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feelings; I write to gain the souls of men, there was more friendship, as well as who are my flesh and blood. Were I honesty, in my plain dealing, than all the influenced by a love of popularity, or of deceiving complaisance of your Protestgain, I would take a different course. It ant flatterers. I love you as men: as far cannot be agreeable to my feelings, nor as in my power, I will ever rejoice to do to my temporal interests, to expose my. you service, both temporally and spirituself to the censure of such a portion of ally; but on my allegiance to God, I canmy countrymen. Doubtless it would be not deceive you. I know assuredly, that more soothing 10 vanity to figure at a your religion is false; and truth and duty reconciliation dinner, and by the sacrifice compel me to publish my conviction, of truth, to gain the honour of liberality. Judge me not then an enemy because I But the day will come, my brethren, tell you the truth. when yourselves will acknowledge, that
PERSECUTIONS OF THE PROTESTANTS IN FRANCE.
1. A History of the Huguenots. The Third Edi- tively termed Calvinism, and those who
tion, continued to the present time. By W. S. professed them were designated CalvinBROWNING. London: Whittaker & Co.
ists. They were also termed Haguenots 1842. Large 8vo. 2. Histoire des Eglises du Désert chez les Pro
-an appellation of contempt, of uncertain testans de France, depuis la fin du Règne de origin, by which they were afterwards Louis XIV. jusqu'à la Révolution Française. most commonly known. During the Par CHARLES COQUEREL. Paris, 1841. 2
reign of his successor, Henry II., which tomes, 8vo. 3. Popery always the Same; exemplified in an
lasted twelve years, the Reformation made Account of the Persecution now carrying on
great progress, notwithstanding the peragainst the Protestants in the South of France. secutions to which the Protestants were London: 1746. 8vo.
exposed. Henry II. was succeeded by
Francis II. At this time two great politiThe history of the Reformation in cal parties agitated France. The deFrance, as in every other country of scendants of Hugh Capet (who became Europe, is written in characters of blood King of France in 987) were divided into and fire. Early in the sixteenth century, two branches: that of Valois, which was during the reign of Francis I., the doc
in actual possession of the throne; and trines of the Bible, preached by Luther that of Bourbon, which was next in sucin Germany and by Zuingle (or Zwingli) cession to it. The house of Guise, Dukes in Switzerland, which had already been of Lorraine, pretended to trace their deembraced by some Frenchmen, made scent from Charlemagne, and sometimes rapid progress. In vain did the "eldest were competitors for ihe ihrone with the son of the" Romish “Church” endea- reigning family; and at other times with vour to suppress the writings of the Pro- the Bourbons for the heirship apparent to testants by severe edicts of censure, and it. These two parties, the Bourbons and by sanguinary capital punishments. Per- the faction of the Guises, availed them. secutions only raised up additional con- selves of the religious discussions which verts to the pure doctrines of the Gospel; were carried on between the Protestants and in France, as had been the case in and Papists, in order to conceal their dethe earliest period of Christianity, the signs, and to combat each other during blood of the martyrs proved to be the seed the reign of Francis II. The Bourbons, of the Church of Christ. The writings who were attached to the Protestants, of Calvin, which were widely circulated, were exposed to the incessant cabals of contributed not a little to advance the doc- the Guises ; who, in order that they might trines of the Reformation; and from him weaken, and if possible destroy, their adthese doctrines were, in France, collec- versaries, persecuted the Reformed with
unheard-of cruelty. Parliamentary tribu- a body of Protestants who were attending nals were erected, fitly termed chambres divine service in a barn. In this quarrel ardentes, burning courts; which were two hundred were wounded, and sixty specially charged to examine and punish were left dead; the pews and the pulpit them, and which mercilessly consigned were broken, and the Bible was torn to to the flames all who were convicted of pieces. This was the first Protestant having embraced what were called the blood shed in civil war. new doctrines. The goods of those who It belongs to the historian of France to escaped the tortures to which they were narrate all the transanctions which took destined were confiscated, and their place between the rival parties, and which children were abandoned to the utmost desolated that unhappy country from misery.
