Friday, 5 October 2012

Silly and clumsy imposition

A Treatise on Relics - John Calvin
(1870) - Project Gutenburg
"It is not my intention now to discuss the abominable abuse of the relics of Our Lord, as well as of the saints, at this present time, in the most part of Christendom. This subject alone would require a separate volume; for it is a well-known fact that the most part of the relics which are displayed every where are false, and have been put forward by impostors who have most impudently deceived the poor world. I have merely mentioned this subject, to give people an opportunity of thinking it over, and of being upon their guard. It happens sometimes that we carelessly approve of a thing without taking the necessary time to examine what it really is, and we are thus deceived for want of  warning; but when we are warned, we begin to think, and become quite astonished at our believing so easily such an improbability. This is precisely what has taken place with the subject in question. People were told, “This is the body of such a saint; these are his shoes, those are his stockings;” and they believed it to be so, for want of timely caution. But when I shall have clearly proved the fraud which has been committed, all those who have sense and reason will open their eyes and begin to reflect upon what has never before entered their thoughts. The limits of my little volume forbid me from entering but upon a small part of what I would wish to perform, for it would be necessary to ascertain the relics possessed by every place in order to compare them with each other. It would then be seen that every apostle had more than four bodies,and each saint at least two or three, and so on. In short, if all the relics were collected into one heap, the only astonishment would be that such a silly and clumsy imposition could have blinded the whole earth."

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