(Calvin, Genesis 1. part 9) and how quick its forgetfulness, we shall not wonder at God's severity in subduing it. If he admonishes in words, he is not heard; if he adds stripes, it avails but little; when it happens that he is heard, the flesh nevertheless perversely spurns the admonition. That obstinate hardness which, with all its power opposes itself to God, is worse than lasciviousness. If any one is naturally endued with such a gentle disposition that he does not disown the duty of submission to God, yet, having escaped from the hand of God, after one allowed sin, he will soon relapse, unless he be drawn back as by force. Wherefore, this general axiom is to be maintained, that all the sufferings to which the life of men is subject and obnoxious, are necessary exercises, by which God partly invites us to repentance, partly instructs us in humility, and partly renders us more cautious and more attentive in guarding against the allurements of sin for the future. "Till thou return." He denounces that the termination of a miserable life shall be death; as if he would say, that Adam should at length come, through various and continued kinds of evil, to the last evil of all. Thus is fulfilled what we said before, that the death of Adam had commenced immediately from the day of his transgression. For this accursed life of man could be nothing else than the beginning of death. 'But where then is the victory over the serpent, if death occupies the last place? For the words seem to have no other signification, than that man must be ultimately crushed by death. Therefore, since death leaves nothing to Adam, the promise recently given fails; to which may be added, that the hope of being restored to a state of salvation was most slender and obscure.' Truly I do not doubt that these terrible words would grievously afflict minds already dejected, from other causes, by sorrow. But since, though astonished by their sudden calamity, they were yet not deeply affected with the knowledge of sin; it is not wonderful that God persisted the more in reminding them of their punishment, in order that he might beat them down, as with reiterated blows. Although the consolation offered be in itself obscure and feeble, God caused it to be sufficient for the support of their hope, lest the weight of their affliction should entirely overwhelm them. In the meantime, it was necessary that they should be weighed down by a mass of manifold evils, until God should have reduced them to true and serious repentance. Moreover, whereas death is here put as the final issue, this ought to be referred to man; because in Adam himself nothing but death will be found; yet, in this way, he is urged to seek a remedy in Christ. "For dust thou art." Since what God here declares belongs to man's nature, not to his crime or fault, it might seem that death was not superadded as adventitious to him. And therefore some understand what was before said, 'Thou shalt die,' in a spiritual sense; thinking that, even if Adam had not sinned, his body must still have been separated from his soul. But, since the declaration of Paul is clear, that 'all die in Adams as they shall rise again in Christ,' (1 Cor. 15: 22,) this wound also was inflicted by sin. Nor truly is the solution of the question difficult,-- 'Why God should pronounce, that he who was taken from the dust should return to it.' For as soon as he had been raised to a dignity so great, that the glory of the Divine Image shone in him, the terrestrial origin of his body was almost obliterated. Now, however, after he had been despoiled of his divine and heavenly excellence, what remains but that by his very departure out of life, he should recognize himself to be earth? Hence it is that we dread death, because dissolution, which is contrary to nature, cannot naturally be desired. Truly the first man would have passed to a better life, had he remained upright; but there would have been no separation of the soul from the body, no corruption, no kind of destruction, and, in short, no violent change. 20. "And Adam called, &c." There are two ways in which this may be read. The former, in the pluperfect tense, 'Adam had called.' If we follow this reading, the sense of Moses will be, that Adam had been greatly deceived, in promising life to himself and to his posterity, from a wife, whom he afterwards found by experience to be the introducer of death. And Moses (as we have seen) is accustomed, without preserving the order of the history, to subjoin afterwards things which had been prior in point of time. If, however we read the passage in the preterite tense, it may be understood either in a good or bad sense. There are those who think that Adam, animated by the hope of a more happy condition, because God had promised that the head of the serpent should be wounded by the seed of the woman, called her by a name implying life.' This would be a noble and even heroic fortitude of mind; since he could not, without an arduous and difficult struggle, deem her the mother of the living, who, before any man could have been born, had involved all in eternal destruction. But, because I fear lest this conjecture should be weak, let the reader consider whether Moses did not design rather to tax Adam with thoughtlessness, who being himself immersed in death, yet gave to his wife so proud a name. Nevertheless, I do not doubt that, when he heard the declaration of God