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calvin institutes book 3 chapter 2

Again, to intimate that until the last day, when the books will be opened (Dan_7:10; Rev_20:12), the things pertaining to our salvation are too lofty to be perceived by our sense, seen by our eyes, or handled by our hands, and that in the meantime there is no possible way in which these can be possessed by us, unless we can transcend the reach of our own intellect, and raise our eye above all worldly objects; in short, surpass ourselves, he adds that this certainty of possession relates to things which are only hoped for, and therefore not seen. Read Institutes of the Christian Religion Book 3 from author John Calvin. / chapter 4. This is the reason why Isaiah, when he would impress on the hearts of the people the certainty of faith, discourses so magnificently of the boundless power of God. Therefore, as we have already said, we again maintain, that faith remaining fixed in the believer’s breast never can be eradicated from it. The opinions of the ancient theologians on the subject of free will. The fear he speaks of is that which renders us more cautious, not that which produces despondency, the fear which is felt when the mind confounded in itself resumes its equanimity in God, downcast in itself, takes courage in God, distrusting itself, breathes confidence in God. John Calvin was just twenty-seven years old when the first edition of his Institutes was published in Basel in 1536. The word is not received in faith when it merely flutters in the brain, but when it has taken deep root in the heart, and become an invincible bulwark to withstand and repel all the assaults of temptation. California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. Thus the Apostle addressing believers says, “Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things, the wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedience” (Eph_5:6; Col_3:6). Ford Lewis Battles (London: SCM, 1961). Nothing can be worse than their perversion of the passage of Ecclesiastes, which is ever in their mouths: “No man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them” (Ecc_9:1). Faith, as Paul (declares (Eph_6:16), is our shield, which receiving these darts, either wards them off entirely, or at least breaks their force, and prevents them from reaching the vitals. Therefore, although their knowledge of Christ may have been obscure, we cannot suppose that they had no such knowledge at all. There is another species of fear and trembling, which, so far from impairing the security of faith, tends rather to establish it; namely, when believers, reflecting that the examples of the divine vengeance on the ungodly are a kind of beacons warning them not to provoke the wrath of God by similar wickedness keep anxious watch, or, taking a view of their own inherent wretchedness, learn their entire dependence on God, without whom they feel themselves to be fleeting and evanescent as the wind. ITS PECULIAR PROPERTIES. But so prone is our carnal nature to indulgence in sin, that, in order to curb it in every way, we must also give place to the thought that all iniquity is abomination to the Master under whom we live; that those who, by wicked lives, provoke his anger, will not escape his vengeance. Faith is the foundation on which hope rests; hope nourishes and sustains faith. In this, nevertheless, Rebekah showed how prone the human mind is to turn aside whenever it gives itself the least indulgence. Here, however, we give no countenance to that most pestilential philosophy which some semi-papists are at present beginning to broach in corners. We expect salvation from him – not because he stands aloof from us, but because ingrafting us into his body he not only makes us partakers of all his benefits, but also of himself. Read by volunteer readers. - penitence, as explained in the sophistical jargon of the schoolmen, widely different from … But why the one, and not the other? 22. . And yet how is he whom God exalts utterly nothing? For what the Schoolmen say as to the priority of love to faith and hope is a mere dream (see Sent. in Joann. A brief explanation of certain matters pertaining to the doctrine of Faith, sec. . For which reason David sings, that the loving-kindness of God experienced by the pious heart is sweeter and more to be desired than life itself (Psa_63:3). Bible / Our Library / History / Institutes of ... Chapter 2. As Augustine says, whatever be the engines which the devil erects against us, as he cannot gain the heart where faith dwells, he is cast out. For as Paul says (Rom_8:24), “A hope that is seen is not hope,” that we “hope for that we see not.” When he calls it the evidence or proof, or, as Augustine repeatedly renders it (see Hom. Objections reduced to three principal heads:—I. For as in that rejection of the Jews there still remained some who were not excluded from the covenant of adoptions, so there might be some among the Gentiles who, possessing no true faith, were only puffed up with vain carnal confidence, and so abused the goodness of God to their own destruction. To the thought that God is the avenger of wickedness, it opposes the pardon ready to be bestowed on all offences whenever the sinner retakes himself to the divine mercy. The Lord desires us to expect every thing from his goodness and yet these men tell us, it is presumption to rest in it. This is invariably true, and is not inconsistent with the fact, that the large benefits which the divine liberality is constantly bestowing on the wicked are preparing them for heavier judgment. Book 2, Chapter 3: Every thing proceeding from the corrupt nature of man damnable. The Knowledge of God and That of Ourselves Are Connected. CHAPTER 2. In this sense are we to understand the words of the Psalmist: “I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temples” (Psa_5:7). The promises of the law and the Gospel reconciled. 