Page images

who,—but I shall speak of him here- We will now quote a few after. Now, to my shame be it spoken, notices of the excellent queen though I was intimately acquainted with Henri, I was not quite so familiar

Jane. with his mother. I had admired her “ Jeanne d'Albret was born at the spirited conduct at Rochelle, and re- Chateau de Pau, the 7th of January, verenced her as the mother of a hero; 1528. But this only child was sepabut I was less conversant with her his- rated from her parents by the paratory at home, in this her little king- mount influence of her uncle, the king dom, than I ought to have been, before of France, (Francis) who dreaded that I visited her romantic capital. Here, her hand might be given to young she bad • fought the good fight of faith, Philip of Spain by her father, and her with eminent success; here she had mind drawn away from Romanism by planted the standard of truth, which, her mother. To prevent these consefor half a century, had waved in these quences, injurious alike to his interests sunny realms, lifted up on the high and his inclination, Francis, compulmountains.'

sorily, married his niece, when only in “In giving a picture of the times her twelfth year, to the Duke of Cleves. when Protestantism prevailed in Béarn, (It is said that the infant bride was so I have not finished the sketch by paint- overloaded with the weight of her ing its ruins. The landscape of this gorgeous finery, as to be unable to period would neither be picturesque walk; which compelled the constable nor pleasing. It would be like a view of France to carry her in his arms from of that part of the ocean,

where some

her carriage to the church.) The lamented friend was lost. There are lonely mother was thus deprived of only ten small places, (the French the society of her child, and when her word temple' is neither significant next warmest object of regard, her mor Christian,) of Protestant worship in brother Francis, died, (March 31, this district of Béarn, now the depart- 1547) her spirit seems to have forment of the lower Pyrennèes. They saken her, and the world to have be. are at Bayonne, Orthez, Sauveterre, come valueless. She retired to the Lagorre, Monte, Castletarb, Nay, Osse, little village of Tusson, in Angouleme, Salieres, and Pau; at which latter joining a religious community of fetown, the Protestants assemble in a males, over whom she presided. Subsmall room, rented by the English sequently she removed to the Chateau visitants for their own use. That d'Odos, near Tarbes, where she died amiable lady, the duchess of Gordon, December 21, 1549, from the effects of has purchased a site for a Protestant exposure in observing a comet. The church and school-room, both of which Romish writers claim her as a re-conare in great forwardness; but the vert, because, in her dying moments, finishing of which is now suspended she kissed a crucifix which was placed for want of funds. A las ! that 'all before her. She, who had embraced who behold it,' of the Romish Church, the cross in early life, and had so long • begin to mock. I wish I could in- borne it typically by patient endurance, duce my readers, (if I have any,) to might, surely, while in the agony of aid in the restoration of religion amongst leaving one world, and in the earnest the Bèarnoise. They are of a mild expectation of entering another, have plastic temperament and lively capa. clasped a crucifix without any supercity, fitting them for instruction; they stitious feeling. The materialism of live under tolerant laws, and they have religion could have had but little inthe memory of the good old times' of fuence over the dying senses of a Jeanne d'Albret still in remembrance, Christian like the Queen of Navarre, to inspirit the effort for their recur- who, while her paralytic hands grasped rence. Their present Protestant pas- a crucifix, sufficiently declared the sort tor, M. Jules Leonard Buscarlet, a of feeling with which she viewed it, by man of piety and ardent feeling, must thrice exclaiming, as she expiredfind his exertions futile to increase bis Jesns ! Jesus ! Jesus!'". congregation, until a fit place for as- “Henry d'Albret survived his Queen sembly is opened. The Romish Church about six years. His government was in France is reviving its ancient spirit mild and beneficial to his people, nor of assumption. The existing laws pro- does he appear to have enforced his hibit public processions of Roman cere- • Ordonnance' against the Reformed monies in towns where there are Pro. doctrines with any severity, but to testant temples.' The erection of have satisfied himself with declaring convents is also illegal. But both these his own opinions by his publication. prohibitions are violated."

The incongruous marriage of his daughter, Jeanne d'Albret, with the Duke of the late king Henry, issued 1546.' of Cleves, had been dissolved by Papal An order was subsequently published, licence, and another contracted (Octo. threatening the prelates with the ber 20, 1548) with Antoine de Bour- seizure of their temporalties, in the bon, Duke de Vendome. The Princess case of laxity in the pursuit of heretics, Jeanne was young and bandsome, and directing certain legal proceedings lively, and, as Brantome tells us, for their prosecution, in order that • aimait une danse aussitot qu'un ser- all heresy and all heretics should be mon.' She was of a shrewd discerning exterminated.' Notwithstanding this intellect, possessing the literary pro- apparent inquisitorial vigour, no prosepensities and tastes of her mother, but cution was commenced against the new with a far more determined and self- heresy. Jeanne d'Albret, when she confident spirit. Though brought up came to reside in Béarn, was brought in the Romish faith, yet she had a full into association with the friends of her knowledge of the reformed doctrines, late mother. These faithful adherents and early manifested an aversion to the were the Protestant exiles whom the grosser 'superstitions of Popery, yet pious and tender-hearted Marguerite without any earnest adherence to either had sheltered from persecution; the faith.

