T.H.L. Parker, Supplementa Calviniana. An Account of the Manuscripts of Calvin’s Sermons Now in Course of Preparation. London: The Tyndale Press, 1962. Pbk. pp.23.
My thanks to the Rev. Dr T.H.L. Parker for his permission to place this material online. It is the text of the 1962 Historical Theology Lecture given at Tyndale House, Cambridge in January 1962.
Three editions of the Opera omnia of Calvin have been formed. The first, in seven folio volumes, was published at Geneva in 1617; the second, in nine folio volumes, at’ Amsterdam in 1667-71; the third consists of volumes 29 to 87 of the Corpus Reformatorum, published at Brunswick from 1863 to 1897. Geneva and Amsterdam contained only Latin works and no French – except that some French translated into Latin was included; most notably for our purpose, the sermons on 1 Samuel and Job. The Corpus Reformatorum improved on this considerably by publishing everything of Calvin that had already been published, whether Latin or French – everything, that is to say, that they could discover. They therefore included many sets of sermons that had been printed in the sixteenth century. But they did not include any works in manuscript. In preparing their edition, the editors, Baum, Cunitz and Reuss, noted the existence of certain volumes of sermons in manuscript in the Bibliotheque publique et universitaire at Geneva, and at first intended to transcribe and publish them:
‘A l’égard des sermons aussi nous sommes en mesure d’enrichir par plusieurs séries nouvelles les collections déja imprimeés ‘
(C.R, I, p. 2). In the course of the thirty years of publication, two of the editors, Baum and Cunitz, died, and it was left to their surviving colleague, Edouard Reuss, to apologize for the absence of the sermons: ‘ La seule exception que nous nous soyons permis de faire, concerne une douzaine de volumes manuscrits conservés à la Bibliothèque de Genève, et contenant des centaines de sermons recueillis par la voie de la sténographie pendant que l’orateur les débitait. Nous avons pensé que la postérité pouvait s’en passer, après tant d’autres qui sont compris dans notre édition….