500 Years Ago…“Let Us Find the Truth!” (6)

For a time the king of France tolerated the new Lutheran doctrines of justification by faith alone. His own sister, Princess Margaret, embraced these doctrines herself. The princess had heard of John Calvin and his plight. She convinced her brother, the king, to be lenient with this young man, and invited Calvin back to Paris for an interview. She wanted to hear him speak of Reformed things.

The disguised “farmer,” only days ago having fled for his life, was now received into the presence of a royal princess!

But Calvin knew he was not safe. The day would come when even the princess would be in danger. Calvin did not stay in Paris, nor could he continue to use his own name. In the cold of winter he traveled to a town built high up on a rock, a fortress where one of his college friends lived. He knew he would be welcome at the du Tillet mansion there. His friend, Louis du Tillet, had inherited a library of several thousand books. This would be an ideal place for “Charles d’Espeville” to hide and study.

Indeed, even as he had already been called upon to teach others about Reformed doctrine, Calvin would be sought out for instruction in this remote place as well. People were hungry for knowledge. And so was he.

It did not take long after his conversion to realize this need, this need for people young and old, and high and low, to understand more. But he was still learning himself. And he was only one man. How could he meet this need?

He must research and write another book, a book that would help people understand what true Christianity is all about. And he would begin the project at the home of Louis du Tillet.

Louis was happy to see his friend and introduced Calvin, or “Charles,” to other educated men who lived nearby. One of them was called “Pope of the Lutherans.” “Gentlemen, meet a dear friend of mine from college. He is interested in reading the church fathers and discovering the truths of Scripture. Like you, he is interested in many things…”

Calvin regularly met with these men to discuss books and ideas and doctrines. Whenever a book was opened, the twenty-four-year-old visitor from Paris encouraged them with complete assurance, “Let us find the truth!” And Calvin made sure his meaning was clear: the truth existed and would indeed be found.