Calvin’s Wisdom (and Reformation Truth) – G.Miller

Calvins-wisdom-GMiller-1992One of my favorite books in my personal library is a collection of John Calvin quotes edited by Graham Miller titled Calvin’s Wisdom: An Anthology Arranged Alphabetically (Banner of Truth, 1992) – a book I have had for 21 years now.

The beauty of the book is that it lets Calvin speak for himself, under a variety of subjects. So for this Wednesday of Reformation remembrance week, we will let Calvin speak on several topics of great importance to that great movement of God to restore His church to her roots and to the truth of the gospel.

The Bible

Our wisdom ought to consist in embracing with gentle docility, and without any exception, all that is delivered in the sacred Scriptures. Inst. I: xviii.7

It is the foundation of all true religion to depend on the mouth or word of God; and it is also the foundation of our salvation. Jer.III:460

They who wish to build the Church by rejecting the doctrine of the word, build a hog’s sty, and not the Church of God. Is.IV:148

The Church

There are three things on which the safety of the Church is founded, namely, doctrine, discipline and the sacraments. Tracts I:50

Let us not doubt that there will always be a Church; and when it appears to be in a lamentably ruinous condition, let us entertain good hope of its restoration. Is.III:389

God begets and multiplies his Church only by means of his word. It is by the preaching of the grace of God alone that the Church is kept from perishing. Ps.I:388,389

Justification by Faith

Justification…is the principal hinge by which religion is supported. Inst.III:xi.i

The safety of the Church depends as much on this doctrine as human life does on the soul. If the purity of this doctrine is in any degree impaired, the Church has received a deadly wound. Tracts I:137

Satan has laboured at nothing more assiduously than to extinguish, or to smother the gratuitous justification by faith, which is here…asserted [Gen.15:6]… Abraham obtained righteousness…by imputation. Gen.I:405

Roman Catholicism at the time of the Reformation

Their whole doctrine contains nothing else than big words and bombast, because it is inconsistent with the majesty of Scripture, the efficacy of the Spirit, the gravity of the prophets, and the sincerity of the apostles… It is…an absolute profanation of real theology. Past.Epp.174

What is the worship of God in the papacy in these days but a confused jumble, which they have thrown together from numberless fictions? …fabricated by the will of man. Ezek.II:310

The whole of Popery …is built on ignorance of Christ. Col.177


Salvation ought to be ascribed exclusively to his election, which is of free grace. Is.IV:21

Every part and particle of our salvation depends on God’s mercy only. Four Last Bks of Moses II:319

We must seek all the parts of our salvation in Jesus Christ; for we shall not find a single drop of it anywhere else. Past.Epp. 335

Sovereignty of God

That time is most fit for God to work when there is no hope or counsel to be looked for at man’s hands. Acts I:268

As we ought to presume nothing of ourselves, so we should presume everything of God. Dedication to the Institutes

God on high governs all things in such a manner as to promote the benefit of his elect. Is.III:395

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