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received from the hand of God a sword to punish hereticsa The jesuits did not invent these doctrines; but they drew such consequences from them as were most prejudicial to the public tranquillity: for, from the conjunction of these two principles, they concluded that an heretical prince ought to be deposed, and that heresy ought to be extirpated by fire and sword, in case it could not be extirpated otherwise. In conformity to the first of these principles, two kings of France had been murdered successively, under pretext that that they were fautors of heretics. The parliament in this reign, 1615, condemned the first as a pernicious tenet, and declared that the authority of monarchs was dependent only on God: but the last principle, that related to the extirpation of heresy, as it flattered the court and the clergy, came into vogue. Jus divinum was the test of sound orthodoxy, and this reasoning became popular argumentation, Princes MAY put heretics to death; therefore they ought to put them to death,
Richlieu, who had wriggled himself into power, by publishing a scandalous libel on the protestants of France, advised the king to establish his authority, by extirpating the intesa tine evils of the kingdom. He assured his majesty that the Hugonots had the power of doing him mischief, and that it was a principle with them, that kings might be deposed by the people. The protestants replied to his invectives, and exposed the absurdity of his reasoning. Richlieu reasoned thus : John Knox, the Scotch reformer, did not believe the divine authority of kings. Calvin held a correspondence with Knox, therefore Calvin did not believe it. The French reformed church derived its doctrine from Cal.. vin's church of Geneva, therefore the first Hugonots did not believe it. The first Hugonots did not believe it, therefore the present Hugonots do not believe it. No man who valued the reputation of a man of sense, would have scaled the walls of preferment with such a ridiculous ladder as this!
The king, intoxicated with despotical principles, followed the fatal advice of his minister, and began with his patrimonial province of Bcarn, where he caused the catholic religion to be established, 1620. The Hugonots broke out into violence at this attack on their liberties, whence the king took an opportunity to recover several places from them, and at last made peace with them on condition of their de. molishing all their fortifications except those of Montauban
and Rochelle. Arnoux, the Jesuit, who was a creature of Richlieu's, was, at that time, confessor to Lewis the just.
The politic Richlieu invariably pursued his design of rendering his master absolute, By one art he subdued the nobility, by another the parliaments, and, as civil and religious liberty, live and die together, he had engines of all sorts to extirpate heresy. He pretended to have formed the design of re-uniting the two churches of protestants and catholics. He drew off from the protestant party the dukes of Sully, Bouillon, Lesdeguieres, Rohan, and many of the first quality: for he had the world, and its glory to go to market withal ; and he had to do with a race of men, who were very different from their ancestors. Most of them had either died for their profession, or had fled out of the kingdom, and several of them had submitted to practise mean trades, in foreign countries, for their support ; but these were endeavouring to serve God and mammon, and his eminence was a fit casuist for such consciences.
The protestants had resolved, in a general assembly, to die rather than to submit to the loss of their liberties, but their king was weak, their prime minister was wicked, their clerical enemies were powerful and implacable, and they were obliged to bear those infractions of edicts, which their oppressors made every day. At length, Richlieu determined to put a period to their hopes by the taking of Rochelle. The city was besieged both by sea and land, and the efforts of the besieged were at last overcome by famine, for they had lived without bread for thirteen weeks, and, of eighteen thousand citizens, there were not above five thousand left, 1625. The strength of the protestants was broken by this stroke. Montauban agreed now to demolish its works, and the just king confirmed anew the perpetual and irrevocable
edict of Nantz, as far as it concerned a free exercise of religion. * The cardinal, not content with temporal power, had still another claim on the protestants of a spiritual kind. Cautionary towns must be given up to that, and conscience to this. He suffered the edict to be infringed every day, and he was deterinined not to stop till he had established an unis formity in the church, without the obtaining of which, 'he thought, something was wanting to his master's power. The protestants did all that prudence could suggest, They sent the famous Amyraut to complain to the king of the infraction of their edicts, 1631. Mr. Amyraut was a person · D2
proper to go on this business. He had an extreme attachment to the doctrine of passive obedience, this rendered him agreeable to the court; and he had declared for no obedience in matters of conscience, and this made him dear to the protestants. The synod ordered him not to make his speech to the king kneeling, as the deputies of the former synod had done ; but to piocure the restoring of the privilege, which they formerly enjoyed, of speaking to the king, standing, as the other ecclesiastics of the kingdom were allowed to do. The cardinal strove, for a whole fortnight, to make Amyraut to submit to this tacit acknowledgment of the clerical character in the popish clergy, and of the want of it in the reformed ministers. But Amyraut persisted in his claim, and was introduced to the king as the synod had desired. The whole court was charmed with the deputy's talents and department. Richlieu had many conferences with him, and if negociation could have accommodated the dispute between arbitrary power and upright consciences, it would have been settled now. He was treated with the utmost politeness, and dismissed If he had not the pleasure of reflecting that he had obtained the liberty of his party, he had, however, the peace that ariseth from a consciousness of having used a proper mean to obtain it. The same mean was tried, some time after, by the inimitable Du Bosc, whom his countrymen call a perfECT ORATOR, but alas! he was eloquent in vain.
