we are led to suggest that we are face-to-face here again with "mystery", the "mystery" being given light of divine-manipulation in the program of erlosende Gnade. It is surely significant that Jesus had predicted His death at the hands of the rex. He had talked about being "lifted-up", the reference being to crucifixion, the Gentile form of capital punishment. He had said He was going to "die at the hand of Gentiles" (Mark 10:3), had said He was going to be "betrayed into the hands of sinners" (Mark 14:41), would be "delivered to the Gentiles" (Luke 18:32) -- all neat ways of saying "at the hands of the agency of erhaltende Gnade". We are dealing here with a matter taken-up in prophecy, so that we find Peter saying (in the midst of the illumination that came with Pentecost): "This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan of God, you have killed and crucified by the hands of lawless men" (the term "lawless-men" meaning Torah-less-folk, also referred to as "Gentiles").

It all seems to be saying that the trial and death of the Savior was a classical-case of confusio-regnorum, was that by divine arrangement. If we are permitted to ask the question, and are permitted to answer it, we would say that the trial and the death of the Christ was meant to be laboratory-proof that confusio-regnorum is downright bad, that blindness to the existence of two graces and their functions, blindness that leads to the mixing-together of the two, is frightfully wrong. If that is the case then the First Amendment turns out to be an inoculation against a dreadful disease.

During the trial of Jesus, Pilate had asked the question whether Jesus was a king. This was a question to which Jesus could not give answer with either a yes or a no, for the answer depended on whether or not the word "king" was referring to a rex. Before Jesus could answer the question an adjective going with the word "king" therefore had to be supplied. So Jesus asked Pilate to supply an adjective, He doing so by asking "Do you say this of your own accord or did others say it to you about me?", a question that could be phrased: "Do you by the word 'king' mean a rex, a ruler and director on the level of erhaltende Gnade, or do you mean by 'king' a ruler on the level of erlosende Gnade?" If Pilate had said that he meant by "king" a ruler in the Jormer sense then the answer would have been a firm "No, I am not that kind of king", and if he had said he meant by "king" a ruler in the latter sense it would have been an equally emphatic "Yes, I am a king!"

Needless to say, that question was far too "theological" for Pilate (as it continues to be for a great many people, even for some theologians). So he barked-back to Jesus:

"Are you taking me for another Jew, a member of a flock of folk who bother themselves with those kinds of questions, as if it makes a difference out of which climate a question comes?" So Pilate added: "Keep in mind that your own nation has put you in my hands for trial", he meaning that the question Jesus had just asked had actually been answered already. So Pilate stepped-away from the world of nice-distinctions, stepped-back into the world of "practical-folk", did this by asking Jesus: "What have you been doing?"

But Jesus was too deeply interested in the distinctions concerning kingship for Him to go-along with the change-of-subject Pilate was proposing. He stayed-with the "king" -problem, did this by saying "Indeed I am a king; for this cause was I born and for this cause came I into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of-the-truth hears my voice!" Pilate must have shaken his head at such philosophizing and must have decided not to give any more time to it. So he, turning around a bit, said "Truth, what's that?"; as he started to walk-away.

Yes, upon this Pilate turns his back on Jesus and goes to the Jewish accusers of Jesus, standing outside the courtroom (so as not to be contaminated). Shaking his head, Pilate says "I don't find any fault in the man!" He is thinking of releasing Jesus. But simply to let Him go would probably only raise another problem. He seems to imagine that maybe the Jews outside had heard enough of what was going on in the courtroom to warrant putting to them the question whether Jesus should be allowed to go home as a freed person. It occurs to Pilate that it was about time for another such freeing. So he said to the representatives of the Sanhedrin: "You have the custom that I release a prisoner at Passover time; do you want me to set-free this your king?" So manifestly guiltless was Jesus in Pilate's eyes that he imagined that the Jews were by now sorry even for having brought Him to court. But in this matter Pilate was "in" for another big surprise, for the cry was "not Him but Barabbas!" What, in the context of this response, could Pilate do but go back into the courtroom and there cater-to the representatives of the Sanhedrin? So he, from this point on, lets the accusers have their way. He does what they wanted him to do, sentence Jesus to death. We shall not discuss the rest of the sad tale. We do add, however, that while the rest of the case was going-on, Pilate decided to give the Sanhedrin, and the people it represented, a slap in the face, by having his mechanics put together a headpiece reading in three languages (so that all passers-by could read it and laugh), informing all comers that the man nailed to the cross was the "king" of the Jews, the fulfillment of the "King-David-myth". They of the Sanhedrin felt the "sting" all right; and they took steps to have the offending announcement put-in-quotation-marks, so that it would be apparent that the populace served by the Sanhedrin had not coined that expression. But Pilate was "fed-up" with the whole thing, so "fed-up" that his curt reply was (done in Latin for cause) "Quod scripsi scripsi ", "what I have written I have written", which was meant to say: "Don't ask me to modify anything in connection with this affair -- it is time to "poke-fun" again at you crazy Jews."

When the trial of Jesus had been concluded, and Jesus had been crucified, the soldiers on-duty did a bit of sporting on-their-own, sporting that likewise had to do with the idea that Jesus was a "king" of a "realm". They yelled at Him:

"Hail, you king of the Jews!" and they parodied what they had witnessed at Rome as a rex was being given the status of ruler. We shall not spend precious time on things said and done by the soldiers -- although it is an example of the heartlessness that comes so easily, and so regularly, in connection with the manipulation of the sword, that symbol of the program of erhaltende Gnade.

We do want to spend a bit of time listening-to, and looking-at, the features, recorded in the context, of erlosende Gnade, such things as the request coming from the lips of a person who had been crucified along with Jesus, the petition: "Lord, remember me when You are come in Your kingdom!" Had the man perhaps witnessed the conduct of Jesus when both of them still were on-the-loose? Or had the things said and done by Jesus while hanging on the cross made a deep impression on him? To it Jesus replied (between the groanings): "This day you will be with Me in paradise." Even while He was hanging on the cross, writhing in pain, Jesus kept working at His assignment in the program of erlosende Gnade, for we also find Him setting-up an arrangement for His mother's well-being.

We said we would not spend time on the mockeries to which the soldiers exposed Jesus. But we do give a bit of time to the mockings done in connection with the terms of erlosende Gnade, the kind of mockery contained in such things as the following remark: "He saved others; Himself He cannot save!" -- as if the only salvation anyone needs, or can enjoy, is the ability to move about. We also get to hear the mockery: "You who would destroy the temple and in three days build it up again, save Yourself, by coming down from the cross."

We see that the entire life of Christ was lived in the context of confusio-regnorum. Nothing would have been the same if there had not been this confusio. This is so much the case that if it were not for the fact that we are clearly taught in the Scriptures that the message of the New Testament is summarized in John 3:16 and its "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him may not perish but have everlasting life", we could conclude that it is summarized in a warning against the confusing of the program of redeeming-grace with the program of conserving-grace.

So prone are we humans to slip into realm-mixing that even after the resurrection of Jesus His disciples were heard to say sadly: "And we had hoped that He was the one who would redeem Israel, but it is already three days ago that all this happened." The thrust of this sad sentence was that it was beginning to look as if the program of erlosende Gnade had aborted (Luke 24:21). We even hear the disciples of Jesus ask, after the resurrection:

"Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6), a question which implies that the "King-David-myth" was still alive. Manifestly even Jesus' followers still found it difficult to come-clear of the myth, so that we hear Jesus say in response: "0, foolish men, slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Behooved it not the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?". It was still necessary for Jesus to teach, "beginning with Moses and all the prophets", to "interpret all the Scriptures" concerning His person and His mission in the program of erlosende Gnade (see Luke 24:32).

Our study of the "Greater Follower" of John the Baptist would not be complete without a quick glance at His attitude toward the temple. The elegant structure seems not to have been at all important in His eyes. Yes, it is true that Jesus was circumcised in it. Yes, it is true that He was taken-to it when He was twelve years old, by Joseph and Mary. Yes, it is true that He stayed-behind (when these care-takers of His were going back home) this so as to give Him a chance to argue there with the experts of the times, correcting them significantly, and even amazing them at the insights of the lad (Luke 2:41). But when Jesus felt the need of a "sanctuary", a suitable environment for working at the program of erlosende Gnade, He went not to the temple but to the desert (another item in which John the Baptist had been the fore-runner). Fact is that the disciples of Jesus seem to have detected in their leader a rather low-appraisal of the temple, so that they tried to correct it by calling attention to its nice masonry, a move on their part which then led Jesus to say that the time was coming in which there would not be left a rock on a rock. It was in this context that Jesus compared the temple with His body, in that it, too, was destined to be torn-apart, only to be put-together again, after three days. In the thought-system of Jesus His body was a replacement-of-the-temple, not only in the matter of being torn-down and then put-together again, but also as the instrument intended for contact-making between man and Maker. Of course, the similarity of Jesus' body and the temple as to contact-making was too "deep" to be understood by people still in-the-raw, so that for them the talk about a "temple" being torn-down and then rebuilt-in-three-days simply sounded like the kind of "brag" one must expect from such a carpenter's son. With them the prediction of the resurrection of Jesus had gone in one ear and out the other, it being just too "deep" for them.

It will come as no surprise, therefore, that in the tradition of the Remnant (of which we will hear more) there was a related minimization of temples, temples being the things which in the ethnic faiths are the things about which all things turn. They of the Remnant called sanctuaries (also those of "Christendom") "cumuli lapidum ", that is "stone heaps", this in view of the fact that these sanctuaries were as such the cement that holds things together on the level of society as well as on the level of religion. It therefore comes as no surprise that in the climate produced by the First Amendment edifices rightly known as "cathedrals" are no longer being built. (The "Crystal Cathedral" should not have been called that).

In the rather-low view of the temple which we find in the case of Jesus He was again walking in the footsteps of His fore-runner. Not only did John the Baptist see the desert as the meeting-place between man and Maker, a vision that made the temple and similar shrines unnecessary, but his lack of a lofty view of temples may have been heightened by the fact that proselytes, his "ideal" people, were not given free access to the holy-of-holies. If John had still been alive he would have rejoiced at that which happened to the dividing-curtain, as it was "torn from top to bottom", a neat way of saying that it was done-by-the-Almighty, for "regular" tearing-of-curtains goes from-the-bottom-up, rather than from-the-top-down.

Chapter Five

The Early Church


Out of the program begun by John the Baptist, and continued by Christ, carne the Church of Christ. We have hinted that after three centuries this Church of Christ was transformed into "Christendom". We shall in the present chapter have a close look at the church as it first was. Then in another chapter we shall do the same with the church as it became.

The early church saw itself as an "ecclesia" (That Latin word means "called out" or "called-out-of"). Its members saw themselves as "heretics", that is (as we pointed-out), as individuals who had made-choice between alternatives open to them. They kept alive the warning issued by their Lord as He was sending His first disciples on their first mission: "Think not that I have come to bring peace [that word meaning "sheer-togetherness"] to the world ... " (Matthew 10:34) and they kept alive the teaching of Jesus that as a result an aisle would appear, one which, in extreme cases, runs through a family. They remembered that Jesus had introduced this "first commission" with "Think not. .. ", this in view of the fact that if human beings are left to their own devices they invariably do the wrong thing, put together a realm-religion, a religion that then binds an entire population together.

The idea of composite society was so novel, its view as to mode d'integration so new, that it took some time for the earliest Christians to grasp fully the implications of the new formula. That such was the case is apparent enough, for instance from Paul's first epistle to the Corinthian Christians, his: "I want you to know, my brethren, that all our fathers [the reference here is to Israel prior to the coming of John the Baptist] were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the supernatural food [the reference here is to manna], all drank the same supernatural drink [the reference here is to the rock-striking that had given Israel the needed drinking-water]. Nevertheless with most of them the Lord was not pleased for they were overthrown in the wilderness (I Corinthians 10

1-5). Here the apostle Paul is trying to get the Corinthian converts to realize that the age of "allness" had come to an end (with the coming, and the career, of John the Baptist). The newly-converted Christians at Corinth were not as yet sufficiently free from confusion-of-graces, had not yet "swallowed" completely the fact that Christianity is not just another realm-religion, not simply another ethnic-faith. Therefore the series of "alls" in the passage. Paul wanted the converts at Corinth to realize that in the Christian thought-system "all" is replaced by "not-all".

In connection with Paul's attempt to bring the Corinthians fully-in-line there are two matters that deserve close attention. One is the expression "not-discerning-the-body" as found in I Corinthians 11:29, an expression that erelong came to be taken to mean failure to "look-through" the allegedly transformed "elements" of the Supper, failure to reckon adequately with that which is known as 'transubstantiation of bread. However we are convinced that "not-discerning-the-body" is to be taken to stand-for "body-of-believers", the Corpus Christi. The fact that as Paul is speaking of "not-discerning-the-body" he does not add "nor-the-blood" (as he should have done if he had transubstantiation in mind) supports our interpretation. We are convinced that what Paul was trying to do in and with the passage was get-across to the Corinthian-converts the idea of a new mode d'integration.

The first ten generations of Christians had pierced ears -- not in a literal sense, of course, but with the meaning it has in the Scriptures. The figure of pierced-ears goes back all the way to Exodus 21 :5-6, where we read of slaves opting to stay with their masters even though they were free-to-go. Upon such opting on the slave's part the master then ran-an-awl through the lobes of the slave's ears, so marking them (with a "sign" that could not be erased) as willing servants, willing instead of obliged or forced. Then in Psalm 40 we have a messianic remark about such pierced-ears and the implications thereof, namely a willing service, a not-forced one, a gladly-assumed one. Then in Hebrews 10 we find a reference to the Christ, to a Messiah coming with the "offering" of a "carcass" consisting of willing-service, willing rather than forced. Christ indeed had pierced ears, witness the fact that we hear Him say "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me ... " (John 4:34). Yes, the service rendered by Christ was a willing service. We do find Him praying to be excused from shouldering the cross, and we find the request ending with:

"Not My will but Thine be done!" Not once do we find Jesus obeying, but the while dragging-His-feet.

That is the way the early Christians tried to live. And they succeeded to a remarkable extent. It would have been good, unbelievably good, if things had stayed-that-way. But, as we shall point-out in the next chapter, they did not stay-that-way, as coerced-inclusion began to be enforced, and that with a liberal use of the sword, that tool and symbol of the product of erhaltende Gnade, the state.

According to the German professor named Ebrard (long time professor at the University of Heidelberg, a man who had dug long and deeply into the record of early Christianity in northwestern Europe) the first generations of Christians in that area lived by the motto "Let us serve the Lord with gladness, with a service not born of fear but of the spirit of adoption; we being a willing people, and that because the Lord wants our lives on a voluntary basis, just as He gave Himself willingly."

The record of early Christianity in northwest Europe calls for an in-depth study, the more so since it would throw much (needed) light on the conflict between the two modes d'integration. According to an old legend it was by a "stitcher" that Christianity had been brought to the British Isles (Does the word "stitcher" imply that it was by Paul that the message of the gospel had reached Great Britain? Recall that Paul was, by trade, a tent-maker. Recall also that Paul had in insatiable urge, somewhat similar to the urge that was common in colonial times in America, that of "Go west, young man, go west"; the point-of-difference being that with Paul it was "Go northwest, young man, go northwest". Recall that Paul expressed a desire to go to Spain, also an area to the northwest. Once, when Paul was feeling the urge to turn to the right, he was told not to go in that direction. It cannot be denied that in the history of Christianity in northwestern Europe one encounters deviations from Rome-centered Christianity, such things as the matter of married-priests, the Oriental date of Easter, two-dimensional art, etc. When Rome-centered-Christianity came to this area it was resisted not only by paganism but also by a Christianity already there, quite venerable -- but diverse from the Rome-promoted-version. (We point out here, in passing, that in the writings of Guido de Bres, known as the "indigenous Reformer in Flanders" the man of whom we plan to speak in a late chapter in this book, throws-in, parenthetically, in one of his writings, that "It was in the Greek tradition that Christianity first reached northwest Europe"). When missionaries, sent by "Christendom" later, were arriving in Flanders around the year 626 they tried to get the local king, Dagobert the First, to cooperate in the move to make the area officially a part of "Christendom", and their Amandus was trying, by forced baptism, to get all the subjects of the king baptized, the populace was so firmly on the side of the older tradition that they gave Amandus a hard time, even threw him into the Schelde River several times so "paying" him with his "own coin". As we said, the history of early Christianity in northwestern Europe deserves an in-depth study. A good old work with which to begin would be Ebrard's Die Iroschottische Missionskirche. The man's book Bonifacius, der Zerstorer des Columbanischen Kirchenthums would be another such book.

Continuing our study of the early Christians, we point out not only that they expected to encounter opposition, if not even persecution, but also involved themselves in "cross-bearing" and that gladly. Do we not read that the early Christians "rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name"? (Acts 5:41)

The early Christians felt the need of drawing-up creedal statements. This they did as a device for tying-together the believers, but also as a device for expressing-otherness. The early creedal statements gave support to matters under-attack by the "outsiders". It must be kept in mind that only matters that can be denied (and are-being-denied) deserve a place in the church's creeds. Creeds are by definition controversial. For example, had it not been for the fact that the absence of Christ's body was being explained with "His disciples came by night and stole the body away" the matter would not have been taken-up in the Apostles' Creed. As long as the church-of-Christ sees itself as an ecclesia, a called-out group, it will feel the need of creed. It is when it begins to see itself as of-a-piece with the world and begins to accommodate itself to the world lying around it that it no longer needs creeds. If and when the church adopts the wrong mode d'integration it puts its creeds in oblivion.

The early church saw itself as "in-the-world" but not "of-the-world". This comes to expression in a contemporary literary-product known as Epistle to Diognetus, in which we read: "Christians are not distinct from the rest of men as to country-inhabited or language-spoken or customs-observed. They reside on earth but their citizenship is in heaven ... Every foreign land is to them a fatherland and every fatherland a foreign country." This was a mode d'integration the world had not known, or seen, hitherto.

The early church kept clear of confusio regnorum, so that a writer of modem times, George Huston Williams, says of them that they "for the most part recognized the Roman state, even when it persecuted them, as an order of creation but emphatically not as an order of redemption" (the only linguistic improvement we can think of would be to replace the expression "order of creation" with "order of erhaltende Gnade" and replace "order of redemption" with "order of erlosende Gnade").

The youthful church found no fault with the teaching:

"Let every person be subject to the governing-authorities, for there is no authority except from God" (Romans 13:1-7). And they walked-in-step with the teaching: "I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgiving, be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high places ... " (I Timothy 2:1-2). And they acted accordingly, so that if the society of the times had not been bound to the pagan mode d'integration then the Christians would have been seen as examples to be followed.

The early Christians as they compared the Old Testament with their time, found no fault with the assertion "Say not 'Know the Lord' ... for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest..." (Hebrews 8

11), seeing that for them a new and different "Israel" had come on the scene, a fellowship bound-together not by blood, nor by tongue, nor any other antecedent linkage, but by faith-in-Christ, common among them, but unknown elsewhere.

According to Tertullian, writing around the year 200, the Christians were wont to say: "We came on the scene but yesterday and already we fill all your institutions, your towns, your walled-cities, your fortresses, your senates and forums" -- which shows that the early Christians had mode d'integration straight. They did not identify themselves with society; they gained converts from it instead.

While the church was still an ecclesia, a called-out-of company, it was still fully aware that God has two irons in the fire; has two graces going. Witness the fact that they did not try to get the "mark" on the meat replaced, from a pagan one to a Christian one. It was because Corinth had an ethnic faith that it was deemed necessary that the total meat-supply be marked with a faith-signifying mark, and it was because the faith of the converts to Christianity was not an ethnic faith was there therefore no need to have the meat supply marked. The early Church did not have sacraments, and it therefore did not have a "sacramental-syndrome", so that Paul wrote: "Eat whatever is sold in the shambles, asking no questions" (I Corinthians 10:25).

Having said that the Christian faith does not have sacraments, and having used the expression "sacramental-syndrome", we point out that Paul felt the need of giving the Corinthian Christians some leadership in connection with the matter. In the typical sacramental-syndrome the following items take place: 1) a god is chosen, 2) food is shared, 3) wine is shared likewise, 4) social-mixing, often ending in sexual-abandon, is resorted-to. It will be recalled that as Moses was coming down the mountain he heard a lot of noise coming out of the camp, a noise which he took to be the noise-of-battle. However, it turned out to be, instead, the noise that went with the final item in a sacramental-syndrome. Is it any wonder that Moses, as well as Jehovah, were displeased with what had taken place while Moses was away and the Israelites were copying what they had seen in Egypt?

They of the exodus may have been the first children of Abraham to copy the sacramental-syndrome, but they were not the last. Reference is made to sacramental-syndrome going-on among the Hebrews in later times, for instance in Jeremiah 7:18 and 44:19. In the Statenvertaling of the Old Testament (the Dutch translation managed by the States-General in the early seventeenth century) the "cakes" that went with the syndrome are called "gebeelde koeken ", "imaged-cakes", this in view of the fact that they were biscuits done to resemble human genitalia, and that of both sexes. The infants born nine months after such a syndrome were said to be sacred, and were, for that reason, sacrificed in the bulging-belly of a god named Dagon. Does it come as a surprise that as Paul is trying to lead the converts at Corinth he feels the need to draw some lines as to sacraments and as to sexuality?

The early church saw itself as an ecclesia and knew itself as a "sect". Although the word "sect" was said (especially by "Christendom") to be derived from the Latin verb secare, (meaning "to cut" or "to sever", the reference being to the "body" of Christ) it is derived instead from the Latin deponent-verb "sequor", which means "to-follow".

It is interesting, and significant, that in Reformation times there were persons, standing in the tradition of the Remnant, who were heard to say: "Yes, indeed, I belong to a sect -- for I follow Jesus". All through the Middle Ages there were people who were indeed "sectarian", this because they were Christ-followers.

The early church was missionary. Its leaders went from place to place, and in pairs, to bring the gospel to people still caught-up in ethnic faiths. These missionaries came to be called "sabotiers ". this because they wore sabots, home-made shoes, usually made of wood. Because they therefore made a bit of noise as they walked they were called "kloefers" in German areas (the word "kloefer" being related to our word "clogs"). In the Netherlands they came to be called "klompendragers ': "wooden-shoe-wearers" (It seems that the Dutch had taken-over from the early Christians the practice of wearing shoes made of wood. Or was it from the "Remnant" of which we speak later?).

So successful were the missionaries of the early "ecclesia ", the early "called-out" body, that we find Tertullian (who is said to have died in the year 231) saying:

"All the races of Spain and the various nations of the Gauls, as well as those of Britain, hitherto inaccessible to Rome, have been made subject to Christ, together with the Sarmatians, Decians, Germans, Scythians, and many other nations and provinces and islands, with which I am not acquainted ... The name of Christ has reached these areas ... areas that have hitherto defied the armies of Rome." It will no doubt have been noticed by the reader that as Tertullian was saying this he tried, and that twice-over, to keep his readers from concluding that the expansion-of-Christianity was but an aspect of the expansion-of-the-empire. Tertullian seems to have been aware that there was going to be a time erelong in which confusio-regnorum would find its-way-in, a time in which Christianity would be cast into the mold of a realm-religion. If so, then the man Tertullian must be credited with prophetic vision for (as we shall see) the amalgamation of church and state did indeed take place a century later.

The early church baptized only believers, and that after a period of testing, so as to make sure that the candidate had indeed undergone conversion, from an ethnic faith to Christianity. (In the course of time this came to be called "an unfortunate copying of the Cathars", called that by spokesmen for "Christendom" and with reference to members of the "Remnant" -- as we shall call them).

They of the early ecclesia met in conventicles (the word means "little-get-togethers") -- although they had room in the gatherings for inquirers, that is, for persons who had shown an interest in heeding the call: "come out from among them and be ye separate". When, at the end of such a conventicle the memorial-meal (known as "Agape", the "love-feast", a term that reminds of the final item in the sacramental-syndrome, although it was radically other and different) was about to be held, the inquirers were expected to exit upon the assertion "congregatio missa est" (the congregation is dismissed"), a term that implies that thus far in the ceremony there had been two elements flocked together (the Latin word for "flock" is "gregs ".) It is from this "missa est" that the word "mass" (referring to the sacrament in the "Catholic" tradition) was derived, along with a broadening of the vowel "i" (In some European tongues the "mass" is still referred-to as "de mis ").

We point out here that although the word "mass" is actually derived from "missa" spokesmen for "Christendom" have sought to derive the word "mass" instead from another Latin verb, for the word is actually a pre-Catholic word. But the understandable attempt must be rejected, for the facts in the matter do not warrant the other derivation.

We cannot say it too often that the persecutions to which the early Christians were exposed were not born-of objectionable-conduct on the social-level. No, they were the outcome of the ethnic notion that if a society is to hang-together if must have a "catholic" faith, an "as-to-the-entirety" one, one to which all the members of the society adhere (the word "catholic", be it recalled is from the Greek "kata", meaning here "as-to", and the Greek word "holos", which translates "the-entirety"). To understand the motive of the persecutions of the early Christians we need but acquaint ourselves with the thought-system of the ethnic world. This we can do without much effort, by simply listening to Plato as he says in his Laws: "Let this then be the wording of the law. No one is to possess shrines to gods in private dwellings, and he who is found to have them and to perform a sacred rite before them, one not publicly authorized ... is to be reported to the guardians of the law. And let these then issue orders for the people to carry their private-rites into the public-temples. If this does not persuade them then let such punishment be meted-out as will make them comply. If a given person is found guilty of having sacrificed to a god indiscriminatingly, whether in public or in private, let him be subjected to capital punishment." It was in that kind of thinking that the persecutions of the early Christians had their roots. (As will become evident, there came a time when leaders in "Christendom" took over these teachings of Plato, and, put-them-to-practice).

In similar vein we find a Roman thinker named Minucius Felix, say, in his Octavius, and about the early Christians: "At their nightly gatherings, their solemn feasts [the reference seems to be the Christian "love-feast"] the thing that holds them together is not some sacred rite [the reference is to rites as found in the ethnic faiths J. It is crime. It is a people that lurks in darkness, shuns the light, is silent in public, but talkative in caves. Evil weeds grow fast and these vicious habits are spreading by the day. the abominable and secret haunts in which these impious wretches hold their meetings are increasing in number all over the world. The curse-deserving conspirators must be eradicated completely. Why do they make such an effort to hide and conceal whatever it is that they worship? Honorable acts always welcome publicity, Only crimes delight in secrecy. Why do they not have altars, temples, well-known images? Why do they not speak in public, never meet openly -- unless because the hidden objects are either criminal or disgraceful?"

We also read in this Octavius, about the early Christians: "They recognize each other by secret signs and marks [of which the outline of a fish is an example. It brings-to-mind the phrase "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior", the first letter of each of these words spelling out the Greek word for "fish", namely the word IchthusJ. They love each other after the briefest acquaintance, call each other 'brothers' and 'sisters' promiscuously". Usage of these terms was a fact, of course, but the writer of the Octavius added "and under these names make themselves guilty of the most horrible crimes" -- a charge that was born of the fact that the Christians had their "Agape", their "love-feasts",. The writer of the Octavius was assuming that the "Agape" of the Christians was comparable to the final item in the sacramental-syndrome as practiced in the contemporary pagan society.

Having suggested that the word "sacrament" is of pagan origin we shall bring forth a bit of further evidence. In an attempt to find, and eliminate, the Christians, Decius (one of the last pagan emperors) resorted to sacrament. He had his scribes produce forms, to be filled-in by his subjects. The forms read (the Library of the University of Michigan has a filled-in copy): "I, N.N., have always sacrificed to the gods, have done so now, in keeping with the directive, have caused a libation to be poured-out, have tasted of the sacrificial victim -- and I ask that this be notarized". Upon this a house-to-house check-up was conducted, and any householder who was unable to produce a filled-in copy was in-line for severe punishment, perhaps capital. Here we have a case of sacrament being used to bring about a "catholic" faith, to "spot" any and all who rejected the idea of society held-together-by-sacrament. (Is it still surprising that they of the Remnant had the practice of saying that "there are no such things as sacraments"?). It is becoming evident, so we think, that sacraments are performances whereby society is kept from becoming composite. Is it surprising that the early church did not have any sacraments? (which does not imply that it did not have some solemn rituals).

The apostle Paul was fully aware of the fact that the rest of the world's religions are devices whereby society is kept-from becoming composite, made-up of "ins" and "outs". And he realized that if he were to preach the Christian message in Athens it could, and would, be resented by the Athenians. What to do in the situation? As Paul was taking-in the sights he came-across an altar to an "unknown god". So he decided to identify the Christ, of whom he was going to speak, with this "unknown god". This (far from crude) solution to the problem seemed to be working quite acceptably -- until he introduced the word "anastasius" (Greek for "resurrected"), upon which the listeners, thinking that Paul was beginning to talk about a deity by that name, saw in Paul's performance a serious breach-of-the-law. So they hustled him off to the Areopagus, also known as "Mars Hill", the place in the city where trials were conducted. When it became evident there that the word "anastasius", as used by Paul, was not a noun, was an adjective instead, Paul was permitted to walk out of the courtroom. Upon this he quickly packed-his-trunk and slipped-out of Athens.

The question is in order why it was that Paul's attempt to gain converts in Athens was not a roaring-success. Fact is that the reporter merely says that there was "a woman named Damaris" and a man named "Dionysius" and "a few others like them" (see Acts 17:34), so that we hear nothing later about a "church" at Athens. Why were there so few "converts", people who gave evidence of wanting to hear more? Was it due to the fact that Paul was speaking not at a conventicle but in a public hall, so jeopardizing the very idea of a new mode d'integration?

Such then was the youthful church, the "ecclesia'' of the early years. John the Baptist had come with a new vision as to mode d'integration, and Jesus had worked in the new climate born of the new view as to societal compositism. As will now become apparent, in the chapter that is about to begin, the novel mode d'integration was abandoned after a few centuries, as the ethnic view of mode d'integration was put in its place.

If this had not happened the First Amendment would not have been needed.

Chapter Six

The "Ecclesia" Becomes "Catholic"


We have had a sufficiently close look at the church of Christ as it was (and as it carried-on) during the first three centuries. We shall now have an equally close look at the church after the happening whereby the church became "catholic", became all-embracing, was cast into the form of the ethnic faiths.

We think the writer named Pierard was on the right track when he wrote, in his Liberty and Law: "One of the greatest disasters in the history of the Christian Church ... was the recognition of Christianity as the official faith of the empire."

Although the change was sudden we must not think that it did not have its "way-preparer". No, as early as the year 175 Meliton of Sardis, a spokesman for the church of the times, was already heard to say hintingly: "Only if and when Christianity is protected and promoted ... does the empire continue, both as to size and as to splendor." Manifestly the man had fallen into confusio regnorum, was losing sight of Christianity's novel view as to mode d'integration of church and state.

In line with Meliton's suggestion, Origen, a later prominent spokesman for the church of the times, gave the emperor the following to think-about: "What would happen if the Romans were persuaded to adopt the principles of the Christians, were to despise the duties paid to the recognized gods ... , begin to worship the Most High ... ? If they would pray to the Word who of old said to the Hebrews as they were being pursued by the Egyptians 'the Lord will fight for you with you holding still', were to unite in common prayers? They would then be able to put to flight more enemies that were discomfited by the prayers of Moses!" That was confusio regnorum in embryonic form. Origen saw paganization of the faith on the horizon and far from taking-stand against it he was encouraging it.

Just how the emperor took this advice is not at once apparent. It seems that at first he was thinking of merely giving to the God of the Christians a place in the gods-pool, a place in the pantheon. While he was in this mood the emperor made this assertion: "The Romans serve all gods ... That is why their power and their authority has embraced the whole world ... Having stormed the ramparts they, even in the frenzy that comes with victory, respected the divinities of the conquered, setting up service everywhere, to unknown deities ... By this adopting the rites of all nations Rome is given the title of ruler over them all." It seems that all the emperor now had in mind was to stop persecuting the Christians and putting their God in the god-pool.

Since the God of the Christians was being put in the god-pool in an unusual way (by peaceful-decree rather than in the wake of military-conquest) an unusual way-of-admittance had to be devised. To meet this unusual situation the edict know as The Edict of Toleration was drawn-up and published, in the year 313. By this edict it was made legal to worship the God of the Christians.

What was the emperor really driving-at? Was the edict perhaps published as a device whereby the authorities could get to know how numerous the Christians really were? Keep in mind that it had hitherto been the practice for the Christians to stay out of the public eyes as much as possible, meeting in conventicles, held in out-of-the-way places. Was the emperor perhaps thinking of making the religion of the Christians the one-and-only permitted faith? If so he would first have to know whether there were enough Christians to warrant making their religion the official-religion of the realm.

In any case, the result of the edict was that the Christians came out in the open, it being no longer risky to do so. The numerousness of the Christians turned-out to be great, far greater than anyone had surmised. Christians were everywhere, from one end of the empire to the other, and involved in all the affairs of the society of the times. Apparently they had carried on with much success, and in the context of the mode d'integration of their faith, had made many followers.

At the sight of this massiveness a second edict was published, one which made the religion of the Christians the official religion of the empire. Very correctly has it been said, in our times, of the emperor Constantine: "Soldier and statesman that he was he saw in the Christian God a surety of victory, a new and heavenly sanction for the renewed monarchy, and, in the Christian religion itself the public mortar and the theological scaffolding by means of which he might succeed in rehabilitating the imperial structure" (which it needed).

Constantine had changed Christianity into a realm-religion, the "realm" being the Roman Empire. Now we find him warning a churchman named Athanasius: "Now that you know my will, grant unimpeded entry into the church to all who ask for it [manifestly the church-leaders were still spelling-out some entrance-requirements] ... If I hear that you have stood in the way I will depose you and remove you from the country." We hear the emperor now saying also this: "Since it has come to my ears that certain persons of turbulent character [reference here is to the kind of persons whom we will be calling the "Remnant"] are trying to draw people away from the most holy Church by base pretense, you must know that I have given order to Annulinus, the proconsul, and to Patricius, the deputy of the prefects, that, along with other business, they are to give special attention to the matter. Accordingly you are to take note of any such persons, as they persist in their base designs."

The following orders now came from the emperor: "We order all those over whom our gentle rule extends to adopt the religion which according to tradition, was brought to Rome by the blessed Peter ... We order everybody to adopt the name 'Catholic Christians' and the rest [evidently there were people doing that which the emperor is forbidding] we shall classify as fools, and they will have to bear the reproach of being called heretics ... These will come first under the wrath of God and then under ours. Their get-togethers [evidently conventicles were still being held] are not to be called churches. These are to be punished not only by divine retribution but also by ours, measures decided-on by divine inspiration."

From the passages quoted by us it is apparent that what has come to be called "the Constantinian-synthesis" was being challenged by Christians whose conscience did not permit them to cast in their lot with the "catholic" form into which Christianity was being put. This early element in the society of the times came to be known as Donatists, this because they had a leader by the name of Donatus. It was in the camp of these Donatists that the wistful question was asked "Quid est imperatori cum ecclesia? ", which can be translated "What, pray, does the emperor have to do with the church?" (As we shall see, the name "Donatists" was heard all through medieval times, was heard also at the time of the Reformation, -- and that repeatedly).

As could have been predicted, they of the "new age" were not happy with the fact that the Apostles' Creed, as it spoke of the church, did not include the word "catholic". So steps were taken to get it added. It was the man who came to be known as "Saint Augustine" (because of his services in getting the Constantinian-synthesis accepted) who managed to bring-in the word "catholic". He did this by adding to the word "church" the clause "in 'so far as it is catholic". What was plainly implied was that the Donatists were not to be seen as part of the church-of-Christ. After the clause had stood after the word "church" for some time the clause was removed and the adjective "catholic" was inserted before the word church.


[It is not without-point that there were people in Reformation times called Anabaptists who, as they recited the Apostles' Creed omitted the adjective "catholic". Nor is it without-point that it was said in Reformation times, in connection with a copy of the creed in which that adjective was omitted: "As is the custom with the heretics".]


Not long after the publishing of the edict whereby Christianity was made to be the official-religion of the empire, a spokesman for "Christendom" (the name we shall give to the everybody-embracing church that came out of the Constantinian-synthesis) a supporter of the synthesis, a man named Firmicus Maternos, wrote in a writing with the title De Errorum Prophanorum (Concerning the Errors of the Profane-Ones): "It will not be long now, thanks to your laws, that the demon will be vanquished completely, as idolatry is extinguished and the vile contagion is wiped out... Do not hesitate to strip the temples of their ornaments. Let the gods be melted in the fire for the minting of your coins, in the flames of your refineries. Confiscate for your benefit all their possessions. Make it all your property. Since the demolition of the heathen temples began the divine power has caused your might to get greater and greater."

One of the most far-reaching items in the history of the church was an assertion, appearing at this time: "Heresy is to be construed to be an offence against the state. Everything that is of evil and practiced on the level of religion is to be counted as crime." In this assertion we see confusio regnorum coming to open expression. (It made the First Amendment necessary.)

Although we shall leave it to a much higher Judge to determine the final destiny of emperor Constantine, the man who played a prominent part in the transformation of Christianity into "Christendom", we do say that the man's conversion, if measured by Biblical standards, was nothing short of Ersatz (German for "non-genuine"). The man's change-of-front was not brought-about by the message of the Gospel, was instead brought-about by the sight of an unusual cloud-formation, an omen, and that a military one. He saw in the sky a unique combination of clouds and light-streaks, the message of which assumedly was "In hoc signo vinces ", "In this sign do your conquering!", the "sign" in question being a cross-like mixture of clouds and rays-of-light. Are we being unkind when we say that a "conversion" like that is hard to harmonize with the blueprints laid-down in the Bible?

Neither do we like the labarum *- (as it was called) which Constantine had his servants make, and which he had stitched above the entry to his war-tent. It looked like a letter p, with an unusually long stem, on which stem was fastened the Greek "ch", (which looks like our X). The labarum was meant to be a copy of the first two letters of the Greek word "Christ". We do not like the labarum as it is, and do not like it that it was meant to be fastened to a war-tent. Nor are we at all thankful that a figure known as a labarum adorns (no, the word "adorn" should not have been used) the interiors of present-day church-buildings. Nor do we like it that the bits of iron which Constantine's mother sent him, allegedly the rusted nails of the cross on which Christ had hung, were given to a smith, with instruction that he make of the nails a bit with which the emperor was to control his war-horse. Nor does it please us that Constantine had his smith construct a two-wheeled cart, known as the "carrocio", on which stood an altar and a crucifix, to be drawn by horses as it led the way to the subordination of still another Volk. Although it is good not to criticize other people's prayers, we do say that the following prayer, which Constantine had his soldiers repeat, does not edify: "Thee alone we know to be God. Thee we confess to be King. Upon Thee we call for aid. From Thee we expect our victories. Through Thee we have prevailed over our enemies. Thee we thank for past benefits and from Thee we hope to have future ones. Thee we beseech, begging Thee to preserve our emperor unto length of days, him and his God-loving sons, safe and victorious." In this prayer the rex asks God to bless his ad extra activity (toward the world lying outside of his jurisdiction with the intention of annexing it). This is the very thing at which (according to I Samuel 8:20) Jehovah scowled, the very activity in which they of the Remnant did not feel free to take part.

Although the bulk of the people of the times went along with the realm-mixing, there were also people who (as we have already said) decided not to go-along. Very correctly was it said later-in-time that "When Sylvestre, the first pope, took his power from the dragon called Constantine, he affixed his venom to the entire church. Led by Satan, Sylvestre deceived the emperor ... When Sylvestre received Constantine the emperor then provided all who call themselves Christians [note that the speaker does not say that they were Christians, says only that they called themselves Christians] in his entire realm with great peace. It was at that time that the pestilence that walks in darkness and the destruction that wastes at noonday [reference is to what we read in Psalm 91 :6] crowded in mightily, as the cross was lifted and was welded to a sword, all by the devil's cunning." In the same vein we find the Englishman, Venerable Bede, say: "In the Constantine-Sylvestre-coalition the Antichrist began to reveal himself."

In sharp opposition to this evaluation of the matter we find Augustine arguing as follows: "There was given under Nebuchednezzar a figure both of the times the Church had under the apostles and the time she has now. In the age of the apostles and martyrs was fulfilled that which was prefigured when the aforesaid king compelled devout and just men to bow to his image, and cast into the flames all who refused to do so. Now, however, is being fulfilled that which was prefigured shortly afterwards when the same king, having been converted to the true God, made a decree throughout his empire that whoever spoke against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego was to suffer the penalty which his crime deserved. The earlier period of the king represents the former age of emperors, who did not believe-in-Christ, at whose hands the Christians suffered because the wicked, but the later period of this king represents the age of the successors to the imperial throne, they now believing-in-Christ, at whose hands the wicked suffer at the hand of Christians." That, so we venture to say, is wildly weird hermeneutics, born of the confusio regnorum that was making the ecclesia "catholic".

The following also shows how deeply Augustine was caught in confusio regnorum. In reply to assertions, made by persons of "Donatist" convictions, that "No example is to be found in the writings of the Evangelists and the Apostles of any petition addressed to the kings of the earth ... " Augustine wrote: "Who is there that denies this? None such is to be found! But at that time the prophecy had not yet been fulfilled: 'Be wise, O you kings of the earth; be instructed you judges of the earth, serve the Lord with fear.' " (Little did Augustine realize, so it seems, that it is highly-questionable hermeneutics to change the giving-of-advice into predicting-of-history).

Augustine had the habit of calling attention to it, repeatedly, that in the Parable of the Wedding Feast there are two verbs, "invite" and "constrain", the former verb allegedly taking us to the first ten generations of Christians and the latter verb allegedly taking us to the inauguration of "Christendom" at the time of Constantine. This was far too frail a peg on which to hang the momentous change that had come over the church. Moreover the change of "invite" to "constrain" may mean no more than "Go, and try even harder, to bring them in, for there are still empty seats."

Augustine tried to justify the policy of "Christendom" of using the sword to keep people from abandoning the everybody-embracing faith, and, going off by themselves (as the Donatists were doing). This he did by saying: "Did not Israel seek to exterminate the two tribes and a half... drawing apart from the unity of the nation?" So "catholic" had the church become that it was prepared to exterminate non-joiners, as well as seceders.

One of the most deplorable implications of the Constantinian-synthesis of church and state was the narrowing-down of the formula of saved-ness to the forensic level, so that salvation was now said to be simply a matter of pardon, or change-of-status; was no longer a matter of renewal, or change-of-condition. The two elements were, however, meant to be another ellipse. Now circularization of the ellipse was going on. This circularization can be explained very easily and simply, as follows. They of "Christendom" were committed to the idea of total ism, the inclusion of anybody and everybody; and they realized that it is possible to get people to submit to a pardon-providing ritual but impossible to get them to cooperate in a renewal-providing ritual -- because it requires abstinence from a long list of far-from-detested deportment-items. So salvation was reduced to pardon, change-of-status. Outright "anything-goes", (known as latitudinarianism) resulted. This was of course a reversion to the pagan way-of- thinking. The apostle Paul had encountered it among the people of Corinth, where latitudinarianism was so common and so pronounced that the verb korinthiadzein (which translates "cut-up-in-Corinthian-fashion") had been invented. Paul was (in I Corinthians 10) quoting from Corinthian vernacular, and that twice over; when he wrote "All things are lawful" -- each time adding a "but" dealing with conduct.

It could have been predicted that the latitudinarianism that was taking-over, would be resisted by some. One such was a virtuous woman known as "Lady Felicia". She expressed alarm at the on-going "All-things-are-lawful", especially as it was coming to expression in the lives of the clergy. When Augustine was told of the woman's worries about the way things were going he wrote her a letter, one in which we read: "Do not be too greatly troubled by these offences ... there are some who occupy the honorable office of shepherds in order to provide for the flock of Christ; others occupy that position in order to enjoy the temporal honors and the secular advantages connected therewith... Concerning the bad shepherds Christ admonished the sheep with these words: 'The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat, therefore observe all they bid you to do, but do not follow them in their behavior' ... There are both good and bad in the Catholic church ... ; they who separate from the Church cannot be good even though a seemingly praiseworthy behavior seems to prove some of them to be good [notice the unintended testimony to the exemplary conduct of the "Donatists"]. Separation from the Church makes them bad, all by itself." We do not know whether "Lady Felicia" talked-back to Augustine (as she should have done) but we are of the opinion that his letter only made her more sure that things were going in the wrong direction as to the renewal-aspect of salvation. Neither do we know whether she started to go to the conventicles of the dissident "Remnant" (as we think she should have done).

All sorts of edicts were published so as to make life difficult for the critics of the "Christendom" that was developing, edicts including prescribed. punishments, confiscations, banishment, incompetence either to bequeath or to inherit, etc -- all of them civil in nature. When dissenters from "Christendom" "hit" by these edicts, these injustices, voiced complaint, Augustine took it upon himself to reply, the more so because he, and his, were doing nothing in criticism of the injustices. He wrote:

"Was it my duty to obstruct this so that you might not lose what is yours, you the while robbing Christ of what is His? That you may frame your testaments in keeping with Roman law, you the while, by your calumny, breaking 'the testament made by the sanctions of the divine law to the fathers, laws in which it is written 'In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blest'? Might have freedom in your transactions in buying and selling, ignoring that which Christ has brought by giving Himself as its price? That the gift made-over by you to another be honored while the gift bestowed by God upon His children is made not-valid? That you might not be sent into exile from the land of your birth as you labor to banish Christ from the kingdom bought by His blood, a kingdom that extends from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth? Nay, verily, then let kings of the earth serve Christ by making laws for Him and for His cause!" Would it be possible to get more deeply committed to confusio regnorum, more crippingly-caught in the compositism-hating that goes with ethnic faiths?

Very insightfully has it been said (by historian Neander) that "It was by Augustine that a theory was proposed and founded which contained the germ of that whole system of spiritual despotism of intolerance and persecution which ended in the tribunals of the Inquisition." Neander's thoughtful assertion makes us grateful that there came a time when the First Amendment was enacted, an Amendment that was meant to put an end to the "spiritual despotism of intolerance and persecution."

As Augustine was trying to justify the generalization, the catholicizing of the faith, he, of course, had to do a lot of adjusting, a lot of altering. One such alteration was the introduction of the sword, and its coercing, into the program of erlosende Gnade. This made him ignore completely the person and the mission of John the Baptist, the way-preparer, When it came to Augustine's attention that there was an element that was speaking-against the use-of-force to keep people from seceding "Christendom" he wrote: "I hear that you have the habit of quoting that which is recorded, that when the seventy followers of Jesus were going back He let them go" -- only to add reference to the fact that when an element in Israel was seceding it was rigidly opposed. To get the idea that the use of force was right and proper, also on the level of religion, Augustine contended that Paul had been subjected to the use of force on the spiritual level as he was stricken with blindness. Augustine was ignoring the fact that it was by-way-of-miracle that Paul had been blinded, so that it was certainly not intended to set a pattern for general use, for all times, and in connection with all affairs.

It can hardly be denied that the thought-system of Augustine was honored and observed all through the more than a thousand years that followed upon the birth of "Christendom". The idea of the use of coercion was endorsed. During these times, as much as eighty percent of the Jews residing in Spain and Portugal were subjected to what was called Zwangtaufe, that is, to forced-baptism. And at the Lateran Council of the year 1215, the wearing of a badge-of-infamy (a red circle branded on the left shoulder), was prescribed for all Jews. In the year 1266 the pope of "Christendom", Clement, wrote to the King of Arragon, urging him to expel from his terrain all Mudejares (Moores). At the council of Vienna, held in 1311, Clement V ordered all princes to forbid the Muezzin the call-to-prayer, sounded from the minaret. The prince failed to comply. Upon this the order was repeated, at the Council of Terragona, in 1327, with the remark added: "by the bowels of divine mercy", added at the Council of Tortosa, held in 1429.

It speaks for itself that the generalizing that went with the Constantinian synthesis would be reflected in the area of theology. The concept of "ex opere operato" (which translates "done-in-the-doing") was invented. This formula guarantees total-coverage, means sheer generalization. It was meant to prevent the appearance of an aisle caused by choice-making. It made things automatic. It led to the notion that wherever the water of baptism hits it brings salvation with it. For that reason it came to be known as "christening", a performance whereby a person allegedly "becomes-Christian". When a tribe had been vanquished by Rome's armies the leaders of the tribe were instructed to cross a stream, on horseback. Then, as the splashing was at its height, a priest of "Christendom" would pronounce the words of baptism, as given in Matthew 28:19, and notification was then sent to Rome that another tribe had been "christened", and had, by that ceremony, been made a part of the "Christian" empire. If this was not ex opere operato then what is? It was a good thing that the Scriptures had been filed-away, for it records that John the Baptist, the "founder" of baptism, had not only refrained from spraying-salvation on people against-their-wishes but had also refused to baptize people who asked to be baptized but did not give evidence of having been converted, from addiction-to an ethnic faith to the espousal-of the Christian faith.

