Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sundays with Jean

Whenever you hear the word, "contrition," understand a wound of the heart that does not permit a man cast to the ground to be raised up. If you would, according to God's judgement, be exalted with the humble, your heart ought to be wounded with such contrition. If that does not happen, you will be humbled by God's powerful hand to your shame and disgrace.
~Jean Calvin, Institutes, III.7.6

Therefore, if we would five ear to Christ's call, away with all arrogance and complacency! Arrogance arises from a foolish persuasion of our own righteousness, when man thinks that he has something meritorious to commend him before God. Complacency can exist even without any belief in works. For many sinners are so drunk with the sweetness of their own vices that they think not upon God's judgement but lie dazed, as it were, in a sort of drowsiness, and do not aspire to the mercy offered to them....
Therefore we are ready to seize and grasp God's grace when we have utterly cast out confidence in oursleves and rely only on the assurance of his goodness-- "when," as Augustine says, "Forgetting our own merits, we embrace Christ's gifts."
~Jean Calvin, Institutes, III.7.8

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