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Institutes of the Christian Religion in ePub,.mobi &.pdf formats it on their memory, if they would, in the first place, have a summary of Christian doctrine, and. "Published first in , the Institutes of the Christian Religion is John Calvin's magnum Resource provided by Christian Classics Ethereal Library Free PDF: “The Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence. Introduction. In the letter to the reader that accompanied his last Latin edition of the Institutes of the Christian. Religion, Calvin permitted himself a degree of.

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by. John Calvin. Page 2. About The Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin. The Institutes of the Christian Religion. Title. The Project Gutenberg EBook of Institutes of the Christian. Religion (Vol. 1 of 2) by John Calvin. This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere. among dramatists, that Calvin's Institutes is among theological treatises. Institutes of the Christian Religion of John Calvin's concerningwhich Paul Thuri said.

Background[ edit ] Title page of the first edition John Calvin was a student of law and then classics at the University of Paris. Around he became involved in religious controversies and converted to Protestantism , a new Christian reform movement which was persecuted by the Catholic Church in France, forcing him to go into hiding. He decided to adapt the work he had been writing to the purpose of defending Protestants suffering from persecution from false accusations that they were espousing radical and heretical doctrines. The work, written in Latin, was published in Basel in March with a preface addressed to King Francis I of France , entreating him to give the Protestants a hearing rather than continue to persecute them. Soon after publishing it, Calvin began his ministry in Geneva , Switzerland. In , Calvin published a much larger work, with seventeen chapters of about the same length as the six chapters of the first edition. It includes many references to classical authors and Church fathers , as well as many additional references to the Bible.

Gasdia 7 human governance as "not simply a remedy for evil, a restraint for sin, a consequence of the fall; it is a 'positive good. Therefore, the fact that Calvin theologically justified the very idea of secular authority serves as the implicit theological justification for Beza to write On the Right of Magistrates.

Beyond providing a basic willingness to engage with political ideas, Calvin also inspired the way that Beza understood the purpose of government. For both Calvin and Beza, the purpose of all governance had a fundamentally religious end.

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At the heart of Calvin's vision of government was a plea for rulers to guarantee "that a public manifestation of religion may exist among Christians, and that humanity be maintained among men. Such language is reflected almost verbatim in On the Rights of Magistrates. Beza writes that, 23 Winthrop S.

Gasdia 8 [T]hose who are set over nations, ought to bring to bear all their zeal and all the faculties they have received from God to this end that the pure worship of God upon which His glory depends should in the highest degree be maintained and increased among the people over whom they hold sway. Beza is calling for the resistance to tyranny not simply to maintain the "public order", as the ancients did, but to ensure that God could continue to be worshipped freely.

Beza even distances himself from the ancient political theorists over the purpose of government by writing that, "the purpose of all well-ordered polities is not simply peace and quiet in this life, as some heathen philosophers have imagined, but the glory of God, towards which the whole present life of men should be directed.

Calvin and Beza's general view of government contained a specific understanding of how rulers function as part of civil authority.

Fundamentally, those who served as leaders of men were believed to be called to their positions by God. As Calvin wrote in Book Three of the Institutes, "[T]he Lord bids each one of us in all life's actions to look to his calling.

All references to On the Rights of Magistrates are drawn from the Henry-Louis Gonin translation widely available online. Gasdia 9 lawful before God, but also the most sacred and by far the most honorable of all callings in the whole life of mortal men. He writes in Book Three that " the lawful use of all benefits consists in a liberal and kindly sharing of them with others […] all the gifts we possess have been bestowed by God and entrusted to us on the condition that they be distributed for our neighbors' benefit [cf.

I Peter 4: In order to fulfill this charitable calling, Calvin claimed that God provides rulers with the necessary skills to fulfill their duty.

