Calvin's Institutes (1559)
Book 3 of 4 - How We Receive the Grace of Christ
Chapter 5, Sections 1-5 – Additions to penance: Indulgences
Indulgences flow from satisfaction at confession. They think Christ’s merits are distributed by indulgences. This would mean "indulgences establish another purchase price in the blood of martyrs." This is madness. They claim to grant forgiveness through the church’s indulgences, when only Christ’s blood are we cleansed – Acts 10:43; 1 John 1:7; 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Cor 1:13; Acts 20:28; Heb 10:14; Rev 7:14. Pope Leo spoke strongly against other saints paying for our sins in any way. They glean this "surplus of merits" from Col 1:24, wrongly, leaving Christ "only a name," and little distinction of honor from all the saints. Col 1:24 ("Paul completes what is lacking in christ's afflictions for the sake of the body, the Church") means not suffering for atonement and redemption, but for edification of the Church, like in 2 Tim 2:10; 2 Cor 1:6. They pretend to draw Christ's grace from the pope's storehouse, "tearing it away from the Word of God!"