Tuesday, March 3, 2009


This is from Calvin's "Epistle to the Reader" that prefaced his last edition of The Institutes. It is a fresh reminder that if upright doctrine is not tried, it is not complete. Forget not this fitting adage, my friends — true THEOLOGY and true DOXOLOGY always walk hand in hand.
As a clear proof of the diligence with which have I laboured to perform this service to the Church of God, I may be permitted to mention, that last winter, when I thought I was dying of quartan ague, the more the disorder increased, the less I spared myself, in order that I might leave this book behind me.

For, by the blessing of God, my most ardent desire has been to advance his kingdom and promote the public good — although I feel perfectly conscious, and take God and his angels to witness, that ever since I began to discharge the office of teacher in the Church, my only object has been to do good to the Church, by maintaining the pure doctrine of godliness, yet I believe there never was a man more assailed, stung, and torn by calumny [as well by the declared enemies of the truth of God, as by many worthless persons who have crept into his Church—as well by monks who have brought forth their frocks from their cloisters to spread infection wherever they come].

But the devil, with all his crew, is mistaken if he imagines that, by assailing me with vile falsehoods, he can either cool my zeal, or diminish my exertions. I trust that God, in his infinite goodness, will enable me to persevere with unruffled patience in the course of his holy vocation.

Farewell, kind reader. If you derive any benefit from my labours, aid me with your prayers to our heavenly Father.

Geneva, 1st August 1559.

"I profess to be one of those who, by profiting, write, and by writing profit." —Augustine

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