Great Bishop of Geneva! : 1) Makarios · 2) Once Saved, Always Saved - True for Church, Not True for All Christians Individually · 3) Protestants - Not - Getting Around Matthew 28 Last Three Verses: John Calvin's Attempt · 4) Barnes NOT getting around Matthew 28:20 ... · 5) Since St Francis of Sales had Real Objections to Calvinism ... 6) Contra Sproul 7) Barnes on Jewish Tradition 8) If Constantine had Founded the Catholic Church ... 9) Salvation and Schrödinger's Cat Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : 10) ... on Apostolic Succession, both as to Reasons and Answering an Objection or Two (quora)
Studylight - Calvin's Commentary, Matthew 28
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 18
- 18.And Jesus approached and spoke to them. His approach unquestionably removed all hesitation. Before relating that the office of teaching was committed to the disciples, Matthew says that Christ began by speaking of his power; and not without reason. For no ordinary authority would here have been enough, but sovereign and truly divine government ought to be possessed by him who commands them to promise eternal life in his ham to reduce the whole world under his sway, and to publish a doctrine which subdues all pride, and lays prostrate the whole of the human race. And by this preface Christ not only encouraged the Apostles to full confidence in the discharge of their office, but confirmed the faith of his gospel in all ages. Never, certainly, would the Apostles have had sufficient confidence to undertake so arduous an office, if they had not known that their Protector sitteth in heaven, and that the highest authority is given to him; for without such a support it would have been impossible for them to make any progress. But when they learn that he to whom they owe their services is the Governor of heaven and earth, this alone was abundantly sufficient for preparing them to rise superior to all opposition. As regards the hearers, if the contemptible appearance of those who preach the gospel weakens or retards their faith, let them learn to raise their eyes to the Master himself, by whose power the majesty of the Gospel ought to be estimated, and then they will not venture to despise him when speaking by his ministers.
He expressly calls himself the Lord and King of heaven and earth, because, by constraining men to obey him in the preaching of the gospel, he establishes his throne on the earth; and, by regenerating his people to a new life, and inviting them to the hope of salvation, he opens heaven to admit to a blessed immortality with angels those who formerly had not only crawled on the world, but had been plunged in the abyss of death. Yet let us remember that what Christ possessed in his own right was given to him by the Father in our flesh, or—to express it more clearly—in the person of the Mediator; for he does not lay claim to the eternal power with which he was endued before the creation of the world, but to that which he has now received, by being appointed to be Judge of the world. Nay, more, it ought to be remarked, that this authority was not fully known until he rose from the dead; for then only did he come forth adorned with the emblems of supreme King. To this also relate those words of Paul:
he emptied himself, ( ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσε,) therefore God hath exalted him, and given to him a name which is above every other name, (Philippians 2:7.)
And though, in other passage the sitting at the right hand of God is placed after the ascension to heaven, as later in the order of time; yet as the resurrection and the ascension to heaven are closely connected with each other, with good reason does Christ now speak of his power in such magnificent terms.
- This Catholic
- Feels no need to argue with that. At present. Perhaps my eyes will sharpen, to some minor mistake of wording, but not right now.
On the contrary, Calvin is here a faithful inheritor of the Catholic faith which he had received by precisely Catholic successors of the Eleven before he apostasised. He is here even a good example against Modernists, who take the concept of κενωσις too far.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 19 part α
- 19.Go out, therefore, and teach all nations. Though Mark, after having related that Christ appeared to the eleven disciples, immediately subjoins the command to preach the gospel, he does not speak of these as an unbroken series of events, for we learn from the enumeration of them which is given by Matthew, that the latter event did not take place before they had gone into Galilee.
- This Catholic
- Commends this exposition of the Gospel of St Mark, at least insofar as it shows the latter Gospel to contain interruptions of chronological narrative not shown in the text.
- Quoting Calvins's exposition of Verse 19 part β
- The meaning amounts to this, that by proclaiming the gospel everywhere, they should bring all nations to the obedience of the faith, and next, that they should seal and ratify their doctrine by the sign of the gospel. In Matthew, they are first taught simply to teach; but Mark expresses the kind of doctrine, that they should preach the gospel; and shortly afterwards Matthew himself adds this limitation, to teach them to observe all things whatsoever the Lord hath commanded.
- This Catholic
- As Haydock comment says, not just "teach" but "make disciples." As to ratification "that they should seal and ratify their doctrine by the sign of the gospel" - the Gospels were not yet written when Christ said this to the Eleven. Christ gave a list of signs about to follow the Apostles (given in Mark 16), which are not "the gospel without the law" or "the gospel of grace alone replacing the law of works" or anything like that, but frankly miracles. Calvin does not say that.
Catholic historians of the Reformation have explained this omission by the fact (not recorded in Protestant biographies) that the Reformers had been cited to make miracles and had tried and not been able to. Therefore the Reformers claimed "the age of miracles is past" which is a non-Biblical doctrine. This, if true, also explains why Calvin here distorts the actual words of Christ to the disciples in Mark 16.
