John Calvin Called Menno Simons A Conceited Ass

It’s really cold and snowy outside… so us Manitobans are largely hibernating. Which suits Andrew and I fine, as every surface in our home is covered in piles of various historical texts, genealogy, and publications. We have a lot of reading to do. And realizing all these resources are available, even right here in our house, is causing me to become a little scattered. Every time I open another book or issue of Preservings, something jumps out. For example, page 31 of issue No.23:

“We cannot allow the judgement of the Reformed on Menno Simons to depend solely on John Calvin: ‘You cannot imagine anything more conceited than this ass [Menno Simons], anything more insolent than this dog.'”

(That quote is from the article entitled An Abridgement of Sjouke Voolstra, compiled by Delbert F. Plett.)

Wow, I had no idea John Calvin thought so little of Menno Simons! I also had no idea they were peers. I looked it up. Sure enough, Calvin lived 1509-1564. Menno lived 1496-1561. They even kinda look similar in their pics.

I wondered if anyone had ever compared the two. I found a list by a Delaware Baptist, documenting the reasons they’d do well to consider Menno Simons’ teachings. For example, he pointed out that Menno was more heavily persecuted than Calvin was. Plus, Calvin actually put some people to death. Menno was all about religious liberty. Calvin, not so much.

I wonder if they ever met.

I read that quote out loud to Andrew, and he declared that John Calvin is the conceited ass. And I laughed. Out loud….and agreed. But, then, I might be a bit biased….