A selection from a letter by John Calvin to the brethren of France who had faced persecution for Christ. The letter was written in November, 1559:
It has been said of old that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church. If it is a seed from which we derive our origin in Jesus Christ, it should also be a shower to water us that we may grow and make progress, even so as to die well. For if this blood is precious in the sight of God, it ought not to be unprofitable for us; thus we see that St. Paul boasts that his bonds have contributed to the advancement of the gospel and expects that in his death the name of Jesus Christ will be exalted.
Letters from John Calvin: Selected from the Bonnet Edition, the Banner of Truth, 1980, pp. 223-24.