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Introduction and Key

BOOKS:  BIBLICAL STUDIES (1500BC-AD70) / EARLY CHRISTIAN PRETERISM (AD50-1000) / FREE ONLINE BOOKS (AD1000-2008)


David S. Clark - The Message From Patmos: A Postmillennial Commentary on the Book of Revelation (1921) "This early twentieth-century Postmillennial commentary on the Book of Revelation, written by the father of theologian Gordon Clark, offers an easy-to-read alternative to the popular Pre-millennial/Dispensational views of the best-selling Scofield Reference Bible and a multitude of other dissertations on end-time prophecy that litter the shelves of Christian bookstores. "


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HISTORICAL PRETERISM
(Minor Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

Joseph Addison
Oswald T. Allis
Thomas Aquinas
Karl Auberlen
Augustine
Albert Barnes
Karl Barth
G.K. Beale
Beasley-Murray
John Bengel
Wilhelm Bousset
John A. Broadus

David Brown
"Haddington Brown"
F.F. Bruce

Augustin Calmut
John Calvin
B.H. Carroll
Johannes Cocceius
Vern Crisler
Thomas Dekker
Wilhelm De Wette
Philip Doddridge
Isaak Dorner
Dutch Annotators
Alfred Edersheim
Jonathan Edwards

E.B. Elliott
Heinrich Ewald
Patrick Fairbairn
Js. Farquharson
A.R. Fausset
Robert Fleming
Hermann Gebhardt
Geneva Bible
Charles Homer Giblin
John Gill
William Gilpin
W.B. Godbey
Ezra Gould
Hank Hanegraaff
Hengstenberg
Matthew Henry
G.A. Henty
George Holford
Johann von Hug
William Hurte
J, F, and Brown
B.W. Johnson
John Jortin
Benjamin Keach
K.F. Keil
Henry Kett
Richard Knatchbull
Johann Lange

Cornelius Lapide
Nathaniel Lardner
Jean Le Clerc
Peter Leithart
Jack P. Lewis
Abiel Livermore
John Locke
Martin Luther

James MacDonald
James MacKnight
Dave MacPherson
Keith Mathison
Philip Mauro
Thomas Manton
Heinrich Meyer
J.D. Michaelis
Johann Neander
Sir Isaac Newton
Thomas Newton
Stafford North
Dr. John Owen
 Blaise Pascal
William W. Patton
Arthur Pink

Thomas Pyle
Maurus Rabanus
St. Remigius

Anne Rice
Kim Riddlebarger
J.C. Robertson
Edward Robinson
Andrew Sandlin
Johann Schabalie
Philip Schaff
Thomas Scott
C.J. Seraiah
Daniel Smith
Dr. John Smith
C.H. Spurgeon

Rudolph E. Stier
A.H. Strong
St. Symeon
Theophylact
Friedrich Tholuck
George Townsend
James Ussher
Wm. Warburton
Benjamin Warfield

Noah Webster
John Wesley
B.F. Westcott
William Whiston
Herman Witsius
N.T. Wright

John Wycliffe
Richard Wynne
C.F.J. Zullig

John Calvin
(1555)


Calvin's Commentaries on the Whole Bible

"He makes hence a transition to another exhortation, that we are to lay hold on that kingdom which cannot be shaken; for the Lord shakes us for this end, that he may really and forever establish us in himself." - On Hebrews 12
 

Genesis: 1-23, 24-50
Harmony of the Law: Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3, Vol 4
Joshua
Psalms: 1-35, 36-66, 67-92, 93-119, 119-150
Isaiah: 1-16, 17-32, 33-48, 49-66
Jeremiah: 1-9, 10-19, 20-29, 30-47, 48-52
Lamentations
Ezekiel: 1-12, 13-20
Daniel: 1-6, 7-12
Hosea
Joel
Amos
Obadiah
Jonah
Micah
Nahum
Habakkuk
Zephaniah
Haggai
Zechariah
Malachi
 
Harmony of the Gospels: Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3
John: 1-11, 12-21
Acts: 1-13, 14-28
Romans
1 Corinthians: 1-14, 15-16
2 Corinthians
Galatians
Ephesians
Philippians
Colossians
1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy
2 Timothy
Titus
Philemon
Hebrews
James
1 Peter
2 Peter
1 John
Jude

Calvin on Deuteronomie
On Wednesday the xvii. of Aprill. 1555.

