“No writing of the Reformation era was more feared by Roman Catholics, more zealously fought against and more hostilely pursued, than Calvin's Institutes.”
“The renovation of the individual, of the church, and of the human race, is his theme...”
“The reformation of the sixteenth century restored to the human race what the middle ages had stolen from them; it delivered them from the traditions, laws, and despotism of the papacy; it put an end to the minority and tutelage in which Rome claimed to keep mankind forever; and by calling upon man to establish his faith not on the words of a priest, but on the infallible Word of God, and by announcing to every one free access to the Father through the new and saving way – Jesus Christ, it proclaimed and brought about the hour of Christian manhood.”
“An explanation is, however, necessary. There are philosophers in our days who regard Christ as simply the apostle of political liberty. These men should learn that, if they desire liberty outwardly, they must first possess it inwardly...”
“There are, no doubt, many countries, especially among those which the sun of Christianity has not yet illuminated, that are without civil liberty, and that groan under the arbitrary rule of powerful masters. But, in order to become free outwardly, man must first succeed in being free inwardly...
“The liberty which the Truth brings is not for individuals only; it affects the whole of society. Calvin's work of renovation, in particular, which was doubtless first of all an internal work, was afterwards destined to exercise a great influence over nations.”
“Lastly, Calvin was the founder of the greatest of republics. The pilgrims who left their country in the reign of James I and, landing on the barren shores of New England, founded populous and mighty colonies, are his sons, his direct and legitimate sons; and that American nation which we have seen growing so rapidly boasts as its father the humble reformer on the shores of the Leman.”
“Spirit who made them live, awaken their children, so that they may know how to follow them.”