After being pressed by many online recommendations to read Calvin’s Institutes I have undertaken the task. My expectations were that this was going to be like paddling a canoe through mud. I was determined that I would exercise discipline and make it through. I was certain that I would learn, but I was expecting that it wasn’t going to be pleasurable. Though I’m just getting underway, I must say I am find the “unpleasurable” part to not to be the case. Battle’s translation of Calvin’s writing is beautiful. Listen to this:
In the first place, no one can look upon himself without immediately turning his thoughts to the contemplation of God, in whom he “lives and moves” [Acts 17:28]. For, quite clearly, the mighty gifts with which we are endowed are hardly from ourselves; indeed, our very being is nothing but subsistence in the one God. Then, by these benefits shed like dew from heaven upon us, we are led as by rivulets to the spring itself. Indeed, our very poverty better discloses the infinitude of benefits reposing in God. The miserable ruin, into which the rebellion of the first man cast us, especially compels us to look upward. Thus, not only will we, in fasting and hungering, seek thence what we lack; but, in being aroused by fear, we shall learn humility. For, as a veritable world of miseries is to be found in mankind, and we are thereby despoiled of divine raiment, our shameful nakedness exposes a teeming horde of infamies. Each of us must, then, be so stung by some knowledge of God.
He is conveying solid theological truth, but doing so in a devotional, and beautiful way. To this point, early in the project, I look forward to my time each morning.