Glory for the Newborn Child of God

Source

Monday the 10th of December

in Meditations I

Psalm 63:11

    A beautiful truth that a born again child of God can and will sing is stated in these words (PRC Psalter):

    My Savior ‘neath Thy sheltering wings,
    My soul delights to dwell;
    Still closer to Thy side I press,
    For near Thee all is well.
    My soul shall conquer every foe,
    Upholden by Thy hand;
    Thy people shall rejoice in God,
    Thy saints in glory stand.

    This is the versification of Psalm 63:11. In this verse David wrote: But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by Him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.”

    We should note two elements here. The born again child of God will “rejoice in God” and “shall glory.” For the last step in the work of salvation for the child of God is that God glorifies him and gives him the heavenly joy of a covenant life of fellowship with God.

    Now glory is the radiation, the shining forth of virtue. That lies ahead for every child of God. Not only will he receive a glorified body, like that of Christ, wherein his new man in Christ shall have a life of bliss, but he will rejoice in fellowship with God.

    Glory makes us rejoice. The curse brings us tears and sorrow. That will all be behind us when we reach the glory promised us. Now already we have protection. As David wrote in verse 7: “Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice.” Satan and his servants cannot keep the reborn child of God from reaching that heavenly glory. And reaching that glory with both body and soul, he will have an endless life of heavenly bliss.

    Our new life wants that covenant fellowship with God. That is the blessedness that every reborn child of God hopes to obtain. That he will reach, and then he will rejoice in the Lord and shall have glory that never fades.

    What a work of salvation it is then that God wrought in Christ! What a great praise and thanksgiving we owe Him and will in that glory be able to bring to Him!

Read: Psalm 63
Psalter versification: #163:3

Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter #21
Why not sing along??

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Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:
Amos 1 ; Amos 2 ; Amos 3:1-15
Revelation 2:1-17
Psalm 129:1-8
Proverbs 29:19-20 
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Quote for Reflection:

How sweet is it to godly minds to be assured, not only by word, but by sight, that they obtain so much favour with the Heavenly Father that their offspring are within His care?” ~ John Calvin

Christian Soldier

“In the midst of battle, it is easy to get discouraged by the bumps, bruises, and wounds that we suffer. When we see other Christians fail, fall, or pass away, it can be devastating. So, we must be reminded that our Captain has already conquered sin and death. He is risen indeed! His strategies will never fail, and all of His soldiers will triumph. Let us look upward and forward to the time when He will dwell in the midst of His perfected church and will make all things new (Rev. 21:1–4).” Robert VanDoodewaard

Sorrows of Sin

elder silas

“The terrible afflictions of soul I cannot describe. I cannot tell of the sorrows on account of sin in thought and word and deed, of the going down into the depths, when deep has called unto deep in my soul, when I have felt that “the bars of the earth were about me forever.” But so far the Lord has showed me his delivering power and grace, and out of every one of these deep and heavy afflictions the Lord has brought me into some deeper and more glorious understanding of his goodness.” Silas Durand, Exercises About Preaching

Calvin’s Institutes

Christianbook.com has the single volume edition of Calvin’s Institutes on sale for $15.99. Years ago I purchased the two volume set by McNeill and Battles and read it through a few times. More recently a good friend sent me the sinlge volume, unabridged, 1845 Beveridge calvintranslation (with the older styled cover) and I do prefer it over the two volume set. A few quotes from Amazon will help explain why one might prefer Bereridge over other editions.

Reformed Christian scholar and theological philosopher Paul Helm:

“Incidentally, if you have the need of a translation of the Institutes, then the reissue of the Beveridge translation (newly published by Hendrickson) may be just the thing. It has new indexes, and has been ‘gently edited’, which means, I hope, only the removal of typos and other detritus. (I have not yet had the chance to check). Beveridge is superior to Battles in sticking closer to the original Latin, and having less intrusive editorial paraphernalia.”

