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´╗┐Title: John Calvin's Writings - Letter 20 Calvin to Sir John Cheke
Author: John Calvin
Language: English

I have hitherto deferred writing to you, most excellent Sir, lest I should appear to seek something
for which I had no inclination. Most of the friendships of the world are specious, and influenced
by ambition and vanity. Few cherish sincerity; and few deserve our confidence, whose probity
has not been tried. I have already often ventured to write to the king, to whom I have, with other
servants of Christ, found access, by your care, under providence. For having hitherto omitted to
write to you, I have a ready excuse. I apprehend that those, at whose request I wrote to him,
would imagine that I had not sufficient confidence in them, if I entrusted the delivery of my
letter to others; besides, there was no such familiarity between us, as would warrant me in giving
you that trouble If I have erred in this, you will be pleased to impute it to my modesty, rather
than my negligence. I have long since been induced to esteem you highly, from the fame of your
eminent piety and distinguished learning. This one circumstance is sufficient to conciliate to you
the minds of all good men, that while England has a king of the most amiable disposition, you
have, by your labor, formed him to such a maturity of virtue, beyond his age, that he has
extended his hand to the troubled and most afflicted church, in these unhappy times. Surely the
Lord, in dignifying you with this honor, has not only bound those to you who reap the immediate
fruit of your labors, but all those who desire the church of God to be restored, or the remnants of
it to be collected. In testifying the esteem for you, which I have silently cherished with myself, I
am persuaded that I shall not render you an unpleasant service. In the splendor of your fortune,
you have no occasion for my personal assistance; and, being contented with my humble
conditions, I would not, for my own sake, lay any additional burden upon you; but I would have
a mutual good will cherished between us in this transitory life, until we shall enjoy substantial
blessedness in heaven. In the mean time, let us labor to adorn, and, as much as in us lies, to
extend and support the kingdom of Christ. We see the numerous, open and infections enemies,
whose fury is daily increased and inflamed. And of the number of those, who have given their
names to the gospel, how few labor with integrity to maintain the glory of God? How much
coldness, or rather how much slothfulness, prevails among most of the chief men; and finally,
how great is the stupidity of the world? Your willing exertions require no foreign excitements,
and I trust you will take in good part those things I have suggested, as proper for each one
assiduously to apply to himself.

But this I expressly ask of you, that if any time you shall judge, that his majesty the king may be
excited by my expostulations, you will be pleased to advise and give counsel as the case may
require. Farewell, most excellent and highly respected man. May the Lord guide you by his
power, etc.

JOHN CALVIN.

Geneva, February 13, 1553.



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