Thursday, June 7, 2012

John Calvin on Singing and the Glory of God

From the Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin,

"Hence it is perfectly clear that neither words nor singing (if used in prayer) are of the least consequence, or avail one iota with God, unless they proceed from deep feeling in the heart...Still we do not condemn words or singing, but rather greatly commend them, provided the feeling of the mind goes along with them. For in this way the thought of God is kept alive on our minds, which, from their fickle and versatile nature, soon relax, and are distracted by various objects, unless various means are used to support them. Besides, since the glory of God ought in a manner to be displayed in each part of our body, the special service to which the tongue should be devoted is that of singing and speaking, inasmuch as it has been expressly created to declare and proclaim the praise of God. This employment of the tongue is chiefly in the public services which are performed in the meeting of the saints. In this way the God whom we serve in one spirit and one faith, we glorify together as it were with one voice and one mouth; and that openly, so that each may in turn receive the confession of his brother’s faith, and be invited and incited to imitate it." (Book 3, Chapter 30, Section 31, emphasis added)

Every part of our bodies ought to display the glory of God! God has redeemed us and we are His, thus we should offer all that we are to the glory of God.

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