Monday, July 27, 2009

7-28- The Birth and Death of Calvin's son

Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

7/28- I John 3:19-22 Calvin’s son, Jacques is born (1542)

3 A man may have a hundred children and live many years; yet no matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity and does not receive proper burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. Ecclesiastes 6:3

Calvin’s son Jacques was born 7/28/1542. Calvin baptized him. He lingered for two weeks and died.
Calvin writing his friend Viret In August said, “Greet your wife , to whom mine returns her thanks for so much friendly consolation. She is unable to reply, except by a secretary, and it would be very difficult for her even to dictate a letter. The Lord has certainly inflicted a severe and bitter wound in the death of our infant son. But He is Himself a father, and knows what is good for His children.”

Idelette never fully recovered. She had two more pregnancies, less hopeful than this one. She and Calvin were sick together most of their nine years of marriage. They did walk around the city (see picture above), but even then though some greeted them warmly, some made fun of them. Some used the occurrence of the still births to say that Idelette and Calvin were being punished because in her former marriage (Idelette was a widow. She first was married to an Anabaptist, and they did not believe in having legal recognition of their marriages, though they had a religious ceremony). Twenty years later Calvin would write about one of his enemies: “Balduin twits me… that I have no children. God had given me a son. God has taken my little boy…But I have myriads of sons throughout the Christian world.”

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