The Seventh Sermon upon the first Chapter.

29 And I sayd unto you, dread not, neither be afraide of them.

30 The Lord your God which goeth before you will fight for you, lyke as hee did with you in Egypt before your eyes.

31 And in the wildernesse where thou hast seene how the Lord thy God bare thee (even as a man beareth his sonne) in all the way which ye have gone, until ye be come unto this place.

32 And yet for all this, you have not beleeved the Lord your God,

33 Who to provide you a place to pitch your tentes in, went before you in the way, in fyre by night to give you light in the way that you should goe, and in a cloude by day.

of hardinesse were well taken, it were an excellent vertue worthie of great prayse, and exceedingly requisite in al a mans life. For if wee be fearefull, and have not a stout courage to doe well: it will be an easie matter to cary us to all naughtinesse. But yet for all that, the worlde knoweth not how to bee hardie. And that is the cause why men are so much given to rashnesse, and so bold and overbold to adventure upon foolish matches without advisement. But if we adventure upon things on our own head and fancie, and put not our trust in God: it is a building without a foundation. Neverthelesse, it is not for us to looke for Gods helpe, futherfoorth than he hath bound himselfe to it by his promises. The way then that we ought to be hardy, is that when we have once sought out Gods will, wee obey it simply without attempting any thing at our owne pleasure. Be wee once at that potnt, wee must examine our owne strength and abilitie, and finding nothing but weakenesse there, wee must utterly distrust our selves and resort unto God. And forasmuch as he of his owne free goodnesse vouchsafeth to assure us that hee will not leave us at our neede: we must thereupon conclude, that we cannot miscary being under his protection.

Now then we see that the true hardinesse which God alloweth of, is when men trust not to themselves, ne leane to their owne wit and reason, but yeelde themselves wholy to him that ought to governe them, and depend upon his grace for all thinges which they want, and thereupon goe foreward stoutly, without shrinking or swarving one way or other. And this lesson is shewed us in the text that I rehearsed even now out of Moses. For there hee exhorteth the people to hardinesse, and sheweth them why. The Lorde your God (sayth he) will fight for you. As if hee should say, If you esteeme your selves the more for your great multitude, or thinke to overcome your enemies by your own power: it is but foolish presumption, and God wil punish you for being so puffed up with pride. And if ye should attempt any thing without Gods leave: and without having his worde for it: that also were an overweening which should not scape unpunished.

But forasmuch as God is on your side, and you have his promise that he will not faile you, and you be not come hither but by his leading of you with his owne hand: Be not afraid. Thus sendeth he them to Gods will, to the ende they should not doe any thing which is not lawfull. Againe, he will have them to leane altogether to Gods promises, and because they could not have in themselves the thinges that were requisite: he will have them to hope that God will assist them. Now, this was spoken to the Jewes whom Moses governed at that time: but yet is it a doctrine whose use is everlasting in Gods Church, as is sayde afore. We have not the Chananites for our enemies against whome to fight: but yet doe wee knowe that this present life of ours shall not be idle, but that God will have us kept occupyed lyke men of warre that are waged to battell. And who be our enemies? Satan with all the shiftes that he hath, and all the unbeleevers through whom we must passe. For here wee be mingled with such as seeke nothing els but the destruction of Gods children, wee have infinite temptations, and to be short wee neede never to go out of our selves to finde incounters enow: for all our lustes, and all that springeth of our fleshe, is deadly enmitie against GOD, as sayth S. Paul to the Romans[1]. Seeing then that God hath ordeyned that wee should mainteine battell all our lyfe long, and wee have a greate sorte of enemies, yea and those very mightie and strong, which never cease troubling of us: it behoveth us to get us hardines: for if we shrink, anon we be overcome. Therefore it standeth us on hand to be armed with invincible constancie, or else if every of us followe his owne swindge, God wil let us alone. So then, are we desirous that God should guide us, and hold us under his protection, and withstand our enemies to give us victorie against them? Let us walke in obedience, and learne to leade our lyfe according to his will. For whosoever roveth abroad at randon, forsaketh Gods helpe. Againe, let no man beguile himself upon trust of men, forasmuch as they are commonly disapointed of their enterprises. And it is good reason that God should laugh them to skorne, when they fling forth so at al adventure, and keepe neither way nor path. But lyke as most men are so overlustie, that they can away with nothing worse, than to beare the yoke that God layeth uppon us: so every man would have libertie to doe what he listeth, and it is seene that all men make warre against God and his worde, so as their jollitie cannot be daunted, but they be worse than wilde beastes. And therefore doe most men abuse themselves with their owne devices: for they regard not what God permitteth them to doe. When a man will advaunce himselfe for vaineglorie, he regardeth not what is lawfull, but pilleth, polleth, and filcheth by hooke or by crooke. He hath an eye to the ordinarie custome of the world, but as for to frame himselfe after Gods lawe, he hath no minde at all: He never thinketh thus with himselfe, beholde, my God giveth me no leave to doe this thing, and therefore I must forbeare it. He hath no such thought with him.