concerning the prolongation of life, he began again to breathe and to take courage; and then, as one revived, he gave his wife a name derived from life; but it does not follow, that by a faith accordant with the word of God, he triumphed, as he ought to have done, over death. I therefore thus expound the passage; as soon as he had escaped present death, being encouraged by a measure of consolation, he celebrated that divine benefit which, beyond all expectation, he had received, in the name he gave his wife. 21. "Unto Adam also, and to his wife, did the Lord God make, &c." Moses here, in a homely style, declares that the Lord had undertaken the labour of making garments of skins for Adam and his wife. It is not indeed proper so to understand his words, as if God had been a furrier, or a servant to sew clothes. Now, it is not credible that skins should have been presented to them by chance; but, since animals had before been destined for their use, being now impelled by a new necessity, they put some to death, in order to cover themselves with their skins, having been divinely directed to adopt this counsel; therefore Moses calls God the Author of it. The reason why the Lord clothed them with garments of skin appears to me to be this: because garments formed of this material would have a more degrading appearance than those made of linen or of woolen. God therefore designed that our first parents should, in such a dress, behold their own vileness,--just as they had before seen it in their nudity,--and should thus be reminded of their sin. In the meantime, it is not to be denied, that he would propose to us an example, by which he would accustom us to a frugal and inexpensive mode of dress. And I wish those delicate persons would reflect on this, who deem no ornament sufficiently attractive, unless it exceed in magnificence. Not that every kind of ornament is to be expressly condemned; but because when immoderate elegance and splendour is carefully sought after, not only is that Master despised, who intended clothing to be a sign of shame, but war is, in a certain sense, carried on against nature. 22. "Behold, the man is become as one of us." An ironical reproof, by which God would not only prick the heart of man, but pierce it through and through. He does not, however, cruelly triumph over the miserable and afflicted; but, according to the necessity of the disease, applies a more violent remedy. For, though Adam was confounded and astonished at his calamity, he yet did not so deeply reflect on its cause as to become weary of his pride, that he might learn to embrace true humility. We may add, that God inveighed, by this irony, not more against Adam himself then against his posterity, for the purpose of commending modesty to all ages. The particle, "Behold," denotes that the sentence is pronounced upon the cause then in hand. And, truly, it was a sad and horrid spectacle; that he, in whom recently the glory of the Divine image was shining, should lie hidden under fetid skins to cover his own disgrace, and that there should be more comeliness in a dead animal than in a living man! The clause which is immediately added, "To know good and evil," describes the cause of so great misery, namely, that Adam, not content with his condition, had tried to ascend higher than was lawful; as if it had been said, 'See now whither thy ambition and thy perverse appetite for illicit knowledge have precipitated thee.' Yet the Lord does not even deign to hold converse with him, but contemptuously draws him forth, for the sake of exposing him to greater infamy. Thus was it necessary for his iron pride to be beaten down, that he might at length descend into himself, and become more and more displeased with himself. "One of us." Some refer the plural number here used to the angels, as if God would make a distinction between man, who is an earthly and despised animal, and celestial beings; but this exposition seems farfetched. The meaning will be more simple if thus resolved, 'After this, Adam will be so like Me, that we shall become companions for each other.' The argument which Christians draw from this passage for the doctrine of the three Persons in the Godhead is, I fear, not sufficiently firm. There is not, indeed, the same reason for it as in the former passage, "Let us make man in our image," since here Adam is included in the word Us; but, in the other place, a certain distinction in the essence of God is expressed. "And now, lest, &c." There is a defect in the sentence which I think ought to be thus supplied: 'It now remains that in future, he be debarred from the fruit of the tree of life;' for by these words Adam is admonished that the punishment to which he is consigned shall not be that of a moment, or of a few days, but that he shall always be an exile from a happy life. They are mistaken who think this also to be an irony; as if God were denying that the tree would prove advantageous to man, even though he might eat of it; for he rather, by depriving him of the symbol, takes also away the thing signified. We know what is the efficacy of sacraments; and it was said above that the tree was given as a pledge of life. Wherefore, that he might understand himself to be deprived of his former life, a solemn excommunication is added; not that the Lord would cut him off from all hope of salvation, but, by taking away what he had given, would cause man to seek