Calvin's Calvinism : Treatises on 'The Eternal by John Calvin

By John Calvin

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Our very modest ( ! " Now this is the very fact which, by the plainest proof, he forces us to declare concerning himself, so lawlessly does he twist and pervert the whole context of the Apostle Paul. And when he exhorts his readers to hold themselves obedient to the Church, in the interpretation of all such difficult passages of Scripture, he should have me a seconder of his grave admonition, if he would shew to his readers, as the Church, a sheepfold of Christ, and not a stinking sty of swine !

It thus proceeds: " What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? " Now, either this supposed objection is introduced without any reason whatever, or else the doctrine of Paul gives no place for works foreseen. For what suspicion of injustice can possibly be conceived where God offers grace equally to all, and permits those who become worthy of it to enjoy it? In a word, when these objectors place the cause of election or reprobation in the works of men's coming lives, they seem to escape and to solve, quite to their own satisfaction, this very question which Paul supposes them to put in objection.

Pighius, under this view of the matter, pretends that the apostle declined to give a plain and pointed answer, because he did not deem impudent persons worthy of being conversed with; that they might rather learn to think humbly, than proudly to require a reason for the works of God. Just as we elsewhere read (says he) that the Jews, who asked Christ by what authority He did His works, were repelled by a like question only. But the words of Paul himself stand directly against such a supposition, for he afterwards curbs the insolence of all those who indulge an audacious curiosity in scrutinizing the secrets of God.

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