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trines, which, the church of Rome allows, are not level to the capacities of adults, June 1681. A college was suppressed, and then a church shut up, Jan. 1683. Sometimes we were forbid to convert infidels ; and sometimes to confirm those in the truth, whom we had instructed from their infancy, and our pastors were forbidden to exercise their pastoral office any longer in one place than three years. Sometimes the printing of our books was prohibited, July 1685, and sometimes those which we had printed, were taken away. One while, we were not suffered to preach in a church, Sept. 1685, and another while we were punished for preaching on its ruins, and at length we were forbidden to worship God in public at all. Now, Oct. 1685, we were banished, then, 1689, we were forbidden to quit the kingdom on pain of death. Here, we saw the glorious rewards of some who betrayed their religion; and there, we beheld others, who had the courage to confess it, a haling to a dungeon, a scaffold, or a galley. Here, we saw our persecutors drawing on a sledge the dead bodies of those who had expired on the rack. There, we beheld a false friar tormenting a dying man, who was terrified, on the one hand, with the fear of hell if he should apostatize, and, on the other, with the fear of leaving his children without bread, if he should continue in the faith: yonder, they were tearing children from their parents, while the tender parents were shedding more tears for the loss of their souls, than for that of their bodies, or lives."
It is impossible to meet with parallel instances of cruelty among the heathens in their persecutions of the primitive christians. The bloody butchers, who were sent to them under the name of dragoons, invented a thousand torments to tire their patience, and to force an abjuration from them.
They cast some, says Mr Claude, into large fires, and took them out when they were half roasted. They hanged others with large ropes under the arin-pits, and plunged them several times into wells, till they promised to renounce their religion. They tied thein like criminals on the rack, and poured wine with a funnel into their mouths, till, being intoxicated, they declared that they consented to turn catholics. Some they slashed and cut with penknives, others they took by the nose wiih red hot tongs, and led them up and down the rooms till they promised to turn catholics."? These cruel proceedings made eight hundred thousand persons quit the kingdom.
If the same actions may proceed from different principles, it must be always a hazardous, and often an unjust attempt; to assign the true motives of men's conduct. But public actions fall under public notice, and they deserve censure, or commendation, according to the obvious good, or evil, which they produce in society. The art of governing requires a superior genius, and a superior genius hides, like a lofty mountain, its summit in the clouds. In some cases, a want of capacity, and in others a fund of selfishness, would prevent a subject's comprehension of his prince's projects, and consequently, his approbation of his prince's measures ; and for these reasons, the cabinets of princes should be the least accessible, and their hearts the most impenetrable parts of their dominions : but when the prince would reduce his projects to practice, and cause his imaginations to become rules of action to his subjects, he ought to give a reason for his conduct, and, if his conduct be rational, he will do so, for as all law is founded in reason, so reason is its best support. In such a case, the nature of the thing, as well as the respect, that is due to the rank of the prince, would require us to be either inute, or modest, on the motive ; and the same reasons would require us to consider the reasonableness or unreasonableness of the law, for if it be not reason, it ought not to be law; and nothing can prevent our feeling the good, or ill effects of the whole action.
To disfranchise and to banish, to imprison, and to execute, sometimes members of society are partial evils: but they are also some general benefits, and the excision of a part inay be essential to the preservation of the whole. The inflicting of these punishments on the French protestants might possibly be essential to the safety of the whole nation : or perhaps his majesty might think it essential to monarchy: perhaps the clergy might think it essential to orthodoxy; perhaps the financiers, and the king's mistresses, might think it essential to the making of their fortunes; but we have nothing to do with these private views, the questions are, Was it essential to the gencral safety and happiness of the kingdom? Was it agreeable to the unalterable dictates of right reason? Was it consistent with the sound approved maxims of civil polity? In these views, we venture to say, that the repeal of the edict of Nantz, which had been the security of the protestants, was an action irrational and irreligious, inhuman and ungrateful, perfidious, impolitic and weak. If respect to religion and right reason, were to compose a just title for the
perpetrator of such a crime, it might call him a most inhum man tyrant: certainly it would not call him a most christian king.
