Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The minutest part would scarce be told

Calvin's Institutes (1559)
Book 3 of 4 - How We Receive the Grace of Christ

Chapter 25 - The Final Resurrection
10-12 - Life in the hereafter
10. Death will be swallowed up in victory - Isa 25:8; Hos 13:14; 1 Cor 15:54-55. But "the minutest part [of this] would scarce be told if all were said that the tongues of all men can say." See 1 Cor 13:12; 1 John 3:2. The prophets only "sketched it in physical terms." "There will not be an equal measure of glory in heaven." See 2 Tim 4:8; Matt 19:29. [I would add Matt 25:14-30.]

11. "Men hungry for empty learning inquire.... [into every] corner of heaven.... few out of a huge multitude care how they are to go to heaven, but all long to know before hand what takes place there. Almost all are lazy and loath to do battle, while already picturing to themselves imaginary victories."

12. Of the damned, we are shown physical things: "darkness, weeping, and gnashing of teeth... undying fire and worm" - Matt 8:12; 22:13; Matt 3:12; Mark 9:43; Isa 66:24. This is meant "to confound all our senses with dread." Damnation is "to be cut off from all fellowship with God." See 2 Thess 1:9.

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