Quote of Note #19: Gracious Help to those in Need


100_4602“If anyone . . . appears before you who is in need of your kind services, you have no reason to refuse him your help.

Suppose he is a stranger; yet the Lord has pressed his own stamp on him and made him as one of your family, and he forbids you to despise your own flesh and blood.

Suppose he is despicable and worthless; yet the Lord has deigned him worthy to be adorned with his own image.

Suppose that you have no obligation toward him for services; yet the Lord has made him as it were his substitute, so that you have obligation for numerous and unforgettable benefits.

Suppose that he is unworthy of your least exertion; but the image of God which recommends him to you deserves that you surrender yourself and all your possessions to him.

If he has deserved no kindness, but just the opposite, because he has maddened you with his injuries and insults, even this is no reason why you should not surround him with your affection and show him all sorts of favors.  You may say that he has deserved a very different treatment, but what does the Lord command but to forgive all men their offenses and to charge them against himself.”

John Calvin, The Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life.
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1952/2004/2005, pages 37-38.

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