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rope. We read the Arrests; we see the Ordonnancer of the Intendants; we fee Woods cut down, and Hou. ses rased; webehold twelve.or fifteen thousand Prifoners in all the Prisons of the Kingdom :and yet they tellus, there is no such thing as Persecution. This is one thing which is very singular in this Persecution, and which hath no example. I could not read without trembling, what Mr. de Brueys faith in his last piece, that the success there hath been of the Methods implayed for the Conversion of the Reformed, make it evident that they were altogether disposed to receive the Catholick Truth. I know not what those dispositions were as to himself: but I question not but by the same means to make him turn Turk, and afterwards Heatben, in avery little time.
What Judgement can one make of such men as Mr. Brueys,and Mr. Maimbourg, who in the Epistle Dedicatory tothe Life of Gregory l. complements and congratulates the King to this purpose, that he sees the Period of Calvinism, without having made use of any means to bring it about, but those of Grace and sweetness, mild and gentle methods ?' 'Tis these kind and gracious proceedings that hath forc't perfons of good birth and quality, accustomed toalíthe best accommodations of Life, to leave ten, twenty, thirty, forty thousand Livres per annum , to expose themselves to all sorts of suffering and disgrace.'Tis these sweet and obliging ways, that hath forc't wo. men ofevery age & quality to comeaway, disguis’d in the habit of Peasants, some on foot,fome on horseback, some by Post, some who were eight or nine moneihs with child, in the night, through all the Fatigues of the winter. I say once more, that I cannot understand, how men that have any honour to lose, or at least, who believe they have , can declare that to befalle, which is so evident and notorious, that
nothing is more publickly known, or more undeniable. This is a sort of Lying that in my opinion is very perticular. But in the mean while, 'tis an homage paid to Trutb and fujtice;'tis a confeflion, that such Actions are most black and abominable, because though they are committed in the face of the Sun, they dare not own them; they deny them before those who were eye-witnesses of them. No man of honour, after the reading of Mr. Maimbourg's Epistle to the
King , prefixe tothe Life of St.Gregory, but must judge him to be one of the most base and dishonestWriters in the world.It had been more pardonable, if he had only by the by dropt such a Falsehood, without insisting on it. But to write a large Epiflle Dedicatory on that subject, to complement the King for the Conversians he hath made, without using any other means than sweetness and Chariny, this is to put the most patient Readers out
If we consider the manner of this persecution, it is no less extraordinary; 'Tis new,'tis without example. 'Tis no new thing to condemn people to dye,or to offer incense to Idols, and to goto Mafs, tobanish Chriftians or massacre them, because they will potjoyn in with the Religion that is uppermost; this hath been seen an hundred times. But I maintain
? there was never any thing seen like this perfecutian, which we see at present. They tell People, they will not kill them; on the contrary, "we will, say they, " that you live, but you shall go to Mass, or you “Thall be tortured ; you shall be confined within the Kingdom; you shall not be suffered to go "away if you attempt an escape,
you shall be sent the Gallies; while you stay, you shall have fifty “Soldiers, or rather Executioners to maintain; if fifty be not sufficient, you shall have an hundred,
of all patience.
s with express orders, not to let you alone by day or “night to omit no pillage, no blows, no punish“ments, no torments, till you have renounc't your “Religion. This, I say, is what hath never been seen before.
The success hath made many believe, that this infernal method was the most happily invented by the Clergy, that could be, to promote the design of the Converters, and to ruin the Reformation. But I am quite ofanother opinion; and 'tis one of the most extraordinary things which I find in this persecution, that any persons of good sense, should believe this to be a likely method to abolish a Religion. The persecution was well enough begun, in order to the end and design of the Perfecutors. And had they been contented by little and little to deprive us of our Temples, to banish our Ministers, to forbid all Asemblies, to leave us inignorance, and deprive us of all the other advantages which others Subjects injoy the Reformed Religion would have been almost extinguisht before ten years were over: such being the coldnessand declension of Piety, to which the Protestants were already come. But God, who would not that his Truthihould perish, fuffer'd not that things should remain in that posture.'Tis well known,
that humane passions are a great help to Chriftian vertues; The fury which these personsare now in, who feel this violence, the torment they suffer in their Consciences, therage which they are in, for being forced; do all concur to fortify the hatred they had of Idolatry, and their love and inclination for the Trub. So that by means of theseviolent Passions, the Truth makes the more indelible impressions on their hearts. He must be very igno, rant in the History of the World, and of the Heart of man, who can think this to be a likely way to extin
guish' a Religion. The means to extirpate an Herea A pretended, or real, is to cut off the Heads, to shed a great deal of blood, and to stifle the most zealous of them by a massacre: for if you suffer them to live, and are content only to draw from them a feigned abjuration, you thereby make them irreconcileable Hereticks. "Twas by fire and sword the Albigenses were destroyed. There is yet another very effectual way of extinguishing an Herely, which is to take away from them all means of increase and growth by preaching and instruction: after this manner the Arrian Heresy was suppreft by the Emperors. This way they began to take in France for these twenty. years last part, and which could not have failed of success, as I observed, if it had been continued. But he must be very blind that can believe, that Personsa into whose Heads and Hearts you would force the Truth by blows and violence will not recover themselves again afloon as possible, and by all manner of ways. Buț it will be said, thereare other methods used, which you grant to be effectual; The People are deprived of all tbe means of Instruction, and fo in a little time the Truth must dye. This would prove so, if their Consciences were not undersuch a violence as they are ; and if that posture of things could last long, the Truth would then be extinguishtby little and little. But that state ofțhings is too violent to continue long; and within a few years. you will see the Light of that fire, which is shut up, without being extinguisht.
There isandther thing very extraordinary in this Fersecution, and wherein the finger of God doth manifestly appear; that is, the way they have taken in their dealing with the Pastors. These are the men that muft be Tuppreft, if you would extinguish a Religion : because they are capable ofreçovering
it. Therefore in all former Ages the severest part of the storm hath fallen on them; and even in this Age likewise, witness the History of the Persecutions in Hungary. But here is the quite contrary, the People, ruined, and the Ministers suffered to go free. They muft carry nothing away with them, but their Souls and Consciences are given them as a prey : which so many Laiks would desire and rejoyce to obtain. These banished Pastors carry theaccount of the miseries of their several Flocks into all parts of the World. They are in all the Protestant Courts of Euтере,
the unreproveable Witnesses of the violence of the Persecution : their miseries stir up compassion towards the afflicted, and Indignation against their Perfecutors.
Besides this, they are always ready,and kept in rc4 serve, to return into France, and bring back the Light of Truth again there, whenever God shall please to open the
door. This is such a thing as Ipeaks plainly, that God preserves them in safety, in order to his great work, and till then. This is not the effect of the Compassion of their Perfecutors; for they are deftitute of any, and are cruel to the utmost degree. 'Tis not a piece of policyneither; for that would have made them secure the Pastors in such a place, wherein they should have been condemned to an eternal silence. 'Tis then a secret Providence of God, which leads persons farther than they would go and todo that which they would not have otherwise done: and’tis observable, that Bithop Usher in his prophecy doth exprefly take notice of this partiçular, that in this last persecution the Pastors shall be Apared, God reserving them for the Great work he bath Farther to do; which makes megive the more heed to that prophecy.
Lafly, that we may fee how extraordinary this