Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion (Battles Edition) Vol. II


Puritan Board Graduate
Chapter XX: 2. The necessity of prayer, pg. 851:
It is, therefore, by the benefit of prayer that we reach those riches which are laid up for us with the Heavenly Father. For there is a communion of men with God by which, having entered the heavenly sanctuary, they appeal to him in person concerning his promises in order to experience, where necessity so demands, that what they believed was not vain, although he had promised it in word alone. Therefore we see that to us nothing is promised to be expected from the Lord, which we are not also bidden to ask of him in prayers. So true is it that we dig up by prayer the treasures that were pointed out by the Lord’s gospel, and which our faith has gazed upon. Words fail to explain how necessary prayer is, and how many ways the exercise of prayer is profitable. Surely, with good reason, the heavenly father affirms, that the only strong hold of safety isn’t calling upon his name. Words fail to explain how necessary prayer is, and in how many ways the exercise of prayer is profitable. Surely, with good reason the Heavenly Father affirms that the only stronghold of safety is in calling upon his name [cf. Joel 2:32].
Chapter XX: 17. Prayer in the name of Jesus, pg. 874 - 875:
For a soon as God’s dread majesty comes to mind, we cannot but tremble and be driven far away by the recognition of our own unworthiness, until Christ comes forward as intermediary, to change the throne of dreadful glory into the throne of grace. As the apostle also teaches how we should dare with all confidence to appear, to receive mercy, and to find grace in timely help [Heb. 4:16]. And as a rule has been established to call upon God, and a promise given that those who call upon him shall be heard, so too we are particularly bidden to call upon him in Christ’s name; and we have the promise made that we shall obtain what we asked in his name. “Hitherto,” he says, “you have asked nothing in my name; ask and you will receive.” [John 16:24, Comm.] “In that day you will ask in my name” [John 16:26, Vg.], and “whatever you ask . . . I will do it that the Father may be glorified in the Son” [John 14:13, cf. Comm. and Vg.].
Chapter XX: 42. The second petition, pg. 905:
Therefore God sets up his Kingdom by humbling the whole world, but in different ways. For he tames the wantonness of some, breaks the untamable pride of others. We must daily desire that God gather churches unto himself from all parts of the earth; that he spread and increase them in number; that he adorn them with gifts; that he establish a lawful order among them; on the other hand, that he cast down all enemies of pure teaching and religion; that he scatter their councils and crush their efforts.
Chapter XXI: 5. Predestination and foreknowledge of God; the election of Israel, pg. 926:
When we attribute foreknowledge to God, we mean that all things always were, and perpetually remain, under his eyes, so that to his knowledge there is nothing future or past, but all things are present. And they are present in such a way that he not only conceives them through ideas, as we have before us those things which our minds remember, but he truly looks upon them and discerns them as things placed before him. And this foreknowledge is extended throughout the universe to every creature. We call predestination God’s eternal decree, by which he compacted with himself what he willed to become of each man. For all are not created in equal condition; rather, eternal life is foreordained for some, eternal damnation for others. Therefore, as any man has been created to one or the other of these ends, we speak of him as predestined to life or to death.
Chapter XXI: 7. The election of individuals as actual election, pg. 930:
Summary survey of the doctrine of election

