(calvin, minor prophets. part 7) the Jews, and mentions a particular kind of repentance. The beginning of repentance we know is grief. Prayer 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. Prayer 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. Prayer 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. Prayer 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. Prayer 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 .