JOHN CALVIN: 'THE TRUE CALLING OF WOMEN' (7)
Posted at Purely Presbyterian:
The 19th Sermon
upon the second chapter of 1 Timothy
Profanation of holy matrimony.
If this were well printed in the heart, no doubt there would appear a better shew in marriage than there doth. But what? There be very few that know what this meaneth, “to serve God,” and that ground themselves upon that point. And that it is so, when there is a marriage made here in the company of the faithful, do they for the most part which come to pass such an obligation and so solemn, know that God sitteth as chief amongst us, and that these promises are made in his name? Do they know this? No no: But the most part of them come hither like calves, and like beasts. Are they before the pulpit? They are so well instructed, that they can not tell what they say. If we speak of the husband’s office, and of the wife’s, they understand no more than beasts do. And if they hear any one word whereby they may be edified, we see that as soon as our backs be turned, there is nothing but all kind of looseness, and those that are the veryest naughty packs, those are the bravest fellows.
Therefore when holy marriage is so profaned, we may not marvel if there be so great discords as we see, and God withdraw himself. For when we compare that which is written here, with the state that we see so corrupted in the world, we have to sigh so much the more—and in sighing, to gather ourselves under the obedience of our God. For if the greatest part mock at that which is shewed us here by Paul, if men be given to all dissoluteness, and women be idle, and seek nothing else but to be exempt from all labour, and all come to naught, let us take heed we be not like to such people. But let every one of us employ himself to that wherein God hath set him on work. And if the oxen bear the yoke when they are accustomed to it, let us that know to what end we are made learn to bear the yoke which God hath laid upon us, that is to say, let every one of us follow his vocation. This is in sum that we have to mark touching this word which Paul saith: “That women shall be saved by bearing of children.“