Richard A. Muller, on the two translations (from the preface of The Unaccommodated Calvin):

“I have also consulted the older translations of the Institutes, namely those of Norton, Allen and Beveridge, in view of both the accuracy of those translation and the relationship in which they stand to the older or ‘precritical’ text tradition of Calvin’s original. Both in its apparatus and in its editorial approach to the text, the McNeill-Battles translation suffers from the mentality of the text-critic who hides the original ambience of the text even as he attempts to reveal all its secrets to the modern reader.”

from J.I. Packer in the foreword to A Theological Guide to Calvin’s Institutes:

“No English translation fully matches Calvin’s Latin; that of the Elizabethan, Thomas Norton, perhaps gets closest; Beveridge gives us Calvin’s feistiness but not always his precision; Battles gives us the precision but not always the punchiness, and fleetness of foot; Allen is smooth and clear, but low-key.”

David Calhoun:

“Let me just say a few words about English translations. The first was Thomas Norton back in the sixteenth century. Calvin was very fortunate with his first English translator. Norton did an exceptionally good job. Very soon after the completion of the Institutes in 1559, which was written in Latin, it was translated by Calvin into French and then quite soon into English. John Allen was the second translator. John Allen and Henry Beveridge were both nineteenth-century translators. The Beveridge translation is still in print. It was until fairly recently anyway. Those are not bad but not very good either. Ford Lewis Battles’ 1960 translation is the one that we are using. Even though it has been criticized some, it is by far the most superior translation that we have at present.”

Joshua Butcher’s Amazon review:

The recent reissue of Beveridge’s 19th century translation of Calvin’s Institutes is a very nice complement to the more comprehensive scholarly edition by McNeil (translated by Battles). If you are trying to decide between the Battles and the Beveridge translation here are a few things to consider.

1. The Battles has extensive editing, which includes a thorough cross-referencing of the pertinent quotations that Calvin refers to, as well as the pertinent Biblical texts and intertextual references. McNeil is a quality editor, but as with any editing, the view of the editor is never without a measure of bias. If you are looking to get a fresh interpretation of Calvin, you try reading the Beveridge first, or skip over the footnotes in the Battles.

2. The Beveridge provides alternative readings based upon the French edition of the Institutes. I’ve found this aspect to be quite interesting. Calvin’s style in French tends to be a bit more expansive and colorful than his Latin.

3. The Beveridge has the benefit of being a one-volume hardback, as opposed to the two-volume hardback of the Battles. The one-volume has a bit more heft to carry around, but you always have the complete work with you if you are out and about.

4. The subject headings are different in the two editions. The Beveridge provides a full sentence overview outline at the beginning of each chapter division, whereas the Battles provides subheadings for each minor section. There are pros and cons to each approach, of course.

Whatever edition you decide to get, you will not be disappointed. Calvin’s Institutes is a masterpiece of Western literature, and one of the most important works of the Christian Church of all time.

This edition has some nice features as well:

– An eight-page, four-color insert on coated stock, including a frontispiece featuring the title page of the original publication and a timeline of the Reformation and of John Calvin’s life

– Two ribbon markers

– Gold foil and embossing

– Linen end sheets

Even if you disagree with Calvin…you should read him. His influence on the church cannot be ignored.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

Effort in the Flesh

burden“In the great majority of cases, professing Christians are too puffed up by a sense of what they suppose they are doing for God, to earnestly study what God has promised to do for and in His people. They are so occupied with their fleshly efforts to “win souls for Christ” that they feel not their own deep need of the Spirit’s anointing. The leaders of “Christian” (?) enterprise are so concerned in multiplying “Christian workers” that quantity, not quality, is the main consideration. How few today recognize that if the number of “missionaries” on the foreign field were increased twenty-fold the next year, that that, of itself, would not ensure the genuine salvation of one additional heathen? Even though every new missionary were “sound in the faith” and preached only “the Truth,” that would not add one iota of spiritual power to the missionary forces, without the Holy Spirit’s unction and blessing! The same principle holds good everywhere. If the orthodox seminaries and the much-advertised Bible institutes turned out 100 times more men than they are now doing, the churches would not be one bit better off than they are, unless God given a fresh outpouring of His Spirit. In like manner, no Sunday School is strengthened by the mere multiplication of its teachers.

