Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sundays with John

Here are a few favorite quotes from this week's reading of Calvin's Institutes. First, his beautiful description of the Trinity. it is still a mystery, but put so aptly:
There are thus three, not in status but in degree; not in substance, but in form; not in power, but in its manifestation.
~Calvin, Institutes 1.13.28

Next, a great summary for us to remember as he opens Chapter 14, part 1. Many errors would be avoided by keeping our curiosity at proper bay:
We cannot and should not go behind God's act of creation in our speculation.

And from that same section, a wonderful quip:
When a certain shameless fellow mockingly asked a pious old man what God had done before the creation of the world, the latter aptly countered that he had been building hell for the curious.

And these lovely and true words conclude Chapter 14:
To conclude once for all, whenever we call God the Creator of heaven and earth, let us at the same time bear in mind that the dispensation of all those things which he had made is in his own hand and power and that we are indeed his children, whom he has received into faithful protection to nourish and educate. We are therefore to await the fullness of all good things from him alone and to trust completely that he will never leave us destitute of what we need for salvation, and to hang our hopes on none but him! We are also, therefore, to petition him for whatever we desire; and we are to recognize as a blessing from him, and thankfully to acknowledge every benefit that falls to our share. So, invited by the great sweetness of his beneficence and goodness, let us study to love and serve him with all our heart.

Amen and amen.

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