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RELIGIOUS THOUGHT AND LIFE.
“Our fathers worshiped in this mountain ; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is
“The hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jeru-
But the hour cometh, and now is, when
VOL. II. Nos. VI.-XI.
WHITFIELD, GREEN & SON, 178, STRAND.
AND AT 20, SOUTH FREDERICK STREET, EDINBURGH.
LEIPZIG : L. DENICKE.
No. VI.--JANUARY, 1865.
I-PROTESTANTISM IN FRANCE: 1559_1598.
At the moment at which we enter the gloomy period of massacres and civil wars, who does not experience a lively regret at leaving behind the golden age of the Reformation, so full of instruction and salutary example? While the discoveries of science become of practical utility only after a long series of experiments, there are religious principles which are translated into facts as soon as they are apprehended by the conscience, and at one stroke almost reach perfection. Twice has this admirable spectacle been exhibited to the world, in the first and in the sixteenth centuries. To live and to die for Jesus Christ, as he lived and died for us, was then the sum-total of religion in its sublime simplicity and unspeakable depth. At those blessed epochs when truth suddenly beams upon troubled and restless souls, none but pure consciences and noble hearts embrace it ; for it always presents itself as a novelty. It takes the shape of heresy, and it needs great faith freely and sincerely to become a heretic. But one such example never fails to produce its effect: heresy rapidly extends its conquests; soon the crowd, either to comply with the fashion, or, it may be, impelled by ambition and interest, eagerly throws itself into the new faith. The waters of this beneficent stream, however, lose their clearness in proportion to the distance from their fountain-head. It was at the moment when the individual faith of the first Christians was transformed into a State religion, like Paganism, that it abjured its principles at once to become a persecutor, and to lose itself in the arid and bitter disputes of metaphysics.