By John Calvin
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Extra resources for Calvin's Calvinism : Treatises on 'The Eternal Predestination of God' and 'The Secret Providence of God'
If this, at first appearance, should seem to anyone out of the way or unintelligible, let him hear a farther admonition of the admirable Augustine: " If (says he) beasts could speak, and should quarrel with their Maker because He had not made them men like us, there is not one of us who would not, in a moment, fly into a rage with them. What, then, do we think of ourselves? Who or what are we that we should contend with God for having made each of us what we are? That man is most certainly mad who will not ascribe to God a far greater and higher excellency than that which he and the human race possess above the beasts of the earth.
But if such objectors held the true principles of theology in any degree (which ought to be well known by all Christian men), they would express their sentiments with a little less confidence and insolence. For the answer of God to Rebecca's complaint was designed to shew her that the issue of the struggling which she felt in her womb would be that the blessing of God and the covenant of eternal life would rest with the younger. And what did the struggling itself signify, but that both the children could not be heirs of the covenant at the same time, which covenant had already, by the secret council of God, been decreed for the one?
And this He did, that no one might THE ETERNAL PREDESTINATION OF GOD. 65 dare to prescribe a law for His actions. He then openly declared that He would take out of the whole multitude of the people whom He would, and would deliver them; and all were alike covenant-breakers. He did not say that His choice of them should depend on themselves; that if He should find any worthy of pardon He would be merciful to such. But He positively declared that He would be the Master, Lord and Arbiter, of His own mercy; that He would spare whom He would spare, as being bound by no necessity to choose either one or another.
Calvin's Calvinism : Treatises on 'The Eternal Predestination of God' and 'The Secret Providence of God' by John Calvin