Calvin on the Validity of “Romish” Baptism

Indeed, in his 1536 Institutes of the Christian Religion mentioned above — as well as in every subsequent edition thereof till his last in 1559 — Calvin never hesitates repeatedly to condemn the blasphemous Romish mass.4   Yet in all of the many editions of that same work, he specifically upholds the validity of baptisms performed by Rome in general — and the validity of infant baptism in particular, by whomsoever performed.5

There, he condemns specifically the anti-trinitarian "Servetus — [whom Calvin calls] ‘not the least among the Anabaptists.’"6    Indeed, in the Prefatory Address to his Institutes, which he sent to the Romish King Francis I of France, Calvin specifically classifies these "Catabaptists" as being among the various "portentous miscreants" which then tarnished civilization.   Consequently, he ascribes their evils "to the malice of Satan."7