O my readers,

face the solemn fact that the greatest lack of all in Christendom today is the absence of the Holy Spirit’s power and blessing. Review the activities of the past 30 years. Millions of dollars have been freely devoted to the support of professed Christian enterprises.

Bible institutes and schools have turned out “trained workers” by the thousands.

Bible conferences have sprung up on every side like mushrooms.

Countless booklets and tracts have been printed and circulated.

Time and labors have been given by an almost incalculable number of “personal workers.” And with what results? 

Has the standard of personal piety advanced? Are the churches less worldly? Are their members more Christ-like in their daily walk? Is there more godliness in the home? Are the children more obedient and respectful? Is the Sabbath Day being increasingly sanctified and kept holy? Has the standard of honesty in business been raised?

The Need:

Those blessed with any spiritual discernment can return but one answer to the above questions. In spite of all the huge sums of money that have been spent, in spite of all the labors which has been put forth, in spite of all the new workers that have been added to the old ones, the spirituality of Christendom is at a far lower ebb today than it was 30 years ago. Numbers of professing Christians have increased, fleshly activities have multiplied, but spiritual power has waned. Why? Because there is a grieved and quenched Spirit in our midst. While His blessing is withheld there can be no improvement. What is needed today is for the saints to get down on their faces before God, cry unto Him in the name of Christ to so work again, that what has grieved His Spirit may be put away, and the channel of blessing once more be opened.

Until the Holy Spirit is again given His rightful place in our hearts, thoughts, and activities, there can be no improvement. Until it be recognized that we are entirely dependent upon His operations for all spiritual blessing, the root of the trouble cannot be reached. Until it be recognized that it is “‘Not by might, (of trained workers), nor by power (of intellectual argument or persuasive appeal), but by MY SPIRIT, says the Lord” (Zechariah 4:6), there will be no deliverance from that fleshly zeal which is not according to knowledge, and which is now paralyzing Christendom. Until the Holy Spirit is honored, sought, and counted upon, the present spiritual drought must continue. May it please our gracious God to give the writer messages and prepare the hearts of our readers to receive that which will be to His glory, the furtherance of His cause upon earth, and the good of His dear people.

Brethren, pray for us.”

A. W. Pink

God creates “ca·lam·i·ty?”

ca·lam·i·ty

noun
noun: calamity; plural noun: calamities
an event causing great and often sudden damage or distress; a disaster.

I know modern translations prefer to translate the Hebrew word “ra” as calamity…what do you say?

cropped-oldchurch2.jpg

Word Study Dictionary READS:

ra‛, ָרָעה

rā‛āh: An adjective meaning bad, evil. The basic meaning of this word displays ten or more various shades of the meaning of evil according to its contextual usage. It means bad in a moral and ethical sense and is used to describe, along with good, the entire spectrum of good and evil; hence, it depicts evil in an absolute, negative sense, as when it describes the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:9; Gen 3:5, Gen 3:22). It was necessary for a wise king to be able to discern the evil or the good in the actions of his people (Ecc 12:14); men and women are characterized as evil (1Sa 30:22; Est_7:6; Jer 2:33). The human heart is evil all day long (Gen 6:5) from childhood (Gen 8:21); yet the people of God are to purge evil from among them (Deu 17:7). The Lord is the final arbiter of whether something was good or evil; if something was evil in the eyes of the Lord, there is no further court of appeals (Deu 9:18; 1Ki 14:22). The day of the Lord’s judgment is called an evil day, a day of reckoning and condemnation (Amo 6:3). Jacob would have undergone grave evil (i.e., pain, misery, and ultimate disaster) if he had lost Benjamin (Gen 44:34). The word can refer to circumstances as evil, as when the Israelite foremen were placed in a grave situation (Exo 5:19; 2Ki 14:10).