 And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues.  They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover.  And the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God.  But they going forth preached everywhere: the Lord working withal, and confirming the word with signs that followed.
Does this mean that every successor of the Apostles can make miracles? No. The miracles are a free gift of God.
But does this mean that miracles shall accompany the Church to the end of ages? Yes. And these signs shall follow them that believe - not just you Eleven, but them that believe because of you also. That is, those whose faith is as large as the grain of mustard. About the same time Calvin wrote his exposé, Saint Francis Xaver was learning new tongues in a moment as he was preaching the Gospel to masses whose languages he had not had the opportunity to learn (he also used normal means of learning some of the languages, those he could foresee and prepare for).
The Church was throwing out devils. Beza makes it appear the spiritual warfare is against manners or doctrines, Barnes admits (as the Catholic Church practised while Calvin denied the practise) that exorcisms must be done.
Camillo de Lellis was healing sick:
Members of the Order also devoted themselves to victims of Bubonic plague. It was due to the efforts of the Brothers and alleged supernatural healings by de Lellis that the people of Rome credited De Lellis with ridding the city of a great plague and the subsequent famine. For a time, he became known as the "Saint of Rome".
De Lellis' concern for the proper treatment of the sick extended to the end of their lives. He had come to be aware of the many cases of people being buried alive, due to haste, and ordered that the Brothers of his Order wait fifteen minutes past the moment when the patient seemed to have drawn his last breath, in order to avoid this.
Thus wikipedia. I will strike out the superfluous word "alleged" here, on wiki, but it will (probably) reappaear, since people having believed Calvin's evil doctrine of no more miracles being done (age of miracles ended with death of Apostles) will put real ones in unnecessary doubt.
- Quoting Calvins's exposition of Verse 19 part γ
- Let us learn from this passage, that the apostleship is not an empty title, but a laborious office; and that, consequently, nothing is more absurd or intolerable than that this honor should be claimed by hypocrites, who live like kings at their ease, and disdainfully throw away from themselves the office of teaching.
- This Catholic
- Must observe, that the apostolic labours are not all on the missionary field (which Calvinists disdainfully neglected for centuries, slaying Amerindians as foreknown damned, when Catholics were laying down lives to convert them), nor the rest of them in internal mission efforts, like the supposed ones of Calvin and Bucer in a CHristendom as yet solidly Catholic, but not backed up by miracles, or like the real ones of St Francis, who cured a lame man in Narnia, a city between Rome and Assisi, and a leper in his native Assisi.
The commission is also to make disciples of all peoples, and not to leave them for new mission fields that done, but to stay with them and teach them to keep all that Christ had ordained.
This is of course less laborious than converting masses of either Heathens or Jews, either lapsed or lukewarm Catholics.
It is less laborious insofar as it relies on fervent Catholics among the lukewarm ones. Therefore a successor of Apostles in the mid of Christendom can sometimes give impression of being precisely as lazy in missionary efforts as a Calvinist Presbyter in a New England population.
New sects can always feel superior when not yet having to face the facts that attend an old sect - or a Church already close to two milennia in age. Calvin did not yet know New England Calvinist pastors of the 17th Century. He did not live to see them. Hence his high horses.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 19 part δ
- The Pope of Rome and his band proudly boast of their succession, as if they held this rank in common with Peter and his companions; and yet they pay no more regard to doctrine than was paid by the Luperci, or the priests of Bacchus and Venus.
- This Catholic
- Is flabberghasted at the description of Papacy here given.
Luperci spent each Lupercalia taking wolves' skins and whipping the women of Rome to make them fertile.
Popes have never pretended wolves' skins have such a property, nor that Mars is the correct deity to adress for fertility problems. They have always believed that God gave Sarah the motherhood of Isaac, miraculously at her 90:th year of age and that Mars is - as divinity concerned with earthly matters rathen than as planet - a figment of Pagan imagination at best, or of diabolic deception at worst. A non-entity as believed, and a devil as honoured by cultual acts, including, unless my memory fools me, the Lupercalian cult.
Priests of Bacchus spent their worship getting drunk and exciting Maenads - or women pretending to be the original Maenads of Bacchus.
Whatever the origin of the story that Bacchus enchanted women and made them Maenads (i e furious, mad, fanatic), even if the origin be in the story of Exodus of Moses (through a gross misrepresentation of Moses and Isrealites on part of Pharaonic Egyptians, if so), the story as such is about a non-entity and worshipping it is worshipping the devil, in this case also with the added vices of drunkenness and of making women hysteric.
This also the Popes of Rome have never denied. They have never said holding Baccanalia was licit, not even I think the pseod-papacy involved in Assisi 1986.
