“What has a Christian man to do with that prevaricating obedience, which, while the Word of God is licentiously contemned, yields its homage to human vanity? What has he to do with that contumacious and rude humility, which despising the majesty of God, only looks up with reverence to men? Have done with empty names of virtue, employed merely as cloaks for vice, and let us exhibit the thing itself in its true colors. Ours be the humility which, beginning with the lowest, and paying respect to each in his degree, yields the highest honor and respect to the Church, in subordination, however, to Christ the Church’s head; ours the obedience which, while it disposes us to listen to our elders and superiors, tests all obedience by the Word of God; in fine, ours the Church whose supreme care it is humbly and religiously to venerate the Word of God, and submit to its authority.”
John Calvin, Letter to Sadoleto, p. 75.