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The Wednesday Word: Is it Enough to be Created for Him? Part 2

Colossians 1:16

“…all things were created by him, and for him:”

We have been created for Jesus. To absorb ourselves in our self-absorbed plans and dreams is to miss out on our purpose. Oh indeed, men may applaud us, but Heaven’s endorsement will be noticeable only by its absence.

Last time we demonstrated this truth in the story of Jonah. To further illustrate this point, let your mind go back to 1 Kings 17. The Lord had sent Elijah into hiding from wicked King Ahab. But, how would he survive in the wilderness? So, the Lord said to Elijah (and I paraphrase) “Don’t worry a thing about it, I have commanded the ravens to come and feed you.”

This is startling!

Why?

Because the most stingy and greedy birds in the world are ravens. They would rather plunder and pillage than share with anyone. But the Lord spoke to them and they obeyed. It’s as if they said, “Lord we were created by you and we are created for you.”

Then, consider Jesus on the day He entered into Jerusalem (Luke 19). He dispatched the disciples to bring him a little, unbroken donkey. Furthermore, He instructed them to respond to anyone who gave challenge to their right to take the donkey, “The Lord has need of him”. Imagine going up to a stranger’s house and taking a car without permission. But this is the equivalent of what they did and yes, they were challenged as to what they were doing but when they replied, ‘the Lord has need of him’ everything changed. “Oh, the Lord has need of him…that makes everything alright.” It’s as if they said of the donkey, “He was created by the Lord and He is created for the Lord.”

And then remember when Jesus was entering Jerusalem on that donkey. The crowd was calling out their praises but there were those who wanted Jesus to silence them. The Lord’s reply was and is significant. He said that if the crowd refused to praise him the very stones would cry out. It’s as if He said, “These stones were created by me and they are created for me.”

Are you getting the point? All of nature gets it! The wind, the fish, the Ravens, the owners of the donkey and the inanimate stones all get it. They know that all has been created for Him. Have we grasped this yet? We are not independent of Him, we are not some untouched island.

We are created for Him.

We are here to glorify Him.

Let’s quickly take a trip to Heaven and listen in to what they are doing there. Peek in and see the 24 elders before the throne. Listen to what they are saying to Jesus. Their mantra is, “Thou art worthy to receive glory honour and power for thou hast created all things and for thy pleasure they were and are created”

He has created us for Himself and for His pleasure. So, is Jesus enough? Is building your life on Him enough? Perhaps you are saying, “I believe that I am created for Him but how do I put legs on this? How do I start living for Him in all things?”

There’s no law, no 7 steps to take. However, the words of a children’s Hymn are very helpful to answer this question. While not exhaustive, the insight it furnishes is very helpful; it says;

“O what can little hands do

To please the King of Heav’n?

The little hands some work may try

That will some simple need supply:

Such grace to mine be given,

O what can little lips do

To please the King of Heav’n?;

The little lips can praise and pray,

And gentle words of kindness say:

Such grace to mine be given,

O what can little eyes do

To please the King of Heav’n?

The little eyes can upward look,

Can learn to read God’s Holy Book:

Such grace to mine be given,

O what can little hearts do

To please the King of Heav’n?

Young hearts, if he his Spirit send,

Can love their Maker, Saviour, Friend:

Such grace to mine be given.”

As we purpose to set our life apart to the glory of God, He will lead us to the steps He has prepared. We have been created for Him!

Jesus is enough.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Is It Enough To be Created for Him? Part 1

October 10, 2018 2 comments

Colossians 1:16

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:”

This gripping text (Colossians 1:16) declares that we have been created both by and for Jesus. Although it’s good to know we are created by the Lord and didn’t just crawl out from under some log, it’s even better to know we were created for Him. This is a transforming truth. Think of it, the reason we are alive is not for ourselves but for Him.

God has created us for an immediate purpose which is neither concealed nor obscure—- Purpose?

Yes, our purpose is to live for Christ Jesus (Revelation 4:11).

Of course, we will not see the unfolding of His purpose in its fullness till we meet Him face to face. But in the meantime, it’s a simple arrangement, He died for us … we live for Him.

