Saturday, 2 November 2013

Favourite Calvin find: flees Paris via a window

John Calvin in FlightHistory has a tendency of repeating itself. When the Apostle Paul escaped from the city of Damascus by being lowered over the wall in a basket, it would not be the last time that a Christian minister would be forced to dramatically flee from persecution. On this day in 1533, John Calvin made a similarly thrilling escape from the city of Paris. The reason for Calvin's flight was a sermon he had helped draft which forcibly condemned his fellow ministers for undermining the wondrous Salvation we have in Christ. Part of the sermon read as follows:
“They teach nothing of faith, nothing of the love of God, nothing of the remission of grace, nothing of justification, or if they do so, they pervert and undermine it all by their laws and sophistries. I beg of you, who are here present, not to tolerate any longer these heresies and abuses.” 
The result of this sermon was that Calvin had to flee for his life with the police hot on his heels. Part of the escape involved being lowered from a window on tied-together bedsheets and escaping from Paris dressed as a farmer with a  hoe on his shoulder. For a few years after that he wandered about as a fugitive evangelist but eventually settled in Geneva becoming perhaps the greatest theologian of the Reformation. What a tale, what an experience! Forced to live a most stalwart existence because of writing truthfully about the most moving theology

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