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Archive for the ‘Calvin's Institutes’ Category

"Lead us not into temptation"

… God tries in one way, Satan in another. Satan tempts that he may destroy, condemn, confound, cast down, but God, that by proving his own children he may make trial of their sincerity, and establish their strength by exercising it; that he may mortify, purify, and cauterize their flesh, which unless it were forced under this restraint would play the wanton and vaunt itself beyond measure. … To some it seems rough and harsh to ask God not to lead us into temptation, seeing that to tempt us is against his nature, as James so testifies [James 1:13]. But the question has already been partly solved, because our lust is properly the cause of all temptations that vanquish us [James 1:14], and therefore bears the blame. And James means only that it is futile and unjust to transfer to God those vices which we are compelled to impute to ourselves because we know ourselves to be guilty of them. But this does not prevent God, when it seems good to him, from turning us over to Satan, from casting us into a reprobate mind and foul desires, and from leading us into temptations, by a just but often secret judgment. For the cause has often been hidden from men, while it is certain with him. From this we gather it is not an improper expression …

Source: The sixth petition – Calvin’s Institutes, Book 3 Chapter 20 Section 46

Patient perseverance in prayer

Also, let us not tempt God and, wearying him with our depravity, provoke him against ourselves. This is usual with many who covenant with God only under certain conditions, and, as if he were the servant of their own appetites, bind him to laws of their own stipulation. If he does not obey them at once, they become indignant, grumble, protest, murmur, and rage at him. To such, therefore, he often grants in wrath and fury what in mercy he denies to others to whom he is favorable. The children of Israel supply proof of this, for whom it would have been much better not to be heard by the Lord than to swallow his wrath with their meat [Num. 11:18, 33].

Source: Patient perseverance in prayer – Calvin’s Institutes, Book 3 Chapter 20 Section 51

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… ignorance of Providence is the greatest of all miseries, and the knowledge of it the highest happiness.

source: John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion.

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Creation and the workings of providence are the theatre of God’s glory.

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Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid Wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves.

– Calvin’s Institutes, Book I, Chapter I, opening sentence.

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