It is not surprising that in northwestern Europe, an area in which the Christian faith had been embraced by many prior to the birth of "Christendom", the paganized version of Christianity for awhile did not "sell" at all well. As the paganized version was being accepted by many we hear a Christian man say sadly: "The unfortunate Saxons have lost the sacrament of baptism because they in their hearts have not known the foundation of faith. It should be kept in mind that believing is a matter of a free will, not a matter of compulsion ... One can indeed force a man to baptism, but not to believing."

We have already called attention to the fact that along with the Constantinian-synthesis had come anti-semitism and Zwangtaufe. It began at once, so that very soon a synagogue, located in a place called Callinicum, was set-on-fire, upon the orders of officers in the "fallen" church. It is to the credit of the emperor, Theodosius, that he ordered the synagogue rebuilt, at public expense. To this order an important figure in "Christendom", Bishop Ambrose, replied angrily: "I am of-a-piece with the bishops in the matter. I say that it is I that burned-down that synagogue, that it is I that gave orders to set it on fire, in order that no place be left where Christ is denied ... Must now a house be built for Christ-deniers, built with the Church's money? Are you giving a trophy of victory over Christ's people? Giving rejoicing, O Emperor, to unbelievers? Festival to a synagogue? Humiliation to the Church of Christ?

God is saying to you 'I gave you the victory over your enemies, and are you now giving victory over my people?' Whose business is it to avenge that synagogue anyway? Christ's, would you not say, the Christ whom they killed and whom they deny?"

In view of the fact that they of "Christendom" had rejected the idea of a two-element-situation in the here-and-now it comes as no surprise that they were embarrassed also by the very thought of a two-element-situation in the hereafter, so greatly embarrassed that they invented the idea of a sort of half-way-house, one into which all human beings go at the time of their demise. The halfway-house was called "Purgatory" (the word is related to our word "purge"), a place where a clean-up was said to take-place, something that had not taken-place in this life, salvation allegedly being merely a matter of pardon.

In view of the fact that there was in medieval times a Remnant it comes as no surprise that among the writings that came out of this Remnant, one of the writings that have survived the practice of "Christendom" to round-up-and-destroy such writings, there is a tract that bears the name The Dreamed-Up Purgatory.

It does not surprise that "Christendom" was embarrassed by the function of a preached-message, one done-in-words, one that can be responded-to (and will be responded-to) in either of two ways, by a "yes" or by a "no", so bringing-about a composite society, the very thing a realm-religion cannot tolerate. So "Christendom" took the Word to the attic, putting "sacrament" in its place; a "sacrament" being a ritual in which choice-making is intentionally absent. (The Word goes with "fishing-with-a-pole", whereas "sacrament" goes with "fishing-with-a-net").

Nor does it surprise that along the coming-of-"Christendom" came the creation-of-parishes, a parish being at one and the same time a political unit and a churchly one. A person living in a specific parish was now required to patronize (and support) the church of that parish. Each such parish had its own priest. (The word "parish" has survived, and is heard in some areas in the southern United States; but here it has lost its "religious" flavor, has the same meaning there as does the word "county" elsewhere).

As we have already noticed, along with the birth of "Christendom" the sword that goes with erhaltende Gnade was transferred into the area of religion, so that as early as the year 553 we find Pope Pelagius declaring ex cathedra (the word cathedra may be translated "order-giving-seat") that: "Unto the coercion of heretics and schismatics [in the pope's parlance the two words have the same meaning] the Church has also the secular arm to use if men cannot be brought to sanity by reasoning." The statement made by Peter at the time of the arrest of Jesus, "Here are two swords" was interpreted to mean (as a spokesman for "Christendom", Raymond Lull, put it) that "The Catholic Church, as the Gospel tells us, has two swords, the temporal sword (which is the sword of battle) and the spiritual sword (which is knowledge and piety). With these two swords the Church has what it takes to bring all nonbelievers into the way of truth ... If resistance to this becomes violent then the pope may use the secular sword against them." (That is confusio regnorum done in capital letters).

As is the following, put-together in late medieval times by an expert in jurisprudence, Philippe de Beaumanoir, a spokesman for "Christendom": "If a man disbelieves in matters of the faith he is to be brought back to true faith by instruction. If he refuses to believe, wishes instead to cling to his wicked error, then he is to be brought to justice as a heretic and is to be burned. In that case, however, secular justice must come to the aid of the Holy Church, for when a man is condemned as a heretic by the examination of the Holy Church then the Holy Church must hand him over to lay-justice, and this lay-justice must then bum him, seeing that spiritual-justice ought not to put anyone to death." Such handing-over-to-"lay-justice" was resorted-to regularly, so making it possible for "Christendom" to crush all competition without getting blood on its dainty fingers. (We intend to come back to this monstrous jurisprudence, in the Appendix to this book).

We shall give a few examples of this monstrosity in action. One example is that of the "Crusades", undertaken in order to give the western wing of "Christendom" military supremacy over the eastern wing. Of this "Crusade" a pope of "Christendom" had this to say: "The swords, imbued with Christian blood, swords that should have been used against pagans instead, have spared neither age nor sex, as incest and adultery and fornication were practiced in plain sight, as matrons and virgins were subjected to filthy embraces. Although the men are not entirely guiltless we nevertheless believe that the Greeks who were seeking to tear the seamless robe of Christ deserved it. They refused to have as their shepherd the blessed Peter, prince of the apostles that he was, and they have received famine and hunger. Evil men have been evilly destroyed, in order that the land might be entrusted to husbandmen who will render the fruit in its season." (It was to prevent the occurrence of similar slaughtering that the First Amendment was devised and then ratified two centuries ago in the "New World", an area in which striking-out in a new and hitherto unheard-of direction in many matters was not at all uncommon.)

In order to have a clear picture as to what the consequences were of the "big blunder" we recite also the following, coming from Innocent III after the bloody extermination of the Albigensians: "God has mercifully purged His people's land, and the pest of wickedness, which had grown as does a cancer, and had infected all of Provence, has been deadened and driven away. His mighty hand has taken many cities and towns in which the devil dwelt in the persons of those he possessed, and a holy habitation is being prepared for the Holy Ghost, in the persons He has put in the place of the expelled heretics. Therefore we give praise to God Almighty for it that He has, in one and the same cause of mercy, deigned to work out a two-pronged justice, by bringing faithless folk their deserved destruction in such a way that as many as possible of the faithful may have their well-deserved reward. By the extermination of these folk He has deigned, in and with their destruction, to grant the means of wealth (nay, more, the means of salvation) to the army of crusaders who have triumphed over them by the hand of our legates." (The reader will have noticed that for Innocent III the idea of "salvation" is parenthetical).

Rather than reciting more of the awful behavior that resulted from the Constantinian-synthesis we shall deal further with alterations on the level of doctrine. What was actually going-on as Christianity was being transformed into "Christendom" was that both parties hitherto involved in the program of erlosende Gnade were told to "lay-off", go-on-vacation. Paul had described the performance that goes with the salvation of human beings by putting it as follows (in Philippians 2:12): "Work out your own [or "individual"] salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that is at work in you ... " With the coming of "Christendom" both these parties were told to go-on-vacation. The "work out your own salvation" was discontinued, as salvation now was bestowed by the "christening" of human beings yet too young to "work-out" anything, "salvation" by all means included. In place of letting "God being at work in you" there now was a band-of-priests, men who had been given the power (allegedly) to bring-about salvation to anyone and everyone they saw fit to "save". Neither man nor God still had an "agenda", things that have-to-be-done.

Having said that the New Testament does not know the concept of "sacrament" we owe it (to the reader) to support that contention. The question is not about the word "sacrament", for it is a simple fact that the word does not occur in the New Testament. But does the concept? Some have tried to derive, the concept of "sacrament" from the word "mystery". But that will hardly "do", for we find Paul saying in I Corinthians 15:5, "Behold, I show you a mystery" and the use of the word "show" could be taken the point to a sacramental performance -- but instead of showing-something, he begins to tell his hearers something -- something done in words, in sentences.

In view of the fact that the Bible does not use the word "sacrament" theologians have been unable to agree as to how-many sacraments there are, so that a Roman Catholic of our times has said there are forty -- although his church says officially that there are seven. Luther seems to have had three sacraments (at least at first). Calvin said there were but two -- although he also spoke of half-a-dozen "sacramental-performances", such as the serpent-on-the-pole, the fleece-of-Gideon, the manna, etc.

The question is in order here why it is that "foot-washing" did not come to be called a sacrament, and that in spite of the fact that Jesus said in connection with the ritual "If I wash you not you have no part in me." If we ask why it was that "foot-washing" did not become a sacrament the answer could be that it was because "foot-washing" did not require the presence of an ordained person, ordination being a ritual whereby the ability to "deliver" is allegedly conveyed -- they of the laity doing the "foot-washing" on each other, as Jesus had put it.

The Belgic Confession as it speaks, of "sacrament" says that sacraments are corroborative, say-in-performance that which has already been said-in-words. This means that "sacrament" has the relationship to the Word which the giving-of-a-kiss has to the declaration "l-love-you".

We have given evidence that in the pagan religions of New Testament times there certainly was sacrament (recall the scene brought about by emperor Decius as he was seeking to locate the early Christians). Recall also that in his epistle to the Corinthians Paul rebukes the Christians for mixing the memorial-meal with the pagan sacrament. This shows again that the concept of "sacrament" antedated the preaching done there by Paul, did not come from it. Were it not for the fact that Paul warned the Corinthians against mixing the Agape with the pagan sacrament there would be no evidence of a ritual in the early church done-around-a-table (even less one done-around-an-altar). It is not without point that Paul said that he had not been-"sent" to baptize-people, had been-sent instead to "preach-the-gospel" (I Corinthians 1:17).

Having heard Paul say that he had been sent not to baptize but to preach the gospel it no longer surprises us that they of "Christendom" did not put Paul in the center of things, put Peter there instead. In Paul's eyes human beings are saved by response-to-preachings, whereas in the eyes of "Christendom" they are saved by being subjected-to-ritual. Small wonder they put Paul in second place. Paul was putting too much emphasis on preaching, too little on "sacrament".

Before there can be "sacrament" there must be "ordination", a ritual in which the ability-to-deliver is handed-out (allegedly). In the light of this fact it is surprising that the New Testament in the writer's opinion does not know the concept of ordination in the above sense (although it is evident that it does know the concept of servant, leader, spokesman). In the theology of "Christendom" ordination even implies the bestowal of the ability to change bread into the body of Christ. It appears that John the Baptist was not ordained. Nor were the twelve apostles, nor was Paul, nor was Apollos. We are not suggesting that the concept of solemn and sacred ritual be abandoned: we are asking that the name given them, by "Christendom", be dropped.

We therefore find ourselves agreeing with a Dutch conservative preacher, named Los, as he writes: "Let it not be forgotten that it gradually became the custom to call baptism and supper and other sacred institutions "sacraments", and these words gradually came to stand for visible means unto the imparting of invisible grace. As is well-known, the Reformers rejected the concept of such means-unto-imparting [we find ourselves wishing they had all done so in clearer terms] but what they should have done was reject the whole sacramental system of the Catholic Church, the name as well as the thing, and then, after that, coin proper names for baptism and supper... A prominent fault of the Reformation was that men did not begin ab ovo, [from-the-egg]. In the New Testament the Word stands in the center of the stage and "sacraments" stand in the shadow ... To the Corinthians Paul wrote 'Christ sent me not to baptize' and that is the way it should have stayed. But, a pagan development took place, one that could rightly be called a matter of status-exchange. The primary matter became secondary. Catholic religion is mass-religion and mass-religion is mis-religion. The service of the Word does not have in it the central place it has in the eyes of Christ and of Paul... Sacrament puts us right in the center of the development of the paganism of the Catholic Church." In view of the fact that the word "sacrament" does not occur in the Sacred Scriptures, was introduced by "Christendom", it is inconsistent for dissidents from this "Christendom", to continue using the word.

Chapter Seven

The Remnant


Many people when they hear it said that "all through the Middle Ages there was a Remnant" will wonder whether the speaker has perhaps been to Disneyland. When they hear it said that this Remnant was orthodox in its thinking they will say the speaker has been to Disneyland. When they hear it said that we of the United States owe the First Amendment to the Remnant they will suspect that the speaker is in-the-employ of Disneyland. What if the speaker were to contend that he never has been near Disneyland, that when he wants to be taught he goes to the nearest library where there are books, preferably old recordings.

It is from recordings, mostly old ones, that we learn that there was a Remnant. It must be granted that the books are far-from-abundant or plentiful, that only a few copies are left. There are two reasons for the relative scarcity. One is the fact that it was a form of suicide for members of the Remnant to put things in writing. The other reason is that all through medieval times they of "Christendom" were on the lookout for writings coming out of the Remnant, to grab them and hand them to the authorities, who then put the writings and the writers to the flames. So much was this the practice that it is surprising that any copies have survived.

We have a second difficulty to overcome, the fact that "Christendom" produced its own historiography, its own way of "doing"-history, a historiography which proceeds on the assumption that the history of Christianity is similar to the history of a human being, in that it begins on the pre-adult level, then reaches maturity, and stays there. So firm a hold does this slanted historiography have on the typical historian of today that writings in which an awareness of the presence of the Remnant is evinced, are more than likely to be "ditched". One such Remnant-conscious historian was the Professor Ebrard, to whom we have referred already. He wrote several books in which the Remnant is given the place it deserves; books which, if still on-hand, are now covered with dust, this because their author had broken with the prevailing historiography. Another such writer was Ludwig Keller, whose books have also been virtually laid-away. Such a hold did, and does, the mistaken historiography, invented by "Christendom", have, in its efforts to keep things going its way, that to this day historians are inclined to say that Christianity reached northwest Europe toward the year 600 although a well-equipped early writer (Tertullian, whom we have already quoted) said it was already on-hand in northwest Europe some four centuries earlier.

The climate is changing. Until near-modern times it was assumed that if a Christian is to have ancestors he (or she) will have to find them in "Christendom". But that alleged ancestor has disappeared, thanks to the climate in which the First Amendment came up. Today such a person can perhaps trace a tie-to-the-past via the Remnant. This change promises to bring about a different historiography -- the historiography reflected in the present book.

In the present chapter we shall seek to do the following (although not necessarily in the order given, this because they are mixed in the sources): 1) show that there was a Remnant, 2) show that it was numerous, 3) show that it was venerable, 4) show that it was orthodox, 5) show that at its heart lay a mode d'integration divergent from the one to which "Christendom" was committed.

We shall concentrate on Flanders (without implying thereby that Flanders was different from the rest of northwestern Europe). One reason for concentrating on Flanders (we say "one reason" because there is a second reason, the fact that the writer's ancestors emigrated from Flanders some generations ago) is the fact that Flanders has been "combed" more closely than most areas, thanks to Paul Fredericq who, assisted by his students, came-out with five big tomes bearing the title Corpus Documentorum Inquisitionis Haereticae Pravitatis Neerlandicae. Since these five volumes cover-the-field as well as they do, and since they contain excellent indexes, we shall quote mostly from them (We must add, however, that the comments made in the five volumes, are in Dutch, a feature that is to be deplored, for it makes the work less than readily-useful to many students).

We shall begin by pointing-out that "Christendom" invented the various (and diverse) names, all of them derogatory, for the Remnant; this, no doubt, in order to keep the common-people from seeing that which was common in the rival faith, make it look like so many departures. As we will see, often enough, a series of names were recited whenever the "heretics" were mentioned. So averse were the "heretics" themselves to this policy of "Christendom" that when they hesitatingly recited the list of appellations they reduced the name to initials, so that in a writing done by the Remnant we find the Remnant referred-to as "lo petit tropel des vrayes Chrestiens appelle falsement et par fals noms p.o.v.o.b." ("the little flock of true Christians called falsely and by false names p.o.v.o.b."). The reader will have noticed that they of' the Remnant were aware of it that, as compared with "Christendom", they were a comparatively small group -- consisting, however, of true Christians, that is of genuine Christians. The reader will also have noticed that the Remnant "heretics" contended that they were "poor", an expression that can be taken to mean that they were "to-be-pitied" -- but can also be taken to mean that they were a not-rich group-of-people. One of the points made in their criticism of "Christendom" was that its leaders were the only ones living in luxury. The "heretics" were "poor" in both ways. The reader will also have wondered what the initials stand-for. The list of initials probably is to be translated with "Picards" or "Vaudois" or "Bougres ". The label "Picards" was very common for Remnant folk; is, so it seems, related to the name given to a province in France, called "Picardy", which was full of Remnant "heretics" in medieval times, so that the question comes-up whether the province was named for-the-"heretics" or the "heretics" for-the-province. The initial 0, occurring twice, stands for our "or". The V is the initial for "Vaudois ", which can be translated "valley-folk", and, it seems, is the word from which the word "Waldensian" is derived although it can also be derived from the name, Waldo, who played a part in the Remnant. The b quite certainly is the initial of the word "Bougres ", which is related to the word "Bulgaria"; and it is from the word "Bougres " that the English word "bugger" is derived (this because the members of the Remnant were said, by spokesmen for "Christendom", to engage in sodomy, in connection with their Agape, their "Love-feast").

Another derogatory name invented by "Christendom" in its attempt to blacken-the-face of its competitor, was "Lollard". The word is related to our "lullaby", and was born of the fact that the "heretics" had the custom of humming their convictions, this being less dangerous than to state them in words -- perhaps more effective also. Most history books erroneously picture Lollardy as a movement that was launched in England, by Wyclif, but the name "Lollards" (which is of Flemish origin) was heard in Flanders before Wyclif's birth. Although Lollardy was born in Flanders its members apparently migrated to England, so as to have a chance to survive, as was the common practice of members of the Remnant. Wyclif was perhaps a convert-to Flemish Lollardy. It will no doubt surprise the ordinary reader that Shakespeare was acquainted with Lollardy, even knew its thought-system (as we shall see later in this chapter). It is evident that some of the Lollards stayed-on-the-Continent, for in the year 1380 there was a man, named Matthijs Lollaert, who lived and died in the vicinity of Utrecht. When it became apparent that he had been a Lollard his remains were dug-up, were burned to ashes, which were then scattered over the streets of Utrecht, a city a bit north of Flanders.

Having said that it was the policy of "Christendom" to invent-names for the Remnant we find a spokesman for "Christendom" saying "These hypocrites give themselves diverse names, but fail to call themselves by their real name, which is heretics. Instead they call themselves 'the-true-church' or 'the-friends-of-God' or 'God's-poor-ones' and more such names." The speaker wanted those of the Remnant called "heretics" because they were choice-makers, were compositism-causing, and in this matter such speakers were right, for direction-choosing was the thing that lay at the heart of the Remnant thought-system.

Not only do we owe a debt to Paul Fredericq for putting-together the five volumes; we are indebted to him also for writing: "The Inquisition, that frightful agency ... had been in complete operation long before Luther posted his theses." Truer assertions, and more-needed assertions, have yet to be made.

It is become evident, so we are convinced, that all through medieval times there indeed was a Remnant. And it is becoming evident that there is a historiography that must be abandoned. If it is abandoned then such things as the following will not again occur. A scholar named Martin Schoock (of whom we will hear more, much more) had written insightfully that "Metz was a place in which the pure gospel could be preached quite readily [the man is referring to early days in Reformation times] because of the three centuries of Waldensian activity there." Upon this a later professor, Lindeboom, driven by the faulty historiography, felt the need to reply that "Very few would in our times feel the need for the explanation of this fact as advanced by Schoock." The question is surely in order how then it is to be explained that Metz was as receptive to the preaching of "the pure gospel", as it certainly was.

We are led to add here that in our own times another Dutch professor, Berkouwer, has come out with a two-volume history of the church (already translated into English and published in a single volume) in which there is virtually no reference to the Remnant.

It is time to stop turning a deaf ear to things said by Ludwig Keller, a librarian by profession (and therefore fully "at-home" in rare books) namely that "It is childish to believe that a sizeable religious movement [the man is referring to Anabaptism] which came up in 1522 in a well-defined organizational form, with fixed form and name, with clearly articulated principles, rigidly adhered-to, engaged in fierce opposition to Luther and the Catholics, had sprouted-forth out of the earth in 1517, had been called into existence by the writings of a man against whose teachings it from the outset militated ... Of a certainty we know that around 1500 there already were fraternities, called Waldensians by their enemies -- but what became of them in 1517 men do not even bother to ask. In any case, when these fraternities put in their appearance in 1522, in the same areas, believing essentially the same things which the ancient fraternities believed, then these must, allegedly, not be linked to the earlier fraternities. Neither are we to link them to a new version of the older fellowships. No, they must be called 'a new and novel sect'." We will have to stop doing what Keller said was dead-wrong (at least if we are to understand the origin of the First Amendment). It is time to take seriously the things written, by a historian named Ludemann, as he says, in his Reformation und Taufertum, of the Anabaptist movement in Reformation times: "It was a repetition of those concepts and ideas which had been in evidence constantly over against the catholic universal church, and which were still on hand in spite of the persecutions, evincing the tendencies and the convictions as still alive ... Anabaptism was not the rootless, the suddenly-erupting, thing which it has been held to be ... " It was out of the Remnant that the thought-system behind the First Amendment came. (Unless the truth in the matter is known and accepted the mistaken habit of making the Amendment the offspring of the French Revolution will continue, even get worse).

They of the Remnant were fervently averse to the concept of ex opere opera to, which they of "Christendom" had invented so as to keep their mode d'integration on its feet. It therefore comes as no surprise that four such "heretics" were seized in 1114 for saying that "the substance of bread and wine are not transformed into the body of Christ..." Nor does it surprise that several such "heretics" were burned at Trier, as well as at Utrecht, for the same "error". Nor does it surprise to hear it said in Reformation times, by Anabaptists, of the members of "Christendom", that "their third error is that they call the water of baptism, as well as the bread, 'sacraments', and hold them to be that."

Nor should it surprise anyone that in a tract, named Nobla Leczon, that came out of the Remnant, we read:

"I make bold to say, for it is the truth, that all the popes that followed upon Sylvestre [It was said in medieval times that when "Christendom" was born Sylvestre was the pope] up to the present time, plus all the cardinals, the bishops, the abbotts, when clubbed together, lack the power it takes to forgive a single sin. Only God forgives, something no one else can do." Nor does it surprise that we find it said by the "heretics" of the Remnant: "In the hour that a sinner sighs [the reference is to the "sigh" of remorse] he is saved and the Lord says 'I will make mention of it not again!'" Or, as still another such "heretic" put it: "The Word of God is salvation for the soul of the poor [notice again the aversion to luxurious-living], tonic for the weak, food for the hungry, teaching for the faithful, comfort for the chastened, the cessation of slander, and the acquisition of virtue." In fact, in another such tract, known as the Cantica, we read: "Even as they who are assailed by the enemy do flee to a strong tower, so do the assailed saints betake themselves to the Holy Scriptures. Here they find weapons against heretics [the reference, of course, is to members of the "catholic" church], armor against the assaults of the devil, the attacks of the flesh, and, against the glory of the world."

It was said, in pre-Reformation times, of the members of the Remnant: "They know the Apostles' Creed very well, in the vernacular. They memorize the Gospels and the New Testament writings, in the vernacular, and they repeat them to each other ... I have seen a young cow-herder who had attended so diligently to all that he heard that he had memorized, within that year, forty Sunday gospels, such as Matthew and Luke ... , especially the sayings ascribed in them to Christ, so that he could repeat them without a halt and with hardly a word wrong here or there."

The remark "wrong word here or there" goes-to-show that they of the Remnant either followed a different manuscript text, or, translated in-their-own-way a word or a term. It is a fact that they translated the words "publican" and "sinner" with "uffen sunder" (German for "public sinner") and they took the expression to connote members of "Christendom", who "sinned-openly", this because in their thought-system salvation was a matter of pardon, not a matter of renewal, of a re-birth that comes to expression in way-of-living. It is interesting that although Luther had corrected the mis-translation, had translated "publican" correctly with "Zoellner", (tax-collector), the translation done by the Mennonites (those heirs of the Remnant) continued the mis-translation (at least in some instances). (This is further proof that the Anabaptists were a continuation of the Remnant).

It was a cliche all through medieval times that they of the Remnant were "mutins", that is, people who pose a threat to civil government. We can easily understand how this (decidedly false) accusation got started, as follows. They of "Christendom" were strangers to the very idea of two graces, so that for them church and state were related as warp and woof are related in a piece of cloth. It was this that gave rise to the accusation of they of . the Remnant being-mutins. A trusted spokesman for "Christendom", Saint Victor, said: "Laymen engaged as kings are the left side of the body of Christ, the clergy being the right side. Both of these two sides, a single Christendom, have each its own hierarchy, the one being secular and the other ecclesiastical." So also a cleric, named Peter Damian, asserted, around the year 1000, that "Just as in a mystery the human and the divine flow-together in the Christ so, likewise in a mystery, do regnum [the magistrate] and sacerdotium [the priestly order] flow-together." It was because they of the Remnant were convinced that God had two gracious-programs going, two rather than one, two programs that must not be confused (although they must be integrated the one with the other), that they came to be called "mutins". There is no evidence that they actually were inclined to anarchy. Fact is that in Reformation times a Lutheran pastor had (contrary to orders) sneaked into a service of the Anabaptists, those heirs of the Remnant, and he said that "nothing pleased me as much as did the prayers offered in support of the civil rulers". The city of Turin, in Italy, was notorious for its many "heretics", and it was this fact then led to the accusation that Turin was "nurturer and teacher of rebellion against the empire", was a training-school of mutins, a charge that was palpably false.

It is to be regretted that Martin Luther repeated the old accusation of Anabaptists being mutins, he saying: "Although the Anabaptists are trying to eliminate the magistracy it must be retained." (Luther should have had a talk with the Lutheran pastor of whom we just spoke, for such a talk would have corrected him).

To see that they of the Remnant were theologically orthodox we need but listen to William Newburgh, a trusted servant of "Christendom", as he says: "When questioned one by one as to the articles of faith they responded correctly as to the substance of the Physician on high, but perversely as to the medication whereby He deigns to heal human infirmity, the Holy Sacraments. They solemnly denounce Baptism, Eucharist, Matrimony, daring wickedly to derogate from the catholic unity supported by these props." We can only say "Nicely said", for they of the Remnant rejected the props because they had rejected the edifice, for the support of which the props had been invented.

In virtually every recital of the "errors" of the Remnant, rejection of the idea of salvation-providing "sacraments" was mentioned. For example in the following:

"They preach much from the Gospels and Epistles, and they say, among other things, that a man should do no evil, nor lie, nor swear [Here we are told that for those of the Remnant salvation included a devout way-of-life]. When they preach from the Gospels and the Epistles they corrupt them with their explanations. As masters of error they know not what it is to sit at the feet of truth, preaching and explaining the Scriptures being wholly forbidden to lay folk. They say that their church is the true one and that Roman Church is not the true Church but is the church of the malignants [the reference here is what we read in Psalm 26:5, in which they of the Remnant saw a reference to the church of "Christendom", a thing the Psalmist says he "hates"] ... They reprobate church-wealth and the churchly privileges of bishops and abbotts. They seek to abolish all churchly privileges and they maintain that no one can be compelled to the faith. They condemn the Church's sacraments, saying that priests living in sin cannot make the body of Christ, that transubstantiation takes place not in the hand of a priest... but in the heart of the person who receives it worthily."

One of the documents that came out of the Remnant and managed to escape the wrath of "Christendom", having the title Netz des Glaubens ("The Net of Faith") accuses members of "Christendom" of "living as do heathen, not wanting to have faith in Christ, they desiring merely to be covered a wee-bit with the pelt of baptism-with-water, superficially, the while remaining ravening wolves." Here we find repudiated the idea of salvation-delivering-sacrament as well as the cancelling-out of the renewal-aspect of saving faith.

Having said, repeatedly, that they of the Remnant were orthodox in their theology the question comes up whether there also were on-the-scene in the Middle Ages some dissidents-from-"Christendom" who were unorthodox. Were there also, for example, dissidents who were committed to dualism? As we face that question it must be granted that the charge of dualism was made, and that rather early, and often; for instance in the writings of Augustine. He had himself been converted from Manicheism, a decidedly dualistic religion, and it cannot be denied that as he was attacking the Donatists he, time and again, resorted to the same technique which he had used on himself as he was coming-clear of Manicheism. This was definitely unfair of him, for the Donatists were not dualists in their thinking. But it was effective. It is of course true that if one sees church and state as a single-body then he that says they are two-bodies can be accused of dualism, as Augustine was doing. If believing that God has two irons in the fire, has two graces going, makes one a dualist, then they of the Remnant were dualists indeed. But then Jesus was a dualist for distinguishing between "kingdom-of- heaven" and "kingdom-of-this-world". (It is right to say that dualistic movements have in the course of time harmed the cause of Christ; but it also is right to say that monism has done it at least as much damage). Robert Grundman may have been a bit too "sweeping" when he wrote that "There were no traces of dualism in Europe's Middle Ages", for there were dualistic traits (for instance in Albigensianism).

But Ebrard was on the right track when he wrote that "The basic error of the prevailing representation is that when men hear the word 'heretic' they forthwith, without giving the matter further thought, think of a Gnostic sect, and that even though the saner, and the fairer, of medieval heretic-opposers, were wont to distinguish very clearly between two kinds of heretics." With that we must agree, and that firmly. No, the mainline "heretics" were not dualists. We must agree with Henry C. Lea, still one of the best-informed historians concerning the matter, as he says:

"On the one hand we have sectarians holding fast to all the essentials of Christianity [the reference is to the Remnant] and on the other hand we have the "Manicheans" who were dualists. We cannot improve on the position taken here by Lea.

We find ourselves at variance here with Professor Berkouwer concerning the matter of dualism when he says that the Anabaptists of Reformation times were committed to "uitgesproken dualisme" ("outright-dualism"). It was because he was still caught-up in the defective historiography that Berkouwer said what he said about the Anabaptists.

Having suggested that the Remnant began with Donatism we must spend a little time on it. Although we have broken-step with Augustine repeatedly we must now agree fully with him as he says with reference to the Donatists: "Inter nos et Donatistas quaestio est, ubi sit hoc corpus, id est, ubi sit ecclesia " ("The issue between us and the Donatists is the question as to the location of this body, the Church"). The Donatists insisted that along with the transformation of Christianity into "Christendom" "the tares have been increased, but the wheat has been decreased". They were so averse to the amalgamation of church and state that they contended that "agrum Dei in sola Africa remansisse'', ("only in Africa does the church continue to exist"). It is as Professor Frend (still considered an outstanding authority in the matter) has said: "It would be a mistake to see in Donatism a consciously anti-imperial movement ... Donatism and Catholicism represented two opposite tendencies. The two churches were in fact two societies differing fundamentally in outlook on both religious and social questions ... Was the Church within the Roman Empire, sustaining and sustained-by the Christian emperor, or was the Empire the representative of the 'outer world' from which a Christian must separate himself in order to progress in the faith? The issue was not that of 'truth' versus 'heresy' but of two opposite attitudes toward society." It was manifestly a matter of mode d'integration. It is therefore not at all surprising that in Reformation times, when the conflict between the two modes d'integration was hot and heavy, the Anabaptists were called "Donatists", as well as "Neo-donatists", and that quite as often as "Anabaptists". Nor does it sound strange any longer to hear the Venerable Bede say, toward the end of the year 735: "In the Constantine-Sylvestre coalition the Antichrist began to reveal himself... the suppression of the Donatists was but the prelude."

Now that we know what lay at the heart of the squabble between "Christendom" and the Remnant, namely the question whether God has one iron in the fire or two, it does not surprise us to hear it said by a Remnant member:

"By the use of force no one is brought to faith. It is as little likely as that one learns Czech by studying German. By means of the secular power the Antichrist has pulled to himself all power, under cover of the Christian faith. Since we believe that it is by meekness and humility unto the cross that Jesus has delivered us from the power of Satan, therefore we cannot grant that the perfecting of our faith comes by way of worldly power, as if force is a greater benefit than is faith. When emperor Constantine, still in his heathen way-of-existing, was admitted into the Church, and was equipped with external rule, then the destruction of the Church was inevitable."

In one of the Remnant-writings that has survived we read: "The priests cause the people to perish of hunger and thirst for the hearing of the Word of God ... Not only do they to this day refuse to hear and receive the Word of God themselves but they also make laws and issue directives as it pleases them, just so the proclamation of the Word is obstructed. The city of Sodom will be pardoned before these will."

With reference to writings like that, the Dean of Kamerijk had this to say: "From this it is apparent how dangerous it is for layfolk to have the Scriptures in the vernacular, and to dwell on the literal meaning to the exclusion of the moral and allegorical meaning, which is related to the literal meaning as the kernel is to the husk."

They of the Remnant disapproved of it that they of "Christendom" referred to their priests as "Fathers", and it will serve a good purpose to investigate as to why this was. It seems to have gone as follows. In the parlance of the time it was said that fathers "beget", that is, plant a seed, which the mother then "bears", first in her womb and then on her arms. The mother was said to "feed" the seed the father had "planted". This view of the mechanics of human reproduction was in the Constantinian-synthesis carried into the spiritual level. Just as the ability-to-beget begins at the time of the young man's puberty, so the ability-to-beget on the spiritual level was said to begin in and with ordination. We know now that the old representation of the mechanics of human reproduction is decidedly erroneous, seeing that the prospective mother generates as certainly as does the prospective father. Had they of the Remnant begun to realize that to say that a father "begets" on the physical level is to represent things erroneously? That is hard to believe, certainly hard to prove. But it is indeed interesting that in the camp of the Remnant the equivalent of the priests of "Christendom" were at times called not "fathers" but "uncles". Was this because no one will ever say that he had been "begotten" by his uncle? (Once more we detect a genetic-linkage between the Remnant and the Anabaptists, for among the Anabaptists it was the custom at times to refer to their spiritual leaders as "Ohm" in High German, and as "Oom" in Low German and Dutch, both words meaning "uncle").

The Remnant people were averse to cathedrals. This should surprise no one, for the medieval cathedrals were the architectural embodiments of "Christendom". They of the Remnant called the cathedrals cumili lapidum, that is "stone-piles" (It is interesting, and no doubt significant, that since the ratification of the First Amendment cathedral-building has come to an end). Hilary of Poitiers (whom we have met before) was against the transformation of Christianity into "Christendom"; small wonder he did not like cathedrals. He wrote: "Beware of the Antichrist! For, sad to say, a love of walls has gotten hold of you.

Sad to say, the church which you venerate consists of buildings and houses. Sad to say, it is in them that you think to find peace. However, is there any doubt that it is in them that the Antichrist will sit? Safer to me are the mountains and the forests, the lakes and the caves, for it is in them that the prophets, living in them, did their prophesying." Hilary was thinking-back to the days when the Christians still met in conventicles, held in caves and cellars, so as to be able to survive. Although he did not leave the "fallen" church behind he was deeply aware of its "fall", so that we hear him complain: "The church now terrifieth with threats of exile and dungeon, and she who of old gained converts in spite of exile and dungeon now brings-men-in by way of compulsion. She who was propagated by hunted priests now hunts priests in her turn. This must be said in comparison with the Church that was handed down to us but which now we have lost; the facts are in men's eyes and they cry out loud."

The Remnant's, Net of Faith, of which we spoke, had this to say about the luxurious buildings "Christendom" was erecting: "They say that the early church was sad; but I contend that in being that she was not in the wrong, for ever since the death of Christ to the days of Constantine all who called upon the name of Christ lived like rejected folk, under great challenge ... so that Christ, and those true to him, were accursed by the nations, were harassed to death. That is the way the first church existed, in a way that seemed grievous to the foolish; but the later church lives a jolly life, surrounded by wealth and the praise of the world. It has surrounded itself with the world's weapons so as to lie down in peace, sing jollily, sit at a well-decked-table, lie stretched-out on a soft-couch ... The church, allegedly in full possession of the Holy Spirit thinks to manage that salvation of mankind [notice the commitment to ex opere opera to ], never makes an error, does not lessen the honor and praise of God, seeing that the Holy Spirit dwells inside of her, He having laid down in her all His treasure, she in all eternity grounding His comfort in her tabernacle, one much richer than the one of the apostles! What a lie this is! Who ever told a bigger one? And what devil has ever boasted more loftily and more vainly than does the church as it exalts itself above everything God has revealed? The harlot has made a deal with the Holy Spirit, teaching in the fellowship that pours out the blood of praiseworthy people". Here we have the Remnant becoming vocal, although still walking in the parade of the church of "Christendom". The reader will have noticed that the complaint we have quoted ended with a reference to the exemplary life of members of the "true" church, consisting of "praiseworthy people".

If, as we read such things, we get the impression that dissidents from "Christendom" were few and far-between we add that it is apparent that they either were plentiful from-the-beginning or became-that, for we read that in medieval times that: "In all of the cities of Lombardy and Provence and other areas there are more schools of the heretics than of the theologians" (the "theologians" being the promoters of "Christendom"). There is reason to think that the "schools" of the "heretics" were under-cover-locales in which future leaders in the Remnant were trained. So numerous were the members of the Remnant that it was said a member could go afoot from Antwerp to Italy and stay each night in the dwelling-place of a fellow-believer. It is hard to believe that they of the Remnant had a written membership list, for it would lead to wholesale execution if the list were found. No, they of the Remnant had secret signs and symbols, badges known only to members, such as the carrying of a wooden-cane (instead of a sword, as they of "Christendom" carried all-too-commonly). This wooden-cane they called their "Israel". This name was probably an intentional modification of "Azael" which means "strength-of-God". Apparently they of the Remnant were continuing in the way of the early Christians in northwestern Europe, who carried a walking-stick referred to as a gambutta (a word of which we still have to discover the meaning). They of the Remnant also had the custom of drawing a secret outline in the sand or snow as they met a "stranger", so as to inform the "stranger" if he were an "insider" that the person making the sign in the sand, or snow, was a "heretic" (It is more than likely that the outline of a fish, which we see in our times, had its origin in the Remnant).

It is evident that the bulk of the people of a given place or area were kindly-disposed toward Remnant people, they being averse to the individuals who were "on-the-pay-roll" of "Christendom" that led the constantly-erupting assault on "heretics". We shall give an example of this their attitude. Before the posting of Luther's theses the Dean of Arras (in Flanders) persuaded the local magistrate to liquidate a large collection of "heretics" in his area. Whole families were wiped-out. A little later there was a replacement of government-personnel, and an attempt was made by them to atone for the wrongs done the Remnant folk expense. A large stage was built on which those to whom the magistrate was apologizing were asked to take-seat, as the apology was being read. A law was enacted "forbidding the bishop of Arras and his officers and judges ... the use of torture-technique henceforth, such as inhuman torturing with cappelet, the placing of fire to the soles of the feet, forced ingestion of oil or vinegar, the striking of the lower abdomen [the reference seems to be to testicle striking] all this on pain of arrest and punishment as deserved!"

Do we need further evidence that there not only was the Remnant but also that lying-in-prison-for-it was common? If so, we point out that in 1524, only a few years after Luther had come in-the-news, a booklet appeared, printed without the name of the author or the publisher, bearing the title of Trostbrief (German for "Consoling-letter") and addressed to "servants of the Christian Church at Worms, people making the Christian confession and lying in prison in Maintz, Rugaw, and other places in the bishopric, our beloved brethren". In its preface we read: "We, by God's grace the bishops and elders of the Christian fellowship at Worms [reference is to Remnant leaders], to the holy apostles and God-knowers, now, for the sake of Christ Jesus and His Word, held in prison and in deadly peril in Maintz: Out of your life, brethren dear, out of your confidence and trust in God, widely known and proclaimed without falsification, to the little flock of Christ (for such is the testimony you have from a great many, and devout, persons) it is known. The bishops and elders of the Christian Church [reference is to the Remnant] are certain that they have hitherto in their teaching shown themselves to be brave and generous and dedicated men, who will now keep their freedom-of-the-faith and that without any wavering." It is said in the document that the people addressed have been "won with the Word of Christ". All the Bible-quotations given in the booklet are from a German translation other than the one being put out by Luther, so that there can be no doubt but that the booklet was compiled by the Remnant people. The very fact that it is addressed to people lying-in-prison in 1524 for having for a long time "preached the Word faithfully" is proof-positive that it carne out of the ranks of the Remnant and that the people addressed were members of the Remnant fellowship, the Remnant "church". (Surely a historiography that intentionally keeps its eyes closed, as to the presence of the kind of people we meet in the booklet, is sure to mislead, and that very seriously).

It was said in Reformation times about the Anabaptists and their policy of baptizing anew: "Who it was that broached this is a matter about which the record is silent" -- and that can only imply that there was nothing new on the scene, neither as to thought-system nor as to resulting-practice. There wasn't. Early in the fourth century it was already decreed: "Whoever performs a second baptism is to be put to death" and already in the Codes of Justinian we read: "If anyone is found to have re-baptized he is to be dealt-with as a criminal and is to be put to death".

There is evidence that baptizing-a-second-time occurred in England also and that very early, as "Christendom" was trying to take-over there. The early church in Britain did not "christen". A man named Herebold, already "christened" by the invading "Christendom", was re-baptized by the native church there, this because he had not as yet shown evidence of being prepared to live a "changed" life when baptized for the first time. So also on the Continent do we find it said, in 1524, of six men and two women, that they "Like their ancestors for eighty years had ignored the Holy Sacrament", eighty years being the span-of-memory in the life of illiterate persons. The record of ignoring the "Holy Sacrament" no doubt went back farther -- how much farther-back is a matter we will never know, written records being as rare as they are.

They of the Remnant were constantly looking for ways to promote their faith without being executed for it. We have already met-up with the singing-softly of the Lollards. There is reason to believe that there also was a genetic relationship between the Remnant and what came to be known as the Chambers of Rhetoric (the "Rederijkerskamers"). The Chambers were a protest-group that flourished long before Luther, and there was a "chamber" in virtually every city of the Low Countries. A faithful son of "Christendom" (named Renom de France) sketched the Chambers as follows: "A number of Comedians called Rhetoricians are corrupting peoples' morals by plays in which the common people delight, as this or that poor monk or nun is brought into comedy. It seems as if men can't enjoy themselves without mocking God and His church." Far from concluding from this representation, done by Renom de France, that they of the Chambers were "out" to make-a-mockery of Christianity, we are prepared to say that they tried instead to promote authentic Christianity, as the following proves. One of the most popular "plays" ever put-on by the Chambers was built around the question "What is the greatest comfort for a dying man?" The prize-winning "play" came with the answer "Faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ." This was manifestly intended to tell the hearers that it was not by-way-of-baptism, done by an ordained priest of "Christendom", that human beings are "saved", but, by "faith in the atoning death of Christ." The Chambers antedated the coming of Luther but also followed-upon it, so that in the year 1559 a placard was posted at Brussels, forbidding "the disseminating of songs, the plays, the Chamber-exhibits, the dramatic plays, songs, figures, representations, or shows employing speaking figures of silent ones -- without given permission. After permission has been given there are to be no changes-made in the text -- all this upon pain of certain severe penalties." The term "no-changes-in-the-text" was introduced because it happened often that such alterations, in the form of ad lib were made after permission had been given. So similar were the enactments, and the published plays, of the Chambers, and the things published by the Reformers, that in the early lists of "forbidden books" we constantly find the "plays" mentioned along with the early writings-of-the-Reformers.

There is every reason to believe that there was a genetic-relationship between the Chambers and the Churches that later came to be called "Reformed", for when these churches began to put in print the minutes of their meeting (it was in 1563) the individual churches still went by the flowery names by which the local Chamber had been known. It is not without significance that several of the persons in the early Reformed churches were men who had been active in the Chambers. Prominent among these was the father-in-law of the Arminius because of whom the Great Synod was convened.

Although theologians, as well as historians, usually ignore the Chambers, contemporary-ones did not. Witness the fact that an Englishman residing in Antwerp for business reasons wrote to his employer, living in London, after mentioning the Chambers, added: "By them was the Worde of God fyrst openyed in this contrey" adding that copies of the out-put of the Chambers "are forbeden moche more strettly [the word is related to the word "strait", meaning "narrow"] than any of the boks of Martyn Luther." Apparently contemporaries saw a genetic-link between the Remnant and Reformation in its early moments.

Having spent some time on the possibility of a link between the Remnant and the Chambers of Rhetoric we suggest that a study be made as to whether there is a similar linkage between the Brethren of the Common Life, among whom Geert Groote was prominent, as well as with the Souterliedekens, early versifications of the Psalms, the origin of which is still entirely uncertain and unclear.

It is becoming plain, so we think, that although there were several eruptions of dissent- from- "Christendom", both as to ideas and as to behavior, there was one thing they had in common, aversion to the generalizing that had come with the birth of "Christendom", the aversion that lay at the heart of the Remnant. The following passage, written by a contemporary, will throw the needed light on this: "There are many sects, many of them well-versed in the Scriptures, which they have in German translation; others repeat baptism; others do not believe in the body of the Lord; others say the body of the Lord can be constituted by any man or woman, ordained or not, in any dish or goblet and at any place; others maintain that extreme unction is not necessary; others minimize the pontificate or priesthood; others say prayer for the dead does not benefit; others neglect the feasts, work on the Church's holy days and eat meat in Lent." Plainly all these "heretics" were of-a-kind, for all the items listed occur in the Remnant. Was the "Christendom" person who recited all the items trying to cover-up the fact that all these "heretics" were basically alike?

There was added the charge that these "heretics" have the practice of "kissing pale men and even cats" (We shall return to the assertion that "heretics" were pale). The expression about "kissing cats" probably finds its origin in the fact that when the illiterate people of the times heard the "heretics" called "kathar" (meaning "cleansed") they took it to mean "kater", the Low German word for "tomcat". It was this confusion that then led to it that female "heretics" were regularly referred-to as "Tibbe", the Low German word for a female cat (It is related to our word "tabby cat"). It was out of this linguistic error that the charge of "cat-kissing" was born. They of the Remnant took Romans 16:6 with its "Greet each other with a holy kiss." seriously and literally, and it was this kissing that then led to the legend that the "heretics" had the practice of "kissing cats".

Although they of the Remnant wanted nothing to do with the idea of transubstantiation they did present themselves at the Catholic mass once in awhile, just often enough to keep the "heretic"-hunters of "Christendom" off their tracks (a practice to which we shall also return later in this book). The practice came to be called "Nicodemitism" (Nicodemus was the man who went to Jesus in the dark, so as not to be recognized by the citizenry). We find that in Reformation times there were heirs of the Remnant who practiced Nicodemitism. We at least hear a man say that he had taken part in the Catholic mass, had received the bread of the mass, only to try to keep from swallowing it. It was the custom to do this with the intention to spit-it-out either into a handkerchief (while still in the building) or into a thicket (after leaving the building). As a person was speaking of this to a person whom he trusted (no doubt a fellow-member of the Remnant) he said that the "element" had "zu rasch hinabgerutzt", had "slipped down his throat too soon". When the "body-of-the-Lord" was being paraded in the street, for everybody to bow-to-in-worship, there was a man, quite certainly a Remnant-member, who, in the attempt not to be caught in "adoring-a-piece of bread" had the practice of stepping behind the nearest building, as if to heed the call of nature. He did this too often, for he was arrested and was given the usual punishment.

It was the custom for men to doff their hats in worship as the "element" was going-by. It was in connection with this requirement, and this custom, that the "heretics" instructed their relatives to see to it that at the "heretic's" burial there was to be a hat on the head of the corpse, this so as to come-clear of the charge of having worshipped a chip of bread. It was this practice which then led to it that they of "Christendom" threatened to demote any priest who was found guilty of functioning at the funeral of a hat-wearing-corpse (Corpus 11:142). We read also of a "heretic" being present at the mass, but with the empty husk of a walnut in each eye and one in his mouth.

One of the reproachful terms invented by "Christendom", and applied to the members of the Remnant, was the term "papelard", Although the origin of the word is not given it is quite certain that its meaning was as follows. The "-ard" is, of course, a pejorative suffix, occurring in such words as "drunkard", "bastard", "coward", "sluggard", and "braggart". The "papel" is quite certainly a dialectical version of the word "paper", the letter r occurring in place of the letter I in some French dialects. If so, then the word papelard was meant to mean something like "paper-rascal", invented in derision of the high regard for things-on-paper (the reference being to translations of the Scriptures), as it came to expression in the Remnant.

We know they of the Remnant had a high regard for the Scriptures, such a high regard that they memorized whole books of the New Testament. Fact is that they were so proficient as to the context and the meaning of the Word-of-God that the spokesmen for "Christendom" were no match for them. As a result of this we find a cleric of "Christendom" telling his colleagues not to argue with a "heretic", but instead, to "thrust your sword in the man's belly as far as it will go." So averse were the spokesmen for "Christendom" to acquaintance with the contents of Scripture that we find one of them saying: "I and others are going to organize a crusade to have the king driven out by his subjects if he allows the' gospel' to be preached" -- the reference being to Remnant preachers (known as "uncles" -- as we saw.)


