Classic Essays and Articles
The church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is his new creation
By water and the Word;
From heaven he came and sought her
To be his holy bride;
With his own blood he bought her,
And for her life he died.
Samuel John Stone
Nor is it enough to embrace the number of the elect in thought and intention merely. By the unity of the Church we must understand a unity into which we feel persuaded that we are truly engrafted. For unless we are united with all the other members under Christ our head, no hope of the future inheritance awaits us. Hence the Church is called Catholic or Universal (August. Ep. 48), for two or three cannot be invented without dividing Christ; and this is impossible. All the elect of God are so joined together in Christ, that as they depend on one head, so they are as it were compacted into one body, being knit together like its different members; made truly one by living together under the same Spirit of God in one faith, hope, and charity, called not only to the same inheritance of eternal life, but to participation in one God and Christ.
John Calvin Institutes of the Christian Religion (4.1.2)