new assistance elsewhere. Now, there remained an expiation in sacrifices, which might restore him to the life he had lost. Previously, direct communication with God was the source of life to Adam; but, from the moment in which he became alienated from God, it was necessary that he should recover life by the death of Christ, by whose life he then lived. It is indeed certain, that man would not have been able, had he even devoured the whole tree, to enjoy life against the will of God; but God, out of respect to his own institution, connects life with the external sign, till the promise should be taken away from it; for there never was any intrinsic efficacy in the tree; but God made it life-giving, so far as he had sealed his grace to man in the use of it, as, in truths he represents nothing to us with false signs, but always speaks to us, as they say, with effect. In short, God resolved to wrest out of the hands of man that which was the occasion or ground of confidence, lest he should form for himself a vain hope of the perpetuity of the life which he had lost. 23. "Therefore the Lord God sent him forth." Here Moses partly prosecutes what he had said concerning the punishment inflicted on man, and partly celebrates the goodness of God, by which the rigour of his judgment was mitigated. God mercifully softens the exile of Adam, by still providing for him a remaining home on earth, and by assigning to him a livelihood from the culture--although the labourious culture--of the ground; for Adam thence infers that the Lord has some care for him, which is a proof of paternal love. Moses, however, again speaks of punishment, when he relates that man was expelled and that cherubim were opposed with the blade of a turning sword, which should prevent his entrance into the garden. Moses says that the cherubim were placed in the eastern region, on which side, indeed, access lay open to man, unless he had been prohibited. It is added, to produce terror, that the sword was turning or sharpened on both sides. Moses, however, uses a word derived from whiteness or heat. Therefore, God having granted life to Adam, and having supplied him with food, yet restricts the benefit, by causing some tokens of Divine wrath to be always before his eyes, in order that he might frequently reflect that he must pass through innumerable miseries, through temporal exile, and through death itself, to the life from which he had fallen; for what we have said must be remembered, that Adam was not so dejected as to be left without hope of pardon. He was banished from that royal palace of which he had been the lord, but he obtained elsewhere a place in which he might dwell; he was bereft of his former delicacies, yet he was still supplied with some kind of food; he was excommunicated from the tree of life, but a new remedy was offered him in sacrifices. Some expound the 'turning sword' to mean one which does not always vibrate with its point directed against man, but which sometimes shows the side of the blade, for the purpose of giving place for repentance. But allegory is unseasonable, when it was the determination of God altogether to exclude man from the garden, that he might seek life elsewhere. As soon, however, as the happy fertility and pleasantness of the place was destroyed, the terror of the sword became superfluous. By cherubim, no doubt, Moses means angels and in this accommodates himself to the capacity of his own people. God had commanded two cherubim to be placed at the ark of the covenant, which should overshadow its covering, with their wings; therefore he is often said to sit between the cherubim. That he would have angels depicted in this form, was doubtless granted as an indulgence to the rudeness of that ancient people; for that age needed puerile instructions, as Paul teaches, (Gal. 4: 3;) and Moses borrowed thence the name which he ascribed to angels, that he might accustom men to that kind of revelation which he had received from God, and faithfully handed down; for God designed, that what he knew would prove useful to the people, should be revealed in the sanctuary. And certainly this method is to be observed by us, in order that we, conscious of one own infirmity may not attempt, without assistance, to soar to heaven; for otherwise it will happen that, in the midst of our course, all our senses will fail. The ladders and vehicles, then, were the sanctuary, the ark of the covenants the altar, the table and its furniture. Moreover, I call them vehicles and ladders, because symbols of this kind were by no means ordained that the faithful might shut up God in a tabernacle as in a prison, or might attach him to earthly elements; but that, being assisted by congruous and apt means, they might themselves rise towards heaven. Thus David and Hezekiah, truly endued with spiritual intelligence, were far from entertaining those gross imaginations, which would fix God in a given place. Still they do not scruple to call upon God, who sitteth or dwelleth between the cherubim, in order that they may retain themselves and others under the authority of the law. Finally, In this place angels are called cherubim, for the same reason that the name of the body of Christ is transferred to the sacred bread of the Lord's Supper. With respect to the etymology, the Hebrews themselves are not agreed. The most generally received opinion is, that the first letter, "caf" is a servile letter, and a note of similitude, and, therefore, that the word cherub is of the same force as if it were said, 'like a boy.' But because Ezekiel, who applies the word in common to different figures, is opposed to this signification; they think more rightly, in my judgment, who declare it to be a general name. Nevertheless, that it is referred to angels is more than sufficiently known. Whence also Ezekiel (28: 14) signalizes the proud king of Tyre with this title, comparing him to a chief angel. Chapter IV. 1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. 