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At the end of six months the survivors, not more than 3000, were, through the intreaties of the Protestant princes of Europe, released and banished.
poor wanderers set out upon their melancholy journey, destitute; after having, in many instances, had their children forcibly taken from them, that they might be brought up in the Catholic religion. Their pastors were separated from the people; and, in this condition, they were obliged to make their way across the mountains, and bend their steps towards Switzerland. The weather was un. commonly severe, and hundreds perished on the road of cold and hunger. But a remnant providentially escaped ; and at the expiration of three years, an intrepid band of 800 of these exiles put themselves under the command of one of their pastors, Henri Arnaud, determined to regain their valleys at the point of the sword, or die upon their native soil. They were miraculously supported by the arm of Providence; to many the success of their enterprize would have appeared improbable. Henri Arnaud thought otherwise. Patriotic, ardent, and enthusiastic, his love for his native valleys would not suffer him to be happy in a foreign land; his courage would hear of no obstacles, and he felt convinced that the arm of God was lifted up to succour the holy undertaking. He thought he saw the cloud that was to go before him by day, and the pillar of fire which was to give him light by night, and he was incessant in his importunities, until he had conmunicated his own martial spirit to a few faithful friends, as ardent as himself."
After struggling for more than six months, winter months, which are very severe in that climate, they procured a peace from their sovereign, whose heart was turned towards them; he granted them their houses and lands, with permission to open their churches. On another occasion, not more than thirty years
301 ago, whilst all the men of one of the largest villages were absent with the army, defending their country against the French, who had invaded it, a conspiracy was discovered, the very day it was to be executed, for destroying all the Protestant inhabitants; the instant they heard of it the men hurried home, in extreme anxiety, fearing that they should be too late, as a most violent storm of rain retarded their progress, and presented obstacles which it seemed almost madness to attempt to overcome. came within sight of their village, they heard the vesper bell, which was to be the signal for the assassins. “ The unhappy men felt that they were too late. We will revenge,' they said, “if we cannot prevent,' and their speed was not abated; they rushed into the streets of the village; the tramp of their feet, the clangor of their arms, were heard within the houses, and to the unutterable joy of these gallant deliverers, hundreds of voices were raised to welcome and bless their appearance. The arm of God had done that, which man's could not do: the time was not enough to allow of the arrival of the Vaudois, before the signal was to have been given for the conspirators to put themselves in ac. tion; but the storm, and violence of the torrents, which had no terrors for men advancing in a good cause, had alarmed and stopped the murderers.
Since this period there has been no persecution unto death, but the people, and more particularly the pastors, suffer many vexations, and extreme poverty.' No Protestant can purchase or inherit land, except in two small valleys ; no books of instruction or devotion for Protestants are allowed to be printed ; and those which are brought into the country pay an enormous duty; the scarcity of such works may be judged of from the fact, that, of those books which they have, the leaves are often separated, and lent thus, from one family to another, “ The Protestants are obliged to observe the festi
vals of the Papists, and to abstain from work on those days. This is another excessive hardship; there is one holiday at least in every week, some times two or three ; so that the Protestant peasant has never more than five days in the week for labour, and sometimes only three. The Sabbathday he keeps with scrupulous observance, while the Roman Catholic cares not for violating it. A poor Vaudois peasant was accused of irrigating his little meadow upon a festival day, and condemned to pay a fine for not observing the sanctity of a saint's day." Yet, with all these disadvantages, under which they have for ages laboured, the Vaudois might cause numbers in this land to blush, when comparing their own knowledge and conduct, surrounded as we are with every means of instruction and motive to rectitude, with that of this poor persecuted flock, to whose ancestors we probably are indebted for the light which led to our Reformation. Some of those Jesuits who have been sent to convert them, have declared that they met with persons who could repeat the whole of the New Testament; others say that they never heard so much of Scripture as from these heretics; and to show that they do not learn in vain, we may quote the words of one who has lately witnessed their poverty and their virtues. “In speaking of the manners and morals of the Vaudois, I must not omit to mention, that blasphemy and profane swearing are held in such abhorrence, as to be the subject of especial punishment; the laws amongst themselves are extremely rigid in this respect; but the execution of them is so seldom called for, that a minister who had been twenty-five years pastor of a parish, declared that he had never known a single example of any of his own flock having been convicted of blasphemy."
This short account of a very interesting people, now existing in obscurity and poverty, which, if they would have given up their faith, might have been
Martha Liston's Account of her Sister. 303 exchanged for protection and favour, may we trust, lead some, while perusing it, to turn their hearts, with increased gratitude, to their heavenly Father for the superior advantages of knowing his will, and the greater opportunities of following his ways, which their own happy lot affords; never forgetting, that “unto whomsoever much is given, of them shall much be required."
MARTHA LISTON'S ACCOUNT OF THE
SAD END OF HER SISTER.
To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
SIR, If the history of a drunkard of the female sex is not too disgusting a subject to soil your pages with, may I venture to set before such of your readers (if any such there be) as are addicted to so shocking a propensity, the following awful account, which I should not have inflicted upon myself the pain of writing, but that it was my poor sister's dying injunction that I should give publicity, by any means that lay in my power, to the sad particulars of her short and unhappy life, in the hope that they might serve as a warning to those whom bad example may have enticed into the same path of guilt and sorrow.
We were left orphans at an early age, and, but for the kind intentions towards us of a lady in whose service my mother had lived, should have been bound out apprentices at the time of her death. It might have been happy for my poor sister if we had; but our benefactress, to preserve us from the hardships to which children under those circumstances are sometimes exposed, undertook herself the expence of our board and teaching, until we should be
old enough to provide for ourselves. · At the end of three years, I (being the eldest of the two) was placed out as a helper in a farm-house in the village, and have every reason to be thankful for the instruction I received, and the attention which was paid to my general conduct. But my sister was less fortunate; for, the lady who took charge of us dying suddenly, she was cast on the wide world with no one to controul her actions, at an age
young people are incapable of judging what is best for themselves. She had many qualities, which, under the fostering care of a steady mistress, would have been turned to account in forming a useful and valuable character; but she was a girl of a lively active turn, and it was but natural, that, being left to herself, she should dispose of herself in the way most agreeable to her particular disposition. It so happened, that an alehouse-keeper, at a little seaport town not far distant, was, at that time, in want of a girl to assist his wife in serving the customers. She had been sent there of errands more than once, and the mirth she had been witness to among the guests, made her extremely desirous of establishing herself in a place, exactly calculated, in her opinion, to make her happy. She went, and found it every thing that she desired, a mistress, who, if her business was not neglected, concerned herself no further, and a variety of company, and merriment, and bustle, to her heart's content. She was so little of her age, that she oftentimes served as entertainment to the party assembled there, many of whom, being pleased with her childish prattle, and, having no strict notions of right to direct their conduct, made no scruple of enticing little Anne to be present at the scenes of riot and intemperance which were but too common; the consequence was, that her mind, ere long, was completely familiarized to them; and at length she became a regular spectator of what was going on, without the slightest