Friday, April 16, 2010

A prayer from Calvin

I just read a wonderful essay/sermon by John Calvin challenging us (the Church) not to pervert the gospel. As usual, Calvin's comments and content are thoroughly biblical and edifying. What grabbed my attention, however, is his pastoral statement at the end of the essay that reads more like a prayer than a conclusion-

Now let us fall before the majesty of our great God, acknowledging our faults, and praying that he will make us ever more conscious of them. May this lead us to a right repentance, and make us grow and increase in faith, as true sacrifices to him. Since our Lord Jesus Christ gave himself for our redemption, let us also seek to dedicate ourselves fully to him. May we be led by him to persevere, so that in life and in death we seek no other contentment or rest than to acquiesce in his good will. May we glory in nothing other than the salvation which he has purchased for us. May this grace not only be granted to us, but to all peoples and nations on earth.


Rick Calohan said...

A few weeks ago when debating regeneration and the use of the Law and Gospel I came across Calvin' sermon The Spirituality of the Law and saw that he also ended that sermon which reads similarly as a prayer:

Now let us fall down before the majesty of our great God, acknowledging our sins, and praying that he would make us increasingly conscious of them, so that we cast ourselves down low. Having condemned ourselves, let us have recourse to him, knowing that he is always willing to help those who are starved of his grace, and who desire it in sincerity. Since he has given us to the Lord Jesus Christ, and views his conduct as if it were ours, may he pour out the treasures and the gifts of his Holy Spirit that we may partake of them. May he increase his grace in us, and may we be so well armed that we achieve the victory in all our combat with Satan, the world, and our own flesh. May he show this grace not only to us, but to all peoples and nations on earth, etc.

Perry said...

Reep: Please comment on something for me. The two Calvin quotes you and RC posted here are beautiful, inviting, repentance inspiring and a whole host of other adjectives. But, I'm wondering if you could comment on these great snipets of Calvin's writings vs his leadership style in the Swiss community he headed, which the breadth of seemingly may have made the totality of the Salem witch trials look like a Sunday school picnic, though the accused in Calvin's community may or may not have been more culpable than those accused in Salem. Just to add, I'm no liberal, and I believe in the death penalty. I also vote for law-and-order judges. But, Calvin's menthod of judicial punishment can't just be a case of, "really tough love," can it?

Reepicheep said...

You raise an important question. Thanks.

In the near future I will address Calvin's role in civil affairs at Geneva with specific reference to his part in judicial matters, so I'll save my answer till then.

In the short term however, I'm guessing you have in mind the episode with Michael Servetus?

Here's an accurate description of that instance to put it in to perspective: