Believe it or Not, Some People Didn’t Like Calvin!

I know, weird, right?

That Calvin made many enemies, and could not avoid making them, goes without saying. Like Dante, who thought nothing of putting his own friends among the damned in Inferno, when the requirements of justice demanded it, so Calvin could be inexorably unmerciful whenever he supposed that the honour of God was involved. One who came under the lash of his tongue in a public controversy was wont afterwards to declare that he knew Calvin and Beza well, but that he would rather be in hell with Beza than in heaven with Calvin.

A report of Calvin’s death made multitudes delirious with joy. When a false rumour of this kind got abroad in 1551, a day of thanksgiving was proclaimed in his native place, and a solemn procession of the canons of the cathedral took place. Even Grotius, philosopher as he was, must have had a mortal dislike to Calvin, if he really did say what is placed to his credit, that the spirit of Antichrist had been seen, not on the banks of the Tiber only, but on those of lake Leman.*

*Henry Henderson, Calvin in His Letters (London: J. M. Dent & Company, 1909), 85–86.