Wel may men coakes themselves for a time and beare themselves on hand that all the world favoreth them: but in the end, God will make all their enterprises to vanish away, so as they shallbe all confounded. And why? Because they ranne gadding about, and kept not the right way. Now then, if we will be guided by Gods hand, and succored by him at our neede: let us learne to rule our lyfe aright, and to submit it wholy unto him. If wee be not at that poynt, let us not looke for any helpe at his hand: but rather to have him against us as we bee worthie. Thus much concerning the first point.

But yet for all this, the matter lyeth not altogether in being desirous to serve God, and to absteine from the foolish attempts that cary men away. For there may be some that are pliable enough, and which would faine doe the thinges that God commaundeth: but therewithall they be puffed up with a fond selfeweening, bearing themselves in hand that they be able to compasse the things that they have to doe, and trusting to their owne reason. But our Lord cannot abide to be robbed of the honor that belongeth unto him. For what have wee whereof it is lawfull for us to boast? When we have gathered all our powers unto us, wee shall finde them to be nothing but a vaine and fond shew. And therefore wee must bee faine to put to the second poynt which I have touched. Which is, that here we be warned to submit our selves to the obedience of God, so as we seeke the thinges that he giveth us leave to seeke, and aske counsell at his mough what things he lyketh and alloweth: to the intent that knowing our selves to bee overweake, yea and that there is no wisedome, strength, nor towardnesse in us, but that al our powers fayle us: wee may pray him to guide us and to give us good direction, and to hold us up with strong hand, so as wee ground not our selves upon our owne weening or opinion, but altogether uppon the assuraunce of his worde. Hath God promised to helpe us? then let us not doubt but he will doe it. Have we no promise at his hand? then must we needes be at our wittes ende, till he comfort us and strengthen us by shewing us his wil. Thus yee see what wee have to marke uppon this text of Moses.

And therefore although it be unpossible for a christen man to step one step without falling: yet must wee not be out of hart. The reason is, because wee have Gods promise, that he will fight for us. Our fighting (sayth Saint Paul) is not against fleshe and bloud[2]; beholde, all the powers of the ayre are against us. For the divil is named the prince of the world, he is above us, and holdeth us as it were betweene his pawes and in his throate, so as he is lyke enough to swallowe us up every minute of an houre lyke a lyon: and we have neither strength nor sense to withstand him.

But yet for all that, we must conclude, that forasmuch as we be in the protection of our God, we be sure of the victorie, if we fight wel. Therefore let this saying be well printed in our minde, that the Lord our God will fight for us. When there is any question of doing well, the Papistes cling to their own freewill, and it seemeth to them that God layeth the brydle in their necke, so as they be able to doe this and that, whereby they overthrowe themselves as they be worthy. But contrariwise let us flee to our God and hope to have him doe the thinges that we cannot doe.

