“that primal worthiness cannot come to mind without the sorry spectacle of our foulness and dishonour presenting itself by way of contrast, since in the person of the first man we have fallen from our original condition. From this source arise abhorrence and displeasure with ourselves, as well as true humility; and thence is kindled a new zeal to seek God, in whom each of us may recover those good things which we have utterly and completely lost.”
“Ambition and pride, together with ungratefulness, arose, because Adam by seeking more than was granted him shamefully spurned God’s great bounty, which had been lavished upon him. To have been made in the likeness of God seemed a small matter to a son of earth unless he also attained equality with god – a monstrous wickedness!”
“Bernard rightly teaches that the door of salvation is opened to us when we receive the gospel today with our ears, even as death was then admitted by those same windows when they were opened to Satan.”
Reading this material again challenged me as to the way in which I’m tempted to ‘soften’ sin to something which feels more unfortunate, rather than something monstrous as Calvin describes. Some of that may be cultural, but I suspect that if I’m honest I just need to have greater faith in God’s power through his word, drink a can of man-up, and discharge my duty faithfully. Any thoughts on the difference between Calvin’s forthright description and our own, often weak, efforts?