learned Theodore Beza, the eloquent “In 1555 Jeanne ascended the throne Henri Barran, and the enthusiastic of her ancestors; and she and her hus. and venerable Jaques Lefevre, who, band took the usual oaths, according when in the hundred and first year of to the forms of th Roman Catholic his age, lamented, with his dying Church, to the rites and discipline of breath, that he had missed the crown which they in every respect conformed. of martyrdom. These and other Two days after this solemn ceremony, eminent individuals were gladly wel. the estates of Béarn (consisting of the comed by the filial feeling and acute nobility, clergy, and deputies of towns) understanding of the queen of Navarre, presented an address to their new Her mother's writings and personal sovereigns, stating that A sect had example were admonitory records; her latterly sprung up, infected with heresy, mother's friends, illustrious examples, which offended the faithful by their of the purer doctrines which she found contempt and transgression of the extending around her. The king, her divine precepts; that, as it was the husband, who was of a vicillating duty of the sovereign to protect the temper, appears to have been lured, by church against all injustice and perse- the talents of those whom the Queen cution, they prayed their majesties to had received into favour, to listen exhort the bishops to search diligently with complacency, if not with convicafter these new sectaries, and to direct tion. Under these circumstances, the that, in case of negligence on the part fulminations against heresy were mere of the prelates, the delinquents should summer thunderings, which, instead of be prosecuted by the judges of the causing ravage, only cleared and reordinary court, who should report, freshed the atmosphere. every two months, their proceedings “ So great was the encouragement thereon; and that proclamation should given by the sovereigns of Navarre to be made by sound of trumpet in all the remnant of the reformers who retowns and markets, commanding all mained in that kingdom, after the death classes of people to abstain from dis- of Marguerite de Valois, that many puting on, or in any manner question- others shortly joined them. Amongst ing, the constitutions of the church. these was a Genevese minister, Francis

" It is evident, from the presentation Guy de Boisnormand, a man of consiand terms of this address, that the derable talent, who, with Henri BarReformed doctrines were, as yet, chiefly ran, formerly a monk of Bèarn, obconfined to the lower classes of the tained so great an influence over the Béarnoise people, although some, at Queen, that she became a decided pa. least, of the prelates were disposed to troness of their doctrines. The Na. favour them. That the sect' had varrese court again became the place become considerable in number, is also of refuge for the oppressed Protestants evinced by all classes of people in all of France and Germany, and, on every towns and markets,' requiring a legis- side, the welcomed strangers repaid lative admonition.

the hospitality they received, by their “ The king and queen of Navarre missionary efforts.' averred, in their answer to this address, that they desired to extirpate heresy in their dominions, and would

These proceedings attracted direct the bishops to proceed against the notice of the courts of Rome heretics in conformity with the edict and Paris ; and admonitions, threats, ill usage, and bribes, were times. To appreciate duly the employed, to bring back the king christian resolution of the writer, and queen, with their people, to it must be remembered that Rome the thraldom of Popery.

The was at that period in the plenitude king yielded, to the great distress of her dominancy; that the petty. of the queen, and placed their son, domain of Navarre was encircled young Henry, under Romish go by France and Spain, the former vernors ; but Jane stood firm, under the sway of the patron of declaring that, sooner than go to the St. Bartholomew massacre, mass, or willingly suffer her child and the latter of Philip, the husor subjects to do so, she would, band of our “ bloody Mary," of were it possible, cast them into Smithfield memory; and that the the depths of the sea. She escaped queen's own nobles, dignified by flight, in April, 1561, from the clergy, and state advisers, were snares which were thickening for the most part, openly or searound her; and being sheltered cretly, Papists. With this preamong her native hills at Béarn, face we copy the document. learned, with deep affliction, but “ My Cousin, From my earliest without being able to prevent, the years I have been acquainted with the severities with which her subjects of my kindred. I am not authorized

zeal which attached you to the service were visited by her husband and by ignorance of that zeal to refuse it the French court, in order to ex- the praise and the esteem it merits, or to tirpate the Protestant faith. The be prevented from feeling a gratitude

which I should be desirous to continue king dying at the close of 1562,

towards those who, like you, having from a wound received while en.

