Classics

Select a Chapter to Read:

BOOK 2

14. The knowledge of God the Redeemer is obtained from the fall of man, and from the material cause of redemption.

15. In the fall of man, we must consider what he ought to be, and what he may be.

16. For he was created after the image of God; that is, he was made a partaker of the divine Wisdom, Righteousness, and Holiness, and, being thus perfect in soul and in body, was bound to render to God a perfect obedience to his commandments.

17. The immediate causes of the fall were—Satan, the Serpent, Eve, the forbidden fruit; the remote causes were—unbelief, ambition, ingratitude, obstinacy. Hence followed the obliteration of the image of God in man, who became unbelieving, unrighteous, liable to death.

18. We must now see what he may be, in respect both of soul and of body. The understanding of the soul in divine things, that is, in the knowledge and true worship of God, is blinder than a mole; good works it can neither contrive nor perform. In human affairs, as in the liberal and mechanical arts, it is exceedingly blind and variable. Now the will, so far as regards divine things, chooses only what is evil. So far as regards lower and human affairs, it is uncertain, wandering, and not wholly at its own disposal.

19. The body follows the depraved appetites of the soul, is liable to many infirmities, and at length to death.

20. Hence it follows that redemption for ruined man must be sought through Christ the Mediator; because the first adoption of a chosen people, the preservation of the Church, her deliverance from dangers, her recovery after dispersions, and the hope of the godly, always depended on the grace of the Mediator. Accordingly, the law was given, that it might keep their minds in suspense till the coming of Christ; which is evident from the history of a gracious covenant frequently repeated, from ceremonies, sacrifices, and washings, from the end of adoption, and from the law of the priesthood.

21. The material cause of redemption is Christ, in whom we must consider three things; 1. How he is exhibited to men; 2. How he is received; 3. How men are retained in his fellowship.

22. Christ is exhibited to men by the Law and by the Gospel.

23. The Law is threefold: Ceremonial, Judicial, Moral. The use of the Ceremonial Law is repealed, its effect is perpetual. The Judicial or Political Law was peculiar to the Jews, and has been set aside, while that universal justice which is described in the Moral Law remains. The latter, or Moral Law, the object of which is to cherish and maintain godliness and righteousness, is perpetual, and is incumbent on all.

24. The use of the Moral Law is threefold. The first use shows our weakness, unrighteousness, and condemnation; not that we may despair, but that we may flee to Christ. The second is, that those who are not moved by promises, may be urged by the terror of threatenings. The third is, that we may know what is the will of God; that we may consider it in order to obedience; that our minds may be strengthened for that purpose; and that we may be kept from falling.

25. The sum of the Law is contained in the Preface, and in the two Tables. In the Preface we observe, 1. The power of God, to constrain the people by the necessity of obedience; 2. A promise of grace, by which he declares himself to be the God of the Church; 3. A kind act, on the ground of which he charges the Jews with ingratitude, if they do not requite his goodness.

26. The first Table, which relates to the worship of God, consists of four commandments.

27. The design of the First Commandment is, that God alone may be exalted in his people. To God alone, therefore, we owe adoration, trust, invocation, thanksgiving.

28. The design of the Second Commandment is, that God will not have his worship profaned by superstitious rites. It consists of two parts. The former restrains our licentious daring, that we may not subject God to our senses, or represent him under any visible shape. The latter forbids us to worship any images on religious grounds, and, therefore, proclaims his power, which he cannot suffer to be despised,—his jealousy, for he cannot bear a partner,—his vengeance on children’s children,—his mercy to those who adore his majesty.

29. The Third Commandment enjoins three things: 1. That whatever our mind conceives, or our tongue utters, may have a regard to the majesty of God; 2. That we may not rashly abuse his holy word and adorable mysteries for the purposes of ambition or avarice; 3. That we may not throw obloquy on his works, but may speak of them with commendatians of his Wisdom, Long-suffering, Power, Goodness, Justice. With these is contrasted a threefold profanation of the name of God, by perjury, unnecessary oaths, and idolatrous rites; that is, when we substitute in the place of God saints, or creatures animate or inanimate.

30. The design of the Fourth Commandment is, that, being dead to our own affections and works, we may meditate on the kingdom of God. Now there are three things here to be considered: 1. A spiritual rest, when believers abstain from their own works, that God may work in them; 2. That there may be a stated day for calling on the name of God, for hearing his word, and for performing religious rites; 3. That servants may have some remission from labour.

