John Knox (c. 1514–1572) on ungrateful Israel


“The people were slothful; and the priests, who should have provoked the people to tho remembrance of those great benefits, were become even like to the rest. The Lord therefor did raise up his Prophet Malachi, (who was the last before Christ), sharply to rebuke, and plainly to convict this horrible ingratitude of that unthankful nation, who so shamefully had forgotten those so great benefits recently bestowed upon them. And thus begins he his Prophecy: ‘I have loved you, says the Lord;’ in which words he speaks not of a common love, which in preserving and feeding all creatures is common to the reprobate, but of that love by which he had sanctified and separated them from the rest of nations, to have his glory manifested. But because they (as all ungrateful persons do) did not consider wherein this his love towards them more then towards others did stand, he bringing them to the fountain, demanding this question: ‘Was not Esau brother to Jacob? says the Lord, and nevertheless Jacob l have I loved, and Esau have hated’.”

– John Knox (c. 1514–1572), “On Predestination in Answer to the Cavillations by an Anabaptist, 1560,” in Works, 5:151

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