I think I have so embraced the sum of religion in all its parts and arranged it systematically that, if anyone grasps it aright, he will have no difficulty in deciding what he ought principally to seek in Scripture and to what end he should refer everything in it.  Thus, I have, as it were, paved the way.  And, if I shall, hereafter, publish any commentaries on Scripture, I shall always condense them and keep them short, for I shall not need to undertake lengthy discussions on doctrines or digress into “loci communes.”  By this method, the godly reader will be spared great trouble and boredom, provided he approaches [the commentaries] fore-armed with a knowledge of the present work as a necessary weapon.  But, because the commentary on the Epistle to the Romans will furnish an example of this intention, I prefer to let the thing appear in practice rather than forecast it by words.John Calvin (1509-1564), in 1539

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