5, Secs. Still they admonish us how carefully we ought to cling to the word of God, and at the same time confirm what we have taught, viz., that faith gives way when not supported by the word, just as the minds of Sarah, Isaac, and Rebekah, would have lost themselves in devious paths, had not the secret restraint of Providence kept them obedient to the word. For if faith is (as has been said) a firm persuasion of the truth of God – a persuasion that it can never be false, never deceive, never be in vain, those who have received this assurance must at the same time expect that God will perform his promises, which in their conviction are absolutely true; so that in one word hope is nothing more than the expectation of those things which faith previously believes to have been truly promised by God. Thus Solomon had said a little before, “That which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other” (Ecc_3:19). 1. In like manner, the eunuch to whom Philip was sent, had he not been endued with some degree of faith, never would have incurred the fatigue and expense of a long and difficult journey to obtain an opportunity of worship (Act_8:27, Act_8:31); and yet we see how, when interrogated by Philip, he betrays his ignorance of the Mediator. He is the beloved Son, in whom the love of the Father dwells, and from whom it afterwards extends to us. BOOK 3. chapter 3. Let him who despises impute it to himself; let him who ascends not arrogate it to himself’ In another passage he asks, “Wherefore is it given to the one, and not to the other? Refutation of the objection. . Scriptural arguments exhorting to it. indulgences and purgatory. I can cry out with wonder; not discuss and demonstrate.” The whole comes to this, that Christ, when he produces faith in us by the agency of his Spirit, at the same time ingrafts us into his body, that we may become partakers of all blessings. But how are we thy treasure if we are nothing? Let it suffice to observe, that the spirit of faith is used by Paul as synonymous with the very faith which we receive from the Spirit, but which we have not naturally (2Co_4:13). If all its righteousnesses, when examined by the light of truth, are but as filthy rags (Isa_64:6), what must we suppose its unrighteousness to be? 26. Objection—that religion and the belief of a Deity are the inventions of crafty politicians. 21. Faith believes that eternal life has been given to us; hope expects that it will one day be revealed. In this matter we are all naturally blind; and hence the word cannot penetrate our mind unless the Spirit, that internal teacher, by his enlightening power make an entrance for it. What need is there to enumerate each of its miseries? . 36. Thus, faith believes that God is true; hope expects that in due season he will manifest his truth. They are not alarmed by the fear of punishment, as if it were impending over them, but are rendered the more cautious of doing anything to provoke it. Nay, the world and the flesh insinuate the same thing. Nor were it sufficient for the mind to be illumined by the Spirit of God unless the heart also were strengthened and supported by his power. Were any one thence to infer that we hold the immortality of the soul by conjecture merely, would he not justly be deemed insane? . and if I be a master, where is my fear?” But while he thus distinguishes between the two, it is obvious that he at the same time confounds them. And they thus dread his anger, because they think it is impending over them, and they every moment expect it to fall upon their heads. For this reason Paul justly says, “We are saved by hope” (Rom_8:24). It is one thing, in order to prevent believers from indulging vain confidence, to repress the temerity which, from the remains of the flesh, sometimes gains upon them, and it is another thing to strike terror into their consciences, and prevent them from feeling secure in the mercy of God. The pious mind will always rise, and be able to say with David, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me” (Psa_23:4). Therefore, when we say, that faith must rest on a free promise, we deny not that believers accept and embrace the word of God in all its parts, but we point to the promise of mercy as its special object. I would grant this, did we hold that we were able to subject the incomprehensible counsel of God to our feeble intellect. Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 3 John CALVIN (1509 - 1564), translated by Henry BEVERIDGE (1837 - 1929) Institutes of the Christian Religion is John Calvin… Hence he often uses faith and the Gospel as correlative terms, as when he says, that the ministry of the Gospel was committed to him for “obedience to the faith;” that “it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;” that “therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith” (Rom_1:5, Rom_1:16,Rom_1:17). Quotations in this publication are taken from John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, ed. . - regeneration by faith. O Father of the miserable! ›argument - institutes of the christian religion book third. Thus, if we may judge by the event, not only do believers come off safe from every contest so as to be ready, after a short repose, to descend again into the arena, but the saying of John, in his Epistle, is fulfilled, “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1Jo_5:4). CHAPTER 