Calvin on Islam



       As Rev. Dr. Calvin comments9 in his 1561 Commentaries on Daniel (at 2:35 and 2:44) — that Prophet “speak of the Roman Empire as iron….  Daniel says the image perished when the Roman Empire was broken up….   The dream was presented to King Nebuchadnezzar — so that he might understand all future events till the renovation of the World….. 

     “There is no doubt, then, that Daniel intended the Romans by the Fourth Empire….   The Jews [or Post-Christian Judaists] agree with us [Christians] — in thinking this passage cannot be otherwise understood, than of the perpetual reign of the Messiah….   For Daniel here openly affirms that Messiah’s Kingdom — should arrive at the close of the Fourth Monarchy!    

     “Hence they [the modern Anti-Christian Judaists after the First Advent of Jesus, now] fly to the miserable refuge that by the Fourth Monarchy should be understood the Turkish Empire — which they call that of the Ishmaelites….   The Turks, a long time afterwards — namely 600 years — suddenly burst forth like a deluge….    

     “Rabbi Barbinel [Avrabanel (1437-1508)]…seems to excel others in acuteness….  The Turks, says he, occupy a large portion of the World — and religion among Christians, is divided….   The Turks have spread far and wide, and the World is filled with impious despisers of God.” *       *       *       *       *       *       * 

       Now in Daniel 7:7f & 7:20, that Prophet predicted the rise of a ‘little horn’ within the Roman Empire.   Though first but ‘little’ — that horn would later become very ‘stout’ and arrogant.    

     In his Commentaries on Daniel (7:7-18), Calvin explains10 that “in this Fourth Monarchy those who are endued with moderate judgment confess this vision to be fulfilled in the Roman Empire….   What is here said of the Fourth Beast — many transfer to the Pope, when it is added that a ‘Little Horn’ sprang up.   But others think the Turkish kingdom is comprehended under the Roman.   The Jews, for the most part, incline this way…. 

     “Christ’s Kingdom was erected by the overthrow of the Roman dominion.   The Jews…join the Turkish monarchy with the Roman….   There are some of our [Christian] writers who think this image ought not to be restricted to the Roman Empire, but ought to include the Turkish…. 

     “I have no doubt that in this vision, the Prophet was shown the figure of the Roman Empire….   The Prophet simply means that the Roman Empire was complex….   Some twist this to mean the Pope, and others the Turk….   I have no doubt that ‘the little horn’ relates to Julius Caesar and the other Caesars who succeeded him….   Some take this prophecy to relate to the kingdom of Turkey; others to the tyranny of the Pope of Rome.”   

     Indeed, in his Institutes of the Christian Religion, Dr. Calvin himself applies Daniel 7:25 to the A.D. 600f  Papacy (which arose contemporaneously with Islam).   For there he remarks:11 “We call the Roman Pontiff Antichrist….   Paul says that Antichrist would sit in the Temple of God (Second Thessalonians 2:4).   In another passage — the Spirit…says his reign would be with great swelling words of vanity (Daniel 7:25)….    

     “All the heresies and schisms which have existed from the beginning, belong to the kingdom of Antichrist.   Yet — when Paul foretells that defection will come — he by this description intimates that that seat of abomination will be erected when a kind of universal defection comes upon the Church….   This calamity was neither to be introduced by one man, nor to terminate in one man….   Second Thessalonians 2:3; Daniel 7:9….   

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