Calvin’s Preaching: A Legacy of Faithfulness

Calvin’s legacy is long, but his life was short. Calvin passed away May 27, 1564 at the age of 54. His wife, Idelette had died in 1549 and his grueling schedule afterwards left little time for rest and no time for recuperation. He had suffered from various illnesses his whole life and this coupled with the stress of his work and the constant threats from those in Geneva who opposed him, took its toll on his health until it eventually deteriorated beyond recovery. He had suffered from migraines, gout, hemorrhoids, and massive kidney stones which often left him lacerated after their passing. Even in the year before his death he was aware of massive enemy armies camped within an hour of the city who certainly would have captured him and the other Reformed preachers and tortured them because of their stand against Rome.

Yet, twenty-eight years after his arrival in Geneva, he was faithfully preaching the Word, when physically capable and on his deathbed, he echoed the sentiments that he expressed so many years before, “I have written nothing out of hatred for anyone, but I have always faithfully propounded what I esteemed to be for the glory of God.”[1]

Fitting final words for one whose life is a legacy to magnifying the revelation of God through the preaching of His Word.

[1] Parker, John Calvin, 154.

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About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
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