Whoever was the mother of Aeneas, was not a goddess, but only falsely honoured so by Pagans. Other capacities of her do include being the goddess of Vinalia (its god being Jupiter). Here I can see a certain connection to Catholic practise.
You see, Vinalia was a blessing of the wine harvest.
But, if Pagans blessed their wine harvest, does this mean Christians should not? Of course not.
Christ told his disciples to preach to all Creation. Or every Creature.
Colossians 1:  If so ye continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and immoveable from the hope of the gospel which you have heard, which is preached in all the creation that is under heaven, whereof I Paul am made a minister.
Now, Gospel cannot be preached to wine so as to make it a believer, but rather so as to make it useful and not harmful to believers, at least insofar as they take some reasonable responsability of not drinking too much.
When St Francis preached to the birds, and they flew away in a Cross, I do not think many Theologians would say the birds had become believers or coinheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven. But they certainly helped to straighten out a few lukewarm believers who had been refusing to heed the sermon of St Francis.
And if wine is a creature of God, so can be done with wine. Even though that be done without usually involving the miraculous. Who recalls which miracle was the first one made by Our Lord Jesus Christ? If Calvin thought that blessing the wine involved participation in the Venus and Jupiter worship called Vinalia, perhaps he might also, unless he had been a Christian, in some sense though not the full sense, have been inclined to see in Our Lord an Incarnation of Bacchus, as Acharya sees in the Gospel of Cana a plagiarism of the Bacchus myth.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 19 part ε
- And with what face, pray, do they claim to be the successors of those who, they are told, were appointed to be preachers of the gospel? But though they are not ashamed to display their impudence, still with every reader of sound judgment this single word is sufficient to lay prostrate their silly hierarchy—that no man can be a successor of the apostles who does not devote his services to Christ in the preaching of the gospel.
- This Catholic
- Observes, that denying Papacy the title of successor of Apostles does not fix the lack of Apostolic Succession of Calvinism.
He really said "no man can be a successor of the apostles who does not devote his services to Christ in the preaching of the gospel"? If so, he must in the light of the very plain words of this Gospel text:
- admit Papacy devoted its services to Christ in the preaching of the Gospel, or ...
- look for another succession more unbroken than Roman Papacy (Greek and Russian and Antiochene Orthodox, not forgetting Roumanians, or Copts of Egypt or Ethiopia, or Armenians, or Nestorians) and after a few initial efforts on his own submit to it, or ...
- admit the promise of Christ was broken and become a Jew, Moslem, Idolater, Atheist or whatever.
To do Calvinists some kind of justice, many of them have taken one or the other of these measures. One Ronald Knox, for instance, related to the Scottish Calvinist Reformer John Knox, became a Catholic and then a priest. Others have gone eastward, others apostasised. But the remaining Calvinists are illogical.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 19 part ζ
- In short, whoever does not fulfill the duties of a teacher acts wickedly and falsely by assuming the name of an apostle; and what is more—the priesthood of the New Testament consists in slaying men, as a sacrifice to God, by the spiritual sword of the word. Hence it follows, that all are but pretended and spurious priests who are not devoted to the office of teaching.
- This Catholic
- Observes that an allegation against Rome at the time of Calvin, insofar as it is concerned with possible hypocritical or simply lazy personal conduct on dignitarians, including Popes:
- a) does not mean all the Catholic Church was corrupt, unless all bishops and all priests everywhere followed their bad example (which he might have tried to allege with false accusations against pious customs like blessing the wine), and supposing they did is ridiculous in face of all the Holy both Bishops and Priests, both Monks and Nuns (not to mention other religious or laymen) even in his time - since Papacy is the centre of Discipline, not of personal Holiness, these being not the same, but distinct though one serves the other;
- b) does not extend to Popes of the past (though Calvin would have us believe so by mixing a hateful impression of the present with customs extending to the past), and therefore:
- c) as in: conclusion) does not deprive Catholic Papacy, Episcopacy, Priesthood, Theological and Pastoral tradition of any claim to be precisely the true succession mentioned in these verses. But even if it did, would not give such a claim to Calvinism or any other product of the Reformation.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 19 part η
- Teach all nations. Here Christ, by removing the distinction, makes the Gentiles equal to the Jews, and admits both, indiscriminately to a participation in the covenant. Such is also the import of the term: go out; for the prophets under the law had limits assigned to them, but now,
the wall of partition having been broken down, (Ephesians 2:14,)
the Lord commands the ministers of the gospel to go to a distance, in order to spread the doctrine of salvation in every part of the world. For though, as we have lately suggested, the right of the first-born at the very commencement of the gospel, remained among the Jews, still the inheritance of life was common to the Gentiles. Thus was fulfilled that prediction of Isaiah, (Isaiah 49:6,) and others of a similar nature, that Christ was
given for a light of the Gentiles,
that he might be the salvation of God to the end of the earth.
Mark means the same thing by every creature; for when peace has been proclaimed to those that are within the Church, the same message reaches those who are at a distance, and were strangers, (Ephesians 2:17.)
