Wednesday, April 2, 2014

John Calvin Encourages Lord Protector Edward Seymour to Suppress Subversives

Lord Protector Edward Seymour
Edward Seymour (1506-1552) was the uncle of Edward VI. When Edward VI came to the throne of England at a very young age, the Royal Council established Edward Seymour as Lord Protector of England for two years (1547-1549). 

During his protectorate, Seymourwho became the Duke of Somersetworked to abolish images and other Roman Catholic influences on worship. Augustus Toplady writes that Somerset was, "in concert with Cranmer, the main instrument in conducting the reformation."[1] 

On October 1548, John Calvin wrote him the following to encourage his efforts at reformation, particularly in suppressing subversives:
That I may address myself more particularly to you, most noble lord, I hear that there are two kinds of subversives [in England] who connive against the king and the head of the realm. There are first demented folk who in the name of the Gospel stir up disorder and secondly those who are hardened in the superstitions of Anti-Christ. Both deserve to be coerced by the avenging sword which the Lord has committed to you because they rise up not only against the king but against God Himself, who has set the king upon his throne and installed you as Protector not only of his person but of his kingly majesty.[2] 


[1] Augustus Montague Toplady, The Works of Augustus Toplady: A New Edition, Complete in One Volume (London: J. Chidley, 1837), 159.
[2] Cited in Roland H. Bainton, The Age of the Reformation (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1956), 138.

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