Johann Heinrich Heidegger (1633-1698) on outward and inward calling


When a preacher outwardly calls a man to faith and repentance, his proclamation is essentially combined with the inward efficacy of the Holy Spirit. Says Johann Heinrich Heidegger (1633-1698) in his Corpus Theologiae Christianae:

“The outward calling of the elect through the word preached by men is very closely connected with inward accosting by the Holy Spirit. Were it separate from this it would be of no avail. For the word preached by men strikes the ears of natural man, dead in sins… Any word, however divine, most true, most wise, most pleasant in itself and thoroughly lovable, when addressed to a sinner still dead in sin, whose heart has not been inscribed by the Holy Spirit, remains but a letter, slays the sinner and provokes him to sin (2 Cor. 3:6; Rom. 5:20; 7:8).” (XXI. 21)

As a result, Heidegger goes on to insist that the Word by which the Holy Spirit effects the calling is the same Word by which God’s call to faith and repentance is outwardly proclaimed to man:

“The word is the same which man preaches and which the Spirit writes on the heart. There is strictly one calling, but its cause and medium is twofold: instrumental, man preaching the word outwardly; principal, the Holy Spirit writing it inwardly in the heart.” (XXI. 22)

Heidegger then defines the calling of the elect to regeneration thus:

“Thus calling is consummated, fulfilling the whole measure and emphasis of the word, [it] is that by which, the Spirit inwardly renewing, enlightening, bending, drawing, founding, consolidating, strengthening, sealing, man becomes a new creature in the realm of grace…” (XXI. 23)

2 thoughts on “Johann Heinrich Heidegger (1633-1698) on outward and inward calling

  1. Reblogged this on Reformed Fellowship of Bellevue and commented:
    An excellent statement of the connection between the word preached and the effectual call.

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