Despite calling for the overthrow of tyrants, Beza throughout On the Rights of Magistrates referred to magistrates at all levels as being called by God. Beyond just echoing the Institutes belief in civil leadership as a calling, however, Beza further demonstrated Calvin's influence by connecting that calling to the idea of charity. He wrote in the beginning of On the Rights of Magistrates that "every man in accordance with his calling either public or 29 Institutes IV, xx, 4.

Giesey, "The Monarchomach Triumvirs: Gasdia 10 private is in charity bound to render to his neighbor. Beza therefore was clearly influenced by Calvin's charitable language in describing rulers as being called by God. Inherent in the idea of calling is a rejection of the concept of hereditary succession.

In making this claim, Calvin appealed to history rather than theology: Rather than the secular examples of Rome, Beza employs the example of David. Beza claims that "though the kingship [of Israel] had by the will of God been granted to the family of David, yet in the last resort that one from the descendants of David should rule whom the people had approved and none other [emphasis added]. While Beza's understanding of the election of leaders is discussed further below, it is critical to note here that On the Rights of Magistrates reflects the Institutes radical departure from the traditional understanding of succession.

For Beza, this had real world implications for the current French kings he was writing against: Gasdia 11 that their kings ruled, not by the sole right of succession, but were elected at the same time by the agreement of the Estates of the Kingdom.

Calvin's rejection of succession in the Institutes was therefore reexamined in On the Rights of Magistrates through the biblical lens of King David and carried through to the contemporary French monarchs. Succession was not the only traditional political model rejected by both Calvin and Beza. Historically, rulers were understood to have virtual carte blanche power in creating laws since they had to answer to God alone. The king's subjects were not able to question or disobey the monarch's laws because they lacked the authority granted to the king by God.

Calvin wrote in the Institutes that "human laws, whether made by magistrate or by church, even though they have to be observed I speak of good and just laws , still do not themselves bind the conscience. Calvin insinuates that this process of judging laws is a continuous process, "Let us, therefore, remember that all human laws are to be weighed in this balance if we wish to have sure test which will not allow us in anything to go astray.

Institutes of the Christian Religion (Vol. 1 of 2) by Jean Calvin - Free Ebook

While Calvin did not leave it completely within the 36 Ibid. Beza wrote that "if kings degenerate into tyrants, nobody ought indeed to be or to become the servant of their unjust commands, but it is the part of subjects to suffer and patiently to endure the vagaries of the supreme ruler, not be means of any violence to offer resistance to them.

Beza therefore expanded Calvin's imperative to resist unjust laws which interfere with the righteous worship of God to include resisting those laws which would implicate believers in unjust violence.

By far the most important aspect of the theo-political theory contained in the Institutes, at least in terms of its influence on Beza, is Calvin's emphasis on the role of magistrates.

While the term magistrate was applied to all political rulers in the sixteenth century, it was particularly the role of lesser magistrates, compared to the monarch as "supreme magistrate", which would become critical for later Calvinist resistance theories.

Many historians, however, have argued that the idea of lesser magistrates was completely missing from Calvin's thought. Quentin Skinner, for example, claims, "Calvin never alluded to the concept of inferior magistrates in [any] discussion about political resistance. Cambridge University Press, , Gasdia 13 as ministers and representatives of God.

He therefore accordingly favored a form of government which has multiple levels of magistrates: For if the three forms of government which the philosophers discuss be considered in themselves, I will not deny that aristocracy, or a system compounded of aristocracy and democracy, far excels all others: McNeill is correct, however, in claiming that passages such as the above show that "at heart [Calvin] is a political republican.

It was therefore implicit in Calvin's thought that lesser magistrates can exist in the form of the aristocracy. While Calvin nowhere claims in the Institutes that political systems which include lesser magistrates are the only true form of governance, he certainly seems to favor them above other forms, mainly because lesser magistrates play a critical role in checking the power of despotic rulers.

