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He once interrupted a priest who was urging the people to worship Mary more zealously, and became the victim of a mob of women who were bent on tearing him to shreds.In Metz he preached in a Dominican cemetery, booming out his message over the ringing of the convent bells, which were rung furiously in an attempt to drown his voice.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. 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. Schaff 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 . It’s there that several priests tried to assassinate him.When one fired a musket, Farel turned around and said, “I am not afraid of your bullet.” Consider this excerpt from Reformation SA…Prove yourself to be an evangelist, not a tyrannical legislator.” And Zwingli, shortly before his death, admonished him not to labor rashly, but to keep himself for God’s work. Wherever he went he stirred up all the forces of the people, and made them take sides for or against the new gospel.” 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.” As a prominent leader in the French Protestant Reformation movement, he was persecuted and had to free to Switzerland’s Geneva.

It is significant that in the Reformation Wall monument, in Geneva, Farel is the only one of the Reformers depicted with a Bible in his left hand (not his right) and his right hand is in a fist.

He went to Rome for his education and considered himself, “more Popish than Popery.” While in Rome, he discovered the teachings of Jacques Lefèvre d’ Étaples, who agreed with Sola Fide but never found the courage to leave the Romish church.

This put Farel on the track to Protestantism, and further study of his contemporary scholars.

From there he went to France, and soon after, became a Reformer.

Consider this lengthy excerpt made available by the PRCA…

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