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* war' which was raised by the Hugonots, and raised by them on no * other ground, but for ertorting the free exercise of their religion by force of arms, according to the doctrine and example of the mother

city. In the pursuit whereof they did not only with their own hands “ ruinate and deface the beauty of their native country, but gave it

over for a prey to the lust of strangers. The calling in of the Eng" lish to support their faction, whom

they knew well to be the ancient enemies of the crown of France, and putting into their hands the “chief strength of Normandy, of whose pretensions to that dukedom

they could not be ignorant, were two such actions of a disloyal impolitic nature, ás no pretence of zeal to that which they called the "gospel, could either qualify or excuse. Nor was the bringing in of " so many thousand German soldiers of much better condition, who " though they could pretend nó title to the crown of France, nor to

any particular province in it, were otherwise more destructive to the peace of that country, and created far more mischief to the people of

it, than all the forces of the English; for being to be maintained on "the pay of the Hugonots, and the Hugonots not being able to satisfy " their exorbitant arrears, they were suffered to waste the country in " all parts where they came, and to expose the whole kingdom, from " the very borders of it toward Germany to the English channel, unto

spoil and rapine; so that between the Hugonots themselves on the

one side, and these German soldiers on the other, there was nothing " to be seen in most parts of the kingdom, but the destruction of churches, " the profanation of altars, the defacing of images, the demolishing of mo

nasteries, the burning of religious houses, and even the digging up of the " bones of the dead, despitefully thrown about the fields and unhallowed

Nor were these traiterous designs and horrible outrages the only unjustifiable measures resorted to by the Hugonots to gain their ends; for the same author relates, that when the French royalists laid siege to the town of Orleans, under the command of the duke of Guise, one Poltrot, a man of good family, who had lived many years in Spain, but afterwards embraced the Calvinian doctrines, was stirred up by Beza, the leader of that sect, and the rest of the Hugonot ministers, as well as by the admiral Coligni, under the hope of great rewards both here and hereafter, to murder the Catholic commander, which he at length perpetrated, under the most perfidious circumstances, by shooting him with a musquet loaded with three bullets. The people of England have been repeatedly told of the assassination of Henry IV. of France by one Raviallac, but who ever before heard of this base murder committed by a Calvinist at the instigation of his religious teachers, as they are called? We question if there be one Protestant in five thousand, at this day, that is at all acquainted with the above circumstance, though few are ignorant of the nature of the death of Henry. The murderer

of the king of France was a professed Catholic, and though the crime was committed in direct violation of the principles and doctrines of that church, yet have the people of this besotted country been led to believe, by means of the press, that the act was perpetrated in consequence of the pernicious tenets of the church of Rome. Nay, to this very day, are Catholics obliged, before they can be legally secured from the ef

" places.

fects of the penal laws, to go into an open court of justice, and there take a solemn oath that their religion do not teach them to depose and murder princes! Thus this gross imputation on the character of the ancient and only true church is still upheld by legislative enactments, and the Catholic is compelled to go through the humiliating act of proclaiming that he is not by religious profession a murderer !! But the time, we trust, is near at hand, when every uncharitable insinuation will be consigned to oblivion, and the people of England will form their conclusions, not from what this or that party may represent, but from historical and well-authenticated FACTS. It has been the misfortune of Protestants, that they have hitherto seen history only on one side of the question. It has been the study of most, we might say all, writers on the side of Protestantism to bespatter the Catholics with every degree of moral turpitude possible, while the professors of the reformed, or rather deformed creeds, (for innumerable have been and are the professions of faith, if such they can be called, since the days of Luther, Calvin, Beza, &c.) are represented as the very emblems of purity and perfection, though real history depicts them the most immoral of men, the most outrageous disturbers of the public peace, and, in power, the most sanguinary of all rulers. This is done by the suppression of some facts, and the misrepresentation of others, while the operation of the penal code, preventing the Catholics from exposing the falsehoods and tricks of these mercenary writers, their works, by remaining so long uncontradicted, have been considered irrefutable, and thus the most implicit credit has been given to them. We flatter ourself, however, that we shall be able to throw some light on this state of blindness in which our countrymen have been so long kept, and draw aside the veil of obscurity that has for so many years prevented the light of truth from shedding its rays among them.