- This Catholic
- Can not disagree with that part.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 19 part θ
- How necessary it was that the apostles should be distinctly informed of the calling of the Gentiles, is evident from this consideration, that even after having received the command, they felt the greatest horror at approaching them, as if by doing so they polluted themselves and their doctrine.
- This Catholic
- Observes there was a difference between them. St Peter was the one who best fits this description, more than one occasion, St Paul the least.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 19 part ι
- Baptizing them. Christ enjoins that those who have submitted to the gospel, and professed to be his disciples, shall be baptized; partly that their baptism may be a pledge of eternal life before God:, and partly that it may be an outward sign of faith before men. For we know that God testifies to us the grace of adoption by this sign, because he engrafts us into the body of his Son, so as to reckon us among his flock; and, therefore, not only our spiritual washing, by which he reconciles us to himself, but likewise our new righteousness, are represented by it. But as God, by this seal confirms to us his grace, so all who present themselves for baptism do, as it were, by their own signature, ratify their faith. Now since this charge is expressly given to the apostles along with the preaching of the word, it follows that none can lawfully administer baptism but those who are also the ministers of doctrine. When private persons, and even women, are permitted to baptize, nothing can be more at variance with the ordinance of Christ, nor is it any thing else than a mere profanation.
- This Catholic
- Observes a certain unease with Catholic terminology on the Regeneration by Baptism in Calvin's wording.
Does Calvin mean Baptism is only a sign in which God testifies the grace of adotion, or does he mean the sign efficiently (except for those who pose an obstacle) contains this grace?
The latter is the right Catholic Doctrine and indeed Dogma. It was, needlessly, wilfully, attacked by Luther, when it came to the Sacraments of the New Covenant in general. And this already in the 1517 affair.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 19 part κ
- Besides, as doctrine is placed first in order, this points out to us the true distinction between this mystery and the bastard rites of the Gentiles, by which they are initiated into their sacred mysteries; for the earthly element does not become a sacrament until God quickens it by his word.
- This Catholic
- Is frankly not quite sure what Calvin means. Of course the Gentiles have false rites with false sacraments. The Hebrews had empty rites or sacraments, which only signified the grace but did not contain it. The Catholics have true and lifegiving Sacraments of the New Covenant, which both signify and contain the grace. And neither among Patriarchs and Hebrews and Jews of the Old Covenant, while they were along, nor among Catholics in the New Covenant does anyone claim there can be a Sacrament without the word of God.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 19 part λ
- As superstition improperly counterfeits all the works of God, foolish men forge various sacraments at their pleasure; but as the word, which is the soul, is not in them, they are idle and unmeaning shadows. Let us therefore hold that the power of the doctrine causes the signs to assume a new nature; as the outward working of the flesh begins to be the spiritual pledge of regeneration, when it is preceded by the doctrine of the gospel; and this is the true consecration instead of which, Popery has introduced to us the enchantments of sorcery.
- This Catholic
- Seriously thinks Calvin had some kind of problem. Posing too much in rhetoric?
The Seven Sacraments are all of the Bible.
The Sacramentals (which the Church can add at pleasure, so for instance the sacramental of blessing wine is general in wine producing countries, and that of blessing fields in agriculture, as well as that of blessing fishing boats. The Church of Ethiopia has a blessing for the coffee, as it is harvested. But in all this, there is no straying away from the word of God, nor are Sacramentals erected into Sacraments, the blessings are not God chosen signs that contain the grace they signify and confer it to those posing no obstacle, they are rather prayers. Their efficacy - when efficacious - is that of God granting the prayers of the Church. And the prayers are formulated in accordance with the word of God.
Neither in the one, nor in the other, neither in Sacraments, nor in Sacramentals (like blessings) is there any sorcery whatsoever. Though doubtlessly that is how an infidel Jew would have characterised them. Perhaps especially if confronted with their efficacy without granting any slack to the Catholic religion.
That Calvin makes this charge, that Luther made it before him, make them suspect of being puppets of Jewry. If not of all Jewry, though I will not exclude that either, at least of those concerned with relations with Christians and taking secret decisions in the yeshivot.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 19 part μ
- Accordingly, it is said in Mark, He that shall believe and be baptized shall be saved. By these words Christ not only excludes from the hope of salvation hypocrites who, though destitute of faith, are puffed up only by the outward sign; but by a sacred bond he connects baptism with doctrine, so that the latter is nothing more than an appendage of the former.
- This Catholic
- Is also a Latinist. I feel wary about English translations of "latter" and "former" since Calvin in Latin did not use these words. "Hic" means the closer, thus "the latter" if said after, but rarely "the former" if said before what it refers to. "Ille" is the opposite.