1562 until the end of the sixteenth cenYet, notwithstanding these persecu- tury. Suffice it to state, that after much tions, the Protestants would never had bloodshed on both sides, and the inflicthought of appearing to be revolled sub- tion of unheard-of cruelties upon
the Projects, had they not been encouraged to it testants, a treaty of peace was concluded in 1550 by the presence among them of in 1570, by which the free exercise of Louis de Condé, a prince of the royal their religion was guaranteed to them family. With him they formed a league, everywhere, except in walled cities. Two having previously consulted many law. cities in every province were to be assignyers and theologians, both in Germany ed them; and they were to be admitted and Switzerland, as to the legality of such into all communities, schools, and public. a measure. In pursuance of their plan, offices. Further, a marriage was proposit was resolved that, on an appointed day, ed between Henry of Navarre and the a certain number of the Reformed should sister of Charles IX. appear before the king at Blois, to pre- 'These articles were accepted - the sent a petition for the free exercise of sword was sheathed; and the Queen of their religion; and in the event of its be- Navarre, her son Henry (who succeeded ing refused (as it was foreseen it would her on the throne of Navarre), the princes be), a chosen band of armed Protestants of the blood, and the principal Proteswere to make themselves masters of the tants, proceeded to Paris on the 18th of city of Blois, seize the Guises, and com• August, to celebrate the nuptials. This pel the king to appoint the prince of was the moment seized by the crafty Condé regent of the realm. But this Catherine de Medicis for the full estabscheme was betrayed, and most of those lishment of her power, and for extermiwho were engaged in it were executed or nating the Protestants. Scarcely were imprisoned.
the rejoicings concluded, when all the The contest between the two parties leaders of the Protestants were assassibecame yet more violent in the reign of nated in the dead of the night, in the too Charles IX., who ascended the throne of celebrated massacre of St. Bartholomew. France in 1560, when he was only ten Referring our readers to the details colyears of age. During his minority, the lected by Mr. Browning from authentic queen-mother, Catherine de Medicis, held sources, relative to thai most atrocious the reins of government. From motives transaction, and to the affairs of the Proof policy, she granted toleration to the testants during the reign of Henry III., Protestants; who, by an edict, issued in we remark, that, after many struggles, January, 1562, were secured in the exer- their civil rights were secured to them cise of their religion in all parts of the under Henry IV., by the edict issued at kingdom, except at Paris and in some Nantes, in 1598, which was declared to other cities. This edict afforded the fac- be perpetual and irrevocable ; but the pertion of the Guises a pretext for commenc- petnity and irrevocability of which was ing hostilities. Instigated by his mother, reduced to a short existence of not quite the Duke of Guise went to Vassy, a small eighty-five years. By that edict liberty town in the province of Champagne, of conscience and the free exercise of their where some of his retinue quarrelled with religion was granted to tho Protestanis ;
many churches was ceded to them in all chiefly dragoons. Terror and dread parts of France; they had judges of their marched before them; and all France was own persuasion, and free access to all informed that the king would no longer places of honour and dignity; and great suffer any Huguenots to remain in his sums of money to pay off their troops. dominions, and that they must resolve to A hundred places were given to them, as change their religion. These booted apospledges of their future security, besides tles commenced their military executions funds for the maintenance of their minis. in the province of Bearn; whence graduters and of their garrisons. During the ally they were dispersed throughout reign of Louis XIII. they were again France, not excepting Paris itself. In the molested; again they took up arms, but first instance, the intendants were comwere worsted, and ultimately were com- manded to summon the Protestant inha. pelled to surrender all their strongholds. bitants of cities and commonalties, who Thenceforth they were at the mercy of were informed that it was the king's the sovereign and his ministers; the free pleasure they should become Catholics; exercise of their religion, it is true, was and that if they did not do so freely, they promised to them, and neither Cardinal should be compelled by force. In vain did Richelieu, nor his successor Cardinal the defenceless Protestants reply, that Mazarine, molested them. As soon, they were ready to sacrifice their estates however, as Louis XIV. abandoned a and lives to the king; but that, their conlife of voluptuousness and dissipation, in sciences being God's, they could not order to give himself up to devotion, in- thus dispose of them. The gates and stigated by the Jesuils and by Madame avenues of the cities were immediately Maintenon, he renewed the persecution of seized by the dragoons, who often came, his Protestant subjects; and fire and the sword in hand, exclaiming, “Kill! kill! sword were again employed to bring them or else be Catholics." They were back into the bosom of the Roinish quartered upon the reformed, with a Church. In 1681, Louis deprived them strict charge to allow none to depart out of most of their civil rights: and after the of their houses, or to conceal any portion decease of the wise Colbert, who had con- of their effects, under the severest penalstantly opposed violent measures, Louis ties. The first days were spent in congave himself up entirely to the counsels suming all the provisions which the of his minister Louvois, the