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  • Submitted: May 24 2015 03:12 PM
  • Last Updated: May 24 2015 03:12 PM
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  • Author: Henry, Paul; Stebbing, Henry
  • theWord Version: 3.x - 4.x
  • Tab Name: Stebbing - Life of Calvin

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Download The Life and Times of John Calvin (2 Vols) 1.0

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Calvinism History Biography Renaissance (1400-1650)
Henry, Paul; Stebbing, Henry

theWord Version:
3.x - 4.x

Tab Name:
Stebbing - Life of Calvin

"The Author has fully explained in his preface the object which he proposed to himself in undertaking a life of Calvin. It will be sufficient, therefore, for the Translator to state the reasons which induce him to hope that the work may be acceptable to English readers. In the inquiries which he was led to make, some few years ago, into the history of the Reformation, he felt both surprise and regret that so little exact information existed respecting Calvin. Independent of his fame as a theologian, Calvin is one of the great historical characters of the sixteenth century. We can form, indeed, no adequate idea of that period if we leave out of our consideration the labors and actions of a man, who so materially aided the development of the all-important principles then in progress of formation. The present work affords ample details on the main points connected with Calvin’s history, and with that of his age. They have been derived from sources now, in great part, for the first time made public. The Translator, therefore, hopes that he has not been unprofitably employed in giving this biography to the English reader.

Dr. Henry’s admiration of Calvin is almost unbounded. But devoted as is his veneration for the great reformer, he has been too candid to conceal either his faults or his errors. Though generally taking the part of an apologist, he never omits facts or documents; never garbles a letter, or weakens, by an imperfect abstract, a hostile argument.

Twenty years, we understand, intervened between the commencement and the completion of this Work. No slight variety of style has been the consequence. The Author generally writes with much vigor, and is often eloquent; but his style is occasionally painfully harsh, abrupt, and perplexed. Hence the Translator has had to choose between the attempt to soften the original, at the hazard of somewhat modifying the meaning of the Author, or following the current of his style, rough as it may be, and thus leaving the matter to be settled between the reader and the original writer." -- from the Translator's Preface

In Two Volumes

Vol. I



Part I

Chapter I
State of the Church at Calvin’s first appearance.—Progress of Religious Opinion in England.—Italy.—Germany

Chapter II
Calvin’s childhood.—Studies.—Early conversion.—First labors

Chapter III
The Work on the Soul’s Sleep, entitled ‘Psychopannychia.’—The Anabaptists

Chapter IV
Calvin endeavors to convert Francis I.—Persecution in France.—Calvin’s ‘Institutes’

Chapter V
The First Edition of Calvin’s ‘Institutes’

Chapter VI
Reformation in Switzerland, particularly in Geneva

Chapter VII
Calvin in Italy.—His introduction to the Duchess of Ferrara.—His residence at her Court

Chapter VIII
Calvin’s arrival in Geneva.—Calvin, Farel, and Viret.—Their relation to each other

Chapter IX
Calvin’s first struggle in Geneva.—The year 1537.—Address of the Genevese Consistory to the Preachers of Zurich.—The Genevese Preachers to those of Bern.—Calvin to Bullinger and others

Chapter X
Calvin in Strasburg

Chapter XI

Chapter XII
Journey to Frankfort.—First interview with Melancthon

Chapter XIII
Calvin’s Treatise on the Lord’s Supper

Chapter XIV
The Second Edition of the ‘Institutes;’ and Calvin’s matured theological character

Chapter XV
Publication of Calvin’s Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans.—Exegetical talent of Calvin

Chapter XVI
The Scriptures translated into French

Chapter XVII
Calvin at the Diet of Worms and Ratisbone.—He becomes the friend of Melancthon

Chapter XVIII
Calvin’s poetry.—A letter of condolence addressed to a father

Chapter XIX
Calvin’s return to Geneva.—Applications made to Strasburg.—Farel’s severe language on the subject.—Calvin’s personal dread of the change.—Calvin’s inner life at this period

Chapter XX
Characteristics of Calvin.—His marriage.—Domestic life.—Poverty and moderation.—Peculiarities of his mind and temper

Chapter XXI
Calvin’s love of truth, the fountain of his inner life.—His sense of piety.—Struggles and extraordinary nature of the two Reformers

Part II

Chapter I
Introductory remarks.—Calvin necessary as a central point in the development of the Reformation

