Where is the reformation among us? Extract from the end of Calvin's Sermon on Acts 3:17–19

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Extract from the end of Calvin's eighth sermon on Acts.
The wicked, on the other hand, only gnash their teeth, as I said, when the subject [of their sins and God’s judgment] is broached. And even while gnashing their teeth they yield more and more to their excesses, as we see today. The more God’s judgment is brought to the attention of the wicked, the more they abandon themselves to their vanities and follies. We have cried out against their amusements, their dissolute behaviour, and we see how they abstain from them! These wicked man [sic?], these despisers of God, do Mardi Gras just as they always have. Then comes mid-Lent Tuesday. And then are not even content with that! They have to have their masquerades too. And what follows that? The brother has to be open to all comers, and the trumpet must be sounded everywhere to summon everyone to the brother in Geneva.

So where is the reformation that is supposed to be among us? What reverence do we show for God for the many good things he has done for us among the nations? His name is trampled under foot! He is everywhere blasphemed! And from now on will they not yield themselves a thousand times more villainously to their vices than they ever did when trapped in wretched slavery to the Antichrist? That is the kind of fruit we will reap from the gospel as long as such dissolute behaviour is permitted and supported. However, let those who are responsible for establishing order look more closely at the situation, and let us ask God to keep us from the hardness of heart that would prevent us from perceiving his judgment so that we may completely govern our lives according to his word, so that when Jesus Chris returns we will not be condemned but given eternal rest with him in the glory of his Father.

Following this holy teaching, let us bow before the face of our gracious God, acknowledging our sins, asking him to be pleased to touch us in such a way that, being displeased with them, we will only seek to follow him in all that it pleases him to command us, so that being enlightened by his Holy Spirit, we will never turn away from our sacred calling, but walk in it and observe his commandments until he has fully clothed us with his righteousness. May he grant that grace not only to us but to all the peoples and nations of the earth …. John Calvin, Sermon 8, “The Way to Forgiveness, Sunday, 9 March 1550,” Acts 3:17–19, in Sermons on the Acts of the Apostles, Chapters 1–7, translated by Rob Roy McGregor (Banner of Truth, 2008), pp. 95–108.
 
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