Chancellor houses afforded, and in plundering the Le Tellier, and the Jesuit Lachaise. In Protestants of every article of value; sellprosecution of his long cherished design ing to the Papists of the place and neighof crushing the Protestants, the king first bourhood whatever goods could be turned excluded ihem from his household, and into money. Next they assailed the perfrom all other offices of honour and profit. sons of their victims, upon whom they Next, he abolished all the courts of justice inflicted every refinement of cruelty, in which had been created in pursuance of order to compel them to abjure their rethe edict of Nantes; then, laws were ligion. Men and women were hung by the enacted, which forbade any one lo ahjure feet 10 the roofs or ceilings of chambers, the Romish religion, and, under very or to chimney-hooks, and were smoked severe penalties, prohibited the Protes- with wisps of wet hay, until they were tants, who had been induced to embrace no longer able to endure the torture; and Popery, from returning to their former when they were taken down, they were faith. Children, of seven years of age, immediately suspended again, unless they were permitted 10 renounce the faith of would sign their abjuration. Others were their ancestors-colleges were suppressed thrown upon great fires, from which they and churches were shut up. Sometimes were not removed until they were half the Protestants were forbidden to print roasted. Oihers again had ropes tied books, and sometimes they were forcibly under their arms, and were repeatedly deprived of such as they had printed. plunged into wells, from which they Soldiers were quartered in all the pro. were not drawn up until they promised vinces almost at the same time, and to change their religion. Others were bound like criminals, previously to being quired to furnish them with subsistence; put to the question on the rack; and in and, in order to reimburse them, the esthis posture wine was poured down their lates were sold, and the farmers put in throats with a funnel, until, being deprived possession thereof. If any endeavoured of their reason, they consented to become to save themselves by flight, they were Papists. Others were stripped naked, pursued and hunted in fields and woods, and, alter enduring various indignities, and shot at like wild beasts. Neither pins were stuck into them from the head rank nor quality, neither age nor sex, was to the feet. They were cut with pen- spared. knives: sometimes they were dragged by
While the dragoons were thus ravaging the nose with hot pincers around the the provinces, spreading terror and desoroom, until they promised to abjure, or lation everywhere, orders were sent to until their piercing cries constrained their the frontier towns and sea-ports to guard tormentors to let them go. They were well all the passes, and stop all who beaten with staves; and, bruised as they should attempt to escape ; so that it was were, they were dragged 10 the churches, next to impossible they could save themwhere their forced presence was deemed selves by flight. No one was allowed to be an abjaration. Others were forcibly to pass unless he produced a certificate kept awake for seven or eight days 10- from his bishop or curate that he was a gether, and kettles were inverted over Catholic. All foreign vessels lying in the their heads, on which they made con- ports were searched; the coasts, bridges, tinual noise until their victims became de passages to rivers, ferries, and highways lirious. Drums were kept beating with were strictly guarded both night and day. out intermission for weeks together Attempts were also made to seize and around the beds of those who were con- carry away some who had made their esfined to them by severs or other diseases, cape into foreign countries.* till they lost their senses. In some places, At length, on the 18th of October, fathers and husbands were tied to bed. 1685, Louis revoked the “irrevocable" posts, while their daughters and wives and perpetual" edict of Nantes, which were ravished before their eyes; and in he had solemnly confirmed when he came other places rapes were publicly permit- of age. By the edict of revocation, all ted for hours together. Of some, the feet the concessions which had been made to were burnt, and the nails were plucked the Protestants were withdrawn; their off the feet and hands of others; men and churches were demolished, and the exerwomen were inflated with bellows till cise of their religion was forbidden, even they were ready to burst.
in private, on penalty of imprisonment If, after this horrid treatment, this "holy and confiscation of property. Their miseverity" of the Romish Church, "and nisters, who refused to embrace Popery, the holy delicacy of her sentiments" (as were banished; their schools were supBossuei* audaciously terms her sangui- pressed; and all children who should nary intolerance), there yet were any who ihereafter be born of Protestant parents refused to abjure, they were imprisoned were to be baptized and educated in the in dark and noisome dungeons, where Romish faith; and no emigration or transevery sort of inhumanity was inflicted fer of property, hy lay persons, was to be upon them. In the meantime, their houses made, ander penalty of imprisonment in were demolished, their estates laid waste, the galleys for the men, and of being con. their woods cut down, and their wives fined in convents in the case of women. and children were seized and imprisoned But, notwithstanding the frontiers were in monasteries. When all the provisions guarded, in order to prevent the victims in a house were consumed by the soldiers, of Popish cruelty from emigrating, both the tenants of the owner's lands were re- before and after the revocation of the edict
Hist. des Variations. Sixième Avertisse. * "An account of the Persecutions and Opment, Euvres. tom. v. p. 155 et seq. Paris, pressions of the Protestants in France.” Print. 1740, 4to.