This by itself is not the worst trouble. Word order can obscure which is which to unwary translators, though here the chiasmic order seems to indicate that this was not the case. Provided, of course, that the Latin words for baptism and doctrine came in the same order as in the English translation. I am not sure the English translation is correct. I shall here expose both possibilities (there are exactly two) and comment:
... by a sacred bond God connects baptism with doctrine, so that doctrine is nothing more than an appendage of baptism.
Doctrine is rather "an appendage" of the virtue of faith. Or rather, the first object of faith is trust in God revealing Christian doctrine. The second object of faith is the doctrine which God has revealed. And faith is not an appendage of baptism, but rather the gift, the principal grace of God given in baptism.
When a baby is carried to the Church door, the Sponsors are answering some questions, if the baptismal candidate can already answer for himself, he answers them:
Q: What do you ask of the Church?
Q: What profiteth thee the Faith?
A: To eternal life.
So, the principal grace of Baptism is faith. A doctrine complete in catechism and summa theologica is a good extension of faith, but it is not an appendage. It is the secondary object, but in a true sense object of the faith. It remains itself whether it is little or much articulated.
If I really trust God who revealed all truth, then I also really believe it is true all round. Once I start asking questions, I start accumulating doctrine - and it had better be the true than the false one.
... by a sacred bond God connects baptism with doctrine, so that baptism is nothing more than an appendage of doctrine.
If by doctrine he means faith, well, in a sense he is right. Only in a sense. But I have already said in what sense doctrine as such as acquired by an individual is not identic to, but rather an extension of his virtue of faith - a divine virtue infused into his soul at baptism. So even the meaning is not clear.
But the problem is that he is only right in a sense. Baptism does not only give faith, but seals it. The seal of having a right and duty through God's promise to remain faithful or, if deviating, return to the faith, is more than the doctrinal content of the faith. Also, baptism does not give faith alone, it gives Sanctifying Grace, which comes with faith, hope and charity. The latter virtues are not doctrinal virtues, though they are virtues regulated according to sound Catholic doctrine.
So, whichever is the right translation, Calvin seems to have spoken with some clumsiness, to say the least. Considering he was a heretic, cut off from the Church, and in a certain sense even cut off from true worship of the one true God in three Persons, not by denying that mystery (see below), but by attributing to him a predestination of wicked acts, one should not be surprised he stumbles when defining the relation between faith and baptism. Or, if you prefer, falls.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 19 part ν
- But as Christ enjoins them to teach before baptizing, and desires that none but believers shall be admitted to baptism, it would appear that baptism is not properly administered unless when it is preceded by faith. On this pretense, the Anabaptists have stormed greatly against infant baptism.
- This Catholic
- If baptism were truly just a sign of a grace which God could without breach of His own covenant withhold from those who nevertheless received the sign in a right manner (right inwardly as well as outwardly), if it were a mere appendage to doctrine, then the Anabaptist conclusion would logically follow.
In the answer he gives to Anabaptism, he will be using Catholic arguments, though not purely so, perhaps, but not showing how these agree with what has just been uttered about the nature of Baptism, the nature of Sacraments.
As I just gave Anabaptism as one logical fruit of Reformers, I will now, before going on, give one root.
If there was an age of Renaissance, in the sense of revival of Antiquity, and that revival was concerned with Aristotle as a clear thinker, this Renaissance was NOT the one usually called Renaissance, it was rather taking place late 11th/12th to early 13th Century, and St Thomas Aquinas was its glorious fruit, of good seed, just as Averroism was its bad fruit, of tares. But the Renaissance we are here concerned with was rather concerned with Cicero and Demosthenes as great speakers, politicians, lawyers. When it went Philosophical, it was often Platonic, but not so much the logic of the Socratic dialogues as the even most spurious conclusions of Plotinus. But the main gist was Rhetoric. Now, its good fruit was St Thomas More, but its bad fruit was Calvin and Luther. How did it carry these?
A Christian studying Cicero to talk well, was hardly very interested in learning all about how Cicero had sacrificed a sow, a sheep and an ox. That was not his model. His model was Cicero whipping himself, like a good actor (hypocrites in Greek means actor) into an artificial anger about Verres or Catilina. When he came back to Christian stuff, what seemed closer to his Ciceronian modelling was of course doctrine and moral indignation (and the Old Testament prophets showed much of that, St Elijah could say in one sentence what Cicero took a Pharisaically long time to say:
Quousque tandem, Catilina, adhuc abutere patientia nostra, quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia?
And there he had only asked how long and far Catilina was intending to take his abuse of patience and his audacity. Not what it consisted in. Even Isaiah is more concise.) So, getting on from there to studying the Ritual of the Catholic Church was perhaps a deception to some such prepared. That is one reason why I have said the basic preparation had better be Trivium and Quadrivium, as studied by St Thomas, than only the Litterae Humaniores as studied by St Thomas More - and by this sad heretic Calvin.