Furthermore let us marke well, that this doctrine could not stande, unlesse wee were unable to fight for our selves. For were wee of power to resiste our enemies, Gods fighting for us were more than needed. Then doth it follow, that his fighting is because wee have no power at all, because our armes are as good as broken, and because wee bee lame from the sole of the foote to the crowne of the head. And in good sooth, if the Jewes having to doe but onelie with mortall and transitorie enemies, needed to have God to fight for them: what had we need of? I pray you, when wee see Satan and all the worlde readie to give assault upon us, yea and that he hath alreadie gotten the forehand of us, and in the meane while wee have neither wall, nor banke to holde them out, but (which is worse) all our owne lustes are as dartes wherewith Satan may serve his turne to wound us with all: can wee defend our selves, having so hard a battell to beare out? No: and so wee see how the poore papistes are deceived, in presuming uppon their owne freewill, and in bearing themselves on hand that if they have never so little helpe of God, they can well enough get the upper hand of Satan. On the contrary part, it is not sayd that God will supply some little default with his power, and that wee must fight first to prevent him: it is not sayde so, but that it is our God that fighteth for us. It followeth then that all that ever wee doe, is done by the onely power that hee giveth us, so as it is borrowed of him.

True it is that wee would fayne runne, and that wee make great indevers to serve God: but whereof commeth that, but of this, that knowing our selves to be utterly unable, wee presume not uppon any power or abilitie of our owne, but doe feele that we be not yet come to perfection? And so, to be short, all our fighting commeth of the meere grace of the holy Ghost.

True it is that God worketh not in us as in logges or blockes: for his will is to exercise us as I have sayd already. Therefore when we should doe well, wee must have a good moving and lively affection: and although wee have bin letted and drawen away, yet must wee take courage to inforce our selves, that God may worke in us as in his instruments. To be short, the battels of the faithfull are paynfull enough: but yet for al that, we must come backe to this point, that it is God which worketh by us, and that all that ever wee doe proceedeth of him, insomuch that without him wee could not stir one finger, no nor so much as thinke one good thought. And so yee see how this saying that the Lord our God fighteth for us, is accomplished. When wee be once come to that poynt, although our enemies be neverso terrible, yet let us not be as men dismayed, assuring our selves that God alone is strong enough for us, and that although all the world should set themnselves against us, yet ought wee not to care for them.

Have wee made that account once, with full purpose to withstand all Satans assaultes: we must also put the same doctrine in ure in all the rest of our lyfe. And so, when wee see our selves beset with never so many wicked persons, and that they lie in wayte for us, continually following their lewd practises and devices: what have wee to doe? Wee must walke on playnely and uprightly, and not hold with the hare and hunt with the hound as they say.

When wee see that the wicked labor all that they can to overthrowe us, let us not doe as they doe, but let us looke what God commaundeth us, and frame our selves thereafter. And besides that, let us consider, that we shall bee as a pray to them, if God had us not in his keeping. But seeing hee hath promised us that hee will have a care of us, (as in deede he is our father) and that he will maintaine us in our just quarels, and set himselfe against all such as labor to oppresse the right: forasmuch as hee of his infinite goodnesse vouchsafeth to take our case in hand: let us goe on hardily, and although our enemies be never so wyly, and have the world at will, and have a number of practises ready for us: let not all this abash us, nor make us to step out of the right way. For why? seeing that God is on our side, what a shame were it to preferre mortall men before him, as though they were able to get the upper hand of him? So long then as the creatures are not able to prevaile against God, let us assure our selves of the victorie, forasmuch as it cannot but fall on our side. Thus you see how wee ought to apply this doctrine of Moses to our use.