I’ve discovered that, when we really believe we were created for Him, there are fewer anxieties in our lives. There is less fussing, fewer fights and a reduced amount of pettiness.

We have been created on purpose and that purpose is to live for Jesus.

Remember this, His love was set upon us before the dawn of time (Ephesians 1:4). He created us. He loves us personally and specifically. We all know God is love but it’s much more satisfying to know He loves us in particular.

Do we know that Jesus has created, loved, lived for, died for and has risen again for us? Has this truth gripped us?

That all things are, ‘created for Him,’ is beautifully illustrated in the book of Jonah. There we encounter the fleeing prophet. Poor Jonah, the Lord had told him to preach at Nineveh but he refused and tried to get away. He’s forgotten that he was created for the Lord. Instead, he rose up and fled! Disobedience had made him dumb in both senses of the word. Here’s a prophet who had forgotten good Bible doctrine. He’d forgotten that it is impossible to get away from God. Listen to these words,

“Whither shall I go from thy Spirit or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend into heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed in hell thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea even there shall thy hand lead me.” Psalm 139: 7-12

Jonah had risen up to flee from the presence and purpose of the Lord. There he is trying to get away from the omnipresent God in a puny little ship that, at best, limped from port to port. Look at it as it makes its weary way across the sea. So the Lord sent a great wind into the sea. It’s as if God said to the wind, “Wind, I’ve got a disobedient prophet out on the water; go out there and blow Him home to me.

And the wind said, “Yes Lord, I was created by you and I am created for you, do with me according to Thy good pleasure”.

Of course, you know the story, how the wind nearly sank the ship and Jonah volunteered to be thrown overboard to quell the storm. Thus the storm was stopped but Jonah is now in the “Sea of No Hope and Fewer Prospects!” So the Lord prepared a big fish and said, “Listen to me fish, I have a disobedient prophet out there and I want you to swallow him but don’t chew him up. Don’t eat him. Hold him like he’s in hell and after three days vomit him up on the shore”. And I think I hear the fish say, “Lord I was created by you and I am created for you. Your wish is my command.”

What immense joy comes from knowing we are created for Him.

Next time (DV) we will continue this thought.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

Duty of Repentance: Original State of Man- Book Fourth- Chapter 1

November 23, 2016 Leave a comment

Book Fourth

CHAPTER I.

ORIGINAL STATE OF MAN.

THE FIRST MAN AND WOMAN WERE CREATED HOLY, AND, FOR A TIME, SERVED THEIR CREATOR ACCEPTABLY.[1]

How long the first pair continued in their original state of innocence and happiness we have no means of knowing; but that they did so continue for a time, is apparent on the face of the sacred record. A free intercourse with their Maker existed, and the token of the divine favor, the fruit of the tree of life, was not denied until a period arrived, distinctly marked in their history, when they first violated the covenant of their God.

The fact that the first pair continued, for a time, to serve God acceptably, proves that their Creator had endowed them with the powers necessary for this service. The possession of these endowments is implied in the phrase, “God created man in his own image.”[2] To interpret this as referring to the form of the human body, is wholly inconsistent with the spirituality of God. It is true, that God was afterwards manifested in human form; but the Scriptures represent the Son of God, in this assumption of our nature, as “made like his brethren,” and, therefore, to suppose his human body to have been the pattern after which the body of Adam was formed, would change the order presented in the divine word. The phrase, “image of God,” as explained by Paul,[3] includes “knowledge, righteousness and true holiness.” It, therefore, refers to their mental endowments, by which they were fitted for the service of God.

Intelligence was necessary to render the service to God for which man was designed. A vast world had been created, abounding with creatures which exhibited, in their wonderful structure, the wisdom and power of their Creator, and, in the bountiful provision made for the supply of their wants, his goodness was richly displayed; but not one of all these creatures was capable of appreciating this wisdom, power, and goodness. They had eyes to see the light of the material sun; but, though the heavens declared the glory of God, and the earth was full of his goodness, to that glory and goodness all were totally blind. A creature was wanted capable of knowing God, and this knowledge our first parents possessed.

