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CHAPTER I-II

HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN MARTYRS TO THE FIRST GENERAL PERSECUTIONS UNDER NERO

II. James the Great

The next martyr we meet with, according to St. Luke, in the History of the Apostles’ Acts, was James the son of Zebedee, the elder brother of John, and a relative of our Lord; for his mother Salome was cousin-german to the Virgin Mary. It was not until ten years after the death of Stephen that the second martyrdom took place; for no sooner had Herod Agrippa been appointed governor of Judea than, with a view to ingratiate himself with them, he raised a sharp persecution against the Christians, and determined to make an effectual blow, by striking at their leaders. The account given us by an eminent primitive writer, Clemens Alexandrinus, ought not to be overlooked; that, as James was led to the place of martyrdom, his accuser was brought to repent of his conduct by the apostle’s extraordinary courage, and fell down at his feet to request his pardon, professing himself a Christian, and resolving that James should not receive the crown of martyrdom alone. Hence they were both beheaded at the same time. Thus did the first apostolic martyr cheerfully and resolutely receive that cup, which he had told our Savior he was ready to drink. Timon and Parmenas suffered martyrdom about the same time; the one at Philippi, and the other at Macedonia. These events took place in AD 44.

John Foxe-Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

We hold to the good writings of the church fathers, while our enemies hold to their errors

John%20Calvin%20114. It is a calumny to represent us as opposed to the Fathers, (I mean the ancient writers of a purer age,) as if the Fathers were supporters of their impiety. Were the contest to be decided by such authority (to speak in the most moderate terms,) the better part of the victory would be ours. While there is much that is admirable and wise in the writings of those Fathers, and while in some things it has fared with them as with ordinary men; these pious sons, forsooth, with the peculiar acuteness of intellect, and judgment, and soul, which belongs to them, adore only their slips and errors, while those things which are well said they either overlook, or disguise, or corrupt, so that it may be truly said their only care has been to gather dross among gold. Then, with dishonest glamour, they assail us as enemies and despisers of the Fathers. So far are we from despising them, that if this were the proper place, it would give us no trouble to support the greater part of the doctrines which we now hold by their suffrages.

Still, in studying their writings, we have endeavored to remember, (1 Corinthians 3:21-23; see also Augustin. Ep. 28,) that all things are ours, to serve, not Lord it over us, but that we are Christ’s only, and must obey him in all things without exception. He who does not draw this distinction will not have any fixed principles in religion: for those holy men were ignorant of many things, are often opposed to each other, and are sometimes at variance with themselves.

John Calvin-Prefatory Address to Francis King of the French-Institutes of the Christian Religion

Those who opposed the Reformers claimed knowledge, but were ignorant of the things of God

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-00152. It is owing to the same ignorance that they hold it to be doubtful and uncertain; for this is the very thing of which the Lord complains by his prophets “The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib; but Israel does not know, my people does not consider,” (Isaiah 1:3.) But however they may sport with its uncertainty, had they to seal their own doctrine with their blood, and at the expense of life, it would be seen what value they put upon it. Very different is our confidence — a confidence which is not appalled by the terrors of death, and therefore not even by the judgment-seat of God.

John Calvin-Prefatory Address to Francis King of the French-Institutes of the Christian Religion

Chapter XXX : Of the Lord’s Supper

1. The Supper of the Lord Jesus, was instituted by him, the same night wherein he was betrayed, to be observed in his Churches unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance, and shewing forth the sacrifice of himself in his death (a) confirmation of the faith of believers in all the benefits thereof, their spiritual nourishment, and growth in him, their further ingagement in, and to, all duties which they owe unto him; (b) and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other.

a 1 Cor. 11.23,24.25,26.

b 1 Cor. 10.16,17.21.

2. In this ordinance Christ is not offered up to his Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all, for remission of sin of the quick or dead; but only a memorial of that (c) one offering up of himself, by himself, upon the crosse, once for all; and a spiritual oblation of all (d) possible praise unto God for the same; so that the Popish sacrifice of the Mass (as they call it) is most abominable, injurious to Christs own only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of the Elect.

c Heb. 9.25,26.28.

d 1 Cor. 11.24. Mat. 26.26,27.

3. The Lord Jesus hath in this Ordinance, appointed his Ministers to Pray, and bless the Elements of Bread and Wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to an holy use, and to take and break the Bread; to take the Cup, (e) and (they communicating also themselves) to give both to the Communicants.

e 1 Cor. 11.23,24,25,26, &c

4. The denyal of the Cup to the people, worshiping the Elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about for adoration, and reserving them for any pretended religious use, (f) are all contrary to the nature of this Ordinance, and to the institution of Christ.

f Mat 26.26,27,28. Mat. 15.9. Exod. 20.4,5.

5. The outward Elements in this Ordinance, duely set apart to the uses ordained by Christ, have such relation to him crucified, as that truely, although in terms used figuratively, they are sometimes called by the name of the things they represent, to wit the (g) body and Blood of Christ; albeit in substance, and nature, they still remain truly, and only (h) Bread, and Wine, as they were before.

g 1 Cor. 11.27.

h 1 Cor. 11.26. & v.28.

6. That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of Bread and Wine, into the substance of Christs body and blood (commonly called Transubstantiation) by consecration of a Priest, or by any other way, is repugnant not to Scripture (i) alone, but even to common sense and reason; overthroweth the (k) nature of the ordinance, and hath been and is the cause of manifold superstitions, yea, of gross Idolatries.

i Act. 3.21. Luk. 24.6. & v.39.

k 1 Cor. 11.24,25.

7. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible Elements in this Ordinance, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally, and corporally, but spiritually receive, and feed upon Christ crucified (l) & all the benefits of his death: the Body and Blood of Christ, being then not corporally, or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of Believers, in that Ordinance, as the Elements themselves are to their outward senses.

l 1 Cor. 10.16. ch. 11.23-26.

8. All ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion (m) with Christ; so are they unworthy of the Lords Table; and cannot without great sin against him, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries, (n) or be admitted thereunto: yea whosoever shall receive unworthily are guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord, eating and drinking judgement to themselves.

m 2 Cor: 6,14,15.

n 1 Cor. 11.29. Mat. 7.6.

The 1677/89 London Baptist Confession of Faith