Is this a reliable source book by John Calvin

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SolaGratia

Puritan Board Junior
Is this book a reliable source work by John Calvin? In other words, is this translation really and directly from John Calvin?

Book: Calvin's Calvinism: God's Eternal Predestination and Secret Providence together with A Brief Reply and Reply to the Slandereports by John Calvin; translated by Henry Cole. Second Edition edited by Russell J. Dykstra of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America (prca). Published by Reformed Free Publishing Association (Reformed Free Publishing Association) a publication company of the http://www.prca.org/.

I only ask because this book is mainly used by Protestant Reformed folks as proof that Calvin did not held to the idea known as common grace. And it just so happen that this book is also published by them as well, which I think in someway makes it suspicious. For example, Ron Hanko, professor at Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary only uses this book in his blog (http://common-grace-considered.blogspot.com/prca.org) to quote Calvin:

A few quotations from Calvin will lay to rest the erroneous supposition that Calvin taught a well-meant gospel offer. (This quotation and the following quotes are taken from Calvin’s Calvinism: Treatises on the Eternal Predestination of God & the Secret Providence of God [Grand Rapids: RFPA, no date.] The book is a reprint of the edition first translated into English in 1859 by Henry Cole.


Thanks.
 

CharlieJ

Puritan Board Junior
Is this book a reliable source work by John Calvin? In other words, is this translation really and directly from John Calvin?

Book: Calvin's Calvinism: God's Eternal Predestination and Secret Providence together with A Brief Reply and Reply to the Slandereports by John Calvin; translated by Henry Cole. Second Edition edited by Russell J. Dykstra of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America (prca). Published by Reformed Free Publishing Association a publication company of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America.

Reformed Free Publishing Association

I only ask because this book is mainly used by Protestant Reformed folks as proof that Calvin did not held to the idea known as common grace. And it just so happen that this book is also published by them as well, which I think in someway makes it suspicious. For example, Ron Hanko, professor at Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary only uses this book in his blog (http://common-grace-considered.blogspot.com/prca.org) to quote Calvin:

A few quotations from Calvin will lay to rest the erroneous supposition that Calvin taught a well-meant gospel offer. (This quotation and the following quotes are taken from Calvin’s Calvinism: Treatises on the Eternal Predestination of God & the Secret Providence of God [Grand Rapids: RFPA, no date.] The book is a reprint of the edition first translated into English in 1859 by Henry Cole.


Thanks.

It's considered an academic standard. For example, Paul Helm quotes Calvin out of this book in his scholarly articles. I'm doing research in it right now, my Latin still being a bit too weak.
 

Wayne

Tempus faciendi, Domine.
That title's been around for quite some time now. It contains two works by Calvin:
part 1. A treatise on the eternal predestination of God.
& part 2. A defence of the secret providence of God.

Both works were translated by Henry Cole

1. London : Wertheim and Macintosh, 1856-1857

2. London: Sovereign Grace Union, 1927

3. Grand Rapids, Mich., W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1950

4. Grand Rapids, Mich. : W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1956

5. Grand Rapids, MI : Reformed Free Pub. Association, 1987

6. Jenison, MI : Reformed Free Pub. Association, 2009

7. Treatises on Predestination - Calvin
 

SolaGratia

Puritan Board Junior
Wayne,

From what your provided (Historic Church Documents at Reformed.org) there is found this:

Any publication of the works of the great reformer and teacher is its own best justification, and needs no explanation or apology. The reprinting of this little volume, however, has an interesting history. Until 1929 Calvin's Calvinism was virtually unknown in the United States. It had not been included in the Calvin Translation Society's classic set of the works of John Calvin, but had been separately translated by Henry Cole and published in England, but not in the United States. In 1927 it was reprinted in England by the Sovereign Grace Union, of which the Reverend Henry Atherton was General Secretary. In 1929 the late Reverend Herman Hoeksema visited Mr. Atherton in London and preached for him in Grove Chapel, Camberwell, London, on July 21. In remembrance of that occasion the Reverend Atherton presented the Reverend Hoeksema an inscribed copy of the book Calvin's Calvinism. That event became the occasion of this work of Calvin becoming better known among Reformed people in this country, partly through Herman Hoeksema writing about and referring to it. Later, upon the suggestion of a Protestant Reformed minister, the late Reverend Gerrit Vos, the late Mr. William B. Eerdmans, Sr. included this volume in 1950 in the republication of Calvin's works at that time.

Has this book by John Calvin (in English or Latin) ever been used by any other Reformed writer prior to 1856 or 1927?
 

