I read this with my family today. It is one of a few excerpts that were particularly encouraging in light of present circumstances. May the Lord hasten like enlargement to his Church in our days.
[ From Calvin: ]
Let us understand, that the manner of God's raising up of his Church, is, that where nothing was afore, but men reckoned that all should have gone to wreck: there men are at their wits end to see how things fall out clean contrary, as we find by often experience. True it is that the people which receive the doctrine of the Gospel, are but a handful in comparison of them that refuse it: but yet was it not thought, that things should ever have spread so far abroad as they have done. For when God stirred up the poor Friar, yea even out of a Cloister or Cell: who would have thought, that from thence the Gospel should have been spread far and wide, and that so many folk would have submitted themselves unto it? Again we see that although the whole world have conspired to oppress this doctrine, and that the power of the enemies thereof be such, as they be like enough to swallow it up quite and clean: yet doth not God cease to augment his Church still continually. It is seen what cruelty is executed against all her children: & yet notwithstanding she holdeth on still. Seeing then that in our time God hath gone beyond all hope and all imagination of man: let us understand that he hath renewed the remembrance of that which is spoken here by Moses: namely, that out of nothing, it hath pleased him to raise up a kingdom to himself in this world, insomuch that at this day there is as great number of his, as ever there was at any time.
--- Sermon 74 on Deuteronomy (10.22 - 11.4.) [454:A]