Calvin's Letter

Calvin defends the La Rochelle Confession of Faith

"The True Confession of Faith of our Reformed Churches in France", in 40 articles, is called that of La Rochelle. Declared such in 1571 by the National Synod which held its in La Rochelle, it put an end to the difficulties, begun in 1559, which were caused by the implementation of the Confession of Faith of the Churches of Paris (existing in only 35 articles).

Although practically abandonned by many today, this confession remains no less the Confession of Faith of the reformed churches in France. It has not been modified by any subsequent National Synod. Such is the text which has been republished in a form suitable for today's readership.

In a "Letter to the King", Calvin, the letter's principal author, presents it thus:

"The articles of our faith, which are described at length in our Confession, always come back to this point: since God has sufficiently declared to us his will through his prophets and apostles, and even through the mouth of His Son our Lord Jesus Christ, we owe this honor and this respect to the Word of God, to not add to it anything of our own, but to conform ourselves entirely to the rule which is prescribed to us therein... We consider that it is very reasonable to prefer the commandments of God, who is truth itself, to the commandments of men who, by their nature, are inclined to lies and to vanity. And although our adversaries rail against us, we can yet say before God and before men that we suffer for no reason other than to keep our Lord Jesus Christ as our only Savior and Redeemer, and to keep his doctrine alone as our doctrine of life and salvation.

We do not doubt in any way that all those who judge discerningly will be equitable towards us... in order that they may learn to put themselves in with the flock of that great Pastor who calls us and leads us so gently to Himself, and that by this means the name of God might be glorified in us."