Calvin on Babies

Psalm 22:9-10

“Surely thou didst draw me forth from the womb, and thou didst cause me to confide upon the breasts of my mother. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.”

It is the Holy Spirit who teaches the faithful the wisdom to collect together, when they are brought into fear and trouble, the evidences of God’s goodness to sustain and strengthen their faith. We ought to regard it as an established principle that God never wearies of exercising his liberality and the most exuberant bestowment cannot exhaust his riches. It follows then that as we have experienced him to be a father from our earliest infancy, he will show himself the same towards us even to extreme old age.

In acknowledging that he was taken from the womb by the hand of God, and that God had caused him to [trust in him] upon the breasts of his mother, the psalmist means that although by the operation of natural causes infants come into the world and are nourished by their mother’s milk, yet the wonderful providence of God brightly shines forth in that still. It is true that we make less of this miracle because of its ordinary occurrence, but if ingratitude did not veil our eyes with stupidity, every childbirth in the world would ravish us with admiration.

What prevents the child from perishing—as it might—a hundred times in its own corruption before the time for bringing it forth arrives, except that God, by his secret and incomprehensible power, keeps it alive in its grave? And after it is brought into the world, seeing it is subject to so many miseries and cannot stir a finger to help itself, how could it live even for a single day, if God did not take it up into his fatherly bosom to nourish and protect it?

Therefore the psalmist says with good reason that the infant is cast upon him, for unless he fed the tender little babes, and watched over all the offices of the nurse even at the very time of their being brought forth, they are exposed to a hundred deaths by which they would be suffocated in an instant.

Commentaries, Psalm 22. Volume 4, page 359. Grand Rapids: Baker Book Books, repr. 1998.