Institutes of the Christian Religion, Books 1-4 (Allen Translation)

John Calvin (1509 - 1564)
Translated by John Allen (1771 - 1839)

At the head of the list of Calvin’s writings stands his great dogmatic treatise — the Institutes of the Christian Religion. In a very literal sense this book may indeed be called his life-work. It was the first book he published after he had "devoted himself to God," and thus introduces the series of his works consecrated to the propagation of religion. But from its first appearance in the spring of 1536 to the issue of its definitive edition in 1559 — throughout nearly a quarter of a century — Calvin was continually busy with it, revising, expanding, readjusting it, until from a simple little handbook, innocent of constructive principle, it had grown into a bulky but compact and thoroughly organized textbook in theology.

The importance to the Protestant cause of the publication of this book can hardly be overstated. It is inadequate praise to describe it, as the Roman Catholic historian, Kampschulte, describes it, as "without doubt the most outstanding and the most influential production in the sphere of dogmatics which the Reformation literature of the sixteenth century presents." This goes without saying. What demands recognition is that the publication of the Institutes was not merely a literary incident but an historical event, big with issues, which have not lost their importance to the present day. By it was given to perplexed, hard-bestead Protestantism an adequate positive programme for its Reformation. What they needed, and what the Institutes did was the disengagement of a principle "from this vortex of ideas," and the development of its consequences. "Such a book," continues M. Buisson, "is equally removed from a pamphlet of Ulrich von Hutten, from the satire of Erasmus, from the popular preaching, mystical and violent, of Luther: it is a work of a theologian in the most learned sense of the term, a religious work undoubtedly, penetrated with an ethical inspiration, but before all, a work of organization and concentration, a code of doctrine for the minister, an arsenal of arguments for simple believers: it is the Summa of Reformed Christianity."

"The author's concernment is far more to bring out the logical force and the moral power of his own doctrine than to descant on the weak points of the opposing doctrine. What holds his attention is not the past but the future, — it is the reconstruction of the Church." What wonder, then, that it has retained its influence through all succeeding time? As the first adequate statement of the positive programme of the Reformation movement, the Institutes lies at the foundation of the whole development of Protestant theology and has left an impress on evangelical thought which is ineffaceable. After three centuries and a half, it retains its unquestioned preeminence as the greatest and most influential of all dogmatic treatises. - Summary by Benjamin B Warfield

Genre(s): Christianity - Other

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 Book I: 1.1-6.4 InTheDesert
01:13:45
Play 02 Book I: 7.1-11.6 InTheDesert
01:13:32
Play 03 Book I: 11.7-13.13 InTheDesert
01:12:37
Play 04 Book I: 13.14-14.8 InTheDesert
01:12:17
Play 05 Book I: 14.9-16.2 InTheDesert
01:12:08
Play 06 Book I: 16.3-17.14 InTheDesert
01:10:16
Play 07 Book I: 18.1-18.4 InTheDesert
00:22:36
Play 08 Book II: 1.1-2.15 InTheDesert
01:12:45
Play 09 Book II: 2.16-3.11 InTheDesert
01:13:27
Play 10 Book II: 3.12-5.16 InTheDesert
01:11:41
Play 11 Book II: 5.17-8.3 InTheDesert
01:13:06
Play 12 Book II: 8.4-8.33 InTheDesert
01:12:12
Play 13 Book II: 8.34-10.2 InTheDesert
01:13:11
Play 14 Book II: 10.3-11.12 InTheDesert
01:13:46
Play 15 Book II: 11.13-14.7 InTheDesert
01:11:21
Play 16 Book II: 14.8-16.14 InTheDesert
01:13:53
Play 17 Book II: 16.15-17.6 InTheDesert
00:27:07
Play 18 Book III: 1.1-2.23 InTheDesert
01:12:22
Play 19 Book III: 2.24-3.9 InTheDesert
01:13:45
Play 20 Book III: 3.10-4.9 InTheDesert
01:13:26
Play 21 Book III: 4.10-4.35 InTheDesert
01:11:33
Play 22 Book III: 4.36-7.6 InTheDesert
01:12:15
Play 23 Book III: 7.7-11.3 InTheDesert
01:13:52
Play 24 Book III: 11.4-12.5 InTheDesert
01:12:33
Play 25 Book III: 12.6-15.2 InTheDesert
01:12:05
Play 26 Book III: 15.3-17.15 InTheDesert
01:11:01
Play 27 Book III: 18.1-20.2 InTheDesert
01:10:50
Play 28 Book III: 20.3-20.22 InTheDesert
01:11:19
Play 29 Book III: 20.23-20.44 InTheDesert
01:11:16
Play 30 Book III: 20.45-22.8 InTheDesert
01:13:59
Play 31 Book III: 22.9-24.7 InTheDesert
01:12:50
Play 32 Book III: 24.8-25.9 InTheDesert
01:11:39
Play 33 Book III: 25.10-25.12 InTheDesert
00:10:04
Play 34 Book IV: 1.1-2.1 InTheDesert
01:12:08
Play 35 Book IV: 2.2-4.5 InTheDesert
01:12:40
Play 36 Book IV: 4.6-6.5 InTheDesert
01:13:34
Play 37 Book IV: 6.6-7.20 InTheDesert
01:12:24
Play 38 Book IV: 7.21-9.8 InTheDesert
01:12:31
Play 39 Book IV: 9.9-10.24 InTheDesert
01:13:22
Play 40 Book IV: 10.25-12.6 InTheDesert
01:12:33
Play 41 Book IV: 12.7-13.12 InTheDesert
01:13:18
Play 42 Book IV: 13.13-14.21 InTheDesert
01:12:33
Play 43 Book IV: 14.22-16.8 InTheDesert
01:12:27
Play 44 Book IV: 16.9-17.4 InTheDesert
01:12:04
Play 45 Book IV: 17.5-17.27 InTheDesert
01:09:18
Play 46 Book IV: 17.28-17.47 InTheDesert
01:12:11
Play 47 Book IV: 17.48-19.10 InTheDesert
01:12:41
Play 48 Book IV: 19.11-20.7 InTheDesert
01:12:38
Play 49 Book IV: 20.8-20.32 InTheDesert
01:01:57