by John Calvin
It is said that Cato, when about to address the Roman People for the purpose of urging them to correct their extravagant expenditure, began by premising that he should have a difficult task to perform, as the belly had no ears. My task, were I to exhort the Romanists of the present day to restore the doctrine of godliness, and cleanse the Church of corruption, would be much more difficult: for I should have to contend not only with a deaf belly, but with blind ambition. We seer that however they may be vanquished in argument, they nevertheless continue obstinate because they think they have to fight for honor and life. I will not, therefore, be so foolish as to attempt in vain to recall them to a sound mind; those of them, I mean, whose contumacy is seen to be altogether desperate. I will rather turn in a different direction, and let all the godly see how abominable the impiety of those men is. Of this I here exhibit no obscure specimen in The Acts of the Council of Trent, in which they have so explained all their inward feelings, as to leave, nobody in doubt what the state of the Church would be if it depended on their decision.
But that this may the better appears I beg and exhort my readers first to peruse my treatise on the Necessity of Reforming the Church; and thereafter, on comparing, decide to which party they ought to incline.
GENEVA, 21st November 1547.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
JOHN CALVIN TO THE PIOUS READER.
ADMONITION AND EXHORTATION OF THE LEGATES OF THE APOSTOLIC SEE TO THE FATHERS IN THE COUNCIL OF TRENT.
CALVIN'S PREFACE TO THE ANTIDOTE.
ON THE PREFACTORY DISCOURSE BY THE LEGATES IN THE FIRST SESSION AND OTHER PRELIMINARY MATTERS OF THE COUNCIL.
DECREE PUBLISHED IN THE SECOND SESSION OF THE HOLY COUNCIL OF TRENT.
ON THE DECREE OF THE SECOND SESSION.
FIRST DECREE PUBLISHED IN THE THIRD SESSION OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT.
ON THE DECREE OF THE THIRD SESSION.
FIRST DECREE OF THE FOURTH SESSION OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT.
SECOND DECREE OF THE FOURTH SESSION.
ON THE FOURTH SESSION.
FIRST DECREE OF THE FIFTH SESSION OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT,
SECOND DECREE OF THE FIFTH SESSION.
ON THE FIRST DECREE OF THE FIFTH SESSION.
ON THE SECOND DECREE OF THE FIFTH SESSION.
SIXTH SESSION OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT.
ON THE SIXTH SESSION OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT.
ANTIDOTE TO THE CANONS OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT.
SEVENTH SESSION OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT.
ANTIDOTE TO THE SEVENTH SESSION