In the closing chapters of the Latin edition of the Institutes, Calvin laid forth a clear theological vision of the part lesser magistrates had to play in a political system. Calvin cast the 42 Institutes IV, xx, Gasdia 14 magistrates in the role of fulfilling God's will in caring for His people: For sometimes he raises up open avengers from among his servants, and arms them with his command to punish the wicked government and deliver his people, oppressed in unjust ways, from miserable calamity.

Instead, he leaves it to duly appointed lesser magistrates to fulfill this role: For if there are now any magistrates of the people, appointed to restrain the willfulness of kings as in ancient times the ephors were set against the Spartan kings, or the tribunes of the people against the Roman consuls, or the demarchs against the senate of the Athenians; and perhaps, as things now are, such power as the three estates exercise in every realm when they hold their chief assemblies , I am so far from forbidding them to withstand, in accordance with their duty, the fierce licentiousness of kings, that, if they wink at kings who violently fall upon and assault the lowly common folk, I declare that their dissimulation involves nefarious perfidy, because they dishonestly betray the freedom of the people, of which they know that they have been appointed protectors by God's ordinance.

First, contra Skinner, Calvin clearly recognizes that there have historically been lesser magistrates which have acted to resist the absolute powers of monarchs. While it is unclear if he recognized that such lesser magistrates existed in contemporary France, since the Three Estates had failed to meet for decades preceding the edition of the Institutes, he certainly argued that they could exist theoretically.

More importantly, Calvin explicitly recognized that the duty of lesser magistrates to protect the people is one commanded by God. Therefore, Calvin's theo-political theory clearly allowed for lesser magistrates appointed by God to resist tyrannical rulers.

As it was with other aspects of Calvin's theo-political thought, Beza adopted much of the Institutes treatment of magistrates in his own political writing. Like Calvin, Beza expressed a strong distaste for monarchy, and urged a form of aristocracy as the ideal form of government. Gasdia 15 He writes in On the Rights of Magistrates that "the fact neither can nor should be disguised that since the origin of the world there has never been a king - even if you were to select the very best - who did not in some measure abuse his authority.

What is unique about On the Rights of Magistrates treatment of lesser magistrates compared to Confession of the Christian Faith is who Beza identifies as a lesser magistrate. In On the Rights of Magistrates, however, Beza extended the right of resistance to lesser magistrates, like the hereditary aristocracy and local mayors.

Beza laid forth a clear hierarchy of subjects, claiming, [T]here are three kinds of subjects in all [ Gasdia 16 Beza was clearly responding to the specific situation of the French Wars of Religion in which the Huguenot forces consisted mostly of hereditary aristocracy who did not "wield supreme and regular power", and yet could be identified as lesser magistrates nonetheless.

In this way, Beza went beyond Calvin in identifying what types of magistrates could resist tyrannical power. Regardless, his basic premise that lesser magistrates should serve as "bridles and reigns" was clearly influenced by Calvin's own claim that God appoints some in a political system to resist absolute power. It is clear that the theo-political framework which Calvin used to describe government in the Institutes served as the implicit political theory which Beza employed in On the Rights of Magistrates.

Both shared a basic willingness to engage with political issues that was not necessarily shared by other religious thinkers of the sixteenth century. Furthermore, both the Institutes and On the Rights of Magistrates viewed the purpose of government in religious terms, as ensuring the Christian's right to properly worship God. To fulfill this broad purpose of government, both pieces claimed that there are divinely called rulers whose job it is to guarantee that right in the spirit of charity.

As part of this understanding on the duties of rulers, both Beza and Calvin reject many of the traditional medieval aspects of government, including the idea of succession and the absolute authority of monarchs to create laws. Perhaps most importantly, Calvin's basic theological preference for an aristocracy in which lesser magistrates can check the tyrannical impulses of kings is expanded in Beza's more legalistic understanding of governance. Therefore, On the Rights of Magistrates clearly relies on the theo-political theory of Calvin as it is contained in the Institutes.