But he seems really to have felt (if I may venture a guess) he was doing the good work of the model Cicero when preaching this way, and he was attacking Catholic priests who, in having at all a ritual, were continuing the sorcery in which Cicero as a Pagan was also involved.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 19 part ξ
- But the reply is not difficult, if we attend to the reason of the command. Christ orders them to convey to all nations the message of eternal salvation, and confirms it by adding the seal of baptism. Now it was proper that faith in the word should be placed before baptism, since the Gentiles were altogether alienated from God, and had nothing in common with the chosen people; for otherwise it would have been a false figure, which offered forgiveness and the gift of the Spirit to unbelievers, who were not yet members of Christ. But we know that by faith those who were formerly despised are united to the people of God.
It is now asked, on what condition does God adopt as children those who formerly were aliens? It cannot, indeed, be denied that, when he has once received them into his favor, he continues to bestow it on their children and their children’s children. By the coming of Christ God manifested himself as a Father equally to the Gentiles and to the Jews; and, therefore, that promise, which was formerly given to the Jews, must now be in force towards the Gentiles,
I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed after thee, (Genesis 17:7.)
Thus we see that they who entered by faith into the Church of God are reckoned, along with their posterity, among the members of Christ, and, at the same time, called to the inheritance of salvation. And yet this does not involve the separation of baptism from faith and doctrine; because, though infants are not yet of such an age as to be capable of receiving the grace of God by faith, still God, when addressing their parents, includes them also. I maintain, therefore, that it is not rash to administer baptism to infants, to which God invites them, when he promises that he will be their God.
- This Catholic
- Finds the general reason quite correct. Details are faulty. It is suggested, by omitting a somewhat more roundabout but correct alternative, that Christian babies are saved through the faith of the parents.
Not so, it is the faith of the Church.
Even as to human givers of the faith, insofar as it happens regularly through baptism, these are not parents, who are usually only fostering the faith after baptism. The ones who transmit the faith or demand its transmission as faithful, are priest baptising (in cases of necessity even laymen may baptise) and the sponsors. That is why to incest in the ordinary sense there is added a spiritual incest, in that marriage with a sponsor is incestuous, just as marriage with a parent is.
But it is true, the Church is a True People of God now, as Israel was in the times of Moses. The one fact justified why children where, if males, circumcised. The other justifies why children are now baptised. And since there are not two peoples of God, Israel andthe Church are really the same thing. Note, the Synagogue that rejected Christ is not the same as the one or as the other and is not the People of God.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 19 part ο
- In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. This passage shows that the full and clear knowledge of God, which had been but darkly shadowed out under the Law and the Prophets, is at length fully discovered under the reign of Christ. True, indeed, the ancients would never have ventured to call God their Father, if they had not derived this assurance from Christ their Head; and the Eternal Wisdom of God, who is the fountain of light and life, was not wholly unknown to them. It was even one of their acknowledged principles, that God displays his power by the Holy Spirit. But at the commencement of the gospel God was far more clearly revealed in Three Persons; for then the Father manifested himself in the Son, his lively and distinct image, while Christ, irradiating the world by the full splendor of his Spirit, held out to the knowledge of men both himself and the Spirit.
- This Catholic
- Mainly concurs on this one.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 19 part π
- There are good reasons why the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are expressly mentioned; for there is no other way in which the efficacy of baptism can be experienced than when we begin with the unmerited mercy of the Father, who reconciles us to himself by the only begotten Son; next, Christ comes forward with the sacrifice of his death; and at length, the Holy Spirit is likewise added, by whom he washes and regenerates us, (Titus 3:5,) and, in short, makes us partakers of his benefits. Thus we perceive that God cannot be truly known, unless our faith distinctly conceive of Three Persons in one essence; and that the fruit and efficacy of baptism proceed from God the Father adopting us through his Son, and, after having cleansed us from the pollutions of the flesh through the Spirit: creating us anew to righteousness.
- This Catholic
- Finds the idea somewhat suspect of Modalism. Perhaps I am over anxious about it.
Of course, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit make things about Creation together, which nevertheless are attributed to one person rather than the other. Like sanctification to God the Holy Spirit. Thus, usually, we attribute to the Father creating us, to the Son redeeming us (but this is not an atribution in that sense, since it was only the Second Person who took flesh) and the Holy Ghost sanctifying us.
But the wording could give room to a suspicion a single person one-god were simply masked in these different "functions". Especially as these attributions are not the reason or not the main reason why God is here giving the Triune name. But Calcin gives these attributions as "good reasons" for giving it in order to "experience" the efficacy of Baptism.
Also, apart from question of Modalism, the efficacy of Baptism does not depend on its being experienced by the baptised person.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 20 part α
- Matthew 28:20.Teaching them to observe all things. By these words, as I have formerly suggested, Christ shows that, in sending the apostles, he does not entirely resign his office, as if he ceased to be the Teacher of his Church; for he sends away the apostles with this reservation, that they shall not bring forward their own inventions, but shall purely and faithfully deliver from hand to hand (as we say) what he has entrusted to them.