Something more than mere intellectual endowments was necessary to fit our first parents for acceptable service to God. These were possessed by the angels that had not kept their first estate, and yet they were enemies of God, and cast out from his presence. Purity of heart was needed; and, accordingly, Adam and Eve were endowed with righteousness and true holiness. They not only knew God, but they loved him supremely. Every natural desire which they possessed was duly subordinated to this reigning affection. Even their love to each other, pure and unalloyed, was far inferior to that which they both felt to him, who daily favored them with his visits, and taught them to see his glory in all his works by which they were surrounded.

We may interpret the phrase, “image of God,” as including, also, the dominion with which man was invested over all inferior creatures. When representing man as the head of the woman, Paul speaks of him, in this relation, as “the image and glory of God.”[4] This investiture of authority gives him a likeness to God, the Supreme Ruler. In the state of innocence, man possessed this authority without fear from any of the creatures. Until he had rebelled against his God, they were not permitted to rebel against him. As the appointed lord of the lower world, all creatures rendered him homage; and, as it were in their name, he stood, the priest in the grand temple, to offer up spiritual worship and service to the God of the whole creation. From every creature which Adam named he could learn something of God; and, with every new lesson, a new tribute of adoring praise was rendered to the Maker of all.

In the particulars which have been mentioned, the image of God is “renewed” in those who experience the regenerating influences of the Holy Spirit, and are created in Christ Jesus unto good works. The word “renewed” carries back our thoughts to man’s original state. A new creation is effected by the Spirit, restoring the regenerate to the knowledge, righteousness, and holiness from which man has fallen. In their renewed state, the effects of the fall still appear, and will remain until the last enemy, death, shall be destroyed; but their connection with the second Adam secures the completion of the good work begun, and assures them that they shall ultimately bear the likeness of the heavenly, who is the image of God.

The human soul bears likeness to God, “the Father of spirits,” in its spirituality and immortality. Also, the happiness which Adam and Eve enjoyed, while their innocence remained, was a rill from the fountain of blessedness, which is in the eternal God. In this happiness the image of God appeared, until it became sadly effaced by transgression. The spirituality and immortality of the soul remain, but the happiness of Eden has never revisited the earth; and it is again to be enjoyed only in the celestial paradise. Spirituality and immortality, without knowledge, righteousness, holiness, and communion with the blessed God, would constitute us immortal spirits in eternal woe.

We may profitably look back to the holy and happy state in which our first parents stood when they came from the hand of their Creator; and we may, with good effect, remember from whence we have fallen. A due contemplation of this subject will recommend to our acceptance the gracious plan of restoration which the gospel unfolds, in the person and work of the second Adam. What a Sabbath was that, when God, resting from the six days’ work of creation, held communion with man, the last work of his hands; and when man, unstained by sin, poured forth the first offering of praise from the newly-created earth, free and acceptable to the Creator! Such a Sabbath the earth does not now know; but such a Sabbath remains to the people of God, and blessed are they who shall enter into this rest.

[1] Gen. i. 27, 31; Ecc. vii.29.

[2] Gen. i. 27.

[3] Col. iii. 10; Eph. iv. 24.

[4] 1 Cor. xi. 7.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology

Works of God- Creation- Book Third- Chapter 2

September 7, 2016 Leave a comment

Book Third

CHAPTER II.

WORKS OF GOD–CREATION.

GOD CREATED ALL THINGS OUT OF NOTHING.[1]

Originally, nothing existed but God; no matter, out of which visible things were formed, and no spiritual substance, out of which angels and human souls were made; but God gave to all things that exist their entire being.