The word takes on the aspect of something disagreeable, unwholesome, or harmful. Jacob evaluated his life as evil and destructive (Gen_47:9; Num_20:5); and the Israelites considered the wilderness as a threatening, terrifying place. The Canaanite women were evil in the eyes of Isaac (i.e., displeasing [Gen 28:8]). The rabble’s cry within Israel for meat was displeasing in the eyes of Moses (Num 11:10). This word describes the vicious animal that killed Joseph, so Jacob thought (Gen 37:33). The despondent countenances of persons can be described by this word; the baker’s and the butler’s faces were downcast because of their dreams (Gen 40:7). It can also describe one who is heavy in heart (Pro 25:20).

In a literal sense, the word depicts something that is of poor quality or even ugly in appearance. The weak, lean cows of Pharaoh’s dream were decrepit, ugly-looking (Gen 41:3, Gen 41:20, Gen 41:27); poisonous drinking water was described as bad (2Ki 2:19; 2Ki_4:41). From these observations, it is clear that the word can be used to attribute a negative aspect to nearly anything.

Used as a noun, the word indicates realities that are inherently evil, wicked, or bad; the psalmist feared no evil (Psa 23:4). The noun also depicts people of wickedness, that is, wicked people. Aaron characterized the people of Israel as inherently wicked in order to clear himself (Exo 32:22). Calamities, failures, and miseries are all connotations of this word when it is used as a noun. (end quote)

Scriptural Quotations to Consider:

hippo

Isaiah 45:7

KJV- I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

ESV- I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things.

Lamentations 3:37-38

KJV- Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?

ESV- Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?

A Quotation from Gordon H. Clark:

The Scofield Bible is a good example of how Arminians try to escape from the plain meaning of the verse. Scofield says, “ra, translated ‘sorrow,’ ‘wretchedness,’ ‘adversity,’ ‘afflictions,’ ‘calamities,’ but never translated SIN. God created evil only in the sense that he made sorrow, wretchedness, etc., to be the sure fruits of sin.”

SCOFIELDNow the most remarkable point about Scofield’s note is that he told the truth when he said, “RA . . . [is] never translated sin.” How could he have made such a statement, knowing it was true? The only answer is that he must have examined every instance of RA in the Hebrew text and then he must have determined that in no case did the King James translate it sin. And this is absolutely true. But if he compared every instance of RA with its translation in every case, he could not have failed to note that RA in Genesis 6:5 and in a number of other places is translated WICKEDNESS. In fact RA is translated wickedness some fifty times. Scofield could not have failed to notice this; so he says with just truth, RA is never translated sin. Since Scofield favors the word EVIL, a partial list of verses in which this translation occurs will be given; and second there will be a partial list where WICKED or WICKEDNESS is used.

Going through the Bible, Scofield must have read as far as Genesis 2:9, 17; 3:5, 22; 6:5; 8:21; 44:4; 48:16; 50:15, 17, 20. “The knowledge of good and EVIL” is simply a knowledge of sorrow or calamity; it is primarily a knowledge of disobedience and sin. Similarly, Genesis 3:5, 22 refers as much to sin as to its punishment. In fact Genesis 3:22 hardly refers to punishment at all. True, Adam was banished from the garden; but the word EVIL in the verse refers to his disobedience and sin.

Whatever lame excuse can be given for excluding sin and retaining only punishment in the previous four verses, Genesis 6:5 is clearly and indisputably a reference to sin. God did not see “adversity” or “afflictions”; he saw sinful thoughts. RA, in this verse at any rate, means sin. The same is true of Genesis 8:21. In fact sin and its punishment are separated here. God will not again curse or smite, as he had just done, for man’s heart is evil. The flood was a punishment, but the evil was the sinful heart of man.

Toward the end of Genesis RA refers to an alleged theft, many sins from which the Angel had redeemed Jacob, and three times the brothers’ sin against Joseph. In 50:17 again the sin is easily distinguishable from the feared punishment.