partaken of the favour of my family, gaged against the Huguenots, have preserved good-will and fidelity Jane determined to act as an in

towards it. I should trust you would dependent sovereign, and to en

still entertain those feelings towards

me, as you profess to do, without alcourage the reformed faith at all lowing them to be changed or destroyed hazards to herself. She accord by the influence of I know not what ingly ordered an appropriation of religion or superstition ; thanking you ecclesiastical revenue, for the sup

at the same time for the advice you give

me, and which I receive according to port of Protestant worship, and its varied character, the dissimilar and forbad the public processions of mingled points it touches, being divided the Romish church. The Roman- between heaven and earth, God and ists, in consequence, complained


“ As to the first point, concerning to the cardinal D'Armagnac, who the reform which I have effected at Pau addressed to the queen a letter, and Lescar, and which I desire to exwhich Mr. Jameson has inserted, tend throughout my sovereignty, I

have learned it from the Bible, which I together with her reply. As we

read more willingly than the works of do not recollect having seen these

your doctors. I have there found, in documents in the popular narra- the account of king Josias, a model by tives of the life of Jane of Navarre, which I ought to regulate my conduct, in our religious biographies, we

in order that I may not draw on mywill insert, long though it is, the of Israel, who pretended to serve the

self the reproach cast on those kings queen's admirable reply to the Lord while they allowed the high places cardinal's astute (Mr. Jameson is to remain. pleased to call it “ Puseyite") through bad counsel, under the colour

“As to the ruin impending over me, letter. It strikingly exhibits the

of religion, I am not so devoid of the mental ability, the shrewd tact, gifts of God, or of tbe aid of friends, the courage, and the piety, of this as to be unable to make choice of perextraordinary woman'; and its

sons worthy of my confidence, and caarguments are not destitute of tence, but with the true spirit of reli

pable of acting, not under a vain preforcible application to our own gion. Such as is the head, so are the

members. I have not undertaken to and even though the Spirit of God plant a new religion in my dominions, might not inspire me with a knowledge but rather to rebuild the ruins of thé of this way, yet human intellect would ancient faith, which can only be re- induce to act as I do, from the many garded as a good design, and which l examples which I recal with regret, trust will be successful. I clearly per- especially that of the late king, my ceive that you have been misinformed, husband, of whose history you well both respecting the answer of my es- know the beginning, the course, and tates and the disposition of my subjects. the end. Where are the splendid Tbe two estates bave professed their crowns you held out to him? Did he obedience to religion. The three first gain any by combating against true remonstrances were unfounded, but religion and his conscience? Yes, his being satisfactorily answered, my sub- conscience, as witness his last words jects, ecclesiastics, nobles, and citizens, addressed to the queen, declaring that without exception, have vowed obedi- he would cause the reformed ministers ence, which is the safeguard against to preach throughout his territories, if rebellion. I use no compulsion, nor he should be cured of his wound. punish with death or imprisonment Mark the fruit of the gospel, which di. the expedients of arbitrary power. vine mercy causes to be gathered in its

I know who my neighbours are : time and place. See the care of the the one hates my religion as much as I eternal Father, who remembers those do his; but that does not affect our upon whom his name is called. mutual relations; and, besides, I am “ I blush with shame when you talk not so destitute of advice and friends, of the many atrocities which you alas to have neglected all necessary pre- lege to have been committed by those caution for the defence of my rights, in of our faith : cast out the beam out of case of attack. My other neighbour I thine own eye, and thou shalt then see regard as the stem from which I have clearly the mote in thy brother's eye: the honour to be an offshoot. Far from purify the earth that is stained with the abhorring my religion, he protects it in innocent blood which those of your the persons of the nobles; and of my party have shed, a fact you can bear son, who, like myself, is Aattered by testimony to; and I well know whence the honour which this connexion at- sprung the first disturbances, when the taches to our house. Both modes of ministers of the Gospel preaching worship are recognized in his dominions, everywhere under the sanction of the nor is any one despised on account of edict of tolerance issued in January his faith. But even supposing that it 1559, you and the Cardinal de Tourwere so; allowing even that my sub- non injured the character of the late jects should desire to claim the aid of king, my husband, by inducing him to either of these princes; the one would interrupt their efforts? I am far, howhesitate to receive them, through fear ever, from approving here the excesses that, in offending me, he might irritate a committed in many places under the superior power, that is to say, France, game of religion, and which our miuisto whom, as you know, this country is of ters deplore equally with all men of great importance; while the other, far rectitude. My voice calls loudly for from being, in my estimation, a tyrant vengeance against their authors, who or usurper, on the contrary, covers and have profaned the true faith ; by the protects me under the shadow of his grace of God, the disgrace of these diswings, where I feel assured of safety. orders shall be effaced from Bèarn, Although you think to intimidate me, I which will be saved from this ruin, as am protected from all apprehension. well as all others with which it is First, by my confidence in God, whom threatened. I serve, and who knows how to defend “You are ignorant of what our mi. his cause. Secondly, because my tran- nisters are, who preach patience, obequillity is not affected by the designs of dience to sovereigns, and the other vir. those whom I can easily oppose, and tues of which the apostles and the because the effect of these designs will martyrs have left them an example. never be to weaken my spirit, or turn you will not dispute, you observe, aside the resolution I have taken, and about our doctrine: nor will I, alwhich I will execute, with the grace though its truth is so manifest, that it is of Him who encompasses my country, ' vain for you to call it false. It is not as the ocean does England !