8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. 9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where [is] Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: [Am] I my brother's keeper? 10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. 11 And now [art] thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; 12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. 13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment [is] greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, [that] every one that findeth me shall slay me. 15 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. 16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. 17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. 18 And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech. 19 And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one [was] Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. 20 And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and [of such as have] cattle. 21 And his brother's name [was] Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. 22 And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain [was] Naamah. 23 And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. 24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold. 25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, [said she], hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. 26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD. 1. "And Adam knew his wife Eve." Moses now begins to describe the propagation of mankind; in which history it is important to notice that this benediction of God, "Increase and multiply," was not abolished by sin; and not only so, but that the heart of Adam was divinely confirmed so that he did not shrink with horror from the production of offspring. And as Adam recognised, in the very commencement of having offspring, the truly paternal moderation of God's anger, so was he afterwards compelled to taste the bitter fruits of his own sin, when Cain slew Abel. But let us follow the narration of Moses. Although Moses does not state that Cain and Abel were twins it yet seems to me probable that they were so; for, after he has said that Eve, by her first conception, brought forth her firstborn, he soon after subjoins that she also bore another; and thus, while commemorating a double birth, he speaks only or one conception. Let those who think differently enjoy their own opinion; to me, however it appears accordant with reason, when the world had to be replenished with inhabitants, that not only Cain and Abel should have been brought forth at one births but many also afterwards, both males and females. "I have gotten a man." The word which Moses uses signifies both to acquire and to possess; and it is of little consequence to the present context which of the two you adopt. It is more important to inquire why she says that she has received, "eth Yehovah". Some expound it, 'with the Lord;' that is, 'by the kindness, or by the favour, of the Lord;' as if Eve would refer the accepted blessing of offspring to the Lord, as it is said in Psalm 127: 3, "The fruit of the womb is the gift of the Lord." A second interpretation comes to the same point, 'I have possessed a man from the Lord;' and the version of Jerome is of equal force, 'Through the Lord.' These three readings, I say, tend to this point, that Eve gives thanks to God for having begun to raise up a posterity through her, though she was deserving of perpetual barrenness, as well as of utter destruction. Others, with greater subtlety, expound the words, 'I have gotten the man of the Lord;' as if Eve understood that she already possessed that conqueror of the serpent, who had been divinely promised to her. Hence they celebrate the faith of Eve, because she embraced, by faith, the promise concerning the bruising of the head of the devil through her seed; only they think that she was mistaken in the person or the individual, seeing that she would restrict to Cain what had been promised concerning Christ. To me, however, this seems to be the genuine sense, that while Eve congratulates herself on the birth of a son, she offers him to God, as the first-fruits of his race. Therefore, I think it ought to be translated, 'I have obtained a man from the Lord', which approaches more nearly the Hebrew phrase. Moreover, she calls a newborn infant a man, because she saw the human race renewed, which both she and her husband had ruined by their own fault. 