THE INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION
by John Calvin
Translated by Henry Beveridge
TO HIS MOST CHRISTIAN MAJESTY, THE MOST MIGHTY AND ILLUSTRIOUS MONARCH, FRANCIS, KING OF THE FRENCH,
THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD THE CREATOR
I-1. The Knowledge of God and That of Ourselves Are Connected. How They are Interrelated.
I-2. What it is to Know God, and to What Purpose the Knowledge of Him Tends.
I-3. The Knowledge of God Has Been Naturally Implanted in the Minds of Men.
I-4. This Knowledge is Either Smothered of Corrupted, Partly by Ignorance, Partly by Malice.
I-5. The Knowledge of God Shines Forth in the Fashioning of the Universe
and the Continuing Government of It.
I-6. Scripture is Needed as Guide and Teacher for Anyone Who Would Come to God the Creator.
I-7. Scripture Must Be Confirmed by the Witness of the Spirit. Thus May Its Authority Be Established as
Certain; and It is a Wicked Falsehood that Its Credibility Depends on the Judgment of the Church.
I-8. So Far as Human Reason Goes, Sufficiently Firm Proofs Are At Hand
to Establish the Credibility of Scripture.
I-9. Fanatics, Abandoning Scripture and Flying Over to Revelation,
Cast Down All the Principles of Godliness.
I-10. Scripture, to Correct All Superstition, Has Set the True God Alone Over Against All the Gods of the
I-11. It is Unlawful to Attribute a Visible Form to God, and Generally Whoever Sets Up Idols
Revolts Against the True God.
I-12. How God Is to Be So Distinguished from Idols that Perfect Honor May Be Given to Him Alone.
I-13. In Scripture, from the Creation Onward, We Are Taught One Essence of God,
Which Contains Three Persons.
I-14. Even in the Creation of the Universe and of All Things, Scripture by Unmistakable Marks
Distinguishes the True God from False Gods.
I-15. Discussion of Human Nature as Created, of the Faculties of the Soul, of the Image of God,
of Free Will, and of the Original Integrity of Man's Nature.
I-16. God by His Power Nourishes and Maintains the World Created by Him,
and Rules Its Several Parts by His Providence.
I-17. How We May Apply This Doctrine to Our Greatest Benefit.
I-18. God So Uses the Works of the Ungodly, and So Bends Their Minds to Carry Out
His Judgments, that He Remains Pure from Every Stain.
THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD THE REDEEMER IN CHRIST,
FIRST DISCLOSED TO THE FATHERS UNDER THE LAW,
AND THEN TO US IN THE GOSPEL
II-1. By the Fall and Revolt of Adam the Whole Human Race Was Delivered to the Curse,
and Degenerated from Its Original Condition; the Doctrine of Original Sin.
II-2. Man Has Now Been Deprived of Freedom of Choice and Bound Over to Miserable Servitude.
II-3. Only Damnable Things Come Forth from Man's Corrupt Nature.
II-4. How God Works in Men's Hearts.
II-5. Refutation of the Objections Commonly Put Forward in Defense of Free Will.
II-6. Fallen Man Ought to Seek Redemption in Christ.
II-7. The Law Was Given, Not to Restrain the Folk of the Old Covenant Under Itself,
but to Foster Hope of Salvation in Christ Until His Coming.
II-8. Explanation of the Moral Law (the Ten Commandments).
II-9. Christ, Although He Was Known to the Jews Under the Law, Was at Length
Clearly Revealed Only in the Gospel.
II-10. The Similarity of the Old and New Testaments.
II-11. The Difference Between the Two Testaments.
II-12. Christ Had to Become Man in Order to Fulfill the Office of Mediator.
II-13. Christ Assumed the True Substance of Human Flesh.
II-14. How the Two Natures of the Mediator Make One Person.
II-15. To Know the Purpose for Which Christ Was Sent by the Father, and What He Conferred Upon Us,
We Must Look Above All at Three Things in Him: the Prophetic Office, Kingship, and Priesthood.
