John Calvin Complete Commentary - Philippians 1:18 - 1:18

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - Philippians 1:18 - 1:18


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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

18But in every way. As the wicked disposition of those of whom he has spoken might detract from the acceptableness of the doctrine, (77) he says that this ought to be reckoned of great importance, that they nevertheless promoted the cause of the gospel, whatever their disposition might be. For God sometimes accomplishes an admirable work by means of wicked and depraved instruments. Accordingly, he says that he rejoices in a happy result of this nature; because this one thing contented him — if he saw the kingdom of Christ increasing — just as we, on hearing that that impure dog Carolus (78) was scattering the seeds of pure doctrine at Avignon and elsewhere, we gave thanks to God because he had made use of that most profligate and worthless villain for his glory: and at this day we rejoice that the progress of the gospel is advanced by many who, nevertheless, had another design in view. But though Paul rejoiced in the advancement of the gospel, yet, had the matter been in his hand, he would never have ordained such persons as ministers. We ought, therefore, to rejoice if God accomplishes anything that is good by means of wicked persons; but they ought not on that account to be either placed by us in the ministry, or looked upon as Christ’ lawful ministers.



(77) “Pouuoit diminuer l’ de la doctrine;” — “ diminish the authority of the doctrine.”

(78) Our Author appears to refer here to Peter Carolus, of whom the reader will find particular mention made by Beza in his Life of CALVIN. — CALVIN’ Tracts, vol. 1, pp. 30, 31. — Ed.