Emotions of the Reformers?

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Puritan Board Sophomore
When congregations split, it often furthers the divide between believers of that church and, ultimately, the Church universal...it tears at the unity to which Scripture calls us.

Is there any indication that the Reformers were grieved about what their actions could do to the Church's unity? Clearly reforms were needed (as even the RCC acknowledges) and indulgences, etc were gnawing away at unity anyway. To not reform would have been irresponsible and an ignoring of the clear teaching of Scripture. But, is there any indication that they were saddened by what was the biggest split in Church history?

All I've been able to glean from is Bainton's work on Luther, but it really only highlights his courage in the face of the Roman leaders of the day. Any other refs on this you may have would be much appreciated.


Puritanboard Librarian
Calvin acknowledged, prior to the Council of Trent, that to seek reform in the RCC was a grievous, uphill battle, likely to generate despair amongst the Reformed faithful, and incite persecution. But like a general leading his men into battle against Antichrist, he encouraged them to remember that the victory is assured in Christ.

The Necessity of Reforming the Church, Part V:

There is, perhaps, one remaining difficulty which prevents you from commencing the work. Very many, not otherwise indisposed, are deterred from engaging in this holy undertaking, merely because antecedently to the attempt they despair of its success. But here two things ought to be considered; the one, that the difficulty is not so great as it appears to be, and the other, that, however great it be, there is nothing in it which ought to dispirit you, when you reflect that it is the cause of God, and that He overruling it, both our hopes may be surpassed and our impressions prove erroneous. The former of these it is no part of my present design to explain; a fitter opportunity will be found, when once the matter comes to be taken into serious consideration. This only I will say, that the execution will be more expeditious, and of less difficulty than is commonly supposed, provided there is courage enough in attempting it. However, considering, according to the well known sentiment of an old proverb, that there is nothing illustrious which is not also difficult and arduous, can we wonder, that in the greatest and most excellent of all causes, we must fight our way through many difficulties? I have already observed, that if we would not give deep offence to God, our minds must take a loftier view. For it is just to measure the power of God by the extent of our own powers, if we hope no more of the restoration of the Church than the present state of affairs seems to promise. How slender soever the hope of success, God bids us be of good courage, and put far away every thing like fear, that we may with alacrity begirt ourselves for the work. Thus far, at least, let us do Him honour. Confiding in his Almighty power, let us not decline to try what the success is which He may he pleased to give.
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