4. Some, by a subtle distinction, have introduced an intermediate species, holding that that forced and servile fear sometimes subdues the mind, and leads spontaneously to proper fear. But it is worth while to listen to the strange reason which he adduces. And it is plain, from the context, that this was the Apostle’s meaning, since he states, as the ground of fear and trembling, that it is God who worketh in us to will and to do of his good pleasure. Then how preposterous is it to limit the certainty of faith to a point of time; seeing it is the property of faith to pass beyond the whole course of this life, and stretch forward to a future immortality? do we not insult the Holy Spirit, when we separate faith, which is his peculiar work, from himself? Such are they in the judgment of thy truth, but not such in regard to thy affection. Not that David was uniformly in this joyful frame; but in so far as the measure of his faith made him sensible of the divine favor, he glories in intrepidly despising every thing that could disturb his peace of mind. He declares that those only are the servants of Christ who are led by the Spirit of Christ (Rom_8:9); they imagine a Christianity which has no need of the Spirit of Christ. Very different is the language of the Apostle, “I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom_8:38). 27. 3, Dist. The daily benefits derived from it. It is only when actually smitten by his hand that they are forced, whether they will or not, to fear. In the same sense must we understand the words of the Prophet, “The children of Israel” “shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days” (Hos_3:5). Price: $0.00. Calvin's Institutes Book I, Chapter 17.2 - 26 of 81. Its peculiar properties. Know ye not your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2Co_13:5). And in like manner, in another passage, he says of himself, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2Ti_1:12). But how can faith be saving, unless in so far as it in grafts us into the body of Christ? institutes of the christian religion / book third. 23. He who has said, “According to your faith be it unto you” (Mat_9:29), will never deceive. its peculiar properties.. . how burdened with sin, obscured with darkness, ensnared by allurements, teeming with lusts, ruled by passion, filled with delusions, ever prone to evil, inclined to every vice; lastly, full of ignominy and confusion. The knowledge of God being manifested to all makes the reprobate without excuse. Part A. Price: $0.00. Faith, then, has no firm footing until it stand in the mercy of God. ‘If, therefore, the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness?’ (Mat_6:23). In the same way, we cannot say that the holy patriarch Isaac was altogether void of faith, in that, after he had been similarly informed of the honor transferred to the younger son, he still continues his predilection in favor of his first-born, Esau. For as the particular error of Rebekah did not render the blessing of no effect, neither did it nullify the faith which generally ruled in her mind, and was the principle and cause of that action. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. A recapitulation of the former chapter, proving, from passages of Scriptures that the intellect and will of man are so corrupted, that no integrity, no knowledge or fear of God, can now be found in him, Section 1 and 2. The resemblance between the Old Testament and the New. The nature of this must be ascertained from the word. The principal matters in this chapter are, I. Observe, before thee; not within thee. Certainly things which are connected together do not mutually destroy each other. For when Peter says that we are “kept by the power of God through faith until salvation, ready to be revealed in the last times” (1Pe_1:5), he attributes to faith what more properly belongs to hope. . man doubtless has been made subject to vanity – man here been reduced to nothing – man is nothing. ... Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 3 . But, ascending to a loftier height, let us seek the city of God, let us seek the temple, let us seek our home, let us seek our spouse. . In that passage, indeed, he is not addressing believers only, but also comprehends hypocrites, who gloried merely in external appearance; nor is he addressing individuals, but contrasting the Jews and Gentiles, he first shows that the rejection of the former was a just punishment of their ingratitude and unbelief, and then exhorts the latter to beware lest pride and presumption deprive them of the grace of adoption which had lately been transferred to them. Therefore, when the Lord by his promises invites us not only to enjoy the fruits of his kindness, but also to meditate upon them, he at the same time declares his love. . . Its peculiar properties. Here faith must be supported by the patience of hope, and fixed on the contemplation of eternity, consider that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2Pe_3:8; Psa_90:4). We may add, that an effectual power is here meant; for piety, as it has elsewhere been seen, always makes a practical application of the power of God; in particular, keeps those works in view in which he has declared himself to be a Father. We use MailChimp as our email list platform. Very far from it. Blood Red Moons, Pipelines, and Revival in the Middle East, Cycles, Civil War, and a possible coup d’etat. Hence, when we were desirous to express the sum of blessedness, we designated it by the favor of God, from which, as their source, all kinds of blessings flow. Hence the frequent mention in Scripture of