Indeed, many of Calvin and Beza's fellow reformers like Luther and Zwingli shared a host of their beliefs about the purpose and form of government.

Therefore, it is necessary to demonstrate the unique theological influence of Calvin in On the Rights of Magistrates if one is to conclude that the work is based fundamentally on the Institutes. When it comes to those theological concepts which do not deal specifically with civil governance, Calvin's influence on Beza is still extremely clear. For example, no one would doubt that a unique focus on providence is a hallmark of Calvin's theological thought.

Throughout the Institutes, Calvin repeatedly demonstrates God's control and influence over every aspect of creation. Many, however, have assumed that Calvin's view of God's providence presupposed that those in the established order have been placed there by God, and were therefore unassailable.

Institutes of the Christian Religion (Vol. 1 of 2) by Jean Calvin

In reality, Calvin viewed the entire political order as instituted by God, including those aspects of the order 52 Camion, "The Right of Resistance," 4. Gasdia 18 which served to check the unlimited powers of rulers.

McNeill accurately depicts the link between God's providence and resistance in Calvin's thought when he claims, "The principle of order is divine: As Michael Walzer has noted, however, Calvin "was never willing to rely on individual instruments, however high their social status or inspiration. He relied above all on organizations.

As has been stated above, Calvin saw some of those duties and powers as being able to resist those who are more advanced in the hierarchy.

This is perhaps clearest in Calvin's treatment of papal authority in the Institutes. In challenging those Catholic theorists who invested the Pope with unassailable authority, Calvin writes, "But what is most unbearable of all, they leave no jurisdiction on earth to control or restrain their lust if they abuse such boundless power [ Calvin's conception of providence therefore left room for the right to resist within God's instituted order and did not give carte blanche power to the monarch.

Gasdia 19 Calvin's understanding of providence as God creating a political hierarchy which allowed for resistance to monarchs was taken up and expanded by Beza. While Calvin never completely clarified how God's providential will is translated into human agency, Beza went to great lengths to show how the actions of those in the divinely instituted political order were empowered to resist tyranny in reflection of God's will.

One critical example he drew from the history of the monarchy of Israel. It has been noted above that Beza went to great pains to emphasize the elective nature of the Davidic monarchy. While some may take this as an example of how civic order is crafted by men, and not God, Beza claims that the election of the king by Israel still was the fulfillment of God's will. Beza claims that "God had expressly elected David, yet he had to be elected by the people also and that they in electing him rightly, as they should, followed the will of God.

A passage such as the one above is typical of Beza's understanding of providence. When men act justly in this world they are ultimately fulfilling God's providence. For example, after admitting that God sometimes sends unjust rulers to punish particularly sinful nations, Beza argues, "But for all that God remains no less just, by whatever means He enforces His judgments; nor must it be held that the nations had a less lawful cause against their hostile tyrants because they were cast down by some just judgment of God and fell to ruin.

But lest one believes that this means tyranny should go unchallenged, Beza makes it clear that God's providence also includes the protection of the just from abuse by rulers. In this way Beza goes slightly beyond Calvin in claiming that God sometimes calls forth those outside the political order like Cyrus to address abuses within the political order.

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Nonetheless, Beza fundamentally agreed with the Institutes by claiming those men outside the system must be appointed by God for their task. On the Rights of Magistrates therefore clearly embraced a providential lens in looking at the political order; God used human agents to shape and change the political order to conform to his will. This clearly reflected Calvin's own understanding of God's providence over the political order.

To fully understand how Calvin and Beza were able to justify the seeming paradox of God's providence over the political order and the right of lesser magistrates to resist unjust rulers, it is crucial to look at the meaning that both theologians attached to God's providence. For both Calvin and Beza, God's providence always served a just purpose, and was meant to provide for and aid mankind, never harm it.