The affairs of the protestants waxed every day worse and worse. They saw the clouds gathering, and they dreaded the weight of the storm; but they knew not whither to flee, Some fled to England, but no peace was there. Laud, the tyrant of the English church, had a Richlieu's heart without his head, he persecuted them, and, in conjunction with Wren, and other such churchmen, drave them back to the infinite damage of the manufactures of the kingdom, 1634. It must affect every liberal eye to see such Professors' as Amyraut, Chappel, and De la Place, such ministers as Mestrezat, and Blondel, who would have been an honour to any community, driven to the sad alternative of flying their country, or of violating their consciences. But their time was not yet fully come. · Cardinal Richlieu's hoary head went down to the grave, 1642, without the tears of his master, and with the hatred of all France. The king soon followed him, 1643, complaining, in the words of Job, my soul is weary of my life.
The The protestants had increased greatly in pumhers in this reign, tho’ they had lost their power ; for they were now computed to exceed two millions. So true it is, that violent measures in religion weaken the church that employs them.
Lewis XIV. was only in the fifth year of age at the demise of his father, The queen-mother was appointed sole regent during his minority, and cardinal Mazarine, a creature of Richlieu's, was her prime minister. The edict of Nantz was confirmed, 1643, by the regent, and again by the . king at his majority, 1652. But it was always the cool determination of the minister to follow the late Cardinal's plan, and to revoke it as soon as he could, and he strongly impressed the mind of the king with the expediency of it.
Lewis, who was a perfect tool to the Jesuits, followed the advice of Mazarine, of his confessors, and of the clergy about him, and as soon as he took the management of affairs into his own hand, 1661, he made a firm resolution to de stroy the Protestants. He tried to weaken them by buying off their great men, and he had but too much success. Some indeed, were superior to this state-trick, and it was an noble answer which the marquis de Bougy gave, when he was offered a marshal's staff, and any government that he might make choice of, provided he would turn papist. Could I be prevailed on, said hè, to betray my God, for a marshal of France's staff, I might betray my king for a thing of much less consequence ; but I will do neither of them, but rejoice to find that my services are acceptable, aud that the religion, which I profess, is the only obstacle to my reward. Was his majesty so little versed in the knowledge of mankind, as not to know that saleable virtue is seldoin worth buying?
The king used another art as mean as the former. He exhorted the bishops to take care, that the points in controversy betwixt the catholics and calvinists should be much in sisted on by the clergy, in their sermons, especially in thosa places that were mostly inhabited by the latter, and that a good number of missionaries should be sent among them to, convert them to the religion of their ancestors. It should sçem, at first view, that the exercise of his majesty's power in this way would be formidable to the protestants, for, as the king had the nomination of eighteen archbishops, a hundred and nine bishops, and seven hundred and fifty abþops, and as these dignitaries governed the inferior clergy,
it is easy to see that all the popish clergy of France were creatures of the court, and several of them were men of good learning. But the protestants had no fears on this head. They were excellent scholars, masters of the controversy, hearty in the service, and the mortifications, to which they had been long accustomed, had taught then that temperate coolness, which is so essential in the investigating and supporting of truth. They published, therefore, unanswerable arguinents for their non-conformity. The famous Mr. Claude, pastor of the church at Charenton, near Paris, wrote a defence of the reformation, which all the clergy of France could not answer. The bishops, however, answered the protestants all at once, by procuring an edict which forbid them to print.
The king, in prosecution of his design, excluded the calvinists from his houshold, and from all other employments of honour and profit, he ordered all the courts of justice, erected by virtue of the edict of Nantz, to be abolished, and, in lieu of them, made several laws in favour of the catholic religion, which debarred from all liberty of abjuring the catholic doctrine, and restrained those protestants, who had embraced it, from returning to their former opinions, under se. vere punishments. He ordered soldiers to be quartered in their houses till they changed their religion. He shut up their churches, and forhad the ministerial function to their clergy, and, where his commands were not readily obeyed, he levelled their churches with the ground. At last, Oct. 22, 1685, he revoked the edict of Nantz, and banished them from the kingdom.
" A thousand dreadful blows, says Mr Saurin, were struck at our afflicted churches before that, which destroyed them : for our enemies, if I may use such an expression, not content with seeing our ruin, endeavoured to taste it. One while edicts were published against those who, foreseeing the calamities that threatened our churches, and not having power to prevent them, desired only the sad consolation of not being spectators of their ruin. Another while, Aug. 1669, against those, who, through their weakness, had denied their religion, and who, not being able to bear the remorse of their consciences, desired to return to their first profession. One while, May 1679, our pastors were forbidden to exercise their discipline on those of their flocks, who had abjured the truth. Another while, June 1680, children of seven years of age were allowed to erabrace doe