This is an excerpt taken from Heart Aflame: Daily Readings from Calvin in the Psalms by John Calvin.
JANUARY 12 PSALM 8:3–5
What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? God’s wonderful goodness is displayed the more brightly in that so glorious a Creator, whose majesty shines resplendently in the heavens, graciously condescends to adorn a creature so miserable and vile as man is with the greatest glory, and to enrich him with numberless blessings. Whoever, therefore, is not astonished and deeply affected at this miracle, is more than ungrateful and stupid. When it is said, God is mindful of man, it signifies the same thing as that he bears towards him a fatherly love, defends and cherishes him, and extends his providence towards him.
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. The Psalmist represents man as adorned with so many honours as to render their condition not far inferior to divine and celestial glory. He, no doubt, intends the distinguished endowments which clearly manifest that men were formed after the image of God, and created to the hope of a blessed and immortal life. The reason with which they are endued, and by which they can distinguish between good and evil; the principle of religion which is planted in them; their intercourse with each other, which is preserved from being broken up by certain sacred bonds; the regard to what is becoming, and the sense of shame which guilt awakens in them, as well as their continuing to be governed by laws; all these things are clear indications of pre-eminent and celestial wisdom. What David here relates belongs properly to the beginning of the creation, when man’s nature was perfect. But we know that, by the fall of Adam, all mankind fell from their primeval state of integrity, for by this the image of God was almost entirely effaced from us. From a state of the highest excellence, we were reduced to a condition of wretched and shameful destitution. But as the heavenly Father has bestowed upon his Son an immeasurable fullness of all blessings, that all of us may draw from this fountain, it follows that whatever God bestows on us by him belongs of right to him in the highest degree; yea, he himself is the living image of God, according to which we must be renewed, upon which depends our participation of the invaluable blessings which are here spoken of. These gifts proceed from the free grace of God.
Excerpt taken from Heart Aflame: Daily Readings from Calvin in the Psalms by John Calvin, page 12, published 1999 by P&R Publishing.