According to Calvin, the goal of God's providence was to administer justice in this life. Calvin wrote, "[God's] power shows itself clearly when […] the oppressed and afflicted are rescued from their extreme tribulation; the despairing are restored to good hope; the unarmed, 58 Ibid. Gasdia 21 few and weak, snatch victory from the armed, many and strong.

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The fact that Calvin ties God's providence to the cause of the oppressed helps to explain why Beza draws such a strong connection between the idea of providence and the role of magistrates. In Beza's legal theory, it is the fundamental role of the magistrates to protect those being oppressed by others in the political order. It is therefore not surprising that Beza employs the language of providence in rejecting the idea that tyranny is God's will: Here some people also vainly rejoin that this same will of God finds no application in every case of tyranny, since no tyranny obtains either without or in spite of the will of God.

Vainly, I say , for I could turn this very argument against the tyrants: Beza's understanding of providence being on the side of the downtrodden is even more important in explaining how private citizens should react to tyranny.

Institutes of the Christian Religion

Rather than resist it themselves, "private citizens, unless they have authority from a subordinate magistrate or the saner part of the Estates [ The fact that the very next sentence after the above passage is a call for lesser magistrates to respond to the cries of the people demonstrates how Beza viewed God's will 60 Institutes I, v, 8.

Gasdia 22 operating. Both Calvin and Beza therefore viewed God's providence as aiding and relieving the oppressed, and therefore provide a relief to tyranny. The idea of providence is not the only tell-tale mark of Calvin's theological influence On The Rights of Magistrates. A focus on the honor of God is also a strong Calvinist trope that is carried across the Institutes and Beza's work. For both Calvin and Beza, all honor and glory that could be given belonged to God.

While Walzer has called this "the most significant platitude in the history of political thought,"63 it is critical to understanding how Calvin and Beza understood how one should obey the government. For Calvin, obedience to the government is only possible through obedience to God. For example, he claims, "The Lord, therefore, is the King of Kings, who, when he has opened his sacred mouth, must alone be heard, before all and above all men; next to him we are subject to those men who are in authority over us, but only in him.

He makes this even more clear in Book Three of the Institutes by claiming, "For it would be great depravity on our part to deprive [rulers] of that honor which the Lord has bestowed on them. Despite ultimately calling for active resistance to tyrannical rulers, Beza also holds that all magistrates are to be given respect because of the ultimate honor of God reflected in them.

He wrote that, "I answer that subjects may not at all approach their magistrates whether subordinate or supreme, except with the greatest respect, and this not merely for fear of their indignation, but also for conscience sake, as the Apostle teaches, 63 Walzer, Revolution of the Saints, Gasdia 23 since this authority has been instituted by God.

Therefore, both Calvin and Beza demanded that rulers were given honor by their subjects in the course of honoring God. If both Calvin and Beza called for the honor of God to be reflected in subjects paying respect to rulers, how should one understand the support for resistance to tyranny found in the Institutes and On the Rights of Magistrates?

Ultimately the answer lies in the idea of conditional honor. Since God is due honor above men, civil rulers are due respect so long as that honor does not detract from God. For both Calvin and Beza, the assumed position of subject to ruler was one of obedience, but that obedience ends if it would interfere from the full worship of God.

For example, Calvin writes, [W]e are bidden to obey our parents only 'in the Lord' Eph. Therefore, the submission paid to them ought to be a step toward honoring that highest father.

Hence, if they spur us to transgress the law, we have a perfect right to regard them not as parents, but as strangers who are trying to lead us away from obedience to our true Father.

So should we act toward princes, lords, and every kind of superiors. Beza held the same limit on the respect due to rulers in On the Rights of Magistrates. For example, in discussing the ancient priests of Libnah, Beza writes, "[T]he priests […] who after God held sway in Libnah, furnished remarkable proof of their piety when being unable simultaneously to obey God and the tyrant […] shook off the 66 Beza, On the Rights of Magistrates, Parents are used throughout the Institutes as a microcosm of civil authority see for example II, viii, Beza uses the idea of parenthood in much the same way.