- This Catholic
- Can testify that on this point the Catholic Church agrees completely. Here - for once among so many errors and inaccuracies - or for once again, rather - Calvin hit the nail.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 20 part β
- Would to God that the Pope would subject to this rule the power which he claims for himself; for we would easily permit him to be the successor of Peter or of Paul, provided that he did not usurp a tyrannical dominion over our souls. But as he has set aside the authority of Christ, and infects the Church with his childish fooleries, this shows plainly enough how widely he has departed from the apostolic office. In short, let us hold that by these words teachers are appointed over the Church, not to put forward whatever they may think proper, but that they, as well as others, may depend on the mouth of the Master alone, so as to gain disciples for him, and not for themselves.
- This Catholic
- Finds that Calvin was very inaccurate about Papacy back then. But starting to look more and more accurate as a prophet about the Bergoglio pseudo-papacy. In fact, Bergoglio's friend Tony Palmer might feel indebted to Calvin for his choice not to be a Papist. And Bergoglio by the twitter account, given an indulgence for those following it, by the "follow the Pope in the Holy Land" ads, by tolerating a fan club to stand listening with a banderolle "Francesco, sei Unico" and still stand and wave, and by similar means, could be illustrating Calvin's point, hoping to provoke a disgust with the Papacy. In me he has provoked a disgust with his person.
For Pius IV or St Pius V were doing none of these things.
Now, let us cite one Creationist and Protestant - Lubenow - on Church History, and see where infidelity is coming from and who is defening the integrity of Christ's message:
One of the first serious statements of the pre-Adamite concept was by Isaac de la Peyrere, a Jewish convert to Catholicism from Bordeaux, who in 1655 published a book, Systema Theologicum ex Prae-Adamitarum Hypothesi. Peyrere argued that the Biblical Adam was of pre-Adamite stock, and was the father of only the Jews. Cain’s wife and the inhabitants of Cain’s city, as well as the Gentiles, were of other pre-Adamite stock and were not descended from the Biblical Adam. Peyrere questioned miracles and the doctrine of Original Sin. To explain the existence of pre-Adamite Gentiles living after the Flood, he held that the Flood was a local event. Because of his doctrinal defects, the Catholic Church declared Peyrere to be a heretic. He was forced to make a public recantation before Pope Alexander VII. However, Peyrere continued to hold the pre-Adamite view for the rest of his life.
Pre-Adamites, sin, death and the human fossils
by Marvin L. Lubenow
So Peyrère is defending the pre-Adamite error (indeed heresy if you consider any anatomical humans seen today as pre-Adamites, condemned again by Pius XII in Humani Generis) and Peyrère is of Jewish origin, has lived in Jewish practise before converting to the Catholic faith. Alexander VII is Orthodox on the matter, he makes Peyrère recant, and he is the Pope. The same Papacy that Calvin accused of not staying faithful to the doctrine of Christ. Go figure!
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 20 part γ
- And, lo, I am with you always. As Christ gave to the apostles a commission which they were unable to discharge by reliance on merely human power, he encourages them by the assurance of his heavenly protection.
- This Catholic
- Notes this is correct as far as it goes.
But Calvin conspicuously here leaves out considering the word "always", and a little lower he misses the point.
Yes, we are drawing near the end now.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 20 part δ
- For before promising that he would be with them, he began with declaring that he is the, King of heaven and earth, who governs all things by his power and authority.
- This Catholic
- Notes that this is correct. As I already noted previous occasion he said it.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 20 part ε
- The pronoun I must be viewed as emphatic; as if he had said that the apostles, if they wished zealously to perform their duty, must not consider what they are able to do, but must rely on the invincible power of those under whose banner they fight.
- This Catholic
- Notes that this also is correct.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 20 part ζ
- The nature of that presence which the Lord promises to his followers ought to be understood spiritually; for it is not necessary that he should descend from heaven in order to assist us, since he can assist us by the grace of his Spirit, as if he stretched out his hand from heaven. For he who, in respect of his body, is at a great distance from us, not only diffuses the efficacy of his Spirit through the whole world, but even actually dwells in us.
- This Catholic
- Balks back!
Here Calvin sees a promise of the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, and he takes an opportunity to deny the same Real Presence.
Yes, under its own dimensions, the Blessed Body of Our Lord is indeed far away, beyond the fixed stars, and you can ask astronomers how many hundreds of thousands or even millions or perhaps billions of miles there are of bodies that circle the Sun and are thus nearer than the fixed stars. But under the dimensions of Bread and Wine, the same Blessed Body with its Precious Blood are at the nearest altar where a Holy Mass is validly celebrated. And in the nearest Tabernacle, where the Body of Christ is preserved between Holy Mass and such Communions as are given outside Holy Mass. A stranger makes a confession three o'clock in the afternoon and does not know if he will be able to stay for Holy Mass next morning - or simply because he has long been away from Christ, the priest will not tell him he must only communicate in Holy Mass, but will give him communion after confession.