Is it necessary to plod through all the Old Testament to show that RA often means sin as distinct from its punishment? It should not be necessary; but to show the pervasiveness of the doctrine and the perverseness of Arminianism, something from II Chronicles will be listed: 22:4; 29:6; 36:5, 9, 12. Ahab did EVIL in the sight of the Lord. Our fathers have trespassed and done evil in the eyes of the Lord. Manasseh did evil in the sight of the Lord. He wrought much evil in the sight of the Lord. Jehoiakim did evil in the sight of the Lord. . . .

ra strongs

Evil, RA, is not once TRANSLATED sin. Very strange, but true.

Then there is Isaiah 56:2; 57:1; 59:7, 15; 65:12; 66:4. All instances of RA, or EVIL.

Now, if Scofield knew that RA was never translated SIN, he must have known that it was often translated WICKEDNESS. WICKEDNESS or WICKED, as the translation of RA occurs in Genesis 6:5; 13:13; 38:7; 39:9. Also in Deuteronomy 13:11 and 17:2. Also in I Samuel 30:22 and II Samuel 3:39. I Kings 2:44; Nehemiah 9:35; Esther 7:6, 9, 25. And Proverbs 21:12; 26:23, 26. Nor are these the only instances.

Scofield told the literal truth when he said it is never translated SIN. But nothing could be more false than his statement, “ God created evil ONLY in the sense that he made sorrow, wretchedness, etc., to be the sure fruits of sin.”

The scriptural meaning of the word RA, has now been abundantly made clear. But there is another point too. If RA means simply external calamities, then the word PEACE, which God also creates, can mean only military peace. The phrases are parallel. But this interpretation reduces the verse, or THIS PART OF THE VERSE, to triviality. Even verse one can hardly be restricted to purely political matters. Verse three speaks of treasures of darkness, hidden riches, and the knowledge of God. Jacob my servant and Israel my elect are not phrases to be restricted to politics and economics. Verse 6 speaks of the extension of the knowledge of God throughout the world. Then comes “I make peace and create evil.” Merely military peace? Not peace with God? The next verse speaks of righteousness dropping down from heaven, not like dew, but like pouring rain. Bring forth salvation, let righteousness spring up together. I the Lord have created it.

O, Arminian, Arminian, thou that distortest the prophets and misinterpretest them that are sent unto thee; how often have I told your children the plain truth . . . and ye would not let them understand!

There is still more in this chapter from Isaiah. Once again we find the potter and the clay. It indicates that God is not responsible to man. Woe to the man who complains that God has made him or anyone else a vessel of dishonor. The clay has no ‘rights’ against the potter. Nor does it have any free will to decide what sort of a bowl or jug it shall be.

Gordon H. Clark, Predestination, Presbyterian & Reformed, 1987, pp. 185-188

Amillennialism

Re-post from 2013!

Such a great video on the subject of Amillennialism. He mentions a few problems that I struggled with and helps to explains the details.

The Amillennialist affirms that the people of Israel have not been cast off or replaced, but rather, that the Gentiles have now been included among the Jews in God’s Covenantal promises. In other words, not replacement but expansion. God’s redemptive plan, as first promised to Abraham, was that “all nations” would be blessed through him. Israel is, and always has been, saved the same as any other nation: by the promises to the seed, Christ. Amillennialists, do not believe in a literal 1000 year reign of Christ on earth after His second coming. Rather, they affirm that when Christ returns, the resurrection of both the righteous and wicked will take place simultaneously (see John 5), followed by judgment and and the eternal state where heaven and earth merge and Christ reigns forever.