through mistrust of my cause that I “ I do not perceive that I run the refrain, but from the fear of making risk of sacrificing either my own wel. useless efforts to conduct you to the hill fare, or that of my son ; on the contrary, of Zion. You affirm that multitudes I trust to strengthen it in the only way draw back from our belief, while I which every Christian should pursue ; maintain that the number of its ada CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 18.

3 B

herents increases daily. As to ancient Church has lain hid for twelve or thirauthorities, I hear them every day cited teen hundred years. They said nothing by our ministers. I am not, indeed, like it, for they acknowledge an uni. sufficiently learned to have gone through versal Church, where it has been always so many works; but neither, I suspect, existing, but not with you whom they have you, nor are better versed in them deny to be the true Church. They than myself, as you were always known carry no further a decision on the fate to be more acquainted with matters of of those who preceded you in the same State than those of the Church. You belief, leaving all to the secret judgdo wrong to blame us for having quitted ment of God. False assertions should the ancient faith. Take that blame to not be made, when one wishes to be yourself, you who have rejected the believed. milk with which you nourished my “ I am equally astonished with you, mother, before the honours of Rome that persons of good sense should be had fascinated your eyes,

misled, and if you lose patience at it, I, “We are agreed on the reading the who have much less than you, only Scriptures, without looking further. view it in the same light. We acknowledge that there are difficult “ Nothing afflicts me more than that passages ; your corruptions, which have you, after having received the truth, rendered them so, have eaten like a should have abandoned it for idolatry, canker. It is also too true, that the because you there found the advancespirit of darkness blinds men; you and ment of your fortune and worldly hoothers have been examples of it. I have nours. I believe that if you are not learned in our religion, that St. Au- guilty of the sin against the Holy gustine (versus Adamantus), had well Ghost, you are very nearly so. Hasten, explained these words,

This is my

I entreat you, to pray, for fear that the body,' in saying that Jesus Christ spoke door of mercy may be shut against you. of his own body, while he gave the I must stop here, practising obedience sign of it. This explanation is a better to what God commands_ Be ye angry elucidation than that which you give of and sin not.' the passage, where the Saviour said, “ If it is true, as you say, that the that he would speak no longer in para- followers for the faith have become perbles, since, then, the supper had been secutors, keep those titles for yourself finished. Read again these passages which the Holy Spirit ascribes to you. attentively, before you explain them so When you call our ministers disturbers, unhappily on any other occasion; it it seems to me that I hear Ahab admight be pardonable in me as a female, dressing Elijah, but the prophet anbut you, à cardinal, to be so old and swered, I have not troubled Israel, yet so ignorant! Truly, my cousin, I but thou and thy Father's house, in feel shame for you !

that ye have forsaken the command“You affect to repeat often, my doc- ments of the Lord, and bast followed tors, my ministers. Would to God they Balaam.' Have you no shame in inwere mine, and that I was enriched with ducing me to take a part, only sustained so great a treasure. I would say with by those who league against their soveSt. Paul, I am not ashamed of the Gos- reign and God; so that far from thus pel. But do not however believe, that gaining a title to my esteem, you haI consider them infallible. I place no zard having to repent of your own atreliance on doctors, not even Calvin, tempts. Beza, and others, but as they follow “I understand, better than you do, Scripture. You would send them to a how to act towards the princes, my council. They desire it, provided that allies, and to my son, who belongs to it shall be a free one, and that the par- that Church, out of which there is no ties should not be judges. The motive salvation, and in which I feel assured of of the surety they require, is founded

my own safety. on the examples of John Huss and Je. You beg me not to consider it rome of Prague.

strange or wrong that you have thus “ There are not many sects amoung addressed me, since you act as legate of our ministers, but rather amongst you, the pope; but I will not receive one at as I learned at the conference between the same price which France has paid, the Protestants and Romanists held who has had to repent of the bargain. I in 1560, at Poissy. We have one God, acknowledge God, as the only being one faith, one Church, which he has to whom, in Bèarn, I am responsible promised to govern until the end of the for the exercise of my authority. I world. As to the morals and manners have not withdrawn from the Catholic of our ministers, are you of opinion that church, nor adopted any error contrary they should go to Rome to learn bet- to its creed. Keep, therefore, your ter? You make them declare that the tears to mourn your own danger, to

« PreviousContinue »