Friday, July 17, 2015

Calvin on The Great Exchange

From Calvin's 1541 French edition of the Institutes of the Christian Religion comes this tasty morsel:
We clearly see how people are devoid and stripped of all good, and how they lack all that pertains to their salvation. That is why, if a person wants something to help him in his need, he must go outside himself and seek his help elsewhere. . . . Our Lord presents Himself freely to us in His Son Jesus Christ, offering us in Him all happiness in place of our misery, all abundance in place of our poverty, and opening to us in Him all His heavenly treasures and riches so that all our faith may look to His very dear Son, all our expectation may be in Him, and all our hope may rest on him. This is a secret, a hidden philosophy which cannot be understood by syllogisms; but those people understand it whose eyes our Lord has opened in order that in His light they may see clearly. We are taught by faith to know that all the good we need and which we lack in ourselves is in God and in His Son our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom the Father has established all the fullness of His blessings and abundance so that we may draw everything from there as from a very full fountain. Now it remains for us to see in Him and, by prayers, ask from Him what we have learned is there. For otherwise to know God as the Master, Author, and Giver of all good who invites us to ask them from Him, and for us not to address Him, not to ask anything from Him, would not benefit us at all. It would be as if someone disdained and left buried and hidden under the earth a treasure about which he had been told."

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