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Sermons on 2 Samuel: Chapters 1-13 (Calvin)

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While John Calvin is chiefly remembered today as a great theologian, it should not be forgotten that he was essentially a pastor. Indeed, it has been said of him that he became a theologian in order to be a better pastor. His preaching gives some of the clearest evidence for this. Still in his early twenties when he began to preach, he continued to do so for the rest of his life- on average five times a week during his long years of ministry in Geneva. From 1549, thanks to the Company of Strangers, who employed Denis Raguenier as a scribe, Calvin’s sermons were preserved and their riches remain available to us. Now, thanks to the devoted labours of Professor Douglas Kelly of Reformed Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi, the Sermons on 2 Samuel 1-13 are made available in English for the first time.

Important as these sermons are for students of Calvin, they are of inestimable value for those who, like Calvin, are pastors, preachers or are simply ordinary Christian believers like those to whom they were first preached. Calvin’s masterly handling of the historical narrative of this wonderful book of Scripture combines with his deep insight into human character to produce a volume which will be treasured.

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Table of Contents: 

1 On Facing Affliction and Divine Judgement  1
2 David’s Response to the Philistine Victory  16
3 Calmness in All Circumstances  32
4 Guidance to Hebron  48
5 The Dreadful ‘Game’ of War  63
6 Disunity and War  77
7 Abner’s Face of Brass  92
8 Abner’s Moral Crime  109
9 The Infamous Murder of Abner  124
10 Lessons from lshbosheth’s Death  140
11 God’s Judgement on Murderers  154
12 All the Tribes Submit to David’s Yoke  169
13 David’s Dealings with the Jebusites and Hiram  184
14 David’s Polygamy  199
15 God Glorified in David’s Victory  214
16 The True Worship of God  229
17 Lessons from the Death of Uzzah  244
18 Humble David and Proud Michal  262
19 ‘Before the Lord’  279
20 On Being Dead to this World  295
21 Christ is the True Temple of God  309
22 Mercy and Judgement  324
23 Great David’s Greater Son  339
24 Lord, Who am I?  354
25 The Only God and his Chosen People  370
26 The Nature of True Prayer  386
27 The Temple – Then and Now  402
28 Justice and Judgement  417
29 David’s Magnanimity to Mephibosheth  430
30 The Two Bases for a Just War  446
31 God on our Side  461
32 David’s Adultery with Bathsheba  476
33 Uriah, a Man who Feared God  490
34 The Mark and Seal of David’s Shame  505
35 You are the Man!  519
36 God is Not the Author of Sin  534
37 David’s Humble Confession of Sin  549
38 God Chastises his Children for their Profit  565
39 On Facing Affliction and Bereavement  582
40 Solomon, whom God Loved  598
41 The Rape of Tamar  613
42 The Obligation to Punish Evil  629
43 The Murder of Amnon  644



John Calvin (1509-1564) was a theological giant of the Protestant Reformation. A contemporary of Martin Luther, he had as much influence over this period of history as his German counterpart. In 1536 he published his famous Institutes of the Christian Religion, which was a systematic presentation of the Protestant position. His writings are still cherished and relevant today.