THE present COMMENTARY, necessarily partaking of the character of the Book which it is designed to illustrate, is more historical than doctrinal; and hence does not contain so much profound theological discussion as some of Calvin's other Commentaries. The leading topic is the progress of the Gospel under the inspired teachers to whom its first propagation was entrusted, and, in immediate connection with this, the Constitution of the Apostolic Church, and the privileges enjoyed by its members. To this latter point the attention of the religious world is now more especially directed; and whatever be the views entertained with regard to it by any reader into whose hands this Commentary may fall, if he feels aright, he will not think that his study of the controversy is complete until he has made himself acquainted with what has been said upon it by such a man as Calvin.
A work of talent need not be either the less interesting or the less instructive that it advocates views at variance with our own. If our opinions have been deliberately and candidly formed, it is a satisfactory test of their soundness when they continue unshaken by all that the ablest opponent can urge against them.
The Translation appears to be well executed. It is, perhaps, not so strictly literal as that of the Commentary on the Romans, which the CALVIN SOCIETY has already published; but any difference, in this respect, is more than compensated by the general superiority of its style. There are occasional obscurities or mistranslations which the Editor has endeavored, as in the Commentary on the Romans, to remove by foot-notes; but, on the whole, it is believed that the present Translation will not suffer by comparison with that of any Theological Translation of the same period.