Having spoken of the demeaning word "papelard" it is perhaps in-place to call attention to a poem that no doubt owed its origin to the Remnant. (We shall translate it, preserving somewhat both the rhythm and the rhyme.)

"Nu comt hier voert gi papelarde ("Out of hiding, you papelard

Ghi met/en grisen langen barde You and your grey long-flowing beard,

Die al volmaket schinen willet Who poses as of men the best,

Ende al benijdt en al beghillet Loud criticizing all the rest;

Hort harewart, ghi loese boeven Listen to me, you worthless blokes,

Die ommegaet met begardien." Who company-keep with beghard folks;')


In this verse we find people trying to live a saintly life referred-to as "papelards" at the beginning of the verse and as "beghards" (another word ending with the pejorative suffix -ard) at the end. This shows again that all the vituperative denouncements were hurled at a specific kind of people, the members of the Remnant.

While we are dealing with medieval poetry we shall quote another bit of medieval poetry, dealing with a straight-laced woman (presumably a convert to the Remnant) having scruples against going to her sister's wedding ceremony, this because of the things that ordinarily went-on at weddings. We again shall transcribe and offer a translation. It reads:

"Nu was di brut ein edelwif Hersch ende stolz dat al ir lif Zur wereldvroide herze druch Der suster wort sy widersluch Und sprach, villyve suster min Wilt du bi mir begine sin

Ar begardie driven

So gank zu sulchen wiven

Dy das gelusten, dat raden ich, Erlaiz der truandien mich

Du solt mir spielen, lachen Und aile vroide mach en. "


("Now was the bride a classy wife,

Haughty and proud, who all her life

Was all for worldly fun,

She talked against the saintly one

And said, well darling, sister-mine

If you must play the beguine

Or act the beghard mind

Then go to women of the kind

That go for that, this I advise.

Take truant conduct from my eyes.

I'll have you play and laugh and jest

And merry-make with all the rest.")


Plainly we have to do here with a sister of the "worldly" bride, a sister who had been converted to the Remnant faith and its way-of-life. The reader will have noticed that, as usual, the converted woman is given several deprecating labels. She is called a "beguin", a "beghard", and a "truant". The name "truant" probably has the same meaning as our "truant", which describes a person who "shows-up-missing", and we know that they of the Remnant were constantly changing their location.

Although there is a historiography today in which the Remnant is left unmentioned, contemporaries knew-better than to ignore it. The Dean of Arras, in Flanders, knew better, so that he wrote "One third, if not even more than that, attend the conventicles of the Waldensians" (one of the names used by "Christendom" as it tried to blacken-the-face of Remnant-members). Surely it is right to ask what became of this "one third, if not more" just before the posting of Luther's theses? Did they perhaps evaporate?

In the winter of 1160-61 some thirty "heretics" were found to have migrated from Flanders to England (as did the Lollards), as William Newbridge, spokesman for "Christendom", reported in his day. They were presently either put to the fire, or expelled, or left to starve to death. When given-a-hearing as to their beliefs they said they were "Christians who venerate the apostles".

Having in focus the fact that they of the Remnant were migratory it comes as no surprise that the following orders were given: "No one shall, upon pain of everlasting anathema, give residence to the heretics that have come from Gasconge and Toulouse. No one is to buy from them or sell to them, this so as to get them to repent." We read of a flock of such migratory-"heretics" who had come to England, where they seem to have been allowed to live-in-peace for some time, until a native English woman, no doubt drawn to them by their exemplary conduct and their gospel, was converted. and joined-up with them. Upon this they were all banished to the heath, where they, one by one, died from exposure to the elements or of starvation, the inhabitants of the area having been warned of "eternal damnation" if they bought-from them or sold-to them. It was in connection with such banishment-to-the-heath that the word "heathen" came-to-be. Around every city there was, in medieval times, some land that was public-property, called "commons". On these acres anybody was allowed to picket sheep or goats. Since no one put any fertilizer on the "commons" the soil became so depleted that nothing but heather would grow on it. Since there were individuals, or groups, that had been expelled for religious reasons all who were not part of "Christendom" came to be called "heathen", it being a Remnant-related word.

Of course, they of the Remnant had their worship-services in conventicles, this for two reasons; one reason being the fact that they did not see themselves as of-a-piece with "Christendom" when it came to worshipping. The other reason was the fact that it was virtually suicidal to come together in a "public" place. Of course, we find spokesmen for "Christendom" giving orders that "Their clandestine conventicles are to be opposed and that with vigor". So they of the Remnant found ways to get to their conventicles without making-tracks. So successful were they in this that we find the Dean of Arras offering the following explanation: "When they want to go to their meetings they first rub a kind of ointment, supplied to them by the devil, on the palms of their hands as well as on a stick. Then, riding on the stick, they fly to whatever place they want to go, right over cities and forests and lakes, where they then come-together." All we shall say about the Dean's explanation is that he had a very fertile imagination, a very inventive one. But what else could he do? It could not be denied that secret meetings were being held; and yet neither he, nor anyone in his employ, could explain how they of the Remnant managed to get to their conventicles without leaving tracks. So he became inventive, very imaginative. The facts in the matter are, of course, that they of the Remnant sneaked between fences, crawled across open spots, swam across lakes and streams at night, etc." We surely may be certain that they did not get to their worship-services by straddling a stick oiled with a potent potion "supplied by the devil".

There was another item in the report of "Christendom" concerning the Remnant. It was that at their conventicles its members "present their buttocks to the sky in derision of God." If we were asked how this report got started we think we have the answer. When the worship-service of the Remnant started, as well as when it ended, all the members would go in line and all would bow with their faces to the earth. This they did after the lights had either been turned-way-down or extinguished, this for two reasons:

One was the desire not to be seen by a "peeker" in the employ of "Christendom". The other reason, so it seems, was the consideration which causes people to close their eyes as they engage in prayer, the desire to come-away from all "worldly-things" as they concentrate on "heavenly-things". So well-known, and so common, was the charge of "presenting their buttocks to the sky in derision of God" that we find it said in a medieval production (printed in Nederlandsch Kluchtspel) that "Twee begijnen, twee bogaerden, drie sustern, twee lollaerden, deze dienen God al met den aerse" (two Beguins, two Bogards, three Sisters, two Lollards, all these serve God with their buttocks").

There are several things in this "medieval production" that call for a bit of explanation. One is that in it we once again find the Remnant-members called by various names and that although they were of-a-kind. The other is that it is implied that when they of the Remnant were in each other's company they had a way of kneeling in prayer, in unison. The third thing is that although it speaks of "two" in connection with the rest it is said of the "sisters" that they are "three". What are we to "make" of this? Was the "three" inserted in the case of the "sisters" because female members of the Remnant were numerous, even more so than were male members?

It is becoming evident, so we are convinced, that it simply will-not-"do" to skip-over the presence of the Remnant, ignore their contribution to history. It will certainly not "do" if we are to understand the origin and the intention of the First Amendment.

The time has come, has been here for some time already, for historians to listen as Von Harnack (still perhaps the leading authority on the "history of dogma") says of the twelve centuries that went before Luther:

"In these twelve centuries it never once lacked attempts to rupture the bonds of the State-Church/Priest's Church and reinstate the apostolic congregations." (In the original it reads:

"In diese zwolf Jahrhunderten haben Versuche niemals gefehlt die Bdnde der Priesterkirche/Saatskirche zu sprengen und die apostolische Gemeindeverfassung wieder her zu stellen. ")

It is time to stop ignoring Ludwig Keller as he asserts (in our translation): "It is the custom in history books to divide things into two tracts; the middle ages, said to last up to 1517 [the date of the nailing-up of Luther's these] and the era that followed upon it. .. This representation is erroneous and leads to all manner of error, this because it rips apart things that belong together." (We would add here "such as the performance of the Remnant leading to the birth of the First Amendment").

We owe a debt to the Flemish writer, Pontus Payen, for saying long ago: "The teachings of Luther and Calvin, teachings to which they refer as 'the Word of God', were proclaimed here earlier by tanners and dyers, by peddlers and journeymen, rustic folk who knew not a word of Latin. These thereupon lost-out to preachers from France, men well-versed in Latin as well as in Literature and Theology." Who were these earlier proclaimers of the Word of God? Who could they have been if not the members of the Remnant? (We point out here that the difference between the two successive "waves" of Word-proclaimers was not simply a matter of degree-of-learning. No, the difference was that of the preaching of the one mode d'integration by the members of the Remnant, challenged by members of new versions of "Christendom" and another mode d'integration. (As we shall discover, the later pro claimers were indeed "from France", propelled by the Genevans.)

So numerous were the members of the Remnant that "Christendom" called-into-being an Order of priests (known as the Dominicans) to run-them-competition. They copied-over all the features of the Remnant's "uncles", such as going two-by-two, wearing homespun clothing, preaching in alleys or back-streets. In view of the latter feature they came to be called "predikheren " in the Low Countries (The word means "preaching-gentlemen"). It is highly significant that it happened over and over that when Dominicans arrived in a city they were stoned by the populace, with the result that they fled. Quite certainly this was because the rank and file liked the Remnant representatives, liked them so much that they resented-it that the lot of the roving Remnant preachers was being made more difficult than it already was, thanks to the fact that the predikheren stood so close to them as to technique. It is true, they of "Christendom" have invented another reason for the stoning, namely that it was because the news of the organization of a new Order had not yet reached such a town or city, so that the populace took them to be Remnant-members, whom they had been taught to stone. This invented explanation is made very unlikely by the fact that such a stoning-of-Dominicans took place also in Paris, and it is unthinkable that the news of the organization of the Order had not yet reached that important city, it being quite certain that delegates from Paris had been on hand as the plans were being made to create an Order consisting of Remnant-rivals.

We have come-across the saying that the Remnant preachers were "rustic folk", as many of them no doubt were. But we also read, in one of the attacks done by "Christendom": "No matter how learned they are [notice-the-concession] or how saintly [again note-the-concession], unless they are properly elected by the Church they are not sent ones". Fact is that they of "Christendom" disliked the Remnant-preachers primarily because they were committed to a different view as to mode d'integration, one diverse from the mode d'integration on which "Christendom" insisted. That it was this that lay at the heart of the differentness is apparent enough. We hear an Anabaptist, a member of the movement that had its roots in the Remnant, a man named Hans Kuchenbacker, say as he is on-trial: "We confess to one holy Christian Church [notice the absence of the word "catholic"], a fellowship of saints, consisting of believers and twice-born Christians, children of God, born from above by the Word of God and by the Spirit" -- but he was told that this was "Irtumb ", was error, seeing that "When we talk about the Church we must mean that mass of people among whom the Word of God is preached and the sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ." The issue manifestly was the Corpus Christi view versus the Corpus Christianum view.

If there is still any question as to what it was that lay at the heart of the conflict between "Christendom" and the Remnant we need but listen to a spokesman for "Christendom" as he says with Remnant-folk in mind:

"Although they are known by various names, they are like the foxes of Samson [the reference is to what we read in Judges 15:4] in that they have their faces in-diverse-directions but are tied-together at the tail, disdain for the Church" -- by which he, of course, meant the church of "Christendom".

Here again we are told that at the heart of the conflict lay two diverse views as to the mode d'integration of church and state, the question whether Christianity causes human society to become composite or keeps it from becoming that. The view that Christianity makes society composite began with John the Baptist and had lasted until the Constantinian-synthesis, along with which this view was replaced with the view that Christianity keeps society from being composite, made up of two diverse elements. That this is the way it went is constantly in evidence.

That the vision of the Remnant was venerable is apparent frequently, for instance as the bishop of Liege complains, in the year 1050, that "heretics" are teaching "ancient error" as to transubstantiation, that "the body of the Lord is not so much his real body as a representation thereof." If an "error" was already "ancient" in the year 1050 it must have begun very early, as it did, in and with Donatism.

As we find ourselves asking the question whether the Remnant goes that far back we need but listen to Bernard of Clairveau (who died in 1153) who was heard to say that he: "could not recall hearing anything new, numerous though they are, except things long ago agitated by the heretics of the long ago, matters threshed and winnowed by our theologians."

The situation was such in medieval times that the bishop of Tournai gave orders that the following be read regularly at the worship services: "Anyone who supports, or defends, or accepts, or advises others to do so, any of the errors condemned by the Church, and going contrary to the articles of the faith, is to be excommunicated."

In the year 1145 it was said of what we are calling the Remnant: "They have auditors at their conventicles who are being initiated into their error, believers who are already deceived, bishops and prelates, exactly as we have them." No, dissent from "Christendom" did not begin in 1517, a fact which we will have to keep in mind as we try to understand the "whence" of the First Amendment. Historians must not fall into the error which caused the German historian, Josef Beck, who, as he was in modem times editing an old account of the history of Anabaptism, drawn-up by the Anabaptists themselves, to delete the entire first part. Why? Because, as he put it, "It stands in no relationship to the matter at all, or does so only in a totally tenuous way." Beck should have listened to a fellow historian, R. T. Rohrick, as he said: "The sects that stepped into the foreground so vigorously in Reformation times had their historical roots in earlier factions, known as God-lovers, Brethren of the Free Life, Winckler, etc."

It was because of being-unaware of the presence of the Remnant that historians let a vast chorus of sounds go in one ear and out the other; such "sounds" as the recital "Cathars, Patemos, Speronitas, Leonists ... who preach in public places or in private ones, without permission given them by the Holy See or by the bishop."; such "sounds" as the report done by an inquisitor boasting, in the year 1234, of having been instrumental in the burning of some fifty heretics in as many days; such "sounds" as that prior to Luther there were 160 professional "heretic-hunters", so that the smell of roasting flesh was on the air constantly; such "sounds" as that of ten persons burned at Douai and the executor hurrying, on Sunday, March 2, 1236, to Lille for more of the same; such "sounds" as Pope Gregory saying that "the pest of heresy has spread through all of Flanders."

Historians should learn to listen also to such "sounds" as the following. Long before Luther was born the Dean of Arras exposed a female "heretic", named Deniselle, to "gehenna and torture so as to make her divulge the name of the leader of the local Remnant-fellowship (his name was Jean Lavite). Deniselle seems to have broken-down under the "torture", so that she supplied the name. Upon that, he realizing that he too would be put on the torture table, cut off the tip of his tongue, so as to make it impossible for him to divulge names. However, the torturers laid small fire to his feet, gave him a slate, and told him write the names. So great was the anguish and so extended, that the man capitulated and wrote-down a long list of names, a list that even included a few priests of "Christendom". The list also included the names of important and high-standing citizens of the city. This made the magistrate of the city, Antwerp, draw-back from putting the accused to the fire, decided not to bum anybody, but set them all free on Easter-Sunday, a move that made the local spokesman for "Christendom" threaten with excommunication those who were responsible for the freeing.

The report of persons of high-standing included in the list-of-heretics requires a moment's time. It was not at all unusual for people of high-standing (even a priest now and then) to become members of the Remnant, but then try to keep the fact unknown. There actually were clergy of the established church who preached sermons in which the thought-system of the Remnant was set-forth. In the archives of the city of Tournai (a hot-bed of Remnant "heresy") there is a report of "certain clergymen of the Order of the Augustinians who have made a great many sermons during the past quarter, and afterwards talked in public, notoriously, against the honor of the Church in general and also against the one in Mons, and its priests and the rest of the clergy ... so disturbing and troubling the common people ... and, what is even worse, bringing about some serious error against the holy teachings of the apostles" (Corpus 11:199). A priest named Serrurier, also an Augustinian who had been sent on a mission for the conversion of the "heretics" in the vicinity of Arras and Tournai, was converted to their faith. He was "caught" preaching the very "heresy" which he had been sent to eradicate. He was made-to-recant in public and burn the books he had gotten from the "heretics". It is a well-known fact that when Luther came in the news, they of the Augustinian Order at Antwerp supported him. Luther claimed two of them, the one named Voes and the other named Esch, as the first martyrs to his cause. Another such priest in "Christendom", Lambert le Begue, was locked-up in a dark hole in a prison for having provided the common people with copies of the Scriptures translated into the vernacular. (Corpus II.·20).

Such a problem did the Augustinians in Antwerp pose for "Christendom" -as-such, that the very buildings of the monastery there had been opposed by the officials of "Christendom"; but the buildings were erected nevertheless, due to pressure put forth by the magistracy. When the report of Luther's brave deed came out the Antwerp Augustinians were at once taken-in-hand. Although Luther claimed the two priests that were executed as his spiritual-children they were his brothers-in-faith instead, perhaps they were even his "fathers". In any case they and Luther were of-a-kind, and it is apparent that both Luther and the clerics in Antwerp had been deeply influenced by the writings of the Remnant. Luther composed a hymn in honor of the two Augustinians, bearing the title Ein Neues Lied Wir Heben An, ("We Are Singing a New Song") -- but that "song" was not really new, for they of the Remnant had been singing it since times-out-of-memory.

To know what the situation really was (we say "really" in view of the fact that there is a historiography that puts the whole matter in a very different light) we need but listen to Innocent III as he, in 1199, sends the following communication to the bishop in the city of Metz: "There are a great many lay-folk, both men and women, who, eager to know the Scriptures, have translations of the gospels in French ... from which they preach in secret conventicles, disdaining those who do not frequent their gatherings; and they resist to their faces the priests who offer to instruct them, they offering as their pretext that in their books there is better instruction. No doubt the desire to know the sacred writings is not reprehensible, but the condemnable thing is that they hold secret get-togethers, disdain those who do not attend them, arrogating to themselves the right to preach. But such is the profundity of Scripture that not only simple folk, and the illiterate, but even the learned-ones are unable to understand it, so that it is enjoined in the law of God that every beast that touches the mountain is to be stoned [reference is to Exodus 19:33].


Since the preaching order is commissioned to do the preaching, therefore no one is to usurp this office."

We have contended that they of the Remnant were orthodox, and on this we shall enlarge a bit. Whether a given person is orthodox depends, of course, on the beholder's view as to what orthodoxy is. They of the Remnant taught (as we have seen) that "when the body of Jesus Christ is elevated one ought not to bow-down to it nor show-reverence for it" while they of "Christendom" insisted that this is definitely un-orthodox .. In the light of Scripture it is orthodox, so we think.

We shall let the reader decide whether they of the Remnant were orthodox in their theology -- but that they were orthodox in their conduct is not open even to debate. The testimony of their opponents, the spokesmen for "Christendom", bears constant witness to their exemplary way-of-life. Here follows another example. "Because men see daily that these people excel in outward holiness, while most of the priests of the Church follow vices (especially of the flesh) they think that they can be shrived better by them than the priests [the use of the expression "shrived" must not be taken to mean that they of the Remnant submitted-to-shriving at the hands of their "uncles", for they did not. The word "shrive" is being used by a spokesman for "Christendom" and therefore should be replaced with some such phrase as "find-forgiveness"] ... They are known by their manners and by their speech. In their manners they are composed and moderate, do not dress showily, wear neither luxurious garments nor vile ones. They practice no merchant's trade, this in order to avoid falsifying, fraud. -- They live as do laborers and artisans, and for teachers they have cobblers. They do not multiply wealth, are content with necessities. Moreover, they are chaste, temperate in eating and drinking. They do not go to taverns or dances and other vanities ... They are forever working and learning, which implies that they pray but little [Was there ever a more preposterous non sequitor?]. They attend church feignedly ... so as to catch the priest in his words. They are known for their precise and moderate speech, avoiding all scurrility and back-biting, as well as loose-talk and lying and swearing ... They compare the Roman church with theirs. The doctors of the Church, so they insist, are pompous in dress and in manners, are incontinent, whereas among them, so they say, each man lives with his own wife, with whom he lives chastely." To us that witness implies that they of the Remnant were admirably orthodox as to conduct.

Here is another recital as to the mores of Remnant-members, one done by a member: "We are Christ's poor-ones, having no fixed habitation, fleeing as we do from town to town, as sheep in the midst of wolves, enduring persecution as did the apostles and the martyrs. It is because we are upright, live soberly, work hard, that we are persecuted ... You love the world, have peace with it, because you are of-a-piece with it. Your false teachers corrupt the Word of God as they seek their own interests, leading others astray. But we and our fathers, brought-up in the teachings of the apostles, continue in the teachings of Christ, will continue in them to the end."

We see that the "heretics" of the Remnant were venerable; were evangelical, long before Luther carne on the scene. We must not any longer find it strange to hear it said of a "heretic" who died in 1522, only five years after Luther's brave deed, a "heretic" named Borsum, that "He governed himself in keeping with the Old Testament and the New, long before Luther began to write, and he continued in it to the end. He wanted nothing to do with the papal order of things."

It should not startle us any longer as we come-across the assertion that in 1472 there was a list of errors, eighteen of them, allegedly resulting from "reading the Scriptures in the vulgar tongue."

Nor will we find it startling to hear Moneta of Cremona say of the "heretics" : "They say that the Church of Christ gave instruction before it baptized anyone ... that the Roman church baptizes before it teaches, as is apparent from the baptism of infants ... Christ and his apostles are not known to have baptized anyone who lacked faith and the ability to reason ... " Or, to hear Peter the Venerable say:

"The first proposition of the heretics denies that infants ... can be saved through baptism, that another person's faith than his own brings salvation, the Lord having said 'He that believes and is baptized shall be saved'." Nor should we be surprised any longer to hear it said of Remnant members: "They confess the Catholic faith with their mouths but not with their hearts. In their secret gatherings they say that only disciples of Christ have the right to baptize ... Out of this practice the sect of the rebaptizers has come." There is no reason for staring at the ceiling any longer as we hear one of the teachers of Luther, Von Usingen, say: "In these our times Anabaptists and Catabaptists are corning from the camp of the Picards, this because they baptize a second time" ("Picards" is what they of the Remnant had been called for centuries before the posting of the theses of Luther). Nor should a person take hold of his chin as he reads in a medieval report of the "heretics":

"We come now to the rebaptizers, whose particular error is that they baptize a second time." So it goes on and on. But why add more evidence that there is a historiography that must be discarded, and the place left empty filled by one that reckons with the facts, the fact that there was the Remnant? Because it is needed if we are to understand the First Amendment.

As we have said already, the populace was frequently, if not even commonly, kindly-disposed to Remnant folk. This was so much the case that they of "Christendom" developed the custom of refraining from tolling the storm-bell as the execution of a "heretic", a choice-maker, was about to take-place (refrained from it although the law required it). The burning of "heretics" usually occurred early in the morning, when as yet there were no crowds of people on the streets, this so as to prevent mob-action bent-on freeing the "heretic". The practice also developed of putting Remnant "heretics" in sacks, which were then tied shut and quietly tossed into a river or pond so as to drown them, it being impossible for them to swim so hobbled -- impossible also to make unwelcome speeches in defense of their faith, speeches intended to make converts among the on-lookers, many of whom were kindly disposed to the "heretics" already, as the following proves.

A century before Luther, a "heretic", named Jehan de Bleharies, was about to be put to the flames, the following warning was posted: "Let everybody be prepared to assist the Holy Church. No one is to venture out in the streets during the morning set for the execution [Note that no date is given lest the public gang-up to rescue the man]. The Church, our mother, as she goes about her business, wants no one to say, or do, anything from which might come ruckus or tumult or commotion, or any other impropriety. No one is to do anything to obstruct the inquisitor, but in obedience to God and the Holy Church everybody is to assist the inquisitor. It is so ordered, on pain of being punished as a criminal." It is beginning to look as if the Remnant would have overshadowed the church of "Christendom" had it not been for the fact that the latter had weapons at her disposal and had no scruples against using them.

Returning to the fact that the Remnant put a heavy (because needed) emphasis on the renewal-aspect of salvation, it comes as no surprise that they of the Remnant were especially fond of the book of James (the book which Luther in his final phase disliked). So fond of James were the members of the Remnant that they composed a poem, a copy of which survives. We shall quote its three verses and give them in translation, as follows:


"San Jaco monstre e

aferma clarement

Que l 'ome non es salva

par fe solement

Si el non es cum obras

mescla jidelement

La fe sola es vana e

morte verament."



("Saint James affirms in language plain

That man's not saved by faith alain,

If faith is mingled not with deed

Then vain it is, and dead indeed."



E sant Paul conferme aquest parlar

Que I 'audiver de ley non es poire salvar

Si el non cum la

fe las obras acabar

La corona d 'gloria

non es degne portar. "



Car enayma en I 'ome

son dui complement

L 'espirite lo cors

en la vita present

Enayma le fe e las

obras son un ligament

Par locall'ome es salva

e non ja autrement."



Saint Paul confirms this language brave

That hearing-law cannot man save

If with man's faith works join not hand

Then worth he's not of gloryland."



For as in man two parts are found

Body and soul together bound

So faith and works if joined as one

Do save a man or it's not done.")


That was not the one and only poem coming out of the Remnant and dwelling on the exemplary life of the Remnant members. No, the following, occurring in the Remnant-writing known as La Nabla Leczon, comes with the same testimony:

"S'il en est un bon,

Qui aime et craigne lesus Christ,

Qui ne veuille maudire,

Ni jurer, ni mentir,

Ni commettre adultere, ni occire,

Ni prendre a autrui,

Ni se venger de ses ennemis,

lis disent qu'il es Vaudes

Et digne d' etre puni."


("If there is a good man,

One who loves and fears Jesus Christ,

Cannot be made to curse,

Nor swear, nor lie,

Nor commit adultery, nor kill,

Nor steal from others,

Nor avenge himself of his enemies,

They say he is a 'Vaudes'

And deserves to be punished. ")

(The noun "Vaudes" translates "Valley Folk" and refers to the custom of Remnant members to reside in secluded valleys of the Alps, this so as to stay out of sight).


So much was careful-conduct a feature of Remnant members that we find them complaining that "Waner iument begind tho sprekende uth d'schrift godes edder uth den bade godes, to hand seggen de bitende hunde, 'dat is ok ein ketter. '" "Whenever a person starts to talk about the Word of God, or about the commandments of God, then forthwith the biting curs say 'That's another heretic!'''. (The expression "the biting curs" refers to spokesmen for "Christendom").

We must also throw a bit of light on the report that "heretics" could be known by their pallor (so doing what we promised to do, "return to the assertion that 'heretics' were pale"). How is this to be explained? We find Saint Bernard saying of a "heretic", "Moreover his cheeks are pale of fasting" -- but it is doubtful that it was "of fasting" for we know that those of the Remnant did not observe the churches' days-of-fasting, (They did, however, refrain from feasting on "delicate" food items). We suggest that the ascription of pallor may have resulted from the fact that the "heretics" moved around mostly at night, so as to avoid detection, and this may have kept them from picking-up the usual tan. It may also be that the charge of being-pale resulted from the fact that if a "heretic" was looked-at intently he concluded that a "heretic" -hunter was watching him and that would be enough to cause him to get "pale", for it could be the beginning of the end.

We report also that one of the derogatory names invented by "Christendom", in its attempt to get-rid of its competitor, was "turlupins", Although (as usual) the origin of this deprecatory label is not given, It could have been coined in view of the fact that the "heretics" moved-around mostly at night, as do wolves (the Latin word for "wolf" is "lupus "). To show that "turlupin" was just another smear-word we point to the fact that we find Gregory XI speaking of "the heresy of Beghards, Beguins, Turlupins, Lollards". In the year 1459, a Portuguese named Alphonse Gonsalva (had the man migrated from his native land, Italy?) was burned as a heretic for saying that "Christ is more really present in heaven than on the altar; that holy water has no potency, seeing that water cannot be blest; that there are no such things as priests; no such things as sacraments; that the pope of the Roman church is nothing; that the virgin Mary is not an advocate for sinners and that we should place no expectancy in her, nor any of the saints; that striking the cross has no potency; that one ought not to confess to a priest; that it is not wrong to eat flesh in Lent; that Christ did not institute fastings; that since He is in heaven He cannot at the same time be in the sacrament on the altar." So long had pallor and "heresy" been associated with each other that to this day one can hear in some parts of France the expression "blanc comme un huguenot", "as pale as a Huguenot". Although, as usual, the origin of this derogatory appellation, "Huguenot", is not known, we suggest that it is the German word "Eidgenosse" ("covenant-fellow") changed into French, the word "Eid" being the equivalent of our "oath", a solemn promise, made by the "heretics", not to do, or say, anything that might lead to the arrest of a fellow "heretic". It is significant, in that it shows how ancient were all the derogatory labels thrown at those of the Remnant, that when in Reformation-times the city of Munster fell (it having served as a place-of-refuge for the Anabaptists and to which many Anabaptist suffering from what may be called "battle-fatigue" had gone, so great had been the suffering for their convictions) all who were "of pale visage" were killed on the spot.

(It is not without point that as Guido de Bres, the man who is known as the native Reformer in Flanders, (and with whom a later chapter deals), was being described, it was said, among other things, that he was "pale of visage", a remark that may have been mere routine -- for that is not said of the man elsewhere.)

For some reason, hitherto not explained, addiction to the "heresy" of the Remnant was especially prevalent among weavers, people engaged in the weaving of textiles, so that they were called "textatores" in Latin "tisserandes" in French. We find a female "heretic"-hunter, a woman named Hildegarde Van Bingen, saying: "If you want to locate heretics the best place to look is in the underground locales in which weavers ply their trade." As early as the year 1077 a man named Rhamird was burned at the stake and it was said later "There are many of his sect in the present time; their name deriving from the weavers' trade." As early as the year 1157 we find the Council of Rheims warning against "a very impure Manichean sect... of abject weavers who flit from place to place, changing their names." There is from medieval times a poem, no doubt coming from the Remnant, called "The Song of the Weaver". Fortunately a copy of it survives.

We shall quote it and provide the translation:

"Chante, pauvre hom me et pleur

Ta cave est un eglise

Tu as peche, mais tu as souffert

Moi, j 'ai paye pour toi

Et tout est pardonne."

("Sing, poor fellow and weep

Your cave is a church;

You have sinned, but you have suffered,

I have paid in your place

And all is forgiven.")


The expression "You have sinned, but you have suffered" calls for a bit of comment, lest it be taken to mean the teaching that one's sins are wiped-out in exchange for human suffering. No, the intention is to say that the fact of having-suffered proves that the righteousness earned by the suffering of Christ put the person's sins in oblivion with God. The Song of the Weaver, as it was called, is soundly orthodox, for in it the idea of substitutionary-atonement is spelled-out., in its "Moi, j 'ai paye pour toi'', Report has it that the "heretics" had the practice of "spitting on the cross", so as to show that cross-bearing is painful, as it had been for Christ. Although they who had the habit of singing this song were called "Manicheans" this ascription was another assertion intended to blacken-the-face of those of the Remnant; there is nothing "Manichean" about the song. It surely is not without-point that in Reformation times it was said of the city of Leyden, in the Netherlands, that it was "wide-open" to the Reformation because of the many weavers residing in that city".

How the association of being-a-weaver and being-a-"heretic" got started is, as usual, not recorded -- so that we must try to find a reason for it. It is probable that the reason they of the Remnant flocked to weaver-quarters was the same reason that made the early Christians club-together in the tunnels of abandoned chalk-mines. Not only were these abandoned tunnels places where the early Christians could be-alone, but they also were places where there were no windows, and therefore no "peekers", individuals including "heresy"-hunters by profession. The "heretics" may also have developed the custom of meeting in weavers' establishments because there were, for some reason, no windows in them. Perhaps the early Christians wanted to meet in places where it was safe to have light lit. This too may have brought the members of the Remnant into underground textile factories. No doubt it will interest the reader that Shakespeare evidently knew all about the "weaver-heretics", including their subdued-singing. In his Twelfth Night we read of a group of merry-makers saying to each other: "Shall we rouse the night owl with a catch that will draw three souls out out of a weaver?" And in his Henry the Eighth we meet a melancholy soul saying sadly: "There live not three good men unhang'd in England ... a bad world! I wish I were a weaver for then I could sing Psalms."

In view of the fact that medieval "heretics" have gotten a "bad-name" because of him, we owe it to the cause to look at a "heretic" named Tanchelm (the name occurs also as Tanchelijn). It was said of him that he engaged in "spitting at the cross", a performance of which we have already spoken. He was also accused of "serving God with his buttocks", things we have heard about before. But Tanchelm was also accused of "giving the parings of his toenails to his female followers". What does this tell us, besides the fact that this "heretic" had a lot of female followers? Was the man, perhaps, trying to make the whole relic-system of "Christendom" look ridiculous, not much different from giving the parings of one's toenails to one's followers? If so, it was not-out-of-place, for the relic-system of "Christendom" deserved to be ridiculed, such things as the presence of so many samples of the milk of Mary as to make us wonder whether she was bovine, also the presence of several foreskins of one and the same ancient "saint".

No, Tanchelm deserves a better appraisal than that. In the year 1163 a large group of Tanchelm-followers was burned at Keulen and their convictions are recited, going as follows: "They consider all men not of their sect to be heretics and unbelievers. they spurn the gatherings of the true Church and they contend that only they have the true faith, that all the rest are worldly folk, under condemnation ... They deride the Confessional, saying that one ought to lay-bare his heart to God and not to any man. They contemn Indulgences and Penances, quoting the prophets that in the hour in which the sinner sighs he is saved and mention will not be made of it again, so says the Lord." That sounds like simply a recital of the things thrown-at "heretics" for centuries. This implies that Tanchelm was just another Remnant-member.

So numerous were the Tanchelmites that for awhile it seemed that the whole bishopric of Utrecht was going to be "lost" from "Christendom" to them. So great and so grave was the danger of the whole bishopric seceding from "Christendom" that "Christendom" sent one of its most most-capable trouble-shooters to Utrecht for to get things straightened-out somewhat.

We are not able to say how successful the man was, but we are able to say that as Tanchelm was "on an evening crossing the waters in a ferry-boat a faithful cleric, driven by a devout zeal, knocked him in the head, so hard that he died of it, he yielding his soul to the devil, whose servant he had been."

As late as the year 1516, the year before the posting of Luther's theses, it was said that "Confessors of the error of Tanchelm have not to this day ceased to exist." This was no doubt the case -- although it is more-than-likely that by this time they of "Christendom" had invented new derogatory names for members of the Remnant.

Before we end this chapter on the Remnant it will serve a good purpose to spend a bit of time on still another eruption of dissent from "Christendom", this one consisting of "Flagellantes" as they were called in French, or as "Geeselaers ", as they were called in Dutch, this because they had the practice of flogging themselves with cords, as part of a repentance-technique.

Although this eruption of dissent from "Christendom" bore the marks of its times (the century of the "Black Death" as it was called) it nevertheless showed many of the traits of the Remnant. We do well therefore by giving a bit of time to it as a movement, as a manifestation of the presence of the Remnant, although bearing the mark of the time.

During the century of the "Black Death" as it was called, the 14th century, people were dying in masses from what seems to have been a bubonic plague. No amount of "Christendom"-performance seems to have made any difference. It was concluded from this that the Almighty was deeply displeased, about something with the people of the times, and the conclusion was drawn that this was evidence that the technique of "Christendom" was inadequate. All that was being done was done-by a collection of clerics, and done-to the populace waiting to have something done-to-them, they simply holding-still. So a performance was invented in which the individual at least played a part, that of expressing repentance by way of flagellation. It provided at least a bit of subject-role.

It is highly important that again the populace seems to have sided with the "heretics", so that when a priest of "Christendom" omitted prayer in support of the Geeselaers the church building began to run empty and "for a whole day there was tumult in the city, aimed at the clergy." Like the rest of dissidents, the Flagellantes began to "meet in conventicles, without permission given them by the Holy Church" ... The Flagellantes were also accused of "refusing to doff the hat and gaze in adoration as the priest holds aloft the body of the Lord".


The situation is depicted as follows in a contemporary length poem, translated freely:

"Although the penitence was tough,

The priests not pleased by it,

Opposed it in firm-formed passion,

Seeing that it was impossible

For lay-folk to undertake

And stage a penitence like that,

With crosses and with solemn flags

Raised aloft by them themselves

Without instruction by the Holy Church.

This they considered downright wrong

Because of which (this know for sure)

Came up a big and evil attitude

Of layfolk toward the priests.

They then shut their mouths tight,

And let them have their way, and

Hatred arose which (know this for sure)

Will not be forgotten soon.

'Tis true, both popes and cardinals

And bishops quite as well

Assailed the matter without end.

Yet they refused and would not quit

But they put them under censure

A matter very badly wrong."


(We find it hard to determine whether this poem was composed by the Remnant, or, by "Christendom" about the Remnant, now known as Flagellantes.)

Now that it has become apparent that there always was a Remnant over against "Christendom", each with its own view as to mode d'integration, we shall in the ensuing chapter watch Luther as he carries on in the ancient conflict

Chapter Eight

Martin Luther and the Remnant


In our study of the Reformers and their involvement in the ancient conflict as to mode d'integration (to which conflict the First Amendment was meant to put to an end), we shall begin with Martin Luther. We begin with him not because all change began with him, (which, as we think to have shown, was far from being the case) but because we will have to start with one of the Reformers, and we may as well start with him.

Luther had a good opportunity to know that "Christendom" always had its rival, if for no other reason than the fact that his teachers were not only aware of it but also referred to it as they taught; one such, Von Usingen, teaching that "They who in our times are coming out of the camp of the Picards are being called Anabaptists, and Catabaptists, this because they baptize a second time." And another such teacher, Eckebertus, had said, in his Sermons Against Heretics that the "heretics" contend that "the true faith and service of Christ are to be found nowhere but in their conventicles, which they hold in cellars and weaving establishments and similar underground places." And "Saint Bernard" had said, in his Sermons on the Song of Solomon, that "Whenever a priest leaves his parish for awhile then the people, both young and old, flock off to the conventicles of the weavers." As early as the year 1233, the then pope, Gregory IX, contended that "The pest of heresy has spread over all of Flanders." During the half-century that went before the birth of Luther there were one hundred fifty "heretic" hunters in Flanders, and it was not significantly different in Luther's Germany. In the year 1322 a Dutch "heretic", known as Wouter den Hollander (Did he go by that name because his real name was not divulged?), was arrested, at Koln, in Germany, was tortured so as to make him divulge the names of his fellow "heretics", and was put to the flames. So we could go on to show that Luther must have known about the Remnant and its ways, before nailing up his theses (in 1517).

This must not be taken to imply that Luther was not evincing great boldness-of-spirit as he posted his attack on "Christendom". No, he showed great boldness in that he put up his anti-"Christendom" convictions on the public bulletin-board.

Of course, the news of Luther's brave performance went to all parts of Europe immediately. In response to the news, a pair of representatives of the Bohemian Brethren, people who stood squarely in the Remnant tradition, came to confer with Luther. Although they were called Bohemian Brethren, they and the "heretics" known as "Waldensians" were virtually identical. They had the very same "catechism" for the instruction of their youth. They recognized each other's pastors, who even "exchanged-pulpits". A historian of our times, Von Zeschwitz, a man who had made an in-depth study of both fellowships, has concluded that close relationship between the Brethren and the Waldensians "steht unbestreitbar fest" ("is not open to debate").

Luther called the visitors "Picards", just another name for Remnant-folk. No one knows for-sure what the origin of that label is. Some scholars say it is just a hardened form of "Beghard", a name for Remnant people. The "<ard" in "Picard" is the pejorative suffix with which we are already acquainted. Others contend that the word "Picard" as used for "heretics" was a word taken-over from the province in France known as Picardy, an area that had been full of "heretics" for a very long time. For us it matters not -- just so we see Luther's early visitors as members-of-the-Remnant.

In a letter written by Luther to his friend Spalatin, Luther wrote: "I have had delegates [notice that they were not just "visitors", had been "delegated"] from the Picards who came to me to consult about their faith ... I find that they have good convictions on almost all matters. One thing that struck me is that they think but little of infant baptism, although do they do baptize infants even as they re-baptize those who come to them from us. Whether they think correctly about faith and works I do not know for sure, although I have some doubts. Concerning the sacraments I detect no error in them (unless words deceive), nor in regard to baptism."

Several things said by Luther in this letter to Spalatin deserve careful attention. There is, first of all, evidence that Luther had been "milking" his visitors from the Remnant in order to learn where they really stood in regard to various items. We say "really stood" because the reports coming from "Christendom" concerning them was as badly "slanted" as it was. Moreover it was not only difficult to get writings put out by them, but such writings as were put out by them were not always free from an attempt to be less than completely controversial (To see what the situation was it is noteworthy that the visitors had put together a statement of their beliefs, which they did not produce for Luther to read until it seemed safe to do so.)

Luther had evidently also "milked" the visitors as to their view of the meaning of baptism, so that he says that " ... they think but little about baptism, although they do baptize infants, even as they re-baptize those who come to them from us ... , I detect no error in them ... in regard to baptism" adding "unless words deceive." It is extremely doubtful that they of the Remnant actually practiced "infant-baptism" (that is of a "recently-born-fetus", as yet unable to use words of make sentences; recall that the French word "infant" means "not-as-yet-speaking") although it is entirely possible that they did practice pedobaptism (recall the word "pedo" points to a school-going-child, a "pedagogue" being "one-who-leads" such school-going children). It is entirely certain that they of the Remnant did not endorse "christening", whether infants or adults (the word was used for the one as well as for the other), for one must first reject such "christening" before one can even think of baptizing-a-second-time.

Luther had also "milked" the visitors as to the relationships of the doing-of-"good-works" and status-as-a-Christian. Small wonder Luther acknowledged to his friend that he had not arrived at clarity to the visitors' conviction anent this matter. He should have continued the investigation about it -- for, as time was to show, Luther later began to drift in the direction of the idea that salvation is merely a matter of pardon, with nothing said about renewal.

As Luther was feeling-out the visitors both he and they had a common interest, that of finding some friends and helpers in view of the wrath of "Christendom". Of this Luther was thinking when he said that "neither pope nor bishop, nor any human being whatsoever, has the right to make a syllable binding on a Christian man, unless done by his consent ... I cry aloud in behalf of freedom of conscience and I proclaim with confidence that no kind of law can with justice be imposed on Christians, except in so far as they themselves want, for we are free from all..." Whether he and the visitors from the Brethren had talked about this is not said, but we may be sure that they would have applauded as Luther was talking like those of the Remnant that had thus been speaking for a millennium, the view finalized in the First Amendment.

It is becoming apparent that there were Luthers before the one name Martin. We at least read of a "heretic", named Andries, whose accusation read as follows: "He refuses to believe that priests have what it takes to consecrate the holy sacrament, nor that they have what it takes to absolve anyone of his sins. He says that he would rather listen to a rnerl [the dictionary defines "merl" as "a European blackbird"] than to listen to the celebration of mass." There is added that the man "does not know an a from a b, was illiterate, that is", (Sometimes it was said of illiterate members of the Remnant that "They don't know the difference between a capital A and a "windmill"). Four of the man's partners managed to escape, but he was drowned, in 1534. At about this same time a "heretic", said to be "Lutheran", had "a cross burned on his chest, with a red-hot iron," (We put the word "Lutheran" in quotation marks here for the name "Lutheran" had also by now become just another smear word for a "heretic"). We say all this to remind the patient reader again that when Luther spoke up, Europe was not a quiet pond of Roman Catholic hegemony.

The early Luther (we say "the early Luther" because, as we will see, there was an early Luther and a later one; as to the issue about mode d 'integration) was firmly convinced that "christening" does not "have-a-leg-to-stand-on" -- but he realized that to break with it openly would not "sit-right" with the magistrates, they having been taught that if a society is to hang-together it must be bound-together in, and with, sacraments. He wrote "There is not sufficient evidence from Scripture to justify the initiation of infant baptism ... but it is plain that no one is permitted to reject the christening that has been practiced for such a long time." Where had he learned this? He certainly had not heard anything like this while he was in-training for priesthood in "Christendom". Had he, perhaps, as an Augustinian had his nose in "forbidden" writings that had come out of Remnant circles? As we ponder this possibility it must be recalled that when a century ago an old Augustinian convent in Flanders was being tom-down, to make room for other buildings, there was found, sealed in the stone wall, a collection of such "forbidden" books. It will be recalled that the Augustinians at Antwerp were ready-at-once to fall-in-line when Luther spoke up. It, therefore, is more than likely that Luther had picked-up his ideas from the reading of "forbidden" books.

The early Luther defended the idea of "priesthood of all believers" (which implies the absence of "ordination"). He went so far in this that his fiercest critic, Jerome Emser, said "Luther does not know the difference between a cowherd and a cleric". This item also makes us ask whether Luther had Remnant writings tucked under the mattress of his bed. The, rightly-famous, Dutch historian, Pijper, said of Luther's assertion that, "layfolk can administer the mass", that it "reminds me of the Waldensians" as it surely does do. But Pijper was still entangled in the historiography invented by "Christendom" so that he did not even try to explain the admitted similarity, saw no reason for trying.

In 1524 a booklet appeared bearing the lengthy title: A Dialogue Between an Evangelical Christian and a Lutheran in Which the Offensive Life of Some Who Call Themselves Lutheran Is Exposed and Fraternally Reproved. The booklet apparently came out of Remnant circles (for the writer calls himself an "Evangelical") -- although he was prudent enough not to admit it. Its author apparently had detected Luther's one-sided emphasis on the pardon-aspect of salvation, at the expense of the renewal-aspect. Since we know that they of the Remnant were particularly fond of the Book of James, the writer of the booklet felt called to point out this one-sidedness in print. He surely was not a Catholic. Nor was he typically a Lutheran. He must therefore have been an adherent of the Remnant.

In 1523 Luther was still teaching that "In matters of faith we are dealing with a free act, one that cannot be coerced. Heresy is a spiritual matter, one that cannot be knocked-down with iron, nor burned with fire, nor drowned in water ... The secular authority should keep its hands off, should busy himself with its own affairs, permitting every person to believe this or that as he chooses, must not use force with anyone on this level of life." (As we shall see, there came a time in which Luther probably regretted that he had written this).

In 1522 Luther expressed the hope that "We, at the present time well nigh heathen, although living under the Christian name, may organize a Christian fellowship." Had this fine ambition also resulted from the reading of things coming out of the Remnant? If so, Luther was tactful enough not to admit it. We know that Luther had been pulling in that direction when he as on-trial at Worms, where he was told that "Most of the heresies you are putting forth are the heresies of the Beghards, the Waldensians, the Poor Men of Lyons, Wyclif, Hus, and others; heresies repudiated long ago and that synodically."

The man who said this could have saved time as well as energy by simply saying "the Remnant". For we know that in 1524 there were "gatherings at which the Scriptures are being studied" and we read that "Thirty-eight craftsmen were brought before the magistrate for having been present at gatherings of that kind in a little street called "Eckstraetken" ["Little-oak-street". Was it perhaps an alley?] where men read and interpret the Scriptures contrary to the directives". The year 1524 was too early, so it seems, to let us think that the "thirty-eight craftsmen" had been "good Catholics" until the theses put-up by Luther had come to their attention. The fact that they are called "craftsmen" goes far toward proving that they were Remnant members.

People who said the following in the early years of the Reformation had not been good Catholics until Luther nailed up his theses: "Christ Himself gives witness to it that He had not gotten permission from Caesar, from nobles, or from any of the world's magistrates ... Oh, that God might see to it that all civil rulers get to see how all real Christians are disposed toward them, so that they desire and wish with all their hearts that their land might be filled with Christians -- if that is possible. But I fear that they do not believe this." (The reference is to the report of exemplary conduct). They who said this had not been "converted" by Luther; no, they were what they were quite apart from Luther and his performance.

The early Luther wrote: "They who seriously want to be Christians, want to confess to the Gospel, in word as well as deed, these ought to have their names put in a ledger, and they ought to gather in a house apart for the purpose of prayer, the reading of the Scriptures, the administration of baptism [Is Luther actually thinking of rebaptizing? Has he, in his mind, discontinued infant baptism?] and to engage in still other Christian performances." He also said he wanted to "gather" apart those who truly believe, in a special place [here Luther is thinking of meeting in conventicles] ... I have long wanted to do this but it had not been feasible thus far [We cannot but ask why it was "not feasible". Surely there were rooms available to meet in, as he himself asserted. No, it was considered "not feasible" because the civil rulers would be totally against the holding of conventicles] ... We ought not to broadcast the elements of the sacrament to any and all promiscuously, as the papacy has been doing it -- not unlike chucking it down the gullet of a sow." Manifestly Luther was no longer "catholic"; manifestly he had begun to talk like a member of the Remnant. But he knew-better than to agree with them openly.

To his trusted friend, Hausman, the early Luther wrote:

"I have long entertained the idea of prescribing a procedure for the holding of the mass, but have thus far been unable to work it out [Again we are tempted to ask "why unable?". It was because he knew that his plan would not "sit-right" with the nobles, they having been taught that if there is to be peace-on-the-square there must be consensus-at-the-shrine] ... But my intention is, at a future date, not to admit individuals to communion unless they have been interviewed, have given the right answers in regard to the faith. The rest we will exclude." We are not in-the-dark as to the origin of the blueprint Luther was thinking of following. Nor are we in-the-dark as to why Luther was postponing. It was because he knew that the ambitious nobles were not prepared to let compositism come to expression, the compositism for which they of the Remnant had fought for a long time. It was a matter of mode d'integration.