31. The Second Table, which relates to the duties of charity towards our neighbour, contains the last Six Commandments. The design of the Fifth Commandment is, that, since God takes pleasure in the observance of his own ordinance, the degrees of dignity appointed by him must be held inviolable. We are therefore forbidden to take anything from the dignity of those who are above us, by contempt, obstinacy, or ingratitude; and we are commanded to pay them reverence, obedience, and gratitude.

32. The design of the Sixth Commandment is, that, since God has bound mankind by a kind of unity, the safety of all ought to be considered by each person; whence it follows that we are forbidden to do violence to private individuals, and are commanded to exercise benevolence.

33. The design of the Seventh Commandment is, that, because God loves purity, we ought to put away from us all uncleanness. He therefore forbids adultery in mind, word, and deed.

34. The design of the Eighth Commandment is, that, since injustice is an abomination to God, he requires us to render to every man what is his own. Now men steal, either by violence, or by malicious imposture, or by craft, or by sycophancy, &c.

35. The design of the Ninth Commandment is, that, since God, who is truth, abhors falsehood, he forbids calumnies and false accusations, by which the name of our neighbour is injured,—and lies, by which any one suffers loss in his fortunes. On the other hand, he requires every one of us to defend the name and property of our neighbour by asserting the truth.

36. The design of the Tenth Commandment is, that, since God would have the whole soul pervaded by love, every desire averse to charity must be banished from our minds; and therefore every feeling which tends to the injury of another is forbidden.

37. We have said that Christ is revealed to us by the Gospel. And, first, the agreement between the Gospel, or the New Testament, and the Old Testament is demonstrated: 1. Because the godly, under both dispensations, have had the same hope of immortality; 2. They have had the same covenant, founded not on the works of men, but on the mercy of God; 3. They have had the same Mediator between God and men—Christ.

38. Next, five points of difference between the two dispensations are pointed out. 1. Under the Law the heavenly inheritance was held out to them under earthly blessings; but under the Gospel our minds are led directly to meditate upon it. 2. The Old Testament, by means of figures, presented the image only, while the reality was absent; but the New Testament exhibits the present truth. 3. The former, in respect of the Law, was the ministry of condemnation and death; the latter, of righteousness and life. 4. The former is connected with bondage, which begets fear in the mind; the latter is connected with freedom, which produces confidence. 5. The word had been confined to the single nation of the Jews; but now it is preached to all nations.

39. The sum of evangelical doctrine is, to teach, 1. What Christ is; 2. Why he was sent; 3. In what manner he accomplished the work of redemption.

40. Christ is God and man: God, that he may bestow on his people righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; Man, because he had to pay the debt of man.

41. He was sent to perform the office, 1. Of a Prophet, by preaching the truth, by fulfilling the prophecies, by teaching and doing the will of his Father; 2. Of a King, by governing the whole Church and every member of it, and by defending his people from every kind of adversaries; 3. Of a Priest, by offering his body as a sacrifice for sins, by reconciling God to us though his obedience, and by perpetual intercession for his people to the Father.

42. He performed the office of a Redeemer by dying for our sins, by rising again for our justification, by opening heaven to us through his ascension, by sitting at the right hand of the Father whence he will come to judge the quick and the dead; and, therefore, he procured for us the grace of God and salvation.


Select a Chapter to Read:

Institutes

Title Page
Prefaces
PREFACE TO THE ELECTRONIC EDITION.
INTRODUCTION
THE PRINTERS TO THE READERS.
THE ORIGINAL TRANSLATOR’S PREFACE.
PREFATORY ADDRESS TO HIS MOST CHRISTIAN MAJESTY, THE MOST MIGHTY AND ILLUSTRIOUS MONARCH, FRANCIS, KING OF THE FRENCH, HIS SOVEREIGN
THE EPISTLE TO THE READER
SUBJECT OF THE PRESENT WORK
EPISTLE TO THE READER.
METHOD AND ARRANGEMENT,OR SUBJECT OF THE WHOLE WORK.
GENERAL INDEX OF CHAPTERS.
INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION
BOOK FIRST. - OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD THE CREATOR
ARGUMENT.
CHAPTER 1. - THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD AND OF OURSELVES MUTUALLY CONNECTED. —NATURE OF THE CONNECTION.
CHAPTER 2. - WHAT IT IS TO KNOW GOD,—TENDENCY OF THIS KNOWLEDGE.
CHAPTER 3. - THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD NATURALLY IMPLANTED IN THE HUMAN MIND.
CHAPTER 4. - THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD STIFLED OR CORRUPTED, IGNORANTLY OR MALICIOUSLY.
CHAPTER 5. - THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD CONSPICUOUS IN THE CREATION, AND CONTINUAL GOVERNMENT OF THE WORLD.
CHAPTER 6. - THE NEED OF SCRIPTURE, AS A GUIDE AND TEACHER, IN COMING TO GOD AS A CREATOR
CHAPTER 7. - THE TESTIMONY OF THE SPIRIT NECESSARY TO GIVE FULL AUTHORITY TO SCRIPTURE. THE IMPIETY OF PRETENDING THAT THE CREDIBILITY OF SCRIPTURE DEPENDS ON THE JUDGMENT OF THE CHURCH.
CHAPTER 8. - THE CREDIBILITY OF SCRIPTURE SUFFICIENTLY PROVED IN SO FAR AS NATURAL REASON ADMITS.
CHAPTER 9. - ALL THE PRINCIPLES OF PIETY SUBVERTED BY FANATICS, WHO SUBSTITUTE REVELATIONS FOR SCRIPTURE.
CHAPTER 10. - IN SCRIPTURE, THE TRUE GOD OPPOSED, EXCLUSIVELY, TO ALL THE GODS OF THE HEATHEN.
CHAPTER 11. - IMPIETY OF ATTRIBUTING A VISIBLE FORM TO GOD.—THE SETTING UP OF IDOLS A DEFECTION FROM THE TRUE GOD.
CHAPTER 12. - GOD DISTINGUISHED FROM IDOLS, THAT HE MAY BE THE EXCLUSIVE OBJECT OF WORSHIP.
CHAPTER 13. - THE UNITY OF THE DIVINE ESSENCE IN THREE PERSONS TAUGHT, IN SCRIPTURE, FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.
CHAPTER 14. - IN THE CREATION OF THE WORLD, AND ALL THINGS IN IT, THE TRUE GOD DISTINGUISHED BY CERTAIN MARKS FROM FICTITIOUS GODS.
CHAPTER 15. - STATE IN WHICH MAN WAS CREATED. THE FACULTIES OF THE SOUL—THE IMAGE OF GOD—FREE WILL—ORIGINAL RIGHTEOUSNESS
CHAPTER 16. - THE WORLD, CREATED BY GOD, STILL CHERISHED AND PROTECTED BY HIM. EACH AND ALL OF ITS PARTS GOVERNED BY HIS PROVIDENCE.
CHAPTER 17. - USE TO BE MADE OF THE DOCTRINE OF PROVIDENCE.
CHAPTER 18. - THE INSTRUMENTALITY OF THE WICKED EMPLOYED BY GOD, WHILE HE CONTINUES FREE FROM EVERY TAINT
BOOK SECOND. - OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD THE REDEEMER, IN CHRIST, AS FIRST MANIFESTED TO THE FATHERS, UNDER THE LAW, AND THEREAFTER TO US UNDER THE GOSPEL.
ARGUMENT.
CHAPTER 1. - THROUGH THE FALL AND REVOLT OF ADAM, THE WHOLE HUMAN RACE MADE ACCURSED AND DEGENERATE. OF ORIGINAL SIN.
CHAPTER 2. - MAN NOW DEPRIVED OF FREEDOM OF WILL, AND MISERABLY ENSLAVED.
CHAPTER 3. - EVERY THING PROCEEDING FROM THE CORRUPT NATURE OF MAN DAMNABLE.
CHAPTER 4. - HOW GOD WORKS IN THE HEARTS OF MEN.
