Guido de Bres is not a name that most people are familair with, however, thanks to a recently released children’s book, a new generation are being introduced to him. He is the main character behind the Belgic Confession, a wonderful outline and statement of biblical Christianity. His life story is certainly a fascinating one.
The following is a lengthy quote by Kevin de Young, but something well worth the time to read:
Guido de Bres was born in 1522 in Mons, on the border between France and the part of the Lowlands which is now Belgium. He was the fourth child in a family of glass painters. As a young man he was apprenticed to a stain glass artist, but his life’s work was not to be in glass artistry.
While a teenager, he obtained a copy of the Bible (which was not nearly so easy to do in those days) and read it for himself along with some of the literature coming out of the Reformation. Before he was twenty-five, he converted to Christ and embraced the teachings of the Reformers.
He then moved, for a time, perhaps because of the threat of persecution, to London, which had become a haven for religious refugees. In London, he found a Reformed Walloon congregation (French-speaking citizens from the Lowlands). Here he studied for the ministry and heard great Reformers like a Lasco and Bucer.
In 1552, at the age of 30, he returned to the Lowlands and became an itinerant preacher. He ministered to a group of Christians meeting in secret in Lille (about 35 miles from Mons). The fellowship there called themselves “The Church of the Rose” and many of them would be martyred when Philip II came to power in Spain and called for a crack down on the Protestant heretics.
Much of the congregation fled to Frankfurt where there was a Flemish congregation. De Bres met John Calvin while in Frankfurt and from this meeting, he wound up spending two years studying Hebrew and Greek with the Reformer Theodore Beza, and then another year in Geneva studying under Calvin. Continue reading