The early Luther gave clear evidence that he knew all about the Remnant and its convictions and practices, for we find it said by him of them: "Although they are by the papists [notice that Luther is no longer seeing himself as a "papist", which implies that he is seeing himself as a Remnant "heretic"] condemned vehemently, are called heretics, there is among them such a fine exterior and such an earnest zeal for discipline and good works as is not to be found, nor heard-of, among our own clergy and clerics.

This is a fact, one which our own clergy will simply have to admit." Once more all must grant that as Luther was saying this he was sounding like a Remnanter.

Having read what the early Luther said about "our own clergy and clerics" he apparently was still thinking of the clergy of "Christendom" -- although the situation described was being repeated in the churches known as "Lutheran". We at least read of a pastor who had "snooped", had secretly attended a Remnant conventicle, and had come back with nothing but praise for what he had witnessed "especially their prayers and their support of the magistrates". So edified had he been that he said later, in a sermon, that thus far he had "preached the mere letter of the Word". He was given the following chastisement for going to the Remnant conventicle: "You are for a whole year to stay-away from any and every banqueting, partying, boozing; all on pain of being demoted from your parish" (The original has "ein ganz Jahr aller und jeder Zech und Gesellschaft und des Vollsaufens ... enthalten, alles bei Verlust und Entsetzung seinen Pfarr"). (It is apparent, once again, that as they of the Remnant accused the clergy of "Christendom" of loose-living they were not inventing things).

How it must have cheered the hearts of the Remnant people to hear Luther say of them: "By God's grace there is found among you such a fine and disciplined life, no such gourmandizing and boozing, no such swearing and cursing, no such ostentation and wickedness, as is found among us ... We do not see how we could introduce such a fine and disciplined way-of-life, we who live at the heart of Sodom. May God help us to something better!"

We find ourselves wondering where Luther had picked-up the practice of referring to "Christendom" as "Sodom" _ if not from the Remnant, where it was the custom also to refer to "Christendom" as "Sodom" -- as well as "the harlot".

How the visiting "Picards" must have rejoiced at hearing Luther say of them: "The Brethren believe that everybody has to believe for himself and then on the basis of his own faith receive baptism, that otherwise baptism is meaningless ... Need requires that they ... have themselves rebaptized as they rebaptize those who come to them from us."

The visiting members of the Remnant who were visiting had brought with them a copy of a creedal statement they had recently put-together (secretly, of course). When it was beginning to seem safe to do so they handed it to Luther, for him to read and evaluate. Then when it was becoming evident that he liked its content they asked him to write an introduction to it -- to which request he agreed to comply (Whether he also did it is a matter which we have not to date been able to determine). It was beginning to look as if Luther and the Remnant-heirs were going to walk-hand-in-hand, so giving them at least a bit of the help they needed.

Alas, ... It was not to be! The kidnapping done by the independence-seeking nobles had saved Luther's life, their servants having grabbed Luther as he was entering the forest, on his way back from his trial at Worms, in the depths of which "Christendom" had put a group of soldiers with instructions to seize Luther and put him to death. Luther's rescuers thereupon hustled him off to the Wartburg, an abandoned castle, in a scantily-inhabited area. Here Luther lay-in-confinement for a year, no one on the streets being able to say what had become of him. Here, in the deep solitude, Luther had time to think things over and make plans for the future. He had become convinced that to go it alone would mean the end; so he decided to collaborate with the independence-seeking nobles who had saved his life. He decided to accept the protective-umbrella which these nobles were offering to hold-over-him. The cost would be (and Luther realized it) the abandonment of the thought-system, as well as the resulting practice, of the Remnant, the abandonment of the mode d'integration of the Scriptures.

While lying in the Wartburg Luther had gone through a second conversion. He had abandoned the mode d'integration of the Remnant and had embraced the mode d'integration of the "Christendom" that was giving signs of coming-apart into several units, one of them the land in which Lutheranism was to become the established religion.

Very insightfuIIy, and very correctly, did Ludwig Keller (a historian who had repudiated the historiography which "Christendom" had invented) write of Luther's second conversion: "A radical change had taken place in the thought-system of Luther, specifically in the matter of church/state relationships, so that every chance that the new Lutheran Church would bring to realization the idea of the old evangelicals [the reference is to the Remnant] had evaporated."

Yes, the Martin Luther that came out of the Wartburg was decidedly different from the one that had been put-in-hiding there, thanks to independence-seeking nobles. For example, the Luther who had taught earlier that there is no basis in the Scriptures for "christening" was now saying:

"How can baptism be more grievously reviled and disgraced than when it is said that baptism given an unbelieving person is not good and genuine baptism! What? Baptism rendered ineffective because one does not believe?! What more-blasphemous and offensive teaching could the devil himself invent and preach? And yet the Anabaptists and faction-fashioners are full up to their ears with this very teaching. Let me propose the following. Here is a Jew who accepts baptism (as happens often enough) but does not believe. Would you say that his baptism is not real just because he does not believe? That would be not only to think as do fools, but is to blaspheme and disgrace God besides!" That was to bring-back the ex opere operato teaching. That was to endorse the delivery-view of "sacrament". That was to generalize. That was to stop fishing with a pole and start fishing with a net. That was to make the aisle disappear. That was to return to the mode d'integration invented and cherished by "Christendom".

Very insightfully and very correctly had Ludwig Keller said also, concerning Luther's second conversion: "At this time a remarkable approximation of the basic teaching of the Catholic Church took place in the matter of Church/State relationship, as Luther returned, in many ways, to the theology in which he had been brought-up." (If Luther had not submitted to the second conversion then the First Amendment would not have been necessary).

Very correctly did the late Emil Brunner say, of the final Luther, that he: " ... stopped short of a full reformation, He was content to walk hand in hand with the State, remained bogged-down halfway between Catholicism and the New Testament church-organization."

Let's not be too severe with Luther for changing-front the way he did. It was either that or face the liquidation of himself as well as that of his movement. Before he was put-in-hiding in Wartburg, cartoons were already coming-out picturing a goose lying-on-a-platter, nicely-browned and ready-to-eat, the reference being to Luther on his way to the kind of roasting to which another goose had been roasted, in Bohemia, a century earlier, the reference being to Hus (The Bohemian word "hus" means "goose").

It was at this time in history that "Anabaptism" raised its head in all parts of Europe simultaneously, and in masses. The central ambition of this Anabaptism was to keep-clear of the neo-Constantinianism that was beginning to develop as the result of the swing-to-the-right resulting from the second conversion of the Reformers. It was the conviction of the Anabaptists, the progeny of the Remnant, that with the swing-to-the-right, on the part of the would-be Reformers, a second opponent to them was taking shape. They had looked hopefully at the Reformers in their initial phase, but were now deeply disappointed in them, saw in them now just another version of "Antichrist". This comes out in several things said by the leaders of the Anabaptists. Such as this: "Although Luther did at the first have the Spirit of God he has now become a devil and _the' very Antichrist". This was said in connection with the fact that Luther had returned to the mode d'integration that had for many centuries been called, by the Remnant, the product of Antichrist.

Still another "Picard", this one located in Bohemia, had this to say about Luther: "Luther and the rest.. although they did light a candle after a fashion have now attached themselves to the secular powers."

As early as the year 1525 we find Conrad Grebel, a man who was to become an important figure in the Anabaptism that was coming up, was heard to say to a fellow Anabaptist: "I perceive that he is preparing to give you the axe, hand you over to the civil powers, to which he is now tying his gospe1."

So complete was the return to the mode d'integration of the "fallen" church that we hear Melanchthon, a trusted colleague of Luther, say now: "Let every devout person ponder what disruption would ensue if there were to develop among us two categories, the one baptized and the other not. If baptism were to be discontinued for the greater part then an openly heathen way-of-existing would ensue, a thing for which the devil would like very much to have the way opened." Could it be said in plainer terms that for the final Melanchthon there was to be no such thing as an aisle? (How he would harmonize this with the instruction given by Jesus to his disciples as recorded in Matthew 10:34 he was wise enough not to try to say).

Luther was fully aware of it that he had lost a lot of customers -- although he refrained from giving the real reason for it. We find him saying that "In our times the doctrine of the Gospel, re-established and purified, has drawn to itself and gained many who in earlier times had been suppressed by the tyranny of the Antichrist. But there have forthwith gone forth from us Anabaptists, Sacramentarians, and other faction-fashioners, for they were not of us, although for awhile they walked along with us." He should have added "because we were changing course".

The Luther who at first had great praise for people to whom he referred to as "Picards" now had the following to say about their kind: "Those heretical Picards, people who crawl into conventicles, so raising up a sect off by themselves ... these Jews of-the-spirit and miserable heretics, fleeing as they do from evil Christians. [We are tempted to interrupt, to ask whether the New Testament supports the notion that there are such things as "evil Christians"] to go off by themselves ... Blasphemers and Christ-betrayers is what they are. The children of God do not flee from the fellowship of evil persons."

Luther was not a conciliatory person, had a way of going-full-length, It therefore comes as no surprise to find him now going-the-whole-way in his return to the confusio regnorum that was so much a part of the thought-system of "Christendom". For Luther in his final version, church and state were again the warp and the woof of a tapestry, so that we find him saying now, to his friend, the Duke of Saxony: "A prince should see to it that his subjects are not led to strife by rival preachers, out of which come factions and disturbances. In a given area there should be only one kind of preaching. It will lie heavily on your conscience if you tolerate Catholic services -- for no secular power may permit his subjects to be divided by the spreading of opposite doctrine." (It was this kind of thinking that called for the drafting of the First Amendment.)

In another connection the now twice-converted Luther wrote: "The secular authorities are duty-bound to suppress blasphemy, false doctrine, heresy. They must inflict bodily punishment on those who support such things."

To a fellow minister of his, Leonard Beyer by name, serving at Zwickau, the final Luther wrote: "By the authority-of, and in-the-name-of, the most serene Prince, we have the custom of frightening and threatening with punishment and exile all who are negligent in things-religious and fail to come to the services."

One of the civil rulers of the times seems not to have been at all sure that such was their assignment, namely Philip of Hesse, a noble, one by-nature inclined to freedom-of-conscience, (he would have liked the First Amendment). He seems to have been disturbed by the rigor recommended by the Lutheran Reformers in their final version, so that he asked them for a written statement concerning the matter. He got the following reply, signed by Luther, Bugenhagen, Creutziger, Melanchthon:

"Everyone is duty-bound to prevent and suppress blasphemy, each according to his status and function. By virtue of command, princes and civil authorities have the power and the duty to abolish unlawful cults and to establish orthodox teaching and worship. Concerning this matter Leviticus applies, with its 'he that blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death' ... Princes must not merely protect the goods and the physical well-being of their subjects but their most essential task is to promote the honor of God, suppress blasphemy and idolatry. That is why it was that in the Old Testament the kings, ... put false prophets and idolaters to death. Such examples apply to the task of princes." (It was to that kind of thinking that the First Amendment was meant to put an end).

Far from simply ignoring the heirs of the Remnant the Lutheran Reformers did, in their final version, assail them and that consistently and constantly. For instance by saying of them: "They teach that no one is to be coerced to the faith since faith is a voluntary thing, something given by God to the elect only. They say that heresy should be opposed with the Word of God and with that only, that if heretics are forced from their views by outward force then the error remains in their hearts, and they become hypocrites in regard to faith ... The apostles have not involved the secular sword against heretics, and they nevertheless carried the Gospel to the ends of the earth, with much fruit. Christ said 'Preach the Gospel to all creatures; whoever believes, etc' and He did not say 'Coerce them until they are forced to believe'. Truth and its opposite are hidden matters of the heart, matters about which the church is not to judge ... so why should the secular ruler invade the area of faith?"

Whatever one might be inclined to say in reply to this recital of the view of the "heretics" it must be granted that the civil rulers were well informed as to the teachings of the Remnant-heirs as to the whether choice-making is to be encouraged, or is to be suppressed and forbidden.

Luther was fully aware of it that he was taking-sides in an ancient issue, for we find him saying the following of people who refused to go-along with the return to the mode d'integration of "Christendom": "In like manner were the Donatists minded... Saint Augustine had much to do in earlier time with the Donatists."

In the matter of the Donatist forbears, his awareness of the similarity, Luther did not stand alone ... Far from it. We hear the following coming out of the camp of the Reformers in their final version: "When men see the offensive defects with which Satan distorts our churches they straightway deny that we are the church... The Donatists were obsessed with the same ideas."

And Justin Martyr, a Lutheran pastor of the times, was heard to say: "Like the Donatists of long ago they try to rend the church because we allow evil men in her. They seek to assemble a pure church, and whenever that is undertaken there public order is sure to be overthrown (Here we hear again the old notion that he who sees society as composite is a mutin, one who "wants no government").

Urbanus Rhegius, another Lutheran pastor of the times, had this to say of the Anabaptists, those heirs of the Remnant: " ... a genuinely Donatist trick. .. as they sneak off by themselves, apart from Christendom", he saying, in another connection, that "God raises up magistrates against heretics, the faction-fashioners, the schismatics, in order that Hagar may be flogged by Sara. The Donatists murder [note that Rhegius is calling the contemporary Anabaptists "Donatists"] men's souls and make them go to eternal death, and they then complain when we punish them with temporal death. Therefore Christian magistrates must make it their first concern to keep the Christian religion pure by sound doctrine ... All who know history will recall what was done by such men as Constantine, Theodosius, Charlemagne and others."

Luther himself now wrote in self-defense: "It is a comfort against the factioners and all who are offended by the church's weakness, that from the beginning the heretics have cherished the notion that the Church must be holy and sinless. When they saw that some ... in the church were slaves to sin they denied that this was the church and they made a sect, consisting of those whom they claimed to be members of the true Church. Out of this came the Donatists and the Cathars and many others, as well as the Anabaptists of our times, all of them crying with the same passion that the true Church is not the Church because they see sinners and godless people mixed in with it. And they separated themselves from it... It is the greatest wisdom not to be offended by it that evil people go in and out of the Church. The great comfort is that we know that they do the church no harm but that we must put-up with the fact that wheat and tares are mixed together." (It seems not to have occurred to Luther that when the New Testament speaks of "wheat and tares mixed together" it is speaking not of the Church but of the world).

It is well-known that the final Luther had no time for the teaching that being a Christian implies evidence of inner renewal. According to surviving notes, taken by one of his students, Luther spent whole class-periods showing "how harmful for salvation good works are" ("wie schiidlich zur Seligkeit gute Werken sind"). And we understand that when the young men whom the "Bohemia Brethren" had sent to Wittenberg to prepare there for the ministry came back saying that to insist on the changed-life is to "violate freedom of conscience" then the "Brethren" decided not to send any more of their young men to study at Wittenberg.

After Luther's "second conversion" he actually was careful not to say or teach anything that could be interpreted as a step in the direction of the Remnant teaching, that Christians can be known by their way-of-living. One day as he was, late in his career, preaching on Psalm 24:6, with its "This is the generation that seeks after Him, that seek Thy face" Luther suddenly checked himself, as he said "But I must stop here for the lion is crouching to jump on us as the heretical Picards, standing close to us, assume that we are speaking in the same vein they do." The final Luther simply did not want it said that besides being a matter of pardon salvation also is a matter of renewal.

Luther's narrowing-down of salvation to pardon was rejected by an Anabaptist named Bernard Knipperdollinck. Upon this an associate of Luther, Urbanus Rhegius, came out with the following for Knipperdollinck to read: "Aha, here Berhard resorts to a genuinely Donatist trick! The Donatists likewise condemned and abandoned Christendom because of evil and false Christians ... But there have always been some true and devout Christians in the masses, and we hope that they are present among us also. Besides, the fact that there are wicked rascals in our company is none of our business. We did not teach them to drink, act like gluttons, be immoral or covetous ... We refuse to rend the net just because there are some bad fish in it, as the supersaintly Anabaptist Bernard is doing. He reveals his real self, and shows that he has the same Anabaptist devil in him which blinded the Donatists in Africa. They also opened their eyes and saw, with hypocritical faces, that many of the people who were wearing the Christian name actually were heathen, and they went off by themselves, apart from Christendom, making-off that they wanted to raise-up a truly reformed Church, one in which there are nothing but saints. And they were so pure in their own eyes that they declared the baptism performed in Christendom, by the evil priests, to be no baptism, so that they baptized anew. By this device they thought to raise-up genuine holiness. They rebuked Augustine for staying in the assembly of the wicked, to which charge he replied that there indeed were evil persons in his fellowship ... and that external association of good and evil does not harm the former's salvation, seeing that they do not approve of the evil and godless way-of existing. We are not to cause a separation! He who separates from the Church is a heretic and a schismatic. Let Bernard consider himself to be told-off, for he is a genuine Donatist, one who takes offence at the evil of others, and he has gone to raise-up a holy and unspotted Church, he and his fellows. I would verily rather be a coarse publican in the Christian Church, or a patent sinner, than be the holiest Pharisee of all in bishop Bernard's spelunk!"

Some terms used by Rhegius in this tirade against Knipperdollinck show that he was well-acquainted with the Remnant and its history, even its terminology. One of these terms is "coarse-Publican" and the other is "patent-sinner". In the Tepler Codex, one of the translations of the New Testament that came out of the Remnant (and managed to survive the wrath of "Christendom") the expression "publican" was taken to be an adjective going with the noun "sinner". So they took it to mean "public-sinner", one who sins-in-public. This was then taken to be a rebuke of the typical member of "Christendom", who had the practice of sinning-openly. So the expression "uffer sunder" ("public-sinner") was coined by them. It occurs in all the translations coming out of the Remnant, among them the so-called Tepler Codex. It is interesting, and significant, in that it again points to a genetic link between the Remnant and the Anabaptist movement of Reformation times, that in the Biestkens Bible of the Mennonites the expression "open bare zondaar" (Dutch for "uffen sunder") occurs, and that although Luther had corrected the mis-translation a whole generation earlier. As Rhegius is using the two terms he is actually "making-fun" of the Anabaptists and their terminology. They of the Remnant had used the expression "public-sinner" and the heirs of the Remnant "followed-suit" in Reformation times even though it had been corrected by Luther.

We know that one of the things they of the Remnant had to live-with was criticism of their custom of meeting in conventicles. This criticism was, of course, repeated in the criticism of the Anabaptists in Reformation times, for they too met only in conventicles. It comes as no surprise therefore that the final Luther attacked the Anabaptist conventicle-attenders, he saying: "Conventicles are in no case to be tolerated. They are the 'thieves and the murderers' of whom Christ spoke, as recorded in John 10:8, persons who invade another man's parish, so usurping his office, conduct not commanded but forbidden instead. A citizen is duty-bound if and when such a sneak-thief comes, before listening to him or letting him speak, to inform the civil magistrate, as well as the pastor whose parishioner he is. If he fails to do this then let him realize that he is behaving like somebody who is ungrateful to his magistrate, is one who acts contrary to his oath, and, as despiser of his pastor (whom he is required to respect), acts against God. Besides, by so-doing he becomes himself a thief and a scamp, along with the sneak-thief... These must not be listened-to or be-tolerated, even though they preach the pure Gospel, [the reader will have noticed the unintended testimony as to the orthodoxy of the migrant preacher] yes, even if they are angelic and simon-pure Gabriels from heaven [the reader will have noticed the unintended testimony to the exemplary life of the migrant preacher]. Therefore let everybody ponder this, that if a person wants to preach, or teach, let him show the call or the commission that prompts him. Otherwise let him keep his mouth shut. If he refuses to do so then let the magistrate consign the scamp into the hands of his real master, whose name is Master Hans" (a euphony for the executioner). Had Luther forgotten that he had earlier in his career taught the priesthood-of-all-believers? No, he had instead changed front, had "settled" for a new version of "Christendom"--a move that many years later, and on the other side of an ocean, led to the need for the ratifying of the First Amendment.

Not without a solid basis for saying it, an Anabaptist, named Hubmeyer, wrote, with the final Reformers in mind: "People are being taught only two things. One is that it is by faith that we are saved; the other is that we of ourselves cannot do any good. Under cover of this pair of half-truths all evil and unfaith and unrighteousness have gained the upper-hand completely, so that the saying is being fulfilled 'je alter je boser' ["the-older-the-worse"]' .. Everybody wants to pass for a good and evangelical Christian, as far as taking-a-wife is concerned, eating flesh at Lent, reciting prayers no longer. But for the rest all one sees is boozing, gourmandizing, blaspheming, usury-taking, lying, loafing, fornicating, tyrannizing, murdering, etc. The third lesson is that 'faith without works is dead'."

Not all who stayed-with the Reformers after their return to the mode d'integration of "Christendom" were at peace with the new "Christendom" and its mode d'integration. No, indeed. One such was Staupitz, an old friend of Luther, who wrote, late in his life: "Nowadays men are teaching people a foolish faith, as they separate faith from conduct, as if a man can believe in Christ without any implications as to behavior. What a clever stroke of the enemy that is! That man does not really believe in Christ who refuses to do what He did and undergo what He underwent!... The faith that leads us to trust in Christ leads us to walk in His footprints. Listen to the way the fools are talking as they say 'He that believes in Christ has no need of works', and, over-against this listen to the words of Him who is Himself the Truth, as He says 'Let him who would serve Me walk in My ways, and, let him who would follow Me deny himself and follow Me, bearing My cross daily'. But the Evil Spirit is teaching his carnal Christians that they can be saved without works -- as if that is what Paul taught, as they say of him so falsely." (Did Staupitz have Luther in mind specifically as he was saying this, the Luther who tried to show his students "How harmful for salvation good works are"?).

The Remnant heirs who could not in-conscience follow Luther, as he was going back to the mode d'integration of "Christendom", gave him the following to think-about:

"Luther has written about this in his little book on how to conduct the mass, he contending that we ought to go into a room, close the door -- only to add that he was not ready to introduce such a service, because he was not brave enough, this because it would be called 'sectarian'."

Of course, the final Luther stood dangerously close to the idea of ex opere operata, the idea that sacraments do not merely represent but also deliver. We hear him calling the water of baptism: "a divine water of God, a godly, heavenly, holy, blessed water, on which faith hangs, a precious sugar-water, a perfume, a drug, is what it has become; one with which God has mixed Himself, real Living Water, that drives-away death and hell and makes eternally alive" ("Gottes Wasser, ein gottlich, himlisch, heilig, selig Wasser, an dem der Glaube hangt, ein kostliches Zuckerwasser, Aromaticam und Apotheek ist draus worden, da Gott sichselb eingemenget hat, das recht Aqua Vitae, das den Tad und die Hell vertreybet and das ewig lebendig macht").

If a Luther-admirer were to suggest that as Luther was saying this he was caught in the kind of tempestuous-outbursts into which he occasionally fell, we need but read the following, written by him when he was in his study:

"How can baptism be abused and reviled more than when it is said that it is not real baptism if done to a person who does not believe ... Aha, so baptism is not real baptism simply because I do not believe! How could the devil teach or preach a more offensive and sacrilegious teaching? .. I propose the following. Here is a Jew who accepts baptism (as happens often enough) but does not believe. So his baptism is not real baptism, just because he does not believe!

That would be not only to think as fools think but is moreover to heap slander and shame on God!"

Since Luther introduced a "Jew" into the discussion we recall that he wrote a book entitled Von den Juden und ihren Liigen (''Of the Jews and Their Lies "). It is a book that actually reminds of the ravings and the rantings of the Nazis against the Jewish people. To the best of our knowledge this book by Luther has not been translated into English, and we hope it will not be translated, for by reading it the honor and the respect which Luther deserves will be reduced. We add here that Luther's attack on the Jews was not born of racism. No, it was the product of the notion that if a society is to hang-together it must have a common religion, (the notion which the First Amendment was meant to "bury").

History has shown over and over that wherever the mode d'integration to which such a religion as that of "Christendom" is committed there adaptation-to-the-thought-system, and the resulting way-of-life, is to be expected. Where the mode d'integration that goes with authentic Christianity is abandoned and the mode d'integration of the rest of religions is put in its place, there adaptation, both in thought-pattern and in behavior-pattern, is sure to result. This goes far in explaining the support which the Nazi movement had, for if church and state are seen as one-and-the-same then that which goes on at the headquarters of the state will be supported in the offices of the church. It was not until the Constantinian-synthesis was being rejected that some in the church in Germany spoke-up in criticism of the way things were going.

Having come to the end of this chapter, on Luther, and having said that if the ethnic view of mode d'integration is admitted there accommodation to the world is more than likely to follow, we shall leave it to the followers of Luther to decide whether accommodation and adaptation are going-on in their beloved country.

Chapter Nine

Huldreich Zwingli and the Remnant


We shall now have a close look at the Swiss Reformer, Huldreich Zwingli, and we shall see that he too went through two conversions, the same two through which Martin Luther went. The first thing that needs to be said, and emphasized, is that the Reformation in Switzerland was not brought-about by the posting of Luther's theses. As was the case in Germany so also in Switzerland there was the Remnant, both numerous and venerable. As was the case in Germany so also in Switzerland did they of the Remnant decide not to cooperate with the Reformers any longer when it was becoming apparent that a take-off of the old "Christendom" was being born. Here also it was a matter of mode d'integration. Zwingli himself described the beginning of the conflict, he writing that "When Simon of Hongg [a man who became an early leader in the Anabaptist camp] proposed the organization of a special Volk, consisting of Christian persons, prepared to live the Christian life, clinging to the Gospel, this was deemed to be too radical, and the plan was turned-down, although in friendly fashion." Very correctly, therefore, has the old authority, Von Harnack, said that "The performance of Zwingli finds its model in the medieval attempts at reform" although he should have added that Zwingli went through a second conversion.

Since Zwingli's performance in connection with the memorial meal is usually emphasized we shall begin with this item. We shall seek to show that Zwingli did not invent his view, appropriated it instead. He wrote: "The expression 'this is my body' was meant to be taken symbolically ... Two devout and learned men, whose names I will not divulge [This implies that Zwingli knew the names but refrained from reciting them, this so as not to endanger them. This implies that they were Remnant members, as does the fact that they had come as a pair, an old feature of Remnant representatives, it being born of Mark 6:7] ... visited Leo and me [the reference here is to Leo Jud, Zwingli's colleague] to confer about the matter ... They did not divulge their names, for in those days one could not give-expression to one's beliefs without endangering oneself. They informed me of a letter written by a devout man from the Low Countries (which letter has since that time been published anonymously). In this letter I found the pearl-of- great-price, the insight that the "est " is to be taken to mean "significat",

We must not conclude from this report of the visit that Zwingli had not heard it said before that "est" means "significat" for that was an already-ancient insight in the camp of the Remnant, as the following shows. We read of a "heretical" woman, living in Aken, who was visited, while sick, by the local priest of "Christendom". The sick woman apparently refused to accept the transubstantiated "body-of-Christ" so that the priest went home. After an hour or two he was called-back, because the woman allegedly had said that she was ready for the confessional, had been converted. But she was merely putting-on, for (as the report goes) "When the priest gave her our Lord, the worship-worthy and holy and blessed, it continued to lie on her tongue, as if printed on it, and she died at once. So her tongue was cut off, the worship-deserving and blessed, was taken to the church very reverently, and the worship-deserving and holy sacrament was incased in glass. She was a Lutheran and had been re-baptized. This miracle was reported to the authorities at Aken, to our blessed cardinal, and our lord reported in all places that this is the way it had happened." (The assertion "she was a Lutheran" must not be taken literally, for there is added that she had been re-baptized, a bit of information which implies that she was a "heretic", the word "Lutheran" having at the time begun to be just another derogatory name for a "heretic". The reporter of the affair, as given above, added that "they of the new convictions are called "Waldensians" -- which likewise was just another label for the Donatist "heretic").

Zwingli had followers who had not been "made"-that by him. No, so numerous already were evangelical "heretics" in Flanders, that a book-dealer, one who dealt in "forbidden books", in Flanders, said he was selling more books done by Zwingli than books done by anyone else. We must not forget that the Dean of Arras said that "one third of the people, if not even more than that, are heretic and attend the conventicles of the Waldensians." It must also be kept in mind that Flanders was already "full" of Hussites and Hussite-congregations.

Early in his career Zwingli asserted, in a letter to Luther, that "There have been men, not a few, who knew the kernel of the Gospel even better than do you and I, but no one took the risk of doing-battle, out of fear for yonder

Goliath [the reference is to "Christendom"] standing there in the frightful weight of his armour." Zwingli was prudent enough not to name the people he had in mind, namely members-of-the-Remnant -- there being no other candidates for the honor. He said there were people who had given him the "Spornschlag" (the "spur-stroke", whereby a man on horseback gets his mount going). As he said this Zwingli was wise-enough not to name the "not-a-few" who had "known the kernel of the Gospel even better ... ". Whom could he be referring to if not the spokesmen for the Remnant?

There is even reason to believe that Zwingli had attended the "Agape" of Remnant folk, at least once. We of today would no doubt know that he did were it not for the fact that Zwingli knew-better than to let it be known. We do have the confession that it was from the Remnant that he and his colleagues had derived their view of the Supper, for, when he and his colleague, Bullinger, were in a closed room together, Bullinger said that their view had come "at least in part from the Waldensian tracts" (proof that he and his "pal" also had the practice of reading Remnant writings when no one was looking). To Bullinger's assertion Zwingli agreed, only to add the advice not to "go-public" with it, since the information could only do them great harm.

It is becoming evident, so we are convinced, that if we are to understand the performance of Zwingli we must "ditch" the historiography which they of "Christendom" invented so as to make it look as if the history of Christianity is the history of "Christendom" (a big mistake if we are to understand the "thrust" of the First Amendment).

Not only did Zwingli "break" with the view of "Christendom" as to the Supper; he also "broke" with its view as to baptism, that is, with "christening". Although we (of course) do not have the figures, it is probable that more people were executed by "Christendom" for their rejection-of- "christening" than for anything else. This is easy to explain. If all members of society must have one and the same religion then what better way to tie them together is there than to "sneak-up" on them before they have a voice in the matter and mark them with one and the same mark, especially if it is understood that by applying the bit of water an inner change takes place? In early Reformation times an Anabaptist gave evidence of being aware of it that "christening" was a together-putter, as he said "Infant baptism is a supporting pillar of the papal order and as long as it is not abandoned there cannot be a Christian congregation." A colleague .of his put it this way: "Christendom cannot be brought-down better than along with infant baptism". We do not know whether the early churches baptized infants (although it is likely that they did not) but we do know that when the practice was attacked in the fourth century it -was because it "fed" the mode d'integration that was taking-over. The conflict about infant-baptism as it raged in Reformation times was also born in the context of two views as to mode d'integration. The opponents of the Remnant knew this, so that we hear pope Calixtus pronouncing his anathema on "heretics who under the guise of religion condemn the baptism of infants". While the Constantinian-synthesis was going on, in the early fourth century, we read, in the Codes of Justinian and of Theodosius: "Holy baptism is not to be repeated" and "If anyone is found to have re-baptized he is to be dealt-with as having committed a punishment-deserving crime, is to be punished capitally." "Christening" had been invented as a device for making human society non-composite; and it was resented by the element that saw Christianity as a compositism-causing thing. No, it was not at all a new issue when the controversy about it raged in Zwingli's times.

The early Zwingli knew that anti-pedobaptism was not new. And he also knew that they of City Hall would not approve the cancellation thereof, knew also why it was that they would not, why it was that there was the "Goliath" of which he was speaking in his letter to Luther. We find him saying: "Nothing grieves me more than does the fact that I have to baptize children for I know it ought not to be done. But, because of the possibility of giving offence I refrain from preaching this. It is better not to teach it unless and until the world is ready for it." The man seems to have lost sight of the fact that the "world" is-not, and never-will-be, "ready" for the Christian message unless, and until, it adopts the thought-system of authentic Christianity. (Must we actually wait "until the world is ready for it" before we begin to talk about "How great my sins and miseries are" -- as the Heidelberg Catechism begins?).

A colleague of Zwingli (whose given name was Huldreich also) gave expression to the same hesitation, as he wrote "If I were to discontinue the practice of baptizing infants I fear for my prebend" (his salary, paid, of course, out of the public treasury).

It should not surprise us that when his friends and fellows wanted to know exactly how Zwingli felt about "christening" they began the question with such a clause as "If you could do so without fear. .. " or "If you were to leave the civil rulers out of consideration ... " Nor should it surprise us to hear Zwingli say that as to meeting in conventicles and restricting the Lord's Supper to individuals who had "passed-inspection" he confessed that he was not "khun-enough", which means (if we may put it in the language of the plain person) that Zwingli "did-not-have-the-guts" to do what he was convinced needed to be done. He realized that to "drop" "christening" would not sit-right with the folk in City Hall. We find a contemporary Remnant heir saying of Zwingli "Master Huldreich understands the matter of baptism the same way we do but for reasons which we do not know he refrains from revealing his views." This was said so as not to get anybody in trouble with the people in City Hall. (We would have asked the speaker as he said this how it was that he knew Zwingli's views concerning baptism in spite of the fact that he "refrains from revealing his views". It was because he was trying to "shield" Zwingli that the man said that which is impossible, namely to know a person's views even though he does not "reveal them".

Of course, Zwingli did not stand-alone in his criticism of "christening". His fellow Reformer, Bucer (to whose performance in the matter a chapter in the present book should have been given for it corroborates the points we are making) wrote in 1524: "If anyone wishes to wait with baptism, and can do so without disturbing the love and unity of his neighbors [the man should have said instead "without making those of City Hall take action"] then we would not on that account separate from him nor condemn him. Let everybody figure-it-out for himself. The kingdom of God does not consist in eating and drinking [is the reference here to partaking of the memorial-meal?] and therefore not in baptism in water, but in righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."

In anticipating opposition from the side of the City Council Zwingli proved to be right, for its members decided to address the matter in a public free-for-all gathering, to be held on January 17 of 1525. Here, after a long (and, at times, noisy and disorderly) debate, they of the Council decided to meet in private to decide the issue and give-orders. They did so, and decided that there was to be no tampering with the ancient Corpus Christianum supporting ritual. This decision gave the right-of- way to the mode d'integration against which they of the Remnant had been fighting for a millennium or more.

Zwingli decided to walk in step with the Council. As he was deciding this he was going through a second conversion, one very much like the second conversion we have traced in the life of Martin Luther.

There were those who decided not to go the way the Council was pointing. And, realizing that by so-doing they were "in" for trouble, they all went to a nearby town, where they spent the night in prayer and in mutual encouragement. It was at this time that the members of the . Remnant were again to be called "Anabaptists".

In view of the fact Zwingli had not sided with them, had instead given evidence of being ready to "play-ball" with the local magistrates, they who had decided not-to, gave him the following to think about: "You do not have the right to put the matter in the hands of the civil rulers, for the decision has been made already, by the Holy Spirit."

Very correctly has it been said, by Walther Kohler, that "The crystallization of the Reformation into territorial churches, or parishes, led by the political authorities, gave the impulse for the building-up of Anabaptist circles." Quite as correctly has it been said, by Harold Bender, Mennonite historian, that "The rift between Zwingli and the Anabaptists dates from October of 1523, when Zwingli agreed to postpone the abolition of Romish practices, as desired by the City Council", the central item in these "Romish practices" being "christening".

Zwingli seems to have been bothered by the assertion that the decision "had been made already, by the Holy Spirit". If so, it is to his credit. He tried to escape the charge that, in doing what he had done, he had gone against the Scriptures. He, at least, came-up with another explanation, one going as follows: "They [the reference is to the leaders of the Anabaptist camp] who started the scrap [the original has "den Zangg"] pressured us to start a new church, a new fellowship ... , but when we saw the day-by-day improvement as to conduct-patterns and attitudes- toward- the- Word, we decided against it." What are we to make, however, of the fact that it was said in Reformation times that things are getting worse by the day, a case of "je alter je baser" as it was put? The consensus was that things were getting worse rather than better. When the heirs of the Remnant said "Es gehen huren und buben zum sacrament" ("both harlots and scoundrels participate in the sacrament") Zwingli did not deny it; instead he said about this charge: "as if that kind of folk do not need the sacrament, although they need it even more, for as the saying goes, 'the sicker a person is the greater is his need for a doctor'" ("Je krancker einer ist je notter im der Artzt thut"). No, there was not "day-by-day improvement". There was another reason for saying it.

Now that the twice-converted Zwingli had taken-position against the heirs of the Remnant he began to recite all the false reports they of "Christendom" had invented concerning Remnant people. He said: "You will not find a single person there who is not all fouled-up with wickedness, such as oath-breaking [a strange charge to make concerning people who saw oath-taking as demonic, and had in their platform the refusal to take-an-oath] ... disobedience, tumult, idleness, desertion, immorality, to say nothing about seceding and sect-causing and false teachings." How Zwingli hoped to "square" this with the constantly repeated assertion that the exemplary behavior of the Remnant-heirs was "bait put on the hook so as to catch more fish", remains a mystery. The two representations cancel each other out, for they cannot both be true. Since one or the other representation as to the deportment of Remnant-people was an "escape-route", was invented, we can only decide that the charge of bad-deportment was the invented one, for no one would have invented the report of praiseworthy-deportment. The solemn fact is that we read of an Anabaptist suspected of heresy because he prayed silently in a public eating-place before he ate. We read of another heir-of-the-Remnant taken-in-hand because his children were unusually well-behaving.

Unlike so many historians deluded by a myopia-causing historiography, Zwingli was aware of the fact that the Anabaptists were standing in an ancient tradition, for we find him saying to his colleagues in the fabricating of a new version of "Christendom" (which was not going as well as they had hoped): "Don't give up the fight. The re-baptizers are not going to win, God being not on their side, witness the fact that their cause was unable to win a thousand years ago." -- the reference being to Donatism.

We must agree with the following, put-out by an Anabaptist: "Although we did get a lot of instruction from the writings of Luther, of Zwingli, and others ... we were aware of a great lack in regard to repentance, to conversion, to the true Christian life. It was on these matters that my heart was set. So I waited and hoped, for a year or two, since the minister had much to say about amendment of life ... But I could not close my eyes to the fact that the doctrine-preached was not put-to-practice, that no beginnings were made toward repentance and Christian behavior ... Then God sent His messengers, men who had surrendered to Christ by way of conversion. With their help a congregation was thereupon formed, one in which repentance was in evidence in newness of life in Christ." The reason this man and his fellow-believers had left the Reformers was that the renewal-aspect of faith, although touched-upon in the preaching, was not in-evidence in the life of the hearers. It was a matter of "conduct befitting saints".

In line with this, Bucer testified about the Anabaptists that "Their most-pointed argument always is that we keep-house so badly. With this argument they lead astray a great many people. God help us so, that we may be able, some day, to take this argument away from them, yes, from our own consciences, and from the Lord our God! Of a truth, it is high time for us to deal on the day of St. Catherine, with this matter, seriously, on our way-of-living ...for if this is not undertaken then all our counsellings against this rod of the Lord will be in vain," (The "rod" referred-to Anabaptism).

We cannot say it too often, nor insist on it too strongly, that the decisions such as the one taken at the City Hall, were basically political, this rather than theological or religious. Of course the politicals knew better than to acknowledge this, knew better to say that they had been driven by political concerns to have and to keep "sacraments", those rituals that bind a total Volk together, keep it "catholic", that is "everybody-embracing", so they tried to get people to think that their motivation was basically religious. We hear them say: "It is not right, least of all for a preacher [reference is probably to the early Zwingli] to call ancestral deliverances and ordinances superfluous, foolish, meaningless ... By so doing the Holy Church, the ancient Fathers, the councils, the Pope, the cardinals, the bishops, etc., will be made to look ridiculous, be disdained, made-suspect, and then there will spring-up disobedience toward the magistracy." As is so often the case when people give the reason for their behavior, the real reason, the controlling one, is given last(!) by the City Council. The real-reason for their behavior was the possibility of "disobedience toward the magistracy". As we reflect on this it must be kept in mind that for a thousand years it had been the official teaching that if a Volk is to hang-together there must be a religion common to all.

To realize how firmly the final Zwingli had embraced the mode d'integration of the ethnic faiths, and of "Christendom", we need but listen to him as he says:

"Since all peoples and societal-groupings have their own distinguishing mark therefore God has at all times provided His people with their clear and distinguishing mark [as we think we have shown, the baptism brought on the scene by John the Baptist was not the "distinguishing-mark" of a Volk, was instead the "distinguishing-mark" of an element in the Volk]. .. lest they see it as a deficiency in their God, as they see others wearing their sign with reference to their god and, as a consequence, get the urge to follow him instead."

Zwingli is thinking of "sacraments" as he says what we have just quoted. He (rightly) sees "sacraments" as "rituals whereby a Volk already held-together by and with other ties is tied-together also, and finally." (The reader will perhaps recall that we said, earlier in this study, that the definition we have just given is "the only defendable definition" of "sacrament". It is evident that Zwingli was committed to that view).

If what we have just quoted is not enough to prove that the final Zwingli had reverted to realm-religion-thinking then the following should be enough to prove it: "Since the visible church includes criminals and rebels, persons who have no faith and are indifferent to expulsion, even if launched repeatedly, therefore the Church needs the magistrate to restrain the impudence of sinners. Since there are shepherds in the Christian Church (by whom we should, according to Jeremiah, include princes) it is obvious that a church without a magistracy is a defective and mutilated one. Far from objecting to the presence of the magistrates in the church we teach they are necessary unto the perfecting of the ecclesiastical body ... Just as men cannot exist unless body and soul are together, the body being the lesser part, so cannot a church exist without the magistrate." (Do we have to point-out that the final Zwingli would have fought against the ratification of the First Amendment?)

Zwingli was aware of the fact that the heirs of the Remnant, the Anabaptists, saw the New Testament as an advance beyond the Old Testament as to mode d'integration. They seem to have pointed out that even in the Old Testament there were saints and sinners simultaneously, they basing this on Genesis 25:23, with its "Two nations are in your womb ... " Since Zwingli was committed to the idea of an early Volk Gottes consisting of Jews and a later Volk Gottes consisting of Gentiles, therefore the idea of simultaneousness gave him trouble. So he wrote, for the Anabaptists to read: "When we read in Genesis 25 that 'two peoples shall be separate from birth' this is not to be taken to mean that the two peoples of God were simultaneous ... the Gentile people are now the people of God."

Of course, the Anabaptists were dismally disappointed with him for his second conversion, the thing that was leading him to work-along with the magistrates, so that we hear one of them, Hubmeyer, say, to Zwingli, in print:

"You used to cling to the same ideas, wrote them, preached them from the pulpit, openly. Many hundreds of people have heard it coming from your mouth. And now you are saying that they who say this of you are liars. Yes, you boldly assert that no such ideas ever entered your mind."

Another such former collaborator with the early Zwingli said of him: "Today he preaches one thing and tomorrow he takes it all back again. To be specific, for years he has been teaching that children ought not to be baptized -- and now he is saying that they must be."

The length to which Zwingli went, after his second conversion, after his decision to collaborate with the magistrates, is apparent from the following, written by him:

"It is apparent to all believers that the Christian covenant of the New Testament is the old covenant made with Abraham -- save for the fact that the Christ who was promised to them has been made-manifest to us. This the figures and the types of the Old Testament make apparent. Of Isaac and Ishmael it is recorded. In Galatians 4 we read that Esau was the first-born and was rejected, Jacob coming in his place." (Besides saying that there is reason to be disturbed when they of the new "Christendom" begin to talk about "types" and "figures" we point out that there was a covey of "nations" in Reformation times, each of them claiming to be the replacement of Israel).

After Zwingli had committed himself to neo-Constantinianism he came-out also with the following ridiculous typology, that of "the two wives of Jacob, Leah and Rachel (of whom the former was giving-birth while the latter was not) ... The former wife stands for the now rejected Jewish Volk; and Rachel (who finally became fruitful) signifies the heathen Volk that has come to be the elect Volk in the place of the Jews." We do not hesitate to say that we have had enough of this "type-stuff", more than enough.

The final Zwingli, desperate for getting the New Testament to endorse his now-adopted mode d'integration, took the expression "many shall come from east and west" to mean that entire peoples would "come", so he translated "many" with "die Menge", which in his Schweitzerdeutch means "the mass", a Volk-in-its-entirety.

Of course, Zwingli in his final version made his peace with the Corpus Christianum idea, so that now we hear him say: "Baptism is a solemn sign by which one makes himself manifest to those around him." He seems not to have noticed that baptism-with-water does not at all leave a "mark" that is "manifest to those around him". (It seems not to have occurred to him that instead of being known by the "brand" of baptism Christians are to be recognized by their declared-faith and it associated with a way-of-living).

As Zwingli was, in his final phase, searching for a passage in Scripture on which to hang the idea of Volk-Gottes coinciding-with-Volk, he tried the following: "It is to be one fold and one shepherd, is it not? How then can it be right not to mark all the sheep with one and the same mark?" -- the reference being to baptism. Zwingli was conveniently overlooking the fact that according to the New Testament the "flock" is "drawn from every nation, tribe, and tongue" (The "from" was meant to be taken to mean "out of", so causing an eeclesia to appear).

Of course, the now-twice-converted Zwingli knew that the heirs of the Remnant were everywhere drawing attention to themselves by their devout way-of-living. (As we have seen they of "Christendom" tried to cover-up this very unwelcome fact by repeating the old slander about bad-behavior). What to do about this? We hear him say:

"Go ahead, live as Christ-like as you please -- but lay-off on re-baptizing, for it is plain that by it you are fashioning a faction" ("Gond hin, lebend zum allerchristlichsten; allein unterlassed den widertouf, denn man sieht ofJentlieh das in ueh damit rottend "). Manifestly for the final Zwingli there is no sin as serious as is compositism-causing-conduct.

An utterance came over the lips of the final Zwingli that deserves special attention, this because it seems to have led to a new way of executing Remnant-minded individuals. It happened that during a controversy between the neo-Donatists, (the Anabaptists) and Zwingli that the former said that along with their baptism as adults they had experienced "grosse Erkiickung" ("a pronounced sense-of-renewal"). To this Zwingli replied that this claim on their part was "nothing but the jabber of old wives and fools" ("nur altwybisch und narrisch Gpler"). And when the heirs of the Remnant declared that along with their baptism a new way-of-existence had started, Zwingli shot-back with: "Jolly tidings! Let those who talk about having gone-under go-under indeed!" There is good reason to think that it was Zwingli's remark about "go-under" that heretics were no longer burned (as had been the practice for a long millennium, (a practice drawn from Matthew 3:10 by way of the atrocious hermeneutics of "Christendom") but were now drowned instead. It was not long after Zwingli's "let them go under indeed" that the Anabaptist leader, Felix Manz, was trussed-up in such a way as to make swimming impossible, and was tossed, thus tied, into Limnat Lake, there to "go under indeed". His last words were "Into Thy hands, Lord, I comment my spirit". Manz seems to have been the first Anabaptist "heretic" to be executed-by-drowning -- although he was not the last one, far from it.

The language of Manz's sentence tells us in neat detail what it as that had led to his drowning. It reads: "He has, contrary to Christian orders and custom let himself get involved in Anabaptism, has confessed to having proposed the gathering-together of such persons as want to accept Christ and walk in His footsteps, uniting himself with them in and by baptism ... , he and his followers, they having separated themselves from the Christian Church, so raising-up a sect of their own, such doctrine being harmful to the usage of all Christendom, tending to offence-giving, to sedition against the civil rule." (The reader will have noticed that here again the primary reason for getting rid of Remnant-members is mentioned last -- although it was actually first, namely the move to put an end to the, essentially pagan, idea of a "common" faith, one "common" to all who live under a specific flag).

It will be recalled that late in his life Luther said some terribly tough things about putting Remnant-heirs into the hands of "Meister Hans". In this practice Zwingli ran Luther a close second, as he wrote: "Why should not the Christian magistracy destroy icons and abolish the mass, especially if done with the approval of the Church? We are not saying that he must cut the throat of priests if it is possible to avoid such cruelty; but if it is not possible then we should not hesitate to imitate even the harshest examples, provided that the Spirit gives the same certainty which He gave to the heroes of the long ago. For I happen to know bishops (let me say this in passing) who will not stop giving trouble until they encounter an Elijah who will put them to the sword." That, indeed, was a close parallel to the "Meister Hans" advice given by Luther.