CHAPTER 5. - THE ARGUMENTS USUALLY ALLEGED IN SUPPORT OF FREE WILL REFUTED.
CHAPTER 6. - REDEMPTION FOR MAN LOST TO BE SOUGHT IN CHRIST.
CHAPTER 7. - THE LAW GIVEN, NOT TO RETAIN A PEOPLE FOR ITSELF, BUT TO KEEP ALIVE THE HOPE OF SALVATION IN CHRIST UNTIL HIS ADVENT.
CHAPTER 8. - EXPOSITION OF THE MORAL LAW.
CHAPTER 9. - CHRIST, THOUGH KNOWN TO THE JEWS UNDER THE LAW, YET ONLY MANIFESTED UNDER THE GOSPEL.
CHAPTER 10. - THE RESEMBLANCE BETWEEN THE OLD TESTAMENT AND THE NEW.
CHAPTER 11. - THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO TESTAMENTS.
CHAPTER 12. - CHRIST, TO PERFORM THE OFFICE OF MEDIATOR, BEHOVED TO BECOME MAN.
CHAPTER 13. - CHRIST CLOTHED WITH THE TRUE SUBSTANCE OF HUMAN NATURE.
CHAPTER 14. - HOW TWO NATURES CONSTITUTE THE PERSON OF THE MEDIATOR.
CHAPTER 15. - THREE THINGS BRIEFLY TO BE REGARDED IN CHRIST—VIZ. HIS OFFICES OF PROPHET, KING, AND PRIEST.
CHAPTER 16. - HOW CHRIST PERFORMED THE OFFICE OF REDEEMER IN PROCURING OUR SALVATION. THE DEATH, RESURRECTION, AND ASCENSION OF CHRIST.
CHAPTER 17. - CHRIST RIGHTLY AND PROPERLY SAID TO HAVE MERITED GRACE AND SALVATION FOR US.
BOOK THIRD. - THE MODE OF OBTAINING THE GRACE OF CHRIST. THE BENEFITS IT CONFERS, AND THE EFFECTS RESULTING FROM IT.
ARGUMENT.
CHAPTER 1. - THE BENEFITS OF CHRIST MADE AVAILABLE TO US BY THE SECRET OPERATION OF THE SPIRIT.
CHAPTER 2. - OF FAITH. THE DEFINITION OF IT. ITS PECULIAR PROPERTIES.
CHAPTER 3. - REGENERATION BY FAITH. OF REPENTANCE.
CHAPTER 4. - PENITENCE, AS EXPLAINED IN THE SOPHISTICAL JARGON OF THE SCHOOLMEN, WIDELY DIFFERENT FROM THE PURITY REQUIRED BY THE GOSPEL. OF CONFESSION AND SATISFACTION.
CHAPTER 5. - OF THE MODES OF SUPPLEMENTING SATISFACTION—VIZ. INDULGENCES AND PURGATORY.
CHAPTER 6. - THE LIFE OF A CHRISTIAN MAN. SCRIPTURAL ARGUMENTS EXHORTING TO IT.
CHAPTER 7. - A SUMMARY OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. OF SELF-DENIAL.
CHAPTER 8. - OF BEARING THE CROSS—ONE BRANCH OF SELF-DENIAL.
CHAPTER 9. - OF MEDITATING ON THE FUTURE LIFE.
CHAPTER 10. - HOW TO USE THE PRESENT LIFE, AND THE COMFORTS OF IT.
CHAPTER 11. - OF JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH. BOTH THE NAME AND THE REALITY DEFINED.
CHAPTER 12. - NECESSITY OF CONTEMPLATING THE JUDGMENT-SEAT OF GOD, IN ORDER TO BE SERIOUSLY CONVINCED OF THE DOCTRINE OF GRATUITOUS JUSTIFICATION.
CHAPTER 13. - TWO THINGS TO BE OBSERVED IN GRATUITOUS JUSTIFICATION.
CHAPTER 14. - THE BEGINNING OF JUSTIFICATION. IN WHAT SENSE PROGRESSIVE.
CHAPTER 15. - THE BOASTED MERIT OF WORKS SUBVERSIVE BOTH OF THE GLORY OF GOD, IN BESTOWING RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND OF THE CERTAINTY OF SALVATION.
CHAPTER 16. - REFUTATION OF THE CALUMNIES BY WHICH IT IS ATTEMPTED TO THROW ODIUM ON THIS DOCTRINE.
CHAPTER 17. - THE PROMISES OF THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL RECONCILED.
CHAPTER 18. - THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF WORKS IMPROPERLY INFERRED FROM REWARDS.
CHAPTER 19. - OF CHRISTIAN LIBERTY.
CHAPTER 20. - OF PRAYER—A PERPETUAL EXERCISE OF FAITH. THE DAILY BENEFITS DERIVED FROM IT.
