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this, in which neither age nor sex, nor even women with child, were spared; for the butchers had received orders to slaughter all, even babes at the breast, if they belonged to Protestants. The king himself stood at the windows of his palace, endeavouring to shoot those who fled, and cry. ing to their pursuers, kill 'em, kill 'em. For this massa. cre public rejoicings were made at Rome, and in other Catholic countries. L'npumbered thousands of Protestants were slain in the civil wars of France, for their attachment to their principles. But as if Louis XIV. had determined to outdo all his predecessors in persecution, he perpetrated, by the base instruments of his despotism, all the enormities connected with the revocation of the edict of Nants. Those who wish to see a full account of the cruelties of this horrid persecution, a persecution which did not wholly cease till the revolution in 1789, may consult Mr. Claude's Complaints of the Protestants of France. After setting forth the unheard-of barbarities which were prạctised previous to the revocation of this edict, and enume. rating the articles of the edict, which crushed the cause of Protestanism in that country, be says, (p. 114.) 66 In the execution of this edict, in the very same day that it was registered and published at Paris, they began to demolish the church at Charenton. The oldest minister thereof (Mr. Claude) was commanded to leave Paris within four and twenty hours, and forthwith to quit the kingdom. His colleagues were little better treated; they gave them forty-eight hours to leave Paris. The rest of the ministers were allowed fifteen days. But it can hardly be believed to what vexations and cruelties they were exposed; they neither permitted them to dispose of their estates, nor to carry away with them any of their moveables. Besides, they would not give them leave to take along with them either father or mother, brother or sister, or any of their kindred, though they were many of them infirm, de- . cayed and poor, who could not subsist but by their means. They went so far as even to deny them their own children, if they were above seven years old ; nay, some they took from them that were under that age, and even such as yet hanged on their mothers' breasts; and refused them nurses for their new-born infants, which their mothers could not give suck to.---In some frontier places they stopped, under various pretences, the banished ministers, and put them in prison. Then after they had thus detained them,
they would tell them, that the fifteen days of the edict were expired, and they could not now have liberty to retire, but must be sent to the gallies.
66 As to the rest, whom the force of persecution and hard usage constrained to leave their houses and estates, and fly the kingdom, it is not to be imagined what dangers they exposed themselves to. Never were orders. more severe, or more strict than those that were given against them. They doubled the guards in sea-port cities, highways, and fords; they covered the country with soldiers; they armed even the peasants, either to stop or kill those that passed. By these means they quickly filled all the prisons in the kingdom; for the dread of the dragoons, who were quartered upon them to oblige them to embrace Popery; the horror of seeing their consciences forced, and their children taken from them, and of living for the future in a land where there was neither justice nor humanity for them ; obliged every one to think of escape, and to abandon all to save their persons. All the poor prisoners have been treated with unheard-of rigour, confined in dungeons, loaded with heavy chains, almost starved with hunger, and deprived of all converse but with their persecutors. They put many into monasteries, where they have experienced the worst of cruelties. Some, indeed, have been so happy as to die in the midst of their torments; but others have at length sunk under the weight of the temptation : and some, again, by the extraordinary assistance of God's grace, do still sustain it with an heroic courage. This was the state of things (p. 122.) in the latter end of the year 1685, and the full accomplishment of the threats the clergy had made us three years before, towards the end of their pretended pastoral letter, in which they say, Ye must expect miseries incomparably more dreadful and intolerable, than all those which hitherto your revolt and your schism have drawn upon you. And truly they have not been worse than their word.”--Cruel clergy! are these the ministers of the merciful Jesus ?-Fiends from hell! Cruel government! Are these the powers which are ordained of God, and which men are bound to obey on pain of the divine displeasure ? -To maintain such a position is a slander on the justice and goodness of the Creator. Such positions are among the blasphemies of perishing oppressors. (Rev. xvi. 9. 11. 21.) When this bloody religion, and such inhuman tyrannies fall, and their base instruments perish, under the vengeance of the oppressed, is it
any wonder that the angels shout, Thou art righteous, o Lord! they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink, for they are worthy, Shall not God take vengeance? He surely will. He hath promised that he will. The false friends of Christianity, . and all the creatures of tyranny will howl and cry, Alas! alas ! that great city! But God will say, Rejoice over her, thou heaven! Vengeance is mine, I will repay.