Chapter II
Calvin’s first arrival at Geneva

Chapter III
Calvin a Theocrat

Chapter IV
Calvin as a Legislator

Chapter V
Calvin the Founder of an Ecclesiastical Constitution.—Common principles of reform adopted by him.—His principles of Church discipline

Chapter VI
Remarks on the principles adopted by Calvin in the foundation of the Genevese Church

Chapter VII
Calvin’s Catechism.—His Liturgical Order.—Outward Worship: its relation to the Arts.—Psalm-singing in the Reformed Churches.—Calvin’s excess in reform: compared with Vincentius de Paula

Chapter VIII
Calvin’s pastoral labors.—Characteristic of his practical efforts.—His laborious life.—His epistolary correspondence.—Calvin as a Preacher

Chapter IX
Calvin’s general activity.—He attacks the Catholics.—Pope Paul III.—Writes against Pighius on Free Grace.—Melancthon.—The Council of Trent


Vol. II



Part II.—Continued

Chapter X.
State of the Church in the years, 1544 and 1545

Chapter XI.
The German War.—League of Smalcalde.—Defeat of the Protestants.—Calvin writes against the Interim.—The Church of England.—Calvin’s literary labors

Chapter XII.
Anabaptists.—Spiritual libertines.—The antichristianity of Geneva.—Political libertines opposed to the Refugees

Chapter XIII.
Fury of the libertines.—Anger and severity of Calvin.—Ameaux, Perrin, and Gruet

Chapter XIV.
Insults heaped on Calvin.—His resolution, inward peace, and consolation in friendship.—Viret

Chapter XV.
Efforts to re-establish peace.—Struggle on behalf of a Great Church Union.—Agreement of the Zurichers on the Lord’s Supper

Chapter XVI.
Union of great minds.—A plan to effect unity of doctrine and discipline by a community of spirit.—Harmony between Luther and Calvin in living faith.—Melancthon

Part III.

Chapter I.
Introductory remarks.—Characteristics of Calvin

Chapter II.
The outward condition of the Church, and Calvin’s circumstances at Geneva in the years 1550, 1551, 1552.—His work ‘De Scandalis.’—Letters to Cranmer and Melancthon

Chapter III.
The first great controversy.—The dispute respecting Predestination.—Bolsec

Chapter IV.
Calvin’s second great controversy, on the Trinity, 1553.—Dispute with Servetus.—Its consequences

Chapter V.
Servetus condemned to death.—His last hours in prison.—His execution.—An inquiry into the circumstances attending it.—Review of his doctrines

Chapter VI.
Other teachers of false doctrine respecting the Trinity.—Matthæus Gribaldi.—Blandrata.—Gentilis—his system and history

Chapter VII.
Calvin’s controversy with Westphal and Hesshus on the doctrine of the Sacrament.—Rise and progress of the dispute.—Parties engaged.—Results

Chapter VIII.
Final struggle against the libertines.—Berthelier.—Triumph of discipline.—Failure of Calvin’s enemies.—Educational plans

Chapter IX.
Calvin’s activity.—His influence in England and Scotland.—John Knox.—Correspondence with the English exiles in Frankfort

Chapter X.
Calvin’s relation to the Northern churches.—His influence in Poland.—Correspondence with King Sigismund and with the Polish nobles

Chapter XI.
Influence of Calvin in France.—Rapid development of the Reformation in the fire of persecution.—Martyrs in the reign of Henry II. at Lyons, Chambery, and other places.—Calvin’s distress.—He exhorts the German princes to interfere.—Beginning of the Church in Paris.—Emigration of the Reformed to America.—Heroic courage of the Confessors.—Anne du Bourg.—Sketch of events preceding the Colloquy of Poissy.—Belief and discipline of the French Church.—Unity of the Church under Calvin’s influence.—His success at its highest point.—Animating address to all the great personages in France belonging to the Evangelical party

Chapter XII.
Beza at the Colloquy of Poissy, 1561.—His account to Calvin.—Occurrences September 9, 1561.—The Reformed Church recognized by the Edict of January, 1562

Chapter XIII.
First religious war.—The Peace.—1562–1563

Chapter XIV.
Calvin’s latest controversies.—The false reports published by his enemies.—Struggle against Balduin

Chapter XV.
Calvin takes leave of the world.—Review of the close of his life.—His outward circumstances and inward state.—His last labors.—Farewell address to the Ministers and to the Council.—General mourning.—Beza’s character of Calvin


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