Contend Earnestly: Calvin's Institutes

Friday, March 30, 2007

Calvin's Institutes

Here is another "snippet" from my current reading of the Institutes. Notice here that what Calvin is pointing out that those studying in the sciences should in reality be MORE convinced of God because of the intimacy that they spend with God's creation. Instead, they are more and more becoming atheists, or so they think (Rom 1)!

In attestation of his wondrous wisdom, both the heavens and the earth present us with innumerable proofs not only those more recondite proofs which astronomy, medicine, and all the natural sciences, are designed to illustrate, but proofs which force themselves on the notice of the most illiterate peasant, who cannot open his eyes without beholding them. It is true, indeed, that those who are more or less intimately acquainted with those liberal studies are thereby assisted and enabled to obtain a deeper insight into the secret workings of divine wisdom.D10 No man, however, though he be ignorant of these, is incapacitated for discerning such proofs of creative wisdom as may well cause him to break forth in admiration of the Creator. To investigate the motions of the heavenly bodies, to determine their positions, measure their distances, and ascertain their properties, demands skill, and a more careful examination; and where these are so employed, as the Providence of God is thereby more fully unfolded, so it is reasonable to suppose that the mind takes a loftier flight, and obtains brighter views of his glory.58 Still, none who have the use of their eyes can be ignorant of the divine skill manifested so conspicuously in the endless variety, yet distinct and well ordered array, of the heavenly host; and, therefore, it is plain that the Lord has furnished every man with abundant proofs of his wisdom. The same is true in regard to the structure of the human frame. To determine the connection of its parts, its symmetry and beauty, with the skill of a Galen (Lib. De Usu Partium), requires singular acuteness; and yet all men acknowledge that the human body bears on its face such proofs of ingenious contrivance as are sufficient to proclaim the admirable wisdom of its Maker.

Calvin, J., & Beveridge, H. (1997). Institutes of the Christian religion. Translation of: Institutio Christianae religionis.; Reprint, with new introd. Originally published: Edinburgh : Calvin Translation Society, 1845-1846. (I, v, 2). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.


Gomarus said...

All I can say is that this blog is getting better all the time. You guys are doing great!!!! Book reviews, the Five Points, The Reformation Solas, snippets from Calvin's Institutes, current events, Jonah Commentary, etc. -- excellent.


Seth McBee said...

Thanks for your kind words.

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