John Calvin

Swiss theologian (born in France) whose tenets (predestination and the irresistibility of grace and justification by faith) defined Presbyterianism (1509-1564)

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. . . I consider looseness with words no less of a defect than looseness of the bowels.
Christ is the most perfect image of God, into which we are so renewed as to bear the image of God, in knowledge, purity, righteousness, and true holiness.
Every one of us is, even from his mother's womb, a master craftsman of idols.
For Scripture is the school of the Holy Spirit, in which, as nothing is omitted that is both necessary and useful to know, so nothing is taught but what is expedient to know. Therefore we must guard against depriving believers of anything disclosed about predestination in Scripture, lest we seem either wickedly to defraud them of the blessing of their God or to accuse and scoff at the Holy Spirit for having published what it is in any way profitable to suppress.
The Fanaticism which discards the Scripture, under the pretense of resorting to immediate revelations is subversive of every principle of Christianity. For when they boast extravagantly of the Spirit, the tendency is always to bury the Word of God so they may make room for their own falsehoods.
The sum is, that the worship of God must be spiritual, in order that it may correspond with His nature. For although Moses only speaks of idolatry, yet there is no doubt but that by synecdoche, as in all the rest of the law, he condemns all fictitious services which men in their ingenuity have invented.
Without Christ, sciences in every department are vain....The man who knows not God is vain, though he should be conversant with every branch of learning. Nay more, we may affirm this too with truth, that these choice gifts of God -- expertness of mind, acuteness of judgment, liberal sciences, and acquaintance with languages, are in a manner profaned in every instance in which they fall to the lot of wicked men.

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