When I was in seminary, Calvin’s position on the authority of Government was an occasion of hot debate. Not one of the men I knew who debated this issue knew of Calvin’s change later in life. THIS IS VITALLY IMPORTANT MATERIAL!

Mack P. Holt says,

“One factor behind this rising tension was that Huguenot political rhetoric had required a decidedly anti-royalist tone during the second and third civil wars. While Calvin’s Institution of the Christian Religion seemed to suggest that private citizens owed their obedience even to an ungodly king-only lesser magistrates could legally oppose the authority of a wicked king-his biblical commentaries publsihed late in his life offered more intriguing possibilities. In his Readings on the Prophet Daniel first published in 1561, Calvin argued that when Daniel refused to obey King Darius, ‘he committed no sin’, since whenever rulers disobeyed God, ‘they automatically abdicate their worldly power’. Calvin went even further in his Sermons on the Last Eight Chapters of the Book of Daniel published posthumously in 1565. Describing the same biblical incident, Calvin argued that when Kings defy God, ‘they are no longer worthy to be counted as princes…[And] when they raise themselves up against God…it is necessary that they should in turn be laid low’.”

The French Wars of Religion 1562-1629, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995, 2005), pg. 78