RickyReformed

Puritan Board Freshman
Gil,

The Protestant Reformed did not translate this work but rather reprinted it. The original translation work was performed by Henry Cole in the mid 1800's. If you have any concerns regardning any editorial changes in the RFPA edition, you can consult the scanned copy of an 1856 edition found on Google Books.

Has this book by John Calvin (in English or Latin) ever been used by any other Reformed writer prior to 1856 or 1927?

I don't believe there was a previous English translation. Henry Cole certainly didn't either - from the translator's preface, pg xv, in the link found here:

It has been a matter of much wonder to the Translator, that no English versions of these important Treatises of Calvin—the present, and that of which notice is given at the commencement of the present volume, have ever appeared; for they embody the very faith, and testimony, and ministry of the prominent Reformer. It is surprising that none of those good and industrious men, who translated into English that invaluable and imperishable work, Luther " On the Galatians," and those other standard reformative productions, Luther " On the Psalms of Degrees," Luther's "Sermons," Calvin "On Job," and Dean Nowel's " Catechism," &c., &c., did not give the British Church an English version of the present Treatises. Yet so it is. No English Translation of these two productions has ever appeared till the present, and the (d.v.) immediately forthcoming publications.

That no English illegitimates ever undertook the duty of representing, in English, their pretended father, is no marvel at all. The work must have been by far too hot for them to undertake. Their labour would have condemned and consumed their religion, as fast as they proceeded. Calvin's truth would have crushed and annihilated their error; his light would have discovered and exposed their darkness; his life would have awe-struck their death ; and his holy fire would have consumed their graceless profession to ashes. No one, indeed, could faithfully and really translate Calvin, or Luther, or any other kindred servant of God, but a true participator in the religion of the original authors. One of a general acquaintance with the Latin, or French, or German languages of the original productions, might trans-vert the one language into another, but he could not trans-convey the mind, and most certainly could not trans-fuse, the saving spirit, of his author, whether Calvin or Luther. None could do this but a partaker of Calvin's or Luther's spirit, faith, and religion.
 
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SolaGratia

Puritan Board Junior
Gil,

The Protestant Reformed did not translate this work but rather reprinted it. The original translation work was performed by Henry Cole in the mid 1800's. If you have any concerns regardning any editorial changes in the RFPA edition, you can consult the scanned copy of an 1856 edition found on Google Books.

I am aware that this book is a re-publication.

I am now interested in finding out if this book has ever been quoted or used as a reference by any Reformed writer (i.e. the Puritans, Westminster Divines, John Owen, Francis Turretin, Richard Muller, Charles Spurgeon, etc.)???

-----Added 10/19/2009 at 09:44:09 EST-----

It has been a matter of much wonder to the Translator, that no English versions of these important Treatises of Calvin—the present, and that of which notice is given at the commencement of the present volume, have ever appeared; for they embody the very faith, and testimony, and ministry of the prominent Reformer. It is surprising that none of those good and industrious men, who translated into English that invaluable and imperishable work, Luther " On the Galatians," and those other standard reformative productions, Luther " On the Psalms of Degrees," Luther's "Sermons," Calvin "On Job," and Dean Nowel's " Catechism," &c., &c., did not give the British Church an English version of the present Treatises. Yet so it is. No English Translation of these two productions has ever appeared till the present, and the (d.v.) immediately forthcoming publications.

That no English illegitimates ever undertook the duty of representing, in English, their pretended father, is no marvel at all. The work must have been by far too hot for them to undertake. Their labour would have condemned and consumed their religion, as fast as they proceeded. Calvin's truth would have crushed and annihilated their error; his light would have discovered and exposed their darkness; his life would have awe-struck their death ; and his holy fire would have consumed their graceless profession to ashes. No one, indeed, could faithfully and really translate Calvin, or Luther, or any other kindred servant of God, but a true participator in the religion of the original authors. One of a general acquaintance with the Latin, or French, or German languages of the original productions, might trans-vert the one language into another, but he could not trans-convey the mind, and most certainly could not trans-fuse, the saving spirit, of his author, whether Calvin or Luther. None could do this but a partaker of Calvin's or Luther's spirit, faith, and religion.
[/QUOTE]

I agreed with the book and like what it says. However, I have my doubts about it as you can read from the above quote. What is missing is any historical usage (i.e. reference) of it from other any writer prior to 1856, in any language.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
I agreed with the book and like what it says. However, I have my doubts about it as you can read from the above quote. What is missing is any historical usage (i.e. reference) of it from other any writer prior to 1856, in any language.

