The measure of the man
I’ve enjoyed reading recently some of Calvin’s letters (£58 rather than the RRP of £90). It’s always instructive to read someone’s correspondence and, in Calvin, you find much to surprise you, especially if you think of him (as many do) as some cold, hard theologian. He is, it becomes clear, first and foremost a pastor. Here’s a snippet, written to Anne Seymour, daughter of the Lord Protector (her mother was Edward VI’s aunt). She had a clear faith and Calvin wanted to encourage her on:
It remains for me to exhort you to pursue your so happy course, even although, as I hear, you are willing enough of yourself; and I trust that the Lord himself will give you this disposition, and will grant you steadfastness to persevere to the end. Certainly, among so many excellent gifts with which God has endowed and adorned you, this stands unquestionably first – that he stretched out his hand to you in tender childhood, to lead you to his own Son, who is the author of eternal salvation and the fountain of all good. It becomes you to strive, with all the more zeal, to follow eagerly at his call.
I wonder what I’d see in your letters? And you in mine.