Furthermore we must also wey well this saying which he addeth, namely that God had given them a hansel thereof in Egypt, so as they had good warrant to put their trust in him, and that throughout the wildernesse he had ruled them lyke little babes, and borne them in his armes. Seeing it is so (sayth hee) that you have had proofe of the power of your God in delivering you from the handes of your enemies: and seeing you have also perceived his fatherly care towardes you, and that not for one day onely, but for a long time together: You be too too unthankefull if you make not this conclusion, that he will no more faile you hereafter. To bee short then, to confirme this people withall, Moses alledgeth here the experience of Gods favor which they had had. And although this poynt hath bin treated of hertofore: yet forasmuch as it is repeated again by Moses: I must needes rehearse it againe and put you in remembrance thereof: for there is no superfluitie in the speach of the holy Ghost. Wherefore let us marke well, that when God putteth us in minde of his former helpe and grace, his meaning is that wee should thinke well uppon the great nomber of benefites which we have received at his hand. And the same ought to serve us for a warrant, that he wil continue to the end. For he is not lyke mortall men which alter and change their minde: neither is his abilitie abridged: and to be short, he never ceaseth to do men good: whereas on the other side, if a man have done his friend a peasure, he will perchaunce be willing to doe as much for him the second time. But if his friend make none ende, he will be wearie of him. For he may say he is not able to doe for al men, and that he hath other friends whom he must doe for, as wel as for him. Againe, wee know that men are not constant. But there is no such thing in God, for the more good that we receive of him, the readier are his riches for us, and they never diminish. And as for him, he doth not thinges by fittes as creatures doe, but he continueth alwayes in one will. There is not so much as any overshadowing them, as sayth Saint James[3], to shewe that he is alwayes lyke himselfe, and keepeth continually at one stay. Thus may wee assure our selves of Gods grace for the time to come, by our former experience of his succouring of us at our neede heretofore, in that he hath reached us his hand. To be short, all the good that God doeth us, ought to serve us to confirme our faith.

But nowe let us see what our unthankefulnesse is. For hath there passed any day since our comming into the worlde, wherin God hath not assisted us a thousand wayes? yea and did we not finde him a father, before we knew him, yea and even before wee came out of our mothers wombe? How should the childe be nourished in the mothers womb when he is there as in a grave, unlesse God uttered a wonderful goodnesse therin? Be we once entered into the world? behold, wee be hemmed in round about with miseries. Could we passe over one minute of an houre, if God shewed not himselfe to have a continuall care of us? Now then seeing that our God hath uttered himselfe unto us so manie wayes: is there any excuse for us if wee be still in doubt and distrust of him, so as we cannot leane unto him? Againe let every man looke upon himselfe [how God hath dealt with him particularly.] For besides the common course of this worldly lyfe, and the thinges that are ordinarie to all men, every man ought to consider thus: Go to, I have bin in such a daunger and in such a necessitie, and god hath helped me. How hath he wrought with me unto this day? Hath it bin long of my selfe that I have not bin undone and destroyed a hundred thowsand times? was it through mine own power, that I have bin preserved? No. Then must it needes be that I had his helpe to save me, during the time that I was as good as senselesse. And afterward he shewed me the lyke favour againe, when I had not yet any discretion to acknowledge it and to honor him for it. Now if I have received so many benefites of him: ought I not to hope that he will continue to doe so to me still hereafter: Let every man then bethinke him of the benefites that he hath received at Gods hand, as well for his soule as for his body: and then shall wee be sufficiently convicted, that he hath powred out the riches of his goodnesse uppon us, and that in such sorte, as we may well trust in him, that he will never forsake us nor put us out of minde. After this maner must wee put this text in ure, where Moses speaketh to the Jewes and sayth thus: consider what you have found at the hand of your God unto this houre. How hath hee dealt with you? how mightily hath he overmaistred the land of Egypt, and delivered you from the bondage wherein you were: And besides this, Moses noteth here a double circumstance, whereby the people were conficted of gods mighty working in their behalfe. For (sayth he) He hath fought for you in Egypt, yea even before your eyes. As if he should have sayd, that the miracles which God had wrought, were not darksome nor done in hudther mudther, but so openly, and apparantly, as the people could not say, we knowe not how the case standeth. God then shewed himselfe after a visible manner in that behalfe, so as yee cannot but knowe that he reached out his arme. That is the first of the two circumstances.

The other is this where hee addeth, that from the time of the peoples deliveraunce, God had maintained them, yea and that with such kindenesse and gentlenesse, as a father that had borne his childe in his armes could not have done more for him. Now these tow poyntes belong to us. For they bee the too meanes whereby God procureth an furthereth our salvation, untill he have brought it to full perfection. On the one side hee fighteth for us: for wee shall never bee without enemies as hath bin declared already. If wee be not acquainted with God, the devill will reigne peaceably over us, and wee shall delight to bee under his tyranny, as they that are naturally given thereunto. But if God call us to him: then shall wee feele the devill utterly against us, and wee shall see the world inflamed with deadly hatred towardes us. To be shorte, there will be such a sorte of enemies to bidde us battell, as wee shall not knowe on which side to turne us. Lo in what plight Gods children are. Now then, his power must bee fayne to maintaine us, and to fight the battell: and if he have done it for the Jewes, hee must be faine to doe it now for us too.

