Monday, August 17, 2015

"God holds in derision prayers made to him in deprecation of public calamities, when we do not oppose such proceedings as bring them on us."

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     Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, History of the variations of the Protestant churches iv.2, trans. [Levinius Brown], vol. 1 (Dublin:  Richard Coyne, 1829 [1742, 1688]), p. 140.

"Dieu se rit des prières qu’on lui fait pour détourner les malheurs publics, quand on ne s’oppose pas à ce qui se fait pour les attirer."

     Histoire des variations des églises protestantes (1688) iv.2, as reproduced in Œuvres completes de Bossuet 14 (Paris:  Libraire de Louis Vivès, 1863), p. 145.
     I was put onto this by Louis Bouyer's "L'Église catholique en crise" (1978), as trans. John Pepino:  "Heaven mocks the prayers one says to avert evils whose causes one clings to. . . ."
     Bossuet, however, had directed this against Melanchthon, whom he portrayed as suffering the consequences of his own failure to oppose Luther's latest self-contradictory "variation" in support of the resort to arms against one's own Christian prince, presumably the 1531 Warnunge D. Martini Luther, An seine lieben Deudschen (Warnung an seine lieben Deutschen, WA 30 III, pp. (252) 276 ff.; LW 47, pp. 3 ff.).

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