The Prayers of J.Calvin (8)

JCalvinPic1Continuing our posts on the prayers of John Calvin (see my previous Sunday posts in Nov./Dec., 2014 and now in Jan.2015), which follow his lectures on the OT prophecy of Jeremiah, today we post a brief section from his seventh lecture and the prayer that concludes it.

This lecture covers Jeremiah 2:20-24, which includes this comment on and application of v.20, where God rebukes His people for turning His sin-freeing grace into license to play the harlot:

That what the Prophet means may be more evident to us, let us remember what Paul teaches us in the sixth chapter of his Epistle to the Romans, – that while we serve sin we are free from righteousness; for we go astray after our lusts, and are restrained by no bridle: but when God really sets us free from the miserable bondage of sin, we begin to be his servants, and the servants of righteousness; for being freed from sin we become the servants of righteousness: and this is the end of our redemption.

But many turn the favour of God into an occasion for licentiousness, and thus abandon themselves, as though there was no law and no rule for a holy and upright life.

God complains that this was the case with the people of Israel: Thou hast said, I will not serve. ‘It is base ingratitude, that thou hast not in the first place regarded me as thy Redeemer; and that in the second place thou hast not considered that I dealt so kindly with thee for this very purpose – that thou mightest be mine: for he who has been redeemed by another’s kindness is no longer his own.’

At the end of this lecture comes this fitting prayer:

Grant, Almighty God,  that, as it pleased thee, when thou didst deliver us from the tyranny of Satan, to lay on our necks thy yoke: – O grant, that we may be influenced by the spirit of docility, and of obedience, and of meekness, and willingly submit ourselves to thee through the whole course of our life, so that thou mayest gather from us the fruit of thy redemption: and may we so renounce sin that we may devote ourselves to thy service, and become the servants of righteousness, until having finished the course of our warfare, we shall be gathered into that blessed rest, which has been obtained for us by the blood of thine only-begotten Son. -Amen

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