John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 8:53 - 8:53

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 8:53 - 8:53


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53.Art thou greater than our father Abraham? This is another offense, that they endeavor to obscure the glory of Christ by the splendor of Abraham and of the saints. But as all the stars are thrown into the shade by the brightness of the sun, so all the glory that is to be found in all the saints must fade away before the incomparable brightness of Christ. They act unjustly and absurdly, therefore, in contrasting the servants with the Lord; and they even act improperly towards Abraham and the Prophets, by abusing their name in opposition to Christ. But this wickedness has prevailed in almost every age, and prevails even in the present day, that wicked men, by mangling the works of God, make him appear to be contrary to himself. God glorified himself by the Apostles and Martyrs; the Papists frame idols for themselves out of the Apostles and Martyrs, that they may occupy the place of God; and do they not, in this manner, manufacture engines out of the very favors of God, to destroy his power? For how little remains for God or for Christ, if the saints have all that the Papists so lavishly bestow upon them! Wherefore, we ought to know that the whole order of the Kingdom of God is destroyed, unless Prophets, Apostles, and all that can be called Saints, be placed far below Christ, that he alone may hold the highest rank. And, indeed, we cannot speak of the Saints more respectfully than when we place them below Christ. But the Papists, though they may deceive the ignorant by boasting that they are faithful admirers of the Saints, offer an insult both to God and to them, because, by assigning to them a lofty station, they reduce Christ to a level with them. And, indeed, they are doubly in the wrong, because they prefer the Saints to Christ in doctrine; and because, by clothing themselves with the spoils of Christ, they deprive him of almost all his power.