Reformation History: William Farel–part 7

‘Farel hated the pope with a passion and despised all papal ceremonies. His mission in life, as he conceived it, was to destroy every remnant of popery in images, ceremonies, and rituals, which were the standard diet of those held in Rome’s chains.

‘His strength was in his preaching. That is, it was not so much in his careful preparation of sermons, for he mostly preached without preparation, and none of his sermons have come down to us. His strength was in his powerful delivery. Schaff [History of the Christian Church (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1950] writes:

”He turned every stump and stone into a pulpit, every house, street, and market-place into a church; provoked the wrath of monks, priests, and bigoted women; was abused, called ‘heretic’ and ‘devil,’ insulted, spit upon, and more than once threatened with death…. Wherever he went he stirred up all the forces of the people, and made them take sides for or against the new gospel.” (page 242)

‘But Schaff also writes: “No one could hear his thunder without trembling, or listen to his most fervent prayers without being almost carried up to heaven”’ (page 446).

by Hanko Herman

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 (GSiV: Luther, Calvin, Farel, Reformation)