Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

“He Was Completely a Disciple of Calvin”

In his 2003 book The Cradle King: A Life of James VI and I, Alan Stewart recounts King James VI’s encounter with the “Calvinist-tinged Lutheran” Niels Hemmingsen in Roskilde.

“From Copenhagen, James moved on to the village of Roskilde on 11 and 12 March [1590], to visit the great cathedral that served as the burial place of the kings of Denmark. James listened to a Latin oration by Mathias, and debated with Niels Hemmingsen, the elderly leading Danish theologian. Much of the doctrinal discussion centred on Hemmingsen’s Calvinist-tinged Lutheranism (for which he had been removed from his office of Professor of the University of Copenhagen):1 a Danish account records that Hemmingsen ‘discussed, with acute perception, predestination. For he was completely a disciple of Calvin.’ The theologian made a huge impact on James: he confided to a local priest that meeting Hemmingsen stood alongside seeing a monument to Frederick II in Roskilde Cathedral, and witnessing the Danish churches free of idolatry, as one of the highlights of his visit.” (p. 114)

  1. For more on this, see my previous post here.

By E.J. Hutchinson

E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.