2. "And she again bare his brother Abel." It is well known whence the name of Cain is deduced, and for what reason it was given to him. For his mother said, "kaniti", I have gotten a man; and therefore she called his name Cain. The same explanation is not given with respect to Abel. The opinion of some, that he was so called by his mother out of contempt, as if he would prove superfluous and almost useless, is perfectly absurd; for she remembered the end to which her fruitfulness would lead; nor had she forgotten the benediction, "Increase and multiply." We should (in my judgment) more correctly infer that whereas Eve had testified, in the name given to her firstborn, the joy which suddenly burst upon her, and celebrated the grace of God; she afterwards, in her other offspring, returned to the recollection of the miseries of the human race. And certainly, though the new blessing of God was an occasion for no common joy; yet, on the other hand, she could not look upon a posterity devoted to so many and great evils, of which she had herself been the cause, without the most bitter grief. Therefore, she wished that a monument of her sorrow should exist in the name she gave her second son; and she would, at the same time, hold up a common mirror, by which she might admonish her whole progeny of the vanity of man. That some censure the judgment of Eve as absurd, because she regarded her just and holy sons as worthy to be rejected in comparison with her other wicked and abandoned son, is what I do not approve. For Eve had reason why she should congratulate herself in her firstborn; and no blame attaches to her for having proposed, in her second son, a memorial to herself and to all others, of their own vanity, to induce them to exercise themselves in diligent reflection on their own evils. "And Abel was a keeper of sheep." Whether both the brothers had married wives, and each had a separate home, Moses does not relate. This therefore, remains to us in uncertainty, although it is probable that Cain was married before he slew his brother; since Moses soon after adds, that he knew his wife, and begot children: and no mention is there made of his marriage. Both followed a kind of life in itself holy and laudable. For the cultivation of the earth was commanded by God; and the labour of feeding sheep was not less honorable than useful; in short, the whole of rustic life was innocent and simple, and most of all accommodated to the true order of nature. This, therefore, is to be maintained in the first place, that both exercised themselves in labours approved by God, and necessary to the common use of human life. Whence it is inferred, that they had been well instructed by their father. The rite of sacrificing more fully confirms this; because it proves that they had been accustomed to the worship of God. The life of Cain, therefore, was, in appearance, very well regulated; inasmuch as he cultivated the duties of piety towards God, and sought a maintenance for himself and his, by honest and just labour, as became a provident and sober father of a family. Moreover, it will be here proper to recall to memory what we have before said, that the first men, though they had been deprived of the sacrament of divine love, when they were prohibited from the tree of life, had yet been only so deprived of it, that a hope of salvation was still left to them, of which they had the signs in sacrifices. For we must remember, that the custom of sacrificing was not rashly devised by them, but was divinely delivered to them. For since the Apostle refers the dignity of Abel's accepted sacrifice to faith, it follows, first, that he had not offered it without the command of God, (Heb. 11: 4.) Secondly, it has been true from the beginning, of the world, that obedience is better than any sacrifices, (1 Sam. 15: 22,) and is the parent of all virtues. Hence it also follows that man had been taught by God what was pleasing to Him. thirdly, since God has been always like himself, we may not say that he was ever delighted with mere carnal and external worship. Yet he deemed those sacrifices of the first age acceptable. It follows, therefore, further, that they had been spiritually offered to him: that is, that the holy fathers did not mock him with empty ceremonies, but comprehended something more sublime and secret; which they could not have done without divine instruction. For it is interior truth alone which, in the external signs, distinguishes the genuine and rational worship of God from that which is gross and superstitious. And, certainly, they could not sincerely devote their mind to the worship of God, unless they had been assured of his benevolence; because voluntary reverence springs from a sense of, and confidence in, his goodness; but, on the other hand, whosoever regards God s hostile to himself, is compelled to flee from him with very fear and horror. We see then that God, when he takes away the tree of life, in which he had first given the pledge of his grace, proves and declares himself to be propitious to man by other means. Should anyone object, that all nations have had their own sacrifices, and that in these there was no pure and solid religion, the solution is ready: namely, that mention is here made of such sacrifices as are lawful and approved by God; of which nothing but an adulterated imitation afterwards descended to the Gentiles. For although nothing but the word "minchah", is here placed, which properly signifies a gift, and therefore is extended generally to every kind of oblation; yet we may infer, for two reasons, that the command respecting sacrifice was given to the fathers from the beginning; first, for the purpose of making the exercise of piety common to all, seeing they professed themselves to be the