14. That God wrought works that were more fatherly for this Hebrew people, and that the more God did for them, the more they practiced their malevolence and their impiety against God (Ps. 94 [Ps. 95]).

15. That when the time appointed by the divine Majesty arrived, the Word of God, whom the Holy Scripture calls the Son of God, took human flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, God having willed to restore all things by his Word, just as he had made them all by his Word (John 1; Mt. L; Phil. 3 [Phil. 2J; Col. 1).

16. That this incarnate Word is the Messiah, promised to the Hebrews in the Law and in the Prophets, whom we call Christ, which is the same as Messiah or Anointed (John 3,4).

17. That upon this Word of God incarnate, upon this Son of God, upon this Christ, God placed all the iniquities, all the rebellions, and all the sins of all men, he being most innocent and free from all sin. God chastised them all in him with the same rigor as if he had committed them all, even to taking from him on the cross his life as a son of Adam and as a passible and mortal man. God afterwards resurrected and glorified him for his obedience, giving him absolute power in heaven and on earth (1 Pet. 2; Mt. 28; Col. 1).

18. That Christ, having ascended into heaven, sent the Holy Spirit upon his disciples, upon those he had elected and taken for his own while he conversed among men (Acts 1).

Juan de Valdés, The Manner which Ought to be Observed in Instructing the Children of Christians from Childhood about Religious Matters,” in Reformed Confessions of the 16th and 17th Centuries in English Translation, ed. James T. Dennison, (Grand Rapids Michigan: Reformation Heritage Books, 2008), 1:531. [underlining mine.]

[Note: Of general interest is the fact that there is a straight line from de Valdés to Kimdeoncius, in that Valdés was Vermigli’s teacher, who in turn was mentor to Zanchi, who in his turn was Kimedoncius’ mentor. Two of Kimedoncius’ students were later to be delegates to Dort.]

[Dennison’s brief biographical information:

The ancestral roots of Juan de Valdés (1498 or 1509110-1541) lie surprisingly in England. In the sixteenth century, the Valdes family left England settling in Asturias during the climactic phase of the reconquista in which Spain became the leader of the Western world under King Ferdinand (1452 – 1516) and Queen Isabella (1451-1504). Juan matured in an era of religious ferment in Spain; not only the forced ‘new Christians’ (Jews and Moors), bur the emergence of a vigorous Spanish mysticism under Francisco de Osuna (1492-1541), who influenced Teres:1 de Ávila (1515 -1582). In the search for a more intimate spirituality, Valdes released his Dialogo de doctrina christiane in 1529. Only one known copy of the original is extant (in the Biblioteca Nacional de Lisboa). Valdes had also been influenced by Pedro Ruiz de AIcaraz (ca. 1480 – ca. 1525). Alcaraz approached the Bible in a “new way” rejecting devotion to the saints and the virgin Mary, indulgences, free will, and meritorious works. The Spanish Inquisition seized him in 1524. The same Inquisition forced Valdes to flee Spain for Italy in 1531.

Valdés sojourned in Rome as ‘Chamberlain of the Pope’ from about 1531 to the death of Clement VII (1534). Ironically, Valdes never was ordained a Roman Catholic priest though Popes Clement VII (1479-1534; Pope 1523-1534) and Paul III (1468-1549; Pope 1534-1549) awarded him prebends (benefices) in churches in Spain (Carragena and Cuenca). After 1534, he gathered a group of laypersons (Perer Martyr Vermigli [1500-1562] joined in 1537) around himself in Naples and explored Contact with the Reformation as he wrote and studied. That he knew Erasmus (ca. 1466-1536) is undoubted; how much of Luther and Oecolampadius (1482-1531) he knew is disputed. He did hear the early evangelical sermons of Bernard Ochino (1487 -1564) and quietly separated from the Catholic church. However, he did not attach himself to any of the emerging Protestant groups. When the Inquisition was reestablished in Italy in 1542, Valdés was condemned along with other Reformers, but in such a way as to set him apart from them (thus indicating that he was regarded as a non-Protestant ‘heretic’). Nevertheless, many of his sixteenth century disciples did regard him as a Protestant.

The Instruction for Children was recovered and translated into English by John Betts in 1882. The version presented here is a revision of the Betts translation by William B. and Carol D. Jones as printed in Valdés Two Catechisms: The dialogue on Christian Doctrine and the Christian Instruction for Children, ed. by José C. Nieto (1981), 177-88. The original date of publication is obscure, but several editions were released before 1549 when it was listed on the Index. The preface was used in the Italian translation of John Calvin’s 1545 Catechism. This association (on the part of the Italian translator) was an attempt to join the two Reformers in common cause. There were those, including Cardinal Reginald Pole (1500-1558), who viewed the catechism as an evangelical “confession of faith. James T. Dennison, ed., Reformed Confessions of the 16th and 17th Centuries in English Translation, (Grand Rapids Michigan: Reformation Heritage Books, 2008), 1:527-528.]

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