(calvin, minor prophets. part 7)

the Jews, and mentions a particular kind of repentance. The beginning
of repentance we know is grief.


GRANT, Almighty God, that since thou hast been pleased to adopt us as
thy people, and from being thine enemies, profane and reprobate, to
make us the children of Abraham, that we might be unto thee a holy
heritage, - O grant, that through the whole course of our life we may
so repent as to attain unto thy mercy, which is daily set before us in
the gospel, and of which thou hast given us a sure pledge in the death
of thine only Son, so that we may become more and more humble before
thee, and labour to form our life according to the rule of thy
righteousness, and so loathe ourselves, that we may at the same time
be allured by the sweetness of thy goodness to call upon thee, and
that being thus united to thee, we may be more and more confirmed in
the faith, until at length we shall reach that blessed rest which has
been procured for us by the blood of Christ, thine only Son. Amen.

     Impure Worship Banished

           And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of
           hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of
           the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I
           will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out
           of the land. (Zech.13:2)

GOD cannot be rightly worshipped, except all corruptions, inconsistent
with his sincere and pure worship, be taken away. But we must at the
same time observe, that this effect is ascribed to God's word; for it
is that which can drive away and banish all the abominations of
falsehood, and whatever is uncongenial to true religion. As then, by
the rising of the sun darkness is put to flight, and all things appear
distinctly to the view, so also when God comes forth with the teaching
of his word, all the deceptions of Satan must necessarily be
dissipated. Whosoever then, desires to perform all the duties of a
good and faithful pastor, ought firmly to resolve, not only to abstain
from all impure doctrines and simply to assert what is true, but also
to detect all corruptions which are injurious to religion, to recover
men from the deceptions of Satan, and in short, avowedly to carry on
war with all superstitions. We may learn how much purity of doctrine
is approved by God, since he would have us feel a horror as at
something monstrous, whenever the name of an idol is mentioned. The
Church cannot be preserved in a pure state except the rashness of
those who pervert sound doctrine be restrained.


GRANT, Almighty God, that as thou hast been pleased to draw us at this
day by the light of thy gospel, out of that horrible darkness in which
we have been miserably immersed, and to render thy face so conspicuous
to us in the person of thine only-begotten Son, that nothing but our
ingratitude prevents us from being transformed into thy celestial
glory, - O grant that we may make such advances in the light of truth,
that every one of us may be ashamed of his former ignorance, and that
we may freely and ingenuously confess that we were lost sheep, until
we were brought back into the way of salvation by thy hand; and may we
thus proceed in the course of our holy calling until we shall at
length be all gathered into heaven, where not only that truth shall
give us light, which now rules us according to the capacity of our
flesh, but where also the splendour of thy glory shall shine in us,
and shall render us conformable to thine image, through Christ alone
our Lord. Amen.

     Saved by Grace

           I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast
           thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the
           LORD: yet I loved Jacob, (Mal.1:2)

WHEN God says that he loved the Jews, his object was to convict them
of ingratitude for having despised the singular favour bestowed on
them alone, rather than to press that authority which he possesses
over all mankind in common. The origin of all the excellency which
belonged to the posterity of Abraham is here ascribed to the
gratuitous love of God, according to what Moses often said, "Not
because ye excelled other nations, or were more in number, has God
honoured you with so many benefits, but because he loved your
fathers." We see that we differ from animals because God was pleased
to create us men. He therefore will justly charge us with ingratitude
if we do not serve him, for it was for this end he created us in his
own image. But there is here mentioned a special favour - that the
Lord took to himself the seed of Abraham, as it is said in the song of
Moses, that all nations are God's, but that he had cast his line to
set apart Israel for himself. Dent. 32: 9. By love he means gratuitous
favour. There is no reason for us to seek any other cause for adoption
except the will of God. God's free favour and gratuitous mercy
prevails as to individuals.


