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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 determined not to stop till he had established an uniformity 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 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 procure 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 deportment. 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 honor 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 protestants had increased greatly in numbers 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 his 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 hands, 1661, he made a firm resolution to destroy 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 a 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 he, 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, and 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 seldom 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 insisted on by the clergy, in their sermons, especially in those 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 seem, 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 abbots, 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 them that temperate coolness, which is so essential in the investigating and supporting of truth. They published, therefore, unanswerable arguments 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 honor 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 favor 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 severe punishments. He ordered soldiers to be quartered in their houses till they changed their religion. He shut up their churches, and forbad 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, endeavored 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 embrace doctrines, 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