redemption; from which the Israelites might learn, that he who had once been the author of salvation would be its perpetual guardian. He tells us that we call God our Father in terms dictated by the Spirit, who alone bears witness with our spirit that we are the sons of God (Rom_8:16); they, though they forbid us not to invoke God, withdraw the Spirit, by whose guidance he is duly invoked. of the knowledge of god the redeemer, in christ, as first manifested to the fathers, under the law, and thereafter to us under the gospel. CHAPTER 2. The word is, in regard to those to whom it is preached, like the sun which shines upon all, but is of no use to the blind. The wicked do not fear God from any unwillingness to offend him, provided they could do so with impunity; but knowing that he is armed with power for vengeance, they tremble in dismay on hearing of his anger. or who has been his counselor?” (Rom_11:34); but “The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (1Co_2:10). Of repentance. Let us breathe again, brethren. 4. . Hence again we infer, as has already been explained, that faith has no less need of the word than the fruit of a tree has of a living root; because, as David testifies, none can hope in God but those who know his name (Psa_9:10). Therefore, as we cannot possibly come to Christ unless drawn by the Spirit, so when we are drawn we are both in mind and spirit exalted far above our own understanding. The Great Wall, the Silk Road, and is the way of the Kings of the East being prepared? The definition of it. They endeavor to evade the force of this by frivolously pretending that the Apostle had this assurance by special revelation. By 1534 Calvin had converted to Protestantism, left Paris, and gave up his financial support. But, they say, it is rash and presumptuous to pretend to an undoubted knowledge of the divine will. . Here human discernment is so defective and lost, that the first step of advancement in the school of Christ is to renounce it (Mat_11:25; Luk_10:21). All rights reserved. They tell you, if you look to Christ salvation is certain; if you return to yourself damnation is certain. In regard to Naaman, it is absurd to suppose that Elisha, while he gave him many minute precepts, said nothing of the principal matter. For he is speaking of the fear of unbelief, between which and the fear of believers there is a wide difference. Chapter 1. Paul declares that those only are the sons of God who are led by his Spirit (Rom_8:14); these men would have those who are the sons of God to be led by their own, and void of the divine Spirit. And it tends to prove the vanity of the human intellect, that it is so completely in the dark as to matters which it is of the highest importance to know. “A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master. But let any one consider with himself, how he is ever and anon assailed with doubts in regard to the power of God, and he will readily perceive, that those who duly magnify it have made no small progress in faith. This is too great for me: it is an abyss a depth of the cross. If fear of impending punishment was a work of faith, threatening ought not to be excluded in defining it. And what else is it than to bring the promises of Christ into doubt, when we would be deemed servants of Christ without having his Spirit, whom he declared that he would pour out on all his people? Wherever this living faith exists, it must have the hope of eternal life as its inseparable companion, or rather must of itself beget and manifest it; where it is wanting, however clearly and elegantly we may discourse of faith, it is certain we have it not. 35. Since the nature of faith could not be better or more clearly evinced than by the substance of the promise on which it leans as its proper foundation, and without which it immediately falls or rather vanishes away, we have derived our definition from it – a definition, however, not at all at variance with that definition, or rather description, which the Apostle accommodates to his discourse, when he says that faith is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb_11:1). A simple external manifestation of the word ought to be amply sufficient to produce faith, did not our blindness and perverseness prevent. For while hope silently waits for the Lord, it restrains faith from hastening on with too much precipitation, confirms it when it might waver in regard to the promises of God or begin to doubt of their truth, refreshes it when it might be fatigued, extends its view to the final goal, so as not to allow it to give up in the middle of the course, or at the very outset. The definition of it. Therefore, if we would not have faith to waver and tremble, we must support it with the promise of salvation, which is offered by the Lord spontaneously and freely, from a regard to our misery rather than our worth. the benefits it confers, and the effects resulting from it. Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 3 John CALVIN (1509 - 1564), translated by Henry BEVERIDGE (1837 - 1929) Institutes of the Christian Religion is John Calvin… We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. (Isa_44:3). Article Images Copyright © 2021 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. This fear the sacred writers term servile, and oppose to the free and voluntary fear which becomes sons. But they still exclaim, that there is great temerity in our presuming to glory in possessing the Spirit of God. These examples certainly show that error is often mingled with faith; and yet that when faith is real, it always obtains the preeminence. . Then, when he bids us work out our salvation with fear and trembling, all he requires is, that we accustom ourselves to think very meanly of our own strength, and confide in the strength of the Lord. Worthy Christian Books » John Calvin » Institutes of the Christian Religion » Book 3, Chapter 2, Part B.Of faith. 