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The prophets did not speak at their own suggestion, but that, being organs of the Holy Spirit, they only uttered what they had been commissioned from heaven to declare. Whoever then wishes to profit in the Scriptures, let him, first of all, lay down this as a settled point, that the Law and the Prophets are not a doctrine delivered according to the will and pleasure of men, but dictated by the Holy Spirit. … We owe to the Scripture the same reverence which we owe to God; because it has proceeded from him alone, and has nothing belonging to man mixed with it.

—John Calvin
Commentaries on the Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, 248–249.

When I was younger, I gave myself overmuch to human teaching, like others of my day, and when about seven or eight years ago I undertook to devote myself entirely to the Scriptures I was always prevented by philosophy and theology. But eventually I came to the point where led by Scripture and the Word of God I saw the need to set aside all these things and to learn the doctrine of God direct from his own Word. Then I began to ask God for light and the Scriptures became far clearer to me.

—Ulrich Zwingli
“Christ Our Captain”: An Introduction to Huldrych Zwingli (Quartz Hill, CA: Quartz Hill Publishing House, 2011), 60.

But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. – Gal 3:11-12

Now, the prophet [Habakkuk] had spoken about the chastisements and judgments that God would send on the people; therefore, having examined the situation, we might well have concluded that all was lost. Then he says that the pride of the wicked will swell and increase, but that their feet are in a slippery place and they will stumble in the way. The more they seek to exalt themselves, the more grievous will be their fall. This is what the prophet pronounces upon the wicked. On the other hand, he says of the just that they shall ‘live by faith’. Notice he says that the just shall live, implying that God’s children will not find life here below. Even if they were to travel all over the world, and search high and low, they would soon realise that there is death and decay everywhere and in everything. However, though they do not enjoy this ‘life’ at the present time, they look forward to a life to come, and cherish it in their hearts and minds by faith. The prophet is seeking to draw the minds of God’s elect away from both the world and themselves, so that they may cleave entirely to God, finding his grace alone sufficient for their salvation.

—John Calvin
Sermons of John Calvin: A Selection of Thirty Six Various Sermons, “We All Stand Condemned by the Law”

The love of God does not find
but creates that which is pleasing to it.

The love of God which lives in man loves sinners, evil persons, fools, and weaklings in order to make them righteous, good, wise, and strong. Rather than seeking its own good, the love of God flows forth and bestows good. Therefore sinners are attractive because they are loved; they are not loved because they are attractive.

—Martin Luther
Works, 31:57.

 

For a man to have his will, and whatsoever he desires, what a happiness is that! If his soul be set upon holy things, he shall have what he desires, the Lord will not be wanting: Prov. 10:24, ‘The fear of the wicked, it shall come come upon him; but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.’ The desires of the righteous are suitable to the constitution and frame of their heart. He will grant the desires of their souls, Ps. 10:17. A man that makes God his heart’s delight shall have his heart’s desire: Ps. 37:4, ‘Delight thyself in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desire of thy heart;’ his business is to maintain communion with God, and his desires will not miscarry.

—Thomas Manton
Works, 6:431.

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