But does not this perfect the beastly character of Louis ? He it was, also, who gave the death-wound to the civil liberties of France, by taking from the Parliaments all their remaining power, and from France every shadow of freedom. Their ancient constitution had been long impairing. It was undermined by the crafty Louis XI. and had been nearly swept away by the daring and sanguinary councils of Richelieu, under Louis XIII. The assembly of the states had been disused ever since the beginning of this monarch's reign. The last time of its meeting was in the year 1614. But all civil-liberty did not then expire. Its complete extinction was left for this tyrant. “For heretofore,” says Puffendorf, in the style of a court sycophant, “ the Parliament of Paris used to oppose the king's designs, under a pretence that they had such a right. That the king could not do any thing of moment without its consent. But the king has taught it only to intermeddle with judicial business, and some other concerns, which the king now and then is pleased to leave to its decision.''*
* Thuş did this tyrant establish a perfect despotism, and from his days to the time of the revolution in 1789, (witli but a little abatement), the people were strangers to both civil and religious liberty. It is true, that persecution and violence have not continued ever since to rage in the same degree. If they had, that kingdom must have been depopulated, and not an object left to be tyrannižed over; and not only that country laid waste, but all the accessible world. The same system of oppression was pursued, though not always to the same length; the same tyrannic laws continued in force, and were exercised whenever the king or his courtiers conceived it necessary for the promotion of their measures. The late banishments and imprisonments of the members of the Parliament of Paris, for refusing to register those loans (because they thought them oppressive to the people) which the court demanded, are in every one's meinory, And though some, to answer their own unworthy. purposes, may endeavour to persuade us to the contrary, yet, to the disinterested and dispassionate, these tyrannic proceedings appear manifestly to have been the things which hastened the downfal of the una happy Louis XVI,
Thus did the beast of France, the coadjutor of the papal monster (and to save which from its merited destruction protestants shed their blood and lavish their treasure) erercise all the power of the first brust (Rev. sini. 12) and caused the earth and them who dwelt therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads ; and that no man might buy or sell, sare he who had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. And thus perished liberty; thus espired the renowned reformers of France, whose faithfulness will be had in everlasting remembrance, and whose sufferings will be avenged in the downfal of that tyranny which inflicted thein. For shough their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, of mystical Babylon, which spiritually is called, on account of its lewdness, idolatry and persecutions, Socom and Egypt, where also our Lord, in his members was crucified ; (ver. 8.) and though the people, and kindreds, and tongues, and nations, see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer them to be put into graves ; (ver. 9.) though few or none of the nations will, comparatively,* have any pity on them, to yield them assistance, or to do for them any office of humanity, but may even rejoice over them, (many of them at least) and make
This indifference is perfectly consistent with the asylum which the hunted Protestants of France, who could escape from their country, found in the neighbouring states and kingdoms; for whatever sympathy individuals might feel, and all true Christians certainly felt, and thoughi, for the sake of their manufactures, property, increase of population, and in pity for their sufferings, they received and encouraged them, yet what nation ever armed in their defence, or even moved a finger, coinparatively, for the relief of all the thousands, who were first unarmed, and then offered the mark of the beast, or banishment, the gallies, the dungeon, the rack, and death? What Protestant nation did any thing worth calling an exertion in favour of all the thousands, and hundreds of thousands who were hunted, like wild beasts, by Popish priests and their blood hounds, and driven from their country, or murdered,--of all the thousands and tens of thousands, who, for a good conscience, were torn from their families, immured in dungeons, condemned to the gallies, or delivered over to the insolence and cruelty of the dragoons? Not one! When an opportunity offered for doing something for them, at the peace of Ryswick, in 1697, and again of Utretcht in 1713, at which time four laundred were still groaning on board the gallies, or perishing in dungeons, there was not one stipulation in their favour! But the fall of that tyranny which inflicted these enormities, produces a shock which is felt' from one er:d of the earth to the other. Whence is this? What will the issue be; and what the fate of liberty?
merry and send gifts one to another, because these two prophets who tormented them are slain ; (ver. 10) though, in, stead of assisting them, they may wish their everlasting extinction, or exert themselves ever so much against them, —when the days are fulfilled, they shall awake in their children and successors, and shake and overturn, from its deepest foundations, the tyranny which slew them. And after three days and a half, the spirit of life from God entered into them, (ver. 11.)
Here the third question presents itself. IV hat duration of time are we to understand by these three days and a half?
Before I offer my interpretation of this number, there is one consideration, besides that of the decorum which the Holy Ghost always prescrves through all the several parts of symbolical representations, which we shall by and by notice that claims our attention. On a careful examination, we shall find, in all the predictions of the prophets, that although they give us assurance of the facts, yet the time of their accomplishment is left in a state of uncertainty. And even where dates are fixed, as in the predictions respecting the return of the Jews from Babylon, after 70 years captivity, and the appearance of the Messiah after 70 weeks, or 490 years; yet the commence. ment of these periods, or the mode of calculation, is inyolved in obscurity, till light is thrown upon them by the event. It never was intended that men should know with certainty when any future event is to take place, and this for an obvious reason. The prophecies, we should remember, were designed not to gratify our curiosity, but to confirm our faith in the truth of the divine word, by their accomplishment. This may be one reason why these three days and a half should have a different meaning from the common prophetic days, that thus the time might not so easily be ascertained, till the accomplishment should lead men to their true intention. Were the prophecies so clear, / that every one could precisely know the circumstances, and the time to which they refer, hindrances, if we may speak thus, would be thrown in the way of God's designs, and, in many cases, a check would be given to the necessary exertions and pursuits of men. All the latter part of the last century, thinking people of all countries were expecting the accomplishment of the 1260 years, (the time of the beast's power). On the revocation of the edict of Nants, the whole Protestant world, and especially the