It has been argued that matter cannot be eternal, because self-existence is too noble a property to be attributed to an inferior nature; but this argument is not satisfactory. Why may not a small thing exist without a cause, as well as a greater? The producing of some particular effect we may conceive to be easier for a higher nature than a lower; but, is self-production, the effect is equal to the cause, and the difficulty of producing it must be as great for the one nature as for the other. In all such a priori reasoning, we are liable to deceive ourselves; and perhaps the danger is greatest where the reasoning appears most profound. For aught that philosophy can teach us, an atom of matter is absolutely indestructible; and, on philosophical principles, if it must exist through future eternity, it may have existed through past eternity. The miracle of creation is as far beyond the demonstrations of philosophy as the miracle of annihilation. When we have proved the existence of a God, able to work miracles, a probability arises that matter may be a production of his power, and we may see creative intelligence displayed in the properties and quantities of the various kinds of matter, and their adaptedness to beneficial purposes. But, for decisive proof that all things were made out of nothing, we turn to the word of God, and receive it as a truth of faith, rather than of reason. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”[2]

In the text just quoted, the doctrine of creation is not expressed in the language in which it is most commonly stated. It is not said the world was made out of nothing; but the same idea is expressed in a different manner. When we see a statue, we see the marble of which it consists; and when we see a house, we see the materials of which it is constructed. Paul teaches that the world which we see was not made of the visible substances that we behold, i.e., it was not formed of pre-existent matter, but the materials of which it now appears to be formed, were brought into existence at the time when the things themselves were created.

The work of creation was performed without effort. God spake, and it was done. He said, let there be light, and there was light. After working six days, he rested on the seventh; not because he was weary, but that the seventh day might be sanctified, and made a day of rest for man. Wherefore it is said, the sabbath was made for man.[3]

From an examination of the earth’s crust, geologists have discovered, as they think, that animals and plants existed long before the Mosaic date of creation. Methods have been proposed to reconcile the account, as contained in the first chapter of Genesis, with these professed discoveries. Some have supposed each of the days of creation to have been a long period of years. The seventh day of rest, or cessation from the work of creating, they understand to have continued to the present time, though nearly six thousand years have passed; and they suppose that each of the preceding days may have included an equally long period. Others understand “the beginning” mentioned in the first verse of the history, to refer to a time long anterior to that referred to in the second verse, “the earth was without form, &c.” A similar transition, though not so sudden, is made in the first chapter of John: “In the beginning was the word;–and the word was made flesh.”[4] Many divines have been disposed to regard the science of geology with suspicion, and to consider its deductions as inimical to the faith. But there can be no just ground to fear science, in any of its departments, so long as it pursues its investigations legitimately, and makes its deductions with becoming modesty. The Author of the Bible is the maker of the world, and the author of all truth; and his works and his word must harmonize, for the truth is always consistent. Passages in his word have been thought to be inconsistent with each other; but a more careful examination has shown their harmony, and we need not fear but that due investigation will show the word to be consistent will all the legitimate deduction of science.

The undersigned coincidences which have been discovered in the Scripture narratives, constitute a highly satisfactory part of the internal evidence which the Bible contains, that its records are true. The proof which these furnish is always the more satisfactory, the more manifest it is that the coincidence was undesigned. When two portions of Scripture, which appeared to disagree with each other, have been found, on careful investigation, to be perfectly harmonious, a coincidence has been discovered, that has the best possible evidence that it was undesigned. In this way the supposed discrepancies, which at first embarrassed us, turn out to the establishment of our faith; and when some still remain which we have not yet learned to harmonize, we are taught to wait patiently, with the confident expectation that these dark places also will at some time be illuminated. The same faith and patience should be exercised when science and Scripture are supposed to disagree. The infidel delights to point out apparent discrepancies in Scripture, and he exults when he can announce some supposed discovery of science inconsistent with the word of revelation. While the infidel triumphs, men of weak faith stagger; but it is truly a weak faith that cannot withstand such a shock. We might as well doubt whether the sun shines, when his brilliance is eclipsed by a passing cloud. The mass of evidence that the Bible is the true word of God, is so great that we can ill afford to wait till the temporary cloud passes, with the confident expectation that the light will again shine, perhaps with increased splendor. Geology is yet a recent science. What it will do ultimately for the cause of truth, future years must decide, and it is unwise to fear the result. We may trust that the ark of God will be carried through safely. Already, to some extent, the discoveries of the new science have turned out to the establishment of the faith. It has penetrated a very small distance below the earth’s surface, and, in the successive deposits of animal remains, it has found a record from which it professes to read the order in which the various species of animals came into being. Between this record and that of Moses, there is an undesigned coincidence. It is especially remarkable that, by the general consent of geologists, human remains are found only in the last of the animal deposits. This fact points to a time agreeing well with the Mosaic date of creation, when men began to exist, and when, of course, a creating power was exerted. If geology can establish that, previous to this, a convulsion of nature desolated the earth, and buried a whole generation of inferior animals in its caverns, be it so. We will listen to her arguments, and weigh them well; but we cannot omit to notice the agreement of her facts with the faithful record of inspiration. If geology were to carry back the origin of the human race to a date long anterior to that of Moses she would contradict, not only the Bible, but all history, written and traditionary. It cannot be accounted for, that our knowledge of ancient history should be limited to so recent a period, if the race had previously existed through thousands of generations. The progress in the settlement of the world, the establishment of ancient kingdoms, and the building of cities, are spread out before us on the pages of history, and geology does not contradict the record.