II-16. How Christ Has Fulfilled the Function of Redeemer to Acquire Salvation for Us. Here,
Also, His Death and Resurrection Are Discussed, as Well as His Ascent Into Heaven.
II-17. Christ Rightly and Properly Said to Have Merited God's Grace and Salvation for Us.
THE WAY IN WHICH WE RECEIVE THE GRACE OF CHRIST:
WHAT BENEFITS COME TO US FROM IT,
AND WHAT EFFECTS FOLLOW
III-1. The Things Spoken Concerning Christ Profit Us by the Secret Working of the Spirit.
III-2. Faith: Its Definition Set Forth, and Its Properties Explained.
III-3. Our Regeneration by Faith: Repentance.
III-4. How Far from the Purity of the Gospel Is All That the Sophists in Their Schools Prate
About Repentance; Discussion of Confession and Satisfaction.
III-5. The Supplements That They Add to Satisfactions, Namely, Indulgences and Purgatory.
III-6. The Life of the Christian Man; and First, by What Arguments Scripture Urges Us to It.
III-7. The Sum of the Christian Life: The Denial of Ourselves.
III-8. Bearing the Cross, a Part of Self-denial.
III-9. Meditation on the Future Life.
III-10. How We Must Use the Present Life and Its Helps.
III-11. Justification by Faith: First the Definition of the Word and of the Matter.
III-12. We Must Lift Up Our Minds to God's Judgment Seat that We May Be Firmly Convinced
of His Free Justification.
III-13. Two Things to Be Noted in Free Justification.
III-14. The Beginning of Justification and Its Continual Progress.
III-15. Boasting About the Merits of Works Destroys Our Praise of God for Having Bestowed
Righteousness, as Well as Our Assurance of Salvation.
III-16. Refutation of the False Accusations by Which the Papists Try to Cast Odium Upon This Doctrine.
III-17. The Agreement of the Promises of the Law and of the Gospel.
III-18. Works Righteousness Is Wrongly Inferred from Reward.
III-19. Christian Freedom.
III-20. Prayer, Which is the Chief Exercise of Faith, and by Which We Daily Receive God's Benefits.
III-21. Eternal Election, by Which God Has Predestined Some to Salvation, Others to Destruction.
III-22. Confirmation of This Doctrine from Scriptural Testimonies.
III-23. Refutation of the False Accusations with Which This Doctrine Has Always Been Unjustly Burdened.
III-24. Election Is Confirmed by God's Call; Moreover, the Wicked Bring Upon Themselves
the Just Destruction to Which They Are Destined.
III-25. The Final Resurrection.
THE EXTERNAL MEANS OR AIDS BY WHICH GOD INVITES US
INTO THE SOCIETY OF CHRIST AND HOLDS US THEREIN
IV-1. Of the true Church. Duty of cultivating unity with her, as the mother of all the godly.
IV-2. Comparison between the false church and the true.
IV-3. Of the teachers and ministers of the Church. Their election and office.
IV-4. Of the state of the primitive Church, and the mode of government in use before the papacy.
IV-5. The ancient form of government utterly corrupted by the tyranny of the papacy.
IV-6. Of the primacy of the Romish see.
IV-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.
IV-8. Of the power of the church in articles of faith. The unbridled license of the papal church in destroying purity of doctrine.
IV-9. Of councils and their authority.
IV-10. Of the power of making laws. The cruelty of the pope and his adherents, in this respect, in tyrannically oppressing and destroying souls.
IV-11. Of the jurisdiction of the church and the abuses of it, as exemplified in the papacy.
IV-12. Of the discipline of the Church, and its principal use in censures and excommunication.
IV-13. Of vows. The miserable entanglements caused by vowing rashly.
IV-14. Of the sacraments.
IV-15. Of Baptism.
IV-16. Paedobaptism. Its accordance with the institution of Christ, and the nature of the sign.
IV-17. Of the Lord's Supper, and the benefits conferred by it.
IV-18. Of the Popish mass. How it not only profanes, but annihilates the Lord's Supper.
IV-19. Of the five sacraments, falsely so called. Their spuriousness proved, and their true character explained.
IV-20. Of civil government.
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