“What is Better and Closer to Faith?…”


John Calvin:

“For what is more consonant with faith than to recognize that we are naked of all virtue, in order to be clothed by God? That we are empty of all good, to be filled by him? That we are slaves of sin, to be freed by him? Blind, to be illumined by him? Lame, to be made straight by him? Weak, to be sustained by him? To take away from us all occasion for glorying, that he alone may stand forth gloriously and we glory in him [cf. I Cor. 1:31; II Cor. 10:17]?

. . . what is better and closer to faith than to feel assured that God will be a propitious Father where Christ is recognized as brother and propitiator? Than  confidently to look for all happy and prosperous things from Him whose unspeakable love toward us went so far that ‘he . . . did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all” [Rom. 8:32]? Than to repose in certain expectation of salvation and eternal life, when we meditate upon Christ, given by the Father, in whom such treasures are hidden?”

“Prefatory Address to King Francis – 2” in Calvin’s Institutes of Christian Religion, vol. 1, ed. John T. McNeill and trans. Ford Lewis Battles (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1960), p. 13.


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