GRANT, Almighty God, that as thou hast been pleased to adopt us once
for all as thy people for this end, that we might be ingrafted, as it
were, into the body of thy Son, and so be made conformable to our
Head, - o grant that through our whole life we may strive to seal in
our hearts the faith of our election, that we may be the more
stimulated to render thee true obedience, and that thy glory may also
be made known through us; and those others also whom thou hast chosen
together with us may we labour to bring with us, that we may with one
accord celebrate thee as the Author of our salvation, and so ascribe
to thee the glory of thy goodness, that having cast away and renounced
all confidence in our own virtue, we may be led to Christ only as the
fountain of thy election, in whom also is set before us the certainty
of our salvation through thy gospel, until we shall at length be
gathered with him into that eternal glory which he has procured for us
by his own blood. Amen.

     The Calling of the Gentiles

           For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of
           the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in
           every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a
           pure offering: for my name shall be great among the
           heathen, saith the LORD of hosts. (Mal.1:11)

THE prophets promised to the Jews that the gentiles would become
allied to them; so does Zechariah, "In those days it shall come to
pass, that ten men shall take hold ... of the skirt of him that is a
Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with
you" (Zech. 8: 23). It would have been then the highest honour to the
Jews had they become teachers to all nations, so as to instruct them
in the true religion. So also Isaiah says that those who were before
aliens would become the disciples of the chosen people, so that they
would willingly submit to their teaching. But as the Jews have fallen
from their place, the gentiles have succeeded and occupied their
position; according to what Christ threatened to men of his age, "The
kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given to a nation bringing
forth the fruits thereof" (Matt. 21: 43). The calling of the gentiles
is here clearly proved, because the name of God cannot be great
without the teaching of the truth. It is therefore the same thing as
though the prophet had said that the law which had been given to the
Jews would be proclaimed among all nations.


GRANT, Almighty God, that since thou dost not keep us at this day
under the shadows of the law, by which thou didst train up the race of
Abraham, but invites us to a service far more excellent, even to
consecrate ourselves body and soul as victims to thee, and to offer
not only ourselves, but also sacrifices of praise and of prayer, as
thou hast consecrated all the duties of religion which thou requires
from us through Christ thy Son, - O grant, that we may seek true
purity and labour to render our services approved by thee by a real
sincerity of heart, and so reverently profess and call upon thy name
that it may be truly acknowledged as fulfilled in us, which thou hast
declared by thy prophet - that undoubtedly thy name shall be magnified
and celebrated throughout the whole world, as it was truly made known
to us in the very person of thine only-begotten Son. Amen.

     Christ's Forerunner

           Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the
           coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: (Mal.4:5)
THE prophet having testified to the Jews, that though God would for a
time suspend the course of prophetic teaching, they yet had in the law
what was sufficient for salvation, he now promises the renovation of
the Church, as though he had said, "The Lord will again unexpectedly
utter his voice after a long silence." Isaiah speaks on the same
subject prophesying of the retain of the people when he says, "Comfort
ye, comfort ye my people, will our God say." Isa. 40:1. At the same
time he shows that the time would come, when his purpose was to
confirm and seal all the prophesies by his only-begotten Son. Christ
himself said that John the Baptist was the Elijah who had been
promised. Matt. 11: 14. God intended to raise up John the Baptist for
the purpose of restoring his worship, as formerly he had raised up
Elijah, for at the time of Elijah, we know, that not only the truth
was corrupted, and the worship of God vitiated, but also that all
religion was well-nigh extinct, so that nothing pure and sound
remained. At the coming of Christ, though the Jews did not worship
idols, but retained some outward form of religion, yet the whole of
their religion was spurious, so that that time may truly be compared,
on account of its multiplied pollutions, to the age of Elijah.


GRANT, Almighty God, that as nothing has been omitted by thee to help
us onward in the course of our faith, and as our sloth is such that we
hardly advance one step though stimulated by thee, - O grant that we
may strive to profit more by the various helps which thou hast
provided for us, so that the law, the prophets, the voice of John the
Baptist, and especially the doctrine of thine only-begotten Son, may
more fully awaken us, that we may not only hasten to him, but also
proceed constantly in this course, and persevere in it until we shall
at length obtain both the victory and the crown of our calling, as
thou hast promised an eternal inheritance reserved in heaven for all
who faint not, but wait for the coming of that great Redeemer. Amen.

(end, calvin, minor prophets)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-01: calmp-07.txt