Since the swearing of oaths was an item in the old controversy between Remnant and "Christendom" it comes as no surprise that the final Zwingli made it an issue between him and his former friends. In connection with an Anabaptist named Georg Blaurock, who had refused to swear, Zwingli wrote: "When Georg, whom they call a second Paul, was being belabored with rods in our presence [the reference is to torture-technique; and it seems that Zwingli had watched as the torturing was in progress] even to the brink of hell, was ordered by the senate's officer to take-the-oath, lifting his hand as he did so; he at first refused to do so, as was his custom to do, and as he was continuing to do. He, indeed, carried on as if he would rather die than take-the-oath. The state-official then ordered him to take-the-oath at once, lest he give orders to put him back [reference is to the torture-table]. Then, persuaded by the rods, this Georg raised his hand to heaven and followed the magnate as he read the oath. So now, O you Catabaptists [the word means "against-baptism-folk" and was used at times when derogation of the Anabaptists was at its height], you are being confronted with the question whether this 'Paul' of yours did, or did-not, go contrary to the law [the reference is to the anti-oath-taking-law as seen by the Anabaptists] ... Why have you not excommunicated the apostate guy? Your word is not at all simply 'yes', nor is it simply 'no' [the reference is to the fact that in the controversy about oath-taking the heirs of the Remnant regularly quoted Matthew 5:3]. You follow neither Christ nor your conscience!"

To understand why it was that oath-taking was the weighty matter it actually was in the old conflict as to mode d'integration, two things must be kept in mind. The first thing is that back of oath-taking lies the assumption that all the subjects of the magistrate believe there is a God who hears what people solemnly say in a given case. The other thing to keep in mind is the fact that it was expected of all citizens in a realm to promise-under-oath to report all suspicious goings-on, such as the convening of conventicles, an arrangement that was constantly leading to arrest, and subsequent liquidation, of "heretics". Does it surprise that Remnant-heirs said that oath-taking was a tool of the devil? So important was this issue, and so deeply-rooted, that the Heidelberg Catechism gives an entire Lord's Day to the problem of oath-taking.

The final Zwingli repeated approvingly the (highly questionable) argument of Augustine in support of the delivery-view of sacraments. It is the view that has led to the theological term "baptismal regeneration". The argument, supported by the final Zwingli, goes as follows:

"Just as in the case of the malefactor on the cross grace reached its objective in spite of the fact that baptism was not present (due to factors beyond control), so does grace reach its objective where baptism is present but faith is not present (due to factors beyond control, namely the involved child's immaturity)." That, so it seems to us, is a very feeble support for the delivery-view of baptism.

The last days of Huldreich Zwingli were horror-filled.

Some months before he came to the end of the road he had asked to be relieved of his office as preacher, a request they of the government had seen fit not to grant. In a sermon preached by him near the end of his stormy career Zwingli said: "A chain has been forged and is all-but-complete, one that will cut-off my head as well as the heads of many Zurichers." Since there were now two "right" religions in Switzerland, both claiming to be the "established" faith, therefore armed conflict was inevitable, this because both faiths on hand contended that it is the magistrate's duty to defend the "right" religion and to oppose the "wrong" religion, each with a liberal use of the sword. So civil war broke out, with the rex of the "Catholic" cantons and the rex of the Zwinglian ones each doing his alleged duty. As the two armies met, in the battle of Cappell, Zwingli met his end. His corpse was found, in rigor mortis still clutching tightly the musket with which he had armed himself in the fight between the two versions of "Christendom", each side having embraced the mode d'integration endorsed by the typically ethnic faiths, but rejected and replaced by authentic Christianity, with its awareness that the creature "made in the image of God" was meant to get involved in choosing between alternatives, be a "heretic", rejected also by the ancient Remnant.

We have seen that Huldreich Zwingli at first stood very close to the Remnant. And we have seen that he erelong decided to do what Luther had done, accept the "shelter" the independence-seeking nobles offered to provide. The man met his end the way he did meet it because there cannot be two "established" faiths under one and the same flag.

We must agree with he late Emil Brunner as he said:

"The flood of anti-Christian sentiment we see rolling over us today is to a significant extent the outcome of the Theodosian sin of the church; a sin which for a millennium and a half has passed as the mark of Christianness, and, wherever it is feasible is being practiced still."

It was the intention of the people who put-together the First Amendment to put-an-end to the thought-system that has caused "the flood of anti-Christian sentiment" to come over the western half of the world.

We shall conclude this chapter with the assertion, touched-upon in the previous chapter, that if and when the religion set forth in the New Testament accepts the mode d'integration of the typical realm-religion, and dialogue is replaced by monologue, then adaptation is more than likely to follow, adaptation and accommodation.

We shall leave it to Christians living in Switzerland (and there are many) to decide whether adaptation and conformation are on-the-scene in their lovely land.

We should have pointed out, in connection with oath-taking, that in the wake of the Remnant one can in our courts replace "I swear ... " with "I solemnly affirm ... ", it being the twin sister of the First Amendment.

Chapter Ten

John Calvin and the Remnant


Coming now to the performance of John Calvin in the old issue as to the right mode d'integration of church and state we begin by saying that his performance was, in a way, somewhat different from Luther's and Zwingli's. The difference was due to the passing-of-time. Calvin came on the scene after the die had-been-cast in most places. If we set the date of Luther's second conversion at 1525 then it follows that Calvin was only sixteen at the time, too young to involve himself in the novel and momentous developments, he being at the time still caught-up (rather loosely) in the "Christendom" tradition. Calvin had a pattern-to-follow if he should get involved in reforming things.

This must not be taken to imply that Calvin was not influenced by the Remnant in any way. No, he had been brought-up in Picardy, a French province which (as we saw) had been full of "heresy" for centuries before Calvin was born there. According to an ancient representation Peter Waldo, said to have been the founder of Waldensism (a view which we think to be erroneous seeing that Waldo found followers before he made any, people who were already of Remnant convictions) visited this Picardy late in life, presumably because he knew that dissenters from "Christendom" were plentiful there. (It seems that Waldo paid a visit to Bohemia also, likewise late in his life, and that for the same reason). Be it recalled that the Dean of Arras said, some generations before Calvin was born there that "one-third of the populace, if not even more than that are heretical and attend the conventicles of the Waldensians." This implies that Remnant "heresy" lay thick on the air in Picardy as Calvin was growing-up there.

Of course, Calvin knew better than to make it known that he had been influenced by "heretics", for he was more than averagely diplomatic. He did, however, (at a time he considered it "safe") confess to having been a Waldensian for awhile (only to add that he was one no longer). Calvin's conversion to Waldensism was something he owed to his cousin, Pierre Robert Olivetan, a barbe in the Waldensian fellowship (it was this Waldensian barbe who later provided the rightly famous French translation of the Greek New Testament, did so in a remarkably short time, a fact which shows again that although the Remnant consisted of simple and unsophisticated folk there also were highly trained Waldensians). Before Olivetan began his attempt to get his cousin Calvin to convert, he had, so it seems, asked his uncle, Calvin's father, whether he was inclined to report the attempt (something the officers of "Christendom" had ordered all people to do). Olivetan knew that an attempt to get a person of the upper class to convert to the religion of the Remnant was doubly dangerous, so that he asked his uncle whether he would report the attempt. It seems that Calvin's father had said that he would not report it (There is reason to believe that Olivetan was killed while in Italy, seemingly for similar performance there). Olivetan did succeed, after two whole years of effort, to convert Calvin to the evangelical Remnant faith.

Very correctly has it been said of late, by Jan Lavicka, professor at the University of Prague, that "In adopting the beliefs of his relative ... Calvin had become a member of a clandestine organization, one which he had not expected to be as big as it was, or as important." The surprise was due to the fact that the Waldensians had tried to remain out-of-sight, so as to stay out of the hands of the "heretic" hunters of "Christendom". All through the middle ages one had to be a member of the Remnant (either by birth or by conversion) if one was to know the numerousness, as well as the quality, of the Remnant. So clever were they in covering-up their tracks that to this day most historians tend to ignore them.

As could have been predicted, Calvin soon after his conversion, began to realize that if he continued to go the Remnant way as to mode d'integration it would put him in tension with the civil rulers, who had been taught that if a society is to cohere at all it must have its established religion. It did. It contributed to Calvin's exodus from Geneva to Strasbourg (where Bucer the local Reformer tried to make him take-up permanent residence -- in 1538.) And in 1548 the City Council of Geneva gave to a man named Guichard Roux, the right to attend the Lord's Supper, even though the consistory of the church had told him to abstain. Calvin was admonished for criticizing the magistrates of Geneva. In that year the magistracy of the city declared that although pastors were permitted to exhort bad-behaving persons they were not permitted to excommunicate them.

Although Calvin did not say much about his unhappy experience in connection with church-discipline, it did cause him finally to question somewhat the mode d'integration of the Remnant. It is apparent that it did cause him finally to dislike it. He was going in the direction of the second conversion of Luther, as well as that of Zwingli.

Although Calvin knew better than to let it be known that he had been converted to Waldensism he did at one time own-up to it. It was during a visit with a representative of the Bohemian Brethren, a man, named Matthew Czerwenka, at Strasbourg. The man had been commissioned to go to feel-out the reformation going on to the west, this in hope of finding there some, badly needed, support in the ancient conflict between Remnant and "Christendom". The man had not expected to meet Calvin, but was, of course, delighted to meet him. A long meeting between the two took place. The two men had a lengthy discussion, and it is in the report of Czerwenka concerning the discussion (recorded in the language of present-day Czechoslovakia) that the report of Calvin's conversion is recorded. It reads: "I too was once a Waldensian but am that no longer." Czerwenka's report says that Calvin "spoke at great length about his reasons for quitting the company of the Waldensians" and we cannot deplore it enough that Czerwenka did not see fit to relate the details of the long discussion, for if he had related them, then we would know a lot about Calvin's reason for leaving the fold of the Remnant. Czerwenka did say that one of the reasons was that the Waldensians put a heavy emphasis on "conduct-reflecting-conversion", on apparent-renewal. This (as we have seen) was an item in the old conflict between Remnant and "Christendom" and it is no wonder Calvin spoke at length about it in his talk with Czerwenka.

Now that it has become evident to us that Calvin was converted to Waldensism, we are in position to understand a matter in the career of Calvin about which there has thus far been nothing but confused guessing, namely the meaning and the purpose of the two tracts with which Calvin made his debut in the Low Countries. Two things, so it seems to us, may be said; one is that the tracts were addressed to the Flemish heirs of the Remnant; the other is that the purpose of the tract was to make them change their convictions as to mode d'integration, or, as it can also be put, to magisterialize. As to the first-named item the very fact that the tracts were written in French shows that they were meant for French-speaking people. It is true, in the opening address Calvin says that the first tract was intended for "evangelicals" living in various parts of Europe, such as England and Italy, but the use of the French language proved that the tracts were meant for Frenchmen. The fact that, as far as is known, only Flemings replied to the first tract, settles the question. The other thing that has become apparent, is that the tracts were written in order there to bring-about magisterialization of the Reform-movement, a matter of exchanging the Remnant view of mode d'integration, as will, we hope, become apparent as we proceed.

Before we move on, our assertion that it was with these tracts that Calvin "made his debut in Flanders" requires a bit of our time, especially in view of the fact there is such a thing as "the Calvinizing of history". The French historian, Frossard, has concluded that "The name of Calvin does not appear on an edict until 1550." Of the 475 persons tried for "heresy" at Antwerp between 1522 and 1567 only seven are listed as "Calvinists", none prior to 1558. Another French historian, named Paillard, has written that "In 1544 the person of Calvin was still little-known in the Low Countries." In a list of forbidden books, published at Liege, the name of Calvin does not appear until 1550.

Why did Calvin come on the scene openly so late in Flanders? We are convinced that it was due to the fact that the Low Countries were the "hereditary domains" of the emperor, Charles V; were under his rule apart from the fact that he was emperor. As the emperor was coming-back from the trial of Luther at Worms he was heard to say "In my hereditary domains there will, however, be no heresy!"

This means that the temptation to accept the protection from the local nobles (the temptation to which both Luther and Zwingli had capitulated) did not present itself in Flanders until quite some time had gone by; did not present itself until 1555, when the emperor decided to abdicate, upon which flirtation from the side of the nobles put in its appearance at once.

We return now to our study of the two tracts of Calvin.

The first tract bears the lengthy title "A Little Tract Showing How Believers Should Carry on While Residing in a Catholic Country". Because the people addressed in the tract were not inclined to go the way Calvin was telling them to go they came out with a tract with an item-by-item reply, one in which they contended that Calvin was asking more than does the New Testament. Upon this Calvin came-back with a second tract, this one titled:

"John Calvin 50 Exculpation Addressed to the Nicodemites Concerning Their Complaint of His Excessive Rigor".

As we seek to understand the debate which the tracts of Calvin sparked we do well to go back to an earlier conference of Remnant-heirs and twice-converted Reformers, held in Switzerland, at a place called Chanforan (near a larger place, known as Angrogne, so that the conference goes by either name). Chanforan was a little town deep in the Alps, chosen, no doubt, so as to escape detection by government-agents.

To really get-to-know the "climate" in which the tracts of Calvin were written we do well to go even farther back, all the way to 1522, when the fiery Reformer Farel was already making propaganda-trips to Remnant strongholds in such places in the Alps as Gap, Champ Saur, Freissinieres, I' Aigle, etc. In 1526 a pair of Waldensian barbes, the one named Martin Gonin (of whom we shall hear more) and the other named Guido de Calabria (of whom we shall also hear more) were already reporting on a fact-finding trip to the north, a trip about which very little is known, this in view of the fact that it was a form of suicide to go on such a trip (as Martin Gonin discovered later, as he was drowned for being a "heretic").

In reply to a letter written by the Waldensian barbe, Georg Morel, (of whom we shall also hear more), the Reformers to the north had said: "Thank God for keeping alive and protecting the small remainder [We were evidently not starting something when we called them the "Remnant"] hidden in the Alps." It must not be overlooked that the reference is to an already-venerable group, for it speaks of "keeping-alive" rather than of reviving or initiating.

The letter does not speak of starting something. The writer was not thinking of starting something, was thinking instead of changing something that was already old.

In a letter dated October 30, 1530, the Reformer Oecolampadius wrote to the Waldensians whom Morel represented: "It is with a lively feeling of gladness in Christ... to learn how your faith is grounded and your service structured. We thank the good heavenly Father for calling you to His wonderful vision during the centuries in which virtually the whole world lay in bondage to the yoke of Antichrist, buried in deep darkness. We were permitted to discover that the Spirit of Christ indwells you, and we love you as our brethren, praying God that it may please Him to permit us to show you by deeds our heartfelt interest" (This "by deeds" probably refers to the giving of some financial-support). There is reason to think that this lavish praise, this endorsement of the position of the people addressed, was a kind of prelude, to be followed by a "but" and a call for change in mode d'integration.

In connection with the expression "how your service is structured" we shall quote from a letter written by Bernard Gui, as follows: "After the meal, grace having been said and prayers offered ... they preach and exhort on their doctrine to those present, if at least they find themselves in an opportune place, one where they do not have to fear outsiders, or servants who do not share in their convictions. They do their preaching mostly by night, after the evening meal, when their believers are together, after the day's work, when they can talk secretly and safely and hiddenly. Then, after the sermon is ended, they all go on bended knees, as they had done in their opening prayers.

Sometimes they first extinguish the light, they saying that they do this so as not to be apprehended by outsiders, by persons who do not take part in their activities." (It was this kind of performance, the conventicle kind, that the visitors from the north wanted discontinued, be replaced by "public" gatherings, done under supervision of a rex).

As we said, the eulogy recited in praise of the Waldensians, as given above, was followed by a "but", a rebuke, one of which the following is a sample: "Out of fear of persecution you hide your faith, so denying it. You must keep in mind that confession done with the lips must agree with the faith held in the heart, that all who are ashamed of Christ before the world will be disowned before the Father. Since our God is a God of truth He wants to be served truthfully. Since He is a jealous God He does not want His servants to place themselves under the rule of Antichrist, seeing that there is no agreement between Christ and Belial. You, however, receive the sacrament..., partake in the Supper in which the suffering and the death of Christ are mocked [the reference here is to what was known as "Nicodemitism" as rebuked by Calvin's second tract, the policy on the part of the Remnant-heirs to be physically present at the mass once in awhile, this so as to keep the officers of "Christendom" off their backs.] ... Does not their [the reference is to spokesmen of "Christendom"] contention that their sacrifices make satisfaction for the sins of the living as well as for the dead imply an open declaration that Christ has not satisfied for them, that Christ is not what His name implies, namely, "savior", and that He died in vain? Do we not deny Christ every time we say amen to their prayers?

Ought we not the rather die many times over? .. I know your weakness; but it behooves those who have been bought by the blood of Christ to show greater courage ... I repeat that it would be better to die than to yield to temptation." (Here we are listening to the same rebuke which lay at the heart of Calvin's tracts).

From the rebuke to which we are listening it is apparent that they of the Remnant did, at least occasionally, attend mass. This has been taken, by historians bound-up by the faulty historiography, to imply that the heirs of the Remnant were still Catholics at heart (a notion that must be dismissed in the light of known facts). No, they of the Remnant saw the mass as a political thing, as it was, seeing that "sacraments" are rituals whereby a rex keeps his subjects bundled-together. By going to mass now and then the Remnant-heirs were simply saying that they had no objection to being ruled by a rex not committed to the "right" religion. It was simply a way of saying that they were not mutins. Since this was the heart of the matter it comes as no surprise that the followers of the twice-converted Reformers saw the practice of going to mass-occasionally as the sin-of-sins, this because it put the clamps on magisterialization. To scold the Flemish evangelicals the way it was being done in the passage just quoted, as if they were still caught-up in the Catholic thought-system, was to read into the practice a meaning it did not have for the persons involved. Be it recalled that they of the Remnant often kept the "element" in their mouth until they had a chance to spit it out, either into a handkerchief or into a thicket. If being-present at the mass was taken to mean what they of the Remnant meant by it, then the scoldings they got for it, also in the tracts of Calvin, were not entirely fair. For the "heretics" it had about the same implications which the saluting of a flag has.

In the hope, and the expectation, that the heirs of the Remnant would be won for magisterialization, would switch to a different mode d'integration, it was decided to hold the conference of which we have already spoken, at Chanforan. It began on September 2 of 1532 and lasted six days. At it a creedal statement was drawn-up, consisting of seventeen articles. One of the articles was that there would be no more conventicles, that henceforth the gatherings for worship would be "not in secret but in the most-public places available", as it was put. Manifestly the intention was to transform the religion of the Waldensians into a realm-religion.

The decision implied that they of the Remnant had all along been barking-up-the-wrong-tree, a very serious accusation. Because the holding of conventicles stood in the way of a change from the Remnant mode d'integration to a "catholic" one, therefore the twice-converted Reformers were dead-set against it.

Now that we know what it was all about, it comes as no surprise that at Chanforan most of the younger barbes gave evidence of falling-in-line with the visitors, while some of the older barbes did not. So great was the tension between the two kinds that two of the older ones walked out of the meeting to go to their fellow- Waldensians in Bohemia, their twin brothers. Their names were Daniel de Valence and Jean de Molines. They took with them some of the precious old manuscripts which their ancestors had compiled, this, no doubt, because said manuscripts dealt with the problem of mode d'integration. According to the report of the visit, drawn up by the Brethren, the two old barbes had reported that "Some persons that play-around with Scriptures assailed us with questions concerning the way of salvation, they doing so in such a way that deplorable division has developed among us, a people among whom there has for centuries been unanimity." According to the report, the two old barbes had predicted a heightening-of-persecution, a matter in which they were right, for heightening-of-persecution did begin at once, even as outright war developed erelong.

As all this was going-on Calvin no doubt watched the developments closely, for he had, with his two tracts, already joined in the fray as to the right mode d'integration, with all its implications and results.

We owe to a historian of recent times, Amadeo Molnar, a neat summary of the conflict, he writing: "We do not know the oral advice given by the Brethren to Jean and Daniel, but the correspondence of 1541 between Augusta [a leader among the Brethren] and Bucer gives expression to a constructive, but very firm, criticism of Bucer and of the Reformers' teaching in general as to the assignment given the secular ruler. The letter sketches the discussion concerning the Reformers' all-too-ready replacement of the hardships associated with being a believer [the reference is to "cross-bearing", which was among -those of the Remnant a sine qua non for being a Christian] and the utterly safe practice of reclining under the wing of the political powers. They were at a loss to understand why the Reformers did not come-away from the antiquated concept of Christendom, that is, come-away from an everybody-embracing-fellowship, one governed by Christian rulers and their helpers, the implication being that it is the duty of these to see the Reformation through to victory. By thus joining hands with the political powers the sixteenth century Reformers were obstructing the, highly desirable, termination of the Constantinian era." To put in our terms this very insightful description, done by Molnar, of what the older barbes had against the Reformers (after their second conversion) was that they were selling-out to confusio regnorum, born of the notion that the church of Christ was meant to be "catholic", an everybody-embracing order, doing so by falling-back into the thought-system of the "big-blunder", were tossing-aside the mode d'integration of authentic Christianity and were picking-up the mode d'integration of ethnic faiths.

The Brethren in Bohemia sided with the two old barbes, and let it be known that they did so. So a conference was scheduled to discuss the matter, and plan-things. It was held on August 15 of 1533, at a place called San Martino. Here those who were prepared to go the way of the Reformers, after their second conversion, seem to have gotten their way, by and large. It was said there that the Brethren had been "misinformed more or less by the two old barbes." Upon this, Jean and Daniel left the scene, never to return to it. They saw in the offing a wave of persecution sure to result from the move to change the faith of the Remnant into a realm-religion, and it pitted against another realm-religion, the old one of "Christendom".

In anticipating trouble, the old barbes, and their supporters, , were right, for a short two years later, in 1534, the Duke of Savoy was giving orders to suppress the "new cult" (as it was called). A horrible blood-bath ensued, one too horrible to describe here. Involved in the matter was the already-mentioned Martin Gonin. He had gone to Geneva to see if help was to be had from the element that had contributed to the turmoil. Here Gonin was, of course, received with open arms. But they of Geneva were, of course, not in position to do anything to get the Waldensians out of their distress, caused by a quarrel they had not started. So Gonin and his fellow-visitor went on their way back. He did not reach his native land, however. On his way back he was arrested, and when some "heretical" papers were found, sealed under the lining of his coat, he was executed, by "going under", that is by being drowned, in a lake in the Alps (It will be recalled that Zwingli had said that "heretics" should be made to "go-under-indeed").

In the wake of the massacre some twelve thousand Waldensians left the Alps, went down the Rhine, in the hope of finding, as strangers, some kind of asylum somewhere. Only one-third of the fleeing flock of Remnant-heirs survived the journey. Some who did survive found refuge in Emmerick, in Germany, just across the border of Flanders, where they, according to an old report (preserved at Emmerick) became the nucleus of the Reformed church that in the course of time took-shape there.

Another matter to be taken-up at Chanforan was the production of a translation of the New Testament into French from the original Greek. The far-from-rich Remnant-heirs agreed to foot-the-bill. The task of doing the translating was given to Farel, he being on hand at the gathering. But it soon became evident that Farel was not making-headway in the matter, no doubt because he, being a person of turbulent spirit, had other things to do than sit in a study with a lot of books and manuscripts and grammars, etc. So the assignment was transferred to Olivetan, the cousin of Calvin who had been instrumental in the great Genevan's first conversion. He finished it in an unbelievably short time, finishing on February 12 of 1535. Calvin was asked to write an Introduction to the translation. He agreed to, and came out with an Introduction. It was in this Introduction that, according to Beza, Calvin "for the first time in his life gave expression of an evangelical faith" (It was indeed an "expression-of- an-evangelical faith", rather than an Introduction-to-a-translation. It is more of a personal testimony than anything else).

Of course, the matter of migrant-ministers was also taken-up at Chanforan. As we know, the barbes of the Waldensians had the custom of going from place to place, this, no doubt, so as to make it less dangerous, it being possible for such a migrant barbe to come to a town or village, perhaps on an evening, deliver his message in an uninhabited building or in an alley, and then slip-out as quietly as he had slipped-in. Having the custom of moving-about two-by-two they of the Remnant based the practice on the evidence that the disciples of Jesus went from place to place two-by-two. But the idea of portable ministers can hardly be made to fit the thinking of "Christendom", with its parishes, each with its own cleric. At Chanforan it was therefore said summarily:

"Although the apostles were indeed sent-out, bishops and pastors must stay-put, stay with their sheep."


In the correspondence between Oecolampadius and Morel something is said about the venerability of the Remnant. Morel wrote: "We are teachers among a poor and small group, one that has existed for more than four hundred years after the time of the apostles, as our people testify consistently. And we have lived in the midst of immense difficulties -- yet not without the grace of God, as all devout folk can testify." The strange phrase "four hundred years after the time of the apostles" seems to imply that the Remnant saw itself as a thing that went back all the way to Pentecost some four centuries prior to the birth of "Christendom", and, had continued-on since that momentous happening. This would imply that the Remnant, as encountered in the days of the Reformation, goes back all the way to Pentecost.

We have spent considerable time on Chanforan because that which went on there portrays the climate in which Calvin's two tracts were drawn up, by the John Calvin who had been converted to the vision of the Remnant, only to go back to a new "Christendom", this one governed by adherents of a "better theology".

We shall now study somewhat the contents of the tracts with which Calvin made his debut, the lengthy titles of which we have already given. We shall begin by saying that the first tract is a classic in non-disclosure, a fact that all-by-itself throws an interesting, and significant, light on the tract, for it can be taken to imply that the tract was intended for people standing in the tradition of the Remnant, concerning whom it was cruel to recite information.

There is evidence that the first tract created quite a stir, for it was at once put out in translations. It has been said that the translation of the first tract was the first translation of a work coming out of the French Reformation. Evidently contemporaries saw the tract as bahnbrechend, as pace-setting. What was so new about it? The fact that an already-old movement (that of the Remnant) was being advised to change-direction, that instead of hiding longer they of the Remnant were being told to come-out-in-the-open, push-aside the existing realm-religion and then step-into the place left empty. The tract was saying calmly that they of the Remnant had hitherto been in error as to mode d'integration, should no longer meet in conventicles but "in the most public places available" (as it had been put also at Chanforan). In his tract Calvin was suggesting that if the people addressed were to follow his advice then God would "come to their aid with a means not known as yet", that "means" being as Calvin put it, "the conversion of the princes and their officers to the destruction of the idolatries and the instituting of the true adoration of God". Calvin was advising the people he was addressing to put-in-practice that which he had been teaching at Geneva, that if the "supreme ruler" fails to do his duty on the level of religion then the task automatically devolves on the "lesser rulers". He realized that it would be hopeless to try to get the "supreme ruler" in the area (Charles V, who was the "supreme ruler" there apart from the fact that he was the emperor, the area being his "hereditary domain") to give to ' the "true" religion the status of establishment, and that therefore "the believers residing in a Catholic country" should address the "lesser rulers". That was indeed a novel idea.

All Europeans knew that there was a Remnant -- but it was a novel idea to advise them to take-over, give to their faith the status of "establishment".

Of course, the Flemish Remnant-heirs talked-back to Calvin. They had been brought-up to think along radically different lines. They said that Calvin was demanding more than the New Testament does. They put-together a long list of arguments against what Calvin was teaching in the tract, arguments gleaned mostly from the New Testament, this because they saw John the Baptist as a "fore-runner", a "way-preparer", as to mode d'integration.

Because the Flemish Remnant-heirs talked-back to him the way that they did, Calvin came-out with a second tract (the title of which we have also already given). Although the second tract was more of an attempt at self-defense than an attempt to strengthen his argument, he did do some of the latter. This time he did some divulging. For one thing, he gave to the people addressed in the tracts the name "Nicodemites" (a name that takes us back to New Testament times, when a man by that name contacted Jesus by night, so as to keep it secret). There is a close parallel between the practice of Nicodemus and that of the members of the Remnant going to the Catholic mass now and then. (It will be recalled that this "Nicodemitism" had been rebuked at Chanforan). There is some evidence that they of the Remnant had been called "Nicodemites" before Calvin called them that. William of Newburgh was already speaking of "Nicodemites" and their practice when he said of the "heretics" of his times: "They hasten to the feast of Easter and along with the rest.. they bend their knees before the altar even more deeply than do the rest, opening their mouths as wide as possible for the reception thereof." And "Saint" Bernard was heard to say of the Remnant members: "When they come to hear the mass or to gaze-in-adoration at the Eucharist they do so feignedly, so as to make it impossible to detect their infidelity." It follows that by calling the people addressed in the second tract's title "Nicodemites" Calvin was saying that the Flemings were standing in an ancient tradition. Calvin was throwing some needed light on the history of things as he used the term "Nicodemites".

Calvin did some more divulging. In his second tract he said that the people he was addressing reminded him of a garbage collector (to whom he gave the name "Fifi"), who has handled garbage for such a long time that he no longer smells the stench-of- the-stuff, even takes it ill of folk who pinch-shut their noses so as not to be bothered by the awful smell. We are grateful for this remark, for it informs us that the people he was addressing had a long history already, that theirs was by no means a novel movement, one that had started with the posting of some theses by Luther, was already very venerable instead, to which we are giving the name of Remnant.

Calvin did some more divulging in the second tract. He also said that the people he was addressing were numerous, so numerous that "a goodly part of the world has been led astray by the asinine conduct of the stage-players" (the original has "Que une grande partie du monde est faschee de I 'asnerie des caffartz "). That again makes it apparent that the people addressed were both numerous and ancient. Of whom could Calvin have been thinking if not of the Remnant? Recall what Jan Lavicka said, as reported by us already, that with his conversion to Waldensism Calvin had "become a member of a clandestine organization, one which he had not expected to be as big as it was." Now Calvin was saying it was "a goodly part of the world". We appreciate it highly that in his tracts Calvin, a man who had for a time been part of their company, gave us the data he was giving, data which modem theologians would do well not to continue to ignore any longer.

There is no evidence that the people addressed in the tracts took-to-heart what Calvin was advising, it being suicidal to do so, in the Flanders of the times. Why the wait? We have already answered that question. It was because the emperor saw the Low Countries as his "hereditary domains", an area in which he was the supreme ruler, he and he alone, so that no subordinate was prepared to go-against the dictator. To realize how "risky" it was to go-against the monarch (the word means "alone-ruler") we quote the following order, issued by Charles V on June 10 of 1535: "A11 those, whether male or female, who are found to be infected with said condemned sect... whatever may be their condition, all who indulge-in or adhere-to, or give-aid in it, will incur the forfeiture of body and of goods, and will be put-to-death without delay. That is to say, by fire in the case of those who remain obstinate and persist in their evil opinions and designs, or who have induced anyone to join their sect, or who have baptized anew, or have assumed the name of 'prophet' or 'bishop'. A11 other persons who have been re-baptized, or have secretly or advisedly sheltered another, or others, shall... after having renounced their evil sentiments and opinions, and being in a state of true contrition and remorse ... be put to death by the sword if they are men and by the pit if they are women." (The expression "by the pit" means "buried-alive"). Does it surprise that the "lesser-nobles" living in Flanders were not going the way Calvin had suggested they go, in his tracts?

Although the demonic measures taken by the emperor kept things from going the way Calvin had pointed in his tracts they did not put an end to the Remnant. Fact is that in spite of the edicts of the emperor, and his policies, the number of evangelical "heretics" increased, and that rather voluminously. The emperor, realizing that he was not getting-his-way (seeing that for every Remnant "heretic" he put-to-death a half-dozen or more came in his, or her, place) decided to abdicate, "call-it-quits", which he then did, in 1555, giving the reins-of-government into the hands of his son, Philip II. Because this son was more of a play-boy than a ruler he put the reins into the hands of his half-sister, Margaret of Parma, who thereupon ruled as with an iron hand. (Contemporary witness says that she had a trace of a beard, was far from evincing the gentleness one might expect from a woman. She was a "toughy", and continued in the sternness of Charles V, was personally responsible for the execution of a great many "heretics").

The abdication of Charles V did give at least some of the "lesser" rulers a hint. An association known as the Compromis, consisting of nobles and clergy (mostly imported for the purpose), was organized; and with its appearance things began to go in the Low Countries the way they had gone elsewhere earlier, only a few years after the posting of Luther's theses, a generation earlier.

The phrase "Mostly imported for the purpose" needs a brief treatment. It was as a faithful servant of Philip II, del Canto by name, wrote to him: "They of the new league [i.e. the Compromis ] seeing that they were unable to get the people to follow them in their intentions, have caused preachers to come from France and from Geneva, whom they are scattering everywhere in the land, and who are persuading the people to present themselves at the preachings, they doing so in such a way that flocks of people are coming out of the cities so as to attend their sermons" (reference is to on-going "hedge-preachings" as they were called in Dutch. The word "hedge" as well as the word "hage" means "unauthorized", so that an unrecorded marriage was known as a "hagenhuwelijk'"i. It will have occurred to the reader that these "hedge-preachings" were simply "conventicles-going-public".

It was as the Belgian historian Pirenne has put it: "With the arrival of Calvinism a new spirit was coming to expression ... , contending that its adherents were out to reform the state, put it under divine law, that is, make it subject to the church." To put it in our terms, with the arrival of imported preachers the Remnant mode d'integration was being replace by the mode d'integration of "Christendom". That which had taken place in Germany a generation earlier was now taking place. in Flanders. The ideas that had come to Flanders from Geneva in and with the two tracts were now presenting themselves in-the- flesh.

In the eyes of Calvin, and therefore in the eyes of those who had been taught at Geneva, the Constantinian-synthesis, far from being a "big blunder", had been a big leap in the right direction, for, as Calvin put it of the previous period: "the dignity of the church still lay hidden under the cross". That age, said Calvin, had come-to-end when Christianity was cast into the pattern of the ethnic faiths, was changed into a realm-religion. It seems not to have occurred to Calvin as he was saying this about "still hidden under the cross" that the New Testament does not speak of "cross-bearing" as something the Church was to graduate-from, an experience intended to come-to-an-end in the here-and-now, speaks instead of "cross-bearing" as the inevitable consequence of being a believer. In his final phase Calvin too was not interested in the replacement of the ethnic mode d'integration, was interested in correcting somewhat the theology of the earlier "Christendom", the while keeping its mode d'integration.

There can be no argument as to whether Calvin saw the Church of Christ as a nation-wide entity. It is true, he tried to keep the two views of the church from cancelling each other out. But in doing so he was trying to do the impossible. The Church of Christ cannot be both Corpus Christi (the believers) and Corpus Christianum (the "christened" society). It cannot be denied, or even questioned, that Calvin thought in terms of church-in-two-senses. Nor can it be put in plainer terms, than what Calvin says in Institutes IV, 1: 7: "The scriptures speak of the Church in two ways; sometimes as it really is before God, the Church into which none are admitted but those who by the gift of adoption are the sons of God and by sanctifying of the Spirit are the true members of Christ... [this is the church seen as Corpus Christi]. .. often too by the name of Church is designated the whole body of mankind who by baptism are initiated into the faith ... In this Church there is a large mixture of hypocrites who have nothing of Christ but the name and outward appearance ... [this is the church seen as Corpus Christianumi ... " Calvin even offered to give the ratio of the two churches, "a small and contemptible number hidden in a large pile of chaff" (Institutes IV, 4:2). Manifestly Calvin was trying to eat his cake but still have it. It was as McGiffert has put it: "Calvin's doctrine of the church was a composite of... diverse and inconsistent elements". The two modes d'integration cannot but cancel-each-other-out, for it is as Schwenkfeld (a contemporary who evidently stood in the tradition of the Remnant) said, that the entity to which Calvin was giving the name of Corpus Christianum was not "church" but was a "rips raps Versammlung ", a "helter-skelter-ganging-up".

So averse was Calvin to the idea of unordained persons preaching at conventicles that he took it upon himself to advise the Duke of Somerset, in England (the chief ruler in place of the boy-king, Edward VI) to put a stop to the on-going preaching done there by unordained preachers, using the sword if needed. And in his attack on the out-put of the "synod" held by the Anabaptists, at Schleitheim, in 1527, Calvin had already launched a heavy attack on the holding of conventicles, an ancient practice among heirs of the Remnant.

To know what was going-on in Geneva at the time, and concerning the matter of the rex not only "running" the church but also using his sword to punish "heretics", we need but listen to Theodor Beza as he declares: "He who seeks to keep the magistrates from the care of religion, in particular from the punishment of heretics, despises the Word of God and the authority of the ages" (It seems not to have occurred to Calvin's colleague that "the Word of God" and "the authority of the ages" generally disagree with each other on highly important matters, such as mode d 'integration).

Calvin himself taught that "The foremost task of the magistracy is not that of keeping subjects in peace as to the body; rather is it to bring-about that God is worshipped in their domains." He also taught that "Whoever contends that it is wrong to put heretics and blasphemers to death will, whether knowingly or unknowingly, incur their very guilt. This is not laid down on human authority. It is God who speaks and prescribes a perpetual rule for the Church" (We suggest that Calvin used the word "perpetual" here because he knew that there was an old tradition, endorsed by the Remnant, that with the coming of John the Baptist a new, and different, era had begun.)

It was not because there was no alternative on the mental-menu of the times that Calvin said what he said about the use of the sword in matters of religion. No, indeed, for at the Schleitheim conference, in 1527, it had already been said confessionally that "The sword is an ordinance outside the perfection of Christ. Princes and rulers of this world are ordained for the punishment of evildoers, even for putting them to death. But with the perfection of Christ excommunication is the ultimate punishment, physical death being not included." (The, oft repeated, expression "the perfection of Christ" was invented, and used by the Remnant, for two reasons, so it seems. One reason was the fact that in Remnant-eyes the New Testament church was an improvement, a "perfecting", over the Old Testament, a perfecting led by John the Baptist. The second reason for coining the expression was that by using it the renewal-aspect of salvation was emphasized, a thing badly needed.

John Calvin could not have made it plainer than he did that he was caught in confusio regnorum. We shall give a few examples to prove this. In reply to the Remnant's teaching that God has two programs going in this fallen world, the sword being in-place in the one program but is out-of-place in the other; Calvin, quoting I Corinthians 12:21, said "The eye cannot say to the hand, nor the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you'." What Calvin should have noticed as he was quoting the sentence found in I Corinthians was that Paul was speaking of a variety of "gifts" in the program of erliisende Gnade, such as the gift-of-healing, the working-of-miracles, the speaking-in-tongues, the prophesying, etc. Nothing is said in the passage about the use of the sword, or about any of the things that go with the program of erhaltende Gnade. As Calvin was saying what he said at the moment he was giving evidence of being involved in confusio regno rum, was giving evidence of being-unaware of the fact that authentic Christianity had come with its own mode d'integration. (It should not be overlooked that as Calvin was saying what he said he was aware of it that there was another view, an other one, that of the Remnant).

In his quarrel with the Remnant-heirs Calvin wrote also:

"Just as religion holds first place among philosophers, and as this was held with unanimous agreement of the nations, therefore princes and magistrates ought to be ashamed of their indolence if they do not make it the object of their most serious concern." As Calvin was writing this someone should have reminded him that when diverging views come-up in the life of the church (as was the case as he was writing) then the right thing to do is not that of paging-through the writings of "philosophers", nor to consult the "consensus of nations" but, instead, have a long and hard look at the Word-of-God.

We hear Calvin say also that "No man can doubt that the civil authority is in the sight of God not only sacred and lawful but is the most sacred and by far the most honorable of all stations in mortal life." What Calvin should have done was to work-out the implications of the fact that while Jesus was on earth He did not so much as once make a trip to Rome for conference with the folk engaged there in the program of erhaltende Gnade. As has been pointed-out in this study earlier, it posed no problem for the Savior to live under the rule of a pagan rex. Are we actually to assume that since serving in the program of a civil ruler is "the most sacred and by far the most honorable" Jesus should have doffed-His-hat as He was being brought into the judgment-hall of Pilate? Calvin should have worked-into his thought-system the implications of the fact that magistrates are serving in an "earthly" kingdom, a "secular" one, a kingdom of "this age" and not of the "age-to-come". Calvin should have realized that in the eyes of Christ His twelve disciples were involved in a program more important in God's sight than is that of the magistrates.

Although there were leaders in the world of the times who would have disagreed with Calvin and his views as to the relative importance of serving in the realm of erhaltende Gnade and the realm of erlosende, Calvin's evaluation presently became prominent. We hear a "Calvinist" named Henri Alting say: "The civil power is an institution which God has instituted in both the Old and the New Testament [Apparently Alting realized over against him were people who saw the New Testament as an advance]. Therefore this office belongs in the commonwealth, and they who administer its affairs properly must themselves be Christian ... We have proved from Scriptures that the office of the magistrate is an institution of God and belongs in the commonwealth ... Yes, even heathen folk, although they did not know the true God, nevertheless, whenever they established the secular rule, have acknowledged that their first duty was to establish religion, false though that religion was. By this they wanted to say that the laws of nature had taught them that they were responsible for religion in connection with their calling." Alting seems not to have been taught to see that the "Word of God" is not at all points in-step with the "laws-of-nature", so that what was needed was "special" revelation, "special" revelation that intends to be "corrective" at a great many, and important, points, as to the erlosende Gnade.

Having mentioned Henri Alting, we shall call attention to another situation, one in which we find a preacher in the camp of the "Calvinists" this time defending the convictions of the Remnant as to mode d'integration. His name was 'Huibert Duifhuis. In a sermon preached by him he had contended that "No one should allow himself to be led-astray in matters of faith to use force or to prosecute, seeing that this is to be left to God and to Him exclusively." The man also warned against "persecutions engineered by the church." When in connection with a broader-assembly of the "Reformed" churches, held in 1578, a delegate read Beza to Duifhuis, he, after listening awhile, got up to say: "If those are your convictions then my soul does not want to stay in your company", upon which he walked out of the meeting. For performing that way Duifhuis was called "a wolf in sheep's clothing" (by Henri Alting), and it was said that he should be "put into the hands of the magistrate". It was for this kind of behavior that Duifhuis was defrocked, had his ordination cancelled. From this course-of-events in connection with Duifhuis it is apparent that there were heirs of the Remnant as well as heirs of "Christendom", with the latter gaining-ground over the former. To see how far things went in the direction of the latter we point out that erelong the "Great Synod", held at Dordrecht, was convened and managed by the States General, so that they who had "lost-out" at the Synod were punished by the civil powers, were expatriated (although they did not all go). Neo-Constantinianism had gained the victory, so making the First Amendment necessary.

Before we conclude this chapter on Calvin's contribution we should, so it seems, spend a bit of time on the question whether there is a genetic link between addiction-to-the-"Decretalism" of the Synod of Dordrecht and addiction-to-the-Constantinian-synthesis. We think there is such a link, as the following seems to us to show. By common consent Augustine of Hippo was a firm defender of said synthesis -- and he was also a firm defender of the "Decretalism" of which "election" and "predestination" are structural parts. The Donatists, against whom Augustine fought long and hard, were committed to the mode d'integration that came to expression ever after in the camp of the Remnant; while Augustine was, as firmly, committed to the mode d'integration that went with "Christendom". So there does seem to be a genetic link.

John Calvin is known for his ardent support of Decretalism; and he was as firmly committed to the mode d'integration of "Christendom". The fact that Calvin was committed to the mode d'integration of "Christendom" contributed heavily to his sustained assault on the Anabaptists, those heirs of the Remnant and its mode d'integration.

We have already said that the Great Synod was firmly committed to the mode d'integration of "Christendom", so that it was to be expected that its members became the authors of the most Decretal thing ever published, the Canons of Dordt. We have said that the Great Synod had been convened by the States General, was by that token, firmly in the tradition of "Christendom" -- the members of which controlled the agenda. (When representatives of the church asked to see the papers of the foreign delegates, who had been invited by the States General, the request was denied them, this "because the papers are where they belong, in The Hague"). Yes, there seems to be a genetic link between Decretalism and neo-Constantinianism.

Turning the thing around, and bringing the matter up-to-date, we point out that the such evangelical leaders as Billy Graham are not at all in the habit of "comparing notes with the civil rulers", are therefore standing in the tradition of the Remnant -- and are not at all bound to Decretalism.

So one could continue, but it seems to be enough to show that there indeed is a genetic-relationship between addiction-to-Decretalism and addiction-to-the-mode d'integration of "Christendom".

Having shown that there indeed is the genetic-relationship we shall show that the issue came up already at the meeting held at Chanforan. Here the heirs of the Remnant fought against Decretalism as ardently as the visitors fought-in-favor of it. We find the man Morel (of whom we have heard before) writing to Oecolampadius that "Nothing confuses us as much as does that which we read about predestination and free-will. We believe that human beings have received from God a trait that is definitive of man [here Morel is speaking of the thing we have called "hereticking"]. From experience we learn moreover that one person differs widely from another, as also the parable of the talents seems to show. We see that plants and vegetables, even stones, as well as all the rest of created things, all have their own peculiar qualities, given them by God, qualities which make certain things possible in their case. We therefore believe that, thanks to the aforementioned God-given abilities, human beings are able to do certain things. This is the more so since God has a way of stimulating and strengthening the native ability, so that He Himself says 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock', so that he who refuses to open-up will in the end be rewarded according to his performance." Morel had not made-his-peace with the mode d'integration the visitors were trying to "sell", and this also made it impossible for him to "swallow" Decretalism.

The issue was far from new in the camp of the Remnant. Fact is that they of the Remnant had long ago already put together a poem intended to obstruct Decretalism, a poem that reads:


"Si yo presento a tu la copa de l'ayga freyda

e tu non voles hubrir la boca,

Si yo porso a tu la rosa e tu non voles penre,

Si la solelh bata Ie fenestra e tu voles tenir la fenestra,

Si yo bata a l'us e tu non voles ubrir a mi --

La culpa es tua e non mia"


- - - which translates:

"If I present to you a cup of cold water

and you do not want to open your mouth,

If I hand you a rose

and you do not want to take it,

If the sun beats down on your window blind

and you want to keep it shut,

If I knock at your door

and you do not want to open to me --

Then the guilt is yours, not mine."


That is a neat repudiation of Decretalism, and the fact that it was drawn-up by the Remnant proves the idea of "hereticking", of choice-making, was giving the propagators of "Christendom" a hard time.

If we were to ask why they of "Christendom" had worked-out Decretalism the answer seems to be that it provided an "escape-route". It made it possible to cling to both Corpus Christi and to Corpus Christianum, the former consisting of an "elect" element, one known to God and to Him only, so that for all practical purposes it could be ignored and all citizens enclosed in the "visible church", keeping the New Testament out of their hair, by saying that the "real" church is the "invisible" one, the one with which we must "work" being Corpus Christianum.

There is still another matter that deserves attention as we study the "contribution" done by Calvin. It has to do with the burning of Servetus. Although there are Calvin-admirers who try to "clear" Calvin, at least, somewhat, we are convinced it is time for them to stop trying. Here are the facts in the matter. Before the unfortunate Spaniard set foot in Geneva, Calvin had already begun to think of eliminating him, so that Calvin said, "If ever he comes to Geneva and my influence counts for something, I will see to it that he does not get out alive." When the report of the man's arrival was going-the-rounds, it was Calvin who along with his consistory, that made the matter "anhangig", that is, "pending". Of course, he, and they, watched closely as the Spaniard was on trial. There is, therefore every reason for saying that if it had not been for Calvin and his consistory, Servetus would have walked-out of Geneva as quietly as he had walked-in. It is true that Calvin did try, shortly before the scheduled execution of Servetus, to have the mode of execution changed, from burning to another mode, such as beheading or drowning. They of "Christendom" had, by way of their atrocious hermeneutics, long ago based the burning of "heretics" on John 15:6 with its "If a man does not abide in me he is cast forth as a branch and he withers; and the branches are gathered into the fire to be burned."

In connection with the attempt to get the mode of the planned execution changed, from burning to something else, it should be kept-in-mind that by burning Servetus the ecclesiastical-aspect of the execution would stand-out, and that if he were instead either drowned or beheaded then the political-aspect would stand-out. Calvin was aware of it that if Servetus were put to the fire for religious reasons then there would be a storm-of-protest, as indeed there also was, so that they of Geneva put their heads together to meet the protest. The Genevan theologians wanted Servetus executed by another way than by burning because then the execution would not as such stand in the old, very old, tradition of "Christendom". Be it kept in mind that although the camp of the Remnant was shrinking there still were many people on hand who would speak-up in connection with the tragic affair.

We say, in passing, that the burning of Servetus was not the only bitter fruit of the rejection of the Remnant mode d'integration and the adopting of the mode d'integration that went with "Christendom", was not the only execution on a "heretic" brought-about by a Protestant church. No, in the year 1572 a preacher by the name of Sylvanus was tried for holding to "Arian" views. He was found-guilty by Ursinus, Oliveanus, Tremellius, Zanchi, and other, lesser, lights in the Heidelberg of the times. Sylvanus was beheaded for "heresy" on December 5 of 1572.

Virtually at once after the burning of Servetus a book came out with the title De Haeretici an Sint Persequendi, Whether Heretics Should Be Persecuted, a book in which the burning of the Spaniard was severely attacked. Its argument did not however convince Calvin and the rest. The book was given into Calvin's hands by his consistory for him to read. Read it he did, upon which he wrote to a friend in Basle: "This book, full of slander against me, was patched-together so as to create sudden opposition to me ... It was not hard for me to cut-short its slander. I was able even to turn it to my profit..." (We, however, agree with the Dutch scholar who wrote recently that "It is likely that future generations will, as they judge the matter, ascribe the violent tone of the Calvin/Beza reply to a conscious, or unconscious, sense of weakness, rather than to a well-grounded conviction that their position was the right one.")