As Scripture, then, clearly shows, we say that God once established by his eternal and unchangeable plan those whom he long before determined once for all to receive into salvation, and those whom, on the other hand, he would devote to destruction. We assert that, with respect to the elect, this plan was founded upon his freely given mercy, without regard to human worth; but by his just and irreprehensible but incomprehensible judgment he has barred the door of life to those whom he has given over to damnation.
Chapter XXIII: 5. God’s hidden decreee is not to be searched out but obediently marveled at, pg. 952-953:
With Augustine I say: the Lord has created those whom he unquestionably foreknew would go to destruction. This has happened because he has so willed it. But why he so willed, it is not for our reason to inquire, for we cannot comprehend it. And it is not fitting that God’s will should be dragged down into controversy among us, for when ever mention is made of it, under its name is designated the supreme rule of righteousness. Why raise any question of unrighteousness where righteousness clearly appears? And let us not be ashamed, following Paul’s example, to stop the mouths of the wicked, and whenever they dare to rail, repeat the same thing: “Who are you, miserable men, to make accusation against God?” [Rom. 9:20 p.]. Why do you, then, accuse him because he does not temper the greatness of his works to your ignorance? As if these things were wicked because they are hidden from flesh! It is known to you by clear evidence that the judgments of God are beyond measure. You know that they are called a ”great deep” [Ps. 36:6].
Chapter XXV: 1. Importance of and hinderances to the resurrection hope, pg. 988
When, therefore, with our eyes fast fixed on Christ we wait upon heaven, and nothing on earth hinders them from bearing us to the promised blessedness, the statement is truly fulfilled “that where our treasure is, our heart is” [Matt. 6:21]. Hence arises the fact that faith is so rare in this world: nothing is harder for our slowness than to climb over innumerable obstacles in “pressing on toward the goal of the upper call” [Phil. 3:14]. To the huge mass of miseries that almost overwhelms us are added the jests of profane man, which assail our innocence when we, willingly renouncing the allurements of present benefits, seem to strive after a blessedness hidden from us as if it were a fleeting shadow. Finally, above and below us, before us and behind, violent temptations besiege us, which our minds would be quite unable to sustain, were they not freed of earthly things and bound to the heavenly life, which appears to be far away. Accordingly, he alone has fully profited in the gospel who has accustomed himself to continual meditation upon the blessed resurrection.
Chapter XXV: 10. Everlasting blessedness, pg. 1005:
We should regard as above all controversy the teaching of Scripture that, just as God, variously distributing his gifts to the saints in this world, beams upon them unequally, so there will not be an equal measure of glory, in heaven, where God shall crown his own gifts.
11. Disposing of superfluous question, pg. 1006:
But as all the pious will accept this with one accord, because it is sufficiently attested by the Word of God, so on the other hand, bidding farewell to thorny questions which they know to be a hindrance, they will not transgress the limits set. As far as I am concerned, I’m not only refrain personally from superfluous investigation of useless matters, but I also think that I ought to guard against contributing to the levity of others by answering them. Men hungry for empty learning inquire how great the difference will be between prophets and apostles, and again, between apostles and martyrs; by how many degrees virgins will differ from married women. In short, they leave no corner of heaven exempt from their search.
A little longer quote but a solid reminder of the glory we behold in faithful preaching during gathered public worship.

Book Four
Chapter I: 5. Education through the church, its value and its obligation, pg. 1018-1019:

Those who think the authority of the Word is dragged down by the baseness of the men called to teach it disclose their own ungratefulness. For, among the many excellent gifts with which God has adorned the human race, it is a singular privilege that he designs to consecrate to himself the mouths and tongues of men in order that his voice may resound in them. Let us accordingly not in turn dislike to embrace obediently the doctrine of salvation put forth by his command and by his own mouth. For, although God’s power is not bound to outward means, he has nonetheless bound us to this ordinary manner of teaching. Fanatical men, refusing to hold fast to it, entangle themselves in many deadly snares. Many are lead either by pride, dislike, or rivalry to the conviction that they can profit enough from private reading and meditation; hence they despise public assemblies and deem preaching superfluous. But, since they do their utmost to sever or break the sacred bond of unity, no one escapes the just penalty of this unholy separation without bewitching himself with pestilent errors and foulest delusions. In order, then, that pure simplicity of faith may flourish among us, let us not be reluctant to use this exercise of religion which God, by ordaining it, has shown us to be necessary and highly approved. No one–not even a fanatical beast–ever existed who would tell us to close our ears to God. But in every age the prophets and godly teachers have had a difficult struggle with the ungodly, who in their stubbornness can never submit to the yoke of being taught by human word and ministry. This is like blotting out the face of God which shines upon us in teaching. Believers were bidden of old to seek the face of God in the sanctuary [Ps. 105:4], as is oftentimes repeated in the law [Ps. 27:8; 100:2; 105:4; I Chron. 16:11; II Chron. 7:14] for no other reason than that for them the teaching of law and the exhortations of the prophets were a living image of God, just as Paul asserts that in his preaching the glory of God shines in the face of Christ [II Cor. 4:6].