See for example, Beza, On the Rights of Magistrates, For Beza, this serves to critique those political theories which hold royal power to be unchallengeable: Therefore let those who so far exalt the authority of kings and supreme rulers as to dare maintain that they have no other Judge but God alone to whom they are held bound to render account of their deeds, furnish proof that there has been any nation anywhere which has consciously and without intimidation or compulsion of some kind subjected itself to the arbitrary rule of some supreme ruler without the express or tacit addition of the proviso that it be justly and fairly ruled and guided by [God].

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In a way this means that rulers must answer to both God and the other members of the political order, and their rule is thereby not arbitrary but subject to the law of God known to all.

Therefore, Calvin's unique understanding of the relationship between the honor of God and the respect that was due to rulers was reflected in On the Rights of Magistrates. It is clear that Beza's use of theology in On the Rights of Magistrates had a uniquely Calvinist tone.

Like the Institutes, On the Rights of Magistrates relied heavily on the idea of providence to not only explain the nature of the political order, but to demonstrate how God relates to that political order by aiding the oppressed. Furthermore, On the Rights of Magistrates' consistent use of the language surrounding the "honor of God" to describe the subject's duty to their ruler reflects Calvin's own understanding of authority.

It is critical to note that while a cursory reading of the 69 Beza, On the Rights of Magistrates, Gasdia 25 Institutes has led many scholars to conclude that Calvin's treatment of providence and the honor God ran counter to any resistance theory, it has been demonstrated that both concepts not only support the idea of resisting tyranny, but find a welcome home in Beza's thought.

Therefore, On the Rights of Magistrates reflects a definitively Calvinist theological influence. The Practical Political Philosophy of Institutes Shared in On the Rights of Magistrates Calvin's influence on Beza's thought went beyond the theoretical and theological to include the practical implications for how kings should properly relate to their subjects, and how subjects in turn should relate to their kings.

It is this contribution of the Institutes to On the Rights of Magistrates that is most often dismissed by scholars of Calvin and Beza. Anyone who has actually studied the Institutes, however, realizes that Calvin's positions, while taking the form of timeless prose, had very specific real world issues and situations in mind. In addressing these issues, Calvin sets forth a number of practical rules which had real world implications for how society operates.

These practical solutions, like his theo-political theory and theology, had a profound impact on Beza's thought. One such practical element of Calvin's thought that was mirrored in On the Rights of Magistrates was Calvin's position on what is today labeled "the separation of Church and state".

Initially, Calvin introduced the separation between spiritual and secular power in purely theological terms: Gasdia 26 present fleeting life and that future eternal life, will without difficulty know that Christ's spiritual Kingdom and the civil jurisdiction are things completely distinct. He makes this concern explicit when he writes, "The church does not assume what is proper to the magistrate; nor can the magistrate execute what is carried out by the church.

Calvin takes those punishments the magistrate "commonly inflicts" and simply prohibits the ecclesiastical power from doing the same, implying that no society could exist in which multiple authorities exercised the same power. Beza echoed Calvin's practical concerns by similarly arguing for the separation between religious and political authority. As with most of his arguments, Beza turned to the historical example of Israel to support his claim: For it is particularly clear that those patriarchs of old were simultaneously the highest priests and the supreme rulers among their people; this is expressly recorded concerning Melchizedek and Eli and although these two offices were afterward separated by the Lord, this did not happen because they were incompatible with each other but because one man could scarcely be equal to the performance of both.

Therefore, Calvin's practical position on the separation between religious and secular authority in the political order was echoed in On the Rights of Magistrates. In discussing the relationship between the Church and civil government, Calvin and Beza went beyond simply stating that their powers should be separated. Both thinkers also held that the Church had specific authority over the king as a Christian. Since all good rulers should be 72 Institutes IV, xx, 1.