Of course, the Genevans attacked the attack. As they were doing so they soon discovered that the New Testament did not supply them with the needed weapons. This fact caused them to resort to some weird hermeneutics, such as the following, done by Beza: "With what power, pray, did Peter put to death both Ananias and Saphira [reference is to what is recorded in Acts 3:5] and with what power did Paul smite Elymas blind [the reference is to what we read in Acts 5:5]? Was it with the power vested in the church? Of course not! Well, then it must have been with the power vested in the magistrate, there being no third kind of power!" As we read and ponder this argument we cannot escape the impression that Beza was, like a drowning man, grabbing at a handful of floating straw, it being nothing short of ridiculous even to suggest that Peter had put Ananias to death, or that Paul had made Elymas blind, for both were plainly miraculous strokes, done by the Almighty, strokes of the same kind as the stroke that had made Paul temporarily blind (as recorded in Acts 9:8-18).

No, as we listen to the arguments put-forth by the Genevans in support of the burning of Servetus, we say it is nothing short of sophomoric, the kind of argument expected from persons caught-up in serious error, error which they are finding it impossible to cover-up.

As we compare the argument put forward by the Genevans with the following, coming out of the Remnant, we prefer the latter, it going as follows: "Who would not mistake the Christ for a Moloch or some such god in that He delights in human sacrifice [the reference is to the burning of Servetus] ... Imagine Him to be present in the capacity of constable, to announce the sentence and to light the fire ... Oh Christ, Creator and King of all the earth, dost Thou not see the goings-on? Art Thou so changed-completely? Hast Thou become cruel, and so contrary to Thine own and proper self? Dost Thou command that they who do not as yet understand commandments and institutions, be choked in water, struck-down with the sword until their bowels gush forth, these then to be sprinkled with salt, be struck-down with the sword, or made to roast over small fire? [the reference here is to the practice of using green wood in the burning of "heretics" so that sometimes there were four hours between the lighting of the fire and the official declaration of the demise]. .. with every torment martyred with as drawn-out a way as possible?

Ah Christ, dost Thou indeed command such things, and dost Thou approve them when they are done? Are they Thy lieutenants who officiate at that kind of burnt sacrifice? Dost Thou allow Thyself to be seen at such slaughterings? Dost Thou verily eat human flesh, 0 Christ? If Thou indeed doest such things then what, pray what, hast Thou left for the devil to do?"

Although the language used by the critic of the burning of Servetus sounds a bit too violent and emotional to a person with Christian sensitivities it must be granted that it was not a bit "rougher" than the reply to it as given by Bogerman (the man who presided at the Great Synod of Dordrecht held in 1517-18) in which we hear the following thrown at the man who had written the passage just quoted by us: "O des lasterigen ende onbesehaemden becs! ("Of all blasphemous and impudent gabs!").

We must not leave the impression that all Genevans were of the same mind as to the burning of Servetus, for such was not at all the case. Fact is at this time the celebration of the Lord's Supper was postponed, more than once, at this time because there was lack of unity anent the matter.

Space limits do not allow us to quote more of the criticisms of the burning of Servetus, but we cannot resist the urge to quote a passage found in a writing done by a man standing in the tradition of the Remnant, when the trial of Servetus was still in session. He went by the name "Jan Van Brugge", and he was residing in Switzerland. He had assumed the pseudonym so as to escape detection and he probably had moved to Switzerland for the same reason. He wrote to the magistracy at Geneva: "Wise and prudent Lords, consider what would happen if freedom were given to a specific person's opponents to kill heretics. How many persons would there be left on the earth if everybody had the power over others to deal with in line with their own evaluations as to heresy. Turks and Jews consider Christians to be such. And Christians consider each other to be such, so that Papists and Lutherans, Zwinglians and Anabaptists, Calvinists and Adiaphorists, all excommunicate each other. Must men hate and kill each other because of opinion-diversity? Therefore leave the sword aside. If some person holds to erroneous opinions then pray for him lovingly, in peace. As to Servetus, if he is a heretic in God's eyes, then do not you inflict bodily torture on him. Make the necessary admonitions. At the most, banish him from the city, if he remains obstinate and disturbs the peace with his teachings ... No one is allowed to go beyond that!" After "Jan Van Brugge" had passed-away years later it was discovered that his real name was David Joris, an "Anabaptist" who had been active in the "Chambers of Rhetoric". Upon the discovery as to the identity of the man his remains were dug-up, were burned to ashes, which were then scattered through the city. Manifestly the war about mode d'integration was fierce. The First Amendment was intended to put an end to the war and prevent its recurrence.

So ends the chapter on John Calvin and the Remnant ...

We end by asking whether the adaptation that follows upon the return to the mode d'integration invented by "Christendom" is in evidence in the lands where John Calvin managed to get his way in the old debate as to mode d'integration?

Chapter Eleven

Guido de Bres and the Remnant


Coming now to a study of the contribution made by Guido de Bres to the First Amendment we are, as we shall see, encountering something quite different from what we encountered in our study of Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin in that although these all went through a second conversion Guido de Bres did not. We are convinced that he was born within the Remnant and stayed there.

The written records leave us deeply in the dark as to the details of the man's origin -- which perhaps already tells us something; yes, tells us much. There is no evidence that the man was converted from Catholicism -- which may also tell us something. We do not know where he was educated -- although he gave evidence of close acquaintance with the early "fathers" of which he was very fond, so fond that he had memorized whole chapters of their writings -- which may again tell us something. So appreciative was he of the early fathers that in his maiden volume, his Baston de la Foy, he wrote: "They err seriously who say that all we need is the Bible, seeing that we must know also the writings of the early fathers" (It is interesting, and perhaps significant, that in the second printing of his Baston he changed the title somewhat; where the original text had the statement that the contents of the book had been derived from the early fathers he now added "and from the sacred writings").

The records do not tell us how de Bres had become so closely attached to the evangelical truth that in the year 1547, a good two decades after his birth around 1522, he was already preaching in the conventicles. As we shall discover, Guido's mother was apparently closely attached to the evangelical faith before her son Guido was born.

The plot thickens when we learn that all Guido's brothers (we know there were three, and some say there was a fourth) were closely involved in the affairs of the underground eglises in their native Flanders, as was his one and only sister, whose husband was put-to-death for serving as a leader in said eglises.

Nor is anything said about de Bres going-through a conversion inspired by the early Reformers. Since none of these Reformers qualifies for the conversion, all sorts of guesses have been made as to how it went. One such "guess" was that the conversion resulted "from constant reading of the Scriptures" -- but this guess will have to be abandoned, if the home was "Catholic", for there would not have been a copy of the New Testament, certainly not one done into the vernacular, for they of "Christendom" had, at all times, a flock of "heretic" -hunters, who spent their time "sniffing" to find and destroy such copies. Another wild suggestion as to how de Bres got converted to the evangelical faith, an even wilder one, is that since Guido's father was a man who made his living by painting on glass the scenes reported in the Scriptures, and that the son, Guido, assisted his father in the painting; he was converted by one or the other of these scenes!

As we have already seen, and will see further, the only guess about the how-come of Guido's deep affection for the Scriptures, and the faith that came by way of these Scriptures, is that he grew-up in a home in which the mother (we know next to nothing of the father's religious orientation), was a Remnant person. Although (to the best of our knowledge) it has not been said before, we suggest that Guido de Bres was born in a home in which the mother was a member of the Remnant. And we are convinced that this our suggestion will become clearer and brighter as we move along in this our study as to "the contribution done by de Bres."

We cannot hope to understand the life and the career of "the indigenous Reformer of Flanders" (as he has rightly been called) unless we first do some "tearing-down" of constructions born of the, badly-slanted, historiography which they of "Christendom" had devised so as to make-a-case for its view as to mode d'integration. We regret it that it will take some time and some space to do the tearing-down; but it seems to be necessary if we are going to "get-things-straight". Since it is not good practice to put a new building on-top-of an old one, we shall tear-down the old one first.

Let's begin with the faulty representation put forth by the historian Bakhuyzen Vanden Brink a century ago. Speaking of de Bres he wrote: "He was the leader of the rebellion at Valenciennes and he sacrificed the lives of his fellow citizens to his passion." It would be difficult to depart farther from the facts in the matter. From the beginning of that which went-on in Valenciennes to the moment of the man's execution there, in 1567, de Bres did nothing but try to get the inhabitants of the city to stop listening to preachers that had been imported for the purpose of getting the populace to join-up with the attempt of getting-rid of the rex and putting a new and different one in his place. At a meeting of the "consistory" de Bres tried his best to get the populace "to give all assistance possible, and cooperate with the people of the law, and try to get others of our religion, now not ready to sign, to do the same" -- a speech countered by a second minister present, the one named Peregrin de la Grange, one of the clergymen that had been imported from Geneva, who said in reply: "I would rather have my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth, making me as dumb as a fish, than to be found giving that advice!" No, twice no, de Bres was not the "leader of the rebellion at Valenciennes", was not one who "sacrificed the lives of his fellow citizens". The last sentence Guido de Bres put together as he was standing on the ladder, with his feet wrapped around its rungs, ready to be hanged, was "It is the duty of citizens to obey duly constituted authority, a matter in which some of you [the reference is, no doubt, to de la Grange] cannot possibly have a good conscience." It is becoming apparent, so we hope, that before we even attempt to put up a new building it is necessary to teardown an old one, the more so since it is badly out-of-kilter.

Having tom-down a badly-leaning building in anticipating the erection of a replacement, we ask the reader to watch as we demolish still another such "leaning tower of Pisa", this one erected by another historian suffering from the myopia that goes-with the historiography invented by "Christendom", namely the famous Dutch historian Robert Fruin. He said in connection with two writings that came out around the year 1566, the one bearing the name Oratio and the other called Brief Discours, that "it is certain that the spirit that comes to expression in the Oratio is quite identical with that of the Brief Discours." Again we say that it would be hard to depart more glaringly from the facts. We shall quote a rather lengthy passage from each of these writings, and let the reader decide whether the two are "quite identical". As we shall see, the Oratio is firmly committed to the mode d'integration supported by "Christendom", whereas the Brief Discours is committed to the mode d'integration supported by the Remnant. The Oratio wants an "established" faith replaced by another "established" one, while the Brief Discours wants to have the magistrate allow a plurality of religions. The author of the Oratio would say that the First Amendment is "dead-wrong" and the author of the Brief Discours would say that the First Amendment is "dead-right".

In the Oratio we read: "How false and wicked is the opinion of those who try to convince kings and princes that the care of religion and of doctrine does not pertain to them. This is folly, yes insanity, wickedness, this wisdom of those who hold that Your Majesty [the reference is to Maximillian] may halt between two opinions, and that one can serve two masters, as diverse from each other as are Christ and Antichrist ... They who try to convince you of this do so with arguments drawn from reasoning ... Let Your Majesty declare himself to be a nurse of the Church, and then ponder carefully what a grievous punishment awaits the person who with an undying hatred persecutes those whom they should sustain and nourish. Suppose that Your Majesty were to entrust one of your children to a wet-nurse and you were to learn that she is not only withholding the breast, and other necessary service, from your child, but also treats it inhumanely, and afflicts it in all ways, gives the extended breast to a bastard, an illegitimate child, feeding it to satiety [the reference is to the Catholic Church]. What shall those kings and princes reply to God as they, ignoring their assigned task, do not let countless children of God and heirs of the kingdom nurse at their breast [the reference is to the "Protestants"] they pursuing them with bitter hatred as they try to choke them to death, the while fattening the bastard [the reference is to the "Catholics"] until it vomits. The reward which they will have from God is none other than that which Ahab and Jezebel got for feeding the four hundred priests of Baal, the while expelling the true prophets of Jehovah." It is commonly held that the Oratio was written by Marnix, one of the Flemish nobles who had studied at Geneva and who was a leader in the Compromis. For the author of the Oratio all that was wrong was that the rex was nursing the wrong child, was giving "establishment"-status to the wrong religion.

We shall now listen to the Brief Discours as it says:

"It is commonly held that it is impossible to have two religions without great trouble and turmoil... Men say commonly that if there is to be peace on the public level then there must be 'one law, one faith, one ruler' -- but since religion and faith are a pure gift-of-God, a matter engraved on the heart {where no one can rule save God alone) therefore it is a big mistake to think that all the inhabitants of a country can be reduced to a common faith by way of force and physical violence. It is true, the saying that a father in a home ought to see to it that there is but one faith (an excellent thing); but it is impossible to be realized save among a people with whom religion is based simply on the authority of the king, which is certainly not the case in true religion, but is, rather, simple hypocrisy and false-show, something which one can perhaps bring-about in those who are without the fear of God, as once could do, for example, among the Romans, who received as many gods as their rulers ordered. But this can never take place among people with inner convictions, based on God's Word, or, on their consciences. It is impossible to lead an entire people to a single religion ... Did not our Lord say openly that He had come to bring discord, rather than peace, so that in one and the same home the members would be contrary to each other and that there would be dissension between father and son, between brother and brother [the reference here is to Matthew 10:34, the passage quoted again and again in our present book]. How shall we maintain the religion of Christ if we at the same time try to reduce everybody to one and the same religion ... seeing that it is even harder to keep order, He has not commanded the faithful to destroy the others, rather, to the contrary, He has said that believers will be betrayed, be put to death, because of their faith and religion. Therefore He wants us to win-the-day by patience and by the power of the Word of God... Therefore I cannot be surprised enough at the audacity of some [the reference here seems to be to Beza, who was teaching the very thing the writer has in mind] who dare to maintain that in one and the same republic there never were two religions [recall that Beza taught that the idea of more than one faith permitted in a realm was "a devilish teaching", a "dogma diabolicum"] and that therefore it is folly to imagine that subjects can be kept-together in peace if they are diverse faiths. No, he who examines closely the cause for turmoil and sedition will discover that these come not so much from diversity in religion as from private passions, from avarice, ambition, hatred, vengeance, etc., which, if not set-straight by the magistrate, flare-up in public commotion." That, so the reader will agree, is as far from "quite identical" with Oratio as it is possible to get.

Who wrote the Brief Discours? It is a work in which we encounter a thought-system widely diverse from the prevailing one (as set-forth in the Oratio) a piece-of-work that speaks the language of the First Amendment as to mode d'integration. Although it has not (to the best of our knowledge) been said before, we are rather firmly convinced that the Brief Discours was drawn-up by Guido de Bres, there being no one who is as good a candidate for the honor (we intend to come back to this matter). (If, indeed, it was Guido de Bres who wrote the Brief Discours then we do not have to apologize for using the space we have used for it, seeing that this is a chapter on the man Guido de Bres),

We have said, and have given some evidence of it, that Guido de Bres was a person who had "come out of the closet", had been brought up in Remnant circles and had, therefore, been taught from childhood to "cover-his-tracks". We shall recite some more evidence that such was the case. His name is spelt in at least a half-dozen ways -- a fact that could prove that he had a way of refraining from putting it in writing, so that people had to guess at the spelling. It could also be that he himself had a way of spelling his name in various ways. (As we shall see, he was rather clever in inventing a name so as not to be recognized).

We do not know the year of his birth. All we have to go-on as we try to figure it out, is the fact that when he was about to be hanged, in 1567, two persons, guessing the man's age, said he was "about forty-five" -- which would mean that he was born in 1522.

We are not told why it was that as they of the eglises came with the idea of drawing-up a confession, a creedal statement of their belief, they gave to de Bres the task of putting-it-together. Was it because he gave evidence of being unusually well-trained in the thought-system of the eglises? Recall that it was said some time before the birth of de Bres that "There are more schools of the heretics than of the church".

We are not instructed as to why it was that as Crespin was planning to put-together the martyrology for which he is famous, he asked de Bres to supply him with information, with data. We do know that de Bres had a lot of information concerning "heretics" and their executions, so that he wrote about several instances, in the letter he wrote to his mother while he was lying in prison shortly before his execution. De Bres not only had a strikingly broad knowledge of the martyrs but had a very high regard for them for "bearing the cross of Christ" (as he called it). In his letter to his mother he tells her to rejoice in the fact that she had "carried, nursed, brought up" a person "about to become a martyr", adding, for her instruction, that the clanking of the chains by which he was bound "are music in my ears". This was to get close to the thing known as "martyropetalism", the "seeking-after-martyrdom", that occasionally came to expression in the Remnant.

We do not know about the mother of de Bres being converted to the evangelical faith (so that Van Langeraad, whose biography of de Bres has served some three generations now, says of her "It is not known whether she embraced the Reformed faith) but we do know that de Bres saw himself as the answer to her prayers for a child to preach the Word the way a mobile barbe had preached a sermon that made her pray for the child she was carrying, to become a preacher like that one. This was around the year 1522 and that is too early to think the news about Martin Luther had something to do with the origin of the woman's evangelical faith. Having mentioned Van Langeraad we point out that his biography of de Bres begins with the assertion "Hardly had Luther nailed up his theses when the ideas set-forth in them found entrance into many a heart..." (We ask the kind reader to pardon us for doing some more "tearing-down" in connection with the writing of Van Langeraad). It is interesting, and instructive, that this Van Langeraad said rather late in his life, that he was going to write another book about the matter, this because he had come to different insights. It is too bad that the man did not live long enough to carry-out this his plan. (If he had been able to carry it out then our present book would probably by less-lengthy than it is.)

Van Langeraad also wrote that it was in 1522 (five years after Luther's brave deed) that "the Bible came out in the vernacular" -- although we now know that for centuries-on-end they of the Remnant had had such translations, even as we now know that they of "Christendom" had the practice of rounding-up such translations and then putting them to the fire.

During the reign of the boy-king, Edward VI, in the England of the times, Guido de Bres spent some time there. Why he left his congregation of evangelicals is not said. It is probable that he went there so as not to be caught in the net of "Christendom", a net in which four people had been caught; two couples, Nicolas Larchier and his wife Barbara, and Augustin du March and his wife Marian. The two couples were on their way to "asylum Christi" (as the England of the times was being called, because Remnant-folk were allowed to live there), had stopped for a day's rest before embarking. While resting there the two couples were seized and were put to death. Why de Bres did not go to Geneva instead is a question we shall relay to historians, committed to the false historiography, to answer. To go to Geneva instead would have been more appealing language-wise, for in Geneva de Bres would not have encountered a language foreign to him, as was the case in the England of the times. Could it be that de Bres avoided Geneva because he knew that if he went there he would encounter there a view of mode d'integration very different from his own view?

It may serve a good end to insert here the information that as far as is known de Bres and Calvin did not so much as once exchange correspondence. We add here that we think to have discovered that there is a single exception to this. Among the printed writings of Calvin there is a rather short article bearing the title Reply to Five Questions; and we know, from the report of the committee that had gotten possession of the writings of de Bres, that there was among his writings a copy of a letter he had sent to Calvin asking him to state-his-position in regard to five matters. Although, to the best of our knowledge, the letter of de Bres to Calvin and the latter's Reply to Five Questions have not until now been tied together (We shall come-back to the questions put to Calvin by de Bres and the replies given to them), we have put the two letters together, the reply of Calvin to the five questions put to him by de Bres.

De Bres came back from England shortly before the coming of Bloody Mary. Why he came back is again not said. There does not seem to be evidence that de Bres saw "Bloody Mary" on the horizon. Nor is there evidence that he went back to his native Flanders so as to avoid falling into the hand of the "heretic-liquidating" queen Mary. No, de Bres probably went back so as to resume the leadership of his "flock", he trusting that the noise that had come up in connection with the execution of the two couples had by now died-down.

Thereupon, in 1556, an entire family of "evangelicals", Remnant-heirs, by the name of Aughiers, were arrested and 'put to torture in an effort to extract from them the names of more "heretics". One son of the family did say the following as he was encouraging other members of the fellowship (left unnamed, of course): "Don't forget the good instructions we have heard from Brother Guy [the reference is to our Guido, who often went by the name "Guy"]; show the you have received it in your hearts and not merely with your ears." The other brother said to fellow believers: "Stand firm, as has until now been done faithfully by our brother G, well known to you and approved" [the reference being to de Bres],

Whether it was in connection with the liquidation of the Aughier family is, as usual, not said, but it was about at about this time that de Bres fled his homeland again, going this time to Frankfurt (where he had some very interesting discussions about mode d'integration, discussions which we shall not discuss here). Again we shall leave it to historians who engage in what has (rightly) been called "the Calvinizing of history" to inform us as to why-it-was that de Bres did not retreat to Geneva, where he would be perfectly safe and secure and happy -- at least if he could come-to-agreement as to mode d'integration.

Rather late in his short career (he was hanged when he was about forty-five years old) de Bres spent some time, seemingly as much as nine months, first at Lausanne and then at Geneva. Why he went there is not stated. Crespin would have us to believe that de Bres went there to "study Latin" -- but that must be rejected in view of the fact that de Bres was already early in life at-home in the Latin language, so that during his incarceration he was able to quote, from memory, whole paragraphs from the Latin patres. In another connection Crespin says that de Bres went to Lausanne and Geneva to "learn what one needs to know as a preacher"; but this too must be rejected seeing that de Bres had already been a preacher for years, a highly successful one, long before he set-foot in Geneva.

Why then did de Bres go to Lausanne and Geneva at this time? The records do not say. Of late a Belgian historian has suggested that the man went there because he had creed-composing on his mind. That suggestion deserves our attention and support. Had they of the eglises in Flanders been informed that the French Calvinists were planning to put-together a creed (as they did do in 1559) ; and was it because there were serious differences between them and the Flemish evangelicals (particularly as to mode d 'integration) that de Bres went there to see whether a consensus could be reached? Apparently the attempt to come to agreement did-not-succeed, with the result that each of the two parties then went its own way, drew up its own confession, both of them finished by the year 1559, the one known as the Gallican Confession (or the French Confession) and the other one known as the Belgic Confession. The representation we have given of the origin of the two creeds goes far to explain how it is that the two confessions are too much alike to allow the idea that they are unrelated, but are at the same time significantly diverse, in many ways, also as to mode d'integration; the Gallican saying that the magistrate is "custodian of both tables of the Law" and the Belgic Confession refraining from saying it.


[We must not leave the impression that until 1559 they of the eglises had not had a creed, a summary of their beliefs. They did have one, which they shared with other heirs of the Remnant, with the Bohemian Brethren as well as with the Waldensians. A German translation of it had come out in 1524 and a Dutch one in 1530. Why was it put out in print? Was it because the problem as to mode d'integration was bound to come up as the result of Luther's second conversion? Was this creedal statement cast into the form of a children's catechism because putting it in that form was sure to be less-dangerous than to put its thought-system in a doctrinal writing? In this connection, and in the context of this suggestion, it is surely meaningful that erelong (for the children's catechism was undergoing changes) some of the answers given to the questions put to the children were at times made whole pages long, and far from juvenile, were nothing short of learned discussions of dogma. It surely is not without point that the first creedal statement used in what came to be called the "Reformed" churches had come out of the Remnant.]

Although, as we said, the records say next to nothing about the mental-atmosphere in which de Bres was reared, there is a significant exception to this, something that was written by de Bres while he was lying hobbled in the dark hole of a prison, a little room called "Brownie", a letter to his mother. In it we read: "Call to mind that when you were still carrying me you ran through the streets of our Mons, after a certain Italian Jesuit, preaching in our streets. You prayed then saying 'My God, why have You not given me a child like that, to preach Your Word?'. This you prayed, and God has heard your prayer. Yes, since He is rich in mercy, able to do far more than we dare to ask of Him, He has given you more than you asked-for. You asked that the child you were carrying might be like this Jesuit, and He has made of him a Jesusite--, not one of the new sect which men are calling 'Jesuits'. No, indeed, He has made of him a true follower-of-Jesus, the Son of God, and He has called me to the ministry, not to preach the teachings of men but the pure and simple Word of Jesus and His apostles, a thing I have done up to the present time, in a pure conscience, seeking no other thing than the salvation of men, not my own personal gain; witness the zeal of God which was with me in my afflictions, labors, not for the duration of a few days but for many years. All these things you should call-to-mind, to your consolation, considering yourself favored in that God has given you the honor of having carried, nursed, reared, one of His servants, one whom He is now receiving unto the glory and the crown of martyrdom."

There are several things to be noticed in this farewell letter, to some of which we must come back. We point out here that for the writer of the letter subjection-to-martyrdom is the final evidence, and proof, of the genuineness of one's faith-in-Christ. In his letter de Bres is getting close to martyropetalism. Could it be said in clearer terms that he was brought-up in Remnant-climate?

There is a very important item in the farewell letter that cannot be taken as it stands, the phrase "a certain Italian Jesuit". This is for several reasons. There is, to begin with, the fact that no servant-of- "Christendom", least of all a Jesuit, would in those times go around "preaching-the- Word", an activity that had been virtually discontinued, as, long ago, the administering of "sacrament" had been put in its place, so saying that salvation comes to human beings through the eye-gate, rather than through the ear-gate. Moreover, no Jesuit would perform in a street or alley, as the preacher in question was doing. They of "Christendom" had invented a smear-word for people who did. such things, the smear-word "Schleicher" (which translates "in-crawlers"). It follows that the expression "a certain Italian Jesuit" will have to be expunged.

There is a further, and final, reason for expunging it, the fact that in 1522, or thereabouts, there were as yet no Jesuits, seeing that Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit Order, did not begin the founding until 1534. It was not until 1540 (when de Bres was already eighteen years old), that the Jesuit Order was recognized officially (in the bull titled Regimini Militantisi. It was not until 1556 that the Jesuit Order was given clearance to work in Flanders. The old historian Brandt reports that not until 1567 (the year in which de Bres was hanged) "for the first time a Jesuit spoke in Ghent, a city in Flanders". Of-a-certainty the phrase "a certain Italian Jesuit" will have to be rejected.

The Van Langeraad whom we have met already was, of course, well enough at-home in the history of things to realize that the phrase "a certain Italian Jesuit" was untenable. But he, blind as he was to the very presence of the Remnant, could think of no explanation of the phrase than that it was "blijkbaar een vergissing " ("apparently a mental slip"). This explanation must be "tossed", and that without further argument, for it is apparent that de Bres realized that the word "Jesuit" would probably bewilder his mother; so he at once threw in the information for her benefit that the Jesuits were "a new sect which men are calling Jesuits".

We cannot avoid the question as to why it was that de Bres gave the street-preacher a fictitious name, that of "a certain Italian Jesuit". We suggest that he did it so as to protect his mother from, rather certain, trouble if he were to give him his real label. There is rather adequate evidence that at approximately the time of the mother's prayer there were two Waldensian barbes on a preaching tour in the vicinity to the south, the name of the one being "Guido de Calabria". Was he the "Jesuit" that preached in a street in Mons? And did the mother, who had been deeply stirred by the man's preaching, decide then and there, that if her prayers were answered, she would give the youngster the name "Guido", strange though that given-name was in the area (It is of Italian origin and means "guide" or "leader"). The fact that de Bres called him "a certain Jesuit", an adjective "certain" that was not needed, seems to imply that he could have given the man's name, it being known to his mother, but decided not to write-it-down, lest by writing-it-down he would put his mother in danger of arrest -- the letter, of course, going through the hands of officials in the employ of "Christendom". (There is reason to believe that the name "Guido", quite unusual in the area, would give the "heretic" -hunters a hint, one that could put its bearer in trouble, seeing that Remnant-people often had "outlandish" names, for reasons we have already given; their tendency to migrate. Anyway, it is a known fact, thanks to the report handed to the Regent, that de Bres had erased his name from his books, putting the name of his brother Jerome in its place, who had already moved out-of-Flanders, presumably to escape arrest).

We realize that if de Bres were born in 1522, was "about forty-five" in 1567, then he was already four years old when the street-preacher, for whom we are proposing he was named, may have preached in Mons, so making the proposing impossible. There are two arguments that could be brought to remove the problem. One is that since de Bres lived a hard and harried life, had to flee from home repeatedly, he was not as old as he looked when the guesses were made, could very well have been as much as four years younger -- which would put an end to the problem. The other argument is that Guido de Calabria who went on a fact-finding-trip in 1526 may have been there on a preaching-tour four years earlier. In the light of these facts we shall let the identification stand.

The impossible expression, "a certain Italian Jesuit" has led historians blind to the presence of the Remnant to conclude that the home in which de Bres grew-up was ardently Roman Catholic. They had no alternative. So, as we said, they carne up with the idea of conversion resulting from a "constant reading of the Scriptures" (for it was too early to link it with Luther and his nailed-up theses). If de Bres did go-through a change-of-direction then it was not brought-about by Bible-reading. There is evidence that in the home in which de Bres was raised there actually was a copy of the New Testament in translation. We at least read that as a brother of Guido was being examined for being a "heretic", a copy of the Scriptures was found in his home. He managed to escape from the problem this raised, by asserting that the old book had been left behind by a female relative no longer in the land of the living. (This copy of a translation of the New Testament may even have been the one Guido had used as he was growing-up).

To show what a strangle-hold the historiography invented by "Christendom" had on people until recently we report that it was said by a historian bound by it that when de Bres went to England it was to get away from the family-friction that supposedly resulted from Guido's conversion. But, as we have shown, there is a stack of evidence that they of the family did without exception see eye-to-eye with Guido in matters of the faith, there being not a hint of any such "family-friction".

We suggested earlier in this article, in this book, that Guido de Bres was clever in the art of covering-up the implications contained in one's name. Well, when he was arrested, as he was fleeing from Valenciennes, and was asked to give his name, he said it was "Augustin du Mont", "Augustin" being a suitable French version of the Latin Augustine and he was indeed "du Mont" for he was a native of Mons. (We may add here that this, far from clumsy, attempt to cover-up his real identity, his real name, did not "work". They who had posed the question must have learnt from other sources that Guido's name was Guido de Bres instead. He had also said that he had been "sent by the Duke of Bouillon", which was true (in a way, seeing that the Duke had tried to keep de Bres from going back to Flanders but finally let him go there).

We shall go back now to a matter mentioned earlier in this chapter, the suggestion that the Brief Discours was written by Guido de Bres (the complete title was Brief Discours Envoye au Roy Philippe). We shall go back to it because it throws a lot of light on the times and its problems as to mode d'lntegration, the problem with which the First Amendment deals.

No sooner had the Brief Discours appeared in print (of course, without giving either the name of author or printer) when the father-confessor of the Regent, whose name was Havetius, wrote the following to Cardinal Granvelle: "A booklet has appeared, a very pestilential one, without the name of the author as well as of the printer (of which I suppose Your Majesty has been informed already), tending wholly to the position that Your Majesty can and may with a good conscience allow two religions in his realm [the reference is to Philip II]. Madame is already right-minded, and may it please her to carry-out her good intentions" [reference is to Margaret of Parma, who was doing the governing for her half- brother].

A reward of four hundred florins was posted at once for anyone identifying the author. It seems that no one was given the four hundred florins, for to this day it remains a mystery, the question as to who it was that had put the Discours together. This must not be allowed to surprise us, for the thought-system set forth in the Discours was novel, also, and especially, as to mode d'integration. The Brief Discours was not defending the mode d'integration so dear-to-the-heart of "Christendom"; nor was it defending the mode d'integration for which those of the Reformation stood. It could not have come out of the Compromis, for its members supported a mode d'integration quite diverse from the one preached in the Discours.

Such a hold did the myopia-causing historiography have on historians that to this day the matter of the author of the Brief Discours remains unsettled. In view of the fact that the Discours was pleading for a mode d'integration that was strange to virtually all contemporaries, people looked in various directions for a "crank", a "screwball". This led them to suspect that the author was a man named Bauduinus, a person who changed his mind constantly and so had, presumably, written the booklet during another of his brain-storms. But is was soon decided that the booklet had not been written by Bauduinus. Then it was assumed that the thing had been put-together by a group. This too was "dropped", in view of the fact that the Discours's arguments are often in the singular and at times in the first person. Finally it was decided that the Discours had been written by Franciscus Junius, one of the preachers that had been imported from Geneva to get the Flemish evangelicals to adopt the mode d'integration taught at Geneva. This view was put-forth and defended by the great Dutch historian Robert Fruin, and it has been allowed to stand to this day, virtually unchallenged.

We are convinced, however, that Junius was not the author of the Brief Discours, could not have been, that instead it was de Bres who wrote it. Junius was rigidly opposed to the idea that a civil "head" may permit more than one religion in his realm, something the Discours defends. When the nobles of the Compromis suggested that they were minded to make room for both Calvinists and Lutherans Junius was so averse to the idea that he advised the nobles to "get-right-with-God" for even saying that. Moreover the Discours was addressed to the king, but Junius and they of the Compromis had virtually stopped talking to the king. They had been taught at Geneva that if a supreme-ruler does not do his duty on the level of religion then the lesser rulers must take the matter in hand, and they of the Compromis had decided that the time for it had come.

Still another reason for saying that Junius was not the author of the Discours is that the booklet shows an amazingly close acquaintance with the history of things in Flanders. Its writer even knew all about the ancient issue in the conflict between "Hoekschen" and "Kabeljauwsen", something one must not expect from a man who had just moved-into the country. Besides this, the Discours reveals a close-knowledge of what was going on in the economic affairs in Flanders, not only an intimate knowledge thereof, but also a deep concern about the loss-of-business.

Yes, we are convinced that Junius did not write the booklet and that is was de Bres who wrote it. Fact is that in the Discours we find things said that remind us, and that strongly, of something said long before in a writing that had been put in print by de Bres, his Baston de la Foy, printed in 1555. In the Baston there is a chapter on "Comment on ne doit contraindre personne a croire par force" ("How It Is that No One Ought to Be Forced To Believe") and in and old writing, that no doubt came out of Remnant circles, there is a chapter with the title "Quod nullus sit cogendum ad fidem" ("That No One Is to Be Forced to the Faith"). The two writings are so much alike that we are tempted to say, at least think, that as de Bres was composing the Brief Discours he had a copy of the old "naughty book" of the Remnant lying open before him. It was because Fruin was caught-up in a historiography that makes people blind to the very presence of the Remnant, that made him say that the Brief Discours was written by Junius. We are inclined to think that any person who has cast-aside the faulty historiography will come to the conclusion that instead it was Guido de Bres who put the Discours together. Having listened to what the father-confessor said about the book it comes as no surprise that it did not carry the name Guido de Bres. Nor is it at all surprising that as the guesses went the rounds no one in the tradition of the Remnant offered to "tell-it-the-way-it-was". No one seems to have pocketed the four-hundred florins (and it is too late for us to try to collect it).

We shall now listen, and watch, as two elements, each with its own mode d'integration, pull, each in its own direction. A native son of the eglises in Flanders, Adriaan Van Haemstede, was troubled by the on-going debate (one that had earlier taken a lot of time at the conference held in Chanforan, one about which Calvin had dealt in and with his two tracts as to the rightness or the wrongness of meeting-in-conventicles). So deeply troubled was he that he sought-advice from a sister-church, the one located in Emden, just across the border of the Low Countries, in Germany. Why he addressed this particular church he did not say, but there is reason to believe he had decided that they of Emden would be in position to give him an unbiased advice, this because Emden was not caught up in the tensions between native-sons and imported persons in Flanders. His letter to Emden reads:

"The critical ones shout at us that we must 'make our calling clear', must 'bring the truth out in the open', that 'it is the Lord's command that we preach from the housetops'. Now it so happens that there are brethren who recommend this practice, as well as those who oppose it. The Walloon elders are firmly against the idea [the "Walloon elders" were men who stood in the tradition of the Remnant] although they present no specific arguments drawn from the Word of the Lord. My own conscience would trouble me if we were to go-public [evidently it was the Remnant-heritage that was giving Adrian a conscience-problem touching the matter of conventicle-holding]. If so be that I ought not to do it, for the reasons which I hear from the people, then I wish you would send me proof from the Scriptures, with which I could then silence the critics, as well as my own conscience ... But if I should do this thing then I would like to have your advice as to how to begin, so as to avoid the appearance of tumult, and, be of maximum edification. Most people will consider it a crazy idea ... What am I to do?" Plainly the man is being torn between the mode d'integration of the Remnant and the mode d'integration of the Geneva-trained imports.

We do not know what they of Emden said in reply, do not even know whether they replied. It is possible that they did reply but that the reply was intercepted. We do know, however, that Van Haemstede capitulated somewhat to the element that was calling for "going-public", an important step in the magisterialization of the Reform, as advocated in Geneva. In connection with our assertion that he had capitulated we quote the report that "Van Haemstede, driven by an impetuous zeal (disapproved-of by many devout people) was forced ... to preach on the day of the sacrament, as it is called, standing on a certain bridge on which stood a high cross." Apparently Van Haemstede had given-in to the Geneva-bred element, for to preach "on a bridge on which stood a high cross" was about as far from holding a conventicle as it was possible to get. It is significant that the report of the preaching includes the phrase "was forced".

Whether it had come to the ears of the Emdeners that Van Haemstede had gone to them for advice we do not know. We do know that they of the Compromis, the element that was "pushing" for magisterialization of the Reform, also addressed a letter to the Emdeners asking them to send a couple of representatives to Antwerp "to discuss and make plans concerning certain difficult matters". Although they who were sending the request knew-better than to say what these "difficult matters" were, it is quite evident that the "matters" had to do with the on-going magisterialization.

To this invitation the Emdeners replied: "We must first know the reason behind such a dangerous undertaking ... If need be, then, so we think, it would be better to have two or three brethren from Antwerp come here, so as to work on the matter here, do so without danger." Plainly the "difficult matter" had to do with magisterialization and mode d'integration. As plainly, there now were two elements challenging each other in Flanders, the one element committed to the mode d'integration of the Remnant and the other element committed to the mode supported by the Genevans. It was an issue that had been faced at Chanforan and it was an issue already broached in the two tracts from the hand of John Calvin. We may add here that as far as is known no one came-from-Emden and no one went-to-Emden. It seems that they at Antwerp did not relish the idea of facing a big majority in Emden; and it seems that they of Emden did not like the idea of two delegates faced with a herd of opponents in Antwerp.

It is certainly interesting, and possibly meaningful, that they of Emden got into the old argument repeatedly later. F or instance in the year 1601 an edict was published, in the city of Groningen, reading: "All gatherings for the practice of religion other than the-Reformed-one are forbidden; and he who is found guilty of having made his house available for the holding of such a gathering [the reference is, of course, to conventicle-holding] will be fined ten guilders for each offence. He who is found guilty of preaching at such a gathering will be fined ten guilders and will be confined on bread and water for fourteen days, and, upon the third offence will be banished from the city." The purpose and intention of the edict was, of course, to prevent the development of a composite society, one in which membership on the level of religion was a matter of choice-making. It was meant to prevent the appearing of an aisle. The thought-system that was prevalent in the Geneva of the time was prevailing -- although, as is plain enough, there also were still on hand some people who continued to cling to the thought-pattern of the Remnant, as the following goes to show.

As soon as the aforesaid edict was on the bulletin-board at Groningen a tract came out (a copy of the tract is on hand in the library of the University of Michigan, No. 1172 of the Knuttel Collection). The tract begins with a conversation between two citizens of the city, talking as though they think the edict was praiseworthy because it was right. Upon this there comes a third person, going by the name of "Embder" (significantly enough), and who takes a firm stand against the edict. He says that they who were responsible for the edict were "attempting with bellows-imported-from-Geneva [the original has the long Dutch word "geneefscheblaasbalg"] to kindle an inquisition not unlike the Spanish one of earlier times".

If there are readers who draw-back from the idea of Geneefscheblaasbalg being used we shall quote the Englishman, John Knox, who had studied at Geneva and who said: "The punishment of such crimes as idolatrie, blasphemie, and others that touch the Majesty of God, does not appertain to kings and chiefs only but to the whole body of the people and to every member of the same ... to avenge the injury done His glorie." Since there were now in Flanders a collection of clergymen who had been trained at Geneva, the Geneva at which Knox had been trained, it comes as no surprise to find them singing in the key of a new version of "Christendom".

Now that we know what Knox had learned while studying at Geneva we will not be surprised to see the effects of that teaching in the Flanders to which a collection of Geneva-trained clergymen had come. What Knox said, about a duty of the people to take matters in hand, led to it that in Flanders it began to be said that if individuals committed to the "right" religion are put in jail for it, by a magistracy committed to the "wrong" religion, then it is the duty of the citizens to resort to what was called "effractie", forced release of the jailed ones, done by way of jail-breaking. On this effractie we shall spend a little time.

There was a man in jail at this time, apparently a member of the Remnant. When a collection of men were taking steps to release him from jail by effractie he said:

"Let no one attempt to free me by the use of force! Leave to the magistrate his proper function!" There is reason to think that he was set free by way of effractie nevertheless. The man showed a relatedness to the Remnant.

When they of the Refugee Church in London (a collection of people mostly of Remnant stock) found-out that effractie was going on in their native Flanders it caused consternation among them, so that the Bishop of London even preached against effractie. And the preacher of the Refugee Church, Peter Delenus, warned his flock not to subscribe to the Antwerp teaching that effractie is right and proper. When a recent arrival from Flanders, a man who had accepted the teaching going on there as to effractie, spoke in London in support of effractie, it was said, by members of the Refugee Church there that the new-comer was "of all that have come to London he is the most dangerous".

Oddly enough, we do not know for sure the new-comer's name from the record, he being referred-to as "G. W.". The Dutch historian, Hessels, a man still caught in the clutches of a misleading historiography, has taken the "G. W." to stand-for "Godfry Van Wingen" a native of Flanders -- but that is certainly a mistake, for Van Wingen was a close friend of Guido de Bres and stood in the tradition of the Remnant. No, the initials stand instead for Georg Wybo, an ardent-supporter of effractie, a man who had voted in favor of it while he was still living in Antwerp.

So strained about effractie was the relationship between the Refugee-Church-members and the effraction-supporting element in Flanders, and so important was the issue, that a delegation was sent from Flanders to London, in the hope of getting the refugees in London to stop their attack on effractie. At the head of the delegation stood the fiery Modet, a Dutch-speaking minister who had embraced the Genevan mode d'integration. Although it would be too much to say that an accord was reached, there was handshaking as the visitors were embarking on their way back to Antwerp. When he was back in Antwerp Modet reported that they had won-out in the debate in London, he adding that "delenus sat over against me like a child" adding that "they of the Refugee Church will think twice before offering advice again touching the matter."

In connection with the report of the debate about effractie we return now to something said before about the evidence that de Bres and Calvin did at least once correspond in writing. As we said, we know from the report of the Regent's servants there was found among the papers of de Bres a letter asking Calvin to state his position on five matters. And, as we reported also, there is among the printed-writings of Calvin a Reply to Five Questions. Significantly, the first of the five questions-asked was "Is it permissible to cause to escape, by substitute-keys, by bribings, or by still other means, prisoners held for their religion?" Manifestly the question was about the permissibility of effractie; as manifestly de Bres wanted to see it in-writing that Calvin actually supported effractie.

As de Bres was putting this question to Calvin he was putting Calvin "between a rock and a hard place", for no matter how Calvin replied, it would only increase the tension between the old and the new in Flanders. This explains why it is that the reply given by Calvin is a classic in ambiguity, and that from a man who is usually pictured as a personification of logic. It reads: "I verily do not dare to give such counsel, or approve of it. But if such things are nevertheless undertaken I would pray God for a good outcome. I would rejoice if someone were to escape without causing murmur of commotion ... Therefore, so as not to go wrong the better way would be to refrain from such practices. But if someone were to escape by these means I would praise God for the deliverance." If that is not a case of double-talk then what is?

Roger Williams, the man to whom we, to a goodly extent, owe the First Amendment, accused the Reformers of trying "to get from the same spring both sweet water and bitter" and we wonder whether the man had been reading Calvin's reply to the first of the five questions put to him by de Bres. We may add here that the replies to the other four questions are about as equivocal, are equally ambiguous. Calvin was attempting the impossible, it being impossible to say yes to the one mode d'integration and its implications without saying no to the other one.

As we listen to the noise resulting from the collision of two different convictions as to mode d'integration we conclude that the Belgian historian, Pirenne, was on the right track as he, speaking of the year 1560, says: "Up to this point in time the Reformed had carried-on without the least collaboration with the leaders of the political opposition party." If we are to explain the situation of which Pirenne was speaking we must first seek to understand the origin of the pre-1560 movement, as well as the origin of the post-1560 development. To do the former we must get-acquainted with the Remnant, and to do the latter we must get acquainted with the Reformers as they became after their second conversion. And if we are to see-through the debate about effractie we must listen to a contemporary as he says of the year 1560, and of the Compromis born a few years earlier: "They of the new league seeing that they were unable to get the people to go their way, are causing preachers from France and from Geneva to come, which preachers they are scattering throughout the land ... What they are preaching is independence and the taking-up of arms." One of the Geneva-taught preachers that had been imported was the Peregrin de la Grange with whom de Bres collided constantly as the two were serving the eglise at Valenciennes. We will have to do some correcting as we describe the goings-on during the last year, or years, of the life of de Bres. That which has been said of Flanders is sad-to-say entirely to true-to-fact, namely: "The history of the Reformation on our soil has been exploited the least of the first decade; men usually begin with the well-known year 1566 and then act as if all that went before is of little relevance." We must learn to agree with the assertion: "That which went on in the Low Countries got started quite apart from Calvin" -- although it should be added that Calvin did have much to do with that which began-to-happen shortly after the abdication of the emperor in 1555.

We shall now listen to more sounds produced as the two elements came to expression toward the end of the life of Guido de Bres. On the night of December 9 of 1561, a large crowd of marchers, led by a man from across the border of Flanders, went up and down the streets of Tournai (another such person did the same in Valenciennes) singing lustily some of the warlike Psalms, as versified, and set-to-music, in Geneva lately. As the crowd was dispersing, near midnight, the stranger from across the border offered to lead in prayer. After reciting a prayer (the words of which are, sad to say, not reported) the man recited the following harangue:

"Fellows, we have now praised the Lord and let everybody go back to his lodgings, thanking Him for giving us the grace so as to announce the Word of truth, praying also for perseverance, as well as for victory." That last phrase, about "victory", was, as is all too common, a matter of "first-being-last", or, "last-being-first". The concluding remark tells us what the whole thing was "about", namely the replacement of the Remnant-view as to mode d'integration with the "Christendom"-view, as taught at Geneva and transported into Flanders, in and with the mental luggage of a group of clergymen imported into Flanders to promote a new version of "Christendom".

Of course, the Regent saw-through the singings, the chanteries as they were called. She was not in-the-dark as to the identity of the people who were staging the singings, their origin and their message. She therefore gave orders to her subordinates at the border to "Purge-out all strangers, especially French ones, and let all who seek entrance to be interrogated and the questionable ones turned back." On her orders a bosom-friend of de Bres, a native son who had tried to prevent the singings, was executed. Twenty-six persons were arrested for involvement in the singings .. Michel Petit was also put-to-death. The residence of Raisse de Coron was upon the Regent's orders tom-down, because de Lannoy had been sheltered in it. Forty-five persons were banished from the country. A prize was put on the heads of Jean de Mortier., Pasquier du Metz, Pierre de la Rue, Jean and Guillaume Cornu, Jean de Grincourt. A gallows was erected, on the Regent's orders, and at once, intended to serve as a warning against more revolution-feeding singings.

And what, so we must ask as we are dealing with Guido de Bres, was his assessment of the chanteries? He did not participate in them, spoke against them, and in no uncertain terms. A Belgian historian has, rather recently, and very insightfully, painted the picture of the happenings as follows: "It was urged in the presence of a sizeable group that said Guy had done wrong in not showing-up at the singings. Apparently the situation ... had become grave, for the chanteries, besides evoking persecution, posed the threat of schism ... Aware of the danger of schism [the reference is to schism between the natives and the imports] Gilles Espringalles drew up a letter to Guy de Bray ... , one in which he praises the singings as a holy performance, one that promoted the honor of God, and, he requested the person addressed to write to the magistrates in support of the singings. When he had finished the letter he handed it to Guillemette d'Antoing to hand it to de Bray. A meeting was thereupon held at the residence of said Guillemette; one at which were present Gilles Espringalles, Antoine Carpeau, their wives, Arnould de Landis, Nicaise Frappe, Jean de M6nceau ... and Guy de Bray. Here the matter of the chanteries was discussed, and, to the great disappointment of the rest, Guy de Bray asserted that men had acted wrongly in staging the singings, that it was done without his approval, and, that much evil would come of the singings."

