On occasion, Farel resorted to his fists to eject the papists and seize their pulpits.
It is significant that in the Reformation Wall monument, in Geneva, Farel is the only one of the Reformers depicted with a Bible in his left hand (not his right) and his right hand is in a fist.
He was fiery and forceful, not given to the use of tact, impulsive in his actions and preaching, and one who roared against papal abuses.
As zealous as he had once been for Romish practices, so zealous and fierce did he become as a promoter of Reformation causes.
In Neuchâtel of Switzerland he publicly rebuked a noble woman who had left her husband.
This put Farel on the track to Protestantism, and further study of his contemporary scholars.
He was a man of unsurpassed energy who traveled incessantly until, old and worn, he died; always on the move, full of fire and courage, as fearless as Luther, but even more radical than the Wittenburg Reformer.
His close friend and fellow Reformer, Oecolampadius wrote to him: “Your mission is to evangelize, not to curse.
Prove yourself to be an evangelist, not a tyrannical legislator.” And Zwingli, shortly before his death, admonished him not to labor rashly, but to keep himself for God’s work. Wherever he went he stirred up all the forces of the people, and made them take sides for or against the new gospel.” But Schaff also writes: “No one could hear his thunder without trembling, or listen to his most fervent prayers without being almost carried up to heaven.” As a prominent leader in the French Protestant Reformation movement, he was persecuted and had to free to Switzerland’s Geneva.
Farel hated the pope with a passion and despised all papal ceremonies. Farel’s focus was on opposing Catholicism and promoting the Protestant Reformation in Basle, Bern, Lausanne and, of course, Geneva.
Into the darkness of popery Farel would burst, roaring like a bull, flinging about without regard for personal safety the great truths of Scripture which he had learned to love.