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On The Christian Life
by John Calvin, translated by Henry Beveridge

A Perpetual Exercise of Faith. The Daily Benefits Derived from It. Institutes of the Christian Religion, Bk. 3, Ch. VI.

“This book treats of the Life of the Christian. Its five chapters are arranged as to admit of being classed under two principal heads.
First, it must be held to be an universally acknowledged point, that no man is a Christian who does not feel some special love for righteousness, chap. i. Second, in regard to the standard by which every man ought to regulate his life, although it seems to be considered in chap. ii. only, yet the three following chapters also refer to it. For it shows that the Christian has two duties to perform. First, the observance being so arduous, he needs the greatest patience. Hence chap. iii. treats professedly of the utility of the cross, and chap. iv. invites to meditation on the future life. Lastly, chap. v. clearly shows, as in no small degree conducive to this end, how we are to use this life and its comforts without abusing them.”

About the Author:

“John Calvin was born “John Cauvin” on July 10, 1509 at Noyon in France. His father, Gerard Cauvin was a church leader holding ecclesiastical offices for the lordship of Noyon. Calvin’s mother was Jeanne le Franc, the daughter of an innkeeper at Cambrai, who afterwards came to reside at Noyon. Gerard Cauvin was esteemed as a man of considerable wisdom and prudence, and his wife was said to be that rare combination of both a godly and attractive lady. She bore him five sons, of whom John was the second. John Calvin lived to the age of 55, dying on May 27, 1564.

John Calvin’s father destined him from the start for an ecclesiastical career, and paid for his education in the household of the noble family of Hangest de Montmor. In May 1521 he was appointed to a chaplaincy in the cathedral of Noyon. The plague having visited Noyon, the young Hangests were sent to Paris in August 1523, and Calvin accompanied them. He lived with his uncle and attended as an out-student the College de la Marche. From the College de la Marche he moved to the College de Montaigu, where the atmosphere was more ecclesiastical and where he had for instructor a Spaniard who is described as a man of learning and to whom Calvin was indebted for some sound training in dialectics and the scholastic philosophy. John Calvin speedily outstripped all his competitors in grammatical studies, and by his skill and acumen as a student of philosophy, and debate. Although not yet ordained, Calvin preached several sermons to the people.”

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