Monday, May 18, 2009

Calvin's Motto

2009 is the 500th anniversary year for the birth of John Calvin (1509-64). Calvin’s personal motto was: Cor Meum Tibi Offero Domine, Prompte et Sincere ("My heart I offer to you, O Lord, promptly and sincerely."). His crest or seal, dating from the mid-16th century, showed a heart with an open hand, with the motto underneath. The seal was bookended with the letters I and C—which could be taken to stand for Ionnes Calvinus or Iesus Christus or both.

I think one of the most insightful things about Calvin’s character was the fact that when he died he left orders to be buried without a tombstone. There was no gaudy funeral or flowery eulogy. The Geneva Register simply recorded four days after his death, "Calvin went to be with God May 27 of the present year." Joel Beeke reflects, "Shaping this longing for obscurity was Calvin’s sincere desire that only God be glorified" ("The Soul of Life": The Piety of John Calvin [Reformation Heritage, 2009]: p. 1.



Anonymous said...

You have the Latin as "Cor Deum." It should read "Cor Meum" (My heart).

Jeffrey T. Riddle said...

Corrected. Thanks for catching this. Though according to Blogger this post has been viewed c. 400 times from 2009-2012, you are the first to point out the error.

Gratias tibi ago