Gasdia 27 good Christians, they should likewise be admonished by the Church into living an upright Christian life. Calvin makes it clear that the trappings of political power reflect the most base aspects of man's fallen nature by positing that, "To covet wealth and honors, to strive for authority, to heap up riches, to gather together all those follies which seem to make for magnificence and pomp, our lust is mad, our lust is mad, our desire boundless.

It includes many references to classical authors and Church fathers , as well as many additional references to the Bible. The title of Desiderius Erasmus 's Institutio principis Christiani , which Calvin would have been familiar with, is usually translated The Education of a Christian Prince. Author, John Calvin, Of Noyon. This is followed by "at length truly corresponding to its title", a play on the grandiosity of the title and an indication that the new work better lives up to the expectation created by such a title.

It is indebted to Martin Luther in the treatment of faith and sacraments, to Martin Bucer in what is said of divine will and predestination, and to the later scholastics for teaching involving unsuspected implications of freedom in the relation of church and state.

As this letter shows, Institutes was composed, or at least completed, to meet a present necessity, to correct an aspersion on Calvin's fellow reformers. The French king, wishing to suppress the Reformation at home, yet unwilling to alienate the reforming princes of Germany, had sought to confound the teachings of the French reformers with the attacks of Anabaptists on civil authority.

This came in , amplifying especially the treatment of the fall of man, of election, and of reprobation, as well as that of the authority of scripture.

It showed also a more conciliatory temper toward Luther in the section on the Lord's Supper. There are two general subjects to be examined: the creator and his creatures. Above all, the book concerns the knowledge of God the Creator, but "as it is in the creation of man that the divine perfections are best displayed", there is also an examination of what can be known about humankind.

After all, it is mankind's knowledge of God and of what He requires of his creatures that is the primary issue of concern for a book of theology. In the first chapter, these two issues are considered together to show what God has to do with mankind and other creatures and, especially, how knowing God is connected with human knowledge. To pursue an explanation of the relationship between God and man, the edition of , although Calvin claimed it to be "almost a new work", in fact completely recast the old Institutes into four sections and 80 chapters, on the basis of the Apostles' Creed , [12] a traditional structure of Christian instruction used in Western Christianity.

First, the knowledge of God is considered as knowledge of the Father, the creator, provider, and sustainer. Next, it is examined how the Son reveals the Father, since only God is able to reveal God.

A Short Summary of Calvin's Institutes - by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

The third section of the Institutes describes the work of the Holy Spirit, who raised Christ from the dead, and who comes from the Father and the Son to affect a union in the Church through faith in Jesus Christ, with God, forever. And finally, the fourth section speaks of the Christian church, and how it is to live out the truths of God and Scriptures, particularly through the sacraments. This section also describes the functions and ministries of the church, how civil government relates to religious matters, and includes a lengthy discussion of the deficiencies of the papacy.

Translations[ edit ] Title page of the first French edition There is some speculation that Calvin may have translated the first edition into French soon after its publication, but the earliest edition which has survived is Calvin's translation. Some of these were publicly burned in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral soon after their publication. They follow the expansion and development of the Latin editions, but they are not strictly translations, instead being adapted for use by a lay readership, though retaining the same doctrine.

There are differences in translations of one of the more famous passages. A Spanish translation by Francisco de Enzinas of the Latin text was published in , before Calvin even published his first French edition. An Italian translation of Calvin's French text was made in Later translations were of the final Latin text: Dutch , German , [15] Spanish , Czech , Hungarian , [16] and Japanese The Norton translation of the passage above, Institutes, III, 7: We are not our owne: therefore let neither our owne reason nor our owne will beare rule in our counselles and doinges.

We are not our owne: therefore so much as we may, let us foreget our selves and all things that our our owne. The same passage in the Allen translation, Institutes, III, 7: We are not our own; therefore neither our reason nor our will should predominate in our deliberations and actions.

We are not our own; therefore let us not propose it as our end, to seek what may be expedient for us according to the flesh.