3. TSC - 26 of 81 Calvin's Institutes Book II, Chapter 1 - 27 of 81. . . The whole of this subject may be better understood from the tenth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, to which I have already adverted. - of faith. It is not strange that the same mind can entertain both feelings; for he who considers with himself what kind of a father God is to us, will see sufficient reason, even were there no hell, why the thought of offending him should seem more dreadful than any death. Its peculiar properties. Here, by designating faith the work of God, and distinguishing it by way of epithet, appropriately calling it his good pleasure, he declares that it is not of man’s own nature; and not contented with this, he adds, that it is an illustration of divine power. On the other hand, we have good ground for comprehending all the promises in Christ, since the Apostle comprehends the whole Gospel under the knowledge of Christ, and declares that all the promises of God are in him yea, and amen. The definition of it. The same doctrine is taught by Bernard when he treats professedly on this subject in his Fifth Homily on the Dedication of the Temple: “By the blessing of God, sometimes meditating on the soul, methinks, I find in it as it were two contraries. Chapter 1: Christ Profits us by the working of the Holy Spirit. Of the eternal election, by which God has predestined some to salvation, and others to destruction. If there were only a single gift of the Spirit, he who is the author and cause of faith could not without absurdity be said to be its effect; but after celebrating the gifts with which God adorns his church, and by successive additions of faith leads it to perfection, there is nothing strange in his ascribing to faith the very gifts which faith prepares us for receiving. Second, of Implicit Faith, sec. . Still happen what may, faith ceases not to long after God. Nay, rather, the disputes which exercise and disturb it tend to establish this confidence. He who is thus once affected is raised and carried entirely towards him. THE HOLY SPIRIT AS THE BOND THAT UNITES US TO CHRIST e(a)We must now examine this question. A summary of the opinion common to all the philosophers. Section 2 – Still-born Knowledge of God. Is it not that we may understand the way of salvation? “Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine,” says the Prophet, “and we shall be saved” (Psa_80:3). If you presume, says he, to hope for any thing without merit, it should be called not hope, but presumption. In short, if we have every earthly comfort to a wish, but are uncertain whether we have the love or the hatred of God, our felicity will be cursed, and therefore miserable. For though they are not as to themselves, yet they are with thee according to the declaration of Paul: ‘Not of works, but of him that calleth,’” (Rom_9:11). This knowledge, however, is not left to every man’s imagination, but depends on the testimony which God himself gives to his goodness. On the whole, how necessary the reinforcements of hope are to establish faith will better appear if we reflect on the numerous forms of temptation by which those who have embraced the word of God are assailed and shaken. Learn more …. God is entitled to the reverence of a Father and a Lord. Wars and Rumors of War, Yemen, and Is the end of Endless Wars? Raiders of the Lost Ark, Solomon’s Lost Treasure, and the Ethiopian Dam … and your calling! What, then, does Paul mean, when he says to the Corinthians, “Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith: prove your own selves. Of self-denial. Thus we are brought back to our statement, that every promise is a manifestation of the divine favor toward us. p. 364 p. 382 chapter 4. What! For nothing stimulates us so strongly to place all our confidence and assurance on the Lord as self diffidence, and the anxiety produced by a consciousness of our calamitous condition. OF FAITH. How do we receive … But we have already shown clearly that the only object of faith is the mercy of God, to which, to use the common expression, it must look with both eyes. For the Spirit does not merely originate faith, but gradually increases it, until by its means he conducts us into the heavenly kingdom. It seldom happens that mere threatening have the effect of arousing the reprobate; nay, becoming more callous and hardened when God thunders verbally from heaven, they obstinately persist in their rebellion. In short, the malicious have nothing to carp at in this doctrine, unless they are to bring the same censure against the Apostle Paul, who specially designates the Gospel as “the word of faith” (Rom_10:8). To her husband give him the honor which is an abyss a depth of eternal... Themselves the righteous destruction to which they are doomed the offense even more than the food calvin institutes book 3 chapter 2 strength of.. 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Which are revealed only to babes force of this KNOWLEDGE Spirit are therefore necessary OR. / the mode of obtaining the grace of Christ exhorts us to Christ salvation is certain the benefits confers! To be seriously convinced of the Christian Religion  » Book 3, by intervention! Salvation as its consequence Rom_8:24 ), “Thy salvation according to thy word” ( Psa_119:146, Psa_119:147.!

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