Thus yee see that the first meanes whereby God sheweth himselve to be our Saviour: is that hee armeth us against our enemies or rather that hee himselfe is our shielde, our strong holde[4] (as he nameth himselfe oftentimes in the scriptures,) our bulwarke, our captaine, and to be short, all that ever wee bee. Mark that for one poynt.

Now herewithal, when God hath so strengthened us, and given us the upper hand of all assaultes that could be put unto us: he must bee faine to upholde us still within. For else shoulde not we bee able to goe one step, and wee should want all that ever belongeth to our salvation. And even as a young childe should dye, if it were not succoured: even so is it with us. If a little childe be let alone, hee will cast himselfe into the fire or into the water, hee coulde not take one bit of bread to feede hinmselfe withall, hee must be borne in armes, hee must bee swadled, he coulde not dresse himselfe, he would starve for cold sooner than come to the fire, and to be short, wee see that a young babe before hee come to some age, is the miserablest creature that can bee devised: and even so is it with us in respect of our God. Let us set as much store by our selves as we list, as wee see that men doe, glorying marvelously in their owne opinion: and yet is there more infirmitie in us that in little infantes. He must be faine to rule us, he must be faine to feede us, he must be faine to cary us, he must be faine to clothe us, he must bee faine to doe all for us. For if wee have any witte at all, it is of his gift: if we have any strength, it commeth of him: if wee have any abilitie or helpes, it is he that giveth them. True it is, that wee could not injoye the least benefite in the worlde, but by fayth, I meane to our profite: but yet for all that, it is hee to whome wee be beholden for all. Now therefore, when wee once perceive that God hath given us strength and stoutnesse to outstand the temptations that Satan hath stirred up against us: that wee have not bin wounded to death by his venemous darts and arrowes: that we have not wallowed in the mucke of this worlde: that wee have not bin caught in the snares of the wicked: that their practises and wiles have not prevailed against us: and that God hath succoured us at all assayes: I say when wee have perceived that: let us also consider that God hath borne us, that he hath fed and nourished us, that hee hath clothed us, and that he hath as it were put our meat into our mouthes. The thing then whereupon wee must sette our mindes, that wee may well bethinke us of Gods benefites: is that the same must serve us for a warrant and confirmation of our fayth, both in lyfe and in death.
 

But yet the similitude that Moses useth where hee sayth, as a father beareth his childe: deserveth to be well weyed. Truely if there were no more but this, that God compareth himselfe with a fleshly father: it were a singular record of infinite and incredible love. What a one is GOD if he be taken in his majestie? Are wee worthie to come to him so familiarly? Now then seeing hee taketh uppon him the person of a man, and a creature, and lykeneth himselfe to them that beare their children: therein we see how he humbleth himselfe, of good wil to accept us in like case as if we were his owne children. And what a token of love is that? Now as for us, wee be nothing woorth: needes then must wee acknowledge an inestimable goodnesse in our God, when he putteth off his majestie, to make himselfe lyke a man.

Neverthelesse hee contenteth not himselfe with this similitude onely, as wee shall see hereafter in the song[5]. For there he lykeneth himself to an Eagle, which stretcheth out his winges to cary his young ones, and to trayne them to sore in the ayre. Seeing that God putteth himselfe as it were under the shape of a byrde, to shewe us the passing fatherly care that he hath of us: I pray you, ought not wee to bee ravished with wonderment, when God stoopeth so unto us, to make us perceive the love that hee beareth us, and the favour that hee meaneth towardes us? [yes surely.] For what a majestie importeth this worde GOD? And what are the birdes and unresonable creatures? [Nothing.]

