There is something healthy about returning to one’s roots. When it comes to evangelical Christianity, its roots are found in the soil of the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation.

Calvin - Acts of the Council of Trent with the Antidote

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  • Calvin - Acts of the Council of Trent with the Antidote

    I thought I might post something by Calvin. His Acts of the Council of Trent with the Antidote is excellent. I especially like the section, ON THE FOURTH SESSION. It is much to long to post the entire tract or even the section I enjoy so much.

    In this section Calvin is addressing the Council of Trent's decrees concerning Scripture, interpretation, tradition, and translations. Here are some of the highlights.
    For what hinders them from raising a trophy, and coming off victorious to their hearts content, if we concede to them what they have comprehended in one decree? There are four heads: First, they ordain that in doctrine we are not to stand on Scripture alone, but also on things handed down by tradition. Secondly, in forming a catalogue of Scripture, they mark all the books with the same chalk, and insist on placing the Apocrypha in the same rank with the others. Thirdly, repudiating all other versions whatsoever, they retain the Vulgate only, and order it to be authentic. Lastly, in all passages either dark or doubtful, they claim the right of interpretation without challenge. These four things being established, who can deny that the war is ended? Wherefore, their after discussions were more for ostentation than from any necessity for them; for whatever they produce, if supported by no authority of Scripture, will be classed among traditions, which they insist should have the same authority as the Law and the Prophets.
    But as the Hebrew or Greek original often serves to expose their ignorance in quoting Scripture, to check their presumption, and so keep down their thrasonic boasting, they ingeniously meet this difficulty also by determining that the Vulgate translation only is to be held authentic. Farewell, then, to those who have spent much time and labor in the study of languages, that they might search for the genuine sense of Scripture at the fountainhead!
    One thing still was wanting; for disagreeable men were always springing up, who, when anything was brought into question, could not be satisfied without Scripture proof! There are others too clear-sighted, since even in the Vulgate translation they find weapons wherewith to annoy the Papacy. That they may not sustain loss from this quarter, they devise a most excellent remedy, when they adjudge to themselves the legitimate interpretation of Scripture. Who can now imagine any improvidence in them? By one article they have obtained the means of proving what they please out of Scripture, and escaping from every passage that might be urged against them.
    He goes on to state:
    In short, anything may be made of anything! When they formerly produced such passages they made themselves ridiculous even to children. Now, if credit is given them, the right of authorized interpretation will remove every doubt. For what passage can be objected to them so clear and strong that they shall not evade it? Any kind of quibble will at once relieve them from difficulty. Against opposing arguments they will set up this brazen wall — Who are you to question the interpretation of the Church? This, no doubt, is what they mean by a saying common among them, in that Scripture is a nose of wax, because it can be formed into all shapes. If postulates of this kind were given to mathematicians, they would not only make an ell an inch, but prove a mile shorter than an ell, till they had thrown everything into confusion.
    What a wonderful argument. Calvin point is that the Council's decree are nothing more than circular reasoning and question begging.

    Calvin - Acts of the Council of Trent with the Antidote

  • #2
    Thanks Origen, this work by John Calvin slipped by me.

    Here's the entire book in pdf form:



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    • #3
      Now....if I could only find a free version of Martin Chemnitz's "Examination of the Council of Trent", which is a four volume tome!

      Great link William and a timely topic!
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