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John Calvin: On The Superstition of Lent

Zwinglius Redivivus

I’ll happily stand with Calvin on the issue of Lent and leave those who wish to lie in the filth of the pigsty of ‘tradition’ simply for the sake of ‘tradition’ to do so.

Institutes 4.12.20 reads thusly (with particularly useful descriptions of lenten observance and observers bold-faced)

Then the superstitious observance of Lent had everywhere prevailed: for both the vulgar imagined that they thereby perform some excellent service to God, and pastors commended it as a holy imitation of Christ; though it is plain that Christ did not fast to set an example to others, but, by thus commencing the preaching of the gospel, meant to prove that his doctrine was not of men, but had come from heaven.

And it is strange how men of acute judgment could fall into this gross delusion, which so many clear reasons refute: for Christ did not fast repeatedly (which he…

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