Although science will never contradict Scripture, it may correct erroneous inferences from it, and, in doing this, may incidentally demonstrate the wisdom from which the Bible emanated. When we have arrived at mature years, we call to mind instructions that we received in our childhood from a wise father, and that were adapted to the purpose for which they were designed. They did not teach the sciences which we have since learned, but they taught us nothing contrary; and we are now able to see, in what was said and what was omitted to be said, that the father fully understood the sciences, which it was then no part of his design to teach us. Had he not understood them, he would have employed other forms of speech, and we should be able to recollect some word or words that would betray his ignorance. So the false revelations of the heathen world contradict science. Some of them contradict the very first lessons in geography, and a child in a christian school can prove them to be false. But science, in all its advancement, though it has made its greatest attainments in the lands where the Bible is most known, has found nothing in the Bible to contradict. The only rational way to account for this, is to suppose that the Author of the Bible understood the sciences. We nowhere read in this work that the earth is supported by an elephant, and that the elephant stands on a tortoise; but we read, “He hangeth the earth upon nothing,”[5] a statement which, made in the very infancy of revelation, may satisfy us that the author of the Bible understood the mechanism of the universe. In a past age of ignorance, men supposed that Joshua’s command to the sun to stand still, disproved the Copernican system of astronomy; but this childish inference from the language of Scripture, is now well understood to be unwarranted. Men of science, who firmly believe the Copernican system, speak as freely of the sun rising and the sun setting, as those who never have heard that these appearances are owing to the earth’s rotation. Future science may teach us to correct other erroneous inferences which many have drawn from the Scripture; and we should be content to learn. The result will give further proof that the Author of Nature is the author of the Bible.

Our hearts receive a strong impression of the power, wisdom and goodness of the Lord, when we dwell on the thought that he made the heavens and the earth, with all that they contain. Above all, when we reflect that he made us, and not we ourselves, we are constrained to acknowledge his right to require what service, praise and glory we are capable of rendering. He is the former of our bodies, and the father of our spirits; and shall we not render to him that which is his own? Shall we not serve and glorify him with our bodies and our spirits, which are his? His right, by virtue of redemption, may present stronger claims, but his right by virtue of creation , is sufficient to establish our obligation, and we ought to recognise its force.

[1] Gen. i.; Neh. ix. 6; Job ix. 9; Ps. lxxxix. 11; xcv. 5; ciii. 19; civ. 4, 19; Col. i. 16; Rev. iv. 11; Heb. iii. 4; xi. 3; Acts xvii. 24.

[2] Heb. xi.3.

[3] Mark ii.27.

[4] John i. 1-14.

