Bonhoeffer uses a similar phrase 'worldly Christianity'. It's J Gresham Machen that I want to line up most closely with. See his Christianity and culture here. Having done commentaries on Proverbs (Heavenly Wisdom) and Song of Songs (Heavenly Love), a matching title for Ecclesiastes would be Heavenly Worldliness. For my stance on worldliness, see 3 posts here.

Bio Wibrandis Rosenblatt

Bucer it turns out was married twice. First to Elizabeth, a former nun, who died in 1541 and then to Wibrandis Rosenblatt. A root around on the Internet reveals the following.
Sometimes known as "The Bride of the Reformation" or, in German, Reformationfrau, Wibrandis Rosenblatt (1504-1564) was the wife of three notable Reformers, and a godly woman in her own right, as each of her husbands testified.
She was born, in 1504, in Bad S├Ąckingen, Germany, and raised in Basel, on the Rhine where France, Germany and Switzerland meet. In the early 16th century it was a bustling hub of commerce and culture. From all over Europe, students flocked to its university and writers brought their books to its presses. Chief among the intellectuals of Basel was Desiderius Erasmus. In 1515-16, in Basel, he had produced his famous edition of the Greek New Testament, assisted by younger scholars such as Oecolampadius, a priest who was working for the Froben printing house and Capito, preacher and theology professor.
Wibrandis's mother Magdalena Strub was from Basel but had married Hans Rosenblatt from Bad S├Ąckingen. The father served in the Austrian army and so was absent from home quite a bit and that is perhaps why the mother moved back to Basel with her daughter. The Strubs were tanners and a prominent local family, several members sitting on the local town council at times. Wibrandis first married when she was 20 years old. Her first husband was a Basel craftsman called Ludwig Keller (c 1500-1526). He was a reformer and was known as Cellarius. Together they had a daughter, also called Wibrandis, but sadly within two years Keller was dead.
In the Spring of 1528, aged 24, she remarried, taking as her second husband Johannes Huasschein of Basel (1482-1531), better known as Johannes Oecolampadius. He was 22 years older than his bride and had taken vows of chastity prior to this but decided to break them for the sake of Protestantism. For this he was strongly criticised by Erasmus and others. A year after marrying he wrote to his friend Capito, who had left Basel for Mainz a few years before and who had urged him to marry, saying of Wibrandis, “My wife is what I always wanted … She is not contentious, garrulous, or a gadabout, but looks after the household. She is too simple to be proud and too discrete to be condemned.”
Wibrandis came to the marriage home with her mother and her little daughter from the first marriage. She and her second husband had three children, all of whom were given names from Greek - Eusebius, Irene and Aletheia. (piety, peace and truth). As a pastor's wife she also kept busy with housekeeping, hospitality, including the reception of religious refugees and assisting the poor and the sick. She was also involved in visiting other reformers' wives and their families and corresponding with them. These include Anna Zwingli and Elizabeth Bucer and Agnes Capito in Strasbourg.
Oecolampadius was probably weakened in health by the news of Zwingli’s death in the Battle of Kappel on October 11, 1531. He gathered his children on the evening of November 21, 1531, and spoke to each of them. His voice was weak. At one point, someone asked him whether the light was too bright for him. He struck his breast and murmured with a smile (perhaps referring to his name as well as to the gospel), “Here's light enough within.” He died on November 23, 1531, in the presence of his wife and children and so Wibrandis was widowed for the second time.
Meanwhile, at the same time, in Strasbourg, the wife of the dean of the collegiate chapter of the church of St Thomas, Agnes Capito (nee Rottel), also died. In view of this, Bucer and other friends advised him to remarry and were successful in their search for a suitable wife in Wibrandis. And so Wibrandis's third husband was 54 year old Wolfgang Fabricius Koepful or Capito (1478-1541). They married in April 1532. Her mother and children again accompanied her on this next move. The couple had a daughter, Agnes, and five surviving children altogether (Dorothea, Simon, Wolfgang and Irene were the others). In 1541, plague swept across southern Germany and came to Strasbourg, taking not only Capito but also the wife and all but one of the five children of fellow reformer Martin Bucer (1491-1551) and at least three of Wibrandis' children.
On her deathbed, Bucer's wife, Elizabeth Palass, alias Silbereisen, a former nun who had borne her husband 13 children, heard that Capito had died and suggested that her husband marry the widow when she died. Bucer did so on April 16, 1542. The marriage contract says that they entered marriage “for the furtherance of the glory of God and the upbuilding of the Christian church”. At the time Bucer wrote
Although I am past the age suited to marriage, I have nevertheless, in view of my circumstances and office, decided to follow the advice of my brothers and to marry the widow of Capito. As my response to the illegitimate canon laws about a second marriage (digamy), I would point to the law from Ezekiel 44 which does permit a priest to wed the widow of a priest. She still has four children: a girl from Oecolampadius, and a boy and two small girls from Capito. The latter, as you know, did not leave her very much on account of the tough luck he had with his money loans but thanks to the aid of Wendelin Rihel there is a little money with which to support her. As long as God gives me life and my income, we will keep that money - however small the amount may be - for the orphans and we will treat them as my own children. My motives for taking this step are (1) loneliness and (2) the danger which exists if a person starts a household with someone he does not know. Further, there is the virtuous character of this widow and the love I owe to the orphaned children of the man who made himself so useful to me. Pray the Lord for us so that our plans may be approved by Christ and be of the benefit to his church!
He added that he chose her to be his wife for in past years she has really proven that she is not only pure, honourable, faithful and godly but also a diligent helper, who fruitfully made herself useful to the church and has a gift for ministry as for many years she demonstrated in her marriage to those two precious men of God, Oecolampadius and Capito.
He also compared his two wives thus
My marriage is now a public reality and I am even a little afraid of my excellent wife's tendency to be overly accommodating in my direction. My first wife felt somewhat more free to admonish me and now I realise that that freedom of hers was not only useful but necessary. Aside from her excessive diligence on my behalf and her accommodating attitude, my present wife leaves absolutely nothing to be desired; yet, O, how strong still is my yearning for my deceased wife - that first marriage, so reverently contracted struck such deep roots in me.
Bucer was often away from home in this period and late in 1549, having been turned out of Strasbourg, he went to become regius professor of divinity at Cambridge. Wibranids came a little later. When she arrived Bucer wrote "My wife arrived just in time: I had become completely cold but she warmed me up again." Seeing the situation in England Wibrandis felt that a return to Strasbourg would be wisest and soon returned there to arrange things. There she narrowly escaped being summoned by a Catholic official who was trying to confiscate her property (she admitted that if she had gone she might have "said something hot" which would not have been a good idea). By the end of 1549 she had herded the whole family to England, in time to nurse Martin through two more difficult winters. Bucer took the opportunity to update his will, noting that Wibrandis would do fine on her own if he was not around, but expressing his desire that she should remarry in such a case. In 1551 Bucer died, worn out by his endless activity, discouraged by the apparent failure of his work, and weakened by the climate. King Edward VI gave her an award of 100 marks for services rendered to the Church of England by her husband. It was left to Wibrandis to organize her children and her elderly mother for the return trip to Strasbourg. But Strasbourg was no longer a haven. Wibrandis and her household therefore returned to Basel, where she lived for more than 10 years as a much respected matriarch until her death.
Wibrandis died in Basel of the plague November 1, 1564 at the age of sixty, having been successively married to four men, three of them prominent reformers. With these four she gave birth to some 12 children. She was married for a total of about 24 years and was married to Oecolampadius the longest.

No comments: