Institutes of the Christian Religion

Calvin, John, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, ed. John T. McNeill

Westminster John Knox, 1960

3. 15. 12

Calvin expressly says that “eternal fire” in hell must not be taken literally. Darkness, weeping, gnashing, fire, worms, etc. are all figurative expressions, “intended to confound all our senses with dread.” Calvin adds that “we ought especially to fix our thought upon this: how wretched it is to be cut off from all fellowship with God.”