The ‘general equity’ of this, argues Dr. Calvin, is that today the baptized Romanist is our brother — just as the uncircumcised Edomite was the brother of the Israelite. Romans 4:11-13, compare Colossians 2:11-13.
Thus, in a sermon on Deuteronomy 23:7, Calvin argues30 that baptized Protestants are now far closer to baptized Romanists than either of them are to unbaptized Moslems. For, in comparing circumcised Edomites to baptized Romanists and uncircumcised Egyptians to unbaptized Moslems, Calvin insists: “Moses says that if the Edomites would yield themselves into the [True Christian alias the godly Protestant] Church of God — they might be received…and be incorporated thereinto altogether. For he who offered himself to be circumcised, was always received….
“Let us therefore diligently note here of the children of [the circumcised] Esau…that if any of them would renounce his own kindred” — as converted Papists should their kindred Romanists — “he would be accounted in the number of this blessed flock” of God’s True People.
“Likewise at this day” — Dr. John Calvin explained in 1556f — “we are far nearer neighbours to the Papists than to the Turks or other Paynims [or Heathens]. And the reason is, because albeit they [the Papists] are estranged from the grace of God and have corrupted all religion and are so entangled in their abuses and corruptions as it is horrible to behold — yet, nothwithstanding, there remains among them some footsteps of the calling of God.
“For they have Baptism, which is a visible sign whereby we see that God held those of His House and of His Fold. You see then, how the Papists are as it were the Edomites” — who had received circumcision, which Baptism has now replaced (cf. Colossians 2:11-13). Concludes Dr. Calvin: “Therefore let us endeavour as much as is possible for us, to bring them back again, so that we may be knit together again! And how knit together again? I do not mean that we should turn aside from the pure truth of God, to be[come] at agreement with the Papists, but that they should enter – that is to say, that they should approach near unto God, and we all of us thus be reconciled, yielding obedience unto our heavenly Father, so that we may all have one Head, Jesus Christ, Who will defend us under His wings. When the Papists come and order themselves thus — we are to receive them with all gentleness, by reason of the brotherhood which God has set between them and us. And we must not only do so; but also must seek them as much as is possible for us to do….
“Let us therefore note that God’s opening of the gate into His Church both to the Edomites and the Egyptians, was not to have them bring in their infections to pervert His service or to make any medley — but rather that the Edomites and Egyptians should come and agree in all points unto His Law, and yield their consent unto the pureness of doctrine which is therein contained….
“Therefore nowadays, seeing that God has showed Himself so gracious unto us, as to make us His Church — let us be ready to receive them which will be reclaimed thereunto! Yes, let us have our arms stretched out not only to them which are the children of God — but also to such as are our kinsfolk afar off, endeavouring for all that to win and to gain them!
“Howbeit, always with this condition — that they remove us not from God. But that they rather be knit again unto Him — [together] with us!”