In anticipating "much evil" in connection with the singings de Bres was right. One of the "evils" was that de Bres had to flee from Flanders once more. As we said earlier, the garden-hut that had served as study-room for de Bres was ignited when it began to look as if the searchers of the Regent had their eyes on it -- this upon instructions given his followers by de Bres in case that were to happen. It seems that the Regent's servants were near-by when the hut was set-on-fire for the fire was put-out at once. As a result they of the law were now in possession of a vast store of information concerning de Bres and his associates. When it was evident that the owner of all the books and papers found in the hut had already fled-the-city a search was made for him in six nearby towns or cities -- but he was not to be-found. So he was burned in effigy and a price was put on his head. Two hundred copies of the Confession, still in their original packages, were burned, along with the rest of things. Indeed "much of evil" had come with the singings, as de Bres had predicted.

As the contents of the hut were being examined for clues they of the police carne across a statement made by de Bres, in a letter he had written, that if the chanteries had not been done then the cause of the eglises would have been "totalement asseure", "entirely certain". It is significant that as the investigators were reporting this find to the Regent they added "as it indeed would have been, so that we are led to think that the disturbances and the scandal brought about by the chanteries carne by divine permission, this so as to bring-about the total uprooting of the tares and the abolishing of the errors being sown in the city." Whatever one may think of this remark, done by the searchers, it shows that the preaching done by de Bres and his colleagues was bearing considerable fruit, that the Remnant was gaining lots of members.

Although a reward was posted for information as to where de Bres had gone no one seems to have gotten the reward, de Bres having been taught from childhood the fine art of keeping-out-of-sight. To this day no one knows for sure where de Bres went when his garden-hut had been set on fire. There is, however, reason to believe that he did return from somewhere to Flanders later to visit and comfort a blind Remnant-heir named Michel l' Aveugle ("Blind Michael"). We find ourselves wondering whether the blind man had kept his legal name and identity secret, so that people gave him a descriptive name. Blind Michel was burned at the stake on May 2 of 1562. After his execution for being a "heretic" the judge who had sentenced him received a written rebuke, and the French historian, Daniel OIlier, has suggested that the rebuke was composed by de Bres while he was residing incognito somewhere in France.

After being out-of-sight for a year or two we find de Bres in Sedan, in the employ, as private chaplain, of the Duke of Bouillon, Henri Robert de la Marek. Whether de Bres had contributed to it we do not know, but we do know that at about this time the Duke proclaimed complete freedom-of-conscience. He and his chaplain evidently agreed on the matter of mode d'integration.

The Duke also promoted the drive to draw-up a confession of the faith to which both Lutherans and Calvinists would put their names. To the meeting where this plan was to be worked-out, Jean Taffin, a close friend of de Bres, fellow minister in the Flemish eglises, was invited, also. He was asked to write to those of Geneva in the hope of getting them to participate in the plan. Taffin did write, as instructed -- but got no answer. So he wrote again. Again no answer. Then, after almost a year had gone-by, he tried a third time. This time he got a reply "to all your letters" (evidence that the two letters had been received all right). The belated reply was a flat "drop it", the idea of two religions in a realm being in Beza's words a "dogma diabolicum ", a "devilish teaching". Upon this the plan for a confession common to both Lutherans and Calvinists was "scrapped" -- no doubt to the chagrin of de Bres and his Duke.

The question is in-order as to why it was that the Duke had not instead given to his private chaplain the task of corresponding with the Genevans, why he asked a preacher living in-Flanders to write the letter instead. We are inclined to think that the reason the assignment was given to Taffin, instead of to Chaplain de Bres , was the fact that de Bres had already been given a "poke-in-the-face" by the Genevans in connection with creed-composing (a matter we shall come back to later in an Appendix to this volume.)

While de Bres was in the employ of the Duke he wrote a lengthy book bearing the title The Root, the Origin, the Basis of the Anabaptists of Our Times, a book that evinces remarkably little appreciation of the Anabaptists of the times (not of the Anabaptist movement as a whole). This fact calls for an explanation, for if it is true (as we have argued that it is) that the Anabaptists stood in the same tradition in which de Bres stood (that of the Remnant) then the absence of deep appreciation of Anabaptism on the part of de Bres calls for explanation. As we seek for the explanation it must not be overlooked that de Bres is not speaking of Anabaptists as a whole, is speaking of the contemporary ones instead. It cannot be denied that the word "Anabaptist" had by now rightly come to bring some unpleasant memories to mind. Even Servetus was called an Anabaptist. We even come-across the expression "Calvinistic Anabaptists". The Peasant-Uprising of the times was said to be born of Anabaptism. On top of all this was the undeniable fact of the debacle at Miinster, the city where a mass of Anabaptists, suffering from "battle-fatigue", had carried-on crazily, so crazily that it put all Anabaptists in a bad light; and that even though Menno Simons, a leader in the camp of the typical Anabaptists, had launched heavy criticism of the happenings at Miinster. In a word, some contemporary Anabaptists had put a bad light on the Remnant-heritage as such, a fact that undoubtedly disturbed de Bres, There is another reason why the book is as far from commendatory as it is, the fact namely that as de Bres was living and laboring for the Duke, in Sedan, something was beginning to happen which Menno had said would never happen, namely the coming of complete freedom-of-conscience; and de Bres must have deplored the fact that some Anabaptists were carrying-on in a way that would surely delay the coming of such freedom-of-conscience. We add here that Anabaptists as a whole had not been taught equally well to think in terms of two graces at work, some of their leaders got close to seeing the magistrates as devil-inspired. It is interesting that in his Racine, his book on the Anabaptists, de Bres does not repeat the old accusation that the Anabaptists were mutins, people "who want no government ". Fact is that in his Racine de Bres gets very close to the idea of two graces, each with its own "sword", the one grace having a sword of steel and the other grace having a sword of the spirit. De Bres wrote: "The two swords continue on, each in its own area. The one grace does not abolish the other grace." All this does not imply that there is nothing to correct in the Racine, for there is. It must be kept in mind, however, that as he was composing the book de Bres did not have access to the dozens of writings that have been brought to light in our times in connection with the Anabaptists.


[It will no doubt interest the readers of this book that a part of the Racine of de Bres was long ago printed in-English-translation here in the United States, in the attempt to check somewhat the rise of Quakerism. It has been said that this translation was "the first translation of a European writing to be done in the New World" (A copy of the translation is in the Huntington Library in California.)]

Because, as we shall see, our de Bres got involved in it, we report that while de Bres was in Sedan a "synod" was held, at Antwerp, where the following question was addressed: "Whether in the Low Countries a portion of the nobility plus a part of the people are permitted to resist the magistrate by armed might, if he violates, or fails to observe, the privileges, doing so by committing wrongs or open violations." The answer given to this question was "Such is indeed permissible if there are adequate means to work-it-out, such as a leader, or leaders, the needed funds, soldiers ... " (The reader will agree that it is hardly "reformed" to say that permissibility is determined by feasibility, as the report was saying). In connection with the "adequate means" the thing known as the "Three Million Guilders Offer" was concocted, allegedly for "freedom-of-conscience"; but the "Offer" was a ruse, right from the start, a scheme invented by the Compromis to "cover-up" the contemplated collection of financial contributions needed for the contemplated war-for-freedom, from Spain, the war that came to be called the "Eighty Years War", a war that was won not so much by military-action (although there was plenty of that) but by the tooth-of-time, a war that is said to have begun in 1568 and ended in 1648. De Bres was hanged a year before it got started.

We take the liberty to insert here the fact that at about this time a start was made to build what came to be called "De Ronde Tempel" ("the Round Temple") standing just across from the gate in the city's wall, a fact that shows that the Tempel was actually meant to be a fort. When the question was asked why the "church" was being placed so near the city-gate the answer was given that by erecting it there the watchmen, while on duty, would be "able to listen to the sermons". Of course, some people "saw-through" the project, at least the instructed ones, so that such a person in government employ, William of Orange, gave orders "niet hooger als Zes voet metsen" {"You are not to use masonry above the bottom six feet"). The "church" was never finished. When the "Eighty Years War" was going on, the partly-finished structure was torn down and the timbers were used to construct gallows, for the hanging of people promoting the war.

Of course, the report of the "Three Million Guilders" thing disturbed de Bres greatly in far-away Sedan. It bothered him so greatly that he wrote a pastoral letter about it to "Conse de Capernaum" (a purposely-chosen pseudonym for "Consistory-at-Antwerp".) The letter was full of conundrums and riddles, resorted-to so as not to endanger the people addressed in case the letter were intercepted. (It seems to have-been-intercepted for it survives among papers-of-state -- which implies that they of "Conse de Capernaum" did not even get to see the letter).

As we said, the letter is full of camouflage, a technique in which de Bres had been trained from childhood. One of the camouflaged assertions is that the news has it that "Anabaptists are spoiling a great many of our 'people". We are convinced that this remark was not meant to be taken literally, was meant instead to deflect attention from another kind-of- persons who were indeed "spoiling a great many of our people", namely the Geneva-instructed leaders.

In connection with this our assertion we point-out that there is no evidence that upon his return to Flanders erelong de Bres so-much-as-once had to do with an Anabaptist properly so called. What he did encounter, and that constantly, was Geneva-taught leaders who were "pushing" for war-with-Spain so as to make the Low Countries independent of Spain, a war that was destined to begin erelong. The "spoiling" which de Bres had in mind was the replacement of the Remnant mode d'integration with the Genevan one.

The following data, so it seems to us, go far to justify our assertion as to the people de Bres had in mind as he was speaking of "Anabaptists spoiling a great many of our people". Having warned the members of "Conse de Capernaum" against the "Anabaptists" de Bres added "I beg of you to be vigilant concerning this evil, this so as to keep your hands free from the blood of persons over whom you have been placed." The blood of these did indeed flow because members of the eglises had been "spoiled" by the "Anabaptists", made it flow in quantity, by military action, the "Eighty Years War". As de Bres is speaking of keeping hands "free from blood" he certainly was not thinking of "Anabaptists" as we know them.

In the solemn warning issued by de Bres we hear the same warning that had been heard a generation earlier, at Chanforan, coming there from the lips of the two old barbes. It is noteworthy that just as the warning sounded at Chanforan against magisterializing came to pass two years later so also in connection with the warning issued by de Bres in his letter to "Conse de Capernaum" did the anticipated war start two years after the warning. The irony in the matter is that the first "blood" to be shed, after the warning by de Bres, was the "blood" of de Bres himself. The man himself was the victim of the development against which he had warned.

Not only was de Bres opposed to the "Three-Million-Guilders" thing but the fact that he was opposed to it was known by the promoters of the "Offer". This is apparent from the fact that when de Bres was back in Flanders (the Duke having finally consented to let him go -- free from the contract) and as he was serving the church at Valenciennes, and the collector of the funds was there to pick-up the contributions, and de Bres asked to see the list of names as well as the amounts pledged, the request was denied him, the collector saying that the list consisted of "trustworthy persons". Apparently it was considered wise not to let de Bres know the identity of the persons contributing to the fund, nor the amounts.

The situation in Flanders, the "spoiling of a great many of our people", was so alarming in the eyes of de Bres, that he had requested the Duke to cancel the contract, so making it possible for de Bres to go back to his native land to see what could still be done to prevent the "Anabaptists" from "spoiling a great many." No doubt some, if not even many, were fellow-heirs of the Remnant, now falling in line with the Genevans. Although the Duke tried to persuade his chaplain to stay-on-the-job, (he no doubt realizing that to go back could be harmful, if not even fatal) he decided to let him go. So de Bres headed for Antwerp, the head-quarters of the "Anabaptists" whom he had come to hold-back. However, he stayed there only a few weeks. How is it to be explained that the man who had begged for permission to go-to-Antwerp decided after arriving there to move-on, as move-on he did? Had he perhaps come to the conclusion that things had already gone so far in Antwerp as to make it useless to try to stop the development? The following report as to what was going-on seems to point in that direction:

"The Calvinists with Herman at their head [the reference is to Herman Modet, whose "stand" in the matter of mode d'integration we already know, having heard some of the things he said in connection with his trip to England at the time of the conflict about effractie] ... held the city by force, they having managed to get possession of the keys to the city gates, were holding the city for two whole days and nights, March 13 and 14 of 1566, just before Easter, the heavy artillery included ... They demanded the expulsion of all Catholic priests and they threw reproachful words at the dignitaries ... calling them traitors. They placed the heavy artillery at the Meerbrugge ... But, thanks to divine providence, it all transpired without blood-shedding, this because on the next day all the sojourners, such as Spaniards and they of the Confession [reference is to Lutherans residing in Antwerp for business reasons] began to offer resistance, God be praised." It seems that de Bres concluded that things were already so out-of- hand in Antwerp that he repacked his luggage and went to Valenciennes, to see whether there the "Anabaptists" who were "spoiling a lot of our people" could still be held-back. We shall follow de Bres to that city where his, far from lengthy, career came to an abrupt end.

At Valenciennes one of the imported ministers, the Peregrin de la Grange whom we have met already, was already very active in the project of changing the official religion of the place. He was small-of-stature; but, as is often the case with undersized persons, he was very forward. He had been in deep trouble already, in his native France, where he had managed to escape as some two thousand followers were exterminated. The "hedge-preachings" were already in full-swing at Valenciennes, and people were coming to them with guns, the common people carrying forks and flails. As the sermons ended there was discharging of the weapons. However, at the end of the second sermon preached there by de Bres there was not the punctuation done with gun-fire. Why was this? Had the pistol-packing preachment-patrons perhaps run-out-of-powder? No, we are told it was "because the preacher had forbidden it" -- the reference, of course, being to de Bres, who, so it seems, had at the end of his first sermon, preached the day before, asked that there be no more "amens" done with gun-firing, and flail-flapping.

The fact that Valenciennes was not of-one-mind, had the two factions, is evident enough from the following report, drawn-up by the government-official named Noircarmes, and sent to the Regent: "In pursuance of that which they of Valenciennes had written on the day of my departure for Mons I came back and encountered deputies and leading citizens who had come to meet me ... They declared to me that they had been instructed to tell me that on the previous day all the citizenry, along with the ministers, had decided to obey at all points that which it might please the King to enjoin ... , saying that they wanted to do everything that goes with being good citizens and loyal subjects of His Majesty. To this I replied as best I could. Upon this we parted, they going back into the city, and I going hither, thinking to arrange for the lodgings [the reference is to the placing-of-soldiers inside the rebelling city]. But it all turned-out very differently, for in the early morning other deputies came, saying that in spite of what had been promised, they had no intention of obeying ... I do not know the whence of the sudden-change but I think I know whom to hold responsible, namely the ministers, who behave like gods and lords in Valenciennes, just as Calvin is doing in Geneva." The situation in the city was indeed brought-about by the "ministers", the one (de Bres) being behind the first notification and the other one (de la Grange) being behind the second one.

During the hectic days at Valenciennes a massive celebration of the Lord's Supper (known as the "Cene'") was planned, one to which some sixteen thousand persons from across the border were expected to come. The Cene was cancelled, however, due, no doubt, to de Bres and the element still committed to his thought-system, that of the Remnant. We at least hear Noircarmes say, in a report to the Regent: "I see that they are divided among themselves ... , some in the city wanting to obey and not hold the Cene" (Noircarmes evidently was aware of it that there was linkage between "obeying" and "Cene-celebrating"). But we also hear the following chant, coming from the other element of the people: "We want the Cene; we want the Cene; if we do not get the Cene we will destroy the church-buildings and cut-the-throat of every last priest!" (That was a rather strange mood for participation in the Supper, instituted by Christ as He was starting to go to the cross.)

Although we are tempted to spend more time on the things that happened during the last days of de Bres we shall refrain from it. After all, the time spent at Valenciennes by de Bres was short, so that we should be short also.

De Bres was sentenced to be hanged. And we have a contemporary report, done by a spectator, which reads:

"Master Guy, standing on the ladder with his feet wrapped around the rungs, began by exhorting the people to respect the civil rulers; he declaring that some had not acquitted themselves properly in this matter ... " We do not have to guess as to the element de Bres had in mind as he was making this accusation. They were the followers of de la Grange, a collection of persons that had been "spoiled"; first by a pair of tracts coming from Geneva, then by a parcel of preachers imported-from Geneva, one of whom was being hanged along with de Bres.

As de Bres was "preaching" thus, while standing on the rungs of the ladder, the official in charge gave the signal, to the hang-man, to pull the rope, which he then did, so making the body of de Bres to dangle. This rude interruption was, no doubt, inspired by the fact that what the man-on-the-ladder was saying was making his execution seem badly out-of-order, a miscarriage of justice (as, of course, it was), which would put the whole scene in a bad light. So the official decided to cut-short the unwelcome speech.

It is a known fact that at this moment in the hangings (de la Grange had already been suspended, and that without any comment from the spectators) massive-rioting began, one which historians bound-by-a-faulty-historiography have not to this day been able to explain, one attempt to explain being even more weird than the other. It was even suggested, and that right soon, that de Bres was "converted" on his way up the ladder and had therefore changed his mind as to obeying the civil authorities. We shall not "bother" the reader with a report as to the "weird" explanations nor as to our reply to them. For any person no longer myopic, no longer captive to a highly slanted historiography, the explanation is there for the taking, as follows: As de Bres was saying what he said while standing on the ladder there were those in the crowd that was watching who said something like: "I say it is a dirty shame, to hang a man like that!" -- upon which some replied "But he had it coming!" Upon this those of the one "school" began to shove the adherents of the other "school". Upon this fighting began, punctuated with the discharging of weapons, so that when the noise died down there were (according to a contemporary estimate) a dozen or so people lying on the streets, either dead or badly wounded.

If anything has become completely clear it is that the two preachers at work in Valenciennes were not of-one-mind, were not just two clergymen who had studied at Geneva -- as an armful of books, written by myopic people, would have us believe. One of the two would have endorsed the First Amendment and the other one would have turned his gun on it.

We still have to bury de Bres. He was buried without any comment, either in word or in deed. Not so with the body of de la Grange. It was resuspended on the burial site upon which soldiers doing the burial backed away a few steps and emptied their guns on the corpse, so filling it with lead. Why did the soldiers do what they did? We are not told as to the why. But we do not have-to-be-told, so apparent is the reason. It was that it was because de la Grange had made it necessary for these soldiers to take-turns in eating, as well as in sleeping, during the on-going conflict in the city. Small wonder they tried at the burial to "get-even" with the little-fellow that had caused them the many sleepless nights.

According to an ancient report, the corpse of de Bres was buried so shallowly that the dogs in the area dug it up and were seen carrying parts of it through the city. If this ancient report is true-to-fact then the end of de Bres was anticipatory. Due to massive exodus out of the area (a thing de Bres had deplored and that with passion) one can now drive through the city, slowly, and see not so much as a reminder of the things through which the city went in the days of de Bres, with him caught in the middle.

On that note our chapter on Guido de Bres and the Remnant ends. There is, however, an item in the conflict in the midst of which it was the man's lot to live, which is so important in the history of the conflict between two modes d'integration that we have decided to deal with it in an Appendix. It has to do with a sentence in the Belgic Confession, drawn-up by de Bres, and then altered by the Reformed churches; a sentence that has given these churches more than "a peck-of-trouble". We shall discover that the passage in question was born in the climate of the Remnant with its view as to mode d'integration, only to be taken-in-hand at once so as to make it set-forth the mode d'integration endorsed and propagated in Geneva (only to be taken-in-hand again in modern times, each of the Reformed churches altering it in its own way).

First, however, before we involve ourselves in the Appendix we must busy ourselves with a chapter on The Remnant in the New World; for, after all, the First Amendment was brought-forth in what was called "the New World", and this implies that without a chapter on "the Remnant in the New World" this book would be decidedly incomplete. Besides, this book was written primarily (but not exclusively) for people living in what the "New World" has become.

Having come to the end of the chapter on Guido de Bres and the Remnant we are led to repeat something brought up at the end of each of the three preceding chapters, the assertion, namely, that if the ethnic view as to mode d'integration is allowed to push-aside the mode d'integration that goes with authentic Christianity, then accommodation is more than likely. We shall leave it to the natives of the Low Countries, in which Guido de Bres performed, to determine whether accommodation and adaptation are going-on in the Reformed churches there.


Chapter Twelve

The Remnant and the New World


Although the conflict with which this book deals (the conflict between two mutually exclusive representations of the mode d'integration of Church and State) deals with northwestern Europe, particularly with Flanders, it was written (at least primarily) for Americans so that it would be less than complete without a chapter on how things went in the "New World", in the area out of which the First Amendment came.

We shall begin by pointing out that the British Isles, from which many of the early settlers had come, was also by no means solidly and uniformly Roman Catholic prior to the Reformation. It too had its "heretics", and that from early times. Here also there was a Remnant. Very correctly has it been said of the Isles that they "received the Gospel before the third century and by the sixth century it was a Christianized society and had developed such missionary activity that its missions were at work from the shores of the North Sea to the Baltic to the shores of Lake Constance." When Boniface was put to death in Frisia, on the Continent, it was not because he was proclaiming the Gospel to pagans, was instead because he was heading a movement to have the Frisians become-subordinate to Rome and its "Christendom" -- and becoming subordinate is something that to this day does not come-easily for Frisians.

However, the subordination-to-Rome which Boniface was promoting was, erelong, forcefully enforced, with the result that dissidents-from, and resisters-to, the new order were punished. One such dissident was Wyclif, a man who, standing in the tradition of the Remnant, taught that "Preaching is more important than is sacrament; and the body of Christ lying on an altar is not the center of worship ... " The church's buildings began to be seen by Wyclif as shelters of the Highest, lying on an altar; and he wanted conventicles instead, meetings at which preaching could be listened-to and prayers could be prayed.

In the year 1413 John Oldcastle was accused of being a "heretic". So a synod was assembled by the Bishop of Canterbury, for to "suppress the growing spread of the Gospel". The assembled synod was expected "especially to withstand ... Lord Cobham, who was known to be a principle favourer, receiver, and maintainer, of those whom the bishop misnamed Lollards." Cobham was excommunicated, so we are told. He appealed to the King, but got no support. So he was put in prison. From it he escaped and he fled to Wales, where he was concealed for four years. He was discovered, however, and was taken to London for trial and was "executed in a most barbarous way". So we could go on to show that the England of the times also was far from being a peaceful and placid pond or lake. Instead it was more like a storm-tossed sea. As was the case on the Continent, so also in the British Isles, there was from early times a "Christendom" as well as a Remnant, born out of opposition to it.

It therefore comes as no surprise that when the news of the posting of Luther's theses reached England life also became more difficult there for those of the Remnant than it had been hitherto. For instance, in 1644 Richard Hooker, a firm supporter of the idea of an "established" faith, declared: "Children are signed with this mark 'one faith, one baptism' ... In whom these things are found these the Church doth acknowledge for her children; only them she holdeth for strangers in whom these things are not found. For want of them it is that Saracens, Jews, and Infidels, are excluded out of the bounds of the Church ... If for external profession they be Christians then are they the visible Church of Christ... although they be impious idolaters, wicked heretics." What is this but a wholesale endorsement of "Christendom" and its mode d'integration?

During that same year it was argued, in Parliament, that "If you do not labor, according to your duty and power, to suppress the errors that are being spread in the Kingdom then all these errors are your errors and these heresies your heresies; then 'tis you that hold that all religions are to be tolerated."

In those days it was said, by a member of the Westminster Assembly: "Liberty of conscience and toleration of any and all religions is so prodigious an impiety that this religious parliament cannot but abhor the very meaning of it. Whatever may be the opinion of Mr. Williams [the reference is to Roger Williams, who, as we shall see, was a way-preparer for the First Amendment] ... and men of that stamp say, Mr. Burroughs, upon many unanswerable arguments, has exploded that myth."

Of course, there also were in the England of the times men who remind of the Remnant, in writings done by them. One such writing was a treatise, put out in 1614, by Mark Leonard Busher, bearing the title: Religion s Peace, a Plea for Liberty of Conscience, a treatise in which outright plurality of religions is defended. In it we read:

"No civil power is to be granted, or withheld, by the whim of the King ... It is a God-given right of man and is essential to the very nature of Christianity." For writing that way the man was forced to flee across the Channel, so that he went to live in Kampen, where he joined-up with a Dutch Anabaptist group. Busher apparently had been influenced by the Remnant.

So also the Englishman Robert Browne, from whose hand came the following Remnant teaching as to the proper function of the civil powers: "Yet may they do nothing concerning the Church, but being onlie civile magistrates they have not that authoritie over the Church as to be Prophetes or Priestes or spiritual Kings, as in all outward power, bodily punishment, and civil forcing of men ... Because the Church is in a common-wealth it is of their charge concerning outward provision and outward Justice; they are to look to it; but to compell religion, to plant churches by power and to force submission to Ecclesiastical government in Parliament by lawes and penalties, belongeth not to them." While Browne was in The Netherlands he published several booklets there, one of which displeased those of the established church of his native land so greatly that the death penalty was ordered for anyone owning a copy, a measure which led Sir Walter Raleigh to say, in Parliament, that it would be "impossible to find and punish them all." As we read these things we are led to think backward to the Remnant, and, forward to the First Amendment.

We also read something written by the Englishman Thomas Helwys, who, after spending some time on the Continent, wrote the following, for the King to hear:

"Heare, 0 King, and despise not ye council of ye poor, and let their complaints come before thee; the King is a mortall man, and not God; therefore he hath no power over ye immortal soules of his subjects, to make lawes and ordinances for them. If the King hath authority to make spiritual Lords and lawes then he is an immortal God and not a mortall man. 0 King, be not seduced by deceivers to sin so against thy poore subjects, who ought, and will, obey thee in all things, with body, life, and goods, or els let their lives be taken from the earth. God save the King!"

Whether John Robinson, the leader of the "Pilgrim Fathers", had picked-up the thought-system of the Remnant and its living heirs, while he and his followers were residing in The Netherlands, or had derived them from Remnant books, we do not know, but we do know that he and his followers had begun to think in terms of the old Remnant. They, at least, were wide open to advancing beyond the stand taken by the Reformers after their second conversion. This is entirely apparent from the farewell speech addressed by Robinson to his followers (he being too old to go along with them to the experiment in the "New World") in the year 1620: "If God reveals anything to you by way of another instrument of His, be as ready to receive it as ever you were to receive any truth by my ministry, for I am verily persuaded that the Lord has more truths to break forth out of His Holy Word. For my part, I cannot sufficiently bewail the condition of the Reformed churches who are come to a period of religion and will go no further than did the instruments of their Reformation ... The Calvinists, you see, stick fast where they were left by that great man-of-God [the reference is to Calvin] who yet saw not all things. This is a misery to be lamented, for although they were burning and shining lights in their times, yet penetrated they not into the whole counsel of God, but were they now living would be as willing to embrace further light as that which they had first received. I beseech you to remember it as an article in your church covenant that you receive whatever truth shall be made known to you from the written Word of God." Was it really "new" light he was waiting-for? Or was it adoption of the old light as it had shone throughout the "Dark Ages" that had followed upon the launching of "Christendom"? History seems to say that it was the older light, for it was in its direction that things went, for we find it coming at us in the following rays: "As for the gathering of a church ... , I tell you that in whatever place soever, by what means soever, whether by the preaching of the Gospel... or by reading, conference or by any other means of publishing it, two or three faithful people do arise, separate themselves from the world, into the fellowship of the Gospel... they are the true Church, truely gathered though never so weak, a house and temple of God, rightly founded upon the doctrines of the apostles and prophets, Christ Himself being the cornerstone, against which the gates of hell shall not prevayl." The person saying this was seeing the "true church" as a body that meets in conventicles, a Remnant trait.

At the end of his farewell address Robinson said also this: "I must advise you to abandon, avoid, shake-off, the name of Brownists. It is a mere nickname and a brand for making religion and its professors odious." This reminds us of the fact that they of "Christendom" were forever coining new, and derogatory, names for groups standing in the tradition of the Remnant, spiteful names, so strongly resented by Remnant-members that (as we saw on an early page in this study) they refrained from even writing them down, so that they narrowed three such names into "p.o.v.o.b".

A few pages back Roger Williams was mentioned. In view of the fact that the First Amendment is to a sizeable extent his brain-child, we shall turn the light on him as we approach the end of this chapter. It will be recalled that Williams said of the Reformers after they had embraced a new version of Constantinianism, that they were trying "to bring forth both sweet water and bitter from one and the same spring" which he said was "monstrous and contradictory". He was saying that to define the church as both Corpus Christi and Corpus Christianum was "monstrous and contradictory" -- as it indeed is. We feel the urge again to repeat after him that which McGiffert has said: "Calvin's doctrine of the church is a composite of ... diverse and inconsistent elements, and because of this, confusion concerning the place, the purpose, of the church, has since his day reigned almost everywhere in the Reformed wing of Protestantism."

Of course, Roger Williams soon got-in-trouble in the "New World" to which he had gone (no doubt in order to get-away from a very "old" thing, the heritage of the "big blunder"). But he soon discovered that the "old" view had gotten to the shores of the "New World" before he did. We at least find an elder of the Plymouth colony warning a fellow church-leader residing elsewhere, against Williams, and advising him "not to run the same course of rigid separation and Anabaptism which Mr. Smyth, the se-baptist at Amsterdam, has done." And six years later we find Hugh Peters addressing the church at Dorchester with; "We thought it our bounden duty to acquaint you with the names of such persons as have had great censure passed on them in this our Church, with the reasons thereof... Roger Williams and his wife ... wholly refuse to hear the Church, denying that it, and all the churches in the Bay, to be true churches and (except two) are all rebaptized ... " It was because Williams, and the rest of the people mentioned, had discarded "christening", which then, of course, led to second-baptizings. It was because Williams had himself repudiated "christening" that he came out with his booklet titled Christening Maketh Not Christians, a booklet that sounds so much like Remnant thinking and practice that we find ourselves wondering whether Williams had been reading things that had been put-out by the Remnant long ago, and, had survived the wrath of "Christendom".

To show that in the Massachusetts Bay area there also were advocates of the mode d'integration of "Christendom" we call attention to the following orders given by the civil authorities on November 13 of 1644: "It is ordered and agreed upon that if any person or persons within the jurisdiction shall either openly condemne or oppose the baptism of infants, or go about secretly to seduce others from the approbation or the use thereof, or shall appear to the court willfully and obstinately to continue therein after due time and means of convictions, every such person, or persons, shall be sentenced to banishments." Manifestly "Christendom" and "christening" had its supporters. Manifestly also there were those who were thinking in terms of the Remnant.

The Virginia colony enacted a law providing that "Every person who refuses to have his child baptized by a lawful minister shall be amerced 2000 pounds of tobacco, half to the parish and half to the informer."

To show how serious the rejection of "christening" was, in the eyes of the magistrates of the times, we relate the fact that at this same time a law was passed providing that "The man and the woman who commit fornication shall each pay 500 pounds of tobacco" -- which shows that "committing fornication" was seen as far less bad than was breaking-with-"christening".

In July of 1635 Roger Williams was summoned to Boston to answer charges lodged against him by the civil court, for having taught that "the magistrate ought not to punish the breach of the first table of the law otherwise than in cases as disturb the civil peace." William was evidently insightful enough to realize that there can be things done in the name of religion that can, and sometimes do, "disturb the civil peace", such things as refusing to pay assessments made, such things as polygamy, etc. Williams was the victim, however, of the mistaken notion, heard all through the ages, that he who is contending that the sword-bearing magistrate has no assignment in church matters is a mutin, so that we read of folk "infected with Anabaptism" and of a man "rebaptized" and of ten more who "denied the baptism of infants and would have no magistrate", were mutins. To satisfy the old "Christendom"-law that "heretics" had to be tried in the ecclesiastical court, and then, if found guilty there, be handed-over to the civil ruler for punishment, usually capital, the clergy of the area were told to be present at the trial of Williams. They were present, and virtually unanimously declared Williams to be guilty, and, that he should be banished. He was thereupon officially thrust-out in the cold of a bleak New England winter, with wife and child. Had it not been for the fact that the local Indians took Williams and his wife and child into their wigwams until spring had arrived they would probably have perished from exposure to the elements.

The fact that the local Indians came to the rescue of the Williams family finds its explanation in the fact that Williams had sought "to do the natives good" (as he put it), so that he even got personally acquainted with Chief Massasoit. In a letter written by Williams he said "God was pleased to give me a painful [that is a painsful, an attemptful] and patient spirit to lodge with them in their smoky holes, even while I lived at Plymouth and Salem, to gain their tongue" (Fact is that among the writings of Williams there is a rudimentary grammar of "their tongue").

Williams was not at all in-the-dark as to the "why" of his banishment, namely his refusal to chime-in with the welding-together-of church and state, so that we find him writing: "Why was I not permitted to live in the world or commonwealth of Massachusetts, except for the reason that the Commonwealth and the Church are yet one [manifestly the "yet" implies that Williams saw a change on the horizon, the change that a century later came with the First Amendment] and he that is banished from the one must be banished from the other also."

As is entirely evident, Williams realized full-well that he was not initiating, was repeating instead. His contemporaries realized this also so that in the debates of the times the label "Donatists" as well as "neo-Donatists" was heard. And we find Williams saying of the ministers who were opposing him, that they "Ride the backs and the necks of the Civill Magistrates as fully and as heavily as the Great Whore sat the backs of the Popish Princes." The fact that Williams used the expression "the Great Whore" [the reference being to "Christendom"] shows that he was acquainted with the terminology of the Remnant. Had he been reading such writings of the Remnant as he could lay-hand-on?

Having looked-back for quite awhile it may not be out-of-place to look forward for a moment now. As we do so we see that the termination of slave-holding was promoted by the Rhode Island colony (the terrain of which had been bought from the Indians, thanks to the influence of Roger Williams). Having mentioned the termination of slaveholding we point out that when a settlement of Anabaptists was taking-root in the "New World" they informed their relatives, still living in Europe: "Here there is freedom of conscience, as is right and reasonable; what there should also be is freedom from slavery."

So convinced was Williams that with the coming of John the Baptist a new era had begun, that he called attention to the fact that although the Old Testament prescribes capital-punishment for living-in-incest, the New Testament, in I Corinthians 5: l3, calls for no more than excommunication from the church. The man was apparently not as blind to the importance of John the Baptist as the typical supporters of the mode d'integration were, for we find him writing victoriously: "Where find you one footstep, print, or pattern, in the doctrine of the Son of God, for a national holy Covenant, and so consequently a national church? Where find you evidence of a whole Nation, Country, Kingdom, converted to the Faith, and, of Christ appointing a whole Nation or Kingdom to walk in one way of religion? If you repair to Moses, consult with Moses, and the Old Covenant, or Testament, we aske, are you Moses' or Christ's followers?" (Here we find ourselves listening to questions that remind of the Remnant).

It has already become apparent that Williams was a missionary, had the ambition of presenting the Gospel to the natives, so that he even put together a grammar of their language. How is this to be explained, in the light of the fact that the rest of the people of the times were strangers to the idea of missioning? Where had Williams picked-up his ambition to go to the unevangelized world and make converts? Did he not know it, or did he know it only to line-up against it, that in Geneva it had been taught that along with the birth of "Christendom" the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18 had become obsolete, in and with the arrival of "Christendom"? Had Williams consciously taken position at right-angles with the position of Beza? Had Williams perhaps picked-up his convictions in the matter as he was reading in forbidden writings?

Where had Roger Williams picked-up his idea that the Constantinian synthesis was the "Big Blunder" that it was? And from whom had he taken-over the practice of calling "Christendom" the "Antichrist" (as de Bres also does in his Confession), he writing: "All may see how since the Apostacie of Antichrist the Christian world (so called) hath swallowed up Christianity, how the Church and the Civil State, that is the Church and the world, are now become one Flocke of Jesus Christ, Christ's sheep and the pastors of them, all one with the unconverted, wilde and tame beasts and Cattell of the world and the civill and earthly govemeurs of them?" That sounds very much like a member of the Remnant lamenting the transformation of Christianity into "Christendom".

As does the following from Williams' hand: "The poor servants of Christ, for some hundreds of years after the departure of the Lord, enjoyed no power, no other Sword or Shield, but spirituall, until it pleased the Lord to try His children with Liberty and ease under Constantine (a sorer tryall than befell them in 300 years persecution) under which temporell protection and bounty of Constantine, together with the temporell Sword, drawne out against her spiritual enemies, the Church of Christ soon surfeited of too much honey of worldly ease, authority, profit, pleasure ... " As we listen to that kind of speech we find ourselves wondering whether there is such a thing as reincarnation, a spirit of the long ago taking-up habitation in a present-day person.

In connection with our suspicion that Williams had read, and devoured, writings written long before by members of the Remnant, we report that Williams was fluent in the Dutch language, so fluent that he taught it to others. How come? Did he learn to read Dutch because he knew that there were Remnant-writings in that language, a few copies of which had survived the wrath of "Christendom"?

Is it because Williams had read such Remnant-writings as he could lay-hands-on, that he wrote the following about the birth of "Christendom": "Then began the mysterie of the churches sleepe, the Gardens of Christ's Churches turned into the wilderness of National religion and the world (under Constantine's Dominion) to the most un-Christian Christendomme. The unknowing zeal of Constantine and other emperours, did more to hurt Christ His Crowne and Kingdom then [read "than"] the raging fury of the most bloody Neroes ... Babel and confusion was ushered in and by degrees the Garden of the Churches of the Saints was turned into the wilderness of whole nations, until the whole world became 'Christendomme' , ... " All must agree that this was stock-in-trade of the Remnant.

The same impression is made on us as we read the following from the hand of Williams: "I shall humbly suggest ... as the greatest causes, fountaines and taproots of all Indignation of the Most High against State and Countrey: First that the whole Nation and generations of Men have been forced (though unregenerate and unrepentant) to pretend and assume the name of Jesus Christ, which only belongs, according to the Institutions of the Lord Jesus, to true1y regenerate and repenting soules. Secondly, that all others dissenting from them, whether Jews or Gentiles, their countrymen especially (for strangers have a Libertie) [where had the man picked up this idea of "strangers have a Libertie" if not from the Remnant?] have not been permitted civil cohabitation in this world with them but have been distressed and persecuted by them."

Where but in Remnant writings had Williams picked-up the following: "Never did the Lord Jesus bring into His most holy worship (for He abhorres, as all men, yes, the very Indians, do) un unwilling spouse, and to enter into a forced bed? The will to worship, if true, is like a free vote, nee cogit nee eogitur ["neither forcing nor forced"] Jesus Christ compells by the perswasions of His messengers to come in, but otherwise, with earthly weapons He never did compell, nor can be compelled. The not discerning of this truth hath let out blood of the Saints and witnesses of Jesus." Manifestly Williams knew he was involving himself in an ancient quarrel; why else his assertion "in all ages"? He must have known that ever since the launching of "Christendom" there had been a Remnant saying the very things he was saying.

Of course, Roger Williams officiated at conventicles, for no one can break-step with the idea of an "established" faith without feeling the urge to join a group of conventicle-goers. It is as Bishop Cox said, in 1571, of the "sects": "Whose members will not enter our churches, will not baptize their children, do not come to the Lord's Supper, will not listen to our preaching. The people remain separate from us, go their own ways, practice a private religion" adding "and meet in private homes".

Although not all conventicles held in the "New World" were punished as sharply or vigorously as the example we are about to relate, they were considered worthy-of-punishment. The one we have in mind went as follows. In one of the early settlements in New England a group of like-minded evangelicals had the habit of meeting together in homes. When a member of the group, an elderly woman, took sick, the rest of the group met at her home to cheer her up a bit. At the evening gathering a man read a passage from the Bible, explained its meaning as it applied to the sick woman. When the performance became known the man who had done the illegal preaching was arrested for it, was found guilty. He was given his choice as to the fine, that of "pay a fine of thirty pounds or be well-whipt". He chose the latter (whether he made the choice because he did not have the "thirty pounds" or was getting close to martyropetalism we do not know). A man in uniform did the whipping, he "striking him with all his strength, yes, spitting in his hand three times, with a three-corded whip, giving him therewith thirty stroakes ... , in such an unmerciful manner that in many days, if not even weeks, he could not rest, but lay on his knees and elbows, not being able to suffer any part of his body to touch the bed on which he lay." An observer said: "The poor sufferer had so much inward peace that in a manner he felt it not". We are of the opinion that the man should have been patted on the back for trying to make things a bit lighter for the old lady. Williams would have felt like thanking the man, this because the man had broken with the very idea of an "established religion", to put it in the terms of the First Amendment.

But then, that was the way most people felt in those days. For instance, the famous preacher Cotton Mather, who began his account of the performance of Roger Williams with these remarks: "In the year 1654 a certain windmill in the Low Countries, whirling about with extraordinary violence by reason of a violent storm then blowing, the stone at length by its rapid motion became so intensely hot as to fire the mill, did set a whole town on fire. But I can tell my reader that about twenty years before this there was a whole country in America like to be set on fire by the rapid motion of a windmill in the heart of one particular man ... " The "particular man" was Roger Williams. He did indeed "set fire" to something that needed to be ignited and burned-down, the mode d'integration that goes with the ethnic faiths and goes also with "Christendom", the mode d'integration which the First Amendment was meant to end.

So ends this book. We shall spend a moment with the book with which the New Testament ends, the Apocalypse (the word means "uncover"), a very strange book. It was put-together by a disciple of Christ who had been banished to a lonely uninhabited island because he was posing a threat to a pagan religion, one that tied a whole Volk together. While lying alone on the island he has a vision, one in which all the pagan faiths have disappeared. In their place has come a paganized version of Christianity, with a pseudo-Christ at its heart, and he sustained and served by a flock of "false prophets". All members of society are seen as held-together by a faith common to all. All the members of the society have a sacramental tattoo, on their foreheads and on the back of their hands, signifying a "catholic" faith. But, off in a corner is a relatively small remnant, huddled together, subjected to severe persecution; so severe that they, as with one voice, beg for the termination of time.

What was John seeing in the distance? Was it the Constantinian-synthesis? If so, then the book surely deserves the name "uncover", for things were not as yet going in the direction of a "Christendom" replacing a collection of ethnic faiths. The pagan faiths were still "going-strong"; witness the fact that they had banished the apostle for posing a threat to them. The pagan faiths were giving evidence of approaching senility but only that, were "approaching" it. Was the inspired apostle seeing the "Big Blunder" on the horizon?

Or was John looking much farther down the road? Was he seeing at the end-of-the-age a development such as we see in our times, for instance as envisioned by the "New Age" advocates, a complete ecumenicity, an everybody-embracing faith?

In any event, we must be prepared for surprises, such surprises as the tumbling-down of the Berlin Wall, something that had not been predicted; such surprises as the dissolution of the Russian Empire, which likewise had not been foretold.

The question that remains to be asked, and answered, is whether the people who are redeemed by the blood of Christ are being saved along-with this sin-sick world, or are being saved out-of it. It could be that the world has not yet seen the last conflict as to mode d'integration of the program erhaltende Gnade and the program of erlosende Gnade, the issue with which the First Amendment deals.



As we deal with the First Amendment and with the inserted clause about a "wall of separation between Church and State" it must not be overlooked that the inserted clause was not concocted in a study, much less at a meeting at which minutes were put together. It must be kept in mind that the remark was made "off the cuff" (Webster defines that expression as "done in an offhand manner"). Its author was visiting some friends (by way of letter), was saying some "nice" things to them, things about which he and they agreed, so he starts to recite the six things said in the First Amendment (with which the people he was addressing were already acquainted). After having recited the first and the second of the six items he stops quoting. Not only that: he backs-up, to say something about the "building of a wall between church and state", a matter about which the second of the six items says nothing, nothing at all. It seems right to say that Jefferson was sorry he had moved on to the second item, so "sorry" that he backs away from it, seeing that "not to pass a law prohibiting the exercise of religion" has nothing at all to do with "building a wall of separation between church and state".

In view of the fact that the clause the man Jefferson inserted after "closing the book" on the second item of the six, that what he said was said "off the cuff", it follows that anyone, whether a person of the rank and file, or a person of some "standing", even the "standing" enjoyed by a "Chief Justice", one who ignores the fact that the clause was first said "off the cuff", who deals with it as if it had come about by solemn decision done by a Legislative Body in session, such a person should be told to sit down as a responsible person takes the floor.

Since Jefferson saw-fit to dwell at length on the first of the six items which the amendment tells Congress not to do, we shall take the liberty to dwell a brief moment on the last item of the six, the item which tells Congress not to pass a law interfering with "the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" (Webster defines "redress" as "correct and compensate for evils done"). People still walking in the parade of the faction out of which the First Amendment came will do well, if things are not corrected, to take recourse to the sixth on the six items, to "petition the Government for a redress of grievances."




From the book which the reader has just finished reading it is evident that the First Amendment was meant to put an end to an old debate as to mode d'integration of church and state. We have seen that Christianity started with a new mode d'integration, that this new mode was then, in the early fourth century, pushed aside as the other, the older, mode was adopted. And it has become evident (so we think) that from this moment on there was on the scene an element (to which the name "Remnant" has been given) that was unable in-conscience to go-along with the new (but very old) view as to mode d'integration. And we think it has become evident that, although there is a historiography that closes its eyes to the presence of this Remnant, the fact is that the First Amendment was in a very real way the product of the thought-system adhered-to by the Remnant. Because doing so will throw more light on the First Amendment we shall in this Appendix fasten our eyes on one of the creeds of the Reformed churches, known as the Belgic Confession, doing so first on this creed-as-such, and then on an article in it (article 36), that deals specifically with the issue of mode d'integration.


Part 1 -- Belgic Confession


As to the naissance of the Belgic Confession we are to a large extent "in the dark". We do know that when in 1555 the emperor abdicated, a new day began to dawn in Flanders, as it began to seem that a different relationship of church and state was on the horizon. And there is good reason to think that Guido de Bres, a person who had evidently been brought up in the climate of the Remnant, realized that a new day was dawning. Very soon after the abdication, de Bres went south; first to Lausanne and then to Geneva. How long this visit to the south was we do not know. Historians who are guilty of "Calvinizing history" say it was as much as three years, although it seems that it was not more than eight or nine months. Nor are we told why de Bres went to Lausanne and Geneva. All sorts of guesses were made (by historians blind to the very presence of the Remnant). One such guess was that he went there "to learn Latin", although there is good reason to believe that the man was already expert in Latin, so well at home in the writings of the most ancient "fathers" that he could recite whole pages from their writings. Another such guess was that de Bres went there so as to "learn what a preacher needs to know", but there is every reason to think that he already "knew" this. Writers who are guilty of "Calvinizing" have even said that if we want to know how much de Bres learned while on this trip to Geneva we need but read the man's Baston de la Foy -- which, however, was in print already several years before de Bres went on the trip, had come out already in 1555!

Our study of the matter has convinced us that de Bres went, first to Lausanne and then to Geneva, because there was evidence that the advice given by Calvin in his two tracts long ago was beginning to be heeded, that of "ditching" the Remnant mode d'integration and putting in its place the one supported by the Genevans. De Bres may have gone to Lausanne in order to see whether the view of the Remnant and the view of the Genevans could be harmonized -- do so at a place where he and a representative of the Genevans would meet in a "neutral" place, so that de Bres might exchange ideas with another individual, perhaps Calvin himself, not having over against himself an entire faculty. He did, however, erelong go to Geneva for to continue the debate there.

There seems to be reasons to conclude that the effort put forth by the one party to win-over the other party (as to mode d'integration) did not "work-out", upon which de Bres then went back to Flanders to bring forth a confession geared to his Remnant-view as to mode d'integration, as they of Geneva sat down to produce a confession geared to the other view as to mode d'integration.

If this is the way it went then we are in position to understand how it was that the two creeds are as unlike as they are but are nevertheless significantly similar, the reason being that for awhile the composers of the two creeds had sat over-against-each-other as they were trying to find consensus.

If this is the way things went then it comes as no surprise that very soon after de Bres had come back to Flanders his Confession was ready for the presses. All he had to do was repeat the things that had been said by him at the conference that had failed, so that it was a finished product ready to be printed in 1559. Nor is it then at all surprising that the Confession put together by the Genevans also was ready for the press at once, it being officially adopted by the French church in that same year, 1559. If that is the way things went then it is not surprising that as soon as the news was out that the Flemish eglises had put their confession in print, action began to be taken (led by what came to be called the Compromis, consisting of Geneva-slanted clergy and politically-ambitious nobles) to cure the confession of its Remnant-related "defects".

So far in this Appendix we have been working with speculations, although (as will, we think, become apparent) it all fits very well into the known facts, such facts as are implied in some later recordings. We shall now deal with five such recordings.

Recording 1. In the minutes of a Provincial Synod held in Dordrecht in 1574 we read: "We shall for certain reasons leave the confession as it is, and if any words in it need to be changed so as to bring it in line with the edition printed at Geneva [reference is to the printing done in Geneva, in 1566, after the Confession had been subjected to what has rightly been called "a formidable revision" done by a self-appointed group consisting of members of the Compromis ] ... we shall wait with it until the General Synod meets."

From this decision it is apparent that now there were two versions of the Belgic Confession, an earlier one (to which we shall henceforth refer as "1561") and a later one (to which we shall refer as "1566"). Manifestly at the time of the Provincial Synod "1561" is still in the driver's seat -- although there are voices saying" 1561" should move aside and let "1566" do the driving. Manifestly the matter is "touchy", likely to increase existing tensions, so that it is decided not to take-action but to wait until a broader assembly convenes, lest the noise between the two drivers get even worse than it already is.

