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The Works of the Flesh (Gal 5:20) - John Calvin
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2012
Posted by: The Gospel Church | more..
1,450+ views | 110+ clicks
Anger and hatred differ chiefly in this, that anger is short, and hatred is lasting. Emulationsand envyings are the occasions of hatred; and the following distinction between them is stated by Aristotle, in his second book on Rhetoric: — He who emulates is grieved that another should excel him, not because the virtue or worth of that person, in itself considered, gives him uneasiness, but because he would wish to be superior. The envious man has no desire to excel, but is grieved at the excellence of other men. None, therefore, he tells us, but low and mean persons indulge in envy, while emulation dwells in lofty and heroic minds. Paul declares both to be diseases of the flesh. From anger and hatred arise variance, strife, seditions; and he even traces the consequences so far as to mention murders and witchcraft 90 By revellings, 91 he means a dissolute life, and every kind of intemperance in the gratification of the palate. It deserves notice, that heresies are enumerated among the works of the flesh; for it shows clearly that the word flesh is not confined, as the sophists imagine, to sensuality. What produces heresies but ambition, which deals not with the lower senses, but with the highest faculties of the mind? He says that these works are manifest, so that no man may think that he will gain anything by evading the question; 92 for what avails it to deny that the flesh reigns in us, if the fruit betrays the quality of the tree? Gal 5:20

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This man, undoubtedly the greatest of Protestant divines, and perhaps, after St. Augustine, the most perseveringly followed by his disciples of any Western...

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