FAREL, fā''rel', GUILLAUME: French Reformer; b. of noble family at Gap (46 m. s.s.e. of Grenoble) 1489; d. at Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Sept. 13, 1565. After finishing his studies in Paris he taught in the college of Cardinal le Moine, which was part of the University, and was led to adopt the Reformed views by his teacher Faber Stapulensis (q.v.) In 1521 he went to Meaux and preached the new faith. Bishop Guillaume Briçonnet was personally favorable to these views, but Farel's preaching was so direct and unsparing that it gave great offense to the adherents of the old Church and the bishop silenced him, Apr. 12, 1523. Thus early he exhibited a zeal which, much greater than his discretion, was to involve him in continual trouble. After visiting Paris and Gap he wandered to Basel, where Ścolampadius received him as an ally and where he participated in the religious conference of Feb., 1524, and discussed the thirteen theses which he had prepared. (For text cf. Herminjard, Correspondance, i. 194). But his speeches and publications were so outspoken and incendiary that the authorities were alarmed and abruptly expelled him at Whitsuntide. He is next heard from at various places in southern Germany and Switzerland, preaching the Word with great boldness to French-speaking people and everywhere in imminent danger of his life. In Oct., 1532, he came to Geneva and was successful in inclining the authorities to adopt the Reformation by edict of Aug. 10, 1535. But he was not the man to conduct the difficult and delicate controversies, both religious and personal, which preceded and followed the adoption of the Reformation, as he was well aware. When, therefore, the rising theologian, John Calvin, in whom he divined the qualities which he lacked, came to Geneva, Farel laid hold upon him in a memorable interview in the latter part of July, 1536, and fairly compelled him to join in his work. But the opposition was too strong and they were both expelled from the city Apr. 23, 1538. Farel went to Neuchâtel and thence to Metz and the neighboring Gorze. In 1543 Gorze was attacked by the troops of the Cardinal of Lorraine and Farel barely escaped with his life. He went to Strasburg but soon after returned to Neuchâtel and for the remainder of his life made it the center of his activities.
Farel's publications have only relative importance and there is no collected edition of them. Carl Schmidt gives a list in his life of Farel, p. 38, to which should be added Le résumé des actes de la dispute de Rive, ed. by T. Dufour, Geneva, 1885.