It is also apparent from this "recording" that whatever answer would be given it would be debatable (this because there were no minutes). For all the members of the Provincial Synod knew, "1566" was a hitch-hiker, a traveler who had thumbed for a ride and had been picked-up. Although (as we said) there were no minutes to consult, minutes were now coming out (since 1563) -- but they contain not a word about the meeting at which "1566" had been born, not a word in the form of Agenda, not a word in the form of Acta. Does it surprise that (as we shall see) it was said that "1566" had been brought forth at "an occult synod", or, as it also was called "a clandestine gathering"? The plain fact is that the revision by which "1561" was transformed into "1566" was done "behind-the-bam", by a group of self-appointed revisers.

Recording II At the Synod held in Middelburg in 1581 the question was asked "Which are the thirty-seven articles which ministers and elders are required to sign?" That was a very queer question. Ever since 1563 (the year in which the first recorded minutes came out) the ministers and elders and deacons had been required to put their names to "1561" -- so why ask "Which thirty-seven articles"? The trouble, however, is that ever since 1566 there had been a second candidate for the endorsing individuals. So the question was asked "Which thirty-seven articles?"

Since there were no minutes to consult, since now there were enthusiastic supporters of both versions, therefore the question was asked. History-writers later resorted to whatever explanation they could think-of as they sought to explain the very asking of the question. One such would-be explanation was that they who posed the question were, just-for-fun "asking road-directions concerning a road well-known". No, the question could not have been more seriously asked.

No -- No, indeed. They who were asking the question were surrounded by a difficult situation. At the meeting, held in 1563 (the first such meeting of which we have minutes) it was not only already the practice for office-bearers to put their name to a specific creed (i.e., "1561 "); but it was also decided there "henceforth at every meeting the Belgic Confession is to be read in its entirety, as much so as to show our oneness [which had already ceased] as to open the way for possible revisions." (Whether this decision was ever carried-out we do not know. But we do know that it was a "crazy" decision, for it implied that a "binding creed" is "binding" only until the next meeting of the major assembly!). There is reason to think that the decision to "read aloud the entire confession" was never carried-out. Did they who were calling for the reading decide that a meeting about "possible revisions" would only end in increased tensions touching the revising, and they therefore decided to make the desired revisions at an "occult synod", a "clandestine gathering", and then quietly put the revised text into circulation.

Recording III. Here we find a major assembly in session, at Walcheren, where it is decided to make the Confession "conform with the edition recently put out by Master Beza". Apparently "1561" is still in-charge, although the call is being heard to bring it in-line with "1566", as printed at Geneva, with Beza supervising. If the revising had been done in-the-open then the call-to-conform would not have been heard.

Recording IV. In the year 1610 it was decided, at a broader assembly, that "It would be good and desirable if the thirty-seven articles were put in print correctly." So complete was the confusion that the diversity between "1561" and" 1566" was being seen as the result of careless typesetting. This must not be allowed to surprise us, for there were no minutes concerning the matter, so that only the revisers (working at the "occult synod") were acquainted with the facts -- and they were prudent enough not to report them. They had done the revising with the shades-drawn, so why report the facts in the matter? Upon this a printer named Schilders came-out with a printing of "1566" in the Introduction to which we read: "Several copies have been in circulation for some time ... In the present printing we are following the oldest copies we could find, of the year 1566." Seemingly the man, Schilders, had not even come-across a copy of "1561". No doubt he had consulted the minutes of the major assemblies, but, of course, had learned nothing from them. So he did the best he could. In saying what we have just said we are giving Schilders the benefit of the doubt, for his decision to reprint "1566" may have been born instead of the desire (common enough at the time) to cover-up "1561", get it out of the picture.

Recording V. In 1566 a native-son of the eglises, Godfrey Van Wingen, had a printer put out copies of "1561", so virtually saddling a horse already said to be dead, seeing that "1566" had come in its place. We cannot but ask why he did this. Didn't he even know it that" 1561 " had been replaced by "1566"? Or did he want to give "1561" a boost in the on-going rivalry between the two texts? The latter reason seems to be the likely one, for it is reasonable to expect Van Wing en to prefer" 1561" over "1566", he being a native son, standing in the Remnant tradition.

Although it would be time-well-used to look at more such recordings we are convinced that enough has been looked-at to have convinced the open-minded reader that from early times there were two versions of the Belgic Confession, one for each of two schools-of-thought. We shall therefore continue our study of the revising of the Confession.

Since there were various, and diverse, reports concerning the matter, various writers have tried to explain the reason for the "duchtige revisie" done in 1566. One such suggested reason (coming from persons suffering from myopia) was that it was done so as to "give the Confession a more churchly flavor" (whatever that may be). But it is reasonable to think that, if anything, "1561" was likely to have the "more churchly flavor" for it was done by a clergyman whereas "1566" was done by clergymen assisted by nobles. If we learn to reckon with the presence of Remnant heirs we do not have to invent a reason for the revision.

Since the minutes of the eglises are silent about the matter, it is cause for gratitude that there are at least two contemporary writings that throw much-needed light on the matter. One of the two is the work of a Dutch professor so highly thought-of that he taught in several universities of the times, both at home and abroad. His name was Martin Schoock. The other of the two writers was Franciscus Junius, one of the clergymen that had been imported into Flanders, from Geneva, to promote the replacement of mode d'integration there. This Junius took a leading part in the "occult synod" at which the Confession was revised (Junius seems to have presided at it). He was a close friend of Saravia, a Roman Catholic priest who had converted to Calvinism, and who (as we shall see) played a very important part in the modification whereby "1561" was transformed into "1566". As we shall now see, we owe a great deal to both these writers, for their writings throw a great deal of (badly needed) light on the matter. We shall therefore "milk" both these writings, as we glean from them some highly important details as to the why and the wherefore of the revisings.

We shall start with the work of Schoock, the professor who had become so excited about things he was discovering as he was conducting research about the matter that he came out with a big tome, bearing the title Liber de Bonis vulgo Ecclesiasticis Dictis, published at a time when some of the persons involved were still alive, a time in which source materials were still available, a work in which the man's findings are summarized, as follows: "By whom this formula of orthodoxy [the reference is to the Belgic Confession] in the Low Countries was first drawn up is variously reported by various persons. I have learned from dependable written sources that the matter stands as follows. Already in 1559 Guido de Bres ... had begun to draw up certain articles of orthodox consensus. These he first showed to Adrian Saravia, who was just then setting-out for Geneva, and by whom they were then shown to Calvin and the rest of the Genevan theologians, toward the end of the year. But since they were drawn up in French ... they advised Saravia to urge it upon the author, as well as upon the rest of the clergy of the Low Countries, to agree instead with the French Confession, which had recently, on May 10, been accepted at the First Synod, held in Paris. Saravia, back in the Low Countries a little later, reported to the author [de Bres] the advice of Calvin and his associates, he doing so by word-of-mouth, as well as by written-missive, which he had brought with him. Upon this de Bres laid the articles aside, until 1561, when, upon the urging of Van Wingen (opposed in this however by Saravia, who contended that they of Geneva should be consulted a second time), they were sent to Emden, where Cooltuyn, Van Wingen's friend was serving ... " Schoock said also the following in the summary: "Since there was some grumbling because men had gathered from Saravia that the Genevans had been displeased with the plan of those of the Low Countries to put-out a confession, there was assembled, at Antwerp, in the month of May, 1565, amidst countless perils and difficulties, an occult synod, consisting of the leading ministers in the Low Countries, as rated at the time, an assembly at which Philip of Marnix was present and to which Saravia had. been summoned. Then, after the confession had been revised, it was approved by all who were present, with the understanding, however, that the judgment of the Genevans would first be sought regarding it. These when felt-out by Junius (he being intimate with them) replied, in November (as is verified by the documents), that they had, from the beginning, when shown the articles, judged them to be orthodox all right, but had judged that at that time the churches of the Low Countries were not in need of a confession. But, seeing that it had been released already, and could not be recalled, they approved it as being in line with the Word of God. The confession was from that time on endorsed not only by the clergy [as had been the case with "1561"] but also by Louis of Nassau, by the Count of Culembourg, the Count of Bergen, Henri Brederode ... " (Members of the Compromis).

Surely all will agree that according to Schoock's findings there were from the start two schools-of- thought, each with its preferred text of the Confession (When we get that far we shall discover that this is true also of the trouble-giving passage in article 36).

Since there were many who disliked to be told many of the things Schoock had said, also the things pertaining to the early history of the Belgic Confession, it comes as no surprise that these people put forth an effort to find faults in Schoock's representations. One of these was Van Langeraad, the author of the biography of Guido de Bres that has controlled the thinking of some three generations.

It is pertinent surely that rather late in Van Langeraad's life he said he was planning to put together a second biography, this because he had gained different insights. It is surely to be deplored that the man did not come out with the second biography.

The first of the alleged "faults" in Schoock's representation is a matter of dates, Schoock saying .that the "occult synod" had met in 1565, although Junius, who was himself present at it (seems to have presided), says it was in 1566. However, Schoock's report seems to imply that there were two gatherings for the purpose; one, held in 1565, for planning, and the other, held in 1566, for the executing of the plan. The fact is that Schoock first speaks of a meeting at which he says Mamix was present; and then speaks of a gathering at which a group of such nobles were present -- with the report of the revising lying between the two reports. This, so it seems, puts an end to this bit of criticism, dealing with dates.

The second criticism of Schoock is a bit more involved. In a letter, written to the Genevans later, the man Saravia is mentioned, his excellent qualities are recited; but nothing is said about him having been in Geneva earlier. This is taken to imply that the report of his visit (allegedly paid in 1559) is fiction. In reply to this bit .of criticism we point out that when the letter was being written it (as we shall see) had become the policy of those of the imported "school" to picture the Confession as having been born in 1566, they of that "school" being embarrassed by the fact that there even was the text to which we are attaching the label "1561". This policy of pulling the shades had by now become so common that if the writer of the letter had made mention of a visit of Saravia, in 1559, with a copy of "1561" still in manuscript form then this would embarrass both the writer of the letter, and the reader. So why mention it, the letter having nothing to do with the history of the Belgic Confession? Very correctly has this bit of criticism-of- Schoock been called "argument-from-silence-squared" (done by H. H. Kuyper, if we recall correctly). It is to be dropped.

Since there are a list of matters in Schoock's writing that shed needed-light on the matter, we shall begin with his assertion: "By whom this formula of orthodoxy was first drawn-up is variously reported by various men." We cannot but ask how this could be, seeing that the Confession was "drawn up by' common accord", which implies that the eglises had at a meeting decided to draw-up a confession and had given the task of drawing-it-up to de Bres. There is therefore no more room for the question "By whom drawn up" in connection with the Confession than there is in connection with the Gettysburg Address! No, the question came to be asked because Saravia was saying that he had taken-part in the composing of the Confession, although the truth in the matter was that he had taken-part instead in the revising. No doubt Schoock was acquainted with the report of the two drawings-up, had investigated the matter, and had concluded that the Confession owed its origin to Guido de Bres, that a later drawing-up was: fiction. Schoock very correctly concluded that it was de Bres who was the author of the Belgic Confession, as he certainly was.

We must also spend a bit of time on the expression "begun already in 1559 by de Bres ... " What are we to make of the expression "begun"? Does it imply that the copy (which Saravia took with him to Geneva, in 1559, for the Genevans to read and to evaluate) was not yet finished, was only begun? That is unthinkable, for to ask a body as dignified as were the Genevans to evaluate a document not-yet-finished would be nothing-short of rude, an outright imposition.

What then are we to make of the expression "already begun"? We suggest the following explanation of the enigma. It so happens that in "1561" both article 36 and article 37 begin with the clause: "And in the final instance we confess to believe ... " But it is impossible for a confession to have two finalizing items, as all who want language used responsibly will agree. How then did de Bres come to write down the impossible assertion? We propose the following. De Bres had decided, as he was putting "1561" together, to let article 36 be the final one, this although he and his eglises would like very much to have a final article depicting the final scene, the consummatio saeculis, the Day of Judgment. But, they decided not to end on that note, this in view of the fact that it would only make the Genevans less likely to like what the eglises of Flanders were proposing as their creed. Be it kept in mind that they of Geneva were not at all "on-fire" about the "Second Coming" (so that Calvin did not write a commentary on the last book of the New Testament). Let it be kept in mind also that the creed which the Genevans wanted the Flemish eglises to adopt, instead of the Belgic Confession, does not mention the Second Coming. Let it be kept in mind also that to this day believers who want to be known as "Calvinists" are not at all enthusiastic about a Day-of-Judgment. Be it noticed also that article 37 is by far the most impassioned of all the articles. So enthusiastic is article 37 that one can almost feel the hot breath of Guido as he describes the "final endorsement" of the "true church" by its Master, after the "true" church's long ages of suffering in support of the Truth, the reference being to the persecution of the Remnant by "Christendom".

Had de Bres decided (after Saravia had handed him, in written form, why it was that the Genevans were virtually vetoing his creed) to compose the intended final creed after all, seeing that the Genevans were not going to endorse his Confession anyway? And did he then, as he sat down, in his garden-hut, to compose article 37, begin with "And in the final instance we believe ... "? And did he then add the just-finished article to the list of articles, forgetting, as he did so, to erase from the opening of article 36 the, now-no-longer-valid "and in the final case"? If that is the way it went then it is no wonder that as they of the "occult synod" read the added article they decided to replace in the added article the verb consumer with the verb purger, so putting a final scrubbing in the place of a final burning-down (and that in spite of the fact that by doing so they were offering to improve on II Peter 3: 10).

We must by all means also spend a bit of time on Schoock's assertion that they of Geneva said, in 1559, that the eglises did not "need" a confession. What, we cannot avoid asking, were the Genevans saying here? Recall that at that very moment in history, the year 1559, the churches south of the border were with Geneva's approval, giving official status to the Gallican Confession. Why then did the eglises north of the border not need one at that very moment? To find the answer to that question it must be kept in mind that for the Genevans (as well as for all who accept their mode d 'integration) a confession is an ensign, a flag, a banner; under which marches an entire Volk, a whole citizenry, such as "Christendom" was and it being faced with a war erelong. The eglises did not "need" a confession because they were not as yet going the way Calvin had told them to go, in and with his two tracts.

Still another item in Schoock's report calls for attention, his assertion that the "occult synod" had been convened because there was "some grumbling because men had gathered from Saravia that the Genevans had been displeased with the plan of those of the Low Countries to put out a confession ... " Calvin was gaining popularity in the Flanders of the times, so that the report of the Genevan's dislike for the Fleming's Confession displeased them. Of course Saravia, now back in Flanders, tried to make as much as possible of the veto. It therefore does not surprise us that well-meaning people asked to be told the "real" reason.

There is a final article in Schoock's summary that calls for a bit of time, his assertion that it was "amidst countless perils and difficulties" that the revisers did their revising. Why was this particular case of creed-revising done "amidst countless perils and difficulties"? It was because the Regent, and all her helpers, were aware of the fact that some very revolutionary things were going on, all of them related to the on-going magisterialization of the Reform. Any and all gatherings, also "religious" ones, to which nobles carne were therefore very carefully watched. To realize how carefully we need only listen to Junius as he, in his autobiography, reports that as he arrived in Antwerp, at the hotel at which such a meeting was scheduled, he was told that police were on his tracks, so that "before we had even tasted the wine" he sneaked out of the back door of the hotel into alleys and into the poorer parts of the city, and so escaped arrest. Does anyone have to stare at the ceiling any longer as to why it was "amidst countless perils and difficulties" that the revising was done? No, it was an integral part of the on-going magisterialization.

If there is a matter that calls for explanation it is the fact that although there was such a meeting, held at the luxurious residence of Marcos Perez, a wealthy Spanish merchant deeply involved in the on-going movement, it did not end in arrests. To us it is as evident as it can get that the revision was related to the on-going magisterialization of the Reform movement.

Turning now to the autobiography of Junius we recite a sentence that gives us much-needed light. It reads: "It was at this time that we revised the confession and sent it to the brethren at Geneva in order that, if approved by them, it be put in print, if doing-so was deemed useful." Before the sentence goes a lengthy review of progress in the magisterialization of the Reform, such progress as the replacing of conventicles with publicly-espoused worship services. Then comes the sentence we have just quoted. Upon this then comes another lengthy recital of progress made in magisterialization. Although it (to the best of our knowledge) has not been pointed-out before, it is plain as day that the revising of the Confession was an item in the magisterialization. Surely Junius was too logical a thinker to put together an argument somewhat like the following:

"It had been raining all day; it was during the ensuing night that the cat had her kittens; the next day it continued to rain." No, from Junius' sentence we cannot but conclude that the revising of the Confession was magisterialization-related (If so, then we must expect this matter to be prominent also in the sentence in article 36 with which we are dealing with later in this Appendix). Another way to put this would be to say that the revising of article 36 was also meant to change the Belgic Confession into an ensign.

There is still another item in Junius' single sentence we have to work-with, a request for "intercessory prayer concerning that which is being started" (the original has "et institutum nostrum Deo precibus commendarent "). What, we cannot but ask, was Junius thinking-of as he was asking for supporting-prayers? Surely he was not thinking of the revisings of the Confession for that was already a finished undertaking, and men do not usually ask for intercessory prayers for a fait accompli, a job-already-done. No, the phrase "that which is being started" must be taken to refer to the magisterialization of the Reform movement, the move that called for a suitable ensign. Since that was the motive behind the revisings it comes as no surprise that what Junius said would be understood by the people he was addressing and by no one else. He spoke about the "institutum" in a veiled way lest it give information that had to be kept secret. In view of the fact that the letter could be intercepted, Junius knew better than to use some such expression as "getting ready for war", yet that is what the "institutum" was referring to.

Although it is time, high time, for us to get-going on our examination of the "trouble-giving-sentence" in article 36, we cannot resist the urge to study a few other revisions made at the "occult synod", if for no other reason than the fact that these other revisions teach us something as to the technique of the self-appointed surgeons, as they perform their operations, on that which (as they saw things) was seriously sick.

In the original text, the church of Christ is referred-to as a "holy congregation" a term we encounter constantly in the New Testament, a term kept-alive persistently in the camp of the Remnant. We may be sure that to say thus simply that the church is Corpus Christi would not "sit-right" with Calvin and the rest at Geneva. They would insist that the church is also correctly called Corpus Christianum, the "christened Volk", the "baptized community" (the both/and could not be put in clearer terms than does Calvin put it, for instance in Institutes IV, 1: 7). What could the revisers do to get-rid of this Remnant-heritage in "1561 "? Whatever they did, it had to be done cleverly, for it was certain to be resisted by the native eglises. So the revisers "corrected" the passage by changing the expression "a holy congregation" into "a true congregation" (or a "real" one), one that was "true" because it consisted of "saints" and "sinners".


[We add here that, since the expression "a holy congregation" is as Biblical as it is, it was brought-back (by the printers, so it seems) in subsequent printings.]


At the risk of causing this or that reader to stamp his feet and say "When are you going to get on to article 36?", we call attention to the fact that" 1561" says that the church must have "ministers to preach the Word", and then, in a second sentence, says "there must also be elders and deacons to constitute the Senat. This again is plainly a Remnant heritage, for already at the meeting held in Chanforan it had been attacked, it having been urged there, by the visitors at Chanforan, that "Shepherds must stay with their sheep" ( This was meant to be corrective of the Remnant custom of having migatory preachers, this for reasons of safety -- if not even for survival). What did the Geneva-trained revisers do to get-rid also of this Remnant heritage in the Confession? Once more they gave evidence of being clever manipulators. They made the Confession say it their way instead by simply adding to the sentence (ending with the word "Senat") the phrase "avec les pasteurs" (along with the preachers). Now the preachers were no longer migratory, were now members of the "Senat", and, therefore, not-migratory, their assemblies no longer being conventicles. We may add here that as a result of this alteration, a preacher in Reformed churches is to this day not only tied-to a parish but is also a member of the governing body, is that by definition, is, in typical cases, the president.

To show that by doing what they did here the self-appointed revisionists did not put-an-end to the controversy about migrating preachers we point out that in printing done in 1610 the added phrase "avec les pasteurs" was deleted, only to see it brought-back at the Great Synod held at Dordrecht a good half-dozen years later, only to find it "tossed" again in a printing done in 1668, a half-century later. The added phrase managed to get back-in "for keeps", for to this day pastors in Reformed churches "stay with their sheep". Manifestly there still were, a whole century later, two views as to the item.

With all that said, by way of preparation, we are ready to have a close and intelligent "look" at the trouble-giving sentence in article 36 of the Confession. But before we begin taking that "look" we feel the need to repeat something said by all who have studied the matter, the fact that confessions, and creeds, are, by definition, argumentive. Only items that can-be-denied, and are-being-denied, have a rightful place in a confession or creed. No one has so much as thought to include in a creed an item about which there is agreement between "us" and "them". It is when there is controversy in the air that the church resorts to creed-composing. Although we have already recited an example of this we give, as another example, the fact that it was because there was "Arminianism" in the air that the creed known as the Canons of Dordt was composed. The same thing is true of the Belgic Confession as a whole, true also of its article 36, to which we turn now. It is decidedly argumentive, is essentially controversial, as we shall discover after the Letter to the King.


Part II Letter to the King


"We, the believers who reside in the Low Countries, and who want to live in accordance with the true reformation of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, address the following to King Philip, our lawful ruler.

"If we are permitted, Dear Sir, to present ourselves before Your Majesty, so as to defend ourselves concerning the crimes with which we are being charged, and, set forth the equity of our cause, we would not attempt by this secret way of getting You to understand the groanings of our people, by way of a silent request or a written Confession. But, since our enemies have filled Your ears with false reports, we are not only kept from coming into your presence but are chased out of your territory, are being put to death and burned in any and every place in which we can be found. For the very least, Kind Sir, grant us, in God's name, that which no one will deny even to dumb animals; that is, listen from afar to our lamenting, with the result that, having listened to us, Your Majesty then judges us to be culpable, then let the fires by stoked the hotter in your kingdom, let the gehennas and the tortures be multiplied. But if, on the other hand, our innocence becomes apparent, then be a refuge against the violence of our enemies.

But alas, Kind Sir, if all it takes is accusation, if all ways and means of defending are denied the accused, then who will ever be cleared of accusation? How then shall innocence ever be asserted among human beings? They say we are rebels, are seditionists, folk who want nothing but that of putting away all law and order, putting all things in confusion; seek not only to be free from Your jurisdiction and authority, but even want to snatch the scepter out of your hands! What a crime this is, undeserving of our Confession, undeserving for a Christian, undeserving even the title of a human being, deserving that the ancient saying be repeated "To the beasts with the Christians!"

But it is not enough simply to accuse. Everything depends on proof. The Prophets and the Apostles, even the primitive church of Jesus Christ, were accused, yes, in connection with outward appearance and carnal judgment of men. But, even as they in their time protested, so do we in our times protest, before God and His angels that we desire no more than to live in obedience before the magistrates, in purity of conscience, serving God and reforming of ourselves in keeping with His holy commandments. Besides the secret testimony of our consciences, they who have taken part in our trials, our judgments, our condemnations, are good testimony to the fact that they have never detected anything in us that tends toward rebellion planned against Your Majesty, or, anything disturbing public order. No, they have found instead that in our assemblies we pray to God for Kings, earthly princes -- especially for You, Sir, and for those whom you have put to rule over us and to govern in your provinces, territories, domains; we having been instructed as well by the Word of God, as by the continuous instruction done by our teachers, that Kings, magistrates, rulers, are ordained by God, so that he who resists the civil ruler goes against the ordinances of God and will encounter condemnation. We grant, and recognize it, that it is by the eternal wisdom of God that Kings rule and Princes hand-out justice, that, in short, it is not by way of usurpation or tyranny, but by the institution of God Himself. And, in order to show that it is not just by word of mouth that we say this but that it is imprinted and engraved on our hearts, we ask who has ever been found to refuse to pay the taxes, the tributes imposed on him? Quite the opposite, the paying followed immediately upon the imposition. What bearing-of-arms, what conspiring, has ever been detected, even while driven by persons empowered by you and practicing all kinds of cruelty? We have experienced gehennas and cruelties fierce enough to bring about impatience even in the case of the most patient and the most good-natured, enough to result in the replacement of this with anger and hopelessness [Here we are dealing with the old charge that dissenters from "Christendom" are "mutins"].

But we give thanks to our God for it that the blood of our brethren, shed because of our cause and debate (no, rather, because of the contest of Jesus Christ and the witness to the truth) that the cries, the banishings, the imprisonings, the gehennas, the sentences, the torturings, and other afflictions, show that our affection is not carnal, seeing that as to the flesh we could much more easily get along without maintaining these teachings. But we have in mind the warnings sounded by the Christ, as He says that He will disown before His Father those who disown Him before men. We turn our backs to the strikings, our tongues to the knives, our mouths to the bridlings, our whole bodies to the flames; knowing that he who wants to follow the Christ must pick up the cross and follow Him, must deny himself. Never will a well-ordered spirit, one not blind and deprived of senses, conclude that they who leave their country, their relatives, their friends (so as to be able to live in peace and in quiet) are propelled by the intention to deprive the kings of their crowns or to organize a movement against them, people who die because of the Gospel, in which it is said" Give to Caesar that which is Caesar's and to God that which is God's." As they offer and give their bodies and their possessions to the King, as they beg of His Majesty that they be allowed to give to God that which He asks of them, that which cannot rightly be denied Him, seeing that it is He that has made us and had earned for us, having bought us at a great price.

Our enemies do not need to abuse your goodness and your patience by saying that you need to listen to it as they tell you that it is because of our fewness that we do not lead a revolt, each one of us at heart being a rebel and a mutinous one, waiting until we are sufficiently numerous to start a war to give vent to our wrath. To set the matter straight, we inform you, Sir, that in this our country there are more than a hundred thousand men adhering to our religion, out of whose hands this Confession is being offered, among whom there has not been found a single one preparing for mutiny, nor has there been a word pointing in that direction.

That which we are saying about the numerousness of our brethren was not intended, Sir, to surprise, or scare, even the least of your officers and servants. It was done in order to refute the slander of those who, by way of telling lies, seek to make us odious. We report the matter also in order to move you to pity. For, alas, if you were to seek to wash your arms in the blood of so many people then, what destruction would there be among your subjects, what wounds among your people, what weeping, what anguished cries, what sobbing of women, of children, of relatives and friends! What eye would there be, not bathed in tears, as it sees so many good citizens, loved by everybody, hated by nobody, lying in a dark and frightful prison, in the midst of gehennas and tortures, exposed to such punishment and torture, more cruel and more barbarous than pagan or wicked tyrants have been able to invent, as here and there their wives, if able to flee, wander around in strange countries seeking for food from door to door with infants on their arms.

O gracious Sir, do not let posterity say of your regime that it was bloody and cruel! Do not let it be said that the honor of your grandfather, the greatness of your father, as well as your own, be covered-up by a cruelty such as is natural to animals, not befitting a human being, very unworthy and enemy like for a Prince, whose excellence and whose virtue consists primarily in compassion and gentleness, the real mark, the point-of-difference, between a king and a real tyrant.

As to the reason for persecuting us, not merely as adversaries of your crown, and of public affairs, but also as enemies of God and of His church, we humbly beg of you to base your judgment on the Confession of faith which we are presenting to you, we being prepared to seal the matter with our blood if needed. By means of it, so we hope, you will be convinced that it is an injustice to call us schismatics, rebels, heretics, seeing that we believe and confess not only the principal points of the Christian faith as contained in the Creed and the common faith, but also the entire doctrinal system as revealed in Jesus Christ, in our lives, our sense of right and wrong, and of salvation, as set forth by the writers of the Gospel, of the Apostles, sealed by the blood of many martyrs, guarded purely and sincerely by the primitive church, until, led by the ignorance or by the avarice and ambition of the leaders, [note that it is being said that "Christendom" was born of personal ambition], it was corrupted by human inventions and traditions, at variance with the purity of the Gospel, a matter which our adversaries deny to be the power of God unto salvation to all who believe, while they condemn us and put us to death because we do not observe that which is not observed in it, it being impossible to clear them of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as they contend that the entire treasure necessary to salvation is laid-down in the Old Testament and the New, they saying that their inventions are necessary, they being curse-worthy, not fit for human company, are deserving of physical death, their souls plunged into the depths of hell if these things are not given the same evaluation, or a higher one, than is the Gospel.

The weakness of our faith trembles at the sound of these assertions, frightened as we are by the menacings of those who have power it takes to reduce us to ashes.

On the other hand, we hear the Apostle say that if an angel were to descend from heaven to declare another message than the one contained in the Gospel he is curse-worthy and should be cursed. We have heard John say as he was coming to the end of his message that if anyone who hears the words of the prophecy contained in the book and adds to them God will inflict on him the punishment set forth therein.

To sum it all up, we see that we are commanded to let ourselves be led by the assertions of the Lord, not by our inventions, this along with the warning not to add-to or subtract-from the commandments of the great God. Jesus says that He has informed us of all that God has said; He adding the promise that, because of the weakness of the apostles, He has remained silent, promising to reveal things by the Holy Spirit who is to be sent. And we are convinced that He has kept that promise, He being the truth itself. In this are included the mysteries contained in the Gospel and the writings of the apostles, made in pursuance of said promise. From this it is apparent that they who abuse the passage in the Gospel as they say that by "mysteries" is meant things about which the apostles were not as yet ready to receive, namely their mysteries and frivolous superstitions, contrary to the Word of God -- as we could offer to prove by the testimony of the Scriptures, were it not for the fact that in an epistle we are expected to be brief; so being too bold, with reference to Your Majesty, we beg of you, in the name of the One who has established you in your realm, not to permit those who, drawn by covetousness and evil-intent, the use of your arm, your authority, your power, so as to satisfy their ambitions; they soaking themselves with the blood of your subjects, as they fold-together concern for piety and religion and such things as sedition, revolt, scandals, and so forth, by which ambition they are aflame over against us.

But, alas, Sir, keep in mind that there never was a time in which the world did not hate the light; that there never was a time in which there was not mutiny and rebellion against the truth. Is he that carries the Word of God in his mouth to be called a revolutionary because he resists evil? No, indeed. We should ascribe tumult and the scandal to the irreconcilable enemy of God and of man, namely the devil, who, lest he lose his realm, consisting of idolatry, false worship, adultery, and other such endless defects, all of them obstructed by the Gospel, proceeds to attempt to prevent the construction and the spread thereof. All this joined to the ingratitude of the world, which, instead of accepting the grace of the Word of the Master, His pastors and His God, band together against it, giving no other reason than the long length of time during which they have lived in this their error, seeking to justify it by ascribing it to the ages, rather than with recourse to the One who made the world and the ages as they continue to the present.

It is up to you, dear Sir, it is up to you, to be acquainted with the matter and to oppose these errors, no matter how ancient they may be, and to defend the innocence of those who until now have been hurt rather than heard.

So, may the Lord bless you and preserve you, may He let His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, and to yours, in all prosperity!

We are rather firmly convinced that if and when we abandon the historiography invented by "Christendom" so as to make a case for itself, we will, as we read the letter just quoted, get the impression that the letter was put together by an heir of the ancient Remnant, known by all sorts of derogatory names, it being a repeat of things said all through the twelve centuries that had gone before the posting of Luther's theses, the twelve centuries of which the great Von Harnack said: "In these twelve centuries it never once lacked for attempts to rupture the bonds of State-Church/priests'-church and reinstitute the apostolic congregational structurization." (The only improvement of this assertion, done by Von Harnack, is that instead of "reinstitute" he should have written "preserve", for there is no lapsus, no termination, and therefore no resumption, no beginning-anew).


Part III -- Article 36

Now that we have come-away from a badly-slanted historiography as to the origin of the Belgic Confession we are in position to throw some, badly-needed, light on a passage in the Belgic Confession that has given the Reformed churches more that a "peck-of-trouble", so that they have revised it, they doing so in various ways. We shall quote the passage in its original and then translate it in the light of the Walloon French of the times and in the light of earlier writings done by de Bres.

In its original French the passage goes as follows:

Nous croyons finalement que nostre bon Dieu a cause de la depravation du genre humain a ordonne des Rois, Princes et Magistrates, voulans que Ie monde soit gouverne par leurs loix et polices, afin que Ie desbordement des hommes so it reprimer, et que tout se conduisse par bon ordre entre les humains. Pour ceste fin if a mis Ie glaive en la main du Magistrat pour punir les meschans et maintenir les bons et gens de bien. Et non seulement leur office est de reprimer et veiller sur la politique ains aussi sur les choses ecclesiastiques, pour oster et ruiner toute idolatire et faux service de Dieu, pour destruire Ie royaume de I 'antichrist, et avancer Ie royaume de Iesus Christ, faire prescher la parole de l 'Evangile par tout, afin que Dieu soil honnore et servi d'un chacun comme if requiert par sa parole.

In our translation this reads:

"As the final item, we believe that our good God has, because of the depravity of humankind, ordained Kings, Princes, Magistrates; He wanting the world governed by their laws and policies, to the end that the dissoluteness of men may be restrained and everything be conducted in good order in human society. To this end He has put the sword in the hands of the magistrates unto the punishing of the badly-behaving and the support of the good and right-behaving. And it is by no means the case that this their task of restraining and sustaining is confined to matters lying on the political level, but extends also to church-affairs, this then resulting in the uprooting and the destroying of the kingdom of antichrist and the promotion of the kingdom of Jesus Christ, the preaching of the word of the gospel in all places, to the end that God may be honored and served by everybody as required by His Word."

The passage consists of three sentences and we shall deal with them one by one. The first sentence says that it was the goodness of God that made him to ordain kings, princes, and magistrates in order that badly-behaving people may be restrained and well-behaving ones sustained. This is an open assertion that the civil rule is the agency of erhaltende Gnade, not an agency of erlosende Gnade.

There is good reason to believe that as they of Geneva read this first sentence they were already less-than-satisfied, were already inclined to object. Why? It was because they were committed to the conviction that the magistrate (or whatever name is used for the civil ruler) is custos utriusque tabulae legis, that is, "keeper of both tables of the Law", the reference being to the Decalogue, the "Ten Commandments". The Genevans must have disapproved, for what they were reading was that instead the assignment of the magistrate was confined to the second table of the Law, the deportment of man-to-man, behavior on the horizontal level. They may even have nudged each other as they read this first sentence, may have reminded each other that the Gallican does a much better job, in their eyes, it saying word-for-word that the magistrate is custos utriusque tabulae legis. The formula of "keeper of both tables" had been invented when, in the early fourth century, "Christendom" was coming on the scene, and it had been there ever since. They of the Remnant, however, had never endorsed it. Now, 10 and behold, here was a creed that was endorsing the old Remnant's representation! So the Genevans read the second sentence. They found it is nothing more than a repetition of the first sentence, it saying again that the task of the magistrate is to restrain wrong-behaving ones, sustain right-behaving ones. Again there is nothing said about an assignment given the magistrate concerning the first table of the Law, touching the vertical relationship, that of man toward Maker. It was because de Bres knew that he was being highly controversial that he said it twice over, as if to say "You heard it right the first time!"

So the revisers read the third sentence and its assertion that it is the magistrate's duty to do what was recited in the two foregoing sentences, that of restraining the bad and sustaining the good, and that not only on the level of politics but also on the level of "ecclesiastical affairs". As de Bres was saying this he was on the verge of getting vehement, was gritting his teeth. What was he so excited about? Why was his pulse beginning to pound, and hard?

Before we seek to answer why it was we must show that it was. There are two characteristics in the very language the man is using that show that he is excited. The one characteristic is the unusual word-order. If de Bres had been interested in simply spelling out the magistrates' assignment he would have started the sentence with "And their task is" but instead he starts the sentence with "And not merely " He is opposing an ancient narrowing-down.

The second characteristic of the sentence which shows that de Bres is gritting his teeth is the adversative he uses, the "but". In his Walloon French there were two such "buts"; the one being "ains" and the other being "mais".

Although de Bres uses both these adversatives he did so with a rather carefully-observed difference. When he expects little or no opposition he uses the adversative "mais", but when he expects strong opposition he uses the adversative "ains ", We shall give an example of each, both examples drawn from the Confession. When in article 35 de Bres deals with the question whether or not it is with the mouth that the "body-of-Christ" is eaten, in the Supper, he, realizes that what he is about to say will meet stiff resistence, from the side of all Roman Catholics and some Protestants. So he uses the highly-adversative "ains". But when he is saying, in article 8, that "neither the Father nor the Spirit assumed the human flesh" he expects little or no opposition, so he uses the weak adversative "mais".

Now that we have seen that in the third sentence de Bres is being highly controversial we shall deal with the why. It was the fact that they of "Christendom" had carried a "complication" into the doctrine of "custos utriusque tabulae legis", the complication that the magistrate was able, all by himself, to "do-the-job" if the infraction was on the level of the second table; but if the infraction was on the level of the first table then the magistrate had to call-in a specialist, an official trained-for-the-job, who then would do the trying, the judging, the sentencing (off in his own office) upon which he then transfers the condemned person into the hands of the magistrate, for him to do the executing. In this way the pampered officials of "Christendom" were able to eliminate all competition, the while (supposedly) keeping their dainty fingers clean.

The classical case of the evil which de Bres is fighting was the trial and death of Christ. Here was a collection of religious leaders who were feeling threatened by the activity of Jesus. So they take him to their court where he was accused, tried, found-guilty, sentenced -- upon which the case is then referred to the magistrate to do the executing, and that in spite of the fact that when it came to horizontal relationships the magistrate said he had not found the slightest fault in Him. So the magistrate, after trying to escape the trap in which the clerics had put him, lets the accusers have their way, and Jesus is put to death.

A recent case of the evil against which de Bres is fighting here was the trial and death of Servetus. Here again, a collection of "churchmen" decide that Servetus poses a problem, not on the level of the second table (for no one had accused him of wrong behavior on that level), but on the level of the first table. So they put the man in the hands of the magistrate after they had decided that the victim ought to be put to death.

They of the Remnant saw the treatment of Jesus being constantly repeated. Again, all too frequently, there was a collection of pampered clerics deeply concerned about anything that could interfere with their privileged way-of-existing. So they take the fine-behaving members of the Remnant, try them in their court, judge them to deserve liquidation, hand them to the magistrate for him to do the executing. It was, in the eyes of Remnant heirs, a matter of evil men using the magistrate so as to get rid of far-from-evil people, get rid of unusually well-behaved rivals.

That brings us again to the third sentence in the passage.

It likewise is attacking. It also is virtually pugnacious. Witness the fact that it begins with "not this but that", with "Et non seulement ... " What de Bres is assailing in this third sentence is the ages-old notion that the magistrate is "custodian of both tables of the law" but has to get help if the accusation is a violation of the first table, the vertical relationship. What de Bres is trying to get-across to the magistrates (as well as the people of the times) that if and when the magistrate is engaged in restraining the bad and sustaining the good, he must do so on his own insights as to behavior patterns. De Bres and his fellow Remnant heirs were firmly convinced that if the magistrate were to use his God-given sword on their own insights as to behavior then they had nothing further to fear, as we heard him (and them) put it in the Letter to the King as recited by us earlier; for instance in the assertion that if His Majesty were to look through his own eyes, and listen through his own ears, and if he then judges them to deserve punishment, then "let fires be stoked the hotter, the gehennas and the tortures be multiplied." In it all de Bres was trying to convince the king that it is high time for him to stop liquidating Remnant-heirs, put in his hands by the "false church" for liquidation (by the hands of the king and his servants). Small wonder the man gets excited as he addresses the king about an ancient evil, one going back all the way to the birth of "Christendom".

Nor was de Bres the only preacher in the Flemish eglises to assail the policies and practices of the "false church" in its attempt to rule without a rival. No, indeed, for we find a fellow Fleming, a fellow preacher in the eglises, Adrian Van Haemstede, writing the following, for the magistrates to read: "I beg of you to look into the matter yourselves ... being careful not to perform in a matter which you have not yourselves studied and investigated. Don't look through other people's eyes any longer, as when the Scribes and the Pharisees cry out 'according to our laws He deserves to die, He being a heretic; we have examined Him, if He were not an evil-doer we would not have put him in your hands' then do not you be less reasonable than was the pagan Pilate, and frequently you will then be heard to say 'we find no fault worthy of death in Him'." (Manifestly Van Haemstede also saw a close parallel between the way Jesus had been treated and the way they of the Remnant were being treated).

The fact that de Bres, as well as his accomplice, Van Haemstede, had in mind the Remnant-heirs when they said "church" is apparent from the fact that in article 27 of the Confession he wrote: "God has at all times preserved this holy church (the reference plainly is to the Remnant) against the rage of the world, so that it never was destroyed, even though at times it was small and seemingly extinct in the eyes of men". Manifestly the man was thinking of the Remnant as he was speaking of "the church". We point out here that what was being said in the Confession about the church did not "fit" the thinking of the Genevans, it being far too little as well as far too pessimistic. For them the church was meant to be victorious in this world. So what did they do to "correct" the Remnant view of the church? They deleted the expression "at all times" and added the phrase "as in the perilous days of Ahab". Now an "oppressed" church was an exception, one found only in an unusual case and that long ago. Now the "Christendom" church was said to be the "regular" one.

If further evidence is needed to show that as de Bres spoke of the "holy church" he had-in-mind the Remnant-fellowship (this rather than the church of "Christendom") we present the following. In his Baston (which, as we have seen, was to a significant extent the fore-runner of the Confession) the words of I Timothy 2:2 are recited (the passage that says that prayers are to be made for magistrates, this in order that "We may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly in every way") -- and de Bres added: "from these words we learn that the assignment of the magistrate is to sustain the church in peace over against those who oppress it". We cannot but ask what "church" he had in mind as he added this sentence about "oppressed". Certainly not the "church" of "Christendom", for it never was "oppressed"; did instead, and at all time, do the "oppressing". Almost as certainly did not de Bres as he was speaking of "the oppressed church" have in mind the fellowships that came to be called "Protestant", it being too early in time in Flanders where (as we pointed out earlier) "Protestantism" came a whole generation late, this because here the emperor was in absolute control, this because the Low Countries were his "Hereditary Domain". It was in 1555, eight years before the first recorded minutes came out, that de Bres was speaking of the "oppressed church". The "oppressed church" of which de Bres was speaking was said, in 1561, only six years later, to consist of "more than one hundred thousand men" (as he put it in the Letter to the King as recited a few pages back). We may add here that since there were at all times at least as many female members in the Remnant as male ones, the number given could have been at least as great (Did de Bres concentrate on the "more than one hundred thousand men" because he knew that one of the things that they of "Christendom" had against the Remnant was that it did not share in the "male chauvinism" of "Christendom", so that the mention of female members in the eglises would do more harm than good?).

In any event, we must not be surprised to find the self-appointed revisers disliking what the Confession was saying about the "oppressed" church, so that they saw fit to make its condition an unusual one, one confined to "the perilous days of Ahab", so preserving the concept of a church not at all "oppressed" by the civil powers, so preserving the concept of a victorious (and "oppressing"?) church.

With that said we are in position to understand the thrust of the third sentence and its assertion that it is the task of the magistrates to sustain right-behaving folk (such as those of the Remnant) and to restrain evil-behaving ones (such as the officials of "Christendom" and its "established" church) whether on the level of "la politique" or on the level of "choses ecclesiastiques ",

However, there is still a matter waiting to be treated in the third sentence, the list of pour-clauses. This is by all means necessary in view of the fact that the pour-clauses have been misunderstood, all too commonly, and, have therefore contributed heavily to the problem raised by the "trouble-giving" passage.

We have seen that all too frequently some "tearing down" must be done before we do anything else, this because of the historiography invented by "Christendom". We will have to do some "tearing down" if we are to understand the pour-clauses. The pour-clauses have all too commonly been taken to be epexegetical, details of that which has already been said (in this case as to the task of the magistrate). This is seriously wrong, for the pour-clauses are not epexegetical, are not "assignment-reciting". They are "result-asserting" instead. They give-expression to desirable things that will follow, perhaps unintentionally, if the magistrate does his duty, that of laying a sustaining hand on the good (in casu on members of the Remnant) and a restraining one on the bad (in casu the officials of the "false church"). What is being said in the pour-clauses is that if the magistrate performs correctly then as a result the "kingdom of the Antichrist will be destroyed" and, as a result, the "kingdom of Jesus Christ will be promoted" and, as a result, the "Word will be preached in all places" -. this because then they of the "true church" will be able to come out in the open, will no longer have to stay in hiding, will then be able to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth, and that "to the end that God may be honored and served by everybody, as required by His Word."

We call attention here to the fact it is being said that if the magistrate does his duty in the field of erhaltende Gnade, by protecting the well-behaving ones and restricting bad-behaving ones, then he actually is doing the program of erlosende Gnade a service -- albeit by way of osmosis, that is, by way of "fluid passing through a semipermeable membrane" (as Webster puts it). What de Bres is saying in the pour-clauses shows that he was convinced that God has brought-about the civil order not simply because He prefers order to chaos but because the program of erlosende Gnade cannot succeed in a chaotic world, needs an order-keeping government. That, so we must all agree, is a view-of-things that is hard to beat, a way-of-saying that cannot be improved upon; is the only tenable mode d'integration.

Having said that the pour-clauses do not give further details as to the duty of the civil ruler, that these clauses instead recite happenings that will take place if the civil ruler does his job correctly, we owe it to the reader to show that in the Walloon French, in which the Confession was compiled, that is the "thrust" of pour-clauses. We shall give a single, but adequate, example. It is the fact that on the cover of the 1561 printing of the Confession we find Romans 10:10 quoted (in a translation which we have yet to identify. Was it perhaps one of the many translations done by the Remnant, such as the Tepler Codex?) as follows:

"On croit de coeur pour estre iustifie mais on confesse de bouche pour avoir salut." All will agree that Romans 10

10 speaks of result, declares what will happen; says that if a person believes then justification results; that if a person confesses then salvation ensues. De Bres is saying that if the magistrates will sustain well-behaving people (such as the members of the Remnant), will restrain bad-behaving people (such as the leaders of the "false church") then the "uprooting and the destroying of the kingdom of antichrist will result, the kingdom of Christ will be promoted, the preaching of the word of the Gospel will take place in all places -- to the end that God may be honored and served by everybody, as required by His Word." That is a hard-to-beat formula as to the assignment of the sword-bearing magistrate. If it had not been twisted-out-of-shape at a "clandestine conventicle", meeting "behind-the-barn", then the First Amendment would not have been necessary two centuries later.

Since we have been speaking, frequently about "mode d 'integration" we point out here that article 36 does not "feed" the idea of non-integration, does not pull completely apart the program of erhaltende Gnade and the program of erlosende. It is not saying that church and state have nothing to do with each other. No, article 36 says that it was the fallenness of man that made magistrates necessary, not simply because order is better than chaos, but because the program of redemptive grace cannot function in a chaotic world. There must be government if there is to be church. But the mode d'integration is such to influence the world lying around it, by way of osmosis, by "permeation through a semi-permeable membrane". We say again that the original text of article 36 is not open to improvement. To move into any direction from it is to move in the wrong direction.

With that all asserted it remains for us to have a close look at what the self-appointed revisers did with the passage of article 36 and its repudiation of the custos utriusque tabulae legis formula. Keeping in mind that they had to be adroit (seeing that they were addressing themselves to both "friend" and "foe") we must say that they did a clever job. All they did to get things to go their way was delete the verb "reprimer" (which we have translated "restrain") and then put in the place left empty by the deletion a synonym of the remaining verb, namely "veiller" (which we have translated with "sustain"), that synonym being "prendre garde" (which translates: "stand-guard-over"). Now we have two verbs, meaning virtually the same, both of which meaning something like "assume-responsibility-for". Since the term found in the original (the expression "choses ecclesiastiques" which we have translated with "church affairs") was a bit "lame" for one of the two bodies over which the magistrate is now to "stand guard", therefore the revisers put in its place not "church" (for that would make even the simplest person to think he is "smelling-a-rat") but the term "le sacre ministere".

Two things must not escape our attention as we look at the change(s) made. One is that the link between the third sentence and the preceding two sentences has disappeared. The concept of "restraining the bad" and "sustaining the good" has gone out of the picture. The third sentence is no longer related to the previous two. In its place has come a single something, that of "assuming-responsibility-for".

The idea of custos utriusque tabulae legis had been brought back, in so many words. Now the magistrate is the custodian of two projects, one of them having to do with the first table and the other having to do with the second table. The mode d'integration on which the very idea of "Christendom" depends has been brought back.

The off-the-record tampering with article 36 brought back the ancient, essentially pagan, mode d'integration. And because it was brought-back a situation developed for the termination of which the First Amendment was enacted. If they of the "occult synod" had kept their hands in their pockets then the First Amendment would not have been needed.




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