But we must return again to the proceedings of the French Hugonots previous to the massacre of St. Bartholomew, as it is termed, which took place in 1572. What we have already related, we wish the reader to bear in mind is anterior to that date, and we have now to record other instances of the diabolical spirit by which these propagators of the pure light of the gospel, as John Fox's modern editors call them, were instigated. We have seen the disorders and miseries brought upon France in 1563, from the introduction of foreign mercenaries into that country by the French gospel-reformers, it is now time to shew the reader what followed these lamentable proceedings through the fanaticism and cruelty of the native Hugonots. A peace had been concluded between the contending parties, by which the Hugonots were secured in the free exercise of their religion in such towns as should be allotted them, and other privileges were granted them, but the restless spirit of innovation would not permit then to be quiet, and the kingdom became the theatre of fears, jealousies and discord. In the year 1566, writes Dr. Heylin, “the Hugonots had some thoughts of sur* prising Lyons, but the plot miscarried; they practised also upon “ Narbonne, a chief city of Languedoc, and openly attempted the

pope's town of Avignon; but were prevented in the one and sup

pressed in the other. A greater diffidence was raised against them 6 by. the unreasonable zeal of the queen of Navarre, who, not content

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" with settling the reformed religion in the country of Berne when she

was absolute and supreme, suffered the Catholics to be infested in her

own provinces which she held immediately of the crown; insomuch “that at Pamiers, the chief city of the earldom of Foix, the Hugonots,

taking offence at a solemn procession held upon Corpus Christi day, “betook themselves presently to arms, and falling upon those whom

they found unarmed, not only made a great slaughter amongst the “churchmen, but in the heat of the same fury burnt down their houses. “ Which outrage being suffered to pass unpunished, gave both encourage“ment and example to some furious zealots to commit the like in other

places, as namely at Montauban, Cælion, Lodez, Preieux, Valence, &c.

being all situate in those provinces in which the Hugonots were pre“ dominant in power and number. But that which most alarmed the “court, was a seditious pamphlet, published by a native of Orleans, in " which it was maintained (according to the Calvinian doctrines) that “the people of France were absolved from their allegiance to the king “then reigning, because he was turned an idolater. In which reason “it is lawful also to kill him, as opportunity should be offered. Which “ doctrine being very agreeable unto some, designs which were then

every where in agitation amongst the Hugonots, was afterwards “made use of for the justifying the following wars, when the opinion grew more general and more openly maintained both from

press

and pulpit.” Here then we have the fact, that where the Hugonots were predominant they made no scruple to murder indiscriminately such Catholics as fell into their power, and destroy their houses. We have it stated also, that the press and PULPIT were employed to propagate the doctrine, that it was lawful to absolve subjects from their allegiance, and to kill their king for being an idolater, as Catholics were then, and now are, miscalled. These heinous charges have been constantly imputed to Catholics, and it was not till Mr. Pitt, the late heaven-born minister of this country, consulted the divines of six Catholic universities on them, who one and all denied that the Catholic church ever taught such horrible doctrines, that the sanguinary code of laws, passed to grind the professors of Catholicism in this country and Ireland, was mitigated; and then, as we have before remarked, not until the Catholic goes into an open court of justice, and denies upon oath the infamous imputations. Yet here we see it recorded in the work of a Protestant writer, that Protestant reforming divines did absolutely teach those impious doctrines which were falsely laid to the Catholics! Acting upon these doctrines, we are told, by the same author, that in the year following (1567), the Hugonots entered into a conspiracy to seize

upon the king and royal family, who were to be put to death, in the event of falling into the hands of the conspirators, in order to set aside the succession, and place the crown on the head of the prince of Condé. In this design they were, however, frustrated, and they then attempted to gain possession of Paris, to which city they laid siege, but were driven from it by the king's forces. In the year succeeding they prevailed upon the elector Palatine to furnish them with a band of mercenaries, and they obtained supplies from England to keep their country in a state of civil warfare and confusion. This rebellious spirit of the Hugonots determined the king to forbid them the exercise of their religion, and ordered their ministers and preachers to be banished cut of the kingdom, the reasons for which conduct the king stated to be the ill requital the Hugonots had made of his indulgence, the many rebellions and conspiracies they had raised against him, their bringing foreign forces into the kingdom, their contempt of his authority, and the continual disturbance and destruction of his subjects made by them under the pretence of zeal for religion. This edict was followed by a solemn covenant on the part of the Hugonots, who bound themselves by oath to persevere till death in defence of what they called religion. How far the doctrines they preached and practised were consonant to the true practice of Christianity, let the reader judge when he has compared the conduct of these Hugonot gospellers with the behaviour of the primitive martyrs, which Fox has recorded, and we have noticed in our preceding pages. In the latter we perceive the spirit of meekness and charity-a forbearance towards their persecutors, and an inflexible courage to meet the most excruciating tortures rather than violate the principle of their faith, or sully the purity of their motives in the choice of that faith. But in the gospel reformers of the sixteenth century we see nothing but turbulence, violence, and sedition. We see them, in the absence of reason and truth, acting with force and treachery to accomplish their ends. We see them involving their country in all the horrors of civil war, introducing foreign mercenaries to pillage and oppress the people, murder the clergy, and destroy the churches. And can such men be the propagators of the pure light of the gospel, as the editors of the Book of Martyrs insinuate they were? Were they not, on the contrary, the greatest enemies to public peace, the destroyers of their country's happiness, and the plunderers of their neighbours' property. Admitting that there were abuses existing in the church of Rome that needed reforming, could the existence of these abuses justify such outrageous proceedings on the part of the evangelical reformers as we have cited from the page of history, where it is fixed in characters too indelible to be removed? They may be partially suppressed; they may be glossed over, as the editors of Fox have glossed them over; yet they will stand a monument of the impiety and outrage which marked the progress of what is called THE REFORMATION, but which should be termed the Deformation of Religion, and the Violation of every principle of Charity and Justice.

