The Non-Preterist Historicalism of John Calvin and the Westminster Standards

Comments Calvin:2 "First, therefore, God rested. Then He blessed this rest, that in all ages it might be held sacred among men…. This is to be the common employment not of one age or people only, but of the whole human race…. The Sabbath…was commanded to men from the beginning, that they might employ themselves in the worship of God. It is right that it should continue — till the end of the world."

The same applies to the statement in Genesis 2:15 that the Lord God took the man to cultivate and to guard the garden. Comments Calvin:3 "Men were created to employ themselves in some work…. Let him who possesses a field, so partake of its yearly fruits that he may not suffer the ground to be injured by his negligence…. Let him endeavour to hand it down to posterity as he received it — or even better cultivated!"

Moving on to Genesis 2:21-24, it is obvious that marriage and the family were not instituted merely for Adam alone. Both would last, and shall continue to last, throughout the history of the world — repetitively, whenever young men leave their fathers and mothers in order to cleave to their wives and then raise their own families etc.

                                                             1 Comm. on Gen. 1:26-28. 2 Comm. on Gen. 2:3. 3 Comm. on Gen. 2:15.

Comments Calvin:4 "In the person of the woman, the human race was…like a building just begun…. After he had demonstrated what God had done, he also demonstrated the end of the divine institution…. Among the offices pertaining to human society, this is the principal and as it were the most sacred — that a man should cleave unto his wife…. Therefore they who, for slight cause, rashly allow of divorces — violate, in one single particular, all the laws of nature!"

This is underscored by God's historicistic warning to Satan: "I will put hatred between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed which shall crush your skull" etc. Genesis 3:15.

                                                             4 Comm. on Gen. 2:21-24.

Some preteristic rabbi's and modernistic rationalists see this as a quickly-fulfilled prediction that a literal seed would soon bounce off the head of a literal snake — and that this snake would nick merely the 'heel' of that literal seed in the garden of Eden! But the whole Bible clearly shows that this prediction would only be fulfilled many centuries later. For it would be fulfilled principally when Christ crushed the skull of Satan at Golgotha (the 'place of the skull') — and as Christ-ians themselves continue treading down Satan under their own feet. Revelation 12:1-9 & Romans 16:20.

Comments Calvin:5 "Though all do not dissent in their minds from Satan…, in reality Satan is their enemy…. In order to show that he should be odious not to one generation only, God expressly says 'between thee and the seed of the woman' B as widely, indeed, as the human race shall be propagated…. Other interpreters take the seed for Christ without controversy [alias without further application] — as if it were said that some one would arise from the seed of the woman who should wound the serpent's head.

"Gladly would I give my suffrage in support of their opinion, but that I regard the word seed as too violently distorted by them. For who will concede that a collective noun is to be understood of one man only? Further, as the perpetuity of the contest is noted, so victory is promised to the human race through a continual succession of ages….

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