[5] Job xxvi. 7.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology

There was God

Spurgeon 1If it were within the range of human capacity to conceive a time when God dwelt alone, without his creatures, we should then have one of the grandest and most stupendous ideas of God. There was a season when as yet the sun had never run his race, nor commenced flinging his golden rays across space, to gladden the earth. There was an era when no stars sparkled in the firmament for there was no sea of azure in which they might float. There was a time when all that we now behold of God’s great universe was yet unborn, slumbering within the mind of God, as yet uncreated and nonexistent; yet there was God, and he was; over all blessed for ever;” though no seraphs hymned his praises, though no strong-winged cherubs flashed like lightning to do his high behests, though he was without a retinue, yet he sat as a king on his throne, the mighty God, for ever to be worshiped the Dread Supreme, in solemn silence dwelling by himself in vast immensity, making of the placid clouds his canopy, and the light from his own countenance forming the brightness of his glory. God was, and God is. From the beginning God was God; ere worlds had beginning, he was “from everlasting to everlasting.” Now when it pleased him to create his creatures, does it not strike you how infinitely those creatures must have been below himself. If you are potters, and you fashion upon the wheel a vessel, shall that piece of clay arrogate to itself equality with you! Nay, at what distance will it be from you, because you have been in part its creator. So when the Almighty formed his creatures, was it not consummate impudence, that they should venture for a moment to compare themselves with him? Yet that arch-traitor, that leader of rebels, Satan, sought to climb to the high throne of God, soon to find his aim too high, and hell itself not low enough wherein to escape divine vengeance. He knows that God is “God alone.” Since the world was created, man has imitated Satan; the creature of a day, the ephemera of an hour, has sought to match itself with the Eternal. Hence it has ever been one of the objects of the great Jehovah, to teach mankind that be is God, and beside him there is none else. This is the lesson he has been teaching the world since it went astray from him He has been busying himself in breaking down the high places, in exalting the valleys, in casting down imaginations and lofty looks, that all the world might

“Know that the Lord is God alone,
He can create, and he destroy.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Sovereignty and Salvation-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, January 6

The division of the faculties of the soul into intellect and will

September 30, 2015 Leave a comment

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015The division of the faculties of the soul into intellect and will, more agreeable to Christian doctrine.

7. From this method of teaching we are forced somewhat to dissent. For philosophers, being unacquainted with the corruption of nature, which is the punishment of revolt, erroneously confound two states of man which are very different from each other. Let us therefore hold, for the purpose of the present work, that the soul consists of two parts, the intellect and the will, (Book 2 chap. 2 sec. 2, 12,) — the office of the intellect being to distinguish between objects, according as they seem deserving of being approved or disapproved; and the office of the will, to choose and follow what the intellect declares to be good, to reject and shun what it declares to be bad, (Plato, in Phaedro.) We dwell not on the subtlety of Aristotle, that the mind has no motion of itself; but that the moving power is choice, which he also terms the appetite intellect. Not to lose ourselves in superfluous questions, let it be enough to know that the intellect is to us, as it were, the guide and ruler of the soul; that the will always follows its beck, and waits for its decision, in matters of desire. For which reason Aristotle truly taught, that in the appetite there is a pursuit and rejection corresponding in some degree to affirmation and negation in the intellect, (Aristot. Ethic. lib. 6 sec. 2.) Moreover, it will be seen in another place, (Book 2 c. 2 see. 12-26,) how surely the intellect governs the will. Here we only wish to observe, that the soul does not possess any faculty which may not be duly referred to one or other of these members. And in this way we comprehend sense under intellect. Others distinguish thus: They say that sense inclines to pleasure in the same way as the intellect to good; that hence the appetite of sense becomes concupiscence and lust, while the affection of the intellect becomes will. For the term appetite, which they prefer, I use that of will, as being more common.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 15-Henry Beveridge Translation

It were vain to seek a definition of the soul from philosophers, not one of whom, with the exception of Plato, distinctly maintained its immortality

September 23, 2015 1 comment

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015The doctrine of philosophers as to the faculties of the soul generally discordant, doubtful, and obscure. The excellence of the soul described. Only one soul in each man. A brief review of the opinion of philosophers as to the faculties of the soul. What to be thought of this opinion.