That's not true at all. For instance, check Turretin IV.ix.xxx or IV.xvii.xxxvii.

What is it that has caused you to think that the work has not been referenced before 1856?
 
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SolaGratia

Puritan Board Junior
That was basically my question and search.

I wanted to know if this book by John Calvin was ever used as a reference prior to 1856.

Thanks for the reference and help.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
I was just curious what you meant by, "I have my doubts about it." In what respect?

The work was written in 1552 in the midst of the Bolsec controversy over predestination, and is written as an argument against four books of Pighius' de libero humanis arbitrio. It was published as representing the public position of the ministers of Geneva and was widely read.
 
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SolaGratia

Puritan Board Junior
Because of this from post #6:

It has been a matter of much wonder to the Translator, that no English versions of these important Treatises of Calvin—the present, and that of which notice is given at the commencement of the present volume, have ever appeared; for they embody the very faith, and testimony, and ministry of the prominent Reformer. It is surprising that none of those good and industrious men, who translated into English that invaluable and imperishable work, Luther " On the Galatians," and those other standard reformative productions, Luther " On the Psalms of Degrees," Luther's "Sermons," Calvin "On Job," and Dean Nowel's " Catechism," &c., &c., did not give the British Church an English version of the present Treatises. Yet so it is. No English Translation of these two productions has ever appeared till the present, and the (d.v.) immediately forthcoming publications.

That no English illegitimates ever undertook the duty of representing, in English, their pretended father, is no marvel at all. The work must have been by far too hot for them to undertake. Their labour would have condemned and consumed their religion, as fast as they proceeded. Calvin's truth would have crushed and annihilated their error; his light would have discovered and exposed their darkness; his life would have awe-struck their death ; and his holy fire would have consumed their graceless profession to ashes. No one, indeed, could faithfully and really translate Calvin, or Luther, or any other kindred servant of God, but a true participator in the religion of the original authors. One of a general acquaintance with the Latin, or French, or German languages of the original productions, might trans-vert the one language into another, but he could not trans-convey the mind, and most certainly could not trans-fuse, the saving spirit, of his author, whether Calvin or Luther. None could do this but a partaker of Calvin's or Luther's spirit, faith, and religion.
[/QUOTE]

I agreed with the book and like what it says. However, I have my doubts about it as you can read from the above quote. What is missing is any historical usage (i.e. reference) of it from other any writer prior to 1856, in any language.[/QUOTE]

I was looking for something prior to 1856 that will further substantiate the book by John Calvin.

It's a great book and I would expect that there will be more reformed authors to refering to it.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
That is only referring to a lack of English translations of the work. I was curious as to where you drew this statement from: "What is missing is any historical usage (i.e. reference) of it from other any writer prior to 1856, in any language."

And I guess I'm just slightly confused as to what you mean when you say, "I was looking for something prior to 1856 that will further substantiate the book by John Calvin."
 

SolaGratia

Puritan Board Junior
Yes, If this book was written by John Calvin one would naturally expect there to be some references made to it after it was publish in any language, especially since Calvin here gives us further light on his theological views. And as you provided, Turretin usage as a work gives evidence that it was used as a reference after it was originally publish and prior to 1856.

For example, as mention above in the quote, the English translators of Calvin's Commentaries and Calvin's works did not translate this particular work of Calvin. This got me further curious as to why it wasn't.

But why is wasn't translated in English when almost all of Calvin's other book/works were, I don't know, because again it is a great book by Calvin.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
Well, as noted above, it certainly was quoted by early Reformed authors; it was published near the beginning of 1552, along with a French translation of the same. It is found p.249 of Volume 8 in the Corpus Reformatorum edition of Calvin's works. I have access to both the 1552 and 1671 printings, and I can assure you that it says "by John Calvin" at the top.

And though it was certainly widely read by Theologians, even if it's not quoted often (which you would have demonstrate, not assume), that's not too surprising, much less that it wasn't translated: it's not a dogmatic work, but a polemical work and is thus specifically forever tied to the issues of its day.

But more fundamentally, I just have no idea why it's being questioned that this is a work by Calvin. No one has ever questioned it, nor has there been any reason to question it, any more than any of his other works.


For example, as mention above in the quote, the English translators of Calvin's Commentaries and Calvin's works did not translate this particular work of Calvin. This got me further curious as to why it wasn't.

But why is wasn't translated in English when almost all of Calvin's other book/works were, I don't know, because again it is a great book by Calvin.
There is a lot of Calvin's work that wasn't translated by the Calvin Translation Society. Simply put, the man wrote a mountain. It will be a long time before it is all translated.
 
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