If the only Christian documents which survived were the New Testament and the records of the Calvinist Churches in the age of the Reformation, to suggest a connection between them more intimate than a coincidence of phraseology would appear, in all probability, a daring extravagance. Legalistic, mechanical, without imagination or compassion, the work of a jurist and organiser of genius, Calvin’s system was more Roman than Christian, and more Jewish than either. That it should be more tyrannical than the medieval Church, as the Jacobin Club was than the ancient regime, was inevitable. Its meshes were finer, its zeal and efficiency greater. And its enemies were not merely actions and writings, but thoughts.

R. H. Tawney: Religion and the Rise of Capitalism

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