The Christian Letter Project – Calvin to Madame De Falais

The Christian Letter Project at ThingsAbove is about exposing our readers to one of the greatest traditions in our Christian history: writing letters! It is our goal to publish one each Monday. We are not endorsing everything found in each of these letters nor every doctrine held by those who wrote the letters. We hope these serve as a source of Christian encouragement and perhaps even a motivation to be a letter writer yourself. To save time and space we do not include biographical information about the letter writers, but entrust the research to you. The source for each letter is linked at the bottom. If you have questions, please comment below or contact us. To receive our blog posts in your email inbox, sign up on the sidebar.


Geneva15th August 1545

Madame [De Falais],

It is reasonable, that after having received four letters from you, I should send at least one in return. But I beseech you to treat me leniently on this occasion, as the letter carrier, who promised to give me notice two days before his departure, has been more hurried than he anticipated, and I have had, consequently, less time than I expected. But I shall refrain from further apologies, knowing that, to a person of your good sense, a word will suffice.

Your letters have been a source of double gratification to me, which, indeed, I need scarcely tell you, since you will believe it without a word from me to that effect. It is, because it has pleased our gracious God to restore Monsieur to good health after so troublesome an illness, and because he is now more robust than he was previously to this attack. From this we should learn not to consider it wonderful that God should bring spiritual good out of bodily affliction, since, even for the body itself, a disease has become a cure. We must now pray, that as He has commenced to restore him to health, he may be pleased fully to confirm it, and give him a body so vigorous that he may feel disposed to take recreation, and make up for the weary imprisonment of the last three months.

I send you herewith the letters which the sister of Monsieur David had written to him, not because they can afford you any consolation, but because I thought it improper to suppress them. I expect, please God, that we shall have more certain information, through the servant of Monsieur Bernardin, of your own health and that of Monsieur, as well as of your affairs, that we may know when to make provision of wood: as to the new wine, we are attending to it. It is true, that if you are very much afraid of the epidemic, that might be some reason for delay; and yet I assure you, that you ought not to be influenced by mere rumour, which gives a very exaggerated account of the reality.

And now humbly commending myself to your good favour and that of Monsieur, I will supplicate our heavenly Father to keep you both in all prosperity, filling you with joy through his grace, and giving you an equanimity of soul which will raise you above all earthly troubles, making you worthy to be the means of glorifying his name more and more.—Amen.


Ever your servant and humble brother,


John Calvin


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