It was an irrational act, for there was no fitness between the punishment and the supposed crime. The crime was a mental error: but penal laws have no internal operation on the mind. It was irreligious, for religion ends where persecution begins. An action may begin in religion: but when it proceeds to injure a person it ceaseth to be religion, it is only a denomination, and a method of acting. It was inhuman, for it caused the most savage cruelties. It was as ungrateful in the house of Bourbon to murder their old supporters as it was magnanimous in the protestants, under their severest persecutions, to tell their murderer, they thought that blood well employed, which had been spilt in supporting the just claim of the house of Bourbon, to the throne. It was, to the last degree, perfidious, for the edict of Nantz had been given by Henry IV. for a PERPÉTUAL and IRREVOCABLE decree; it had been confirmed by the succeeding princes, and Lewis XIV. himself had assigned in the declaration the loyalty of the protestants as a reason of the confirmation : My subjects of the pretended reformed religion, says he, have given me unquestionable proofs of their affection and loyalty. It had been sworn to by the governors and lieutenants general of the provinces, by the courts of parliament, and by all the officers of the courts of justice. What national perjury! Is it enough to say as this perjured monarch did, My grandfather Henry IV. loved you, and was obliged to you. My father, Lewis XIII. feared you, and wanted your assistance. But I neither love you, nor fear you; and do not want your services ! The ill policy of it is confessed on all sides. Where is the policy of banishing eight hundred thousand people, who declare that a free exercise of religion ought not to injure any man's civil rights, and, on this principle, support the king's claim to the crown, as long as he executes the duty of his office? Where is the policy of doing this in order to secure a set of men, who openly avow these propositions, the Pope is superior to all law: It is right to kill that prince, whom the Pope excommunicates : if a prince become an Arian, the people ought to depose him? Where is the policy of banishing men, whose doctrines have kept in the kingdom, during the space of two hundred and fifty years, the sum of two hundred and fifty millions of livres, which, at a moderate calculation, would otherwise have gone to Rome for indulgences, and annates, and such other trash? Who was the politician, the Count d'Avaux, who, while he was ambassador in Holland, from 1685 to 1688, offered to prove that the refugees had carried out of France more than twenty millions of property, and advised the king to recal it, by recalling its owners or the king, who refused to avail himself of this advice? Who was the politician, the intolerant Lewis, who drove his protestant soldiers and sailors out of his service; or the benevolent prince of Orange, who, in one year, raised three regiments of French refugee soldiers, commanded by their own officers, and manned three vessels, at the same time, with refugee sailors, to serve the Dutch, while France wanted men to equip hér fleets ?. The protestants, having been for some time, excluded from all offices, and not being suffered to enjoy any civil or military employments, had applied themselves either to manufactures, or to the improving of their money in trade. Was it policy to banish a Mons. Vincent, who employed more than five hundred workinen? Was policy on the side of that prince, who demolished manufactories, or on the side of those who set them up, by receiving the refugee manufacturers into their kingdoms? Had England derived no more advantage from its hospitality to the refugees than the silk manufacture, 1698, it would have amply repaid the nation. The memorials of the intendants of the provinces were full of such complaints. The intendant of Rouen said, the res fugees had carried away the inanufacture of hats. The intendant of Poitiers said, they had taken away the manufacture of druggets. 'In some provinces the cominerce was dimi. nished several millions of livres in a year, and in some, half the revenue was sunk. 'Was it policy in the king to provoke the protestant states, and princes, who had always been his faithful allies against the house of Austria, and, at the same time, to supply them with eight hundred thousand new sub. jects? After all, it was a weak and foolish step, for the protestants were not extirpated. There remained almost as many in the kingdom as were driven out of it, and even at this day, though now and then a preacher hath been hanged, and now and then a family murdered, yet the opulent province of Languedoc is full of protestants, the Lutherans have the university of Alsace, neither art nor cruelty can rid the kingdom of them, and some of the greatest ornaments of France now plead for a FREE TOLERATION.
The . The refugees charge their banishment on the clergy of France, and they give very good proof of their assertion, nor do they mistake, when they affirm that their sufferings are a part of the RELIGION of Rome, for Pope Innocent XI. highly approved of this persecution. He wrote a brief to the king, in which he assured him that what he had done ágainst the heretics of his kingdom would be immortalized by the elogies of the catholic church. He delivered a discourse in the consistory, May 18, 1689, in which he said, the most christian king's zeal, and Piety, did wonderfully appear in extirpating heresy, and in clearing his whole kingdom of it in a very few months. He ordered Te Deum to be sung, to give thanks to God for this return of the heretics into the pale of the church, which was accordingly done with great pomp, April 28. If this persecution were clerical policy, it was bad, and, if it were the religion of the French clergy, it was worse. In either case the church procured great evil to the state. Lewis XIV. was on the pinnacle of glory at the conclusion of the peace of Ni. meguen, 1679, his dominion was, as it were, established all over Europe, and was become an inevitable prejudice to neighbouring nations : but here he began to extirpate heresy, and here he began to fall, nor has the nation ever recovered its grandeur since.
Protestant powers opened their arms to these venerable exiles. Abbadie, Ancillon, and others, fled to Berlin. Basnage, Claude, Du Bosc, and many more, found refuge in Holland. The famous Dr. Allix, with numbers of his brethren, came to England. A great many families went to Geneva, among which was that of Saurin,
Mr. Saurin, the father of our author, was an eminent protestant lawyer at Nismes, who, after the repeal of the edict of Nantz, 1685, retired to Geneva. He was considered at Geneva as the oracle of the French language, the nature and beauty of which he thoroughly understood. He had four sons, whom he trained up in learning, and who were also remarkably eloquent, that eloquence was said to be hereditary in the family. The Reverend Lewis Saurin, one of the sons, was afterwards pastor of a French church in London. Saurin, the father, died at Geneva. James, the author of the following sermons, was born at Nismes, in 1677, and went with his father into exile, to Geneva, where he profited very much in learning.