The Prayers of J.Calvin (11)

JCalvin1We continue on this Sunday night our posts on the prayers of John Calvin (see my previous Sunday posts in Nov./Dec., 2014 and now in Jan./Feb.2015), which follow his lectures on the OT prophecy of Jeremiah. Tonight we post a brief section from his tenth lecture and the prayer that concludes it.

This lecture covers Jeremiah 2:36 – 3:3,which includes this powerful comment on chap.3:1 (really the whole section), where God rebukes Israel for her spiritual harlotry and yet shows Himself ready to forgive her and receive her in the way of her repentance. This is how Calvin concludes this part (slightly edited):

God then does not mean in this place [Calvin refers here to Isaiah 50:1, ‘Shew me the bill of your mother’s divorcement.’], that he had divorced the people; for that would have been wrong and unlawful, and could not have been consistent with the character of God.

But as I have already said, there is here a twofold comparison. ‘Though a husband should fastidiously send away his wife, and she through his fault should be led to contract another marriage, and become the partner of another, as though in contempt of him, he could hardly ever bear that indignity, and become reconciled to her: but ye have not been repudiated by me, but are like a perfidious woman, who shamefully prostitutes herself to all whom she may meet with; and yet I am ready to receive you, and to forget all your base conduct.’

We now then understand the import of the words.

And this is the prayer that ends this lecture:

Grant, Almighty God, that as thou hast been once pleased not only to adopt us as thy children, but also to unite us to thyself by the bond of marriage, and to give us a pledge of this sacred union in thine only-begotten Son, – O grant, that we may continue in the faith of thy Gospel, and so honestly keep the pledge given to thee, that thou mayest also show thyself to us as a Husband and as a Father, and that we may to the end find in thee that merciful kindness which is needful to retain us in the holy fear of thy name, until we shall at length enjoy fellowship with thee in thy celestial kingdom, through Christ our Lord. – Amen.

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