And yet notwithstanding, beholde, God loveth us so greatly, that to expresse the love which he beareth us, and to witnesse his goodnesse towardes us, hee lykeneth himselfe to a byrd, and us to his little ones. Sith wee see this, let us learne to magnify the goodnesse and infinite grace of our God better than wee have done heretofore, and let every of us awake and inforce himselfe to consider them throughly. For wherefore is it that our God transfigureth himselfe in such sorte, but to reprove our unthankfulnesse, because we be so over grosse and dullheaded, as we let the benefites slip which he bestoweth upon us, and digest them not to conceive the goodnesse of them, and to take heede of them? That is the cause why he setteth them before us after that fashion. And we see also how our Lord Jesus speaketh of himselfe, in bewayling the destruction of the Citie of Jerusalem[6]. Howe oft (saieth he) would I have gathered thy little ones under my winges, and thou wouldest not? There our Lord Jesus speaketh not as man: but sheweth that inasmuch as he is the everlasting God, he played the part of a henne towardes the Jewes, and had his winges stretched out to have brooded them: and that they on their side played the wylde beastes that woulde not bee tamed. When wee shall once have knowen the favour of our God towardes us: let us beware that it be not so defaced as we may justly bee accused of unwillingnesse to suffer our God to governe us peaceably. What is to bee done then? Seeing that our GOD sheweth himselfe so loving and kinde hearted, that he protesteth himselfe to bee as a father towardes his little babes, in bearing with our feeblenesse and infirmities: and seeing that he saieth by his Prophet Esay, that although all the mothers in the world should forget their children, yet would he not forget us[7]: and seeing he stoopeth so lowe as to liken himselfe to an Eagle and to a Henne, to shewe that he taketh us for his chickins and birdes: let us looke that wee yeelde unto him, and lay our selves as it were in his lappe, praying him to beare us and to releeve our infirmities, that we may be comforted at his hand, as he is readie to doe, if wee flee to his mercie for succour. Thus ye see what wee have to doe for the well putting of this doctrine in ure.

But Moses addeth yet one point more for the better confirming that God had as it were borne his people in his armes, saying That a nighttimes he appeared to them as in a pillar of fyre, and a daytimes hee appeared to them as in a Cloud. Wee knowe that Gods shewing of these two visible tokens, was to the end that the people should be assured of his presence: and those tokens were requisite for the leading of the people. For else in the night they should have bene flighted with the wildernesse which was verie dreadfull, as I have declared alreadie. God therefore did give them light by night, whereby he shewed that he was continually with them. And bicause they were in a hotte and drye Countrie, he did spred a cloud over them in the day, which shadowed them from the burning of the Sunne. Wee see then that these two tokens of Gods presence, served fitly for the easing of the Jewes, and that in all these dooings they felt his fatherly goodnesse. Againe, the moe of such figures they had, the more were they convicted that GOD had governed them, and that he had a continuall care of their welfare. And therefore doth Moses make expresse mention both of the fire and of the cloud, saying that neyther night nor day GOD had ever forsaken them: so as they could not but knowe that he was with them, and that his grace accompanyed them, as he sawe meete and expedient for them.

But by the way wee must note, that although wee in these dayes have no such figures as the Jewes had under Moses: yet notwithstanding GOD giveth us the thing that is of equall value, according also as Saint Paule sheweth[8], saying that the cloud and the fire were a kinde of Baptisme to the auncient fathers. And the chiefe thing that GOD meant to shewe unto them thereby, was that although as in respect of their bodyes they were guided with fire by night, and had a cloud spred over their heades by daye: yet Gods meaning was not to have them stay upon these temporall benefites, but to leade them further. Then were they baptized in the cloud. And what have wee now adayes? Doeth not Baptisme warrant us Gods presence more certeinly and with a greater vertue, than did that auncient figure? Yes surely, if all thinges bee well considered. For wee must not stay our eyes upon the water: but forasmuch as the bloud of our Lorde Jesus Christ was shed, which is a spirituall washing unto us: therein God sheweth himselfe more familiarly unto us now adayes, than he did to such as lived under Moses. True it is that wee have not the like myracles: but in the meane while, howe excellent was the Majestie that appeared in the person of our Lorde Jesus Christ? How excellent were the myracles that he wrought? To bee short, howe highly ought wee to esteeme the death and passion that he suffered? Againe, have wee not a passing excellent recorde of his Godhead in his rising againe from death[9]? Seeing then that wee have the whole fulnesse of Gods Majestie in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that not in shadowe onely, but in very substance as Saint Paule declareth to the Colossians[10]: I pray you were it not too shamefull a thankelessnesse in us, if wee shoulde not bee throughly resolved that our God hath uttered himselfe sufficiently unto us, to cause us to rest wholly upon him, and to trust in his power? Thus yee see wherein we resemble the Jewes as touching the cloud whereof Moses speaketh here, and as touching the pillar of fire.