ed in the year 1616. 410., pp. 19-21, 23.
of Nantes, multitudes happily succeeded pressed by violence; others at the point of in effecting their escape ; and it is com
death would spurn the Romish sacraments. puted thai more than half a million of the zealots, who obtained an edict by which
These symptoms caused much alarm among French Protestants found hospitable asyall those who refused the sacraments during lums in England, Switzerland, Holland, their illness should after their death be drawn and Germany.
upon hurdles; and, in the event of their re
covery, the men were condemned to the gal" In the revocation of the edict of Nantes, leys for life, the women to confinement, with Louis XIV. found the limits of his power. It confiscation of property. was a superfluous measure, inasmuch as the
" In pursuance of this edict, the troops repersecution had preceded the enactment. It ceived orders, in some provinces, to ascertain failed of converting the steadfast; and sup- whether the new converts were regular in their plementary decrees were published in rapid attendance at mass, and if they constantly succession, some of which contained prović practised the duties enjoined by the Romish sions so monstrous as to render execution im
Church. The king perceived that his advisers practicable. Among others, an edict which
had persuaded him virtually to establish an authorized the separation of all children from
inquisition; and the orders were revoked, Protestant parents: the space requisite for although secretly, lest obstinate Protestants their reception, and the expense attendant on might infer from the circumstance a change their maintenance, rendered the edici a dead in his own principles. He had been assured letter.
that the edict was merely a threat to complete “There were some very severe enactments
the general conversion ; but in many towns to deter preachers from attempting to return the disgusting scene of its literal execution to France. The penalty of death was awarded took place. Priests, attended by magistrates, to any minister who should be found in the would beset a dying man; and, unless he kingdom : all persons receiving or assisting yielded to their invitations, his remains were them were to be sent, the men to the galleys no sooner cold than the populace was regaled for life, the women to be shaved and imprison. with the barbarous spectacle decreed by the .ed, with confiscation of property in either case. edict.” (Browniny's History, pp. 251, 252). A reward of five thousand five hundred livres was promised to any one giving information
Never was oppression more cruel than by which a minister could be arrested; and the penalty of death for any one discovered
that endured by the Huguenots, who venpreaching or exercising other worship than
tured at all hazards 10 remain in France. the Roman Catholic. In executing this law When the emissaries of Rome failed in Basville was dreadfully severe. Twenty Pro- their efforts to induce any to enter the testants were soon after put to death at Lan: pale of the Romish Church, the magisguedoc; and an active pursuit was set on foot for seizing the fugitive ministers, who defied
trates published a royal order, commandthe haughty monarch's edicts, and returned ing all his subjects to embrace the Roman clandestinely among their flocks.
Catholic religion. Then the booted mis“The readiness with which they were every sionaries, the dragoons, were sent; and where received, supported, and warned of dan
all who were not overcome by them, were ner, added to the ingenuity of their disguises,
either confined in dungeons, from which enabled them to baffle the vigilance of the government. Sometimes they passed as pil- very few were liberated, or were sent to grims, or dealers in images and rosaries; the galleys, where their companions were sometimes as soldiers. In all cases they were the most desperate villains of France, who joyfully hailed by their brethren, and crowds
were sent thither for their crimes. One attended their preaching in caverns and se
of the most illustrious of the victims of cret places. The worship of the desert became very general, notwithstanding the dangers to Papal cruelty on board the galleys was which it was exposed; and when the Protest- M. de Marolles, the narrative of whose ants were prevented by the presence of troops sufferings for his adherence to the Gospel from acting as they would, they still refused
of Christ has often been printed; and the to attend mass, or to send their
children to the sufferings of other Protestants who were Catholic schools, and disregarded every practice commanded by the Church of Rome.
confined on board the galleys have been “Emigration continued, in defiance of the graphically described by Mons.Jean Bion, laws for preventing it, and in spite of the en- a priest of the Romish Church, and chapcouragement given to impede the departure lain of the galley La Superbe; who, have of fugitives, whose clothes and other effects ing made his escape to England, abjured were distributed among the captors. There were repeated instances of converts returning Popery, declaring that his opening his to the faith they had consented to abjure when eyes to Gospel truth was occasioned prin