Or a man lies dying three o' clock in the morning, the priest comes to visit him, he takes, of course the Blessed Presence, promised sufficiently clearly in this last verse of St Matthew's Gospel and more directly in other places, from the Tabernacle to give the dying man after absolution.
The position of Calvin is perfidious.
Thereby we do not deny that Christ is ALSO present through the Holy Spirit sent to the Church, but it is perfidy to limit the Presence to the spiritual manner alone.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 20 part η
- Even to the end of the world. It ought likewise to be remarked, that this was not spoken to the apostles alone; for the Lord promises his assistance not for a single age only, but even to the end of the world.
- This Catholic
- Notes a mingling of true and false.
Calvin's "not to the apostles alone" is correct if given as meaning to the apostles with their successors, and through both themselves and their successors to all faithful in communion with them. And this sense he is giving by the truthful clause: "for the Lord promises his assistance not for a single age only, but even to the end of the world."
But Calvin also uses, apparently, see below, "not to the apostles alone" as meaning "to all true faithful without any distinction between clergy and laymen, or between episcopal and presbyteral orders of clergy", and herein he is disingenious, for some verses before this one it is clearly stated that Christ adressed these words to the Eleven, i e those who were left of the Twelve He had previously chosen after the apostasy of Judas the traitor.
The promise is directly to the Eleven with successors, and indirectly to faithful in communion with their bishops.
If Calvin believed the Rome of his time had become like Judas, it was his duty to believe nevertheless there were true and rightbelieving bishops somewhere, "for the Lord promises his assistance not for a single age only, but even to the end of the world." And that, of course, without any interruption, like a supposed such between Calvin's own time and that of his predecessors, and back to a supposed post-Apostolic great apostasy. No, not for a single age only, nor with any interruptoion between ages.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 20 part θ
- It is as if he had said, that though the ministers of the gospel be weak and suffer the want of all things: he will be their guardian, so that they will rise victorious over all the opposition of the world.
- This Catholic
- Finds this true.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 20 part ι
- In like manner, experience clearly shows in the present day, that the operations of Christ are carried on wonderfully in a secret manner, so that the gospel surmounts innumerable obstacles.
- This Catholic
- The operations of Christ were carried on wonderfully in an open manner, when Jesuit missionaries (not forgetting earlier Dominicans and Franciscans) overcame innumerable obstacles to bring the Catholic Gospel to Philippines of Japan, to India or China, to Hurons or Paraguay, to Hispaniola or Perú, to México or Brazil, to Moçambique or Bom Bahía.
Christ loves His Church to operate in the open. As to secrecy, that is Satan's favourite tool. And Calvin hoped to keep certain details of how Calvin's work spread secret, and it did not remain so. The spirit of rhetoric as being the spirit of Renaissance, is one such little secret.
- Quoting Calvin's exposition of Verse 20 part κ
- So much the more intolerable is the wickedness of the Popish clergy, when they take this as a pretext for their sacrilege and tyranny. They affirm that the Church cannot err, because it is governed by Christ; as if Christ, like some private soldier, hired himself for wages to other captains, and as if he had not, on the contrary, reserved the entire authority for himself, and declared that he would defend his doctrine, so that his ministers may confidently expect to be victorious over the whole world.
- This Catholic
- Notes first that Calvin was aware that Catholicism saw the same implications back then as now in these verses.
Then he gives a correct citation of "Popish" doctrine:
They affirm that the Church cannot err, because it is governed by Christ
Well, exactly. That is what Christ promised here. It is also stated by Saint Paul, when he says "the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth". But Calvin, not wanting to get it, and being as good a rhetor as he is a bad believer in the promises of Christ, gives a false comparison:
as if Christ, like some private soldier, hired himself for wages to other captains
If captains claim to be obeying the correct orders of the general, what use is it for a simple soldier to ask "did the general become your hired soldier to take orders from you?" if he is not content with the orders given?
as if he had not, on the contrary, reserved the entire authority for himself, and declared that he would defend his doctrine, so that his ministers may confidently expect to be victorious over the whole world.
He has indeed reserved the entire authority to Himself in such a manner as his ministers are bound by His authority, accessed in Holy Writ (expounded more faithfully than Calvin did with these verses!) and Tradition (this latter entity comprising practises not directly found in Holy Writ, though none unsupported by it, and mostly a tradition of exposing the Holy Writ in one and same sense). But He has not reserved the entire authority to Himself in such a manner as not to share it with His lawful ministers, those Eleven, their lawful successors in Episcopal Office, those lawfully appointed by them. On the contrary, He shows that He has so shared His authority by the very fact of chosing the Eleven as the direct hearers of this promise.
Hans Georg Lundahl
BpI, Georges Pompidou
Saint Antonio Maria Zaccaria, Confessor