CHAPTER 21. - OF THE ETERNAL ELECTION, BY WHICH GOD HAS PREDESTINATED SOME TO SALVATION, AND OTHERS TO DESTRUCTION.
CHAPTER 22. - THIS DOCTRINE CONFIRMED BY PROOFS FROM SCRIPTURE.
CHAPTER 23. - REFUTATION OF THE CALUMNIES BY WHICH THIS DOCTRINE IS ALWAYS UNJUSTLY ASSAILED.
CHAPTER 24. - ELECTION CONFIRMED BY THE CALLING OF GOD. THE REPROBATE BRING UPON THEMSELVES THE RIGHTEOUS DESTRUCTION TO WHICH THEY ARE DOOMED.
CHAPTER 25. - OF THE LAST RESURRECTION.
BOOK FOURTH. - OF THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH
ARGUMENT.
CHAPTER 1. - OF THE TRUE CHURCH. DUTY OF CULTIVATING UNITY WITH HER, AS THE MOTHER OF ALL THE GODLY.
CHAPTER 2. - COMPARISON BETWEEN THE FALSE CHURCH AND THE TRUE.
CHAPTER 3. - OF THE TEACHERS AND MINISTERS OF THE CHURCH. THEIR ELECTION AND OFFICE.
CHAPTER 4. - OF THE STATE OF THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH, AND THE MODE OF GOVERNMENT IN USE BEFORE THE PAPACY.
CHAPTER 5. - THE ANCIENT FORM OF GOVERNMENT UTTERLY CORRUPTED BY THE TYRANNY OF THE PAPACY.
CHAPTER 6. - OF THE PRIMACY OF THE ROMISH SEE.
CHAPTER 7. - OF THE BEGINNING AND RISE OF THE ROMISH PAPACY, TILL IT ATTAINED A HEIGHT BY WHICH THE LIBERTY OF THE CHURCH WAS DESTROYED, AND ALL TRUE RULE OVERTHROWN.
CHAPTER 8. - OF THE POWER OF THE CHURCH IN ARTICLES OF FAITH. THE UNBRIDLED LICENCE OF THE PAPAL CHURCH IN DESTROYING PURITY OF DOCTRINE.
CHAPTER 9. - OF COUNCILS AND THEIR AUTHORITY
CHAPTER 10. - OF THE POWER OF MAKING LAWS. THE CRUELTY OF THE POPE AND HIS ADHERENTS, IN THIS RESPECT, IN TYRANNICALLY OPPRESSING AND DESTROYING SOULS.
CHAPTER 11. - OF THE JURISDICTION OF THE CHURCH, AND THE ABUSES OF IT, AS EXEMPLIFIED IN THE PAPACY.
CHAPTER 12. - OF THE DISCIPLINE OF THE CHURCH, AND ITS PRINCIPAL USE IN CENSURES AND EXCOMMUNICATION.
CHAPTER 13. - OF VOWS. THE MISERABLE ENTANGLEMENTS CAUSED BY VOWING RASHLY.
CHAPTER 14. - OF THE SACRAMENTS.
CHAPTER 15. - OF BAPTISM.
CHAPTER 16. - PÆDOBAPTISM. ITS ACCORDANCE WITH THE INSTITUTION OF CHRIST, AND THE NATURE OF THE SIGN.
CHAPTER 17. - OF THE LORD’S SUPPER, AND THE BENEFITS CONFERRED BY IT
CHAPTER 18 - OF THE POPISH MASS. HOW IT NOT ONLY PROFANES, BUT ANNIHILATES THE LORD’S SUPPER.
CHAPTER 19. - OF THE FIVE SACRAMENTS, FALSELY SO CALLED. THEIR SPURIOUSNESS PROVED, AND THEIR TRUE CHARACTER EXPLAINED.
CHAPTER 20. - OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT.
ONE HUNDRED APHORISMS,
BOOK 1
BOOK 2
BOOK 3
BOOK 4
Book of Concord (Triglot Concordia): The Symbolical Books of the Ev. Lutheran Church | Calvin's Institutes | Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ | Heretics by Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936) | Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis | Josephus: The Complete Works | Orthodoxy by Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936) | Sermons on Gospel Themes by Charles G. Finney (1792-1875) | The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan (1628-1688) | The Practice of the Presence of God: The Best Rule of Holy Life by Brother Lawrence (Nicholas Herman, 1605-1691) | Walther's Law and Gospel | Westminster Confession & Catechisms |
Home |