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John Calvin Quotes


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       John Calvin
       1509-1564
      
       John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530. After religious tensions provoked a violent uprising against Protestants in France, Calvin fled to Basel, Switzerland, where in 1536 he published the first edition of his seminal work Institutes of the Christian Religion.
      
       Calvin's writing and preaching provided the seeds for the branch of theology that bears his name. The Presbyterian and other Reformed churches, which look to Calvin as a chief expositor of their beliefs, have spread throughout the world. Calvin's thought exerted considerable influence over major religious figures and entire religious movements, such as Puritanism, and some have argued that his ideas have contributed to the rise of capitalism, individualism, and representative democracy in the West.


    John Calvin on:    

Whether or not each believer has a single angel assigned to him for his defense, I dare not positively affirm.

    Topics: Angels

A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.

    Topics: Apathy, Animals

Those who fall away have never been thoroughly imbued with the knowledge of Christ but only had a slight and passing taste of it.

    Topics: Backsliding

All the blessings we enjoy are Divine deposits, committed to our trust on this condition, that they should be dispensed for the benefit of our neighbors.

    Topics: Blessings, Service

However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts.

    Topics: Blessings, Liberty

The Lord has given us a table at which to feast, not an altar on which a victim is to be offered; He has not consecrated priests to make sacrifice, but servants to distribute the sacred feast.

    Topics: Blessings, Service

We should therefore learn that the only good we have is what the Lord has given us gratuitously; that the only good we do is what He does in us; that it is not that we do nothing ourselves, but that we act only when we have been acted upon, in other words under the direction and influence of the Holy Spirit.

    Topics: Blessings
    Source: Calvin's New Testament Commentaries, The First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, 1960, p. 317-318

Only those who have learned well to be earnestly dissatisfied with themselves, and to be confounded with shame at their wretchedness truly understand the Christian gospel.

    Topics: Brokenness, Humility, The Gospel
    Source: The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Romans and Thessalonians, 1979, 8:135.

I have not so great a struggle with my vices, great and numerous as they are, as I have with my impatience. My efforts are not absolutely useless; yet I have never been able to conquer this ferocious wild beast.

    Topics: Character, Struggles, Impatience

All our words ought to be filled with true sweetness and grace; and this will be so if we mingle the useful with the sweet.

    Topics: Character

There cannot be a surer rule, nor a stronger exhortation to the observance of it, than when we are taught that all the endowments which we possess are divine deposits entrusted to us for the very purpose of being distributed for the good of our neighbour.

    Topics: Charity

Children, obey. Why does the apostle use the word obey instead of honor, which has a greater extent of meaning? It is because obedience is the evidence of that honor which children owe to their parents, and is therefore more earnestly enforced.

    Topics: Children, Obedience

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