As Schaff observes, in Geneva in 1538, on
April 22 and 23, the great Council of the Two Hundred assembled in the cloisters of St. Peter’s, deposed Farel and Calvin, without a trial, and ordered them to leave the city within three days.
They were summarily dismissed because 1) their reforming efforts were viewed as too strict by most of the citizens, and 2) Calvin couldn’t have been happier to have been ‘shown the door’. He hated the place and the absurd people who loved impurity and impiety more than anything else, including God.
Calvin’s reaction was – well for him – typical-
“Very well,” said Calvin, “it is better to serve God than man. If we had sought to please men, we should have been badly rewarded, but we serve a higher Master, who will not withhold from us his reward.”
Of this Schaff laconically remarks
Calvin even rejoiced at the result more than seemed proper.
Not if he hated the city. And he did. Have I mentioned that Calvin hated the city? Oh he hated it. But naturally the sows of Geneva threw a party when Calvin left.
The people celebrated the downfall of the clerical régime with public rejoicings. The decrees of the synod of Lausanne were published by sound of trumpets. The baptismal fonts were re-erected, and the communion administered on the following Sunday with unleavened bread.
So Calvin went East.
The deposed ministers went to Bern, but found little sympathy. They proceeded to Zürich, where a general synod was held, and were kindly received. They admitted that they had been too rigid, and consented to the restoration of the baptismal fonts, the unleavened bread (provided the bread was broken), and the four Church festivals observed in Bern; but they insisted on the introduction of discipline, the division of the Church into parishes, the more frequent administration of the communion, the singing of Psalms in public worship, and the exercise of discipline by joint committees of laymen and ministers.
Oh come now. They weren’t at all too rigid. Rigid would be the response to Servetus. But by that time Calvin was the unquestioned theological authority of the place and no one was silly enough to raise a hand in opposition. Not publicly anyway.
When the city came crawling to Calvin years later to urge him to return it was only because Calvin felt God wished him to be there that he agreed.