Strong points of Amillennialism

* It is highly Christocentric: it makes Christ the center of all the biblical covenants (even the “Land” covenant or Siniatic)

* It notes the universal scope of the Abrahamic Covenant (as key) to interpreting the rest of the biblical covenants * It sees salvation history oriented to a person (Christ), instead of a people (the nation of Israel)

* It emphasizes continuity between the “people of God” (Israel and the Church are one in Christ Eph. 2:11ff)

* It provides an ethic that is rooted in creation, and “re-creation” (continuity between God’s redemptive work now, carried over into the eternal state then)

* It emphasizes a trinitarian view of God as it elevates the “person”, Christ Jesus, the second person of the trinity as the point and mediator of all history

* It flows from a hermeneutic that takes seriously the literary character of the Scriptures (esp. the book of Revelation) – Bobby Grow

Yours in the Lord,

j

Calvinist Roots of the Republic

Denominational Affiliations of the Framers of the Constitution

Source

Dr. Miles Bradford of the University of Dallas did a study on the denominational classifications that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention accepted for themselves. Contrary to myth, the following list, published by Bradford, indicates that only 3 out of 55 of the framers classified themselves as Deists.

Note: only those Denominations whose Confessions of Faith were expressly Calvinistic at this time have been identified as “Calvinist” denominations. While many “Old-School” Lutherans and “Whitfield” Methodists at this time would have identified themselves with a Calvinistic view of Predestination, their affiliation has for the sake of charity been assumed to be non-Calvinist.

New Hampshire

* John Langdon, CONGREGATIONALIST — Calvinist
* Nicholas Gilman, CONGREGATIONALIST — Calvinist
Massachusetts

* Elbridge Gerry, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
* Rufus King, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
* Caleb Strong, CONGREGATIONALIST — Calvinist
* Nathaniel Gorham, CONGREGATIONALIST — Calvinist
Connecticut

* Roger Sherman, CONGREGATIONALIST — Calvinist
* William Johnson, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
* Oliver Ellsworth, CONGREGATIONALIST — Calvinist
New York

* Alexander Hamilton, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
* John Lansing, DUTCH REFORMED — Calvinist
* Robert Yates, DUTCH REFORMED — Calvinist
New Jersey

* William Patterson, PRESBYTERIAN — Calvinist
* William Livingston, PRESBYTERIAN — Calvinist
* Jonathan Dayton, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
* David Brearly, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
* William Churchill Houston, PRESBYTERIAN — Calvinist

Pennsylvania

* Benjamin Franklin, DEIST
* Robert Morris, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
* James Wilson, DEIST
* Gouverneur Morris, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
* Thomas Mifflin, QUAKER
* George Clymer, QUAKER
* Thomas FitzSimmons, ROMAN CATHOLIC
* Jared Ingersoll, PRESBYTERIAN — Calvinist

Delaware

* John Dickinson, QUAKER
* George Read, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
* Richard Bassett, METHODIST
* Gunning Beford, PRESBYTERIAN — Calvinist
* Jacod Broom, LUTHERAN

Maryland

* Luther Martin, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
* Daniel Carroll, ROMAN CATHOLIC
* John Mercer, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
* James McHenry, PRESBYTERIAN — Calvinist
* Daniel Jennifer, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
Virginia

* George Washington, EPISCOPALIAN (Non-Communicant)
* James Madison, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
* George Mason, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
* Edmund Randolph, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
* James Blair, Jr., EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
* James McClung, PRESBYTERIAN — Calvinist
* George Wythe, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
North Carolina

* William Davie, PRESBYTERIAN — Calvinist
* Hugh Williamson, DEIST
* William Blount, PRESBYTERIAN — Calvinist
* Alexander Martin, PRESBYTERIAN — Calvinist
* Richard Spaight, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
South Carolina

* John Rutledge, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
* Charles Pinckney, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
* Pierce Butler, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
* Charles Pinckney, III, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
Georgia

* Abraham Baldwin, CONGREGATIONALIST — Calvinist
* William Leigh Pierce, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
* William Houstoun, EPISCOPALIAN — Calvinist
* William Few, METHODIST

Some may say, “well, this list only shows what churches these men were members of, it doesn’t show what they believed.” Which is a veiled way of suggesting that these men were liars when they swore to God to adopt the confessions of their churches when they became members of these churches (most churches back then required an “examination” of members when they were received into full membership). (end quote)

Faith is Dead

calvin

“…faith is dead, being by itself, that is, when destitute of good works. We hence conclude that it is indeed no faith, for when dead, it does not properly retain the name.” John Calvin