Eventually.docx - Eventually however \u2018a solemn and conscientious regard to my duty prevailed with me to consent to return to the flock from which I

Eventually.docx - Eventually however u2018a solemn and...

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Eventually, however, ‘a solemn and conscientious regard to my duty prevailed with me to consent to return to the flock from which I had torn- but with what grief, tears, great anxiety and distress I did this, the Lord is my best witness.’ From the time of his return in 1541, Calvin fought a long and bitter struggle for the spiritual independence of Geneva Church and for imposition of a rigorous discipline known as John Calvin’s ‘Ecclesiastical Ordinances’. (see Chadwick 1964: 83-88). In fact the laws he was seeking to impose were mostly traditional medieval laws, though they seem extreme to us. Also he was seeking to impose them on the whole of Genevan society. Church and state worked together. An offender would be privately admonished by the elders, then if no repentance were observed, the charge would be laid in the presence of witnesses. This would be followed by exclusion from the Lord’s Super, and finally by excommunication – the case being heard by a Council of lay leaders. This meant not only excommunication from the church but also banishment from society and Geneva, membership of the church and of the state were the same thing. Laws concerning marriage, divorce, the theatre, public festivals, swearing, behaviour I public places, were made. From 1550 onwards ministers accompanied by the elders or deacon visited every house and examined the faith of every citizen. The penalties for offences were often extreme and capital punishment was used. Calvin is accused of being dictator of Geneva, though

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