property of God, and esteemed all they possessed as received from him; and, secondly, for the purpose of admonishing them of the necessity of some expiation in order to their reconciliation with God. When each offers something of his property, there is a solemn giving of thanks, as if he would testify by his present act that he owes to God whatever he possesses. But the sacrifice of cattle and the effusion of blood contains something further, namely, that the offerer should have death before his eyes; and should, nevertheless, believe in God as propitious to him. Concerning the sacrifices of Adam no mention is made. 4. "And the Lord had respect unto Abel, &c." God is said to have respect unto the man to whom he vouchsafes his favour. We must, however, notice the order here observed by Moses; for he does not simply state that the worship which Abel had paid was pleasing to God, but he begins with the person of the offerer; by which he signifies, that God will regard no works with favour except those the doer of which is already previously accepted and approved by him. And no wonder; for man sees things which are apparent, but God looks into the heart, (1 Sam. 16: 7;) therefore, he estimates works no otherwise than as they proceed from the fountain of the heart. Whence also it happens, that he not only rejects but abhors the sacrifices of the wicked, however splendid they may appear in the eyes of men. For if he, who is polluted in his soul, by his mere touch contaminates, with his own impurities, things otherwise pure and clean, how can that but be impure which proceeds from himself? When God repudiates the feigned righteousness in which the Jews were glorying, he objects, through his Prophet, that their hands were "full of blood," (Isaiah 1: 15.) For the same reason Haggai contends against the hypocrites. The external appearance, therefore, of works, which may delude our too carnal eyes, vanishes in the presence of God. Nor were even the heathens ignorant of this; whose poets, when they speak with a sober and well-regulated mind of the worship of God, require both a clean heart and pure hands. Hence, even among all nations, is to be traced the solemn rite of washing before sacrifices. Now seeing that in another place, the Spirit testifies, by the mouth of Peter, that 'hearts are purified by faith,' (Acts 15: 9;) and seeing that the purity of the holy patriarchs was of the very same kind, the apostle does not in vain infer, that the offering of Abel was, by faith, more excellent than that of Cain. Therefore, in the first place, we must hold, that all works done before faith, whatever splendour of righteousness may appear in them, were nothing but mere sins, being defiled from their roots, and were offensive to the Lord, whom nothing can please without inward purity of heart. I wish they who imagine that men, by their own motion of freewill, are rendered meet to receive the grace of God, would reflect on this. Certainly, no controversy would then remain on the question, whether God justifies men gratuitously, and that by faith? For this must be received as a settled point, that, in the judgment of God, no respect is had to works until man is received into favour. Another point appears equally certain; since the whole human race is hateful to God, there is no other way of reconciliation to divine favour than through faith. Moreover, since faith is a gratuitous gift of God, and a special illumination of the Spirit, then it is easy to infer, that we are prevented by his mere grace, just as if he had raised us from the dead. In which sense also Peter says, that it is God who purifies the hearts by faith. For there would be no agreement of the fact with the statement, unless God had so formed faith in the hearts of men that it might be truly deemed his gift. It may now be seen in what way purity is the effect of faith. It is a vapid and trifling philosophy, to adduce this as the cause of purity, that men are not induced to seek God as their rewarder except by faith. They who speak thus entirely bury the grace of God, which his Spirit chiefly commends. Others also speak coldly, who teach that we are purified by faiths only on account of the gift of regenerations in order that we may be accepted of God. For not only do they omit half the truth, but build without a foundation; since, on account of the curse on the human race, it became necessary that gratuitous reconciliation should precede. Again, since God never so regenerates his people in this world, that they can worship him perfectly; no work of man can possibly be acceptable without expiation. And to this point the ceremony of legal washing belongs, in order that men may learn, that as often as they wish to draw near unto God, purity must be sought elsewhere. Wherefore God will then at length have respect to our obedience, when he looks upon us in Christ. 5. "But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect." It is not to be doubted, that Cain conducted himself as hypocrites are accustomed to do; namely, that he wished to appease God, as one discharging a debt, by external sacrifices, without the least intention of dedicating himself to God. But this is true worship, to offer ourselves as spiritual sacrifices to God. When God sees such hypocrisy, combined with gross and manifest (continued in part 10...) --------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-01/cvgn1-09.txt .