Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Hemmingsen on the Sabbath and Christian Festivals (1)

Now that I have concluded the series on Zanchi on festivals, I’m going to turn my attention back to an old favorite of mine, the Danish Lutheran “crypto-Calvinist” Niels Hemmingsen.

Hemmingsen was a disciple of Philip Melanchthon, and so this series will give us a good window into how Protestant Philippists thought about such things as the relationship between the law and the gospel; the Old Testament and the New Testament; type or shadow and fulfillment; external ceremonies; conscience and coercion; the power of the church; and the differences between Protestants and Roman Catholics, to name a few. 

Our text will be a set of assertiones (“assertions”) on the Sabbath and Christian festivals that Hemmingsen prepared for disputation at the University of Copenhagen in 1569, a text not currently available in English.

There are 34 theses in toto. In today’s post, I include the first three, which can stand as an introduction.

Assertions concerning the Jewish Sabbath and the Festivals of Christians

Proposed by Niels Hemmingsen for Disputation in October, 1569

  1. The Lord gave the following concerning the Sabbath: “Remember to sanctify the day of the Sabbath.”
  2. Just as the reasoning behind this law is that God alone is both the creator of the world and the source and giver of all good things, so its end is that, having died to our own works, we meditate on true sanctification through the works commanded by God, and allow ourselves to be sanctified by God.
  3. In expounding this law, the following things must be observed: what the Sabbath is; what it means to “sanctify”; what it means to “sanctify the Sabbath”; to what extend the Sabbath has been abrogated; the symbolic significance of the Sabbath; the works that belong to the Sabbath; and the error of hypocrites and Pharisees concerning the Sabbath; together with a defense of Lord’s deed when healed the sick on the Sabbath.1 
  1. The translation is my own.

By E.J. Hutchinson

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