6. It were vain to seek a definition of the soul from philosophers, not one of whom, with the exception of Plato, distinctly maintained its immortality. Others of the school of Socrates, indeed, lean the same way, but still without teaching distinctly a doctrine of which they were not fully persuaded. Plato, however, advanced still further, and regarded the soul as an image of God. Others so attach its powers and faculties to the present life, that they leave nothing external to the body. Moreover, having already shown from Scripture that the substance of the soul is incorporeal, we must now add, that though it is not properly enclosed by space, it however occupies the body as a kind of habitation, not only animating all its parts, and rendering the organs fit and useful for their actions, but also holding the first place in regulating the conduct. This it does not merely in regard to the offices of a terrestrial life, but also in regard to the service of God. This, though not clearly seen in our corrupt state, yet the impress of its remains is seen in our very vices. For whence have men such a thirst for glory but from a sense of shame? And whence this sense of shame but from a respect for what is honorable? Of this, the first principle and source is a consciousness that they were born to cultivate righteousness, — a consciousness akin to religion. But as man was undoubtedly created to meditate on the heavenly life, so it is certain that the knowledge of it was engraven on the soul. And, indeed, man would want the principal use of his understanding if he were unable to discern his felicity, the perfection of which consists in being united to God. Hence, the principal action of the soul is to aspire thither, and, accordingly, the more a man studies to approach to God, the more he proves himself to be endued with reason.

Though there is some plausibility in the opinion of those who maintain that man has more than one soul, namely, a sentient and a rational, yet as there is no soundness in their arguments, we must reject it, unless we would torment ourselves with things frivolous and useless. They tell us, (see chap. 5 sec. 4,) there is a great repugnance between organic movements and the rational part of the soul. As if reason also were not at variance with herself, and her counsels sometimes conflicting with each other like hostile armies. But since this disorder results from the depravation of nature, it is erroneous to infer that there are two souls, because the faculties do not accord so harmoniously as they ought. But I leave it to philosophers to discourse more subtilely of these faculties. For the edification of the pious, a simple definition will be sufficient. I admit, indeed, that what they ingeniously teach on the subject is true, and not only pleasant, but also useful to be known; nor do I forbid any who are inclined to prosecute the study. First, I admit that there are five senses, which Plato (in Theaeteto) prefers calling organs, by which all objects are brought into a common sensorium, as into a kind of receptacle: Next comes the imagination, (phantasia,) which distinguishes between the objects brought into the sensorium: Next, reason, to which the general power of judgment belongs: And, lastly, intellect, which contemplates with fixed and quiet look whatever reason discursively revolves. In like manner, to intellect, fancy, and reason, the three cognitive faculties of the soul, correspond three appetite faculties viz., will, whose office is to choose whatever reason and intellect propound; irascibility, which seizes on what is set before it by reason and fancy; and concupiscence, which lays hold of the objects presented by sense and fancy.

Though these things are true, or at least plausible, still, as I fear they are more fitted to entangle, by their obscurity, than to assist us, I think it best to omit them. If any one chooses to distribute the powers of the mind in a different manner, calling one appetive, which, though devoid of reason, yet obeys reason, if directed from a different quarter, and another intellectual, as being by itself participant of reason, I have no great objection. Nor am I disposed to quarrel with the view, that there are three principles of action, viz., sense, intellect, and appetite. But let us rather adopt a division adapted to all capacities — a thing which certainly is not to be obtained from philosophers. For they, when they would speak most plainly, divide the soul into appetite and intellect, but make both double. To the latter they sometimes give the name of contemplative, as being contented with mere knowledge and having no active powers (which circumstance makes Cicero designate it by the name of intellect, ingenii,) (De Fin. Lib. 5.) At other times they give it the name of practical, because it variously moves the will by the apprehension of good or evil. Under this class is included the art of living well and justly. The former viz., appetite, they divide into will and concupiscence, calling it “boulesis”, so whenever the appetite, which they call “horme”, obeys the reason. But when appetite, casting off the yoke of reason, runs to intemperance, they call it “pathos”. Thus they always presuppose in man a reason by which he is able to guide himself aright.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 15-Henry Beveridge Translation