Gerald Bray summarizes John Calvin’s hermeneutic with six statements, concluding with this one (Biblical Interpretation: Past and Present [Downers Grove: IVP, 1996], 203-4, emphasis in original):
6. Biblical interpretation passes through three distinct but related phases. If any one of these phases is omitted, the text will not be interpreted properly. The three phases are exegesis (represented by his commentaries); dogmatics (represented by his Institutes); and preaching (represented by his sermons). . . .
Perhaps the best way to appreciate the necessity of holding these three things together in harmony is by looking at what happens if one of them is left out.  Exegesis and dogmatics without preaching are dry and academic; there is no application.  Exegesis and preaching with no dogmatics are subjective and contentless; a passage of Scripture will be interpreted without regard for its proper context in the Word of God as a whole.  Finally, dogmatics and preaching without exegesis are mere propaganda; they are not based on a proper assimilation of the facts. Only as all three are held together in proper balance can the message of Scripture be properly applied to the life of the church, and God’s people be edified as they are meant to be.