Friday, October 15, 2010

It Is Enough That I Live And Die With Christ

This is the last letter written by John Calvin. It was written to his longtime friend, William Farel. Calvin died May 27, 1564, age 55. Farel died the next year, September 13, 1565, age 76. After Calvin's death, Farel wrote a friend, "Oh why was I not taken away in his stead, and he preserved to the church which he has so well served, and in combats harder than death? He has done more and with greater promptitude than any one, surpassing not only the others but himself. Oh, how happily he has run a noble race! May the Lord grant that we run like him, and according to the measure of grace that has been dealt out to us." Calvin's letter is a moving testimony of his gratitude to God for his friend and a deep expression of his own personal devotion to Christ. It was written from Geneva, May 2, 1564.

Farewell, my most excellent and upright brother; and since it is the will of God that you should survive me in the world, live mindful of our intimacy, which, as it was useful to the church of God, so the fruits of it await us in heaven. I am unwilling that you should fatigue yourself for my sake. I draw my breath with difficulty, and every moment I am in expectation of breathing my last. It is enough that I live and die for Christ, who is to all his followers a gain both in life and death. Again I bid you and your brethren Farewell.

John Calvin: Tracts and Letters, edited by Jules Bonnet and translated by David Constable, first published by the Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1858, republished by The Banner of Truth Trust, 2009, vol. 7, p. 364.

2 comments:

Michael Gormley said...

John Calvin was never accepted by the Catholic Church in any sense, except as another sinner needing redemption.

His leading people into heresy and away from the Body of Christ has been one of the major heartaches for all good Catholic saints who have worked so hard through the centuries to repair the damage he has done to innumerable souls in cutting them off from Divine Grace through severance from the Church.

One saint in particular, St. Francis de Sales spent his life as a missionary, and subsequently as bishop of Geneva trying to reconvert (with great success) those who had been led astray.

The Jesuits were founded, as a religious order, specifically to help combat the heresy of Protestantism.

Dean Olive said...

Micahel,

Calvin was far from perfect but he was absolutely right to leave the Roman Catholic Church on the grounds of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide, Scripture alone and faith alone. He was not heretic; he left an apostate Church and preached the Gospel all his days, dying clinging to Christ, not to a crucifix, rejoicing in the reedeming work of Christ, not a supposed meritorious benfit through Mary. Hallelujah for the Protestant Refomation or else Christendom would still be in the darkness.

Dean