But we have not yet enumerated all the outrages committed by these much-injured and innocent gospellers, as the modern editors of Fox would persuade us the French Calvinists or Hugonots were. The pious admiral Coligni, who, according to the Book of Martyrs, believed himself to be beloved of God, finding himself to be reduced to great straits by the forces of the king, shut himself up with his confederates in the strong town of Rochelle, a seaport in the bay of Biscay, and then advised the inhabitants to go forth in their ships to spoil and pillag'e such vessels as they might meet with, in order to provide him with the necessary means to maintain the war. Thus piracy was added to the many other acts of injustice and violence committed by these pretended reformers of religion !. These proceedings took place about 1568-9, and were followed by another rebellion, in which foreign auxiliaries were again called in, and the treasures of the church were to be seized,

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wherever the Hugonots got the ascendency, to support the combined forces of the rebels and mercenaries. The result of this rebellion was the death of the prince of Condé in battle, the condemnation of the admiral, the confiscation of his lands, the plunder of his houses, and the exécution of his effigy. “ The loss of the famous battle of Mont-Con* taur by the Hugonot party anno 1569," says Dr. Heylin, "forced " them to abandon all their strong holds, except Rochelle, Angouleme, " and St. Jean d'Angely, and finally to shut themselves up within Ro“ chelle only; after which followed such a dissembled reconciliation " between the parties, as proved more bloody than the war.” in this state of feeling then that the transaction we have now to notice took place. We do not mean to vindicate the parties implicated in it, but we shall endeavour to place it in its true colonrs, and rescue the religion we profess from having any share in it. The editors of Fox say, " the Papists seeing nothing could be done against the Protestants by

open force, began to devise how they could entrap them by subtlety." This we grant; but it must be observed, that the determination was formed without consulting either the ministers of the church, the

preeepts of religion, or the workings of conscience. No, the royalist party (for the Papists or Catholics, as a body, had no more to do with the event than John Fox or his editors) merely followed the example so often set them by the Hugonots, and endeavoured to subdue their adversaries by the same unchristian weapons which had been used against themselves, namely, perfidy and stratagem. We have shewn that the Hugonots could massacre unoffending priests and people, in the exercise of their religious ceremonies; that they could preach against keeping faith with Catholics; that they could bring foreign troops to plunder and destroy the people; and are these the men to complain when deceit and treachery is practised upon them? We again repeat that we do not intend to justify the horrible deed, but we do contend that men who are guilty of the most perfidious conduct cannot fairly complain if they should happen to fall into the same or similar snares which they have laid for their opponents. What would be thought of a man who should prosecute another in a court of justice for robbing him, when it should turn out that the prosecutor had been the instructor of the offender in his dishonest practices? The culprit must of course be considered guilty, but his situation would excite the compassion of the audience, while the prosecutor would be entitled to and receive their just indignation. So it must be with every rational mind regarding the massacre of St. Bartholomew, as it is called. The Catholic party were exasperated at the treacherous and restless conduct of the Hugonots ; they were desirous of peace and good order; they had seen the country a prey to disorder and devastation through the perfidy of the pretended reformers; and they resolved, contrary to religion and justice, to get rid of the enemies of their peace, by the same means as their peace had been disturbed. · Had, indeed, the Hugonots confined themselves to the exercise of their intellectual powers, and not had recourse to physical force; had they conformed strictly to the laws, instead of violating them; then might the editors of the Book of Martyrs have justly sent forth their execrations against the French Catholics; but while the page of history bears testimony to the violent and perfidious transacs

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