Tag Archive: Calvin


“External knowledge of Christ is found to be only a false and dangerous make-believe, however eloquently and freely lip servants may talk about the gospel. The gospel is not a doctrine of the tongue, but of life. . . The philosophers rightly condemn and banish with disgrace from their company those who profess to know the art of life, but who are in reality vain babblers. With much better reason Christians ought to detest those who have the gospel on their lips, but not in their hearts.” (John Calvin Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life)

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It is evident that man never attains to a true self-knowledge until he has previously contemplated the face of God, and come down after such contemplation to look into himself. For (such is our innate pride) we always seem to ourselves just, and upright, and wise, and holy, until we are convinced, by clear evidence, of our injustice, vileness, folly, and impurity. Convinced, however, we are not, if we look to ourselves only, and not to the Lord also – He being the only standard by the application of which this conviction can be produced. (Calvin’s Institutes, 1.1.2)