Friendly Consolation

From Commentary on Isaiah (1551).

God intended to stir up the hearts of the godly, that they might not faint amid heavy calamities. First, he addresses the Jews, who were soon after carried into that hard captivity in which they would have neither sacrifices nor prophets, and would have been destitute of all consolation, had not the Lord relieved their miseries by these predictions.  Next, he addresses all the godly that should live afterwards, or that shall yet live [after us], to encourage their hearts, even when they shall appear to be reduced very low and to be utterly ruined.  That this discourse might have greater weight, and might mere powerfully affect their minds, Isaiah describes God as raising up new prophets, whom he commands to soothe the sorrows of the people by friendly consolation. The general meaning is this: when he shall have appeared to have forsaken for a time the wretched captives, the testimony of his grace will again burst forth from the darkness.”

John Calvin (1509-1564) was one of the most influential theologians of the Protestant Reformation, who served for many decades as the chief pastor of Geneva. He wrote commentaries on most books of the Bible, which were reworked from lectures he gave to theological students. He is commemorated on May 28 in the Kalendar of the Episcopal Church. 


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