“What can this thought produce but comfort?” ~ J. Calvin

It’s remarkable, however, that many who brag about being a Christian are possessed by dread rather than longing for death. And so they tremble at the very mention of death, as it is were an ominous and disastrous thing. It is, of course, ordinary that our natural senses should react to the news of our own undoing. But it’s entirely inappropriate that Christians should lack within themselves the light of piety that conquers and suppresses fear by a stronger feeling of consolation.

If we remember that this unstable, vicious, corruptible, perishable, decaying, and rotten tabernacle of our flesh will be undone in order to be subsequently renewed in constant, perfect, incorruptible, and – in sum – heavenly glory, then faith will compel us to fervently desire that very death which nature dreads. If we remember that through death we are recalled from exile to dwell at home – indeed, our heavenly home – what can this thought produce but comfort?

Little-book-christian-life-calvinTaken from the fresh translation and edition of John Calvin’s short work on the Christian life,  A Little Book on the Christian Life (Reformation Trust, 2017). This is taken from chapter 4, “Meditation on Our Future Life”, where Calvin treats the sure hope of the believer for heaven, pp.101-102.