Furthermore, if wee consider well howe our Lorde guideth us: wee shall finde that the Cloud and the pillar of fire served not the Jewes more, than the government that is stablished in the Church at this day, serveth us. Whereas that people had the pillar of fire by night, and the Cloud by daye: wee must understand that in so dooing GOD meant not to blesse them for that one time onely. For what had the Jewes bene the better for it, if it had not made them to knowe that God was their governour all their life long? Now then wee cannot goe one pace, unlesse wee bee led by our God and assured of his goodnesse. For our life is like the journey that the people of Israel made thorough the wildernesse. God therfore suffereth us not to wander in uncerteintie, knowing not whether wee were best to goe or to stand still. For wee have such a declaration of his will, as wee can never straye, except it bee wilfully. Whosoever seeketh Gods good pleasure, shal be taught by him. And therefore now adayes wee have no need of the visible pillar of fire, nor of the cloud that was spred over the children of Israel, forsomuch as our Lord sheweth himselfe to bee at hand with us by another meane, and stretcheth out his hand continually over us, and the way is wide open ynough for us. Now then we have good cause to be contented.

And so let us understand, that Moses did not onely speake to the Jewes after all sortes: but also that he hath written these thnges for us, that wee also might be confirmed how adayes in the doctrine which we have of God, and not be disobedient unto him. And seeing wee have neede to be succoured at his hand, against Satan and all our adversaries: let us learne to distrust our owne strength which is none at all, and acknowledging our owne wretchednesse let us resort to him for aide and helpe at our neede. And when we have once gotten hardinesse to marche under his banner: let us assure our selves that he will never suffer us to miscarie, though we be assailed with never so may temptations. Wee see what threatening there is now adayes, yea even on all sides: wee see how our welfare (as to outward seeming) is a a pray to our enemies, which seeke nothing else but to swallowe us up: and therewithall wee see also how weake and feeble we be to withstand them: and yet for all that, let us not doubt but our Lord fighteth for us, conditionally that wee walke on simply under the shadowe of his winges, and play not the loose colts, ne attempt any thing which he alloweth not. And so doing, let us not doubt but he will deliver us, and stretch out his hand upon our enemies to vanquishe them and destroy them, so as wee shall knowe that he hath a continuall care of us, and that his only desire is to guide and governe us, and to continue and increase his graces in us, and to have us alwayes in his keeping and protection.

Nowe let us kneele downe in the presence of our good God with acknowledgement of our faultes, praying him to make us so to feele them, that being ashamed of our selves, wee may crave pardon of him, and being desirous to be governed by his direction, seeke nothing but to submit our selves to his yoke more and more, till he have ridde us quite and cleane of all our fleshly corruptions and imperfections, and that we bee come to the full measure of his righteousnesse, whereunto it behoveth us now to tend. And so let us al say, Almightie God heavenly father, etc.

[1] Romans 8:7

[2] Ephesians 6:12

[3] James 1:17

[4] Psalm 91:2

[5] Deutereonomy 32:11

[6] Matthew 23:37

[7] Isaiah 49:15

[8] 1 Corinthians 10:2

[9] Romans 1:4

[10] Colossians 2:9
 

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Date:
24 Jan 2002
Time:
11:40:55
Remote User:

Comments

When I read the article about Calvin, I was thinking of the Geneva born composer Frank Martin and his apocalyptic oratorium In terra pax. The development of music has only reached a culmination in the 20th century, which probably signifies the fullness of the times. But the angel of Revelation witnessed about things that were to happen soon. 


Date: 05 Nov 2005
Time: 11:23:21

Comments:

I really am sorry to say this to you, but being a devout Sola Scriptura type person I feel you who, are pro preterist's are the ones who are living out a fairy tale...

tagengsup2004@yahoo.com

 

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