《麥種基督教要義》III.iii.3——悔改

摘錄自加爾文(John Calvin)著,任傳龍譯,《麥種基督教要義》(麥種,2016年底-2017年初),III.iii.3

三、古時有些有學問的人,渴望按照聖經的原則,簡單而真誠地宣講,他們主張:悔改包含兩方面,即治死罪(mortification)和甦醒(vivification)。他們所謂的「治死罪」,是指人因為認識到自己的罪並感覺到神的審判,而產生的心靈的悲傷和恐懼。因為人在真正認識罪之後,必然會開始痛恨和憎惡罪。並且他真誠地對自己不滿意,承認自己是失喪、無望的人,希望自己能改頭換面。再者,當他因為對神的公義有所感受而被觸動的時候(因為這個信念緊跟著前一個信念而來),他必惶恐萬分、沮喪羞慚、灰心絕望。他們視其為悔改的第一步,通常稱之為痛悔。他們所謂的「甦醒」是指由信心而生的安慰;當人深深知罪而謙卑下來,並極度畏懼神,然後仰望神的良善、憐憫、恩典,以及藉基督而得的救恩,於是精神複振、勇氣恢復,如同出死入生一般。我承認,這些名詞如果能夠正確地解釋,那麼確實足以表達悔改的力量;但我不能同意他們關於甦醒一詞的用法,即指靈魂擺脫擾亂和恐懼之後所感覺到的喜樂。更確切地說,「甦醒」是人渴望過敬虔、聖潔的生活,這渴慕乃是來自重生;這就好像是說:人向自己死,好能夠開始向神而活。

3. Certain learned men, who lived long before the present days and were desirous to speak simply and sincerely according to the rule of Scripture, held that repentance consists of two parts, mortification and quickening. By mortification they mean, grief of soul and terror, produced by a conviction of sin and a sense of the divine judgment. For when a man is brought to a true knowledge of sin, he begins truly to hate and abominate sin. He also is sincerely dissatisfied with himself, confesses that he is lost and undone, and wishes he were different from what he is. Moreover, when he is touched with some sense of the divine justice (for the one conviction immediately follows the other), he lies terrorstruck and amazed, humbled and dejected, desponds and despairs. This, which they regarded as the first part of repentance, they usually termed contrition. By quickening they mean, the comfort which is produced by faith, as when a man prostrated by a consciousness of sin, and smitten with the fear of God, afterwards beholding his goodness, and the mercy, grace, and salvation obtained through Christ, looks up, begins to breathe, takes courage, and passes, as it were, from death unto life. I admit that these terms, when rightly interpreted, aptly enough express the power of repentance; only I cannot assent to their using the term quickening, for the joy which the soul feels after being calmed from perturbation and fear. It more properly means, that desire of pious and holy living which springs from the new birth; as if it were said, that the man dies to himself that he may begin to live unto God.

 

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