The Expulsion of Calvin and Farel From Geneva

calvin_farel

Farel urging Calvin to go to Geneva

On Easter Sunday, April 21, Calvin … ascended the pulpit of St. Peter’s; Farel, the pulpit of St. Gervais. They preached before large audiences, but declared that they could not administer the communion to the rebellious city, lest the sacrament be desecrated. And indeed, under existing circumstances, the celebration of the love-feast of the Saviour would have been a solemn mockery. Many hearers were armed, drew their swords, and drowned the voice of the preachers, who left the church and went home under the protection of their friends.  Calvin preached also in the evening in the Church of St. Francis at Rive in the lower part of the city, and was threatened with violence.

The small Council met after the morning service in great commotion and summoned the general Council. On the next two days, 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 received the news with great composure. “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.” Calvin even rejoiced at the result more than seemed proper.

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 Schaff, as he recounts the events surrounding Calvin’s expulsion from that wretched pit of iniquity, Geneva.  Calvin was happy to be tossed out.  Nothing could have pleased him more at that point.

About Jim

I am a Pastor, and Lecturer in Church History and Biblical Studies at Ming Hua Theological College.
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