Saturday, November 14, 2009

Quotes from John Calvin

After Pastor McCurley's address on John Calvin last Saturday, I thought I would share some of his quotes that I have enjoyed reading.


"Let us not cease to do the utmost, that we may incessantly go forward in the way of the Lord; and let us not despair of the smallness of our accomplishments”


"There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice."


"Seeing that a Pilot steers the ship in which we sail, who will never allow us to perish even in the midst of shipwrecks, there is no reason why our minds should be overwhelmed with fear and overcome with weariness”


"You must submit to supreme suffering in order to discover the completion of joy”


"It behooves us to accomplish what God requires of us, even when we are in the greatest despair respecting the results”


"However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts”


“The thing [O God] at which I chiefly aimed, and for which I most diligently labored, was, that the glory of they goodness and justice . . . might shine forth conspicuous.” He said elsewhere, “I have always propounded what I esteemed to be for the glory of God.” The message of Sovereign grace in predestination is rooted in precisely this matter. In his prefatory address to King Francis I of France, he said, “Yet, if one does not tend to seek men’s glory but God’s [John 7:18; 8:50], this is a mark of true doctrine, as Christ says.”


In his commentary on Jeremiah, Calvin said, “Today all sorts of subjects are eagerly pursued; but the knowledge of God is neglected . . . Yet to know God is man’s chief end, and justifies his existence. Even if a hundred lives were ours, this one aim would be sufficient for them all.”


“If it be required, then, by what things chiefly the Christian religion has a standing existence amongst us, and maintains its truth, it will be found that the following two not only occupy the principal place, but comprehend under them all the other parts, and consequently the whole substance of Christianity, viz., a knowledge, first, of the mode in which God is duly worshipped; and secondly, of the source from which salvation is to be obtained.” (On the Necessity of Reforming the Church)



"Now what Saint Augustine says is true, that no one is able to sing things worthy of God unless he has received them from Him. Wherefore, when we have looked thoroughly everywhere and searched high and low, we shall find no better songs nor more appropriate to the purpose than the Psalms of David which the Holy Spirit made and spoke through him. And furthermore, when we sing them, we are certain that God puts the words in our mouths, as if He Himself were singing in us to exalt His glory."



In the second book of the Institutes he wrote, “. . . we may patiently pass through this life in afflictions, hunger, cold, contempt, reproaches, and other disagreeable circumstances, contented with this single assurance, that our King will never desert us, but will give what we need, until having finished our warfare, we shall be called to the triumph.”

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"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1